The past month has been a whirlwind. Really, it’s been more like a hurricane.
I recently went home to California (see my Destination Reading post for thoughts about the trip), and haven’t stopped moving since! I came home from the airport at 1:00 AM and immediately emptied the suitcase into the laundry. When they were done, I re-packed them into the very same suitcase as I set off early the next morning on another adventure, this time to Virginia to spend time with my boyfriend’s family. I worked for some of the time, and spent most of my shifts obsessively planning how I could squeeze thirty hours into a day. Each day, I was either in D.C. or Virginia, and road tripped to Missouri to help my boyfriend to Missouri.
As someone who treasures my alone time and loves to organize, this living-out-of-a-suitcase, never-take-a-break lifestyle was beyond draining. I was a little frazzled, then was running on empty, and at a certain point I completely lost it. It’s difficult for me to explain to people how calming it is to have everything clean and in the right spot, and how stressful it is to leave a home knowing full well how disorganized and dirty it is. I would wake up in the morning after sleeping four hours, and know that there was absolutely zero chance of me taking a minute for myself during that day. Some times in your life are like that: there is just way too much to get done, and yet these are the times that you crave relaxation the most. Saying this out loud, it sounded like, “I NEED TO DO MY THINGS! I JUST WANT TO BE AT MY HOUSE AND DO MY THINGS!” Like I said, I was going a little bit crazy.
One of my “things” that really re-charges me and prepares me to handle the world is, obviously, reading. I couldn’t be at home for really any of that time, but I was able to find spare seconds to read, and I’m convinced that this is what kept me sane. I have read since I can remember, and escaping into a book is at times the only home I can salvage in a hectic, constantly moving world.
To some, reading is something that they have to force themselves to do, like exercise. I have lots of friends who say “I don’t really read anymore.” or “I don’t have time for that.” After they say things like this, they get a little bashful, like I’m about to judge them because I love to read. I also exercise. Sometimes it’s a chore; sometimes it is relaxing. I’m not one of those people who exercises because it’s so fun. I worked hard to build this habit because I know it’s good for me, and I know that in the long run, I feel better because of it.
I think that whatever we can do to be physically and mentally strong is exactly what we should do, because sometimes life hits you with a hurricane, and you have to be strong to hold on for dear life. If you don’t think you have time to read, you might be right. But if you do find time, you might be surprised at how much reading shapes you.