The Ugly Growing Next to Our Bed

Monday, June 7, 2010

Every time I reach over and turn out my night-light, I spy something ugly. It started as a smallish thing at first (over a year ago), but now it is completely grown and spread out, morphed into this detestable thing. And it mocks me most nights. Then in the morning, when I’m ready to jump into the day, I see it trying to give me the eye. Ignore it … or at least I try to.

It’s my reading stack. The magazines and books that I have piled up with full intentions of reading. I just Do. Not. Have. Time. And tossing the magazines or re-shelving the books, all sporting their thin coats of dust? Not gonna happen. Just can’t bring myself to do it, no matter how mean the stack starts looking. I’ve become quite used to the mini mountain, actually. It’s been around for so long, sometimes I even wish it “goodnight.”

I’ve spoken to other mothers and most of them have this same complaint. They barely have time to read an e-mail, much more a 2,000-word magazine piece.  Mind you, we’re all reading bedtime stories. These small, square board books with, what, 20 words? Perfectly perfect.

Then a few weeks ago, I read something on Twitter from a food blogger mom. I don’t know this mom that well. I do know that she has two daughters and works from home as a food editor most of the week. A lovely woman who always has something yummy to show and tell from her collection of recipes. But what caught my attention about this particular missive was how much she was able to get done this one day. (And convey it in just 140 characters, including a link to a Twitpic of her latest food creation—just so you know that she’s not faking the funk. She is quite legit with her food flair.)

I started to feel bad complaining about my trifling pile of literature. This woman was making things from scratch that I didn’t know could be homemade! I’m sure she has time to read volumes of books … just before she plants a banana tree in the flower bed outside her window, plucks the ripe fruits three hours later and makes 18 loaves of perfect banana bread that were, of course, baked in non stick pans that she made from some heavy gauge aluminized steel that she had lying around the pantry.

But then my husband reminded me that, hey, I do quite a bit, too. Comparing myself to her is futile. Plus, we don’t know this other mother’s full story, how she juggles it all … or not.  And, more important, we have no idea about the state of the hideous reading stack next to her bed.

1 Comment
  • 1
    40 but likes to think she's 28 says:

    Don’t compare what others do in a day (or what you *think* they do in a day) to yourself!

    I’m starting to accept that it’s a full-time job just “being here” sometimes. Everyone fits in what they can – whether it’s a full-time out of the house job, a freelance gig at a magazine, a blog, or some combination of the three. Or, like me, none of the three anymore. It’s a tough transition, and it’s extra tough to look around and see Super Woman everywhere you turn (I’m in MTC also).

    I’ve been in the middle of three books for close to a year now. When I get a chance to actually read a few pages, I’m extremely proud of myself (Note to self: Do NOT re-read Lessing right now!). But I have to admit, re-reading Stellaluna, Curious George, and the Dragon stories is pretty nice, too.