what i’m into – keeping me sane {april-september 2020}

What I'm Into {April-September 2020}

It has been a very long time since I have done one of these posts. My last one was April 1st and thanks to Barbara and my mommy for encouraging me to post again.

The truth is that I have not been my best during the uncertainty that has been 2020. And it just hasn’t been the fear of getting sick with THE virus but the fear of its implications on our lives.  I am an Event Manager and most in-person events were being cancelled.  What did that mean for me? Then my country noticed (probably because it had nowhere else to look) that it was not wholly living up to one of its core tenets, “all men are created equal”. Did this mean anything to me? Should I do something? This past winter, the Hubby and I had been thrilled when the Buddy Man was accepted into a magnet program for the start of his academic life but with the virus, were we going to need to educate him at home? Most of that responsibility would fall to me and what would that mean for my work and my energy?

As I grappled with these questions, and others,  I didn’t have the mental capacity to write anything for the blog.  It was difficult just trying to stay sane much less, write coherent sentences about any of this.  But, no matter what happens or how long of a break I take, the truth remains:  I am a writer.  And what is a writer without a reader? So, I am back to share what I have been doing, in the hopes that it might encourage someone else to be intentional about how they move through the world.  Besides, sharing with you provides me accountability, which is always beneficial to me.

So here’s a few ways I’ve been staying sane.

  • I tend to eat when I am stressed and I have been eating as a way to cope. But I am proud I have exercised regularly (more times than I haven’t) throughout this entire year, getting up as early as 4:30 AM to make sure that it gets done before the rest of my day takes over and I’m too tried to do it later.
  • I have been very selective of my activities, and yes, I count virtual ones also because, for me, they incur almost as much trepidation and anxiety as the in-person ones. This was particularly difficult in late August because Mompreneur, which I was honored to be a speaker for and a member of the planning committee last year, took place a few weeks ago, and I just KNEW that I didn’t have the mental energy to devote to it.  And so, I stepped away.
  • I have been very selective of my media inputs, including news and social media, and have dramatically reduced my consumption of both. Of course, this has led me to wonder if, since I am reducing the number of things that I read, I should even post on my blog? Am I just adding to all the noise? Does anyone even care? Does it help anyone? Existential questions for another day.
  • I have been reading, obviously from my Quick Lit posts which I have been proud that I have managed to continue, but I have focused on reading for fun. I have tended to read a lot of nonfiction, inspiration, memoir, etc., in the hopes of improving my life and my world. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great, I like to do it and probably always will. However, my brain has not been able to handle a lot of “should do’s” to improve life.  This year, I feel like I have been treading water most of the time, and so, I have been reading some great romance novels just to shut down the analytical side and escape into something that feels good and makes me happy. I believe it has helped.

What about you?  How have you been coping? Comment below and if you have a monthly recap post, link it in the comments.  I always enjoy reading them and let’s plan to do it again on Monday, November 2ndFingers crossed.

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {august 2020}

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I am 3 books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year.  Here’s what I read last month and what I am currently reading now.

Read

  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. I had the honor and privilege to interview Natalie Jenner for the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club last month! Insert excited and shocked face emoji! And after talking with the author, I love this book so much! I was struggling with reading words on a page, but I flew through it on audio.
  • A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. Finished my fourth book in the Inspector Gamache series. And with the weather slowly beginning to get cooler, I will soon be on to the fifth, which is set in autumn. I read this by going back and forth between the digital copy and the audio copy which improved my French pronunciations immensely.
  • Escaping Dreamland by Charlie Lovett. My review of this book is going to be biased because I heart Charlie Lovett. His novels are always impeccably researched and he is the master of historical setting. His books are literary tales meaning they are about books and stories and writers, which I absolutely love.  Further, he features two diverging timelines, one in the past and on in the present and I find myself really enjoying those kinds of books.  Finally, I always want to read “just one more page!” This book was all of those things.

