Last night, I did something I haven't done for a very long time. In fact, I very rarely do this at all during the school year. Last night, I read....for my own enjoyment.
All year long, I am busy reading whatever I am teaching, grading, or lesson planning. And most nights, by the time I get my kids in bed and my apartment picked up, it's a struggle to keep my eyes open long enough to get those things done. But, I've decided something recently. I've decided that I need to MAKE time to do the things that I really love...just for fun.
Mrs. Martens gave me a free copy of Fahrenheit 451 yesterday for World Book Night, 2013. This is a very cool, fairly new program. People across the country can apply to give away free books once a year. A list is made of 25 books, both classics and more modern books, fiction and non-fiction, prose and poetry, and boxes of books are sent to the chosen applicants. They give the books away to whomever they choose on World Book Night day. Since Fahrenheit is such a classic, and it's truly a crime that, as an English teacher, I have never read it, I thought I would give it a shot.
One page into it and I was in love. It gripped me from the first sentence. "It was a pleasure to burn." The descriptions were amazing. "Her dress was white and it whispered." I loved each sentence better than the one before it. "He saw himself in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, himself dark and tiny, in fine detail, the lines about his mouth, everything there, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber that might capture and hold him intact." I stayed up way too late reading it...but it was totally worth it.
I've been realizing lately that I tend to pack my life with things to do and I neglect doing the things that really bring me private joy. I love my job and I enjoy what I do at work every day. I love my kids and I enjoy being with them, watching their sporting events, and helping with homework. There are certain things in life, however, that I just love doing for me. Reading is one of those things. Cooking is another one. This last Sunday, I went grocery shopping and made a promise to myself that I am going to cook something every night, just for me, just because I enjoy it. I enjoy making up recipes, so I bought a bunch of great ingredients and I've been creating in my kitchen, just me and my Ingrid Michaelson Pandora...nothing too fancy or elaborate, but I've loved every minute of it.
So, for the rest of this school year, even though things are going to get crazy and hectic, I am going to continue making little bits of time just for me, just for fun.
I ask you this....
What do you do for yourself? What do you do that you truly enjoy? It has to be something you do alone. Being with friends and family is wonderful, and we all have to make time for those moments as well. But there is something magically healing about spending time alone, doing something you love. It brings peace. It brings happiness. It brings growth. It helps you....create YOU. :)