Saturday, October 20, 2012

What's on your bookshelf?


I love books.  I've always loved books.  I love owning books.  I think it's in my DNA, inherited from my mother.

My dad built the house I grew up in and as per my mother's request, every room had two large built in bookshelves the length of the walls.  Our bedrooms were 1/4 bookshelves.  (Full bookshelves.)

When I had a home of my own, a solemn truth revealed itself to me.

There is only so much bookshelf space.  There are only so many walls to fill with bookshelves.

I have made best friends with the library.

Life is like a bookshelf.  There's is a finite amount of space.  You can't keep buying books and buying books and think you'll have room for them, because you won't.

You also can't keep adding commitments, hobbies, activities and tasks and think you'll have room for them.

Because I have finite book space, I evaluate my books fairly often.  Do I still want this book?  Does anyone read it?  Would we mind if it were passed on?  (It's a little easier with books because they're inanimate and don't look at you with pleading in their eyes.)

I need to do the same with my time.  Do I still want this activity?  Does it help any of us?  Would we mind if it were no longer part of our lives?

Because I have finite book space, I think carefully before buying a book.  Is it bookshelf worthy?  What book would I have to get rid of to make room? (It's a little easier with books because they're inanimate and don't look at you with pleading in their eyes.)

I need to do the same with my time.  Is this new request worthy of my time?  What will I have to stop doing to make time for it?

I'm really kind of terrible at this.  I keep saying yes, yes, yes!  I need to have enough space though.  The hard work of analyzing which things to make time for, which things make the most authentic sense, requires all the analysis my little brain can muster.

Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Anna said...

Sometimes I feel like my books are begging to stay! I've done some serious book and schedule paring over the last few years, and I'm so much better for it. And amazingly enough everything just kept on going, which was a hard reminder that maybe I wasn't quite as essential as I thought.

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