Although I like to read, often I would rather work on creative projects than spend an afternoon curled up with a book. But there are so many books out there that I want to read and learn from; I often have hard time picking out the next great title (I don't want to waste my precious reading minutes!)
Am I the only one out there who suffers from this book paralysis?
Lately I've been going for non-fiction because is easier to predict than fiction. It also fits better into my small chunks of time in the morning as I get ready for work (my fringe hours!!) because I can't get totally wrapped up in a story.
Here's what I've read lately!
The Fringe Hours by Jessica N. Turner
One thing that I realized from reading this book is that I'm already good at "fringe hours." My mama is good at fringe hours (as I'm sure her mom was before her), and she taught my sister and I to make the most of these small chunks of time. She modeled for us that craft projects/sewing/family time/etc. fuel the soul... dishes/laundry/dusting/cooking can wait.
I'm amazed that the author does as much as she does... work full-time, scrapbook, blog, plan parties, hang out with her kids and husband, wake up early, write a book, etc., etc. But, when I look at my own life from an outsider's perspective, it probably looks just as full. I think that Jessica and I would be good friends in real life.
Jessica, too, has an infant son (in addition to two other kids), and on several podcasts recently, I have heard her explain that her fringe hours look different during babyhood. That... I completely understand! Although I know that a normalcy will return again at some point, I wish I could sit down with her to talk about how to make fringe hours work best during this season of life.
A few inspiring Fringe Hours quotes that I highlighted as I read:
- "A friend once said to me, "If it isn't a heck yes, then it's a no."
- "And by taking care of ourselves and using our talents, we are a blessing."
- "The goal of using your fringe hours well is to take time to do something that rejuvenates your soul."
- "Muller writes in Sabbath: 'Without rest, we respond from a survival mode, where everything we meet assumes a terrifying prominence... Sabbath time may be a Sabbath afternoon, a Sabbath hour, a Sabbath walk - indeed, anything that preserves a visceral experience of life-giving nourishment and rest.'"
- "I prioritize [sleep] over all other tasks - chores, hobbies, everything. It is nonnegotiable, because when I get enough sleep, everything about life is better."
- "I love this Marianne Williams quote: 'Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God.'"
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
It seems every blogger and Instragrammer I follow has been celebrating the life-changing magic of this little book. As I watched them document bag after bag of stuff headed to Goodwill, I, too, wanted in on this decluttering action.
I was very inspired by the KonMari method and am now repeating the question, "Does this bring you joy?" to anyone who will listen. Like most things, I will never be a 100% convert, but I do see a shift in my perspective already. I've made progress on my clothes and tackled my kitchen appliances/utensils/etc., but I haven't yet found the time or energy to tackle the next category... or even to decide what the next category should be! And, although he, too, is making an attempt, I really wish that I could get Rob on board with a major overhaul. That would really help bolster my momentum!
A few inspiring Life-Changing Magic quotes that I highlighted as I read:
- “The best way to choose what to keep and what to throw away is to take each item in one’s hand and ask: “Does this spark joy?” If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.”
- "Tidy by category, not by place."
- "We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of."
- "To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose."
- “Clutter is caused by a failure to return things to where they belong."
So now that I've finished those two books... what's next on my list?
- Baby-Led Weaning... the adventure of solid foods is quickly approaching
- Seamless: Understanding the Bible as One Complete Story... I'm attempting a morning Bible study routine
- Hopefully I can squeeze in some fiction, maybe Girl on the Train or The Goldfinch
- And, of course, many, many repeats of Your First Word Will Be Dada (as seen below)