Slowing down (easier said than done!)

I've started and given up on two books in the last two weeks and this felt like an incredible waste of time to me. In fact, I got so far into one book that I was fixated on continuing it even though it was a terrible slog. I finally had enough common sense, at about 150 of 400 pages, to throw in the towel.

A second book I had reserved but was not too enthusiastic about popped in (just like magic) and I began that and I didn't last thirty pages. No wonder I thought it was crap in college! Validation for 1992 me! But again, I found my internal nagger nagging away - more wasted time!

What was it, I started pondering, that kept me reading books I wasn't really too excited about reading? Couldn't I just sit back and let some sort of divine intervention take over? Will just the right book to read reveal itself when the time was right if I sit back and wait a bit? What was the rush?

Then, I realized what the rush was. My driving need to be productive had taken the steering wheel away from my love of reading for the sheer enjoyment of reading. I got hung up on always being "in" a book. I was burning through pages - look at me, the reader! - instead of taking the time to enjoy what I was reading when, in fact, I was reading books I wasn't really enjoying just for the sake of reading books.

Of course, this is not just about reading books. It's also about checking items off of the to do list and getting all the housework done and all the yard work done and all the podcasting recording and editing done and getting all the writing here done, etc. etc. etc.

Getting it done vs. slowing down and enjoying what I am doing.

So, I am making a conscious effort to slow down and focus on as few things at a time as possible and hopefully that is just one thing at a time.

I finally took my time and spent about 30 minutes looking through the "to read" lists I have accumulated in several places and I found a book I am really enjoying at the time that I write this.
I've also made the effort to not speed read but to slow down and enjoy the page.

I'm not on any schedule here. It doesn't matter how many books I read in what amount of time or how many pages I read at lunch unless I am really into the book and cannot put it down and I was fortunate enough for that to happen recently.

(Side note - I don't typically post about the books I start and give up on in Goodreads.)

As for everything but reading, that's more challenging. I still feel the need to get as much done as I can. Why only water the yard today? Let's go ahead and get the seed and fertilizer all down also? Why only wash one load of clothes when I might as well knock out that second basket also?

Plus, there are tweets to read! Groceries to buy! Dogs to wash! Drawers to organize!

So many things are encouraging us to hurry up with it and go on to the next thing. Who has time to read this long entry, I think as I write this. I don't know that I would and asking you, the valued reader, to do it is asking you to ignore all of the other things you have to do right now in order to read this!


How do we slow down when the world just wants more, more, MORE of us?