Unless you have a lot of household help, or a large family of unusually capable children, I’m betting that there are at least some mindless drudge tasks that you must do on a daily or weekly basis, some of which you put off repeatedly because you just hate doing them.
Some tasks–ironing, laundry-folding, Nordic-Tracking (ha!)–can be easily combined with TV-watching, but others–dish-washing, mopping, onion-chopping, dusting, bathroom-cleaning, sweeping–can’t.
Now, you may envision these activities as potentially social, or as opportunities to practice mindful attentiveness. Call me a distraction-driven introverted bookworm, but I see these kinds of activities as prime opportunities for audiobook listening. Without trying too hard, I can listen to one or two books a week while going about other necessary tasks. This sometimes gets me into trouble when I don’t hear the phone, or my children, or my husband while washing the dishes and listening to the story of the deadliest pandemic in history, but often it works quite well.
You can find audiobooks at Audible.com, of course, but don’t ignore your local library or library system, where you will likely be able to borrow audiobooks in a variety of formats, from the charming cassette tape to the downloadable mp3. If your library system is anything like the one we had in New York (oh, Suffolk County libraries! How I miss you!), interlibrary loan will provide you with as many or more choices than Audible, although Audible is dangerously and appealingly easy and the files take very little space on your mp3 player when compared with uploaded CDs.
If you are always saying to yourself that you would like to read more, but you ‘just don’t have the time,’ it’s possible that you could find a lot more time to ‘read’ by letting someone read to you, especially if you have a long commute or an exceptional amount of laundry or knitting to do. Audiobooks are a refreshing break from the radio or television because they don’t switch on and off every five or ten minutes to tell you what’s new or what you need to buy next. Plus, if you tend to skim books, they slow you down and force you to pay attention, and remind you of what’s really happening when you read a book–you are encountering another human voice, which is a remarkable thing.
Most recently I listened to Terry Tempest Williams read her book When Women Were Birds. What have you been reading/listening to lately?