I have realized that parenthood takes a massive hit on one’s concentration. Back in the day, I would be appalled at how the folks I met that had kids seemed to read nothing but pulp fiction or perhaps nothing at all. Yeah, it was a perhaps arrogance as well but getting more to the point of this post, it is also a matter of concentration. At my best, I was not an avid reader but a rabid one. I would devour books left and right. I learned French after moving to Paris primarily by forcing myself through most of the French classic authors one by one. Well, two kids later, I can barely finish a Dumas novel and can not even bear a single page of Proust or Joyce anymore. Its not that I don’t enjoy them or even crave the old satisfaction I used to get from reading them, I realize now the enormous amount of concentration involved. With 3h/day of commute for work and between preparing the kids in the morning and then bath-dinner-bedtime in the evening, I am pretty brain-dead by the end of the day – or work-obsessed and so diving into fiction is much, much harder than ever now. I guess I’ll either need to make the time on weekends (carving it out of other activities like running or housework) or just put reading fiction on pause for the next 5 to 8 years…time will tell…
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