5.24.2010

Musings...


*** best place in town to to pretend to be a scholar ***


I am a romantic about academia. I have realized this recently. The idea of biking to campus in the fall, striped scarf trailing behind, leather satchel... The idea of "scholarship", of writing in the mornings in a quiet coffee shop... the idea of poring over large books in a distant library carrel... all of this just sends my heart a flutter. I love it. I must say that in my mind it looks a little more sleepy new england and less crummy midwest. And I imagine family vacations in the summer, which are impossible really given that my husband's line of work is busiest in the summer. I wonder if I am being an idealist, if I'm making it into something it isn't? But I've always been happiest at school, my whole life. Happiest when I'm learning something. Happiest when I'm surrounded by learning. So no, actually I think that it must be pretty great that I get to do what I do. And maybe it is a little romantic. And if my imagination embellishes a bit, that's okay too.

I'm sitting out on my front porch with the dog. It's cooler outside than in. There are fireflies just beginning to wink on.

I'm starting to think that it's all too much. With the food diary and the daily calorie counting. And the yoga, and the sewing projects, and vegan cookbooks, and stacks of nonfiction books by the bedside. What am I doing? It's an amazing amount of procrastination. Hobbies are supposed to be relaxing. But I did something the past couple of days... I picked up a fiction novel. Just a random book. And the really great thing is that it all went away. All of my obsessions. Yesterday, a Sunday, I just wanted to sit on the couch and read. Believe it or not, it's actually been a long time since I've done this. I've been trying to make myself only read things that were somewhat either relevant to work or self-improvement. But no, what I need-- what I'm looking for with all of this procrastination, is an escape. But all I'm managing to do with it is cause more stress for myself! Obsessing over getting in shape for the summer. Why? For goodness sakes, who cares? I don't need to impress anyone! It's ridiculous, I don't know why I'm behaving this way. From now on, I'm getting back into fiction. I'm going to get out of my head and into someone else's.

4 comments:

Claudia said...

Great idea!, I find that forcing things or trying to live up to an idea I have in my head tends to backfire, but if I allow myself some treats then it all comes easier... glad that you will be enjoying the summer :-)

B. Miller said...

As I'm sure you remember, I never go anywhere without a book and have been like that since I was a kid. However, a couple of months ago I stopped reading all fiction and concentrated solely on my book and reading nonfiction books that were focused on writing techniques. The thinking behind my abstaining from fiction was avoiding sounding like someone else as I was writing. But I realized after about six months that I was severely depressed and unhappy... I couldn't get the writing done I wanted... I didn't sleep well... I was irritable and everything just felt flat to me. When I picked up a fiction book and started reading again, it all went away and I was much more able to deal with everyday life. Sometimes our brains just need an escape from the stressors we put it through. I think of my brain as having a "fiction tank" and I fill it every day if I can. It fuels my imagination and my seratonin levels at the same time. ;)

B. Miller said...

Six weeks, rather. Not six months.

maepress said...

I wholeheartedly agree B! I can't believe how much it has lifted my spirits to get lost in a book the way I used to. It's interesting, I didn't realize how much I was missing it!

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