3. Reading

I like to read.
I don’t do it enough.
I can’t find time to finish a book.
I should read more.
I ought to read more.

I had a hard time actually zoning in on what I meant by this one. Since one of my goals was to do stuff that made me feel good. Why is it that every sentence following “I like to read” rang false. Or sometimes not false, but just disharmonious to my intention.

All sentences I wrote following that first were, in part anyway, true. I don’t read enough. I sometimes find myself after a break from work, either short or long without having read a word. But oftentimes I did other equally fulfilling stuff. Being somewhat outdoorsy the idea of spending an entire day mowing the lawn of just sitting down by the fire at night, for hours, while it slowly faded is time well spent.

And maybe it can be hard to find the time to finish a book. Especially if I’m sitting there by the fire all the time. Time management is maybe not my strong suit. And true to both these statements is that even if I’d rather spend time cooking or drawing, I wouldn’t rather spend it dawdling with my phone, or scrolling through facebook or waiting for an obnoxious ad to end on youtube. And those are all the same. Sitting there, at the screen, and looking into the void.

The realization here was that there was a specific thing I didn’t want to do rather than I did a bunch of stuff instead of reading.

Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.

Paul Auster from The Brooklyn Follies

So, should I do it more? First of all, I objected to the MORE part. More than what? If I did stuff that I also enjoyed was reading inherently better than those? Is reading better than walking? Is reading better than drawing? Is reading better than getting pizza and soda and watching a film on netflix?

Secondly I really have a hard time with should’s and ought to’s. They instill in me a feeling of not good enough. I should have done better, I ought to strive towards being more is just other ways of saying I’m not good enough. And if there is one thing I’ve learnt by being an educator is that if you set the stage for failure most students will do worse than if you let them succeed.

It took me a while, and a whole lot of circumventing to realize that which follows “I like to read” is nothing. The whole point is contained within those four words. I like to read.
Thus, I vow to be; Reading.

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