Let's face it, we live in a busy busy world and many of us find ourselves at a crazy pace that does not allow for much "down time". When we do find some free time in our days, we feel guilty for doing something we want to do instead of something we need to do.
But here's the not-so-Rosie truth: there's always going to be things that need to be done. Always. You will never have a day when there isn't at least one thing on the To Do List. As I debated over what I should make my Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest for March, I went back and forth about things I wanted to do and things I needed to do.
In January, I chose two areas to focus on in my life. I decided to Write Every Day and Exercise Every Day. One of those was a want and the other was a need. I accomplished both goals and felt very positive and productive at the end of January.
In February, I continued my Quest to Exercise Every Day and I added the lofty goal of Flossing Every Day (some of the most compelling blogging you will ever read, I'm sure). Along with those two Quests, I decided to Share Love every day. Once again, I feel positive and productive as I accomplished all three Quests this past month.
Yes, three Quests in one month...two of which were needs and only one was a want. Truthfully even that one was a need as well...because, (come on!) everybody needs to share a little love, right? Now here we are at the end of February, and I have to say, I have learned three Quests are a lot for one month, especially when you are blogging about them nearly every day.
In March, I plan to continue exercising and flossing every day, but I don't really plan to blog about those things as they have become a daily part of my life. I might mention them from time to time, but they are no longer "official" Quests.
For my March Heart & Spirit Monthly Quest, I am going to focus on something I want to do every day, but don't always give myself permission to do. I'm going to Read (some of) A Book Every Day.
Truthfully, I go through "seasons of life" where I read one book after another, but then life gets busy and I'll "go for a spell" when I don't have the "time" to read a book. Honestly, it's not really a "time" factor for me, as much as a "take the time" factor.
The whole month of March, I am going to give myself permission to take that time. I'm guessing at the end of March you will not find me in great regret for the time I spent reading a book those 30 days. (Yes, I do realize March has 31 days, but the 31st is Easter and I'll be taking that day off to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior.)
For as long as I can remember I have loved reading books. There I was, an elementary aged Rosie huddled under the covers in my lavender bedroom immersed in a good book illuminated by the dim light of small flashlight. Soon I would either drift off to sleep or get busted by Mom, but until either one of those events happened, I was off on a journey with someone...or to somewhere...or both.
Fast forward to today and you might find me cuddled up in my Hug Chair with my Kindle. Although Hubby's work schedule doesn't allow a lot of late night reading during this "season of life," I still read an assortment of fiction and nonfiction books.
I love an adventurous story, hopefully with some love, maybe even a little mystery in it. I find joy in books that challenge me or make me think. I'm a sucker for stories of inspiration or overcoming adversity. I am fascinated by the lives of real people in biographies. I'm into books that really make me laugh out loud, or struggle to hold back the tears. And every once in a while I'm up for something that's just fun or unique.
Hubby is also an avid reader. We have modeled this for our boys and because we had the blessing of homeschooling them when they were young, we were able to spend a good deal of time and attention on cultivating their love of reading as well. I'm so thankful we have been able to pass that down to both of them.
Our Scientist learned to read with a wonderful kindergarten teacher in a public school. By the time our Engineer was ready to learn to read, we were homeschooling. One of my greatest privileges as a homeschooling mother was the opportunity to teach our youngest how to read. (Okay, except for that day he kept insisting that Tom's limp was a lump....ugh...so glad we can laugh about that now.)
One of the highlights of my teaching career was Story Time/Read Aloud Time. For many years while I was teaching the boys at home, we chose a curriculum completely built around an amazing assortment of books. At any given time, the boys not only had one or two books they would be reading for a subject, but we also had a time each day, where we walked away from the desk work and cuddled up on the couch in the living room while I read aloud to them from a book in their curriculum. I LOVED that time with my boys and I believe it's a good memory for them as well.
When they went off to school for a few years, I was blessed with the opportunity to teach a homeschool support program at the two wonderful Christian schools they attended. How fun it was to again be reading some of my favorite story books to my primary level students during Story Time. On the days I taught the elementary aged classes, I shared with them my love of novels and "chapter books" when I read aloud to them each afternoon.
One of the things I miss most about teaching little ones is reading great books with them. It's so much fun to share a book with children and watch their reactions as they are excited, surprised, delighted, tickled, or even saddened by the story. My favorite part is the look on their faces as they relate to the story in some way. That is such a magical moment that can easily spark "stories" of their own.
And, please, don't even get me started on the amazing experience of watching a child learn to read! Incredible! Not only have I shared in that miracle with our boys, but several students in my classroom as well. Those are just beautiful memories for me.
I am extremely delighted that my little foursome enjoys reading, and yet it saddens me that all four of us have found ourselves so busy these days, that we don't allow ourselves the time to get lost in the adventure of a good book.
I'm hoping I can convince Hubby and our Engineer to join me in this Quest. Our Engineer and I have already set up a planned time for him to just relax and spend some time reading every day.
Our Scientist is knee deep in the middle of his own College Degree Quest and spends a good deal of his time reading books every day - maybe not for pleasure, but for his future. However, spring break will soon reunite our little family, and I hope during that week he will be able to spend some time reading something a little less scientific and maybe a little more science fiction.
For full disclosure, I do not in any way plan to read a whole book every day in March, but I do plan to read some of a book every single day in March. I'm so excited I am giving myself this indulgent Quest!
I am planning to devote my blog posts in March to some of my favorite books and authors, as well as sharing a bit about the books I am currently reading. I invite you to come along on this adventure as I finally take the time to Read A Book Every Day!