This week was suppose to be all about hydrating the body. Something I’m awful at. On a good day I average roughly 4 cups of fluid per day in the form of tea, water, smoothie and an occasional alcoholic beverage.
But during week 10 that falls between March 13 and the 19th, I’ll be making the 16 hour round trip trek to Pennsylvania to memorialize the matriarch of our family, my Aunt Joan. She passed away from aggressive Stage 4 pancreatic cancer a few weeks ago. And yes, that’s her in the picture above.
Since this is my challenge, thus my rules, I’ve opted for week 10 not to be about stopping in the car every few hours to pee or about making sure I’m not eating X after her memorial service.
I’ve decided to use this week for something that brings me joy.
And that’s reading.
This past week for Catholics and some Christians around the world, the lenten season began. (I say some because growing up I was of no denomination but we still observed lent). I’ve signed up to receive daily videos for “The Best Lent Ever.” These short less than 5 minute videos were created by Matthew Kelley, author of Resisting Happiness. He has an Irish brogue so I’m hooked. It’s a pretty good use of 5 minutes. Feel free to check it out here.
On day 2, he tells you to name 3 things that make you happy.
And I must admit, when I did this I just stared at a blank piece of paper. Feeling a slight loss of identity of being able to define exactly what makes me happy. 3 kids have a way of doing that.
The first thing I put down was READ.
Then I had visions of being curled up on the couch all cozy reading. In solitude. Quiet. Reading what I wanted to read.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s lots of reading happening in this household, but mostly of the Pinkalicious or Facebook post kind.
I overheard a conversation among an evening of friends the other night where a mom said to another, how much she missed reading but just didn’t have the time. I could feel myself secretly joining in their conversation with my own thought bubbles of “Oh heck yes. There ain’t no time for that anymore.”
But then there was a flashback from this exact conversation I had a few years ago with a very wise friend who said “If it’s important enough to you, you’ll figure it out.” I finished The Night Circus 4 weeks after that talk.
So now I’m coming back to the same place I was a few years ago. I want to read. And not because of the challenge and discipline it will require to read a book in a week (or maybe longer).
I want to read because it makes me happy.
Mr. Kelly puts it so poignantly “We want to be happy but we don’t do the things that make us happy because we’re too busy trying to be happy.” (feel free to read that sentence again).
I can’t help but think my aunt was putting off happiness to build up her financial nest a little more before she retired. All the travel she postponed. The books she never got to.
Do you know what makes you happy? If reading makes the top 3, put down your phone, your work, the remote, grab a book and join me March 13-19th. And in the meantime, toss me suggestions of books you love below or via facebook.com/KimLeneghan. So far I have it narrowed down to 3 but could be easily persuaded.
I hear it’s great. I just don’t know if I want to cry.