Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Losing my mind.

Being a mother is the best thing I have ever done. With that said, allow me to complain about one negative aspect of motherhood. I have gotten DUMBER. I realized this the other day when I was in the mood for a good book. I was browsing through my bookshelf and nothing looked appealing. I saw my favorite book ever, Pride and Prejudice. I HATE to admit this, but the thought ACTUALLY came into my head, "No, I don't feel like reading something that requires that much thought." Immediately after thinking that, I was struck with the realization of my diminishing intelligence.

Back in college, as an ENGLISH LITERATURE MAJOR, mind you, I absolutely loved to read. I read tons of books, all the time. And now I have gotten to the point where a Jane Austen novel is just too much work. Not that motherhood is directly responsible for this--Eva does not require so much of me that I simply don't have time to read. It's just that I have chosen to do other things for so long that I've completely gotten out of the habit of exercising my mind.
Overwhelmed with shame, I set out looking for a good book to read that would get me back in reading mode. At this exact same time, I reestablished contact with my best friend from college, Trevor Berrett. Let it be known that Trevor probably had more influence on me in college than any other living person, and I trust his opinion on all things literary more than anyone else I know. We lost touch years ago and have both since gotten married and had a child and one on the way. Thanks to the power of Facebook, we are officially friends again. :) On his Facebook profile, he has a list of his favorite books. As in the past, I was suddenly compelled to read anything he recommended (much to the chagrin of my dear husband, who was insulted that I have not yet read a book he recommended, despite my attempt at kindly explaining to him that Trevor's recommendations are in a whole different category).

So yesterday at Walmart I found The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I started reading that. But my thirst for books was not quite satisfied, so I went to the library today to pick up three more off Trevor's list: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. I also bought the movie of the latter, as that was also on Trevor's list of favorite movies.

Hopefully, thanks to Trevor's accidental help, I am on my way to restoring my full mental capacity. No more living in ignorance for me. With just a little effort, I will soon be able to say once again, in full honesty, that Pride and Prejudice really is still my favorite book. And it's not over my "motherly" head.

P.S. I must clarify that I do not worship Trevor as some sort of English major god. After our long friendship, I simply came to trust his judgment on things like this. :)

6 comments:

Watts Family said...

I really need to get a good book to read one of these days. I, like you, have felt very dumb ever since Owen has come along. I hope one day I can get back to normal. I have even played with the thought of maybe going back to school! Maybe one day.

Lisa Monks said...

Without sounding too pessimistic or obnoxious, I would like to gently say, "Get used to it!" My brain cells started abandoning me when Brian was born, and since Clayton came along I'm down to about 4 of them. However, I'm hopeful that someday I can reclaim them . . . maybe? PLEASE??? Hey, maybe we should start a playgroup book club! Couldn't hurt.

Lindser Binzer said...

Ah! Good ol' Trevor. I always liked him. I hope he's doing well. I might steal those suggestions for good books to read once I finish the ones I'm on, and don't have any more "required" reading. Thanks to my children's literature class (through BYU Ind. Study), I am now forced to read probably one hundred children's books which will definitely not broaden my own horizons, but it will help me know good books for my kids. If you want a long list, let me know. So which book did you start with?

The Leester said...

Have you read I Capture the Castle? I recently read that and enjoyed it quite a bit :). I think you'd like it...

Anna said...

I totally agree with you! I have felt like I am getting dumber by the day. I don't remember things as well, I get really easily distracted by things, and I don't mind just sitting on the floor doing nothing. What is wrong with me!?!? Well, maybe it's not that bad, but there are times when it feels like that. Thankfully I have also started reading more. Yeah for good books!

Trevor said...

Hey Steph! Thanks for the plug in your blog. (And don't worry, I won't spoil it by telling people that you actually do worship me as some sort of English Literatur god).