Friday, January 4, 2013

Confessions of a Book Addict

Sometimes in life, serendipity, fate or Karma (if you believe in such notions) hand you a favor and grant you a little extra grace. (You can ascribe as much to God, or your choice of faith, if that works for you as well.) Whatever am I talking about, you may ask?

A perfect example of this just occurred to me this morning, but first...a bit of back story. My day on Tuesday and the first day of this year, was a flurry of activity. I worked in the morning and had quite a long list of things to get done in the afternoon. I had plenty of rest, due to the fact that I didn't attend any of the New Year's Eve parties I was invited to, knowing that 3:30 am would come all too early. I celebrated instead with my friends who also have similar schedules (or are independently wealthy....bastards) at noon and was tucked into my bed by a respectable 8:00 pm the night before. There are always many things to be done at the beginning of the month, paperwork, inventory, scheduling, organizing, reviewing event contracts and it was doubly hectic as I attempted to do them all, as well as cook breakfast for the hotel guests. Throughout the morning, I kept trying to talk myself out of my long list of errands to run but once I left work, as is oft the case, I had plenty of energy and threw myself into the tasks at hand.

I was in and out of the DMV with my new drivers license in less than five minutes (no small miracle there!) and ran around the city taking care of all the little details that can pile up so quickly in a single adults world.  I dropped off my dry cleaning, ran to the hardware store for project bits, took my books back to the Library (and yes, I paid my late fees), picked up some essentials from the grocery store, washed my car (finally), met up with my friend Jack to get the cheese he brought me for my Dad from Wisconsin, picked up some movies to watch later in the week and undecorated my house from the Holidays. (FYI: glitter is the herpes of the decorating world. I shit you not.)

With all that accomplished by five that evening, I was feeling rather proud of myself and I cooked myself dinner and started reading one of the books I picked up from the Library. In fact, it happened to be the book that was adapted for the film Julie and Julia, which after watching in the theater, inspired me to start this very blog of my own. Needless to say, it is a great story, a true one in fact, and I did something I had not done in a long while. I stayed up all night reading. Literally...all night.

Now this type of incident was rather common as I was growing up. I have always been an avid reader to the point of insane proportions, but as I grew older, common sense and reason had me asleep after a hundred pages or so each night. I cannot count the endless mornings that my Mom would knock on my door in the morning for me to discover I had once again read all night and now had to face the prospect of a full day of school, soccer or basketball practice or even worse, a game, before I could once again catch up on my sleep or the book, whichever held the highest priority. I am addicted to words and stories. Always have been. Always will be. (Note to future husband: this is a non-negotiable term in our marriage contract. You will share me with books. Sex and food are also priorities but may be deferred in my quest for story, knowledge and mental diversion.)

So now that you all know what a nerd I am and having shattered the illusions of a cool and mysterious man of adventure and taste, where does that leave me? Oh, yeah...getting ready for work all groggy and puffy eyed Wednesday morning. It was a quiet day at work. Easy tasks, food deliveries, more paperwork and nominal amount of cooking. I looked forward to taking a nap in the afternoon and catching up on some of my missed sleep. Due to my nature, that was not to be.

That evening, sans afternoon nap, as I got ready for bed, I looked into my back pack and discovered another book I had checked out that I had been looking forward to reading. "Looking forward to reading" is a bit of an understatement. It was a copy of The Hunger Games. I had studiously avoided all the literary reviews, dodged all conversations and discussions about it, ensured I never saw a trailer for the movie and refused to hang around my friends who had read the book or seen the film when it came out. I didn't want to know anything about it until I could find it on my own with fresh eyes and an open mind. Such is the case for a person like me. I can't explain it, that is just how I am. If something is popular, I avoid it at all costs until I can randomly encounter it and make my own decisions about whatever it may be without expectations. I figured I could read the first few chapters and then get at least eight hours of sleep. Not a problem...

