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The Pile on the Nighttable

Oh – that pile on the nightstand. That neat pile of books. The last I counted, there were four of them. The unfinished pile. It beckons. It calls me. Every night at around 10 pm or later, when I retire to bed after a long day, I have full intentions of picking up one of those books and reading them. One of them is half read. Another one just came from Amazon to my home yesterday. A third one is a Jodi Picoult book, a novel that I started reading, but got caught up into the Half-Read-Book previously mentioned. Alas, these books remain unfinished.

The Unfinished Symphony – you know the one that Joseph Haydn the composer, wrote? He never finished it, and that’s what made it famous. Why would someone write something and leave it hanging? Why would someone read something and not finish it? Lots of reasons: no time, boredom, other interests, lack of concentration.

What about pure exhaustion? Yes, I literally start to read the book, and my eyes close. In the morning, or when I get up in middle of the night, I find that book buried under my covers, or more likely on the floor, cracked open at the spine and lying on its back, all forlorn, with one page half up in the air.

I wonder how to overcome this book hurdle.  How do I keep myself from falling asleep? (take a nap in middle of the day?) I love reading. It has always been something I did for relaxation. And for stimulation. A good book’s message and compelling characters stick with me for days or even weeks.

But now, my energy level just runs out, and I can’t stay up long enough to finish a page or a page and a half.  And at that rate, beyond a bunch of short magazine articles that I easily complete, I will be the eternal reader of the Unfinished Novel.

Any ideas?

Correct and Consistent

I struggle with consistency. No, I’m not talking about the consistency of the texture in a baked cake or potato kugel. Nor am I talking about the consistency of the mayonnaise as it is mashed inside tuna fish. (although I have trouble getting my tuna so perfectly mashed —and one of my daughters-in-law is  by contrast amazing at making very consistently mashed tuna fish sandwiches!)

But again, I digress!

The kind of consistency that I have trouble with, has more to do with my commitments to myself regarding habits and goals.

What in the world am I talking about? (you ask).

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