Too anxious to read?

It should be a luxury to be freed from the demands of a regular work schedule, with no shortage of books to read and time to stop and reflect on where one is at in life. In fact that is the mandate, so be it, of my present circumstances. I am on sick leave with no pressure to return to the workplace and an expectation of a reasonable income to see me through the next few months. At the moment I know I am too fragile to consider working anywhere and my employer has been less than forthcoming as to whether they foresee a place for me in the future. I just know it would be reckless to engage in any employment related discussion or decision making for a while yet. So I find myself with time on my hands.

I should be reading more. Yet I feel like I read more when I had barely a minute to spare.

I have been cocooning myself with stacks of books and, like any book addict, have continued to browse for and purchase more. I have four underway – two old school paper format, two electronic – one serious literary, one non-fiction, one genre fiction and a collection of short stories. Each one is excellent but I seem to be struck with some inability to stay put without great anxiety building and the sense that I should be somewhere else. Or rather in some other book. So I put down one and pick up another.

Sometimes I try to take a walk, grab my neglected camera hoping to find inspiration, or at least distraction, in these gorgeous summer days. That’s what I did today, but I happened across a sidewalk sale outside the most fantastic bookstore along my way and came home with six more books!

I’m not used to anxiety. It seems to eat away at an ability to focus in a way that neither the ups or the downs of my regulated mood disorder ever has. The overwhelming sense of unease, the unknowns, the uncertainties appear to be keeping me from finding solace in the written word.

Boardwalk into the darkHopefully this shall soon pass because it would be a crime to worry away such valuable reading time.

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

3 thoughts on “Too anxious to read?”

  1. the last thing you want to feel is anxiety about the fact you’re not reading as much as you would have expected. give yourself a break and recognise that all your energy is needed just to get your health back


  2. Many are called for a life change; so few are chosen by themselves. I am not young enough to be naive regarding the world and people. And not too old to the point of being stagnant, alienated, retrograde and pessimistic about the world.
    There was a time that I used to work 16 hours a day. The remaining hours I slept dreaming about work. I stayed almost twenty years like this.
    One day I felt I could no longer drive the car by myself. The world was
    too big. I felt small. My arms had no strength to fight against the current that was totally stopping my life.
    After going to the doctor I decided to totally change my life. I stopped everything for a year. I learned to live again. As a child who needs to learn everything for the first time. Finally I overcame.
    I remembered Julio Cesar and his crossing in Strait of Dover with
    his legions. As he stepped ashore with all his men, he ordered the burning of all ships.
    The generals were terrified. They said: “And if we lose the war how we can flee?”
    And thus Cesar replied: “There is only a single possible move – move on. No escape routes. Concentrate all forces on yourselves. We will win or die.”
    And It was with this feeling that I tried to live my life from then. =)


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