You guessed it. Stayed up reading it all night. Again. The second night of reading a fascinating book, cover to cover with no sleep. Why do I do this to myself? I have no answers, but suffice it to say, work yesterday was a bit of a challenge. By the time I threw a roast in my Crockpot for dinner, I was barely navigating. I sacked out all afternoon, blissfully hibernating and only got up once when I had to piss like a racehorse. I don't even think I really woke up for that, but rather, stumbled into the bathroom, eyes half shut, drained the lizard and fell back into bed in my darkened bedroom. Beautiful sleep.

I woke up for dinner, which I have to say was fantastic! Roast beef, baby new potatoes, simmered onions, carrots and celery with a rich, hearty gravy and coarse rough bread. I avoided watching the Fiesta Bowl (sorry Craig, I know Morgan was playing), caught an episode of the Big Bang Theory (Sheldon is a God) and got ready for bed. I am happy to report I did not stay up all night reading, but I will confess, I did read at least one hundred pages of an Ian Flemming masterpiece I had checked out and not read since I was in middle school. Sue me! It was James fucking Bond!

So where does that leave me? Ah, yes. This morning. POW! The alarm goes off at 3:30 am and I start my day. Showered, shaved and coffeed. All is right with my world. I found myself wishing I had a few extra minutes this morning to slowly wake up, maybe have a second cup of coffee, read my morning paper sitting down like a real human and possibly take a moment to write on my blog, but it was not to be. As I prepared to slip my chef pants and coat on, I looked up into a mirror on my bedroom wall, caught my own eyes and remembered. TODAY IS MY DAY OFF WORK!

Why did I say all that? I have no idea. Sometimes my life and words just fall out of my brain. If you have read here for any length of time, or know me personally, this is no surprise to you at all. My point is this. Sometimes in life, serendipity fate or Karma (if you believe in such notions) hand you a favor and grant you a little extra grace.

Instead of putting on my work clothes, I pulled on my favorite hoodie and pair of flannel pants. I poured myself that extra cup of coffee. I did not bother making my bed. I retrieved the paper and will read it at the kitchen table at my own leisure. I received a coupon for free breakfast at First Watch for my birthday on my phone this morning and I might just drive over there later and let someone cook for me for a change. A little extra grace. I made a wish and it came true. My own faulty brain aided and abetted the Universe as an accomplice and conspired to put a unexpected smile on my face. I will take this as a positive sign of living right and always paying it forward. I have never gave to get but it sure is nice to be on the receiving end for a change. I am grateful for it and hope you enjoyed my well rested and coffee fueled entirely too long anecdote. I just wanted to share. Keep your eyes open for your own special points of grace and small favors. If you look for the good, you will find it. It is always there, you just have to make time for it.


1 comment:

  1. As always, thanks for sharing. I tried reading "The Hunger Games" but couldn't finish it. Was just a struggle for me. I'm currently reading "Fall of Giants" and am enjoying it. May be part of being a history guy, but Follet is good at creating the scene and telling the story.

    I chuckled when you were going through the motions of a typical work morning when in fact it was your day. Oh how I long for a morning like that when you've been granted "free" time. I find myself scheduling or planning too much and need to afford myself more "free" time for the spontaneous things.

    As I mentioned previously, I have posted your thoughts on my mirror and I am making time for myself and part of this is "free" time. I have actually gone so far to post it in several places in my apartment just to keep it in my forefront until it becomes part of who I am and how I live.

    You've opened my eyes to a whole new perspective on living. I am wandering but I am also taking time to pause, reflect, and search. I know it (whatever "it" may be) is out there and I keep my eyes and heart open to finding it.

    On a personal note, I look forward to your writing more than I look forward to anything else. I find myself checking several times a day and when there is a new post, I grab a cup of coffee, read it once, reflect, read it again. Willingly or not, you have become a part of who I am as I wander. Thank you.

    As always, best...