I've recently been "reading" audiobooks. I don't really know how to talk about "reading" them, since I actually listen to them, but let's just pretend that I actually read Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte. I listened to an interview with Schulte on NPR and I must admit, I was intrigued. I feel completely overwhelmed most of the time and I just assumed that that was what life was like as a working scientist with a toddler. This book was stressful to read. I must admit, the first couple chapters had me on edge because I could see and hear myself in the overwhelmed people profiled by Schulte. I could feel my stress level go up and up and up as I listened to each person's never-ending to-do list. And to hear about some of the research that shows that our time is scattered, like confetti. That we never really get to finish tasks because more important ones come up. That we are in a constant state of "never getting enough done" and we will never be able to catch up. All of those things resonated with me. This book was so much more than I thought it would be. It is a study on how we spend our time. It's also about the people who study how we spend our time and how their studies cannot completely capture how we use our time. It's about motherhood, and political policies that promote healthy time use and also healthy play. It's about play - that you should play, all the time. Every day. It's about that to-do list and what you should do with it. It's also about human nature. That, as humans, we existed as communities that helped raise our children together. That this "nuclear family" idea is one that's so recent, we don't know what to do with it. It's about that working mom, feeling guilty for leaving her kids at daycare. It's also about how to deal with the overwhelm. What's her best advice? Chunk up your time. Dedicate a chunk of your time to one task, then take a break and change tasks. But, honestly, this book is full of good advice and good ways to remind yourself that life is more than a to-do list. I highly recommend it. And the audiobook was really good. Although I do wish I had the written book so I could refer to it again and again. But, honestly, would I really have read the book?