The summer holidays are almost over. As always, I feel like I need more than the six weeks off work I’ve already had, but this time, it’s worse. Because this time, I didn’t finish as many books as I would have liked. Want to know why this worried me? Read on!
I have been terribly busy these last six weeks; I moved in with my boyfriend, and we installed a new kitchen and new floor into my apartment. It looks great now, but it took so long. We had to destroy stuff, replace stuff, and create stuff from scratch. Every single day. As a result I didn’t have any time to relax and read. I kept worrying about how I wouldn’t be able to write anything on my blog, and on my Instagram page. And then it struck me how somehow, whenever I’m stressed, even reading turns into a chore.
Whenever I feel like I have too much to do, I stop enjoying things. Instead, I grab my phone, and play stupid games on it and check my Instagram feed. In case of doing the latter, I keep seeing those amazing posts about books. I see people with piles of books, people in front of their bookshelves or a bookshop, people with books open on annotated pages (I could spend a whole post on why I would never, ever, do that, by the way), and, worst of all, people sharing the staggering amounts of books they’ve read these last couple of weeks/days/hours. It reminds me of the following quote:
I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.Sylvia Plath
Somehow, seeing all those people reading and talking about books, doing exactly that which I don’t have the time for, makes me feel terrible. I can do so much better, do so much more. Be so much more. Why can’t I read as much as those people? What am I doing wrong? What would others think, if I told them I have hardly read anything for six weeks?
That last bit is what worries me most. That’s because it’s actually about so much more than the books I fail to read. Somehow, and I don’t know because it’s because of the society I live in, or social media, or my upbrining, or whatever, I worry too much about what other people might think – and I usually think that they don’t think very highly of me. I think that’s why I tend to do too much; I work too hard, I try to help others even though it would be wise to take care of myself first, and I am continuously afraid I’m not doing enough for others. They might consider me weak, lazy, or selfish, or, when it comes to literature, someone who only pretends to like books.
So, having come to the conclusion that I haven’t read as much as I would’ve liked, here’s the lesson I should repeat to myself forevermore: whatever I do, is good enough. Whether I read one book or twenty, I’m good enough. I am horribly limited, but that’s ok.
Do you ever feel like you’re not doing enough? Which books would you read if you had all the time in the world? Please share in the comments! Also, don’t forget to follow me for more book-related posts!