I finished this book a week ago and just haven’t gotten around to reviewing it yet. Reviews are one of those things that I tend to push to the wayside when I am busy and I am busy. Working full time, managing a household, mothering, wifing, friending, daughtering. It is a lot and that is kind of the point of this book, which I came across after it was mentioned in another of my favorite books.
Lindbergh used a two week vacation on the beach to work out some of her thoughts on being a busy woman and finding balance. Her argument is that we all need a little space and solitude in order to continue giving. We give until our cup is empty and then we must fill it back up with some solitude.
It was a relief to hear someone else say that women need solitude. I found myself jealous of Lindbergh’s vacation, remembering a girls’ trip last year when I stayed in the cottage one night and read in the blissful quiet. I missed my quiet mornings in my office, journaling and meditating behind a closed door. Mostly, though, I realized how important it is for me to take time for myself. It’s kind of like how you get more done if you just slow down.
I’ve noticed that I am accumulating a little collection of women’s books that I’ve been underlining and really thinking about, a kind of special collection. This book will go there to be looked back at time after after.
- The Last Message Received by Emily Trunko
- We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
- Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizman
- “What is Behind” by Tomiko Breland
- The Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
- Giant Days, vol. 4 by John Allison
Last Wednesday, Hubby went to his brother’s house after work to play games and I got home early from work. LD and I were home alone and he was particularly sleepy that night. I put him down early, 7:30, because he just couldn’t stay awake. I was exhausted that day but I had this sense that I wanted to do something for myself, fill my cup up. I made myself a drink and sat on the deck with my Little Black Classic, enjoying the summer and the stories and myself.
Last week I felt a little restless in my reading. I intended to catch up on my One Story subscription, read a LBC, and then read The Blue Jay’s Dance by Louise Erdrich. I read one One Story and then felt like I really just wanted to get into a book. I started the Erdrich and realized that I was kind of sick of reading about being a mom right now. I had just finished Gift from the Sea and while I feel like all of these women have important things to say about motherhood and that reading it put down in book form makes me feel a bit better about it, I was feeling a disconnect. Yes, it is hard to be a mother and maintain a creative life. Boy, they should try it while working full time, too. I don’t mean to sound bitter but the balance that they are finding is not my balance. I have to find my own.
And so, yesterday I pulled the bookmark out and tossed the book into the donation pile.
Instead I started We Were Liars by Lockhart and instantly knew I had made the right decision. I was locked in. I read nearly 100 pages yesterday while hungover and that should say something. It’s a great summer book, mostly taking place on an island during the summer. While I was reading, it just felt perfectly appropriate for this moment. I have only 100 pages left to read and I cannot wait to finish it. I just hope the spell isn’t broken. Maybe I should have read it all yesterday. Maybe I even could have.
I am having a weird morning, moving a little too slow and feeling a little too sad. There are things in my life, things in me, that need fixing and the whole thing feels like a daunting task. One thing I know is that books are a unique form of magic. They will be here for me no matter what and something they even heal. This morning, though, I found myself unable to concentrate on my book. There’s too much in my head. Too much in my heart. But it won’t be like this forever.