Monday, January 13, 2020

Uh, actually, you do have time.

Warning: this post is spicy. Read at your own risk, and maybe have a glass of water handy.

I'm cliiiimbing up on my soap box here, folks, and I'm gonna trigger some of you!

Ahem. *clears throat*

I love talking books. LOVE. IT. I love when people come to me for recommendations, or come back to me to tell me what they thought of a book I mentioned (regardless of their opinion), and I even love talking about book sales, library functions, book swapping, and all manner of collecting printed works.

What I do not like, is when someone sees or hears or notices how many books I've read and they say,
  "I don't have time for that."


Side eye emoji.

What you mean, friend, is that you don't make time for that. Because the truth is, we all make time for the things that matter to us. If something is a priority in our lives, then we find the time for it. We choose it. We return to it repeatedly.

Do you know how often I choose books over other things? Like, all the time.

I choose them over Netflix. I choose them over going out. I choose them in all The Fringe Hours of my day. I choose them in pickup and dropoff lines instead of staring at my phone. I choose them in the morning instead of watching the news. I choose them, and choose them, and choose them.

You actually DO have time to read more books. | Reading & Writing Rych,

And to be quite honest, I choose them a lot less than my idols (read: published authors). Did you know Nicholas Sparks reads over 100 books a year? (For the record, he's no longer one of my favorite authors, but once upon a time he was - I met him! - but I remember him giving that advice to aspiring writers. To read over 100 books a year.) This year, I saw Gretchen Rubin's "year in books" on GoodReads and saw that she read 199. (OMG the things I would have done to get to that even 200.)

But also, GOOD LORD she must take a shower with a book in her hand.

The thing is, I'm not only getting into semantics here. This isn't just a debate about I don't have time vs I don't make time, though I'm very literal and ridiculous about word choice. This is also about the fact that the line, "I don't have time for that," in response to my reading accomplishments is a bit of a judgement.

Don't deny it - you know it is.

It's saying, "I'm busier than you and you're just a lowly stay at home parent with time oozing out of her ears to sit and read books and eat bon bons all day."

I'm pretty sure that this entire blog immediately proves that shit wrong.

But what I really want to say to that is - your busyness is not an admirable sword to fall on. And this 2000's era "my worth is measured by how busy I am and the more that's on my plate the more of a martyr I am" is STALE. How have we not let that go yet? (Please note that I'm not referring to people in extreme circumstances like chronic or fatal illness, deployment, etc. This is meant solely for those in the rat race and that orbit around it.)

My husband works overtime hours without overtime pay, is an incredibly present Dad, and keeps up with black belt training in TKD and even he can read nearly 30 books year. So, shove it.

Hahaha, I really wanted to say something aggressive and retaliating and that's as salty as it got. What can I say? I've got fire in my throat chakra but love in my heart. I'm a walking contradiction of peace and rage. This is why my friends stick around even though I am a reading hermit that rarely ventures out into the world. I keep it interesting.

Anyway. You get what I'm saying?

I don't have any extra time than anyone else. Believe it or not, I don't just sit and read all day.

I probably juggle more things and wear more hats than someone working a single full time job. I'm not trying to get all compare-y or "my wound is bigger than yours" in saying that, just that you don't really know what anyone else is carrying in life. I'll never forget the time I was laughed at for having a planner because I was "just" a stay at home mom. Dudes, the amount of brain power I spend on keeping track of all the directions I need to go in is astronomical. This is why I'm mostly made of coffee.

So, I don't know, moral of the story is - let's maybe edit our responses to have a little less judgement, a little less envy, a little less fishing for validation.

Because the truth is, you might choose to spend it differently, but we all get the same 24 hours in a day.

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