I started reading The Fringe Hours, Making Time for You by Jessica N. Turner back in February. It's an easy read but I had a hard time really getting into it, thus the two months to finish.
The idea of finding extra time in your fringe hours is a solid one, and I think this book is worth the read if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed and in the middle of a busy season of life.
That being said, I already implement many of the suggestions in this book, and I tend to under commit instead of over committing myself... I have meal planned for years; I find time to exercise because I find that I am a nicer person when I work out consistently; I read books while I have to wait any kind of line; and I carve out time in the evenings to do my freelance work (the author uses early morning as her extra time, but I am a night owl). Similar suggestions can be found in the pages of this book.
The area I struggle the most to find time for is personal time with God. Last year I offered to facilitate a women's bible study on Wednesday nights and it helped me to be more consistently in the Word during that time period.
Likewise, last fall when I felt like I was in need of connecting with other moms, I started inviting a group to my house on Tuesday mornings for coffee. An unexpected benefit of having ladies over on a weekly basis was that it helped me to consistently clean my house in preparation for company.
So, while I didn't personally garner great insight from this book, I do think it offers good tips if you are struggling to better manage your life, or to find time to do the things you love without feeling guilty.
A few quotes that stuck with me:
We can't have balance if activities in our life are neatly scheduled but we are overwhelmed, exhausted, and emotional.
Research shows that people who keep a gratitude list are happier people.
Acknowledgment of your passion is significant, courageous, and meaningful.
Your kids are never going to remember the condition of your cabinets, but they will remember what their home felt like.
I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. Not because it isn't a good book, but because it didn't provide me with additional understanding of my own life.
Some other things I've been reading online lately:
The Lay of the Land by Design for Mankind
Parenting Around the World by A Cup of Jo
Can We Bring the Holidays Down a Notch? by Rage Against the MiniVan via HuffPo
Serial and Modern StoryTelling by Hither and Thither
Funniest Parenting Tweets by The Huffington Post
CarePortal (111 Project) by Under the Sycamore
Mom, You're Doing a Great Job by We Are THAT Family
In addition to reading, I recently went on two road trips and had the opportunity to listen to Season 1 of the Serial podcast while driving through the night. The podcast is from the creators of This American Life, and hosted by Sarah Koenig. Sarah spends a year looking into the conviction of a teenager in the murder of his ex-girlfriend. It was the perfect late night story to listen to as it is not for little ears. I look forward to listening to Season 2 when I have a chance.