Monday, April 27, 2015

Currently... Checking My Phone Less & Reading More

According to Goodreads, I’m behind on my reading goal for the year, which is disappointing.  Its an indication, perhaps, that I’m spending way too much time goofing around checking what my friends are having for lunch than spending time on my true favorite hobby.  I’m intending to do better.

Less phone check-ins. I read somewhere recently that the average person checks their phone 150 times per day.  Assuming 8 hours for sleep (I wish, but let’s pretend), that’s almost 11 times an hour, about every 5 minutes. And yes, I calculated that on my phone.  It’s so convenient and the norm, though, right? Waiting for a meeting to start, sitting in traffic, in line at the grocery store, sitting in a boring meeting – pull out the phone and read any emails or breaking news from friends that may have come in since you last checked your phone.  And no-one really pays attention when you do.  But if you pull out a book or a crochet project while waiting in line, folks look at you like you’re committing some type of social faux pas.  But imagine how much more reading I’d get done.  So I’m going to consciously try to not pull out my phone during those waiting times and doing something else, or even do nothing.

I did read God Help the Child this weekend.  As I mentioned in my last post, I bought it on day one and took it with me while I was traveling. Thanks to a seat all to myself on Amtrak and a few stolen moments (that waiting time) during the weekend, I finished it.  A whole book in one weekend, I was so excited.  I need to let this winding story about a very dark-skinned girl and her battles with herself and everyone around her marinate a little bit.  It might even need a second read.

Reading What Alice Forgot.  I had started this before Toni Morrison's book was released, at which point every other book on my to-read pile was set aside.  Now I'll return to this and the books overdue to the library.

Read more magazines.  I like magazines, though am surprised at how expensive they’ve gotten. Some are close to $15 ($14.95) which I don’t really get, nor buy. For that amount, I’m looking for a plot and characters, not a pile of articles and tips on lipstick or where to eat.  I recently picked up Baltimore and Food Network magazines, which were reasonably priced.

Although I don’t live in Baltimore, I like this magazine. The stories are usually pretty interesting and this edition has plenty of day trip ideas for visiting Baltimore, as well as to areas around Maryland and Virginia, perfect for the long days of summer.

As for the Food Network magazine – isn’t the big ole cupcake on the cover reason enough? Between my love for baking, my family's love of sweets, and my daughter’s new pinch for decorating, this edition will end up well dog-earred and butter-stained.  (You can check out some of my daughter’s recent cakes and cupcakes on our Pinterest page.)

Speaking of magazines… I’m feeling some kind of way about the Men’s Health and Women’s Health magazine covers.
Why is the women’s cover’s highlighted article about “Your Sexiest Body” with a half-naked woman and the guy’s get “Cut Your Gut” and a fully clothed guy?  What’s the message on the women’s magazine?  Only if you look this good naked are you healthy?  Although I have bought Women’s Health in the past, this cover is clearly not for me because even in my best work-out schedule, I’m not going to look like this woman. I’m looking for articles on healthy eating and exercise tips, not pictures of half-naked women.  But not to be left out, the men’s cover does manage to squeeze in a small picture of a bra-clad woman in its corner.  These are more examples of the sexualization of women, even when the message is supposed to be about our health. 

I went to a luncheon last week and the keynote speaker was talking about doing things for yourself. It’s similar to all the chit-chat about “me time,” but it was deeper. She said to think about what you do to feed your soul, that doesn’t benefit anyone else.  I would definitely say that reading feeds my inner self much more than checking my phone. I need to pay attention to that fulfillment more.

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