Friday, October 22, 2010

Down time is good

The temp job I've been doing is on hiatus while the client is out of town this week. I've been taking full advantage of the down time: painting (hence the piggy above), blogging, filing and tossing papers, taking stuff to Goodwill, etc. Chris over at Writing by Ear reminded me of the joys of reading, so I actually headed to the library yesterday and got—are you ready for this?—some grown-up books instead of children's books! I'm pretty certain the librarian looked at me askance... she was probably eying my history of check-outs and wondering where I'd hidden my child... OR she phoned the police upon my exit to report a stolen library card.

However, I am proud to say that there are now three real books on my dining room table. A classic (Twain short stories), a favorite (Anne Tyler), and an author I've yet to read who came highly recommended by a good and literate friend (Richard Russo). I am really hoping to crack open one of those beauties this weekend.

I need to make a deliberate effort to unplug and clear my mind instead of filling it with static. It's funny; I've talked to different pals, and most of us suffer from a sort of guilt when we have unscheduled moments. We want to tell people what we're doing, even people we barely know. We don't want to appear lazy, or shiftless, or unmotivated. It's a shame, really, because I am a firm believer in boredom for children; I think kids need to be permitted to achieve boredom in order for them to become self-sufficient and able to entertain themselves. If that's true for kids, wouldn't it also be true for adults? How can I ever think an original thought, or work through a tricky problem, or hear God's still small voice if I am constantly filling every minute with busy-ness and white noise?

It's a difficult state to achieve, inactivity—and even more difficult to maintain. Yet, it's worth the effort, or lack thereof in some cases. I'm going to try to make more unplanned, guilt-free time. Maybe I won't even read those books for a couple of days. Maybe I'll just sit, or stroll, or lounge with a cup of tea under a fuzzy blanket.

I'd better hurry up and do it, though... clothes need to be folded, dinner needs to be planned and made, and I'll be meeting that school bus in less than an hour. Once again, life intervenes.


Cari Skuse said...

Love that painting Miss! What a good use of your time. And good for you on the reading. I make it a point to read as much as I can. I usually have some time when waiting at Football practice (yes, just when I thought it was over...) or before bed or in the bath. I was getting some good books at the Library over the summer, but now that's on hiatus. I did just get some good books from Amazon with GC that I got for doing surveys and so on. I had been saving up for those for a long time!
Have you ever checked out Goodreads? It's a place where you list all the books you own or read and give your own ratings and feedback. I have a lot of my stuff there, but more to add.
Have you set up your shop on Etsy yet?

Mel said...

Cari, I have not checked out Goodreads yet, but will. I am well into the R. Russo book and really liking it. Slow at first, then it sneaked up on me! I am always looking for good reads!

The Etsy shop moves forward slightly--now I'm trying to check legality issues (some of my paintings are from photos and I don't want to violate anything by trying to sell them!) I will happily tell folks if/when it is up and operational. Speaking of, are you still selling your awesome antique-looking holiday decs? the glitter bunnies? any for Christmas?

(I'm so happy to be back in full force--we were having major bandwidth issues but I think we found the source of the problem and now we're up to full strength again. Boy, don't realize how much you miss something until it's gond!)

Mel said...

OOPS, I mean "gone" (not gond). I used to be a proofreader (emphasis on "used to be.")