Giving In or Giving Up?


thanks to http://www.iscute.com (spelling sucks, but good sentiment!)

In my massive boredom, I made a decision that may come back and bite me on the bum. I decided to admit to my addictions, and allow them to flourish. I don’t know whether this is giving up (in the sense that I am no longer struggling against the addictions in my life) or giving in (meaning that I am allowing my addictions free rein to express themselves.) There may not be a big difference here – it’s all just semantics. As is my life. What “addictions,” specifically, am I talking about?  AND is addictions really the right word? Regardless, there are three primary ones that I have tried, lo these many years, to control. They are:

1. Reading and/or rereading whatever I want

2. Writing whenever I feel like it – or not

3. Enjoying the internet and all its permutations

What does all that mean, anyway? It means that 1. If I don’t want to read a book (for review, or that I got from the library, or that is on NY Times best seller list or that I actually paid cash money for…) I WON’T! There is no benefit in reading something you don’t enjoy, that doesn’t enrich or challenge you in some way, or that inspires you to continue reading the author. There have been books I have put down and not finished, and those nag at me. I didn’t like Water for Elephants, for instance, or Alice I Have Been. Yes, I love circuses, and I enjoyed Alice in Wonderland, but these novels left me cold – usually before page 50. Just because others’ enjoyed them, and found them worthy doesn’t mean I will. And that’s okay! I don’t generally read romances, but when I do, I don’t want to hide the book inside the covers of War and Peace, or justify my reading choice. I have actually learned some interesting things from romance novels – particularly historicals! I really love to re-read, which often garners me some holier-than-thou remarks along the line of “life is too short to reread books” or “I didn’t think that was a good book the first time I read it!” Well, I reread certain books because I loved the way they made me feel, the way the author put words together, the subject fascinated me, and I want to reaffirm my affinity with the author or the topic. Susan Wittig Albert, Laurie R. King, Sarah Addison Allen, Agatha Christie, Jacqueline Winspear, Barbara Cleverly, the list goes on and on.

Visit http://www.laurierking.com for more of the great Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series!

When I pick up Locked Rooms by Laurie, I re-enter the world of San Francisco during the 1906 earthquake. Raised 40 minutes from San Francisco, it is “THE City” to me. I love to read about it in all its permutations! And I reread Listening Valley by D.E. Stevenson EVERY YEAR. It is a tradition for me, and one I love.I am not going to give that up just because there are new books out every day! I like staying grounded with my favorites, as well as broadening my reading experiences to include new favorites!

2. In February (I think) I wrote a blog every day, with a focus (one day on books, one day on family etc.) and I enjoyed it. But somehow, having to do it (at least, in my head) made it less enjoyable. Although I can ALWAYS find something to write about, some days I just don’t wanna! I am revisiting that whole concept, with the idea of blogging more about books, and reviews, and I think I will do that, but don’t expect regular posts! Although I am really bored with my life right now, I imagine my audience (however meager) really doesn’t want to hear my sotto voce remarks. Not that sotto voce is a regular speaking voice for me! Being Hard of Hearing generally means that when I whisper (or talk to myself, or go sotto voce) I am actually talking in normal tones! ANYWAY. Blogging and Reviews is about all I do in the way of writing these days. I had an idea for a memoir the other day, which I might pursue. About my parents. We will see what comes of that!

3. I really like the Internet. I have been on the W3 since the early to mid 1990s. We bought our first computer when my daughter was four. (She is 31 now!) The only chat rooms available to me then were through AOL or mIRC. Both are still available today, although I moved on, through other chat mediums, and into site-sponsored chats, such as I-Village, where I co-hosted the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing chat and forum for several years with dear Canadian friend Joyce Haddad. (Joyce and I met online. We have only been together in real life for one week or so out of the dozen years or so we have been friends!) Now Facebook is my medium, although I rarely chat, one-on-one, but enjoy posting, joking and making new friends with a plethora of different people from all over the world. And believe me, I have dear friends that I have met online.

Lovely friend Rabia helped me through my years as a mother of teens, and we eventually became neighbors, in real life, for several years. Precious years! Other friends, Drake, Madi, Susan, (Sid!) Rhys, Gabby and many more, are people whom I have never met. But I would help them in a heartbeat if I could afford the airfare and they needed me! Our ties? Hobbies or collections or similarities that brought us together, at first, and then bound us together in friendship. FB also allows  me to keep in touch with friends and former co-workers with which time and space have separated.

