Switching Defaults

I’ve a venture that I am just now working on

-The latest #spamcommentary

The first week of January, I told myself that I was going to spend 25 minutes a night Reading-with-a-Capital-R, which for me means Reading-Of-Things-That-Are-Not-Required-For-My-Work-In-An-Intentful-Manner (a.k.a. things I seek out to read, rather than news that pops up on my phone1).

Yeah. That didn’t happen. I did it the first day, felt great2, and it just didn’t happen again. I was too fried by the end of each day, and waking up each morning a little more pissed at myself for again failing to do One Simple Thing That I Enjoy. I was a serious grouch by Thursday, so much so that when I woke up that I ordered myself to read a freaking book in the half hour I generally have before everyone wakes up instead of catching up on e-mail or squeezing in some work.

I did. I wasn’t grouchy anymore. I felt better.

So, I flipped the planner. I now read for 25 minutes every morning. If I find some free time during the day (e.g. when I’m waiting for The Monster at his after school activities), I’ve started reading then, too, instead of my default action trying to work on my laptop (or my phone) through sketchy Internet connections. Oh, I’m sure if there’s a looming deadline, I’ll go right back to working during those times, but right now? Right now, reading’s good.

Mostly good.

There have been some side effects. Poetry. I want to tell you that those outbursts were just things I had to get out of my head before I could tuck into 25 minutes of working on a creative project, but I’m afraid I won’t maintain the momentum I have on the creative project, so I’m not telling you that, just apologizing for the mess.


1 I think I mentioned that I removed the Twitter and Facebook apps from my phone back in late September. I’ve re-added Twitter, but haven’t yet been motivated to do so with Facebook. (I’m not on Pinterest: every time I’ve registered for it, I’ve gotten a splitting headache. I imagine that’s some sort of sign.)

2 While reading lulls my mental penguins into a false sense of security relaxes me, I know one of the reasons I haven’t been reading like I used to is my fear that I’ll get lost in a book and everything else going on in my life will get ignored.3 Articles are short, and work/school related reading/research will eventually make my brain tired, so they’re self-limiting.

3That used to happen all of the time when I was a kid. When I discovered the pre-Internet internet (I cut my social media teeth on BITNET) and online text-based gaming — gah, that was like having a freshly dead tauntaun on Hoth. So, these days, I set timers when I read or play video games (I’ve also stopped playing social ones altogether) to remind me to look outside of my brain to see if, oh, say, the house is on fire.

2 thoughts on “Switching Defaults

  1. Have you heard of (or read) The Miracle Morning, by Hal Elrod? Daily reading is one of his keys to having a successful morning. Emphasis on MORNING. I don’t do it, but it’s something that I keep reminding myself that I want to do. If you start your morning off in the right way, it’s said that you can get the most out of your entire day. If reading in the morning works for you, some people believe that it might help to enhance your entire day.

    • Huh. Interesting. I haven’t heard of or read (but my not having read it is probably not as surprising) The Miracle Morning, but even after a couple of weeks of doing this, I’m willing to buy into that argument. After a week-ish of sacrificing that morning time — and yeah, I’m still in the “sacrifice” mindset, which I imagine is just a shade unhealthy — I still feel better and I’m weirdly getting more things done. But I’m not going to revise my Goodreads Reading Challenge for the year, nope, nope, nope. It’s going to stay at its pitiful 14. Though that’s up two books from last year!

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