Saturday, March 9, 2013

books and balance

Memories flood me from my childhood.  I can envision myself laying on my bed, in my basement room, with a book in my hands, my legs/feet up against the red-carpet wall.  Weirdest positioning but it worked.  Weirdest red-carpeted wall, too. 

Rainy days were my favorite because I was free to spend hours reading and escaping.
Little Women
A Wrinkle in Time
Nancy Drew
Sweet Valley High

Books were my escape route in elementary and middle school.  In high school, my unanticipated social life replaced reading.  But every so often, when I needed to escape from the hustle and bustle of socializing, I'd hide away and read.  And balance in my life would be restored.

When Dad died, I did the same thing.  I needed to escape from the pain so I feel into my childhood comfort of reading.  Escaped into books.  Only I chose books that didn't provoke any thoughts.  Just mindless, paperback novels that could be thrown away (or given away).  I chose books that could be read before bedtime that would lull me to sleep.  If I could fall asleep from reading, then I wouldn't cry myself to sleep.  Seems silly to say that six months later, but at the time, that was my reality.

I am thankful for the escape and the time reading bought me as I healed.  And the balance that is slowly being restored in my life.

Fast forward a few months, and I'm reading books of thought.  I work with an English-teacher-turned-Asst. Principal, and she is always sharing education books with me.  I have Crucial Conversations and How Children Succeed on my night stand.  Both have been good for me and my mind is brushing off the cognitive cobwebs.

Today, I set up an April book club at my house.  I've been meeting with the same group for almost two years.  However, our last meeting was spring of 2012 (I think).  I simply haven't had the energy.  They understand.  They are the best.

I don't know what we'll read, but it will be something that will eventually lead to a rich conversation, full of laughter and joy with friends I dearly love.

Balance.  Healing. 
That is what reading brings to me.

Life is moving forward.  One book at a time.

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