Organize your attitude #41
Yes, read a novel. It doesn’t even have to be a Great Book. Just a story.
Get out of your own particulars, relate to someone else, and gain perspective.
When we read novels, we are able to see the world from another point of view, experience different settings and lifestyles and circumstances, and are better able to see how small circumstances build into a big picture – into a story.
Novels are not a waste of time.
I’ve shared before how it was a novel (or two) that brought me out of a housecleaning funk and showed me the importance of a neat and tidy home. Perhaps a novel contains the paradigm shift you need, also.
When our own little problems loom too large in our own eyes, when x, when x, then we need to hit the pause button.
A novel is a pause button.
Maybe a chapter at bedtime is just the mental break you need.
Maybe a “mental health day” is what you need – instead of binging on Netflix, pick up a novel and read the whole thing in one day.
When we start taking ourselves and our situation too seriously, start getting all uptight and overwrought, start losing it over the littlest provocations, we need to stop. Spending some mental and emotional time in someone else’s world and problems helps us see our own in a more healthy light, in perspective, and in the context of our own story.
Just as the story we read has struggles and stress, it moves to a conclusion where it all comes together. Life is like that, because it is God’s story.
One way to help yourself see your life as your story is to immerse yourself in someone else’s story.
So pick up a novel for your attitude’s sake.
Suggested novels for perspective
Sure, you could read Anna Karenina, Kristin Lavransdatter, or Mansfield Park, but you don’t have to commit to anything so grand to reap the benefits of getting out of your own head and your own particulars and learning from the experience of other women, even if they are fictional women.
- Little Women* by Louisa May Alcott
- Little House on the Prairie* by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Hannah Coulter* by Wendell Berry
- The Scent of Water* by Elizabeth Gouge
- No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency* by Alexander McCall Smith