On hamster care and Agatha Christie
As you start this week, may you relish in the slowness of a light Monday. I know, you have lots of hard work ahead of you, and perhaps you’ll go to bed every night this week exhausted from either the physical or intellectual efforts of your day. Maybe both.
But don’t forget to enjoy life during the thick of it all. I was reminded of this last year, when I spent the weekend with one of my heroes, Susan Wise Bauer. I had asked her how to handle the “issue” of my then 7-year-old daughter’s constant checking out of hamster and rodent care books at the library—and nothing else. For several months, she seemed to read or care about little else, and I was disheartened to see my little reader no longer very interested in the childhood novels I longed for her to enjoy.
“Don’t worry about it,” Susan said. “She’ll grow out of it.” Then she said something that stuck with me, and still resonates with me, more than 15 months later. “When we relax, we don’t read Plato. We read an Agatha Christie mystery. We read for fun. It’s the same with kids. Sure, we want them to read the good stuff, but we’ve gotta give them room to just be themselves and relax with whatever they find fun.”
(This, from the woman who’s written about the entire history of the entire world, and who’s considered the modern-day pioneer of the neo-classical education movement.)
This is true for me, and it’s true for you, too. Yes, we need the Platos and the Dostoyevskys in our lives—but we also need the Christies. Don’t forget to just relax and enjoy life, whatever that looks like for you. Perhaps it’s a favorite movie, or a loved tv show, or a great, fun read. Savor it this week.
And if your day feels unusually hard, make that all the more reason to lighten your mind with something that fills you. Take each day in stride, and remember when you turn out the nightstand light, you get to wake up to a fresh start. Each day is a gift. Relish the lighter moments.
Have a happy Labor Day, friends.
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