Tuesday, January 15, 2008

CTR (Choosing to Read)

I am, truly, not easily offended. I'm easy-going and pretty good about giving people the benefit of the doubt.


But, it bothers me when people say to me, "I don't know how you have time to read. I wish I did." It seems as if they are saying, "You must not be as busy as I am, if you have time to read books." I know they don't (probably) mean that--they are just expressing interest or admiration. But sometimes I take it that way.


Basically, we all make choices. Following is a list of things I DON'T choose to do:


  • scrapbook

  • home decorating projects. I do them, maybe once a year, if I have to...so I don't paint, or frame stuff, or refinish things in my free time AT ALL

  • sew

  • have a newborn (no one can do anything extra with one of those)

  • watch more than 3-4 hours of TV a week

  • read anything on the Internet besides blogs

  • allow my children at home to go through a day without a nap or quiet time

  • work (for outside-the-home type establishments)

If you choose to do any of these things, you are eliminating your reading time. WHICH IS FINE.


I also have NO PROBLEM taking time for myself. Those Oprah shows where she urges mothers to do something for themselves mystify me. I totally understand that when I am rested, have had quiet time, and do things that I enjoy (reading, blogging, exercising, girls' nights), I am a MUCH more enjoyable wife and mother. I picked a husband who gets that, too, and supports me in those me-activities.


If you aren't like that, that's a choice you are making.


So, to answer the question "How do you find time to read", this is when I read:



  • when I ride the machines at the gym

  • after everyone goes down for naps for 30 minutes or so

  • when dinner is done, sometimes I will sneak upstairs and let my husband manage things for a little while

  • I try to take a book with me to piano, dance, doctor's offices just in case I have some down time

  • before I go to bed

It works out to 30-60 minutes a day. I am a fast reader, so I get through an average of a book a week. It's been my favorite hobby for as long as I can remember. Ask my mom. This picture came from my photo album (1st birthday), note her caption:

It brings me peace, understanding of the world around me, ideas for how to improve myself, a connection to other book-lovers, an escape. I can't imagine not doing it, so I could do some of the other things above. But maybe you can. And that's okay, too.

49 comments:

Auzigirl said...

I totally agree!!!! Time for yourself is very important. And for some people reading is not a priority. I love to read. I read as much as I blog if not more. I use to scrapbook, but I have given that up until my baby is a little older. I wish I could nap....I miss that time so much, but my baby is fighting me tooth and nail on that one. As for ME time, well lets just say, I'm sitting here doing this instead of doing the dishes in the sink.... :)

Me & My BOYS said...

I think everyone has time to do what they love and you have to make time. Sometimes I scrapbook, sometimes I watch TV, sometimes I read, sometimes I do crafty projects and on rare occassions I find time to do all of the above. I'm in the mood to read now (I haven't been for awhile), so I'll have to check back posts to get some good suggestions.

Erin said...

I'm with you on this one too. My "choose not to" list is nearly identical to yours. Reading, exercising and girls' nights are my sanity and my recovery time. I'm lucky enough to be married to a husband who "gets it" too and THANK GOODNESS because this momma needs her time...:)

Meg said...

Ahh I am just starting to enjoy reading again. I was a skimmer of parenting tutorial type books for years but I am learning to read for pleasure again and enjoying it! It's true we all make choices of what we enjoy! It's good to know what that is...and what your outlet is for escaping. Enjoy those books! It's also a good example for your kids to have a mom who is a reader so good job!

Annie said...

Yes! You are spot on here. I feel the same way when I hear the "I-don't-have-time-to read" comments. It's choices, people. (I will admit to not cleaning my kitchen floor as much as I need to, making my kids do their own rooms, and ordering pizza in for dinner more than I should. But I always make time for reading.

Bridget said...

Yes, yes and yes!!

I also LOVE to read and I make the same choices you do. Some things just go by the wayside. Reading is much more important. I haven't watched a TV show in a couple months now. Darn that writing strike, so I have even more time to read which is great.

Sometimes my kids dont' get a bath at night, but they always have reading time. That is non-optional.

Bridget said...

I guess what I am saying is I prefer reading over good hygiene. Aren't you glad you only know me virtually?

Pineapple Princess said...

I feel the same way about exercise--and look you have found a way to make it more enjoyable. Good going!

Ilene said...

I am always reading my scriptures; it is hard to fit in any recreational books like, the "Work and the Glory" series or a Nicholas Sparks novel.

TexasTwinsTwice said...

I agree! We always have time for the things we REALLY want to do. I DO NOT KNOW how anyone keeps their sanity w'out having their kids nap or have quiet time. I get 'me time' every afternoon, and I don't feel a bit guilty. It's the only reason I haven't made the 10 o'clock news for some horrific crime--j/k they're too cute--i'd never hurt them =)

Brigitta said...

People say annoying things. Like: "I don't know how you can stay home all day with your kids." Do you think I say things like I don't know how you can put your kids in day care all day and have someone else raise them.. Seriously people shut up. I love to read, and always have it's in indulgence I enjoy as other people enjoy scrap booking or sewing or other stuff like that. So don't ever feel bad about having time to enrich and educate yourself

Brigitta said...

