Happy Friday, friends! I woke up this morning to thunder and opened the door to feel the temperature drop of almost 30 degrees less than yesterday– happy Friday for sure! It finally feels a little like fall today; I know it will probably heat back up again before it’s truly cooler here in Arkansas, but for now I’m going to enjoy it.
One of my favorite things about the weather getting cooler is spending some time out in the crisp air and then coming back inside with a fresh perspective and curling up in a chair with a good book. I’m working on finishing up all my books I started over the summer so I can pick some new ones to read over the next couple months, but I also must confess, I am sometimes bad about beginning books and never finishing them. I love getting new books at the library, and I sometimes get a little too ambitious about how many I choose to take home.
I have a few books right now I’m wanting to read–a few I’ve seen at the library, and a few sitting on my shelf at home. It’s my turn to pick what we read next in a little book club I do with my sisters, and it’s such a fun decision to make. I’ve been scanning my bookcase for either an old favorite or something I’ve been wanting to read for awhile; I don’t want to let everyone down with something new that I’ve never read before just in case it’s not good, so I finally narrowed down my choices to a couple favorites I haven’t read in a long time, and a few I’ve been eyeing for awhile on the shelf.
Something I’ve been mulling over a lot lately is how I’m spending my time. It’s so easy to label anything on the internet or social media as distracting, but I’m also considering other things that distract me from living in the moment each day. There have always been distractions, even before we could go online; reading a book sounds healthy and wholesome compared to staring at a screen, but if it’s still keeping me from being present, is it really any better? I tend to give my full attention to something when I am interested in it, which means once I start a book, I struggle with neglecting everything and everyone else until I finish it. It’s not something I have an answer to, I’m just processing it and trying to put myself in the shoes of someone 30-40 years ago; I wonder if there’s some wisdom in there we can glean from our parents and grandparents or anyone else from an older generation. What did they do for enjoyment and distraction from day to day life, and how much of this “distraction” is okay?
Sometimes it’s a challenge for me to balance my time between what I want to do, what I need to do, and what I know I’ll be glad I did later on, and I’m learning to be content in an imperfect day. There will always be days where I’m pleased with how I spent my time and other days where I disappoint myself, and that shouldn’t be the basis for happiness. Top priority should always go to what we know we’ll be glad we did later on because these things are productive and satisfying. Next, it’s important to grind out the things we need to do, and finally leave room for what we want to do. I think that’s why wrapping up in a cozy blanket with a book is the most delightful after a hard day’s work or a run outside in the cold air; it feels well-deserved and like icing on a cake. Icing is not completely necessary to make the cake, but actually pretty necessary to enjoy the cake. Likewise, those well placed moments of doing something we enjoy aren’t completely necessary to live our life, but they’re actually pretty necessary to enjoy life. It’s just learning to balance our icing to cake ratio: too much of the icing would make the cake inedible, and in the same way spending too much time on what we want to do makes us feel wasteful and regretful.
Now that these Friday morning thoughts have me wanting some delicious chocolate cake with perfectly whipped cream cheese icing, I’m going to go work on being present in my day! Have a good weekend!