This week I did a thing.
A simple thing.
An unremarkable thing to many.
A thing that isn't a big deal to most.
I read a book.
I read this book in fact.
I started this book in December of 2021.
It was a gift from a Jólabókaflóðið, an Icelandic tradition a friend of mine included me in.
I once left it on the bathroom floor after a bath and the dogs ended up getting bored enough to play with it before I remember to pick it up.
That's why it looks like that.
But regardless, I didn't replace it.
All the pages were surprisingly intact.
It took me over a year.
It's not a difficult book to read. In fact, the language is easy to fly through. The characters are familiar and compelling, and the plot is well paced to hold my interest.
So why did it take me a year to finish it?
Because that's the amount of free time I've had to read it.
In fact, I didn't even have the free time to read it.
I made an appointment with myself to make a habit out of reading it every day.
Even if it was just 2 minutes.
Even if it was just 1 page or paragraph.
Two days ago, I finished the first recreational book I've read in about 7 years.
It's not that I don't like to read.
I actually enjoy it. I love learning from a good writer and creating new fictional characters in my mind. An adept storyteller is priceless.
But it's one example of how challenging it is to make time for my growth when I'm surrounded by the intense needs of others.
As a military wife and a mother, I often misplace my first responsiblity is to my own wellbeing. The intense vaccum of Need that flutters around me constantly often leaves me feeling too
drained to persue anything that doesn't result in keeping the family afloat (emotionally, financially, etc).
My Sailor has known me for about 20 years at this point of my life.
He used to say, "The only thing I'd change about you is I wish you weren't so hard on yourself."
I have no doubt that he'd add to the list, "and you weren't such a responsibility hoarder."
So this tattered, chewed up, completed book is a big accomplishment for me.
It's a tangible reminder that taking time out for me, for fun, for growth - even if it's just a few minutes a day - can add up to big things.