Thursday, June 21, 2012

Back to Books

You may have noticed the sad, sad little Good Reads display on the right sidebar of this blog. In 2010, I read a decent amount of books. In 2011, I somehow manged to read the same amount of books, even though my crazy schedule became decidedly crazier. The problem is 2012. If you look at the Good Reads 2012 icon, you'll see only one book listed. What's even more pathetic is that I haven't even finished that one. I've been working on it for a good 6 months...which is TOTALLY unlike me and which I hate for a few reasons: 1) a book isn't meant to be read so sporadically like that - it completely takes away from the feel of it, the ambiance, the goodness 2) I sometimes unbearably forget what happened since I last picked it up 3) I'm simply not meeting my self-appointed book quota.

I'm a huge reader. Huge. I used to read a book a day as a kid. As a teen.

I guess one thing I had a lot more of as a kid was TIME.

In my adult years, I still ate up books like candy and can remember many family picnics during which I sat off to the side like some rude relative - with a book I couldn't put down, many nights I stayed awake long after I was dead tired just to finish a delightful chapter (usually chapterS), and many vacations for which packing 5 books for a 4 day trip wasn't even strange. Hell, on my own honeymoon four years ago 1) I'd already read one book (The Other Boleyn Girl, if you must know) on the plane ride by the time we reached our destination and 2) actually kept my husband waiting to explore St. Lucia because I was so eager to finish a particularly good chapter of Water for Elephants (ashamed to admit it, but it's true...priorities, priorities...I guess I hadn't quite figured out that HONEYMOON meant Rick > books).

Did I really just use a "greater than" sign (correctly?!) whilst talking about books? Blasphemy. I hate math. Anyway...

I was lamenting the fact that I have no time to read. Not "hardly any" time to read or "not enough" time to read...but NO time. None at all. My days have been filled with working full time, interning 16 hours/week, blogging at my main site, leading an eating disorder support group, attending graduate school at night, doing all the work associated with grad school, household chores like cleaning and shopping and making food so Rick doesn't go hungry when I'm running around like a nut, eating disorder activism and advocacy, speaking engagements, responding to emails, etc.

My day most of the time begins at 7 am when I get up for work and ends at 10 pm when I walk back into my house for the first time all day. 15 hour days are not fun...because they leave no time for reading. When I get home late, clearly I am drained. But I also have more things to do. After 10 pm, when I drag my busy butt home, that's when I answer those emails! And blog! And do grad school work! And make my Wednesday Warrior videos! And snuggle my cats!

I think my cats read more than I do. I have come home on more than one occasion to find Juice has pulled a book from a shelf and is sitting with it. (She enjoys Charles Dickens.)

For most of this past year I have had no weekend. I work ALL the time. It's temporary (the extent of it, not working in general). But it is not fun. In May, I got my weekend back (yay!). But only 'til September (boo!) when the craziness begins again. My internship has been over, which is the reason for the delightful return of my weekend. But I've still been in grad school. And working. And doing all that other stuff I mentioned above.

BUT (finally!) for the first time in two years (TWO years!!!) I will get a break from my intensive graduate program...and that break begins the last week of June and goes until the last week of August. That's two months of NO SCHOOL. I can hardly wait. No breaks in school for two years, including summer, especially in a grad program like mine, is rough. Last summer I went straight through, but this summer I only had to take one course, so the second half of the summer is allllllll miiiiiiinnnneeee.

Well, I'll still be working full time. And leading group. And blogging. Etc etc. but without the GRAD SCHOOL chunk and the GRAD SCHOOL CRAZY AMOUNTS OF WORK chunk, I will (you guessed it) have time to read!!!!!!!

This is huge, people, huge. My babbling above was my attempt to show you how much I freaking love reading and how much I have missed it and been disappointed that there hasn't been even 5 minutes of time to devote to it lately.

So July and August will hopefully mean I can beef up my 2012 Good Reads list a bit. Not that I have to impress you or anything, but man, do I need to read!

I timed my decision to WRITE a book specifically because I knew school would offer me a break in just a bit. Otherwise that poor venture probably wouldn't even get off the ground!

2 semesters left...that's it. Then I'll have my MSW, become a licensed professional, and scream like a banshee with sheer joy. For now, I'll just be reading. :-)


Jacquelineand.... said...

This is cause for celebration!!!

Sia Jane said...

I have the same desire and absolute love.
I may even post an essay I wrote in uni about my love of reading :)
Yey to more Arielle time :)))

Stephanie said...

You are so funny! I think it's cute that Juicey likes Charles Dickens :)

I'm so glad you'll have a break from grad school classes the second half of summer!! You are crazy-insane busy... I don't know how you do it!!! I'm not joking when I say that I hardly have the energy to do just a tiny fraction of everything you do.

I, too, would like to read more. I think it's part of the depression that I've been struggling with lately that has kept me from even opening a book :(
Maybe I need to log back into my GoodReads account as a little way of motivating myself.

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Jacqueline - It is! :-)

Rache - Yay for more Arielle time indeed! :-)

Stephanie - It's amazing how Juice always seems to get a topshelf book and usually it's Great Expectations or Tale of Two Cities or something Dickens. :-) And yes, you should log back into GoodReads!

Bryce said...

you are such a goof! When that picture of you "reading" showed up in my reader I laughed out loud in real life.

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Bryce - what, you don't read like that? ;-) LOL

Hyl said...

I am the exact same way; I used to fly through a ridiculous amount of books in a ridiculous amount of time, then I started college and leisure reading unfortunately took a back seat. After I graduated, my EDs got worse and then concentration became the main obstacle I had to overcome. I didn't get many books read at ALL last year because I couldn't focus, and it became quite depressing because without books, I felt as though I was trapped in my reality for far too long. Sorry, I'm rambling :/

AnnaB said...

Arielle, you are simply awesome (and yes a little bit goofy)! I've been following your blog/s for some time and just find you an inspiration. I hope you find the time you deserve to read and do anything else you just haven't had the time to do :)

Arielle Lee Bair said...

Hyl, I know just what you mean. I hope you'll be able to find time/energy to read very soon.

Anna - Thanks a ton for commenting. I really appreciate the kind words. :-)