Book Store Dread

My mother in law, who is kind enough to watch my baby while I’m at work, asked me to stop at the book store to pick something up for her before I come home today.  The Liz of six months ago would have said, “Of course!” and wandered the aisles for hours, stroking the spines, picking up what she’d asked for and then some.

But although I said yes today (because of course I said yes today) I thought, “Ugh.  It’s so far.  It will take so long.”  Not like me at all.

I want to be clear–the book store is NOT far.  It is ten minutes past my school, a total of 25 minutes from home.  It is not far.  And it will not take me a long time.  I will go in, give them my name, and pick up her book.  I will be back in my car in five minutes or less.  This errand is not really a pain.

Nor should I think it’s a pain even if it takes me hours to get there and hours to get the book!  I love books and I love book stores.  So why did I respond to her request with such dread?

Time.  Before I had a baby, only five months ago, my time was my own.  I could go where I wanted, do what I wanted.  Now I have to be home by 4:30 to relieve my mother in law (so she can go relieve her dog).  Which means I have an hour and a half to myself after school.  Subtract the 25 minute commute and I have one hour and five minutes to do whatever I can get done in that time.  Most days I stay after school, planning or grading or straightening.  Sometimes I grab a coffee with friends.  Today I was hoping to run some errands, go to the gym, or get a quick glass of wine with friends.  Celebrate the end of the week in some way.

There’s still a chance I’ll be able to do that.  But I probably won’t.  I’ll probably get to the book store, pick up her book, wander around for a bit, and head home.  I’ll need to bundle the baby to grab groceries when I get home, and forget about the gym or the wine.  But I’m hoping that when I get to the book store my dread will disappear.  That I’ll wander the stacks, if only for a few minutes, and maybe pick something up for the weekend.  I’m hoping that the dread I felt initially, which was so foreign to me–dreading a book store?–will dissipate when I get there.  A lot of my free time is spent mindlessly surfing the internet or playing on my phone.  Maybe it’s time I take a visit to the book store and make time for the things I love instead of dreading them.



Filed under Books, SOL16, Uncategorized

8 responses to “Book Store Dread

  1. I can totally empathize with your blog post today. Time becomes so precious when you become a parent. We have the same amount as we always did, but it gets divided up with so many more demands. Things that used to be so pleasurable can become burdensome. (and we do need some “mindless” activities) You are certainly immersed in the flux of change. I’m hoping your trip to the bookstore ended up being more pleasurable than you anticipated. Here’s to the things you love!!

  2. Dropping by the library or bookstore is something I tend to treat myself to during that precious time between teaching and parenting. But I totally hear you on feeling resentful of anything that gobbles up that precious time, even though I am just as likely to waste time online as to use my free time for meaningful activities. Kids change EVERYTHING. Worth it, but undeniably the reality.

  3. Yes, “me” time is squeezed out in those baby days and I remember sometimes feeling like there was no “me” anymore. I hope you ended up finding some pleasure in the bookstore and appreciate you sharing your noticing.

  4. I can hear your frustration right now, but as I posted yesterday, time flies quickly. My baby boy turned 24 yesterday. And I have to really try to remember the days of being tired. The days of having no time for myself. Not even to go to the bathroom. As hard as it is, cherish this time. I promise it is gone in the blink of an eye!! You got this, momma!!

  5. Rita K.

    Babies change lives! I know…I had five of them. They are grown now, but that period of my life taught me to appreciate opportunities to do what you want when you want. Great post…savor this time because it doesn’t last long.

  6. Well, I’m not a mother yet, but I do still need my “me” time! I’m sure writing this out help to get that feeling out, and by the time you get home it’ll be gone! I hope you do get to get to some of those other things you wanted to do. 🙂

  7. I love book stores and books, too, but I, too, have found that I have devoted more time to my phone, to wandering the web, and to social media lately than to books. I’m making a conscious effort to turn that around.

    As a mother of three (32, 30, and 19 years old), I can relate to the need for time for yourself and the feeling that you always have something to do and somewhere to be as a part of taking care of others. Before you know it, though, your children will be grown and they won’t need looking after. Enjoy it while they do.

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