I’ve recently rediscovered my love for reading books. My love of reading isn’t anything new, but allowing myself unlimited “free” time to sit on the deck to read whenever I can instead of trying to do a million other things instead is.
It’s no longer a guilty pleasure, but rather simply a pleasure.
It’s a relative shift in thinking for me. I used to feel guilty, like I should be spending that time doing something work or blog-related that would garner an external result of some sort.
Because almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t working or doing something to promote their work. Bloggers talk about “taking things to the next level,” working on widgets, book signings, business cards, spending hours on various social networks, reading, writing, commenting, sharing, creating new tabs for their blogs, etc.
If that’s your job, that makes sense, but I just can’t keep up. And to be honest, I really don’t want to.
My job has me in front of a computer all day. I don’t love it, but it pays the bills, I work my butt off and I’m lucky I have it. And while I love blogging most of the time, it isn’t my job and I know that I’ll never be “big.” I know that as hard as I work, I’ll most likely never “make it to the next level” without devoting hours to doing the things that I’ve mentioned above.
Now don’t get me wrong…
I’m a very hard worker and would spend a million hours working towards “making it” if I thought doing all of those things was the key, but I’m not sure that it is. Why? Talent only gets you so far. There is only one Bloggess, and the market for those looking to recreate that magic is diluted with writers that have time and money to spend in an effort to build up their brand.
I do not.
What I do have are decent ideas, a couple books that barely paid for themselves, a laptop I have basic knowledge of and a fairly constant insecurity that a) what I do isn’t good enough b) confusion over what does become “popular” and c) a desire to hang it all up and let everyone else duke it out.
Because, oh yeah, there’s that whole depression/OCD thing to add in there, too.
And unfortunately, I don’t have the luxury to pick and choose when and where I work. Some days are great, and other days leaving the house simply sounds like hard work—but I have no choice.
What I tend to forget is that I do have in choice in how I spend the rest of my time. And sometimes I get caught up in the hype and forget I’m not the girl who is comfortable promoting herself or trying to appeal to a sponsor or some “higher up.”
I’m the girl who rambles and has her head in a book (when it’s not up her ass) and the game on TV with some snacks. I write because I want to share things, not because I need to have those things shared.
So I guess it’s a conscious decision to choose time and simple pleasures over the pursuit of “more, more, more.” It’s a decision to always work hard and look for new opportunities, but to be content with where I am, whether it’s on the deck with a book or on Twitter spewing one-liners.
It’s remembering that the best investment of my limited time is to spend it doing the things that I want when I can and ignoring the things that might chip away at that contentment.
True, I might miss “making it to the next level,” but I won’t miss feeling like I’ve missed the moments worth writing about. And if I plan things right, I also won’t miss the ballgame.
Like the blog? Buy the books.