I have finally found my reading groove!
It was in hibernation for the last five years while I struggled to find time to fit other life priorities. It wasn’t until I retired last May that I realized the extent of stress in my life. In fact, I am certain if there was an image to represent “burn out” in the dictionary, my mugshot would be front and center.
While these past nine months have been a welcome relief, for the first time in my life I seem to have difficulty focusing. It is as though the day-to-day work schedule helped to keep me in line: I knew what I needed to accomplish and I did it. Now that I have freedom, I am not quite sure which activity to pursue first.
This lack of focus – inability to see a project to completion – has been frustrating. And yet, I think it is part of the necessary transition from a human doing to a human being. And over the past couple of weeks, I have learned to accept this process.
To that end, I have started to read again. To read for fun, not for educational purposes. I now read without pencil in hand; I no longer have to underline key passages and write insights in the margin. I simply read to enjoy. And it has been DELIGHTFUL (my word for 2015).
Books that I have enjoyed over the past two weeks include:
- 11/22/63 by Stephen King
- The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
- Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Maddix
- The Unwanteds by Lisa McMann
- Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Rescue on the Oregon Trail by Kate Messner
- The Shadows by Jacqueline West
- The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
- The Phantom of the Tollbooth by Norton Juster
- The Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning
Over the next few days I will write short book reviews of these 10+ novels I have read. I am SO looking forward to returning to the book blog community – I have missed you all!
I will also use this blog to discuss my writing endeavors. I am still working on First Impressionism, a Middle Grade historical fiction novel set in Paris circa 1880. But I am also working on Milestone Memoir, an idea I have of marrying one photograph from my past with a personal essay to leave a life legacy for my descendants. There may be other fiction and non-fiction works thrown in as well.
Additionally, the retired life is affording me the opportunity to travel – my heart’s desire since I was in second grade. I will certainly document the trips I take, as well as share a few photographs of the special places I have visited.
And lastly, the Nook is also a place of creativity. I enjoy paper crafts of all kinds including rubber stamp greeting cards and family scrapbooks. I am sure to share a few of these artistic endeavors with you.
I left this blog 2.5 years ago because I felt like a fraud. I began My Cozy Book Nook to be a part of the book blogging community and yet over time, few of my posts discussed literature. While many of you encouraged me to stay, I could not live with the deceit.
But recently I have come to realize that my Nook at home is more than a place to read. As the blog tagline now states, it is a place where I retreat not only to read, but also to write, meditate, and create. If the physical space can allow for that kind of diversity, I think the blog can too.
I feel as though I am the prodigal daughter, but I am now home. And it feels good.