Last week, I got back into the study routine with a take-home exam for uni. I had to write two essays about crime fiction, and while I was dreading the thought of completing the assessment, I found myself thoroughly enjoying the process.
There is something so satisfying in starting with a blank document before filling it with references and your own thesis. (Part of the enjoyment was also probably found in the fact I could actually understand the questions – sometimes I believe they make them as obscure as possible.)
While the exam is over now and I have this week free, it did make me remember what I love about my study and my writing.
When I’m on holidays, the thought of doing and being busy fills me with horror, but the moment I get back into a rhythm, it is a welcome change. While we need times of rest – which I talk about here – there really is something in us that thrives when we are working on or towards something, creating, or using our minds or hands.
My next trimester doesn’t start until the end of February, and while it is a relief to have another break before my busier term begins, I don’t want to spend the time doing nothing.
One of my great joys – and woes, at times (looking at you, Wuthering Heights) – is needing to read for uni. The joy is found in discovering new books, and then learning to understand them in new or deeper ways. Another is how reading becomes necessary to do – instead of “wasting time”, I am doing one of my favourite things and studying at the same time.
In December and January, I spent most of my free time sewing, which of course is a wonderful way to spend hours and hours, but it did take over the time I would normally spend reading. Now that I have two new units coming up that require books to read – Science Fiction and Victorian Literature – it’s a great motivator to spend time reading, and not seeing it as time I could be spent doing something else. It is also getting me back into the habit of reading in the afternoon and before bed instead of lying on my phone or watching a movie. (Of course, there is nothing wrong with watching a movie, but for someone who loves to read, it is good to feel called to it once more.)
So, this week, I will be reading a lot – and I already have been! While not every book I’m reading is enjoyable (the science fiction novels have proven to be less-than-pleasant in some aspects), I feel good about reading in itself. Sitting on the lounge with a cup of tea, enjoying the (freshly cleaned) room, relaxing, and using my mind in a different way.
I’m currently reading one book for uni, one Christian book, one novel, and one non-fiction book. It may seem like a lot, but at different points of the day I feel like reading different things. For instance, during my quiet time I will read a chapter of a Christian book. In the afternoon, I will read my book for uni. Before bed, usually a novel that requires less energy.
I’ve spent today organising, making bread and grocery shopping. Now, is time for a restful read, and I have to say – I’m excited!