I can’t enjoy reading a good book the way I used to.
From the time I first learned to read, I reveled in the abilitly to pick up a book and, regardless of where I was, find myself lost to the world around me, deep in what ever adventures were unfolding on the pages before me.
It drove my mom crazy. She would trip over me in the oddest of places, curled up, book in hand, deaf to the world around me.
I have a very busy brain. It never really shuts off. In the last several months, I started noticing that I couldn’t read a book with that deep, single minded focus anymore. I found myself fiddling with the top corner of my book’s pages, riffling through them as I read. Every few pages my mind would jump out of the story and look for something else.
“I really should be cleaning the kitchen.” “That laundry pile is growing deeper by the minute. Maybe I should run down and throw a load in the washer.” “Man, those weeds are getting high, I should probably get out there and do something about them.”
Those thoughts are nothing new. They are thoughts I began to have (and ignore) the day I got married and had a home and husband of my own to care for. A good book usually won out and by the time I got to chapter three, they would leave me alone until I’d finished the book.
Not now though. Now my mind also jumps to thoughts like, “Hmmm, it’s been 20 minutes since I’ve checked Facebook, I’d better go see what’s happening there.” or, “I wonder if I have any new email?”
Things have gotten even worse since I made the decision to pursue photography as a profession.
There’s photography techniques to learn, like composition, exposure, editing and off camera flash, or marketing, social media and how to run a business. The list of things I need to learn to run a successful, lasting, photography business just goes on and on.
I love to learn. I research everything to death. In pre Google days that meant a large stack of books beside my chair that I could dip in to when ever I got the chance. Books I would read through from cover to cover. Now???
Now the minute a question or idea pops into my head I can run to the computer any time of the day or night and google the subject to my heart’s content, coming up for air hours later, as I succumbed to the need to follow just one more link.
It’s gotten even worse since I gave in and started checking my emails and Facebook on my iPhone. Although I might have deliberately turned off my computer on a particular day, I could still distract myself with my phone.
Even if I could fool myself into thinking all this ‘research’ was the best way to move forward with my photography, the fact of the matter is, I just can’t accept that I’ll never again be able to lose myself in a good book the way I did when I was a kid.
I want my husband and my kids to once again trip over me in odd places, book in hand, deaf to the world around me.
Morgan and Kim are getting married in two weeks. Hunting season has started and Henry’s going to be in the bush as often as he possibly can until the end of November.
And I am going back to my childhood. It’s time to quiet my mind and learn once again to focus on one thing at a time.
Aside from my Still Life photography class, which is online, I’m going to stay off the internet until, gulp . . . the end of November.
I will check my email each morning but then all my devices will be turned off for the rest of the day.
I have a stack of fiction piled high beside my chair, cook books bristling with markers for new baking recipes to try out for the wedding and an assortment of photography challenges I’ve set for my self to do rather than to read about how to do.
I honestly don’t know if I will succeed at this challenge, but the sweetness of losing myself in a good book, or the ability to focus on one. thing. at .a. time. is too precious not to try my hardest to do so.
I know I won’t be able to resist Instagramming or Facebooking a few pictures of the wedding though, so I am giving myself an exemption for that. ;D (Look for me there on the weekend of November 7th. Henry and I will be celebrating our 30th anniversary that Sunday as well!)
I’d love to know if any of you struggle with the lure of the world wide web. . . .
For some reason, I’m not able to access the comments on my blog at the moment, but I do see each and every one in my email inbox, so please, drop me a line and let me know I’m not the only one . . .
See you December first.