Pushing Forward Back April/May 2019

The books I read for April 2019, the special breakfasts I had, the “stuff” we got rid of during our town’s Spring Cleanup Week, the movie we watched (Bumblebee) that was a pleasant surprise in a franchise we despise.

April started out with car and doctors’ appointments back-to-back for both me and my wife and then her 49th birthday the first Saturday. We didn’t go to my usual breakfast place for brunch in a neighboring town, but went to a restaurant in our town, with my parents, sister, nephew, and niece surprising my wife there. The food was very good and the company too. Later in the day, we got together with neighbors to play 500 Rummy, with my wife appropriately winning in her first ever win with the neighbors, who are hardcore cardplayers.

Then the month went a little haywire for the next two weeks as I was, and still am, dealing with a badly bruised left knee. After some miscommunication (some admittedly caused by me) and bad customer service experiences at our local health center, I am getting the knee addressed. An X-ray was negative for broken bones, I was given a two week dose of prednisone, and this past week I had an initial assessment at physical therapy. Based on that evaluation, minor injury and probably not anything torn, I was given exercises to do at home and then check in with my primary in six weeks unless it gets worse before then.

The third weekend was a long weekend for me as I took Good Friday off, ostensibly to go to a Good Friday service, but in reality I didn’t. I stayed home and finished Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor, which I had been reading for Lent, and started All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot that I plan on finishing this weekend. Then last Saturday, my plan was to continue my impromptu Easter Triduum Readathon, but I didn’t read at all as the weather, which was supposed to be rainy all or most of the day, took a turn to being nice.

I literally got out of town, went to breakfast at my aforementioned usual breakfast place in a neighboring town, happened upon an Earth Day event in the town’s park, and then came home to put mulch on the side of a driveway we share with a neighbor, much of my energy thanks to the prednisone I was taking. Also thanks to the energy, I ended the month doing a little extra cleaning around the house, including organizing a book shelf.

Books I want to read or reread over the next few months.

May begins with our buying a new lawnmower and then my first mow of the season, which I usually dread, but might dread (and hate) less (slightly less) than normal now with the new mower. Winter is finally over and spring is here – at least in reality. In fake world, winter is still going until at least mid-May with the final season of Game of Thrones, which we are watching and enjoying so far.

Otherwise mid-May should be uneventful for us, leaving me time to adjusting new daily routines that I’ve been attempting to develop in light of my wife and I “giving up” Facebook in March. Since last fall when I started using a CPAP machine, my daily routines already have been changing. Thanks to actually getting rest, I usually now get up earlier than I did, meaning I have more time to do more things than I did before. Those things include reading and walking, especially as my knee improves.

May ends with a three-day holiday weekend, and even though I work on the Tuesday after it, the library where I work is closed that day for staff to work on a few projects we couldn’t otherwise. So basically it will be a four-day break from patrons, which although their presence obviously means job security, it is nice for an introvert like myself to be able to have a chance to breathe without all the extra people…

…bringing me back to my One Word for 2019:

How was your month of April? Read any good books, seen any good movies and/or TV shows, listened to any good music? What was the highlight of your month? What are you looking forward to in May? Share in the comments.

This post is part of The Sunday Salon, that was created in 2007 to spark conversations about books and book-ish things. It now can be found each weekend at the blog Readerbuzz, where you also can post a link to your blog.

Easter Triduum Readathon

I have off work tomorrow, Saturday, and Sunday. I took tomorrow as a vacation day, am not working a Saturday this week, and the library is closed Sunday for Easter. As a result, I am planning my own Easter Triduum Readathon starting tonight and running through Sunday. Tonight, I plan on finishing Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor, which I have been reading for Lent; tomorrow and probably Saturday too, I want to read All Things Wise and Wonderful, the third part (in the U.S.) of the All Creatures Great and Small series by James Herriot; Sunday, I am keeping it light with Don’t Panic: The Official Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Companion by Neil Gaiman.

Tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., I am going to be offline and plan on going to a Good Friday service. I will be reading on a Kindle and am going to be listening to a few playlists of Holy Week music that I found and downloaded to my phone on Google Play Music, but I am not going to be on the Internet for those 12 hours.

Why I can do this is because my wife and I don’t have children, by choice, and aren’t able to go visit family this weekend. She works midnight shift all weekend and she and I both saw my side of the family on her birthday earlier in the month. I also don’t want to be going much of anywhere as I will be taking a new medication, prednisone, only for a 13-day stint, as I am starting physical therapy on Wednesday for a sore knee. I don’t know how it will affect me, although I have been given the litany of what could happen.

