An excerpt from Better Than Life by Daniel Pennac:
How is it that Ms. X, who works, runs errands, raises kids, drives her car, loves three men, goes to her dentist appointment, is moving next week – how is it that she finds time to read, while this chaste, retired, coupon-clipping bachelor doesn’t?
Time spent reading is always time stolen. Like time spent writing, or loving, for that matter.
Stolen from what?
From life’s obligations.
Which is probably why the subway – the very symbol of life’s many obligations – is the world’s largest reading room.
Time spent reading, like time spent loving, increases our lifetime.
If we were to consider love from the point of view of our schedule, who would bother? Who among us has time to fall in love? Yet have you ever seen someone in love not take the time to love?
I’ve never had the time to read. But no one has ever kept me from finishing a novel I loved.
Reading does not belong to the societal organization of time. Like love, it is a way of being.
The issue is not whether or not I have the time to read (after all, no one will ever give me that time), but whether I will allow myself the joy of being a reader.
I often complain about not having enough time to do the things I want, reading being one of them. And I will continue to complain about not having enough time lol. Just because that’s how it works. I do , however, know that I could do a lot more of the things I wanted to do if I just managed my time better.
As of late, I’ve been reading a lot less frequently. I used to read to and from work on the bus. But in the morning, it just puts me to sleep and in the evening, I just want to sit there and watch the scenery and the people. Instead, I’ve been listening to music on my rides and it’s very therapeutic.
There is nothing like sitting on a crowded bus/train with my headphones blaring. It sends me to my own little world that I get to occupy for about 40 minutes. It’s particularly great on my way to work because once I get off at Port Authority I have a short 5 block walk. Just long enough for the cold, brisk air to wake me up. I still have my headphones blasting as I quickly make my way through the crowds of people and cars.
It’s a great feeling. And I don’t want to give that up. Maybe I’ll compromise with myself and music will have my mornings and books will have my evenings.
But anyways, none of us really have time for anything unless we make time for it.
I cherish my Sundays. Sundays are my days. It is my day to play catch up with everything. I usually have to do lists that I make during the week and I mean to tackle them on Sunday but I’ve been putting them off for a few weeks now. I just love this time to myself. To unwind from the week. To sleep for HOURS (which I did today). For some reason, I feel guilty doing nothing for a whole day but on a Sunday, it is excusable. It’s more than excusable, it actually feels appropriate. There are times when I won’t need my Sundays. And there are definitely times where I will be more than happy to give up my Sunday for someone or something else but it is definitely a good day to recharge me for the week ahead.
Days like today remind me of myself in high school or possibly before then. I would set aside a day for myself (I think it was Saturday). And my friends would want me to come out and hang but I wouldn’t because I wanted/needed this time.
Along the way somewhere, I changed. I was down to hang all the time. I never wanted to miss a chill. Never wanted to not be there. I hated to be alone at home or at school. Even if I were doing nothing. Even if I were exhausted and just laying in bed. If I had a choice to have time to myself or time with friends, I’d always choose the latter. And I think it got a little unhealthy for me. I don’t know that unhealthy is the best way to describe it but that’s the word that comes to mind.
I didn’t know how to be alone anymore. I didn’t know how to be okay by myself. I felt the need to be around my friends constantly and that wasn’t always an option, especially while I was away at school. But sometime after that, I learned to be okay with it. I learned to value my alone time. I learned to appreciate solitude for short amounts of time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still down to chill, most of the time lol. But I have noticed that I’ve been saying no to friends more often now. Work has a lot to do with it. And I do apologize to my friends if I have been neglecting you. I still love hanging with my friends whether we’re doing something or nothing at all. I’ve just had to make adjustments here and there.
This post definitely took a different turn from what I had intended to write but it was good to let it all out anyways. We’ve all come across some version of the saying that you can only truly love someone else once you’ve learned to love yourself. And as sappy or as corny as it sounds, it is undeniably true. And over the years, I have learned just how true it is.
Everyone needs to take time for themselves. Everyone needs to be great on their own in order to be great for others.
So make that time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be reading, writing, watching some reality TV (one of my favorite guilty pleasures lol), or just nothing at all. I actually just opened up a box of journals that date back to 1996. I’m going to take some time now to go through some of it and just reminisce. I haven’t looked at these in quite some time and I know it is going to be very interesting to reread.
I’ll close this entry with an album that I’ve been listening to nonstop for the past couple of weeks. I get like that. To really get a feel for an album, I just keep it on repeat. And if I can I still listen to it straight through without being tired of it, then it has passed my test lol.
Album of the moment: Trey Songz – Ready
So I was never big on Trey Songz. I don’t know what it was but there was just something about him that wasn’t appealing to me. But I am now sold, lol. Well, on Ready at least. I’m able to play his Ready album from beginning to end. I only skip I Need a Girl. It just doesn’t do it for me like the other songs on the album.
One Love is definitely my favorite song on the album. It’s just one of those songs. Other highlights for me, Holla If Ya Need Me, Neighbors Know My Name (he really gets his R. Kelly on in this song), & Ready to Make Luv straight into Jupiter Love.
It’s just a really sexy album. Go listen!