I love to read. I used to read just for the sake of reading. Any and everything I could get my hands on, I would read. It expanded my knowledge base for years without me having to try to "be smart". I discovered that I could read something and bits and pieces of information would stick. So I would read, and if it was a particularly interesting read? Forget about it! I can't put it down! Every free moment is dedicated to reading the material and I will not stop until I am done. That last bit was a cause of contention between myself and a few authority figures in middle and high school. It also would often help me fall behind on coursework in college. It's definitely safe to say that books and I have a real history. It's actually from this obsession of all things literary that spurned my passion for writing.
Just as much as I love reading, I have a real joy in writing. I've been writing for just about as long as I have been reading. Learning that I could create my own worlds to get lost in was quickly addictive especially to an adolescent desperate to escape the reality she existed in. However, if it was already hard to read and live as a child, multiply that by about 1000 and you get the transition years.
Work, school, familial obligations, church obligations, and just plain ole life have taken a toll on my favorite past times. It's been really hard to read for leisure and write for pleasure when I've had papers, lesson plans, calendars, professional development to keep up with and etc. etc...
This blog has been my way of getting back to me and the things I love, which has been really hard to do while simultaneously growing up. I'd gotten used to putting myself as the last thing on my list of things to do and then wondering why I was so unhappy. I'd gotten really good at being productive, lining up my ducks so to speak, but never really taking a moment to appreciate the process. I'm always looking for the next mountain to climb, often before reaching the peak I'm on. Onward and upward and constant movement from the fear of becoming stagnant.
I'd forgotten the last book I read that wasn't for work or school. I'd become so used to pushing my creative phrases to the side that I have a novel I haven't touched in about a year. I've been so busy "living" that I forgot to maintain those things that keep me alive.
As a result, I would experience bursts of depression, that were more just moments of clarity. I was unhappy, mentally exhausted, emotionally drained and spiritually stagnant because I had unintentionally cut out this huge part of myself. I buried myself in the milestones required of me hoping that their sheer weight and size would be enough.
Even now it's incredible to me, how simple the remedy to the sickness was and yet easier said then done.
I did not have time to take care of myself, because I had not made taking care of myself a priority. And yes, making time to read and write is apart of me taking care of myself. It's because reading allows me to disconnect for a while. When I'm reading, I'm not thinking about anything but the lives of the characters in the book or maybe I'm just focused on absorbing/cataloging the information I'm reading. When I'm writing I'd decluttering the creative in my brain, which is SUPER important. My creative never shuts off, I'm always writing and there's hardly enough space in my brain for the day to day, let alone the never ending prose that goes on until I "dump" it.
I've learned and am still learning that balance is key. I need to set aside a dedicated time every day, or at the very least once a week where I'm doing those things that keep me happily human. It helps me to stay in perspective and on track. When I'm cluttered/ wound tight the quality of my productivity goes down anyway.
Remember this: Quality over Quantity
This is true especially when it comes to your personal levels of productivity. Even a good computer benefits from a reset every now and again. I'm an avid believer that if we value the quality of our lives over the quantity in our lives we'd be more at peace