My birthday was on Wednesday and this year it was All About The Books.
Before I had kids I could easily read up to four books a week, even more so when I was a teenager and had no social life! With kids in tow, I am still able to spend a few hours a week reading. I am an introvert and I need a significant amount of time not talking to people or being actively social to start to feel rested again at the end of a long day. So I have to take time out. ‘Me’ time is not a luxury but a necessity, and I would not be able to function if I did not carve that time. Whilst it is certainly not easy to do so, it is far from impossible, despite what people will have you believe. Necessity is a funny thing. It washes away any potential guilt you might feel about wasting time. It is about being the best person you can be to yourself and the people around you. I know what I am like if I don’t take time out: rushed, stressed, snappy and generally unhappy; not someone you want to be around! So I make a point of not always being 100% available. I can carve this time at any point in the day once the basic chores (mostly putting some washing on and doing the washing-up) are done.
Case in point: I did all these things yesterday. Little Girl was taking a nap and Luciole was sitting in her high-chair munching on a bread stick. It was 5.23pm and I was able to take thirty minutes to do something for me, even if it was just typing a few words of this post and checking my emails. So let’s all cheer about the fact that having children does not mean having to put your hobbies on hold, yay!
This year, I got a couple of interesting tomes for Christmas, and now look at the beautiful spines. There are a few I am particularly excited about and as you can see, my choices have tended towards specific themes and areas of personal interest. No novels, because I’m trying to make better use of the local library this year and my bookshelves are already heaving under the strain. My personal hobby horses these days are broadly speaking about Parenting, Identity and Personality, especially books about introversion. I find it occasionally difficult to have to explain to people that I would always choose to stay home with a book than go to a party (and I love parties!) and that does not mean that I am antisocial or boring. I sometimes find myself asking ‘am I boring?’, ‘am I unfriendly?’ and all these insecurities wash over me. I am not shy with the people I know; I am not a wallflower at all and I am not reluctant to share my opinion, like, ever, and yes, I may have been called ‘blunt’ a number of times but sometimes I think to myself that surely, relationships and social interactions should be easier than they are. Turns out that no, struggling with these questions makes me inherently human and normal. But it’s good and healthy to want to understand yourself better, hence reading up on introversion!
It has been a privilege over the last two or three years, to delve more into the blogging world and expand my interests. I currently follow nearly 200 blogs on my Reader, some of them with views about life that are completely different to my own. I do this on purpose because although it grates like hell it sure is interesting and challenging. It is easy in real life to stay safe within the group that you are familiar with, be it at work, church or your social life. You surround yourself with friends, and it is mostly comfortable. Online you can easily read up on completely foreign ideas and thoughtfully allow them to challenge your own views. One of the most fun things about blogging has been finding like-minded people and following their reading recommendations. My pile of new books is a witness to that! I have no idea if I will enjoyed them all but I mean to post reviews for the ones that fit around the blog’s theme or if they are particularly amazing.
I am also super excited to be hosting my first giveaway on the blog! I was given one copy too many of Susan Cain’s bestselling book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking and I really want to send it to one of you. People are raving about it and I can’t think of a better way to thank you for engaging with my blog.
To enter, just post a comment below and tell me about your favourite book or genre or just recommend a good book to me!
The competition will close on Monday 3rd March and the lucky winner will be drawn out of a hat at random and announced on the blog on Tuesday 4th March. Keeeep reading!