Y’all, I should probably just admit it and turn this into a Jeff Wheeler fan blog. I am still reading books by this man and just when I think I’ve read them all, up pops another one on my Kindle. I have no new book reviews for you this week that aren’t based in Wheeler’s imagination, so today we’re tossing obsessive reading habits aside and talking about when our hobbies, reading included, get in the way of real life.
I read for an hour every night before bed. This habit was established at age 5 and at this point, it’s essentially part of my personality. For the most part, this is a good habit. My mind gets a break from “real life” while also being stretched to incorporate and explore new ideas, it’s relaxing, it’s enjoyable and you can read pretty much anywhere.
A few weeks ago, I enjoyed 5 days at Summer Camp which pushed me in so many new directions, in big ways. It was such an inspiring week and I came home with a heart and mind full to overflowing with ideas, questions, and inspirations. The biggest surprise, however, was coming away from camp thinking “Am I reading too much?”.
In those five days, I had plenty of time to journal, sketch, meditate, craft and bond with my bunk mates every night before bed. These are things I have been missing a lot lately and they are all things that seemed to get lost in the priority shuffle. Like reading, journaling, sketching, meditating and crafting are all quiet activities, require little space and can be quickly put away when finished. The nightly “download” where the 10 of us circled and discussed our day was reminiscent of what a married couple should be doing nightly to reconnect and build the relationship. So why were these activities that I enjoy getting ignored? The easy answer was the 7-10 hours a week spent curled up with a good book and another 5-6 hours a week spent on running/exercise. In my obsessive nature, I had traded other enjoyable activities for reading.
The first step is always awareness and being aware that I had prioritized reading so heavily over other activities was a very important first step. In the coming weeks, I’ll be working on incorporating art and craft into hanging out with my kid, at least one night of Pilates or yoga before bed, and attempting to replicate the nightly “download” with the hubs, all while still maintaining my reading habits. (Maybe just not as obsessively.)
Until next time, happy reading friends!