The Sunday Salon [3.29.15]: What’s Your Secret?

After posting about how claiming you don’t have time to read dismisses the choice you made that led you there on Sunday and then reading about everyone’s busy lives on Friday, I am back with a question for you all:

How do YOU make the time to read?

Do you get hours before the sun? Do you sneak a few pages here and there? Do you rely on audiobooks?

On Friday, I learned that my choice to sleep until 7am every morning (I love me some sleep) means that many of you are up an hour or two before me and that you actually find time to read/blog/relax before work. This seems incredible to me. I have no concept of a leisurely morning.

This makes me wonder what everyone else’s secret is. So, go ahead, share. I won’t tell.

 

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TSS: “I Don’t Have Time to Read”

It has always bothered me when I hear this phrase or its variations. When you are a reader, people often say this to you with an air of importance. Like you are living a life of leisure that allows for reading while they are busy with real life.

The reality is that we are all busy with real life and we all prioritize different things. People who say, “I don’t have time to read” are really saying, “I choose not to read with my free time.”

I have less time for reading now than I once did, but that’s because I chose to have kids and prioritize parenting over reading. It isn’t because “I don’t have time to read.” And I could still read plenty if I chose to. My kid goes to bed by 7:30 and I don’t go to bed until 10:30. That’s 21 hours each week that I could be reading. Just because I’d rather sit on the couch and watch Friends reruns with my husband at the end of the day doesn’t grant me the right to say “I don’t have time to read” to someone who doesn’t make that same choice as me.

Would I have more time to read if I were a stay at home mom? Probably not, unless I prioritized reading over other things like, say, showering or having clean dishes or preparing activities to do with my kid. Would I have more time to read if I didn’t have a toddler? Not exactly. I might have more opportunities to read, but I would still be sacrificing other activities in order to do so.

I often feel like I don’t have time to read. But I know plenty of working moms who read a ton. They just don’t watch Friends reruns all night. It’s that simple.

It’s okay if you are the person who is making time to read or if you are the person who isn’t. Neither person is better.

The simple fact is that we all have the exact same hours in the day. Saying “I don’t have time to read” to someone who makes the time to read is, at best, inaccurate, and, at worst, insulting.

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The Sunday Salon [1.25.15]

I didn’t mean to come back from a break and then immediately go another. Whoops. 2015 does not seem to be any less busy than 2014 so far, so we’ll see how this blogging thing goes. Does life just get busier and busier and busier? It seems like it.

Anyway, I finished my first and second books of  2015. Betsy and the Great World in print and Her Fearful Symmetry on audio. I started Grasshopper Jungle in print but there is no way I can finish it before my book club meeting tomorrow night so I think I may put it down in favor of something I’ve picked out on my own. Brutal Youth perhaps? Or the one review copy I have laying around from when I still thought requesting books was a good idea? I am debating my next audio. Her Fearful Symmetry took me ages (well, months, at least) to get through so I want to make sure I choose wisely.

I’ve got a lazy day at home, after a fun/busy day not at home yesterday, so I might be able to read a few lines. On Wednesday I am heading to Tallahassee sans famille for a meeting for a few days. Perhaps I can get some reading done then.

What are you all reading?

 

The Sunday Salon.com

TSS: 10 Years of Marriage Statistics

In January of 2005, right after Ben and I got married, I decided to read Anna Karenina. While I was reading that Russian chunkster, Ben read 8 books. He then challenged me to “catch up” to him, so we started actually tracking the books we read. This became an ongoing competition and it means that we can actually tally the number of books we’ve read in our entire ten years of marriage. As I was thinking about whether or not that would be an interesting post, I started thinking about other marriage statistics I could share. It became a fun task for us to think back and try to remember everything we have done together. I hope you enjoy reading this at least a little bit because we had a lot of fun compiling it.

  • Books Read: 1079 (Michelle – 507/Ben – 572)

This means that Ben averages just over a book a week and I average just under a book a week. Of course, these averages are rapidly falling, but that’s pretty impressive, right?

  • States Visited: 21
  • Countries Visited: 10
  • Homes Lived In: 4
  • Months Lived Apart: 17.5
  • Cars Owned: 3
  • Pets: 2 (plus temporary custody of another)
  • Kids: 1.4?
  • Surgeries: 2 (Both Ben. Both ACL reconstruction.)
  • Jobs: 18 (Michelle – 7/Ben – 11)
  • Degrees Obtained: 2 (Michelle – JD/Ben – MA)
  • Tweets: 76,953 (Michelle – 76,200/Ben – 753)
  • Races: 12 (Michelle – 10/Ben – 6)(ran 4 together)
  • Concerts Attended Together: 10 (This seems low and is based entirely on Ben’s ticket albums. We must have lost a lot of tickets along the way.)
  • Sporting Events Attended Together: 44 (That’s a lot of Tigers games.)
  • Plays/Musicals Attended Together: 6

And then of course there are all of the uncountable things, like the number of times we’ve laughed, the number of times we’ve cried, or the number of hours we’ve spent on the couch watching Netflix.

It’s been quite the adventure so far…

The Sunday Salon [1.4.15]

Let’s talk about resolutions. I made a bunch last year. I kept some of them, I broke some of them, and I half did some of them.

I counted calories until I fit back into my skinny jeans. I drank more water, but I could always do better. I fell off the wagon with respect to diet coke. I seem to do better with allowing myself one once in awhile. I ran my first 10k, but I was awful about getting to yoga. I am not debt free but I am definitely on a much better plan toward getting there than I was a year ago (we paid off nearly half of our consumer debt between August and December). And I am really terrible at photo-a-day prompts.

