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.