Thursday, July 12, 2018

Do what you love Blog

I'm often asked how I find the time to read. Or how I read so many books in so little time. Do I ignore my children? Is my house a mess? Are we all running around in dirty clothes because I didn't do the laundry? There is always somewhat of a negative connotation in the tones people use when they ask where I find the time. Well, here's my secret guys.......ready for it?.....Well, I'm sorry, but there really isn't one. I read quickly. Very quickly. Would you like an example? Yesterday I downloaded two of Kobo's free romance novels (about 250-300 pgs each) and finished them both yesterday. If I read continuously I could have knocked one of those books out in an hour and a half to two hours. But I didn't. Even between reading I lived my life, I spent time with my kids, I did laundry, I made breakfast and lunch and did some housework, we took the kids to soccer and dropped our oldest off at a friends for a sleepover. I was a parent. Until bedtime. My other half left to go to "game night" (yes, he's a big adorable nerd) and I read a book in two hours before going to bed. 

Reading has always been my most beloved hobby. I remember being a child of about 9/10 at the book fair in my public school, I took my chosen book (Lurlene McDaniel's Don't Die My Love) to the librarian at the check out and she refused to sell it to me because she said that children my age "cannot read novels". As if I were incapable of finishing it. She told me to put the book back and come back with my parents if I wanted to purchase it so they could vouch for me. I was upset to say the least, but some older kid who happened to be friends with one of my cousins had seen me reading other novels before and told the librarian that those were the size of books he had always seen me reading. Only then would she allow me to buy it, with a strict warning that she would not allow the return of the book if I decided it was too much for me to read. I still have that book and I still love it, but don't reread it as much because it breaks my heart every time.

I feel that any adults with hobbies that other people can't relate to get immediately judged. Case in point, my nerdy other half. He is 36 (I know you're all probably pretty surprised that a spring chicken like myself is with such an old man. Haha. Love you babe!) and he has always loved video games. When we met he was big into World of Warcraft (something he has taught me to enjoy over the years). He's gone through stages of games with his Xbox, Playstation and PC and has recently graduated his group of gaming friends from board games to Dungeons & Dragons. Yep, he is that nerdy. But anytime I mention his hobby to people we don't know well or at all, I can see them instantly brand him as a "man-child" and let me tell you, I am the only one allowed to make fun of him. I get instantly offended when people automatically assume that because he plays video games he's an absent father, or he must have some sort of dead end job (seriously, how are those things even related?!?) and our relationship must suffer from him ignoring me all the time to play games. None of the preconceived notions that people have about him, an adult who loves video games, is true. He is a very hands-on dad who almost single handedly financially supports our family. And while we experience the same ups and downs I assume every couple in a relationship goes through, very rarely do our issues have anything to do with his gaming or my reading. 

Another thing I'm sometimes asked about is how I can afford all the books I read, just as I'm sure my other half is asked how he can afford the games he plays. He and I are both so involved in the culture of our hobbies that we subscribe to newsletters, blogs, Facebook groups, enter giveaways, and know where to find free books and games. These things are not a secret and are readily available for anyone who wants to indulge. We are a family of five, and we are aware of our financial limitations. We do not buy every book or game that we want because we can't afford to. We both keep an eye on release dates for the things we want most and we save/budget for them. We give each other books and games as gifts. We have come to understand that we have hobbies that have the ability to become very expensive, but we don't allow them to. We have other financial priorities that must be put first and we accept that.

I think a major theme in this blog post is when the hell did it become okay for society to blatantly question people about the way they choose to spend their time and money? Why is it anyone else's concern if I spend many hours per week reading or if my man-child other half plays video games? Who are we hurting? When did it become unacceptable for adults to have interests and hobbies outside of their family life? Did having children automatically mean that we were supposed to have given up part of who we are? And when did reading as an adult become a bad thing? Are we not encouraged to read to our children and in front of them as sort of a 'monkey see, monkey do' experience? Well, regardless of what the judgmental people of the world think I hope that none of you ever stop doing what you love. Hobbies are a great outlet for your creativity and they help keep us all sane.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment!

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