This year, I have less lofty goals.

I’d just like to have a healthy pregnancy and welcome home a new baby. I’d like a natural, out-of-hospital birth and I’d like to exclusively breastfeed again (with a little more ease than last time, hopefully).

I want to keep working the debt free plan, but I recognize that the new baby (with his delivery and daycare costs) makes it more likely that 2016 is the year we hit our first goal of knocking out all of the non-student loan/non-mortgage debt. But as long as those credit cards stay locked up, I’m happy.

I want to eat healthy and exercise, but with a baby coming mid-year, I have no actual goals for these.

I want to read again and get back into the blogging world. I miss you guys.

And, finally, I want to be more present. I want to put my phone away more and step back from behind the camera once in awhile. When I’m with my family, I want to be fully with them. When I’m at work, I want to be fully at work. I’ll make time for wasting time, but I want to do it more consciously – does that make sense?

So that’s all I have for 2015. I know it will be a year of joy and love and sleepless nights. And I’m ready for it.

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon: October in Review [11.2.14]

In October, I read:

  • All Fall Down by Jennifer Weiner
  • A Briefer History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  • Runaways Vol. 4: True Believers
  • Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

At the moment, I am reading Rooms by Lauren Oliver and listening to Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.

This month I reviewed Girls in White Dresses; shared how and why I am getting out of debt; where books have made me want to visit; and shared photos from the pumpkin patch.

How was your October?

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon [10.26.14]

I am back after an involuntary blogging leave caused by my amazing ability of killing every macbook charger that finds its way into my life. Of course, I go missing all of the time, so maybe you didn’t notice.

Life, of course, goes on even when computers do not. Yesterday, we went to the Festival of Reading, saw RL Stine and Aasaf Mandvi, and wandered around St. Pete a bit. Today I am participating in a 4-hour Yogathon to benefit The Children’s Heart Foundation.

As for reading, it’s been a little slow-going. I just finished Anna Dressed in Blood and now I am reading Rooms and listening to Her Fearful Symmetry. Apparently I am embracing the ghost stories this October.

Anyway, I have nothing scheduled for this week, but hopefully I’ll pop in with a post or two.

 

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon: September in Review [10.12.14]

Seeing as it is October 12, it is probably time to quickly recap September. It was a busy month yet again, despite the absence of airports and hotels. I read a little, I blogged a little, I worked a lot, I parented a lot, I watched my college football team fall apart, and that’s about it.

I shared my favorite Gilmore Girls episodes; gave a one star review; shared a photo of Vanderbilt Beach; listed the books I am most looking forward to this fall; read and reviewed my first comic book; bloggiesta-d; hid Green Eggs and Ham; reviewed the last book in a recommended series; and shared another one of Evan’s current favorites.

I read these:

Time is just flying. Pretty sure Evan will be 16 next week.

The Sunday Salon.com

The Sunday Salon [9.28.14]

After spending all day yesterday in sick toddler hell (13 hours of puking and a lethargic little boy who just kept saying, “I don’t want to be sick anymore”), I am ready for a peaceful Sunday.

The upside of staying home all day yesterday and having a child who just wanted to lie on the floor and stare into space was that I got quite a bit of reading done and I think I will finish One Plus One today. I finished American Gods on audio earlier this week, so this is a pretty successful reading week for me. I managed to post a bunch this last week. Can I keep the pace going?

Other than that, it was an uneventful week for me. I am looking forward to a visit to Michigan at the end of this week – we’re dropping E off with grandparents once we get there and taking a weekend for ourselves on Lake Michigan to go to a wedding. We have yet to both go away without E (we have only done so separately) and we are staying with some old friends that unexpectedly moved to the area. There are so many aspects of this trip that I am looking forward to.

I hope you all have a lovely Sunday.

The Sunday Salon.com

TSS: June in Review

It’s hard to believe the year is half over and it’s time to wrap up June. Well, I’m a day early. But I won’t finish a book by tomorrow. So here I am.

Books/Blogging

YOU GUYS. I had my best reading month all year! I finished 5 books and it was amazing. I am sticking with YA for awhile to keep this up.

  • The One by Kiera Cass
  • Siren’s Song by Heather McCollum
  • This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready
  • Hemingway’s Girl by Erika Roburn
  • The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wicker

Look for those reviews soon…

I also reviewed:

And shared:

Health

I am actually going for a run this morning. A real, legit run. I got injured in early April so it’s been nearly 3 months since I’ve gone on one. And I have suffered for it. But I’m excited to hit the pavement again. Despite the humidity and heat.

I tried to do that ab challenge in June that everyone was doing – and I made it much further than everyone else I knew – but I gave up around Day 22. It just got too hard. Thinking about doing a yoga challenge in July to stay active while I can’t actually get to the gym or dance class.

Evan

Evan is a handful. Ben left and he seems to be pretty terrified that I am also going to leave. Other than daycare (where he has always been comfortable with me dropping him off), he barely lets me leave the room. Ben’s sister is here this weekend helping me out (she was getting me ice cream as I typed this), which is great, we’re going to see Ben next weekend in Minnesota for a wedding (where I plan on promptly handing Evan over to someone and then running away), my mom will be here the weekend after that, then just one more weekend on my own before we head to New Mexico for Ben’s graduation. I can do that. Right?

The Sunday Salon.com