Currently Reading

You can listen to my episode of What Should I Read Next here and check out the Rocket City Mom Virtual Book Club here. If you are a member of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, you can check out the interview with Natalie Jenner here.  If you’re not a member, join. It’s so much fun.

Anne also does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post.  If you’re here because of her,  I thank you and her.

What have you been reading lately. And as Anne would say, “Happy Reading”.

enjoy life…

quick lit – next page, please {july 2020}

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It’s back – my reading life that is.  I’m so happy about that! It got a huge jolt when I attended the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Book Club Stay at Home Retreat last month.  I will have to talk all about that in another post. And I continue to be four books ahead of schedule in my goal to read 40 books this year.

Read

  • Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle. A thought-provoking read by the author of A Wrinkle in Time. I haven’t read Wrinkle or watch the corresponding movie but this book makes me want to. And pick up everything else L’Engle has ever written, for that matter.
  • Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld. This is my second book by Sittenfeld and I love her writing style. Plus, the premise of this novel – what if Hillary hadn’t married Bill – was fascinating. I LOVE alternate histories/the-road-not-taken stories.  As a kid, I enjoyed chose-your-adventure stories. I have been wondering what that says about me as a person but we will save that for another post.
  • Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Although I have adamantly proclaimed that I can’t get into audiobooks, this is my second audiobook in as many months. Technically it’s an audio short story but Goodreads counts it as a book so I will too. A short read, er, listen, I finished cleaning my house to keep this one going.  I really enjoy Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work and this was no exception. This is an Amazon Original.
  • Dream Work by Mary Oliver. I have finally completed a book of poems since graduating from college with an English degree, if I don’t count Cleo Wade’s Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life which I don’t but thoroughly enjoyed. I have enjoyed Mary Oliver’s essays and when we were just beginning social-distancing and reading was a struggle, someone suggested shaking things up by reading a book of poems.  Sometimes, I understood what Oliver was saying and the words were so profound.  Other times, I didn’t understand a thing and the words were incoherent.  That being said, I will probably try another book of poems very soon.

Currently Reading

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Yep, still dipping in and out of this as the mood strikes. Since I have a number of other exciting things to read, not as often as before but I plan on finishing reading and journaling through it this year.
  • The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner. This is my third must-read pick from the MMD Summer Reading Guide and happens to be August’s pick for the MMD Book Club. I’m found myself struggling to read this one in a digital format so I switched to audio and am now making good progress.
  • A Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny. This is my fourth book in the Inspector Gamache series and as I said two months ago, I LOVE this series.  One thing that I really like is that these are written during a particular season, IE A Rule Against Murder takes place during the summer.  I am enjoying reading them in the season that they take place. Another interesting thing to note is I am reading this on Kindle and audiobook at the same time.  Who knew I was pronouncing all those French words so wrong?
  • The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis. It’s here! My Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Summer Reading Guide Pick.  I could fly through this in a matter of hours but I am enjoying it slowly.  So far, it’s got everything that I love: writing, books, library, artifacts, alternate historical timelines.  So excited! I also enjoyed this interview with Fiona Davis, sponsored in part by the St. Louis County Library and HEC Media.

In Case You Were Wondering

Yes, I talk a lot about the Modern Mrs. Darcy’s space here and I always have. If you’re looking to kindle, or rekindle, your reading life, she’s the place to start. Her Summer Reading Guide has been the described as the “Christmas” of book lovers and her Book Club is one of two that I participate in. I’m so excited because she has decided to have “Christmas” all year long and have a Fall Book Preview on Tuesday, September 1 for the members of her Book Club and What Should I Read Next Patreon communities.  This will be very much in-line with her Summer Reading Guide but have 40 (ish) books for Fall.  My TBR may not recover.

Anne also does a Quick Lit post every month discussing what she is currently reading, to which I am linking this post.  If you’re here because of her,  I thank you and her. As Anne would say, “Happy Reading”.

enjoy life…