“Read many books.”
My history teacher in high school said those three words every time we left his class.
It’s been 38 years since I last walked past that teacher flashing his white-toothed smile and chanting his literary mantra to the group filing out of his classroom. But “Read many books” made me chuckle Monday morning when I looked at the pile of ongoing novels I have on the table by my reading chair.
I have four books (not including my daily “Letting Go” series) that I pour over for that precious quiet time with my cups of coffee in the wee hours of my waking day.
The little pile of reads that share my chair include a western frontier saga called the “Sisters Brothers” by Patrick DeWitt, Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” and, of course, my sunny read, “The Alchemist,” which continues to show me the way to my own heart.
I’ve also added a 222-page marvel to the mix penned by Gretchen Rubin and entitled “Happier at Home.”
Happier at home. I’m not quite there yet.
I still work at being okay with living alone, and anything I can do to help me find the gratitude within the little cubicle in my neck of the woods is worth my time.
As the matter of fact, it was all I could do on Monday to get here after work without speeding, ignoring a stop sign, or taking out a bridge railing.
Happier at home, indeed. All I could think about was that I had a furnace, which was a marvel of invention I had gone without all day while at work. The office was a balmy nine degrees C when we walked in at 8:30 a.m. and never inched up—leaving us clad in winter boots, mitts, and coats for our eight-hour stint.
I didn’t even have to put my sandwich in the lunchroom fridge. It was fine where it sat on my desk, right next to the glass of water that still had an ice cube in it at 4:30 p.m.
I was half-way home before I realized I had turned the house thermostat down to 12 C when I left that morning because I’m a cheapskate and didn’t want to waste energy.
I had to wear my earmuffs for a half-hour after I turned up the thermostat before the house kicked out enough heat so that I couldn’t see my own breath.
And it was a challenge right out of a “Survivor” series when I attempted to change out of my work clothes and into the casual stuff hanging on the hook in the bathroom.
Standing outside an ice cave buck naked would have been easier than putting a frozen pair of sweats and an ice-cold sweater on my already-rigor carcass.
“Happier at home!” I belted out loud as I suffered tortuously through the changeover.
And then I practised what I am preached. I turned on the music and turned up the speakers, and slinked around my living room to my new favourite tune, “Classic,” by MKTO.
Yep, I danced my heart out.
Happier at home, indeed.
“Read many books.”