student and teacher

Hello all

It would appear that the DREAMING I am doing is beginning to pay off as I look for a new challenge this year.  It leads you on an adventure which ends with “the sweet surprise of inspiration”. And it happened to me this week.

You know the saying: “When the student is ready, the Teacher will come?” Well, I think the Teacher came on Wednesday at my Book Club Meeting and with her came a challenge. Quite unexpectedly, she put in a surprise appearance.

Yep, right out of the blue she appeared and I could not hedge or run away either. What else could I do but agree with the challenge that was being given to me. But before I begin this tale, you must know more and listen to the confession I need to make about my reading habits.

You all should know that I love to read but sometimes (okay … often) I get frustrated in my reading. If things aren’t moving fast enough in the story, or it is getting bogged down with stuff I find boring, I am tempted to cheat. Yes you heard correctly, I did say CHEAT. How? I cheat by reading the ending of the book!

There, I’ve said it now! Do I feel better? Well yes, actually I do because I appear to be such a disciplined person who loves to read and then I go and spoil my reputation by confessing that I read the end of books … sometimes when I am only a quarter of the way through them.

Here is a fairy dying ...

How many fairies have I killed through the years?

After that I feel content and am able to read the rest of the book in peace. Strange really but my research shows that I am not the only person who does this. One blogger who confessed the same problem stated: “you’ll know that every time I talk about reading the back of the book first, a fairy dies.” I like that. (see more bookthingo.com.au/spoiling-a-happy-ending)

You see my rationale is this (and the poor members of the Book Club have had to put up with this explanation also). As a child I was not able to put a book down and could be found hiding somewhere reading when I should have been cleaning the bath or doing the dusting. Oh, I had such a bad reputation in those days!

As a young woman I continued on with the inability to put a good book down, only now I was married and had children. Something had to give folks! Therefore, I actually stopped reading novels for a whole block of years and stuck to non-fiction and magazines. I was tired of staying up half the night to complete the book.

In later years, I revisited the novel but this time I found that, if I got restless, I could read the ending and feel satisfied. Then I was able to put the book down and come back to it at a later date. And so I continued this way for many years … until the Book Club came into my life three years ago and all that changed.

The members of the Book Club picked up on this peccadillo of mine and couldn’t believe their ears. Read the ending prematurely? Who would do such a thing? Shock! Horror!

One of the girls at the Club suggested tongue-in-cheek that I needed some therapy with her psychologist husband. This sent gales of laughter through the people gathered. I think I laughed the loudest because I did recognise that it was a bizarre habit and I seemed incapable (or unwilling perhaps?) of changing it … until today that is.

And this is how it happened. As I was giving my opinion of the Book of the Month – The Rent Tent – I acknowledged that I had only read about thirty pages but I loved the small amount I had read and then said: “and I have not even read the ending, that’s how good I think it is going to be!”

new year challengeMore gales of laughter and comments from the members of the Book Club. But it was an older lady , Wilma who was seated next to me, who  said something and I am not even sure of her exact words, but it came across as a challenge to me this year to stop reading the endings of any books prematurely. Wow. What a suggestion! A light bulb moment.

I knew I was trapped. With my mouth wide open in mid-sentence, what could I do but stare this challenge in the face?  Remember I said I was dreaming and waiting to be inspired and challenged this year? What could I do but say to all those eyes staring at me: “Do you think I should read every book through to the end with no peeking and accept this as a challenge for the year?”

I knew my fate was sealed the moment I spoke out the words. And I could tell by the laughter and agreement coming at me from every direction that this was a great challenge, so I just agreed that I would do this during 2013. I was still reeling by the time the Book Club had finished for the morning. It was that familiar feeling of: “how did I get myself into this … what was I thinking?!” The teacher had appeared!

Dear friends, it was like being hit across the face with a wet dishcloth. I had fancied a far more interesting and uplifting challenge than this. But, my word has now been given. I am committed to it. Oh well, at least I have one challenge to tick off. I have this strange feeling that other challenges will come to me that I once thought I would never attempt.

Aah … the sweet surprise of inspiration … which is really the fruit of dreaming!

I will keep you posted but I have to say that there is another challenge gathering  momentum in my head right now and it came from meeting with some dear girl friends yesterday. More exciting news to come on this one  next time.

Until then …

PS I am writing this a whole year after I made this New Year Resolution in 2013 and I am pleased to report that I indeed kept my resolution not to read the end of books first! You might like to read about it here and how pleased I felt with myself when it was accomplished: tessross.wordpress.com/2014/01/01/the-eighth-day-of-christmas-new-year-resolutions/

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