Hi everyone! My site was down for two days but thanks to my awesome techie mom heroes, MarilenStyles is back in business! I used to read a lot! During my teens, I could float through the pages of a book and wander in that fictional world to my heart’s delight. I miss those days! I suppose you can say social media has taken over the good old book reading hobby but I blame it on motherhood. Maybe not all moms are like me, but this is how my life is these days.. I put a book out to read and it sits on my night table for months. It travels with me to about two airplane rides before I can finish it! Pathetic huh?! But wait, don’t judge, let me tell you why.. I read my book while lounging on a bed by the beach and every 5 or 10 minutes my little ones bother me with questions like ” Why don’t you want to swim Mom?” or “Mom can you play in the sand with me?” Do you get the picture? However that doesn’t stop me from sticking to my goal of reading more this year. I am currently reading Geisha of Gion by Minneko Iwasaki, a true story about Japan’s geisha and their way of life. I love how their life is described as it takes me to another place and a different time.
Reading takes you to a different place, makes you see things from a different perspective, and takes you out of your present stressful situations. It enhances the soul and practices the brain. As the good doctor Seuss said, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you will go.”
I’ve asked some of my friends for titles of their favorite books. Here are some more good reads:
“Without a doubt the top of my list when it comes to books is “Dying to be me” by Anita Moorjani. It chronicles a Hong Kong Indian woman’s descent into end stage terminal cancer, her near death experience and her return to full health. It’s an incredible story, best of all I know the events to be true as Anita is a very dear friend of mine and I watched this happen before my own eyes. She talks about crossing over to the other side, something I never would have believed had it not been her who I knew so well. She talks about seeing her best friend in the other realm who was my late sister who also passed away from cancer. It’s incredible, and changed me forever. Her message is to live life fearlessly in a nutshell. Her book was on the New York Times best seller list and has been translated into dozens of languages and has done incredibly well. ”
“I absolutely love “The Magnolia Story” by Chip and Joanna Gaines, both are known as HGTV’s Fixer Upper duo. I have been a fan of their show since the beginning and I was awaiting the release of their book. As expected their story, from their marriage to their home-grown construction and interior design business, resonated the values that gravitated me to their show. They are down-to-earth, neighborly, puts their Faith and Family first, and very generous in sharing their success. Aside from that, I love learning that Joanna Gaines, whose country-modern design aesthetic I absolutely admire, became a designer by chance. She studied Journalism, but got into interior styling by accident.”
“I like to read short books that give me a good inspiration and spiritual boost to give me hope as I tend to get emotional about things. A book that I love which was gifted to me is actually a poem “Desiderata” by Max Erman written in the 1920s. It applies to todays’ generation with a lot of inspiration. It focuses on peace on earth and within yourself. Always be kind and understanding of people, your environment and situations. It is a beautiful poem about life!
Then there are those who already read regularly. They need a different hobby to indulge in and grow by. Taking on a new hobby challenges your creativity, gives you a new thing to pursue and a new goal to reach. It is relaxing and soothing if you truly get into it. I recall days when I would visit my parents in their farm and get lost in new pursuits like calligraphy. I also revisited my childhood passion of watercolor. Now that I am in Hong Kong, I realized I’ve never pulled my tools out. I have a friend who designs websites. As a mater of fact she designed mine and has coded many other gorgeous sites from all over the world. Being in front of the screen deciphering codes and numbers can be undoubtedly daunting so she unwinds by creating pretty watercolor art.
Here are other hobbies worth pursuing:
I started blogging as a hobby over 10 years ago. It was only supposed to be a respite from my work as a magazine editor. I enjoyed blogging a lot even though I only wrote about silly things. My blog has allowed me to retire from publishing and spend time at home with my three young sons. For that, I am beyond grateful! That’s already a big deal, right? But with the bigger audience and the trust of clients, I had to make my blogging more meaningful. It was hard at first because blogging was really supposed to be a hobby meant for my selfish pursuits and I resented the fact that my readers were telling me to be inspiring, helpful, generous. But when I listened to my loyal readers, I changed. I started looking for ways to be helpful and generous in everything I write about, which helped me to be the same in real life, too. For that, I am beyond grateful.
Traveling has completely changed my perspective in life, allowing me to once again trust in the good and kindness of people. While on the road, you realize that life shouldn’t be driven by material possessions but rather by experiences. Traveling puts you out of your comfort zone, teaching you things about yourself that you probably didn’t know about. Through my travels, I have become more resourceful, independent, and compassionate.
I hope all these ideas give you inspiration to start something new. As I close this blog post, I’m actually thinking of my newest hobby.. gardening. I never realized how much I’d enjoy it. I’ll share it with you all next week!