Growing up, I spent a lot of time at the beach. One beach in particular: Fenwick Island, Delaware. My parents purchased our beach cottage about three years before I was born, thus ensuring I would always know what it was like to go to the beach each spring, summer and fall. For me, having a beach house and regular/easy access to a beach was something I largely took for granted since it was always there.
With age comes wisdom, and now I could just kick that little Molly who always begged her parents to stay in Baltimore so she could hang out with her friends all summer. Going to the beach for all of August was TORTURE to a pre-teen. (UGH. That girl was the worst.)
But that’s life, right? We live, we learn and we try not to repeat mistakes. For me, that means just trying my best to enjoy the time I get to spend here and not letting anything – especially work-related emails or worries – ruin my time. There are too many pretty sunsets to catch.
I drove down to the beach on Friday, June 26 and was so excited to have a full week off from work, a chance to visit with good friends that don’t live near me, quality time with my dad (who lives full time downey oshun, hon) and to read, learn and daydream. It all sounds so hokey, doesn’t it? But it’s true. I had big plans for my next week-and-few days.
As I write this, I’m on my last day before I drive home and go back to work. I might leave late on Sunday, I might learn EARLY Monday morning and drive straight to work. That’s still to be determined. (As I sit here editing nearly ten days later, I can now let you in on a little secret: I left Sunday night, got stuck in massive traffic due to an accident, and arrived home at 2 a.m. GNARLY.) But either way, I feel like I’m in a good position to wax poetic about the great life lesson I learned.
Humor me? Thanks.
Hey Molly: Make Time to Read! Actual Books!
I read a lot, but 90 percent of the reading I do is online. By the time I work a full day, workout, make dinner and do whatever it is I’m doing with my life, I’m tired. Instead of reading myself to sleep as I used to do, I fell into the terrible habit of Netflixing myself to sleep.
Mollytics defines “Netflixing” as: the art of watching television shows that you would not ordinarily watch as a means to avoid being alone with one’s thoughts. For example, “I am currently Netflixing 19 Kids and Counting and Man Versus Wild.” WHAT?! WHY?!?!!
Before leaving for my beach vacation, I went to the library (I know, right? Sometimes I forget about the library) and checked-out a boatload of books. During the week, in between pool-time with CK and HK, various Mexican meals with LM, breakfasts with Dad and running around the island, I read:
- 21-Day Tummy;
- Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual;
- Henry and June: From “A Journal of Love” -The Unexpurgated Diary of Anais Nin (1931-1932); (to be fair, I haven’t quite finished this one yet)
- Run Your Butt Off!: A Breakthrough Plan to Lose Weight and Start Running (No Experience Necessary!);
- The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body;
- Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina; and
- Eleanor & Park.
I don’t own a Nook or Kindle or Firebird or whatever. I do own an iPad, but that’s used almost exclusively for Netflixing. I’m not one of those people who thinks that everyone should read actual books they can hold because… you do you. I do know that it’s the only way for me to go. There is something exciting about holding a book, flipping back and forth between pages to re-read favorite passages and highlighting or dog-earing important sections. I kinda like the ache of a heavy book that is switched back and forth between hands – the option of closing or reading later not even an option because you are so engrossed in what you’re reading. When I lug a suitcase full of books on a vacation that involves flying, I love leaving books behind for someone else to discover. I AM A DREAMER AND A GIVER, PEOPLE! (ha)
Here’s what I did not read: I did not read blogs. I did not read articles online. I was on Facebook much less than normal. These actions affected my life approximately NOT AT ALL, which is a good little life lesson in itself. Hey Molly, feel free to step away from the social media!
To be fair, I did check instagram religiously because that’s one addiction I don’t even want to shake.
Here’s what I learned: I love reading words on paper bound together. I love book-cover art (a topic recently featured on one of my favorite podcasts – and blogs – NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour).
I love the satisfaction of finishing a book. I love the way they send me off to sleep and I love the dreams I have when I’m really into a good novel. I love young-adult fiction, even though I’m decidedly not a young adult. (Or am I? I mean – I’m certainly not an old adult… or even a grown-up. At least not yet.) I do love reading blogs, and I will admit I’m excited to catch-up with my Feedly when I get back home.
And so, like a good New-Year’s Resolution, I’m going to try and remember to turn off the TV and open a book. I’ve learned a lot and really given myself some good ideas based on things I’ve read, so I’m eager to keep it up back in the “real word.” I’m going to, once again, ban electronics from my bedroom. There’s a reason I don’t have a TV in there, and now that rule must apply to my iPad. I’m happier when I’m a regular reader, so I should give myself every opportunity to do it more. After all, 19 Kids and Counting will no doubt be 21 Kids and Counting soon, and it won’t matter a lick if I didn’t watch it all unfold in “real time.”
Do you have any books you’d recommend? I’m fresh out of reading material and I can’t wait to get back to the library to return most of these and pick up some new ones.
P.S. Everyone should read Eleanor & Park immediately. It’s honestly the best love story I ever read (thought that’s not even one of the top five reasons why it rocks) and it only took a cool three hours to read, all accomplished while lounging in the sand and drinking