As a parent, I'm all for being "in the moment." But in reality, during most of our waking moments, we'd better be multitasking as much as possible. (I haven't figured out how to do it during sleep, or I would. Though that's certainly a "moment" I enjoy being fully "in.") I still can't get over what our ancestors would think if they saw us "working out." If only more of us could have jobs that kept us physically fit. But alas, being worn out from running around all day doing mom stuff, doesn't seem to do the trick.
For me, my exercise of choice is getting out of the house for a walk. Luckily, I can do this with my youngest in tow and (usually) still get the mental break that I am desperate for. Sure, I take some time with her to listen to birds and trickling water, we keep our eyes out for rabbits, and we stop to check forducks, and I enjoy that, too.
But one reason I can enjoy it is because most of the time we're out, I put in my earbuds and focus on something I can't find much time for these days--reading.
Recently, my high school junior was reading Jane Eyre, by Emily Bronte, for his English class. As I had never read this classic, I decided to check an audio copy out from the library. I couldn't believe I'd never read this fabulous book! No wonder it's famous--it truly deserves to be!
I also checked out a couple movie versions of the story. We watched a feature length movie which was entertaining enough and told the basic plot:
and a BBC version with several episodes that wasn't as engaging, but included more of the story:
But both of them fell very far short of the book itself. There is so much more to this story than the basic plot.
Emily Bronte introduces us to a young orphan girl and follows her through the years as she suffers, grows, endures, and enjoys life. We see her character develop and her thought processes as she tries to do what she feels is best. The rich language of the novel is completely lost in the movies, as are the depth of Jane's struggles and strengths. She repeatedly faces degradation in order to do what she feels is morally imperative. She is pressured by those in authority and power as well and those she loves deeply to go against her convictions, but even religious manipulation is unable to persuade to do that which she feels is wrong.
Jane Eyre is a heroine I would love to meet and introduce my daughters to. Emily Bronte's writing is a masterful* medium to do it through. Though enjoyable, the movie versions fall far short of the book. I haven't seen the new movie, that just came out March 2011, but from what I've seen of Hollywood, I don't expect much. Or rather, I'm sure the visual and dramatic effects will be the best yet (along with a PG-13 rating for nudity which wasn't in the book of course), but even if they cared about the morality of the novel, they couldn't develop the characters adequately in the length of the movie. At any rate, the book is worth your time. Especially if you can get something else done simultaneously!