Magazine reading takes a backseat to other summer pursuits

Editorial & Opinion, Thursday, August 23, 2007

I am behind in my reading. I have a pile of magazine subscriptions and newspapers that I haven’t touched for weeks. The bigger the pile gets, the less I want to dive into it.

I’m now at the point where I may just cancel my magazines subscriptions so that the leaning tower of Pisa will go away. Especially with sunny days and temperate weather, I’m quick to get outside, and not so interested in sitting around reading.

Once I get outside, there is a new list of to dos that aren’t high on my list of priorities either: cut the grass, clean the eavestroughs, tend to the gardens, wipe dirt off the swing set, fix the dock, and wash the car.

Luckily, my husband will take care of most of the yard work, but he won’t read my magazines for me. He has his own pile that he manages to keep under control.

I go back inside and look at my pile again, which has spilled out from the magazine rack and is creeping across the floor. It seems that Macleans, Chatelaine, Fine Homebuilding, and Today’s Parent have a life of their own.

Looking around the room, I’m trying to find another distraction (I feel like I am putting off studying for an exam).

I start by browsing through the paper. I’m interested in specific updates on Borealis (aka Atlantis) and the east end sewage treatment plant (something is still rotten in the state of Denmark). But I can’t find any answers to my questions, so I start dusting . . . and then stop.

If I dust too much, my kids won’t have the joy of chasing sparkly particles through the sunbeams in the morning (one of their favourite pastimes of late). And the merits of watching your children delight in clapping the air and looking back at you proudly should not be underestimated. It’s an evasive quest for them to try and catch the fairy dust, which swirls just out of reach in every brilliant ray of light. I watch them laugh and giggle for long stretches of time: much longer than it would take to cull the magazine pile, or weed one of the gardens.

So I’ve made my choices, and so far I’m very happy with them.

I have fought the battle of being told that I can have/be it all – career, super mom, wife, friend, self-fulfilled individual.

It took me a while to realize that you can have it all, just not all at the same time (unless you enjoy running on empty all the time – or don’t need to sleep).

I will juggle my work-life balance like I prioritize what needs to be done around the house. Some things simply won’t get done as well as others, and some will not get done at all, but I will chase the moments in life that are like sunbeams full of magical dust.

Does anyone want my old magazines?

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