Today is the first day of the Summer Reading Program at our local library. They’re doing a big kickoff party tomorrow that we’re going to, but today is the “OFFICIAL” start date. My kids got out of school last week though, so we’ve already been reading. They’re working on the Mensa for Kids’ Excellence in Reading List for K-3rd grade as it encompasses their current reading levels and ages. I’m working my way through the list of books I’ve “saved for later” at the library.
So far I’ve finished three books since I finished teaching for the semester…..
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
I decided to read this book now because the movie (starring three of my favorite film/tv personalities) was on Netflix. I thought it would be right up my alley with the way that many women and girls talked about the empowering nature of the main character. It also appealed to me due to the sci-fi/fantasy nature of the story. I love a good Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings etc. I like to think about other places.
However, I was super disappointed in both the book and (even more so) the movie. The book ended abruptly. They were on this adventure and then…..without warning…..they were home and that was it. I know now that it is the first in a series of books (The Time Quintet), but I’m not sure I’m sold on reading another. I’ve added the second (A Wind in the Door) to my list at the library, so maybe by the time I get around to it I will be interested again.
However, I would NEVER watch a movie based on this series again. I hate how they twisted the characters….especially making Reese Witherspoon constantly complain about the main character even being on the journey. It’s much less empowering when you make her out to be an inconvenience.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Since starting break in May I’ve had a lot of time on my hands. I’ve offered to volunteer at the boys’ school, but it was the end of the year and they had things under control. So, mostly I spent my days exercising, cleaning the house, reading, preparing for the youngest son’s birthday party, doing end of the school year stuff with them, and……watching TV. Yep, I love to turn on Hulu while I’m folding laundry or cleaning the living room and blast through some episodes. Hulu kept telling me to watch The Handmaid’s Tale, but being a book purist I figured I should read it first.
This was another one I enjoyed while reading it and finished the book in a weekend on a trip. It reminded me some of Animal Farm and 1984 and Breakfast of Champions (and most things Vonnegut). I love books that make you wonder if society could really turn out that way, but was again disappointed by the abrupt ending of the story. So many questions went unanswered for me. I don’t know if the show will pick-up and continue on where the story ends, nor how much influence Atwood has on that. I do know that with the kids out for the summer I won’t be watching any laundry folding TV for a couple more months.
Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
This book entered my list last year thanks to my friend Stephanie. It was part of a time in my life that was a REAL struggle and I can’t even remember which book I was reading that was speaking to me at the time, but Stephanie suggested I read this one as well. I checked it out once, didn’t get to it, and had to bring it back later this spring.
Parts of this book are funny, parts of it are sad, parts of it I felt didn’t apply to me, but overall I felt that it was a great book and I’m glad I read it. If Rachel Hollis lived near here, I’d try to be her friend. She seems down to earth and I could always use another gal pal to run with!
At times when I was reading the book I felt very connected to the author and her message of not letting lies we tell ourselves get in the way of achieving what you really want. However, when I felt pumped up to achieve things, I often let the reality of life set in…..maybe not in the way of lies, but definitely drawing me back. For me the pumped up thing I want to do is to pursue my doctoral degree. The problem that lies in front of me is how to make that happen.
Earlier this week I wrote about the Play/Work Balance of Wellness. For me, my work is play, but it does leave me wanting more. I want to keep learning and to advance to teaching more than just activity courses. I have been blessed with the ability to teach online wellness lectures, but all of the material I teach is pre-formatted. I want to teach a class in which I choose the text and I teach the material in my own unique way. It’s a little of how I feel when I work for NETA.
When I teach the PT Workshop Review for NETA I am teaching to the slides they’ve provided me and the manual that the participants are supposed to have read. But, I frequently riff my own way of learning the material. I do the same with the university materials through my labs, but I still want MORE!
So, the challenge is this……what do I want more? Do I want to keep my schedule of being able to drop my kids off, pick them up, volunteer at school, have time to workout, enjoy my weekends and evenings of play time? OR…..do I want to attempt more schooling and then research and writing and then full-time work? My heart is always torn. I figure there is still time to do “my career” later. But, maybe I need to redefine what my career is? These all seem like questions for a different post. Either way, if you want to have your mind provoked and get pumped up to make life changes, pick this one up this summer!
Please share what you’re reading or thoughts on these titles, plans for the future or whatever else is on your mind here.
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