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Follow The Wandering Introvert on

Follow The Wandering Introvert on

Recently, I had a week off from work. No plans to go anywhere, and though visitors were scheduled to arrive for the second half of the break, the first days were completely unscheduled. 

Whereas I used to hop on a plane anytime I had time off, these days were different. They were going to be routine, full of parenting and all that entails, and yet I found myself wanting to find a way to mark their difference. I wanted to have an actual break.

So, I decided to read.

Reading has long been one of my truest loves. I like novels, and children’s books, and nonfiction that can teach me about people and history and lives that I don’t know anything about. I appreciate the way that simple words can come together to form sentences, to build paragraphs, to create worlds. Though I appreciate audiobooks and books I can read on my Kindle, I am most endeared to books I can hold in my hand; I like the fact that words become weight. 

When I was pregnant, one of my friends suggested that I come up with a way to stay true to myself, even as I learned to become a mother. She had done the same, through her pregnancies 40+ years earlier, and she had chosen reading as the talisman to herself. It had served her well ever since, she said.

I liked that idea, and chose to earmark writing as the thing I would stay close to, despite the changes in my life. But secretly, I gave myself books, too. When my baby was even smaller than he is now, I found ways to do both, scribbling poems down here and there, downloading books to my phone to read in the middle of the night.

And my friend was right: in the tornado that life becomes with parenting for the first time, I remembered something of who I’ve always been.

So this recent week found me giving myself permission to pick up a novel every time the baby slept, and whenever I had a few minutes to myself. I read one book, then another, falling into a pace that used to be typical for me. I chose to read rather than finish laundry, rather than make a phone call that I needed to make. 

I made tea, and settled into my rocking chair, and found a way to be somewhere else. And even though I never left my town, even though my nights were still interrupted by a little one, I ended the week more rested, and notably more rejuvenated, than I’d been in ages.

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