Kim Hedzik

Don't Blogger me, I'm writing.

My Obsession Caught up with Me

Today, I was comparing savings account interest rates from credit unions with those from traditional banks. I was intrigued because credit unions generally offer higher return rates. I wondered, “What’s the catch?” I soon found out.

It’s not the financial institutions I needed to worry about. It was my relentless need to read about them. On my phone. At a very long red light in a hands-free state. In my defense, I could have become gaga over money market accounts with their beguiling .17 percent dividend rate, but I employed self-control. I stayed in my own lane. I was just there for straight forward saving account rates. It was the perfect data bite to obtain while waiting to make a left. Okay, I did peek at 12-month IRA CDs for a second. You would too with the .80 Annual Percentage Yield. I think we can all agree that CDs require more research than one stoplight can provide: even a four-way with multiple turn lanes.

Never-the-less, the light turned green, I plopped my phone into the cup holder, and off I went. Nearly at my son’s school. But what’s this? Blue lights flashing in my rearview mirror? Uh oh. The officer said, “I saw you on your phone. Were you watching a video?”

A video? How pedestrian. I wanted to say, “I was preparing a brief for my upcoming trial.” Or “I was researching how mRNA strands function in COVID vaccines.” Or maybe, “I was creating a TED talk on the value of early literacy.” In the end, I offered him a far less entertaining tidbit. “I was reading something,” I said.

I admit to having a reading obsession. My grandmother had one too. With her grade school education, she never achieved her dream of becoming a teacher. Instead, she read. It served her. She was a gifted cook, a meticulous seamstress, and an inquisitive listener. In her later years, when reading material was less available and her mind wasn’t as sharp, she read labels, ingredient lists, and signage. Anything to keep herself engaged.

Just like her, my brain is happiest when it’s reading, studying, and learning. Often I process it all and write essays or articles for others to read. I live with the constant struggle to stay in the moment yet get many things done. Next time, that’s right, I’m not done reading on my phone, but next time, I’ll read in a parking lot. Or maybe in the CVS drive-thru. Is that ok? It’s not a real road, is it?

Maybe I should consider my children. If I get thrown in the slammer for reading, what will become of them? Will they give up reading altogether? And besides, how many books will the prison warden let me have in my cell at one time? One? Will they have good internet reception in jail? What about the pillows? I bet they are really flat.

No. I like my mattress, my pillow and my endless supply of reading materials. Whether digital or print. The answer is clear. Tomorrow I will drive to the Credit Union and make a deposit. I will not look at my phone, even at a really long light. Then I will give up driving. It prevents me from reading. And that’s a real crime.

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