After much prayer and thoughtful consideration I have decided to take a break from my position on Reading for Sanity. The desire to stop reviewing has been on my mind and heart for a while now, for a variety of reasons. Since the birth of my fourth child, I haven’t been able to read much, and when I do find the time to read, I end up obsessing over self-imposed review deadlines and appropriate sentence structure instead of getting lost in the story. However, this lack of reading time pales in comparison to my real reason for taking a break.
Not long ago, I read the following quote by Thomas S. Monson, a leader in my church and a man whom I greatly admire:
"This is our one and only chance at mortal life - here and now. The longer we live, the greater is our realization that it is brief. Opportunities come, and then they are gone. I believe that among the greatest lessons we are to learn in this short sojourn upon the earth are lessons that help us distinguish between what is important and what is not. I plead with you not to let those most important things pass you by as you plan for that illusive and nonexistent future when you will have time to do all that you want to do. Instead, find joy in the journey - now." -- Thomas S. Monson
His words, quite literally, took my breath away. It was like a punch to the chest and in that quiet moment between inhale and exhale I realized that no matter how hard I try and how much I fight it, I cannot be the kind of wife and mother that I want to be right now without focusing on what really matters -- my family. I made my decision and I was overcome with a feeling of peace. Instantly.
I often joke that Reading For Sanity is like my fifth child, one that requires far more of my time and attention than any of my other children. Over the years, that statement has become painfully true and I haven’t wanted to see it. Now, I do. I want to be more to my family than just a stranger in the corner with her nose buried in a book or a computer screen. I want to be, really be with them and enjoy every step of our life together. I love them too much to put them in second place and, somehow, that is where they have ended up. Well, no more. In time, I might be able to find the balance necessary to be a wife, mother, and rockin’ book blogger, but for now I have to choose – and I choose them. I don't regret it, but I do hope you understand.
I want to extend my gratitude to Heather, Kari, Emily, Kim, Chris, Elizabeth, Natalie, and Dan, the voracious readers who have reviewed alongside me all these years. It’s been an adventure and I appreciate you putting up with all my neurosis. I also want to express my gratitude to our loyal readers. It always meant so much to me to hear your excitement about a new book, or your feedback when you liked a book we had recommended. I hope that over the years we’ve helped you find some reading treasures.
For the next two years, Reading For Sanity will be in the loving hands of Elizabeth Marsh, Reading For Sanity reviewer and blog sitter-extraordinaire. She'll probably implement a few refreshing changes, but the blog will still continue to bring you exciting book news and thoughtful book reviews. I'll still be around with the occasional review, but Elizabeth will be running the show. At the end of two years, we’ll have to see how things feel. I might be ready to review full-time again. I might not. Please know that I have always appreciated your loyalty and kinds words over the years. I hope that you can forgive me for abandoning you so abruptly. I had to do it now, before I lost my nerve.
So, off I go to find joy in the journey. I hope you do too. I wish you all the best – and all the best books.
ATTENTION AUTHORS & PUBLISHERS: I will endeavor to fulfill all commitments to publishers and authors who have sent me review copies. My reviews will be posted on the blog and archived as usual, when they become available, until I have met my obligations. I will not be accepting any more review copies but other reviewers are still accepting submissions.