Every Tuesday I meet a good friend in our sun room for a knitting session. I am learning to knit. She is an amazing knitter. We knit and have the best conversations about life. I share with her interesting things that I learn from books.
Friend: So, I don’t get it, when do you find time to read?
Me: Hmm…I don’t know…all the time.
I found it difficult to answer this question because my books surround me wherever I am. I have 5 set stations in the house with books being read by me daily. Five minutes here. Three minutes there. You won’t believe how much learning you can get done in small bites.
Let me give you a tour of the house today through my Mama Reading Stations.
By my bed, I have The Divided Mind. What a life changer this book is for me! I have a couple of more pages before its done.
In the upstairs privacy room, I have The Sensory Child Gets Organized. I am just in the beginning but this is supposed to help me with my “smart but scattered” kiddo.
In the kids playroom. They play. I read.
In the first floor privacy room, I am reading the 21 Day Sugar Detox. Can you tell I am on a mission to get healthier?
She listens to audio books while she cleans the kitchen. Here is my audio book station – right there on the kitchen counter – where I am currently listening to Geneen Roth’s Take Back Your Life.
I think its a combination of things.
1. I grew up in a household where my father had a different book waiting for him in every room. In fact, he still does all these years. In the bedroom he would read books about the human body and medicine. In his study, he would have books on electricity and technical know-how. In the living room, a book on the history of WWII. He was like a book nomad, wandering from book to book. Always learning. I guess I got bitten by the bug. Surprisingly, I didn’t read many books until I reached the age of 25 or so.
2. I think that I am a solution seeker. I think complaining about a problem without going out there and finding solutions in order to change it is just a waste of time and energy. I don’t have time and energy to waste on complaining. The solutions exist. I just need to find them.
3. I assume that for every single problem in family life or my personal life or professional life that arises, someone has thought about and confronted in the past and probably wrote about. So, I just need to find it. None of my problems are out of the ordinary. We are all humans. Someone out there has experienced this and wrote about it so I am going to find it!
4. I see – really really see – how every single books changes me and influences my life tremendously. I am a better mom because of books. I feed my family better because of books. I am a better world citizen – because of books. So, how can I *not* invest time in this absolute treasure that the human being has created. Books are tremendous.
I love other Ever-Learning Mamas. I seek them out – and when I bump into one. Its magic. It feels like I am meeting a soul-sister.
How to become an Ever-Learning, Solution-Seeking Mom
1. Think of a challenge from your family life, personal life or professional life that is really troubling you. For example, temper tantrums of a child or tense relations with your partner.
2. Open up Amazon.com and start searching for keywords related to your problem.
3. Make a list of relevant titles that could help you with your problem.
4. Order the books online or (better yet) – order them from your library’s catalog online.
5. Place the book in a strategic place in the house which you know you may get a chance to read for 2-5 minutes daily. Restrooms are the best. By your bed is another good one.
6. If you know – you just know – that you won’t be able to read the book – not even for a couple of minutes each day- get the audio book and set up a CD player in the kitchen. I mean, you have to do the dishes at least once a day, right? Well, why not work towards solving a problem of yours while you sweep the kitchen and tidy the stove top. You can cover a lot of ground. Believe me. I do it daily. Important to note that the kids will be able to hear it as well. There are pluses and minuses to that but be selective with what you are listening to out loud because they are listening as well.
Okay, enough writing for today. I have books just begging for my return! The kids are in martial arts with Dad. Baby and toddler are sleeping. I know it may be just a few minutes of reading but I am filling my toolbox with tools I can use today. And that feels tremendous.
Seek solutions, Moms. You know where to find them now.