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that’s what she wore ~ plus a whole lot of my current life story, which is really a lot of rambling about reading books and other mostly harmless addictions

rolled jeansI’ve always known I have an addictive personality, meaning {according to my definition} that I have a tendency to get addicted to things.  This is why I never started drinking until I was twenty-five {well, this and an unhealthy dose of Baptist upbringing ;)}, because I was afraid if I ever started I might never stop.  At the age of twenty-five, I finally realized that if I’d have enough self-control to not drink {even while hanging out around much drinking}, then maybe I had enough self-control to not become an alcoholic.  While that remains to be proven, I guess, so far it’s working out okay for me.

On the other hand, I don’t currently or haven’t in the past fared so well with the addictive tendencies in some areas, including but not limited to, the following: food, extreme eyebrow grooming, my love life aka certain guys who shall remain nameless, and reading books.  Yes, reading books; which is really the topic on which I wish to dwell today.  I have an ongoing struggle when it comes to my love of {aka: addiction to} reading.  {Same story as my non-love-life, but really, who wants to read about that?  And even if anyone did, I don’t really want to write about it.  Except, obviously, for mentioning it in melancholy and ironic and mostly very sarcastic ways as often as I can sneak it into other posts which are decidedly not about my non-love-life.}  Now, where were we?  My struggle with reading goes like this, and has for most of my life as far as I can remember: I choose a book to read that seems interesting to me.  I start reading it.  I don’t stop until I finish it.  Literally.  As in, all other reasonable activities, such as sleep, housework, actual work, etc., seem suspended in time, as if I am incapable of continuing on with my own life until I have neatly or not so neatly wrapped up the life of whoever I am reading about in my chosen book.  The only exception to this is when I sometimes become so tired that I cannot force my eyes to keep functioning any longer, so I go to sleep and finish the book as soon as possible the next day.

I am not exaggerating or being dramatic, I promise.  Here’s a true life story, which happened last night/this morning, and prompted this long-winded post in the first place: I laid down in my bed thoroughly exhausted from a wonderful weekend full of photographing a beautiful wedding, spending time with friends, and attending a meeting and church and a concert.  I was so very tired.  But, and I’m sure this happens to everyone occasionally, I could not fall asleep.  Just couldn’t.  And I had been itching to read a good book for awhile, since this is a pleasure I have to ration to myself {remember the addiction?  we’ll come back to this rationing thing}.  Anyway, so around midnight last night, I thought it would be a grand idea to start reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple.  I had seen it recommended by people online {I forgot to mention my addiction struggles with social media, blogs, Pinterest, etc.}, but to be honest, I was mostly charmed by the cute cover and figured it would be a fun, easy read.

Turns out it is entirely too fun and easy of a read, as I proceeded to stay up reading until nearly five! thirty! this morning!  Did I mention I have to be at work at eight a.m. every weekday?  And today is a weekday.  So, I forced myself to stop reading in time to get at least two hours of sleep.  And yes, for those of you doing the math, that allows thirty minutes for me to get up and get to work.  Which obviously ended up being less than thirty minutes, because I am a grown adult who shot a wedding and attended a concert and needs more {much more!} than two hours of sleep, so of course I hit snooze a couple of times before finally acknowledging I had to be work in about fifteen minutes.  Fortunately for me, I am a person who prefers laying down in bed as a clean human being, so I generally bathe at night, which not only helps me feel like I’m not bringing dirtiness into my bed, but also has the added benefit of allowing me bits of extra sleep in the morning.  {Of course, this only applies to mornings when I don’t go run with my friend Deidra, which is a habit we have formed over the last month or so.  But thank goodness that’s only a few times a week and not every day.  Sorry, I am veering way off subject here, and now you know way more about me than you ever wanted or needed to know.  Let’s get back to the matter at hand.}  So, today I made it to work just a few minutes after eight o’clock; which, let’s be honest, really isn’t that out of the norm anyway for a Monday morning, so no harm done, right?  Oh, and rest assured that I finished the book this morning before I started writing this post, since I had gotten through most of it last night anyway.  It’s a fantastic read, and I highly recommend it.  I also recommend finding an office job that allows time for reading, if you’re so inclined.

