Between the covers

This is the second day of the Love Blog Challenge
hosted by the lovely
BelleBrita
Prompt for 2/4: Self care

I have the great good fortune of being surrounded by care. My husband, Tim, my daughter, Ana, and her family, my small circle of friends, fellow-creatives, sisters in faith – all more than willing to help me be good to myself, as they are good to me.

I see a therapist when I need one, buy skin care products that are good for me, and eat the best chocolate. Aside from my every day anxieties about epic failures keeping up with housework, being available when my kids need me, and meeting editing deadlines, my self-care regimen is rather light.

But I do not care for myself in the one way that would make me not only more peaceful, but also a better person all around. I don’t read enough.

I just need to read more and more often. (Except for horror and creepy, because that, for me, would be the complete and total, unacceptable opposite of self-care.) Perhaps I think of reading as a luxury for which I do not have the time. Perhaps I need to reconsider the benefits in terms of self care.

A book a week wouldn’t be unreasonable, would it? Even two? Maybe giving a little grace when the text is intense, deep, or emotionally heavy.

I do lean toward young adult stories, those that teach a global lesson while telling the story of ordinary young people figuring it all out as they sludge through middle school and mismatched friendships. Some of those authors are simply brilliant!

Every once in a while, I might fit in an adult romance novel or mystery. I might. But they appeal to me SO much less than YA fiction.

I find hope in inspirational essays, even the challenging ones that take me aback, poking me about something I might need to change or make better or stop altogether.

And biographies/autobiographies about a pioneer in history, whether inventor, rabble-rouser, or voice of the people? Yes.

So, thanks to this challenge, it seems I’ve created another one for myself – in a good way: A-book-(or-two)-a-week.

Now, as we all know, comes the tricky part: Doing it.

I might need to make a plan.

And to that end, my lovelies, if any of you are so inclined, feel free to check up on me. Help me be better to myself. And, if you would like the favor returned, tell me what you would like me to pester you about.

(Insert virtual pinky swear.)

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

12 comments

  1. Hey Nancy 🙂 I love that you start out with acknowledging that so much care comes from other people. I think in our society we rely so much on ourselves and forget how vital it is to have other people in our lives.
    I also love reading! One of my ‘goals’ in terms of self-care is actually to write more. It makes me feel accomplished and at peace.
    What book are you currently reading?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, thank goodness for my family.
      Funny how feeling accomplished is peaceful…
      And I’m reading “I Will Always Write Back” (C. Alifirenky & M. Ganda), a YA about unlikely penpals. “A Room Called Remember” (F. Buechner) is next.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. DO you know Goodreads?
    https://www.goodreads.com
    I love love love it – and it has a feature where you can set your own reading challenge for each year.
    I have a similar hang up – I see reading as a luxury, so I don’t read as much as I feel I should. Also, there’s so much! That said, the reading challenge helps keep me on track. I’m not as ambitious as you (or most of my reading friends) but I set a very realistic goal of 25 books this year. ANYWay – check it out, it’s helped me find some good “finds” and also helped me to remember books I want to get to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great tip. I do know about GoodReads and have an account, but never really considered it as a tool for accountability. Nice and thanks. And I think setting a goal that you can surpass is better than setting one out of reach that will give you no satisfaction… good luck with yours…xoxox

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  3. I love this! Reading is my number one self-care task. I also really love YA novels, and think they’re some of the most important books out there. There’s so many great ones, I can never keep up. What’s the most recent book you read?

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    1. I like some of the standards – “Walk Two Moons” by Sharon Creech and anything by Richard Peck. I also like two by Ann Heywood Leal. Now I’m reading “I will Always Write Back” by C. Alifirenka & M. Ganda. It’s wonderful – about unlikely penpals.

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  4. I love YA novels as well! I try to read a bit every night before bed. What helps me is leaving my phone downstairs. I usually get ready for bed 1-2 hours before I want to sleep. If my husband is still up, we might watch a little TV together, but he almost always goes to sleep 30-90 minutes before I’m ready. That’s my time to read! Keeping my phone downstairs helps me avoid unnecessary distractions.

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    1. I am convinced that keeping my phone “downstairs” – or wherever I am not – is a good solution to achieving a more peaceful evening. It seems like a growing theme among my friends, both local and online. But as far as reading “a bit” every night before bed, I am so often reluctant to put down a book – especially if it’s a story – that I end up staying up WAY too late. Maybe I’ll have to stick with non-fiction essays…xoxox
      Go Team YA!!!

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  5. Reading is one of my favorite forms of self care. With two toddlers in the house, it’s often board books but I do try to set aside my own reading time. I’m currently doing a chapter or two a night. I read right before bed and find it a great way to unwind and relax. Best of luck with your reading goals!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What caught my attention in this post was how you mention you don’t think you take care of yourself in a way that creates peacefulness for you like reading and it may be because you think of it as a luxury – I point this out because I think we all feel those thoughts many times, especially when we have caretaker roles. We see the soothing activities as luxuries and struggle to make time for them in our busy, busy lives…don’t we deserve to feel soothed too? I believe that we should try to change our perspectives to see these as premium necessities in our self-care routines ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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