I’m okay with…

Being a little boring. Not having it all together. Not having the perfect plan.

I’ve finished reading The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. Not only did it cure my book funk, but it made me think about many things. I’m not too much into self-help books. Most of them contradict each other or just go against my personal values. However, this one gets to the root of a problem I have (please excuse my French): I give a fuck about too many things. My anxiety brain almost makes it default. Quite frankly, having that mindset causes misery. The book really wants you to sit down and think about what you truly give a fuck about.

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I made a list in my journal about what I truly care about in life. It was hard since my anxiety brain wanted to chime in all the time. I did manage it and I felt better afterward. It put some things in perspective. Some things are not worth giving a fuck about. Another hard hitter in this book is the concept of responsibility. Not everything is your fault, but most things are your responsibility to deal with afterward. How you get through painful hardships define you as a person. I’ve dealt with many things badly. Some things I’ve dealt with in a mature and smart way.  The results are important but the process defines you.

There were other things about the book that hit me with a punch. I’m really glad it did. I needed a good kick towards getting out of my slump. When I stated I’m okay with being a little boring, I meant it. I admit I was bothered that other folks seem to be into more exciting things or having epic adventures. I’m at home watching period dramas and puttering in my garden. However, that is just me. I do want to some more adventures, (Iceland and Scotland), but I can’t force them to happen. I just need to try to make them happen. I don’t need to feel inadequate that I’m not always doing something super exciting. Basically, I don’t give a fuck if you think I’m not exciting enough anymore.

 

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Someday…

This book is not going to fix me. Books are wondrous and bring magic to our lives. However, they are not going to create miracles in your life. Manson’s tome has given much more to think on in the future. I still haven’t absorbed everything. I won’t succeed at everything he mentions. However, I will try my darnedest to only give a fuck about things that truly matter in my life.

 

Book Funk

Say what? I’m not talking about a book that smells bad. It’s more of my state of mind regarding books. I haven’t read anything lately that has satisfied me. I can’t seem to get into any novel recently. I know I made this awesome reading list, but my library doesn’t carry some of the books and others are just too pricey.  I can say I’ve never been in this state before. Books are normally the one area I don’t have issues with.

I think it might be related to an overall slump I’ve had going on. I’ve definitely been in a state of ennui lately.  I thought my brief vacation would help. Nope. The book funk continued during my period of relaxation. I have two book review requests that hopefully will help alleviate the book funk. I love reviewing books so maybe this is a step in the right direction. Perhaps I should read a book in a different spot.

 

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All you need is a bench and some bug spray.

I sincerely hope I’m getting over this book funk soon. I’m reading an interesting urban fantasy novel called The Finder. I haven’t tossed it away because of the book funk yet. It’s hard for me to feel any creative flow. I think that goes for my own creativity and that of others. My interest in some things is slowly coming back. I realize I can’t let myself wallow in the slump. Even if it means pushing myself to get out of it, I will do it.

Has anyone else ever experienced book funk? How did you get out of it?

 

10 things to smile about

It was a rough morning. I didn’t sleep well last night and this morning had my heart racing. Missy stepped in a yellow’s jackets nest during her potty round. She got stung a few times. I rushed her to vet office. Luckily, she doesn’t seem to have any adverse reactions. They gave her a large dose of Benadryl and told me to monitor her. She is limping because her foot got stung. I think perhaps it was worse on me than her. My job was all right with me taking the day off to watch her. My face is currently broken out with a mysterious rash, too.  It’s days like these you have to take time the to remember the things that make you smile.

  1. The thought of always having an adventure, no matter how small or big. IMG_3887.JPG

2. The beauty of nature makes me smile all the time. From flowers in the field to watching the fireflies at night in the trees…beauty is a joy.

3. The love and support from my friends and family.

4. Losing myself in a good book bring a comforting smile to my face.

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5.  Creating something beautiful that brings joy to myself and others.

6. The feeling of when a poem or song just fits in a perfect moment.

7. The happiness at seeing a tiny seed turn into a flower.

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8. Moments of peace when the thoughts in my head are kind, and the anxiety is quiet.

9. Simply having time with someone or something I love.

10. Taking pictures of Missy’s weird and cute faces.

Sometimes it’s hard to remember what makes you smile, but it’s well worth it when you do. And as an update, the furbaby is doing well right now.

Summer Reading Wish List

Ah, even though summer is a few weeks away, I already have a list in my mind.  I want to read more non-fiction this summer, believe it or not. My job is research heavy so it has me interested in different topics. Of course, there is a good amount of fiction I want to read as well.  I’m heading to the beach in July so I need some good beach reading. Or at least something to make my brain relax. So here, are my top books or series I want to read this summer.

Summer Reading Wish List

The Radium Girls by Kate Moore: This nonfiction book is about girls who worked in factories painting watch dials. They used radium, which was thought to be a wonder chemical in the early 20th century. However, the radium made the girls glow but also made them extremely ill. This book tops my nonfiction list.31409135

Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas: This series is a list repeater. I keep meaning to read it, but I either get distracted or don’t have the funds. I really need to read it since it’s a fantasy novel right up my alley. Who can resist when the novel features an assassin named Celaena Sardothien?