The litany includes the helpful advice of “BEFORE USING THIS MEDICINE…TELL YOUR DOCTOR: If you have a herpes infection of the eye. TELL YOUR DOCTOR: If have any of these health problems: A fungal infection or malaria infection in the brain.” Maybe it’s just me, but I think I would telling my doctor anyway if I had an infection IN THE BRAIN!

So both you and I are not too traumatized (only slightly traumatized, in other words, with that last thought hanging out in the back of our brains) I’ll leave you with something hopefully slightly less traumatic in keeping with the season :

Update Sunday morning, 4/21/19, 6:46 AM EDT: I didn’t make the Good Friday service, but did finish Leaving Church and started All Things Wise and Wonderful. Saturday’s plans went sideways, but in a good way as the weather was nicer than expected and the prednisone that I started Thursday morning kicked in and gave me extra energy. Highlights can be found on my Instagram account:
https://www.instagram.com/stillunfinished/. This morning, I am listening to music right now and will be reading Sunday Salon posts (and other blog posts from the past week) before reading more from All Things Wise and Wonderful. I probably won’t get to Don’t Panic today. I probably will dip into The Desert Fathers, the bookmail that I received recently from Deb Nance, the leader of The Sunday Salon. Click through to her blog to see her latest post and link up to the Salon, if you like, with your own post from today or earlier in the week. No Easter service for me because…well…Easter flowers. Sad but true.

If you celebrate Easter, how are you spending your Easter Weekend? If you’re not, what are your plans for this weekend anyway? Do they involve reading? And if they don’t, I’m totally judging you. 😉

How do YOU read?

Or also WHEN do YOU read?

It/they is/are one of, the most often asked question(s) of book bloggers – well, at least by me.

I mean, I follow your blogs and your photos and stories on Instagram, and I see how busy you are with both work and family. Then I see a lot of reviews of books on your blogs and wonder when exactly do you have time to read?

Me? In the large scheme of things, or even in the small scheme, I don’t have that busy a schedule. My wife and I are childless, by choice, and I work at a library, but my hours never are over 35 hours. I usually work one Saturday a month and in the future might work a Sunday a month. Often when I work one Saturday month, I have the Friday before it off because our director doesn’t want any of us to work six days in a row or for most of us to go over 35 hours in a week. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I work early afternoons until 8 p.m. Thursday and Fridays, I work day shift.

Photo by Dom J on Pexels.com
A representation of my “weirdness.”

I still don’t devote that much time to reading each week because I am (by my own admission and my wife’s analysis) weird in that I prefer reading in longer chunks of time. For example, I’m drafting this Friday morning (working tomorrow) and I plan on reading for a few hours this afternoon as my wife, who works night shift, is sleeping. Tomorrow, since I’m working for the middle part of the day, I don’t plan on reading. Sunday, though, I have set aside for reading and commenting on blog posts in the morning and reading in the afternoon, again as my wife is asleep. This week’s selection: All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot.

Now that my wife and I deleted our Facebook accounts, I am finding that I have more time on weekday mornings, especially early in the week, to do other things – than mindlessly scroll through the news feed of mostly people to whom I never talked in real life. So far, I haven’t used the time to read, per se. I have read my morning devotions then; I use the Daily Devotions for Families and Individuals from The 1979 Anglican Book of Common Prayer: “In The Morning” each morning, then “At the Close of Day” each night. I also use the Forward Day by Day Meditation from Forward Movement, a ministry of the Episcopal Church, each morning.

I already have been working on a nightly routine, for example, being off screens and trying to be in bed by a certain time each night. Now I think I need to focus a little more on my morning routine and add some reading time there, especially on the first three days of the week. That said, I am not a (good) polygamous reader so I’ll probably still be sticking to one book at a time, whatever catches my mood or inclination or sometimes what comes in from being on hold at the library.

Briefly, before I sign off, back to my weirdness of only reading in larger chunks of time: In short spurts, my attention is too split. I can’t focus. I feel rushed and I don’t like it. Sometimes I feel that at work and I don’t want to feel that at home too. I’d rather devote a longer stretch of time, preferably at least two hours, if not more, than try to catch reading in between things. I understand that for many of you with children or with other schedules that that reading on the fly is the way you have to read. For me, it just doesn’t work, or at least not very well, when I do try reading in short increments.

So…how about YOU? How or WHEN do YOU read? Please share in the comments or write your own blog post and share the link here. And visit The Sunday Salon either on Facebook or on Deb Nance’s blog Readerbuzz to participate with other book bloggers from around the U.S. and world.