Reading in the rocking chair

Posted April 29, 2016 by elzaread in / 3 Comments

‘Worrying is like a rocking chair – it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere’

I remember reading Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot when I was in High School. How absolutely absurd the whole thing was to me. Vladimir and Estragon were just sitting there. On a bench (or was it a rock?), under a tree. Waiting. Endlessly and in vain. They didn’t do anything. They didn’t go anywhere. They just waited and worried for and about this Godot person/entity/deity/ – whatever.

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“Nothing happens. Nobody comes. Nobody goes. It’s awful!”

How awful that must be (thought the 18 year-old me). Imagine that. You just sit and wait while nothing happens. By choice. Whoa. For a young girl who’s life was still ahead of her, a young girl who never seemed to have enough hours in the day or days in the week – Waiting for Godot was, well, ABSURD. 

Somehow I have always managed to squeeze in a bit of reading time in my hectic schedule – but oh, how I wished to have more time for reading and writing. The years went by (I am not going to say how many years) and my schedule just seemed to increase. Goals changed, careers changed, cities changed to towns and flats changed to houses that were moved a couple of times. But still I wished for more time for the important things in live. Like reading. And then I got married! To a genie who made all my dreams come true (Okay,he’s not a genie. I just can’t get him to bow to my will).  I became a part-time educator, a stay-at-home wife and an ever-hopeful-to-be mother. By choice. 

Be careful what you wish for …… You might find yourself reading in a rocking chair with not very much else to do. I know I know, this sounds like a dream come true. And it was! For about a month or so.

 As I sat reading in my rocking chair, I started to worry. I wasn’t bored at all. (I’ve never liked the word or the concept of boredom. There is always something to do. And worrying is something to do. The fact that it doesn’t get you anywhere is irrelevant). The constant warrior turned into a constant worrier. And a waiter. No, not the type who serves your drinks and meals at SPUR. The type who sits and wait to be served my drinks and meals. I am constantly waiting for a number of things I can pin point and an even larger number of things I can’t. Pretty much the same as Vladimir and Estragon. How absolutely absurd.

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No, honestly Didi – I can’t. A rocking chair is for reading, not for worrying. There isn’t very much I can do or change regarding the ‘waiting game’. I guess to  ‘wait’ is the aim of the game. But I sure can stop worrying while playing. 

And I need a game-plan:

1. Start your own blog. This was that genie-husband’s idea. I was skeptical, but after reading Why you should start a book blog, I knew this was worth a try. (Thanks for the inspiration paperfury)

2. Read yourself out of this. Reading is always the solution – never the problem. 

I’ve made myself a list of books, with accompanied reasons, that I currently find beneficial to my state of play.

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  • The Nightingale, Kristin Hannah. These women knew about waiting. IT wasn’t easy. And they had to burn their rocking chairs.
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer. # My husband did not pack up all my books and stored it in the basement to make space on the bookshelves for his less-important things. 
  • The girl on the train, Paula Hawkins. # I haven’t started drinking (yet).

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  • The Dovekeepers, Alice Hoffman. # At least I have Jesus.
  • The Girl with all the gifts. # I also have a couple of students who love coming to my classes. I’m ever so grateful that they are not zombies.
  • The art of racing in the rain. # Oh for the love and loyalty of your dog(s).

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  • Spud, John van de Ruit. # “When in doubt, keep reading. A book will never die on you.” You laugh until you cry. Both good reasons for reading. 
  • The turn of the screw, Henry James. # I don’t see dead people (maybe I must make this a “yet” as well).
  • Griet skryf ‘n sprokie, Marita van der Vyver. # A like-minded person! (I did not say “sane-minded”)

That’s about how far I am with my game-plan. Like this blog, it is a work in progress. I will triumph….!! 

If you have any game-strategies or other reading recommendations, please leave a comment.
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