I have fallen out of the habit of reading books. It doesn’t matter if they are digital or paper based, I just couldn’t seem to stay focused enough to read. I have a lifelong friend who was saying much the same. We discussed how the easy reading and instant consumption of small amounts of data on smart phones, or computers had usurped our ability to sit down with a book or magazine and read. Ugh.
In September, I went to Georgia and spent some time reading a book that I still haven’t finished. It’s a good book, and I’m enjoying it. But I need to wean myself off the electronic smorgasbord that is my cellphone with it’s instant, colorful and auditory input. I happened across an interesting article you can read here. I have to admit, I’m completely in agreement that I feel paper is better than digital and I also do tend to print out text I want to really study and understand rather than read it on a screen.
Similarly, writing has taken a hit. You only have to see the long stretches of no content, and read the clunky style to know I haven’t been writing in my blog or my journal. For the past 6-12 years the majority of my writing was in the form of emails to parents, or letters with information for events. And more often than not, those were heavily edited before being released. Sometimes the edits would be great, and clarified the content. Sometimes the edits were not great and removed my intent, and many times, my voice.
Oddly enough I remember many years ago, when I first started working with my boss, she used to be distressed when someone in the office edited her emails, removing her intent and even more frustrating, her voice. I had become so disenfranchised that I wasn’t doing my best work. Why should I? I could work for hours on something and most of the time, it would be reformatted, edited and greatly changed. Eventually, it started to feel like nothing I did was ever “good enough” or “right”, which I know was never her intent, but I let it get to me.
In July I retired and have been busy since. One of the things I wanted to do was to go hide somewhere where there were no expectations of me. Just a quiet place to sit and read and write and do all that processing and decompressing. I had chosen a cruise, but that didn’t quite work out, so I’m going to an all inclusive resort instead. I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to get back into the swing of things. I guess time will tell.