Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Stress Reading

2018 has been one of the most stressful years on record for our family.  We've lost people we love, we've faced new parenting challenges, job stress, and one of our children had surgery.  It was rough.  And maybe it's that time of year, maybe I feel the need to be ready for whatever might come next, I'm sitting here taking stock.  

no, really.

What worked...and what didn't?
How did we handle these circumstances with grace and what made us come apart at the seams?

More than any other year I've found my coping mechanism in 2018 to be books.  Reading for me, audiobooks when I'm folding laundry, talking about books with my husband, children, friends.  When life got hard, I cracked open a book and hid there for a while.  

actual footage of me

It may sound a little unhealthy (can you say "avoidance"??) but it wasn't.  In going to books I learned so many things this year.  

I learned how to love difficult people through difficult things (Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Ginny Moon).  
I learned the value of occasional escapism (Gamache Books).  
I learned to laugh (Let's Pretend This Never Happened, Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves).  
I learned to relate to my teens (I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter) and my younger kids (Henry and Beezus).  
I learned to pray (Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer).  
I learned to grieve (Traveling with Ghosts).  
I learned to see beauty in small things (A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Ministry of Ordinary Places).  I learned that travel is a very good thing (Less), and so is coming home (Belong to Me).
I learned to love (Persuasion).  
I learned to live (Nobody's Fool).

Through fiction and non-fiction, my stress reading habit saw me through this year.  

I'm ready for 2019 and I'm hoping for a less eventful year.  But, now I know that I will manage just fine, with good friends, a loving family, and books.  Lot and lots of books.  

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