The title of this post is a bit misleading. I’ve always loved to read. I’ve never forgotten that I love reading, or felt a desire to not read anymore. But since I “grew up”, and especially in the last few years, I’ve felt that I didn’t have time.
All through school and into college, a stack of library books perpetually lived in my bedroom. That’s where I spent much of my free time. But then something changed. I graduated. I got a “real” job. I got married. I still loved reading, but months would go by without me picking up a single book. This made me sad, but I didn’t know how to change it. I just didn’t have the time to waste.
I think I was conditioned to think this way. Adults used to tell me they used to read a lot but couldn’t find the time anymore. Especially after having kids. I never saw adults carrying stacks of books through the library, not like I did. So it made sense that I didn’t have time anymore either. After all, I worked all day, and when I got home there was still dinner to make and a house to clean. Weekends were spent catching up on house things, or doing couple things, or just vegging in front of the TV because I was completely unmotivated to do anything else.
My perspective has now changed. Granted, I’ve officially been unemployed for more than a year. I spent some time helping my family after my mother’s surgery, then my husband and I did the whole military-move thing. My days now are mostly spent at home, pursuing whatever I want. I’m busier than I’ve ever been. I’m writing, I read for my critique partner (and others, occasionally), I work part-time for an online company. I do the house things: cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, etc. I train and exercise our puppy. I have church commitments. But there’s currently a stack of library books on my dining room table.
I’ve realized over the past year that if something is important to me, I need to make time for it. It’s a simple lesson, but one I put off for far too long. It’s what’s motivating me to buckle down on my writing. I love to read, and if I truly want to do it, I need to sacrifice something else.
So I make it a point to read now. Sometimes it’s only an hour while I eat my lunch. Sometimes it’s a couple of hours in the evening, when I’ve planned my day right and managed to get everything else done. Sometimes it’s even an entire Saturday, when I’ve had a long and stressful week and need to take a day off. My point being, I want it in my life. So I find places that it fits.