Grasping at the straws of self-help

Exhausted, depressed, feeling sick. A bug bite on my knee (a round red circle, and I am paranoid that I have Lyme disease AGAIN!) I tried an exercise the other night that was helpful. Instead of getting so angry at things that weren’t the way I want them, I tried being grateful for the very things that are bugging me.

Like:

I am grateful for my job. It’s given me money, more professional self-confidence, and social interaction.

See how much better that feels?

In a bookstore the other day and experienced my usual feelings of despair at how even “big” well reviewed books look like so much unwanted junk once they are a year out in paperback with a sale sticker on them. Does nothing last? ? What’s the point of writing? I think the problem is probably all in my head – because I used to have so much time and energy and innocence and optimism for reading all kinds of books, and now I look at these books on tables and realize with a horrible pragmatism that the chances I’ll get around to reading any of them are slim to nil. Maybe what affects me so negatively in bookstores is actually nostalgia for my past self, that other reader who I used to be (up for anything!), and I’m grieving for her. I have reminders of her all around: that lovely Penguin copy of “The Vivisector” by Patrick White I’ll never get to, the Deleuze & Guattari  sitting unread in the office. Good Lord!

For my book, I tell myself the only thing I can do is try to write with charm. Create the character you want to be, the world you want to live in. Make it the thing you want to carry with you and hug to your pillow each night.

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