Reading To Relax

I absolutely love to settle in with a good book. A good digital book on my Kindle that is! I am OBsessed with my Kindle. In fact, when I just look at it I feel myself chill out a little. (I have the new version of the Paperwhite that is waterproof, FYI!) I love that I don’t have to hold the spine or turn the pages with any more effort than a tiny tap – especially if you turn the case sideways and make a little stand like this!

I know there are those of you who LOVE the smell and feel of a real book.

I get that. You are probably the same folks who use a paper planner! I wish I could use paper planners, but I can’t handle making any changes once they are written down, so as a perfectionist, the edit-ability of digital is where it’s at :mrgreen:

Reading is my form of meditation

Reading is one of the few ways I can get my brain to totally shut off its thoughts about to-do lists and life happenings and escape to another world. Since I use reading as an escape, I prefer to ingest nonfiction information in the form of a podcast or documentary. Thus, I mostly read fiction books.

Times when I read

  1. In bed every night, as the last thing I do (literally), and sometimes I only make it 2 minutes
  2. Occasionally on the weekends, say a rainy day when we have no plans and the kids are napping/playing nicely with friends
  3. On vacation, mostly if I’m kid free ????
Sadly, reading is pretty low on my totem pole of priorities. I am working to change that!

Our Evenings

While I could definitely read a page here and there during the day, say, instead of scrolling through Instagram when I have five minutes or playing Toon Blast while nursing, I find it hard to read in such small increments. So ideally I’d find some time in the evenings to read more.

Generally evenings go like this:

5-6 Before dinner chaos, packing lunches, throw in a load of laundry, Mazen shower, make dinner

6-6:30 Family Dinner

6:30-7 Birch bath, dinner clean up, keep Mazen happy

7-7:30 Put Birch to bed (nursing, stories, snuggles)

7:30-8 Usher Mazen towards bed (read stories)

8 Kids usually quiet in rooms

8-9 Watch a show, eat dessert (!), fold laundry

9-9:30 Get ready for bed, tidy up, face routine, talk about our days

9:30... Read

Finding An Extra Hour To Read

See that “Watch A Show” line? We watch a show maybe 4/7 nights of the week. Sometimes more, sometimes a little less. But what I’ve noticed is that if we skip the show, the evening is SO much more relaxing. We mosey upstairs. I might do a face mask. And reading starts a LOT earlier. I read so much more when we don’t watch TV because I’m not so tired when I get in bed. (I also eat less dessert – ha!)

It seems like a no brainer to give up that evening show. I DO enjoying snuggling together on the couch and having a plot to discuss. We have watched some really good shows! But it does seem like the show takes away more than it gives. I can’t decide if it’s worth it to read more to “miss out on some American culture.” (“I wish I read less” – said no one ever. I think that’s my answer.)

Another idea I had: save the shows for the weekends when we stay up a little later and read during the week. Just like I’m saving alcohol for the weekends, the M-Th show-free routine is a great way to split the days.

I’m curious what you guys do, those of you who have partners and those who don’t. How do you spend your evenings?