It's a rare night when I go to sleep without reading at least a few pages in a book.
Reading in bed is a part of my bedtime routine. After prepping my face, brushing my teeth, and tossing back the covers, I crawl into bed with whatever book I'm reading.
I always lay on my stomach, prop my chin on my pillow, and toss the blanket up nearly over my head. This creates a cozy cocoon that is perfect for reading - particularly in the winter. Only my hands and forearms stick out as I hold the book and turn the pages.
Some nights I am able to read 50 pages. Other nights, I get only 5 to 10 pages into a book before my eyes shut and I pass out. First, I notice that I'm blinking a lot. Then, I realize that my head is bobbing and I've read the same paragraph several times. Finally, my eyes shut and I acknowledge to myself that I'm falling asleep.
Sometimes, I am able to rouse myself enough to close my book and settle back to sleep. Many nights, it's my husband who finds me asleep. Somehow, my hands always keep the book open, saving my spot. My husband is used to coming into our room, taking off my glasses, putting a bookmark where I stopped, and placing everything on my nightstand before he turns out the light. It's routine at this point.
I find that if I don't fall asleep reading, I won't have as restful a night. There is something about reading myself into slumber that leads to better rest. It helps turn my brain off for the day and disconnect from whatever may be stressing me out.
These last few moments in bed are something I look forward to every night. They are just for me. Even when the book I am reading is decidedly bad, I still need to read a few pages in order to sleep well. Reading is bed is a simple pleasure, but it's one that brings me great joy and equilibrium.
After last Friday's Supreme Court decision, I find myself struggling to get through the day. It's really hard to motivate myself when I know that this country does not see me as a full citizen. Why should I keep going if I don't matter?
But I'm taking each day one at a time. My emotions are still high but I'm trying to focus on the things I can do right now.
Here's what has my focus.
I am not okay. I'm not going to pretend otherwise.
When the first news alert about Roe v. Wade being overturned hit my inbox, I felt it in my gut. I spent the next few hours alternating between sobbing, screaming into a pillow, and raging with the women in my life. None of us are okay.
I'm not going to be okay for a long time.
I expended so much emotion that day I exhausted myself. I settled into a state of numbness that has not left me.
I want to flip tables. I want to scream. I want to go running through the streets demanding that others join me in righting this wrong. I want to squeeze my daughter in a hug so close that nothing can hurt her. I want to crawl into a ball under the covers on my bed and never come out.
Most of all, I want to know why being a woman means you're not a full, autonomous human in this country.
Utmost project in my life right now is the logistical acrobatics to get our toddler vaccinated. While DC said where vaccines would be and how many shots of each would be available, they didn't say anything else. Between Twitter searches and the daycare/mom communication network, we think we have it figured out. Fingers crossed our kiddo has her first shot today.
Here's what else is going on.
One of the best parts of reference desk work is that any life experience can come into play.
For example, I helped a visitor today by using my personal parenting experience.
This parent was on campus with two children. The first was attending a camp on campus. The second just needed to be occupied for a few hours. I recommended a trip to the zoo or a playground up the road. I was well versed in both because I frequent them with my own child. She asked about the playground and I was able to share my experience as well as directions.
When you share information that you know well, you make a stronger case. You can share more details and insights which gives a fuller picture.
I don't like driving. I learned to drive in a small town with one stoplight. The main road hazards where snow and deer. I didn't like driving then. Now, I live in a city with terrible traffic and many more than one stop light. The main road hazards are... everything. I really don't like driving now.
I managed to go over a decade without driving a car. Between public transit, Uber, and a husband who doesn't mind driving, it was pretty easy to avoid having to get behind the wheel myself.
Then, we had a kid.
I knew, from a safety and life perspective, it would be easier for us if I just started driving again.
I started easy. I drove with my husband in the car only going to and from daycare. Then I did a few solo drives to the grocery store. Then I leveled up to taking our kiddo to and from school. Now, I occasionally do longer solo jaunts to run errands.
On Friday, I drove to CostCo. It's just over 17 miles roundtrip. I literally turn onto the main street outside our building, pick the middle lane, and stay there until I turn into the mall that houses the warehouse. There are no turns. I don't need to change lanes. I drive there outside of rush hour.
I hate it. My FitBit clocks my heart rate like I'm running up stairs.
But I did it. It's the second time I've done this trip and it was a little easier than the first. With time, I hope I get less anxious about driving.
Just don't ask me to get on a highway anytime soon.
What scary things do you push through?
DC is under a heat advisory today. I just got back from a walk, and it is downright sultry outside. I'm grateful for air conditioning and the refreshing fizzy water I'm drinking.
Here's what else was good in my week:
The AC in our office decided to take a vacation today. It currently feels like 96 outside. My colleague let me yoink her tower fan since she is working from home today. Thankfully, that makes my cubicle a tolerable temperature. I find it difficult to do deep work when I'm too warm. Also, I took tomorrow and Friday off to add to the long weekend. Ergo, nothing but admin and clean up today.
Here's what I've been working on lately.
I really need to start reading all the calligraphy books on my TBR list...
You can see my complete TBR list on Pinterest.