Next time someone says that your rebuttel should be I don't know how you can not make time for reading. It's good for the brain.

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I also hate it when people say to me that they don't know how I have time to do such and such. Mainly blogging. Sometimes I have more time with it than others (like now.... I'm having new church calling stress. Kill me now.) and I hate it when people give me a hard time about watching certain shows I like. If THEY want to watch them, they can. If they REALLY want to, it can happen.
I think we all just do what we really want to do anyway whether it's working, scrapping, blogging, reading, tv, computer.... cleaning... whatever.
What I'm trying to say is that I liked this post. And you were a cute baby. OF COURSE!

Tiffany said...

So glad you had a fun time with the girls! Sad that I didn't have a trip to AZ planned this year -- that's when I've often been able to see Adrianne (kids in school really mess things up).

I remember you reading in college. It was your favorite thing to do. I think my problem is I just read too slow so I don't get very far in the small amounts of time given and therefor give up because it's pointless! You're inspiration to me -- you really seem to have everything in a nice balance. I think about you every day as I'm trying to put the "walnuts" in first. It's a good feeling!

K8 said...

I never thought I would have time to read 6 text books, scriptures, and the new Joseph Smith manual. Going back to school is tough with kids. However, I have always believed that if there is a will, there is a way. Same with your reading concept. Those women who say that probably aren't as organized with their time as you are. Anyway, you go girl! CTR!

Mark said...

You are totally preaching to the choir with this one. I am a reader through and through. We've all got 24 hours in the day, just depends on how we want to use them. I prefer to squeeze in reading as often as possible.

Carie said...

Okay that last comment from Mark was really me (Carie.) I am on my husband's computer due to issues with my laptop and forgot to sign myself in.

Just in case you were wondering who Mark is, it's me.

Kara Jayne said...

Um...ya! I CTR too. Not sure if I'd survive without it!

Kara Jayne said...

Sorry, I can't leave it at that. I too don't scrapbook, decorate, yadda, yadda, yadda! I seriously get more excited to meet you with each post!

Denae said...

I love to read too. Of course when I read I have to finish the book in one day so for one day everyone is ignored and the house is destroyed but that's just how I am with reading. I love it but can't wait to finish the book. I also bring books with me in the car and to other things and sneak time in there. People who say they don't have time, just don't love it enough.

p.s. i hate scrapbooking! it is NOT for me.

Mique said...

Hi Jessica,
I linked to you through a few people...I've been lurking for a bit but wanted to say hi. Especially after reading this post. People always say to me, "How do you have time to do your blog? I just don't have the time." And I feel the same way you do about reading- you do, it's just about priorities. I loved this post- my feelings exactly.
Hope you don't mind that I finally spoke up.

Paige said...

Gosh, how do you update so often? Read so many blogs? Find time to wash your hair or wipe your bum??? I agree 100%. There is not one person who doesn't ask me the same thing about when I have time to blog, nap, read, etc.

Kristin said...

I am totally with you on this one, reading is my escape from the world and it is so wonderful. I don't do all of your other things either, just not my thing. But I do watch more tv, you are amazing.

Lauren said...

I am so glad you wrote this post. In a former ward we lived in there was a Sister that always made me feel guilty if I accomplished things...well, for me or otherwise...you summed it up exactly! It is about choices! I laughed at Paige's comments:) "how do you have time to wipe your bum?" She is a good time!
By the way...you were a beautiful baby! I see your mom scrapbooked before it was all the rage! Good for her, too!

gab said...

Yes...yes...yes. I hear you. I don't understand when people say they don't have time to read. To me it is not optional...it is like breathing. If I don't have a book to read, I feel like an amputee.

Right now it's Peace Like a River...did you recommend that one? I love it!!!

Heidiram said...

I want you to teach me how to read while at the gym. I get too stinkin' dizzy. What's up with that? The dizziness factor, and I can't multi-task when it comes to reading. I forget to move my feet up and down the elliptical or don't start running when the treadmill speed increases because I get too into the plot of the book I'm reading. Wouldn't that be too embarrassing if I fell off
one of the machines because I chose to read?

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I think people are just plain dumb and insensitive. That's why they say such rude things. There is time in EVERY day for what you want to do. It's all a matter of priorities. I love to read, too, so I know just what you mean. People should not judge because they just don't know. Go, Jessica!

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I think people are just plain dumb and insensitive. That's why they say such rude things. There is time in EVERY day for what you want to do. It's all a matter of priorities. I love to read, too, so I know just what you mean. People should not judge because they just don't know. Go, Jessica!

Penny said...

Everyone has time to do the things that they enjoy. Even if it is only a little bit at a time. We just all enjoy different things. That was makes us unique and special. Also, when you get up at the crack of dawn, like you do, you can get a lot more accomplished than those of us that drag our sorry butts out of bed at the last possible moment.

I love to read too, by the way!

Audra said...

I really appreciated this blog! You are completely right! I do have to catch myself when I am about to say, "I don't have time..." to do whatever because I have 24 hours in a day. It's just what I choose to do with that time. And right now, my newborn is taking up the majority of it! I look forward to when I can read more consistently. I really miss book club discussions.

zeeny said...

