And yes, for me, all three of those things are connected.
This post may not be a huge revelation to many of you out there, and neither does it contain earth-shattering information.
However, it’s cutting edge to me, but then again, I’m always late to jump on the band wagon, so take this all with a grain of salt…
I was an avid reader throughout my grade school years. I had plenty of friends, was involved in WAY too many extra-curricular clubs and always considered myself to be an extrovert. Despite that, I would still make time to sit for hours with a book in my hand, and have been known to finish thick novels in a day. (side note and A.D.D. moment – I’m also a really fast talker, which, I conclude, at least partially stems from my love of reading. Aside from books, I also adore the theater and acted throughout highschool and college. I loved hearing the stories I was reading, and when I was younger, I remember reading out loud to myself, especially at the exciting points. I did a killer Nancy Drew impression. However, I could read quickly, which meant that I would read the stories aloud. quickly. Hence, I speak quickly…my own self-diagnosis, as you can see.)
Where was I?
College snuck up on me, and although I could read quickly, finishing massive amounts of required reading and then writing papers every week for multiple classes meant that there was no time for leisurely reading.
Then I got married.
Then I had kids.
And before I knew what happened, aside from the occassional vacation read, well, I stopped reading. I would read my Bible, though definitely not as much as I would like, some of my favorite blogs, headlines, and news stories. Nice 3-minute clips that I would squeeze in between homeschooling, having babies, remodeling a house, making dinner, folding laundry, and, well – you get it.
And now here I am, watching my own children begin to devour books, just like I used to…and I haven’t cracked one in ages.
“It is what you read when you don’t have to, that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.” – Oscar Wilde.
As a mom, I don’t just want to read, I need to read. Yes, it’s true, there are days that I have very little adult interaction. Drowning myself in a book – any book – stimulates a part of my brain and reasoning that is completely different than a simple conversation about legos, grilled cheese, or Thomas the Tank Engine. I know that we love every conversation and long-winded story that we have with our children, and as tedious as the days can be, I really do treasure every minute with my kids.
But mommas. You need to be reading. For YOUR sake.
Here’s how I am starting to squeeze in some reading time…
Audio books. These are a life saver for mommas! Pop in your headphones and get lost in a good story. (When the kids are awake, I keep one ear free, don’t worry). I love using:
- Audible (sign up for a free trial and get a free book!). Audible charges a monthly fee if you choose to subscribe, but their selections and the quality of their recordings are top notch.
- Librivox is a MUST – the books are mostly classics in the Public Domain, recorded by volunteers (some that know how to read well…some that don’t…) but it’s completely free! I use this for myself as well as my kids, to introduce them to the classics!
- Bible Recordings. There are quite af ew options and some great smart phone apps out there for this. A simple search will give you quite a few to choose from.
- Lamplighter has an AMAZING selection of great Christian stories. Their audio books and dramas frequently go on sale, and they are classic stories with with Christian principles and old-school morals. I can’t recommend them enough, especially for family listening and car trips!
Clean while you listen. Ok, here’s where you may all be rolling your eyes because this is so simple, but it’s completely changing my cleaning routine…in that I now clean my house. Without stopping as much, that is. Several year ago, I was diagnosed with A.D.D., and so, for me, starting a task is easy, finishing one task before starting another is the problem. However, I began to realize that I could easily listen to chapter after chapter of an audiobook and be so completely absorbed in the story, that I didn’t really pay attention to the fact that I was cleaning. It makes scrubbing the kitchen and folding laundry go much faster, because my brain is absorbed in something I love, while my hands and feet are at work.
I keep a book in my purse. Doctor’s offices, dance classes and the park all make for prime reading minutes.
I keep my Kindle charged. There’s nothing that beats the feel of a real book in your hands. I might be one of the last generations to appreciate a hard-bound book and the smell of the library, but I won’t ever give that up. That being said, I do love my kindle for the wealth of free e-books and the ease that I can get a book – literally with one click. And I’ve only dropped it in the tub once.
I keep books everywhere. Maybe this goes back to my issues with cleaning, but there really are books in almost every room of our house. Something is always within reach, even if it’s just an exotic cook book with great pictures.
I never want to stop learning. And I guess, for all of us, it boils down to that. The crafting of words, the telling of tales that I never could have dreamt, and yes, I’m a history nerd and today I listened to Ben Franklin’s autobiography (truly fascinating man) and caught glimpses of a man and of history in ways I never learned in college. I never want to stop learning. Even when I feel like I don’t have time for it.
What about you? What are some other creative ways that you squeeze reading into your already busy schedule?