As I grow older, I grow more realistic, more clear-eyed, about the skills and talents I possess.
I no longer dream, as I did when I was a gawky, already stick-thin eight-year-old, that I would be an Olympic gymnast.
A world-class equestrian, my pre-teen ideal? I held on to that hope while racing our quarter horse through the field behind my childhood home.
A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist? Well, that dream was replaced by the reality of the life of a hometown newspaper publisher. A satisfying substitute, and a good life.
I do, however, know what I'm good at.
And I know my own competitive nature, groomed by my position as the fifth of seven children. In order to be noticed, heck, in order to get your fair share of homemade biscuits at suppertime, you needed a competitive streak.
So, I say with no false modesty - I'm a heck of a reader. I'm really, really good at it. And I practice a lot.
My frequent trips to the library to return one stack and refill my stockpile for the week are highlights of my lunchtime errands. While my schedule can be hectic, there are always moments available to open up the covers of a new book, and find myself in another world.
So, I was excited, and fired up for the Spencer Public Library's Adult Summer Reading Program.
This, this I can do!
We encourage, support, and celebrate the summer reading done by our youth. Keeping those young brains, as well as imaginations, fired up through the long, lazy days of summer, is an important task.
Keeping those, well, those more mature brains active and engaged through the summer is also important. I'd much rather delve into a good book than let my brain go into "dumb down" mode while being lulled to sleep by a television show. Indeed, my spouse and son can tell you that rarely is the television going without a book also in front of me. Call it background music for the main event.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who finds books to be friendly, lifelong companions. The library has been overwhelmed by interest in the program, and staff have been handing out the bags of information about it at a dizzying clip.
It's simple to be involved. You read. You keep a log of your reading. Drawings are held once a week for prizes from among those who have read at least one book and filled out a log. If you do a book review, you're eligible for more chances of winning. An end of the program party will be held for those who have read at least four books through the eight weeks.
Simple as that. And, as fun as that.
I've got this. Of that, I am sure. After all, I've been working out and practicing for nearly my entire life.
I may not be good at much, but I know what I can do.
Bring it on, books, bring it on.