For years I have bemoaned the fact that I never read enough. I enjoy reading, but I manage to forget how much I enjoy reading until I’m in the middle of a great book, and I begin thinking, “Why don’t I do this more often?” Having children certainly didn’t help me find more time to read, but I can’t lay the blame entirely upon them because it’s a fact of life that—with kids or without them—it’s always been a struggle to find time to do the things I’d like to be doing.
We never have enough time to do the things that matter. Instead, we have to make time. We often have to make time at the exact moment we’d least like to make time. For instance, I always want to curl up with a good book at the most inopportune moments: during my morning commute, in lengthy meetings, while having friends over for dinner, or while attending a neighbor’s toddler pool party. That’s when I feel like reading a book. I never feel like reading a book after the kids have gone to bed, and the house goes dark and quiet. Those are the moments when the television suddenly flickers to life as if unbidden to do so.
I’ve lived long enough to know myself well enough to recognize that I’ll almost never do the things that are good for me without a plan to do them. I’ve begun planning to read. Every other day on my to-do list manager (by which I live day-in and day-out) pops up a little line that says: Read 2 chapters. Oh how satisfying it is to check that little empty box, my minuscule moment of victory over my undisciplined tendencies!
Even more satisfying are the worlds I’ve explored in pages, the conversations I’ve had in margins, and the professors I’ve learned from in paragraphs. I’m going to school again, but this time I care about the learning part.
I could probably compile a mile-long list of all the things I wish I did more often (or at all), from cooking, to writing, to returning phone calls, to everything else that fascinating and eclectic people who dwell within the pages of indie lifestyle magazines do. But for now now I’ll celebrate the fact that at least I’m doing *something*, whether I feel like it or not.