Phil: Tuesday’s post wasn’t the one we’d discussed over curly fries the day before but a combination of technical problems and a poorly puss-cat conspired against my friend. As is often the case though, the results made more of an impact, on me at least, than the original plan.
By the time I came to read the post, I’d been on the road for 4 and a half hours sandwiched around a day full of meetings. I was knackered. However, my friends words pushed me into reading a couple of chapters from the book I’ve got on the go and I felt much better for it.
At the moment, I’m in the happy position, for a self-employed person, that there is more work than I can shake a stick at. While my work is enjoyable, work/life balance is a bit off whack. No trips to Italy for me for a couple of months. At the moment, a trip to the Post Office is the highlight of the week!
Anyway, it hasn’t stopped me reading. Dipping into a book for half an hour takes my mind off the pile of projects that consume my waking hours. Unlike watching TV, I can immerse myself in another world. Watching the box tends to be a passive activity involving sitting in front of flickering light as stuff plays out in front of you. Aside from the fact there isn’t much on that I would like to watch, I can do it and think about other things. It’s not really a break.
Reading, like juggling, meditating and apparently even going for a run, clears the mind. The activity takes you out of yourself and forces a conscious break in your thoughts. My brain might be wiring away in the background but the bit I live in is consumed with the story.
That break is good but I find a side benefit from the progress my bookmark makes through the volume. It’s one project that I know will advance reliably as long as I keep reading. I get a sense of satisfaction just seeing how far I’ve read. Not a great achievement perhaps but I like it. Approaching the back of a fat book is especially satisfying as I feel I’ve put the work in and will soon have the sense of achievement that I’ve finished the story. Sometimes, I don’t want it to end but mostly, I enjoy the journey but like to get to my destination. Hopefully that’s a nice, satisfying denouncement with all the loose ends tied up.
Which is why, no matter how busy I am, I’ll make some space to read.