Moreover, I can’t watch a movie without my computer at hand, for http://www.imdb.com will allow me to find out more about an actor, a cult TV series, or answer the “where in the hell have we seen that actor before?” question. I have SO enjoyed my genealogy explorations, that would have been impossible only 20 years ago, because now such a vast body of data is available on any one of a dozen excellent internet genealogy websites. W3 has educated me, entertained me, allowed me to keep in touch wherever I go (I write two of my sisters every day via email) and allow me to expand my horizons and my friendships. Is it time-consuming? You Bet. But I am coming to terms with that being okay. Anything that enriches my life is a good thing, as far as I can see!

Your secret self! Unlock and enjoy!

So what does this mean to YOU, my noble, long-suffering readers? Probably not much. I am hoping you will reevaluate your own secret selves – accept those things that don’t harm others, and that will allow you to live a life more free of ridiculous societal and PERSONAL restrictions that don’t make sense. Of course you will be greatly relieved to know that I still shower regularly, wear my dentures and bra in public (MOST of the time) and even force myself to shave under my arms and my legs on occasion so that no one gets grossed out! Guess I still have some more personal things to work through, huh?

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About ReaderWoman

Professional reader and researcher for writers - Reviewer and Editor for online book review sites - AVID reader (well, duh!) writer, crafter (sewing, jewelry, fiber art) photographer, herb gardener, love to learn new things - Married 3842 years, 2 "kids" (now 34 and 36) and two grands (13 and 15) Born and raised California Girl, with stints in Tennessee, learning to speak Southern, and Arizona, learning that living in a trailer is NOT fun! Enjoy conversations with wine and chocolate, long walks and being with hubby and family. Life is good!
This entry was posted in Personal Ramblings, ~ Relax ~. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Giving In or Giving Up?

  1. susanideus says:

    I can identify with so much you say here. What I’m not good at is the letting go part– and that’s getting in my way. Did you ever read Adriana Trigiani’s Stone Gap series? Ave Maria struggles her whole life with letting go of the past and the unimportant–and hanging on to and cherishing what is vital and in the present. I’m a lot like that–and I want to say “enough already” and just get on with life. But, right now, I just feel stuck…

    • ReaderWoman says:

      I know what you mean, truly. We have to learn to trust our instincts and get out of our own way! I have never read the Stone Gap series – but I am going to seek it out, thank you for the recommendation. I feel stuck too, even now, and I believe for us both (you and me that is!) it has to do with this particular time in our lives; on the viability of our lifestyles, the struggle with finances in an uncertain economy, and an earnest desire to BE more than we perceive ourselves as. Bad grammar, but you know what I mean! Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, I really appreciate that affirmation of friendship and the value of blogging my thoughts!

  2. Madi Creekmore says:

    Enjoyed and reminisced along with you and also commiserate with your feelings. I’ve come to the conclusion that anything we do that brings us joy and makes us have those joyful vibrations is what we need to be doing with our lives all the way thru them. It takes us so many years to get over the need to have approval from others that we might waste a few years doing what doesn’t give us joy. So, if you don’t feel like writing a blog, don’t do it – but don’t not do it for too long or we’ll miss you. I wish I had the discipline to write a blog everyday! Love ya a whole bunch, Madi

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Well, I DON’T have the discipline to do it daily – which is why I now give myself permission to write when the muse hits! Love ya too – hope you are living the good life, not merely surviving!

  3. Deb says:

    Actually this just makes sense, right? Neither giving in nor giving up, but giving yourself permission to deny the ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ that serve no purpose. GOOD for you!

    • ReaderWoman says:

      shoulda, coulda, woulda, man, those three drag me down – I feel freer having made the conscious choice to at least let most of the exterior pressures (or the ones I perceive, although they might only be in my head!) get to me, and just be a leaf in the wind! Did you ever see the series Firefly? (That leaf in the wind line is one a character in that series says…)

  4. Wonderful post! I like your brand of addiction. And I can totally relate to everything you’ve said here.

    • ReaderWoman says:

      Thanks! It is a bit liberating, letting go of things that someone has dictated “has to be.” Now I can ask myself how “I” feel about something and go from there!

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