Princesses Behaving Badly by Linda R. McRobbie: As a fan of Eleanor Herman’s Sex with the Queen, this nonfiction book piques my interest. It features various princesses from history and their outrageous stories. I have a historical fascination with royalty so I hope I get to this book during the summer.17412780Captive Prince series by C.S. Pacat: Once again, this is another series that has floated around on my radar. I’ve been wanting to read the story of the warrior hero Damen for a while now. It’s a fantasy novel with a romantic twist. So many books, so little time.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson: There are multiple reasons why I want to read this book. I mean, the title itself is intriguing. As a person with anxiety, I would like to care less about the crap that goes on in my mind. I’ve gotten okay at letting things go, but I feel like I can do better at it.

Anyway, I hope some of the books got you interested in reading them. May you have a book filled summer!

Mental Health Awareness Month

It’s National Mental Health Awareness month and the internet is full of images of green ribbons. Mental health is an important topic to me. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I have both anxiety and depression. I’ve done therapy, been to a doctor, and I’m on medication to manage the diseases. For it is a disease, no matter how you put it. It’s just not always visible and that is why awareness is so important.

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I’ve written before that people are afraid to come forward with their mental illness. They fear being rejected by friends and family. Or they’ve been told before they are doing and saying things for attention. Bad experiences cause them to shut down. I know this feeling. I’ve kept my mental issues from various people over the years. I’ve hidden my anxiety and sadness to appear normal. However, you can only hide those feelings for so long before something gives.

 

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Me.

 

I’m more open about my own issues. It is one of the most difficult things I do. Awareness makes people feel less alone with their disorders. It can encourage them to get help or at least talk to someone. There is no shame in having a mental illness. There is no shame in asking for help. Of course, the mentality that there is something wrong is hard to shake. Society is still stuck in the stone ages about mental illness for the most part. However, I’m proud of the strides people are taking with outreach and awareness.

As I stated before, mental illness isn’t always visible. Some people are highly functioning while they are suffering mental issues. You wouldn’t know unless they said something. However, never ignore a plea for help. If you need help or know someone who is in need, here are some resources:

https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

https://www.nami.org/Get-Involved/What-Can-I-Do

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=home

 

 

Rainy day thoughts

It’s a rainy day and my lungs gravitate between breathing and hacking. I had to cancel outdoor plans but a night of coughing led me to cancel. I suppose I need to relax and rest up. I haven’t slept much in the past week since the sinus infection. I’m mending. I just haven’t been sick like this in forever. Meh. So, it’s just a rainy Sunday and the snores of my dog rival the rain.

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The flowers will be happy.

I keep thinking I haven’t put time into some things, lately. I haven’t done yoga in weeks. I drew something in oil pastels last night. My garden is hastily tended. I realize I need to slow down and put time into these things. They are calming and good for my mental and physical health. I fear I got addicted to busy. I work 9-5 and rush around when I come home. I’m also tired at the end of the day. I need to strive to be more mindful and go back to the basics.

I read a great books series that I finished. It’s The Crown & Key series by Susan and Clay Griffith. It has steampunk, magic, and alchemy. The cast of characters are great and I highly recommend it. My reading list grows by the day.

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I keep making plans in my head. I need to carry them out. I feel like I need to be more present but take care of myself, too. I saw my name in print at work. It was the proofing copy. It gave me a nice feeling. I feel like my work is valued there. I just need to remember there is value in other things, as well. I have social plans next weekend so I suppose I needed to rest this weekend.  I needed to let my thoughts come and go.  Share what I wish to share, like my favorite poem.

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o’er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

March Book Round Up

March has been great in the book department. I’ve gotten to two books on the reading list I made before. I’ve read some additional books on the side. There was only one disappointment in the mix. I’ve definitely needed the stories this month. I needed to forget the stress of everyday life at the end of the day. Reading before bed gets me ready for sleep. So, to catch you up, here are my notable choices.

BOOKS I’VE READ

Miranda and Caliban by Jacqueline Carey

A retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest by my favorite author was something I couldn’t turn down. The book tells the story of Miranda’s formative years and the events of the play. It also presents Caliban and Miranda as being in love. Overall, it’s a  good read. I just felt like the ending could have been fleshed out a bit more.25670396

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

This book was absolutely delightful. The stories of the gods were amazing. It was the right amount of myth and humor. It was a light version of American Gods. The interactions between Thor and Loki make the entire book. I loved reading about Sif and the other Aesir as well.

Currently Reading:

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

I’m loving this book. Kvothe is an amazing hero. It’s got magic, dragons, and sword fighting. What more can you want from a book? I hear it is being made into a television series. I think, if they stayed true to the source material, it would work well. I plan on the reading the sequel, The Wise Man’s Fear when I can get a copy. I hope the author finishes Doors of Stone one day.186074

Planned Read:

The Shadow Revolution: Crown & Key by Clay and Susan Griffith. 

It’s novel about steampunk, alchemy, and monster fighting. I’ve been wanting to read this for a long time. I’ll let you know how it is.