So, you can see what I mean when I say I struggle with reading.  I bet a lot of you can probably relate.  So tell me something, how do you deal with your addiction tendencies, whether it’s reading or other good or bad things?  Here’s what I do, which I’m not saying is the best thing:

I tend to almost never allow myself to do whatever it is I feel the addiction pull toward.  Such as eyebrow grooming.  I’ve always had a thing with eyebrows, and I used to tweeze the heck out of mine.  I blame the 90’s.  Sorry, eyebrows of mine and of my friends, whom I would also try to pull into my addiction, much like a druggie might.  Fortunately, my eyebrows are the resilient type and they kept on a-coming, so a few years ago, I became addicted to having them threaded.  At some point, I realized maybe there was a better use of my time and money than going every other week to the very funny, extremely cool lady named Sooki who threaded them for me.  So I quit cold turkey and haven’t looked back.  The problem is that I pretty much neglect my brows to the point of looking unkempt now, which I excuse because I say I want fuller brows {I really do!} and I wear glasses so my eyebrows are sort of hidden anyway, right?  Every once in awhile, I allow myself to do a bit of clean up tweezing, but I don’t let myself dwell on it or I’d be right back in that threading chair chatting with Sooki every other week and getting questioned about why a nice girl like me is still single and being told I should move to Europe where I would surely, quickly, and easily find a husband.

But back to reading.  {See what lack of sleep does to my brain?!}  I treat it the same as I do my brows, unfortunately.  I don’t really allow myself to read too often, because I know once I start the book, I will avoid at all costs putting it down until I am finished with it.  I should say that I am referring to fictional novels in this post.  When I read a serious, non-fiction book, I tend to take my sweet time.  But anyway,  I hate that I have such a lack of self-control with the fun books, because I really love to read, and I imagine if I worked on my self-control a little, I could probably enjoy reading more books since it wouldn’t disrupt my life the way it does now.  Same with my non-love-life, but let’s not go there..

I feel strongly as if I’ve rambled on quite more than enough today, so I thought why not share some outfit pix, since that might stem the tide of words that seems to be flowing out of me at the moment.  These photos were taken a few months ago by my sister Mandi, and once again feature some thrifted style.  The jeans came from GoJane, but everything else came from a thrift store. :)

thrifted street style outfitthrifted polka dot blousethrfited bright chevron flatsneon green sweaterHope you all have a wonderful Monday, and that you get more than just a couple hours of sleep tonight!

~abi~

p.s. Tell me about your lame addiction tendencies and how you deal with them!

All photos in this post were taken by my sis Mandi.

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Jon FisherAugust 11, 2014 - 8:32 pm

I wish I had a little bit of your reading habit. Although, I have forced myself to finish 10 books in the last month. That feat was made possible in large part by quitting social media and generally not being social for a month.

Hi. My name is Jon, and I had a social media problem. More specifically, I had a problem acquiring self-worth from external sources. Social media was just the easiest source of approval because it was always there, in my pocket.

I was recently handed a bad situation, and I reacted poorly to it. I let my anger and hurt feelings get the best of me. And when I ran to social media for that instant mood boost, I found that, because of the nature of the situation, social media was now a source of pain rather than comfort. I became an angry, bitter person who shouted negativity at anyone who would listen. I didn’t like the person I had become.

So I decided to unplug for a while to focus on myself, alone, and gain some perspective. I quietly deactivated or deleted all of my precious social media accounts, cleared my calendar, and went silent. It was more than a week before anyone noticed I was gone. It made me wonder if a lot of my friendships existed only because I was constantly putting myself in front of them on various screens. Slowly, those who do care about me noticed and reached out. Instead of learning about their lives in 140 characters or less, I sat down with them for lunches, happy hours, dinners, or just on a couch talking. Those friendships grew deeper and more meaningful.

The time away really helped me get my head together. I know what’s important now. I know where I want to be. I’m not there yet, but I know I’m on the road to getting there.

I guess what I’m trying to say is you get to decide which things become part of you. You get to decide what is important to you and what is noise. The problem is, most of us never slow down enough to be still and figure that out. It takes effort. A lot of it. But there are more hidden than obvious benefits to be had when take we the time and make the effort to be truly present.

Decide what’s important and focus on being the best version of you.

Also worth reading is Merlan Mann’s take on the same subject: http://www.merlinmann.com/better/

Sorry I just word-vomited on your blog.

Abi RuthAugust 19, 2014 - 3:07 am

What a great comment, Jon! I am glad to hear you are in a good place now. Prioritizing life is hard, especially when it comes to social media! Sounds like you are now doing a good job of that, though. Do you have a blog?? Maybe you should! :)

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