#3: Read a whole book in one day
Today is day #3 of my grand experiment—trying 30 new things in the 30 days before I turn 30. It is also day #3 of my horrendous cold and I’ve decided to stay home from work. My day began with apologizing to my pup, Henry, for not taking him on a walk as I let him out the front door into our yard to entertain himself. I then hurled myself on to the couch and turned on the TV. I proceeded to watch quality E! programming such as “Living Lohan” and “E! True Hollywood Story: Kimora Lee Simmons.”
Just before my mind went numb, I felt a familiar twinge, a nagging feeling—was I forgetting to do something important? My laptop is on the fritz and off being fixed by the Geek Squad, so there wasn’t anything I could be doing on the computer. I had already put away the clean dishes from the feast the night before and had folded and hung the latest laundry. I fed the cat and gave the dog one of his gooey and disgusting marrow bones that keeps him entertained for hours. What was I forgetting?
*Flash*! I was supposed to be trying something new today. But what could I do that wouldn’t violate the rationale for staying home today—to take it easy and actually allow myself to heal? The first thing I decided to do was to break the sick-day cycle. I shut off the TV. I didn’t get on the computer and try to do work like I normally would have (see above about computer being on fritz). I decided to (drum roll, please) read a book! And since reading a book wasn’t something technically new, I decided that I would try to read my selected book, Bel Canto, start to finish in the few hours of daylight that remained. I’ve been meaning to read the novel since I received it as a gift several years ago.
I put my feet up, covered myself in my favorite red fuzzy blanket and set myself upon my task. The book hits the ground running with the hatching of a hostage plot in the middle of a wealthy business man’s birthday party. Drama and excitement are tempered by reflective musings on the nature of art, love, and beauty. Not a bad start! A central theme of the novel—opera—is something I know nothing about and have never experienced. So I figured that sub-item for today’s new experience of reading a book cover to cover in the span of several hours while home sick on the couch would be learning about opera. Maybe I’ll even make attending an opera one of my 30 new things to tackle this month. Already on page 18, my mind raced with the possibilities . . .
. . . and then I fell asleep. Deeply asleep. For several hours asleep.
While this may not seem like an accomplishment to you, I pride myself on my track record of never being able to take a nap when everyone else can. I say pride only because of the respectability of consistency; there have been many times that I’ve wished with all my might that I might just get a few refreshing winks but to no avail.
And so, reading a whole book in a few hours was a failure. But I did do something really and truly new: I took an unexpected nap. By the time I put my head to my pillow for my official night’s sleep I noticed that I could breathe through one full nostril and that the packed-in-like-sardines feeling in my sinuses was gone.
Lesson learned: Staying home from work and taking a nap when you really need it really does help you heal faster. Oh, and its not the best time to try to read a book.