Wednesday afternoon. It’s raining. Dogs are napping at my side. Must-do list is nearly must-done. Perfect time to pick up the excellent British detective novel I am reading.
But I can’t.
I cannot read on Wednesdays.
Or I mean, I can read; I know how to read, I love to read, I have always been a voracious reader.
Just not on weekdays.
Reading is for nights just before bed or during vacations.
That was the rule I lived by during my worker-bee years.
Reading just for pleasure was always saved for bedtime. A few pages, a chapter, before my husband would crab at me – “lights off!”.
(yes, the kindle paperlight has improved my marriage.)
The best time to read was always on vacation.
I would save up books for weeks in advance.
Just looking at the growing pile would increase my anticipation of the week off where I would get to read every day during daylight hours! Savoring at least 2, maybe, 3 or 4 books a week.
Did I mention I am also a fast reader?
With tastes ranging from detective novels to political history to spy fiction to women’s literature.
Nothing better than the prospect of a new book by a favorite author!
Yet, here I am – “working from home” – finding my way into 2nd stage life after years of lawyering – and have the time to read on a Wednesday afternoon – but I can’t.
It is not as if I come from a strong puritan background. All work and no pleasure, no, that wasn’t me, isn’t me.
Although I grew up in Connecticut, let’s just say my family was more Ellis Island than Plymouth Rock.
Yet the pleasure of reading was always something I saved up for after all the work was done.
The daytime work at the office, the evening work of raising a family and making sure food was on the table, the nighttime of making to-do lists for the next day.
And so it went for years.
Now my office is at home, the kids are now adults, my husband has learned to feed himself and my chores are no longer so numerous.
Since I’ve left lawyering, I have started a business, joined a board, signed up to volunteer, taken classes and thought a lot about exercising more often.
So here it is on Wednesday afternoon. Raining, dogs napping. Email up to date. Twittered, facebooked, blogged.
And yet, and yet, why I can’t dip back into that excellent British detective novel I started last night?
Because it is 100% enjoyment.
Weekdays are for work, my head still says.
No, don’t be ridiculous, you’ve earned it, my heart says, grab that book!
The battle has begun.