Reading

So, the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas want me to talk about what read­ing means to me or my child. How about both?
Katie reading
You might have noticed that I talk, a lot, about read­ing. I think Now Read­ing shows at least four five of the books that I’m read­ing right now, and that’s a fair­ly nor­mal num­ber. I don’t include my text­books, because they’d be there too long!

Read­ing is one of the things that I can still do, most of the time, despite the fibro and oth­er crap. I can’t always man­age to read on a screen, or fol­low some­thing like a text­book. For­tu­nate­ly, though, fic­tion by some of my favorite authors—especially an old favorite nov­el, like Part­ners in Necessity—is eas­i­er, and is a very good way to dis­tract myself from the pain for a while.

I haven’t talked about it much, but Katie has had increas­ing health prob­lems over the last year. Her migraines are no longer man­aged, despite tak­ing high lev­els of pre­ven­tive med­ica­tions. The res­cue med­ica­tions aren’t work­ing well because she has to take them too often. She had anoth­er round of sleep stud­ies, too, and a new neu­rol­o­gist has been try­ing dif­fer­ent med­ica­tions to help her get a decent night’s sleep (which should help the migraines and oth­er prob­lems). So far, any­thing that helps her sleep despite severe rest­less leg syn­drome leaves her zomb­i­fied the rest of the time. Provig­il, even tak­en twice a day, can’t keep her awake and aware enough to func­tion in school. She’s lit­er­al­ly sleep­ing like a cat, 14–18 or hours a day, just nev­er deeply. Her dark cir­cles have cir­cles, now.

But she can still read, too. Slow­ly, some days, and going back to re-read some pages, but she gets the same com­fort from it as I do. You know she’s mine when you real­ize that she’s nev­er with­out at least one, and often two, books in her purse.

I start­ed read­ing to her dur­ing my preg­nan­cy, along with talk­ing and singing and play­ing music for her. I read out loud to her from her first week out of the womb, too, some­times while breast­feed­ing, oth­er times while just being with her. She talked at an ear­ly age, and was very clear. She learned to read quick­ly, too, and has always been very opin­ion­at­ed (where did she get that?) about her choice of read­ing mat­ter. One of her favorite things about leav­ing the pub­lic school sys­tem was being free of that damned Accel­er­at­ed Read­er pro­gram and its ridicu­lous restric­tions!

It’s no sur­prise that I hope my nephews and niece are read­ers, too—although that’s far less like­ly, since their par­ents aren’t, real­ly. My broth­er used to brag that he’d nev­er read any whole book, even those assigned for class­es. (I nev­er under­stood that being a point of pride, even if he did get good grades.) My sis­ter has nev­er read any­thing that wasn’t required. I don’t know their spous­es very well, but I’m fair­ly sure they aren’t recre­ation­al read­ers, either. At least the grand­ba­bies have our moth­er (their Nana), who got me start­ed read­ing, and will sit for hours with any child, read­ing book after book (or the same book, over and over) patient­ly.1 I’m not close to my sib­lings, geo­graph­i­cal­ly or oth­er­wise, so I don’t have many chances to influ­ence the babies. I can give them books, though, and hope to catch their fan­cy so they ask to have them read!

Being a flu­ent read­er gives one more of an advan­tage that any oth­er skill you can give your child. Read­ers can use that skill to learn absolute­ly any­thing else. They can explore math, sci­ence, crit­i­cal think­ing, his­to­ry, cur­rent events, art—you name it. If you teach them to read, get them in the habit of doing so, and teach them to judge their sources well, you’ve giv­en them an incred­i­ble start on life.


1 Mom (and I!) did read to my sib­lings, but nei­ther of them ever want­ed to sit still long.

Tags: , , , , , ,

The Challenge and a challenge/invitation

A few days ago I referred to the Change Your Life Chal­lenge, but I didn’t real­ly explain much, as I was in a bit of a rush at the time. I’ve been so excit­ed about it, too, that some part of me thinks that of course every­body knows what it is!

Not so, sil­ly Cyn.

So let me back up, and explain a lit­tle more about WHY I want to do it, and why I’d think any of you would have any rea­son to plunk down mon­ey to do it, too.

Every morn­ing, no mat­ter what else my email brings, I know there’ll be an uplift­ing mes­sage from Brook Noel. I’m hon­est­ly not a big fan of most gener­ic affir­ma­tions or inspi­ra­tional newslet­ters, but some­how Brook’s dai­ly Good Morn­ings don’t annoy me. They avoid glurge, and I fre­quent­ly add her quotes and affir­ma­tions to my Pop­Up Wis­dom file.

I first “met” Brooke through her book, The Change Your Life Chal­lenge, which I found at a local book­store a few months ago. I learned that the book is actu­al­ly based on a suc­cess­ful online pro­gram, looked it up, and was intrigued. It promis­es to teach:

  • A step-by-step sys­tem for con­quer­ing clut­ter and keep­ing your home clean
  • How to recre­ate the din­ner hour and man­age meal­times
  • How to make time work for you —instead of against you
  • How to dis­cov­er and live by your core val­ues and beliefs
  • How to imple­ment the sim­plest “diet” in the world
  • The “key” to nev­er for­get­ting any­thing
  • How to improve your rela­tion­ships with the “5-Minute Mir­a­cle”
  • How to end pro­cras­ti­na­tion
  • How to imple­ment a bud­get and man­age your mon­ey
  • And much more!

I was wor­ried because of the “70 day” part, though. What busi­ness did I have sign­ing myself up for yet anoth­er cal­en­dar-bound thing that I’d end up hav­ing trou­ble with?

Well, I list­ed to Brooke’s pod­cast last Mon­day, and she hap­pened to say that if she could go back and change any­thing, she would reti­tle the pro­gram as “A 70 STEP Life Makeover Pro­gram” and toss out the idea of tying it to the cal­en­dar. For­ward motion is impor­tant, but mak­ing it fit your life is more impor­tant.

So yes, the Chal­lenge is very much doable for any­one, includ­ing those of us who have chron­ic ill­ness­es. It’ll be even more so in a small group of women who under­stand each other’s issues.

So here’s my chal­lenge: I’m going to begin the 70 Step Chal­lenge on July 15. I’ve set up a pri­vate group for any­one who joins up to do it with me. You’ll have all the nor­mal (exten­sive!) sup­port of the orga­ni­za­tion — there are thou­sands of peo­ple on her lists! — as well as a chance to build friend­ships with­in a small­er group of peo­ple in my group. We’ll do some chats, set up “bud­dies,” and use oth­er tech­niques to help each oth­er suc­ceed. We won’t get tied up in rush­ing through the chal­lenge as much as in work­ing it with a sense of bal­ance.

Won’t you join me? I’d love to get to know you bet­ter, and it’s always good to have more friends and a bet­ter sup­port net­work.

I’m tak­ing the Challenge.….are you?
Take the Change Your Life Chal­lenge:
A  70 Day Life Makeover Pro­gram for Women


If you join through this link, I’ll be informed and will invite you to the pri­vate sup­port group with­in 24 hours. I do hope to hear from you soon!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,