Rule #2

#2 Escape Through Literature

Let’s say things are tough for you for whatever reason — Say, your husband has Parkinson’s Disease and the disease is stressing you out — grab a book. Escape.

Let’s say your kids want to show you a cool new video game. “Sorry kids, can’t come now! I’m reading a book.”

Reading trumps just about anything. Sure, you look anti-social. But you also look smart.

And although reading seems anti-social, it’s not really. There is always book club — a very social and very intellectual pursuit.

Also, a great excuse. “Sorry, can’t make dinner. I’ve gotta finish my book club book.” Then the next night, “Sorry, can’t make dinner. I’ve gotta go to book club.” (Our last book was Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. In our book club, even if you don’t read the book, you can comment on the cover art.)

Lindsay and I discussed changing this rule to Escape Through the Arts, because painting, play practice, or piano lessons also help one cope. Any participation in the arts is a great escape.

And then we thought, we should change the word ‘escape’ too because really the arts are more of a ‘going to’ than an ‘escaping from.’ But what the heck — Escape Through Literature has a nice intellectual ring. And intellectual = good.

Reading. Writing. Even pretending to read or write. People respect that. And it’s all about respect. No, wait. It’s all about love. People love that. And they’ll love you if you’re a reader or writer. At least that’s been my experience.

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