I’ve rediscovered the joy of reading this past week. Wait, does that mean I had forgotten how joyful reading can be??? No, no, it’s not that. I know exactly how joyful reading is. I just haven’t had the time – or better yet, made the time – to enjoy reading for myself.
I do love reading. I didn’t always love it. It always felt like something I had to do for school. It wasn’t until my mom’s friend, who was a high school English teacher, brought me a book (that I can’t remember at the moment) and said “give this book a try, you might like it.” I’m sure I rolled my eyes at her, but I ended up giving it a try, and that was it. I had felt the joy and fell in love. Now, I love everything about reading. I love the feel of books in my hands. I love their smell. I love reading to my daughter and 1st graders. I love picture books, and professional books, and fiction books – my most favorite genre. I’m not as adventurous with other genres as I’d like to be. There’s always room for growth!
So if I love it so much, why don’t I make the time to read books I want to read? Why don’t I make the time to get lost in books like I tell my daughter and my 1st graders to do? I have no problem sitting with them, radiating my passion for reading, while saying “now go, go get lost in your books.” The answer is simple – other things take precedence and are the priorities (even if they shouldn’t be). Well, until now…
This past week has been a tough one for our family. Our sweet, sweet dog, Lucy, gave up her fight and passed away and my husband’s uncle had a massive heart attack and the prognosis isn’t good. I don’t deal well with any type of loss (or bad news for that matter)- especially since losing my dad 11 years ago. My anxiety quickly makes its appearance known. I don’t sleep well and my mind gets filled with thoughts that make my anxiety worse and worse. I try to be mindful and stay present – let’s just say that’s still a work in progress for me.
So what did I do? I turned to reading. It’s the one thing that has helped me “escape” my thoughts. Reading for pleasure and fun – just sitting with a book and getting lost in it. Letting the story take me away to another place – even if only for a short while. Smiling and being happy. Just me and my book. I let go of the idea that I wasn’t paying enough attention to my daughter. She was perfectly content playing, creating, and sometimes even reading alongside of me – lost in her own world. I didn’t think about the sad things that had happened. I “escaped” with book in my lap and coffee in my hand. Reading brought me the joy I needed, and now I’m hooked again. I don’t think I realized how much I missed it and how much joy it brings me – hence the rediscovery! I guess I’ll have to find the balance between doing what needs to be done and getting lost in my books. It will just have to become one of my priorities!
I’ll gladly accept any fiction book recommendations – I’ve got the reading bug now!
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