On the way to…um…well…

Fast is how I did everything during my college years. I supported myself, so I raced from home to class to job to class to job, repeating this all day long until I had to race home and study. On Thursday night, I sped away from my university campus to another one several hours away to be with my boyfriend until Monday morning when I woke up before 5 am to race back to my first class of the week. The summer before my last year, I decided I needed to quickly take the last few credits I needed, so that I could graduate in December instead of the following May. I bounced from job to job, looking for the elusive “life” that I had spent my twenty-something years sprinting toward.

As the years passed, I collected life experiences through marriage, moving far away from home, having a child and receiving a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. In the same way that I finally realized going 20 mph over the speed limit only saves you a handful of minutes, I began to realize that the mad dash from one minute to the next was getting me nowhere. It’s exhausting to always be in a rush. It’s stressful to my family when I’m rushing for no reason. Sometimes, rushing is a sign that I’m manic.

I’ve learned a few things along the way. Most of the time, not starting the dishwasher before I go to bed does not constitute an emergency, nor does finishing my current book just so I can start the next. If I am not ready to get out of the bed, the dog will have to wait. If my son needs something and I’m in the middle of something, he can either wait or figure out how to do it – he’s old enough. If I want to rush through buying the groceries, I better go early. If I rush my son to get his shoes on quicker, it will take him longer.

Knowing that I tend to get in an unnecessary rush does not altogether prevent me from doing it, but it makes me aware that I sometimes need a timeout. Sometimes I find it utterly depressing to think that I’m rushing my way to death, that I’m not taking the time to enjoy the journey.

via Daily Prompt: Dash

Beyond Reason

My love of books began far earlier than I can even remember. It is one of my defining characteristics. I often wish I kept a list of or owned every book I’ve ever read. One of my biggest fantasies is to live in a library or book store or have one of those amazing library rooms like I see in large older homes on TV. l read almost anything, fiction or non-fiction. If fact, there have been times where I’ve borrowed text books, just for fun (I know…ridiculous…such a nerd). I love discovering a new author. When I meet someone in a bookstore or library, I always ask them what book they last read that was really great. Like a magnet, the force field between me and books is invisible, yet very strong.

Interestingly enough, as much as I fantasize about hoarding books, I do not actually keep them. I am close to being a minimalist, because I would rather read than clean, so anything that requires furniture to store it is carefully considered. Once I’ve finished a book, if I’ve bought it, I either pass it on to a friend or drop it off as a donation to my local library.

In the last year, I’ve learned about goodreads, and I’m a huge fan. I finally have a way to keep track of all the books I’m reading, as well as the ones I’ve yet to read – I absolutely love it! Before I head to the library, I pull up the catalog online and look up all the books on my to-read category of goodreads, so that I know which branch to visit and what books I will be able to bring home (or if I can borrow it as an eBook). It also allows me to link straight to Amazon, where I can put books I can’t find in the library on my Wish List.

Lately, I’ve been into 3 books at a time. I listen to an audio book while I walk the dog, I read a real paper book during the day and I read an eBook in bed.

Here are the 3 I’m reading right now:

audio: Skewed by Anne McAneny

paper: American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin

eBook: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett

The best book I’ve finished recently: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

I’m very curious, what’s the best book you’ve read lately?