Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Staying Home With Books

After a week or so of our quarantine, I began to feel out of sorts. When I scrolled through my Facebook or Instagram feed it seemed like everyone was having so much fun while sheltering at home. Baking homemade bread. Cleaning out closets. Working in the yard. Preparing themed meals. Watching hours of Netflix. In general--getting lots of things done! Personally, my life had not changed much except that I was not driving the kids to activities 3 days a week or going to church services 3 times a week. Our homeschool load and my housework responsibilities stayed the same, and so I did not suddenly find myself with large pockets of time to fill.

Or so I thought. 

I had a pity party for a couple of days, and then I began to take a closer look and find the blessings of being at home all the time. Actually, I did have extra time in my day. Driving to and from those activities plus the time while they were doing the things did take lots of time. Running errands and buying groceries did take lots of time. And now that I was home all day, every day with no interruptions, I found that I could do some extra and fun things too!

Two fun and rewarding activities have been worked into my day almost every single day since mid-March. These are things that I was not doing consistently or spending large amounts of time on before sheltering at home.

Reading and Walking.

(It's a long story why I am not running anymore, and that's another blog post.)

I realized that walking up and down my driveway was great therapy. I had time to do it for thirty minutes each morning before we began school because (1)we were starting school later than normal since we did not have activities to get to at the end of the school day and (2) I did not need to allow time to shower, blow-dry my hair, and put on makeup because--no outside the house activities!

I also found that I can walk again for thirty minutes or more either during our lunch break or when I am done teaching for the day, usually by 1:30 or 2:00. And, many afternoons or nights, either before or after supper, Jimmy and I are walking for 20-30 minutes.  All those minutes of walking are adding up, and I feel so much better for doing it! I am closing the rings on my watch again. Yay!

An even bigger benefit is that when I am walking alone, usually an hour or more each day, I listen to audio books. I am on my third audio book, all listened to while walking up and down my driveway!
First I listened to The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. (9 hours, 53 minutes). Next, I finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. (I had about 13 hours left in that book). Beginning in March of 2019, Leah, Sam, and I have listened to all of the Harry Potter books whenever we were in the car. We were about halfway through book 7 when the coronavirus came, and suddenly we were not in our car anymore! Leah and Sam both finished reading it at night, but I decided to finish it on Audible while walking.  I am now listening to The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall. It is 10 hours, 50 minutes, and I have 8.5 hours left. 
Sometimes I listen to podcasts for a little while in between book chapters or books, but mostly I have listened to books. It has been most enjoyable!

Another blessing of extra time I have found is reading books. I am reading at least two books at a time in addition to my audio book--one on my iPad kindle app and one that is a hardback or paperback. I make time almost every afternoon to sit outside and read, and I also read in bed each night.

Here are the books I have read since the beginning of January, with most of them being completed since March:
Tending Roses by Lisa Wingate
The Guardians by John Grisham
Send Down the Rain by Charles Martin
The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
Never Say Never by Lisa Wingate
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
On the Bright Side by Melanie Shankle
The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett
Hannah Coulter by Wendall Berry (a reread)
The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Don't Overthink It by Anne Bogel

I am currently reading:
Greensleeves by Eloise Jarvis McGraw
The Language of the Sycamores by Lisa Wingate

Books I have just purchased and are ready to be read next:
Camino Winds by John Grisham
Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
The Accidentals by Minrose Gwin

Melanie Shankle's timely released book, On the Bright Side, reminded me to do just that. One big bright side of being home all the time is lots of time for reading---and walking.

1 comment:

  1. I am the same way: I certainly don't feel like I suddenly have a ton of free time to just sit around and feel bored! I'm cooking, cleaning, laundering, and teaching a lot. But I AM enjoying not going somewhere 4 days a week for extracurriculars; I've turned that time into more reading, working on a Disney album from our trip last year (!), LOTS of gardening, and starting to paint some furniture. I think I just enjoy projects. :) And that's a good thing.

    I walk every day too--it's the best!