Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Taking the Time to Make Time

Time is a strange beast; if I have less time I yearn for more thinking only of the many things I could do if only I had the time. As it stands I have a lot of time without things I need or have to do and honestly? I don't make the best use of my time. Often, I don't make particularly any use of it - surfing the internet, watching the kind of TV that fills my brain with useless trivia where facts used to reside.
With the loss of daily routine from my life has come the loss of activity. Admittedly I am limited in what I can do by my health, but there is still so much that I could do:

  • Sit outside in the sunshine
  • Watch some of the many DVD's we own but never actually watch
  • Read more books - I have a Kindle which is embarrassingly underused.
  • Play more of our vinyl singles, laziness means I either go for my mp3 player on shuffle, a CD or an LP when we have a great collection of singles.
  • Create a more structured home life for us.

I would like this to change, I have wanted it to and in a very uncommitted manner I did make an attempt at reading 100 books this year. The total I have managed is somewhere around 8 and the embarrassment at that may have led me to abandon it completely after about a month. The call of glossy magazines has been too strong and I read a lot of them. This is something I have to change (although I have several on subscription as kind gifts from friends) as I cannot afford to sustain my reading of them any longer.  I have a huge to-read list, books that I think will benefit me to read and that is where I want to start.

 This is just from me going into three rooms and picking up the ones I found.

Seeing the photo above actually makes me squirm a bit. Subscriptions aside, that is huge expense there, staring at me. Psychologies aside (I keep those), I'm surprised that they are all in my house after I have read them. They're now safely ensconced in my recycling box. 

I want to make the conscious effort to pick up a book instead of a magazine, the TV remote or my laptop. Reading was the hobby that held me together from early childhood, losing myself in a book was my primary use of free time. The legacy of this, aside from peculiar pronunciation of a few dozen words due to reading them before hearing them, is a love of the classics and a lack of appreciation for modern literature. Over the last few years due to the proximity of excellent charity shops and my kindle I have discovered many recent books I have loved dearly (Room blew me away and The Help left me utterly bereft with the desire for more). 

The change I need to make is to value my time and do something with it that has a positive result. 
I am going to read one book a week for the next four weeks.  I will pick one from my to-read pile and make the conscious choice to do that over time wasting pursuits. I will carry it with me and read snippets whilst waiting for my Husband, the bus, whatever. I will read it in the bath. I will commit myself entirely to the story in my hands and see where it takes me.

This week I am reading Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. I bought it from a charity shop about 10 months or so ago, on the recommendation of a friend and it has subsequently just sat on my shelf, waiting. Dear book, your wait is over! 

What are you reading right now? Have you also realised your reading material has shifted away from books (be it print or e-editions)?


  1. I'm reading twenties girl by Sophie Kinsella. My last read was when daddy comes home by Toni Maguire. I cab totally relate to this post. Aside from looking after O if I have a bit of time I find myself slumped on the sofa on my phone or playing candy crush. I too want to change this, there is so much more productive things I could be doing. Jen xx

  2. Definitely agree when it comes to games on your phone - I go through phases of different games but when I play one I play it everywhere, before bed, waiting for the bus, watching television. It's not good, I don't gain from it and it's probably going to give me a repetitive strain injury at this rate.

    I will be adding picking up my book when I think "ooh I could play Bubble Worlds!" to my behaviour this week. :)

  3. I have exactly the same problem with misusing my time - then I kick myself for not reading more books, watching my box sets, etc. I sometimes feel like I'm a bit pathetic, but my husband keeps asking me if I'm really misusing my time if I've done what I wanted. It's like I set myself up to feel bad!

    I've recently read the Delirium trilogy by Lauren Oliver, which is actually a trilogy plus several short stories. Really good and well worth a read. It's a very tried-and-tested thing of 'future society where somethingthatmakesushuman is illegal', in this case love, but it's SO well done.