The oyster of reading

Writing.

Writing and Running.

Writing and Running and Reading.

 

One of the most thoughtful presents I received for my birthday was a pair of bookends.

 

They are beautiful wooden bookends with a space for a photo at each end.  My friend had gone to lengths to find photographs and printed them out to put in each of the ends.  At one end there is a photo of my beautiful boys cuddling and the other a photo of James and I laughing together in woolly hats.

 

I immediately cleared a ledge and filled the space between the two ends with favourite books I have read and the books I am looking forward to reading, based on recommendations.

 

I have always been a keen reader.  One of the Big Man’s earliest pet names for me was ‘Wormy Wormy’… Bookworm.  I always had my head in a book… A fictional book.  Usually a murder mystery, forensic science… and the odd period drama or romance..but it had to be a good one – like the Kate Mosse novels – history, love, tragedy…   Even with the start of a family, I still found the time, balancing a book on the feeding pillow (I fell in love with hardbacks during this time, having always been a paperback lover).

 

As I left Asda to pursue the world as my oyster, a friend recommended I start reading books to grow and develop personally.  Broaden my mind, learn new skills, leadership, mindfulness.

 

I was dubious.

I was successful, a leader already… I knew my mind!  What was a book going to tell me???!

 

Oh my ego.

 

It took me a while to listen.

It took me a while to hear.

It took me a while to actually be open.

 

And when I did, that is when I found that the world really was my oyster.  My oyster shell opened up and whole new pearly world was lying in wait.

 

I started with ‘The Secret’ by Rhonda Byrne.  I opened my mind to the concept of the universe and the law of attraction… I took it for a test run. Applied it in my life.  It worked.

 

I was hooked!  If this was a concept I had never heard of in school, in business or in passing… what else was there to learn that would enhance and improve my life?

 

In just over 2 years, I have switched my fiction for factual, biographical, thought provoking reads… paperbacks and audio books, sometimes both.  Sometimes a Ted Talk or YouTube clip..  A day doesn’t feel quite right if I haven’t done at least a chapter or 10 minutes.

 

Opening my mind to learn new concepts has been enlightening, fascinating… and by implementing what I have learnt, fundamentally one of the reasons I strongly believe I have been able to deal with the life changing events of the last 2 years – personal, professional, private and public.

 

Writing as a form of journaling.

Running as a form of meditation.

Reading as a form of growing.

 

There is something metaphoric or symbolic that the bookends are our family – the parents and the children and in between there are the lessons to be learnt through the written word… of reading, through growing and implementing the lessons…

 

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