I think we make time for anything that is important to us! Well said. I think some moms let their lives get ruled by children. I love my children and sometimes find myself doing that and have to step back and make sure I'm ok. When I don't have time for me I start to lose my mind! Who cares if clothes sit in the basket a day or so before getting folded...at least I'm happy!

J'net said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J'net said...

I am MARRIED to a reader now...
I used to be married to a video game player, there is a difference! A reader who knows how to use a bookmark is a GREAT companion! Having a book available makes for a much calmer person I think, no time wasted, always a thought process going on in their head and an ever expanding universe of information.
Over the years I haven't read much, except for self help or herb books. NOW I am back to reading Pregnancy books to refresh for being a labor coach for Jax sometime early summer. I think that is one of the MOST important and interesting subjects on this earth to educate about... Welcoming life and bonding those first few days.
OK, 'nuf said.
Keep to your side of the argument, 'cuz you will be making Gramma Paula PROUD, she too was an avid reader!! Good goin'!

Caroline said...

So very true. i myself have to limit my reading just because I become involved to the point that nothing else happens. sigh. I need to figure out how to STOP. READING.AT.THE.END.OF.THE.CHAPTER!
errgh.

julie said...

Amen, sister! Love the baby picture. I can still see you in it!

I do all the things on your list. I read before bed, while I'm waiting, and when I exercise. Too bad I stopped exercising! But really, you are right on when you say it's a decision. It takes effort to find time to read. But it's well worth it to get caught up in a good book!

About teaching a class at the blog party. That would be SO fun. I will talk to my hubby about it.

Sally said...

This was a great post. You have inspired me. Reading, travel and food are my most favorite hobbies...unfortunately I have all but given up reading since having my first child in 2002. I read newsweek cover-to-cover every week, but books not so much, because I think I don't have enough continuous time for them. I am inspired by your post to find time, and maybe I can catch up with my backlog of books!

martha corinna said...

I guess that is my problem. I always have a freaking newborn. Someday I will resume my romance with reading.
Great ideas.

Shally said...

My baby is now 6 months, so I am finally getting to where I can start reading again-- I have really missed it. I totally agree that you need to find time to do the things you love. Now that baseball is over for our family, I am looking forward to settling in and doing just that!

rubberbandgirl said...

I agree about the dumb things people say...
Continue to CTR and I'll continue to get excited about your GoodReads updates.
Ultimately, we live with our choices. Why not be happy and blessed with some of them?
That said...how does someone NOT have time to read. something. anything. exercise that brain!

Tammy said...

Great post. We all have something that we need to do as "our release" and it is different for every person. The important thing is knowing what you need and making time for it. You have mastered it and that makes you happier, healthier like you say. For me, its hiking by my house which you saw was gorgeous and peaceful and sometimes just reading fashion mags which I adore doing. Those are my guilty pleasures.

Kricket said...

Jessica,
I feel a little overwhelmed leaving the 41st comment on your post but I had to say how much I enjoy reading your blogs. I am a friend of Margaret Hansen. I loved your throw-up training video. Your family looks like they have a great time. I just started blogging but I am enjoying it so far. Thanks for the great blogs.
Kricket
P.S. I choose to read!

Marty said...

Your comment on my blog made my whole day! About the CTR thing, I always wonder why I allow people to make me feel the way you describe. I've heard things like that about reading my whole life. Now I hear them about blogging (or even worse things like, "How can you waste your time like that?")

I'm always impressed by the extras people add into their lives, and I guess I want them to be impressed by me, too. It mostly doesn't happen. (Which is why I'm so grateful for your comment!!)

crystal said...

Ditto to EVERY. SINGLE. THING. YOU. SAID.

Seriously! When you listed the things you choose not to do so that you have time to read, I was smiling so hugely! I gave up those things too because reading is like breathing to me.

And that baby picture of you! Precious.

Kenny, Linsey and Caleb said...

Hear, hear! I wish I read that quickly, but seldom does a day go by without something being read - I can't survive without it and I can't think of anything to replace it with that would be more fulfilling.

Melinda said...

I read every day (usually in the bath at night). Someone commented on GoodReads - do you have an account? I would love to add you to my friends and get your recommendations!

Jacki said...

Jessica I must say that I admire this post to the fullest! This post illustrates to me that you trust your husband, know kids need some time on there own and respect yourself enough to put yourself first every now and then. I really appreciate that. It seems you have balance. I am definitely taking notes here!

WyniaFamily said...

Hi Jessica! My name is Lindsey, I am in the saltese ward, and I found you on Lindsay Steven's blog. Anyway, I would like to read, but, I can never find "good" books. I really don't want to cry my guts out. I can't spend that kind of emotional engery. Can you hook me up with some good books?

Jill said...

Amen, amen, amen.

Sarah Beth said...

I completely agree with Choosing To Read! I love to read and I don't feel guilty anymore because "statistics show that parents who love read have kids who love to read." So I am doing a great Mom thing by reading. Haha! I have to justify it to myself from time to time. But I'd rather be a reader than a TV junkie. ;)

Thanks for the great blog!