Sometimes, there's just so much going on.
With family, errands, work and chores, life is a balancing act. You're being pulled in all directions and everything is demanding your attention. There's just so much to do! After making your to-do list for the day you think, 'wow, how will I ever get all this done?'
Moments later you notice a book on the couch, so alluring. Perched delicately on top of some folded blankets, soooo tempting. The cover art is so appealing. The blurb is so inviting...
'I know I have a lot to do today, but just one chapter...'
Have you ever looked at a book and thought, 'please, pleassse don't be too good'. You know that once you start, everything else ends up on the back burner.
For book club this month, we're reading The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. I got the feeling that this book would be like that. With all the rave reviews, I didn't want to take any chances. I had to time the reading just right. After all my major errands were done, I steeped some tea ☕ and began to read.
Surprisingly, it took me a while to get into it. In the beginning, I wasn't even remotely impressed.
Somewhere around the middle it started picking up.
By the end, I was in love.
*** spoilers ahead***
A great Book
The Midnight Library is a book about second chances.
We meet Nora Seed, who is full of anxieties and regrets. She feels lost and can't seem to find her place in the world. In her school days, she was having a really hard time coping. The school library became her refuge and Mrs. Elm, the librarian, became her friend. She was always kind to Nora and generous with her time. It didn't seem like much, but this had a huge impact on Nora's life.
By the end of the book we see Nora visiting an aged Mrs. Elm. Her grey hair has now become white and thin. They haven't seen each other for years so she's surprised and pleased that Nora has decided to visit.
Nora offers to visit her everyday, which makes Mrs. Elm very happy. She admits that she doesn't get many visitors and feels like people have given up on her; she hasn't been the best mother or wife and has generally let people down.
Nora affirms that Mrs. Elm had always been kind to her. She was there for her when she was going through hard times and that had a tremendous impact on her life.
Mrs. Elm views herself as a let down but in Noras eyes, she was one of the few people in her life that showed her kindness. 🌱
I remember in university, there was a period when I was going through a tough time. I was seated in a computer lab about to take an exam. A lecturer, who hadn't taught me but happened to be invigilating the exam, walked up to me seeming to sense that something was amiss. He looked at me with such kindness and concern and said, 'don't worry, everything is going to be all right.'
I immediately felt such relief and calm... It's difficult to describe. It may not sound profound, but it meant so much to me. In that moment, those words were exactly what I needed to hear.
This happened around 7 years ago and I still think about it sometimes. When I feel flustered or overwhelmed, I just think about that moment. The words and the kindness, delivered by a stranger. Then I feel better :)
'Never underestimate the big importance of small things.'