One of my chief resolutions has been to spend more time on books—reading, writing, and making books.
One sub-resolution was “Find more time to read books.” I’m puzzled by my reading. I seem to get more reading done than most people, and yet I feel like I’m never reading. It has been hard for me to figure out how to do more reading, because I couldn’t figure out when I was doing any reading.
I feel like I’m always working, or spending time with my children, or sleeping. Sometimes the Big Man and I watch a little TV.
Last night, I had a huge revelation about my reading style: I don’t like to read in bed before going to sleep. I love to read in bed during the day. I love to read all day long. But I don’t particularly like the before-going-to-sleep read, which is the most common time to read.
Why not? I’m sleepy. My mind wanders. I keep thinking of things I should do before I turn out the light, so I keep jumping out of bed. It just doesn’t seem like “real” reading.
Now that I understand my resistance to before-bed reading, maybe I can juggle my schedule to do my reading at another time. I’ve been trying to lengthen that before-bed period, without much success. Now I see I should try to find another angle.
Ironically, because I love to read, it’s often the last thing on my to-do list. I try to make myself check off as many items as I can before I allow myself to flop down with my book. But another of my resolutions is “Make time for fun” and I’m trying to be better about making time. For instance, I LOVE David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, but I’ve been reading it for far too long. I need to make more time for it.
Today’s New York Times had a great article by Brad Melekian, All Child-Play and No Workouts Make Dad an Unfit Boy. Bottom line: “Parenthood demonstrably reduces physical activity.”
Why? Some reasons: because parents have to negotiate with each other to get exercise time; because they’re exhausted; because they want to spend that time with their kids; because they assume that if they can’t do a proper work-out, there’s no point in getting a little exercise; and because they use their kids as an excuse to skip the gym. But even though it's tough to exercise when you have kids, it's worth the effort -- for long-term health benefits AND short-term mood boosts.
If you're new to the Happiness Project, you may want to consider subscribing to my RSS feed.
Get monthly newsletter updates from Gretchen.
Dive into The Blog
More Posts For You
Find out if you’re an Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, or a Rebel.
The Four Tendencies explain why we act and why we don’t act. Our Tendency shapes every aspect of our behavior, so understanding your Tendency lets us make better decisions, meet deadlines, suffer less stress and burnout, and engage more effectively.