When I quit my job and decided to be a stay at home mom, a goal of mine was to find some hobbies. For the 5 years prior I had been so busy with work and kids that all hobbies had fallen to the wayside. And to be honest, I'm not sure if I ever really had a hobby. Can you call travel a hobby? Or reality television? Or the enjoyment of a few too many cocktails at happy hour?
For a while, I didn't do too well. I did take a photography class, and I enjoy playing around with my camera here and there, but I suck at it, so I haven't really embraced it as a full fledged hobby. I started exercising, but I loathe every second of it, so surely that can't count. I signed up for a yoga class, but after years of doing it on and off, I have come to accept that I will never be able to form a human pretzel.
However, I am happy to say that in the midst of all this attempted betterment of myself, I have actually found something I enjoy doing.
Reading! Yes, I enjoy reading. How novel! (No pun intended.)
I have never really been a big reader, and once I started working as a lawyer, reading for leisure completely fell to the wayside. If I ever had any downtime, I certainly didn't want to spend it thinking, about anything. Once the kids came along, reading was pretty much exclusively devoted to books about pregnancy, babies, sleep, and developmental milestones which, lets be honest, is not good for anyone.
Last Mother's Day my husband got me a kindle. I liked the new gadget, but didn't expect to use it much, and for the first few months I didn't. Then, after a recommendation from a friend, I downloaded The Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. The book was fantastic! I couldn't put it down. It is a non-fiction book about success - who gets it, why they get it, and how they get it. There was even an entire chapter devoted to Joe Flom, one of the founding partners of my alma mater law firm.
I suppose it's ironic to be so enthralled and attracted to a book that deals with success in the corporate world, when I had voluntarily just exited it, but I found it fascinating. It made me think. And this time, I liked the whole thinking thing. I had missed it, actually.
Since then, I have become somewhat obsessed with reading. Once I finish a book, I go through a brief mourning period, and then frantically search for the next one. I have read some really fabulous ones (I just finished The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series which was AWESOME), some entertaining but fluff ones (the Hunger Games Trilogy - hard to put down, but a bit too pre-teen for me), ones that have made me cry (The Year of Magical Thinking, anyone?) and some really crap ones (yes, I read the Brooke Shields PPD book - a good cause, but a crap read).
I am loving this reading books thing.
It makes me feel smart. It makes me feel connected. It makes me feel like I am still learning. It is a good hobby - simple as that.
So internet, I am appealing for your help. I am currently without book. Help support the cause, and give me your recommendations!