This Week’s Favorites! #2

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I had a lot more time this week to get in some reading, so here’s my second favorites post!

Most of what I’ve read over the past two weeks are classics. I read Life of Pi by Yann Martel, after having it on my TBR list for about ten years. I am only sorry to have waited so long.

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“It is true that those we meet can change us, sometimes so profoundly that we are not the same afterwards, even unto our names.”

This story follows Pi Patel as he is travelling to Canada with his family and some of their zoo animals. The ship wrecks, and Pi is left stranded on a lifeboat with a 450 pound Bengal tiger. Over the next 200 or so days, they brave the elements together, and come to have a special bond. 

Pi’s personality was something I really enjoyed. He isn’t satisfied with one religion, so he proclaims himself as Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. To him, he is loving the same god no matter what, he just loves to worship in different ways. He is kind, even to an enormous cat that could potentially kill him. He is always thinking of the pain that the animals around him suffer, even when he has to eat fish while stranded on the boat. 

The writing was lovely and surreal, the development of characters (especially Richard Parker the tiger) was amazing, and the story was hard to put down. I would highly recommend this to anyone who hasn’t read it yet.

Here’s my Goodreads review of the book:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2044659720?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

 

My second favorite this week is a book that’s also been on my TBR list forever- We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I had watched the movie years ago, and the book has been on my list ever since.

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“I thought at the time that I couldn’t be horrified anymore, or wounded. I suppose that’s a common conceit, that you’ve already been so damaged that damage itself, in its totality, makes you safe.” 

For those of you who don’t know the story, it’s incredibly disturbing. The story is told from the point of view of Eva, who is the mother to Kevin- an emotionless child who ends up becoming a mass murderer. The story follows them as Kevin grows up, hating his mom from a very young age. The book starts before Eva has him, and climaxes into the moment he ruins the rest of her life. The writing is amazing, the story is horrifying but incredibly interesting to read, and the character development left me almost confused on who to root for by the end of the book. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but I’d personally recommend it to anyone who can handle disturbing subject matter.

Here’s my Goodread’s review of the book:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2273389050?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

 

What are the best things you read/watched this week? 

Coming Back Down

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My goal for this week was to do a regular blog post over the weekend, and then a favorites post today, however neither of those things are happening.

I spent the past five days at my parent’s house in Ohio. It was a much-needed break from reality and my everyday life, and I couldn’t make myself stick to any sort of habit.

I did do a lot of reading this week, between audio books and my normal reading- but wasn’t able to finish anything that I liked enough to do a favorites post. By next week I will have some things finished that will be worthy of blogging.

As for a regular blog post, I made it a point to barely touch my computer all weekend. The break was so good for my mental health, and I only wish it had lasted a little longer.

Instead of sticking to a writing schedule and strict work schedule, I spent time with my parents and siblings, played more with the dogs, read more, ate whatever I wanted, and slept in. Time was less important, and every second was well spent.

I drank without worrying about waking up the next morning, I didn’t time myself for anything, I slept until waking up naturally, and I ate what I wanted without thinking about it. It was surreal.

I think it would be helpful to make it a point to give myself this kind of break at least once a month. It’s so easy to get lost in your career/chores/schedule/etc. that you can completely forget who you are and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

So I am adding that to my New Year’s resolutions. At least once a month I will take a day unplugged from technology, eating and sleeping when I want, and taking care of myself.

What do you do to recharge mentally? Share it with me in the comments- I need some inspiration!

Staying Inspired.

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Ruts are normal. Whether it’s simply falling off of the wagon for your diet or good habits, or completely hit pause on your life- it happens.

I’ve been finding myself in a complete creative rut for the past couple years. I used to write poetry and short stories, paint, and play guitar consistently.

About two and a half years ago, I started working in an office that took up all of my emotional energy. The job was repetitive, boring but stressful, and left me with no motivation for anything else after I got off. Most of the people I know have or are experiencing this.

If you’re not doing something you love or at least respect, it can take away all desire and motivation for anything else. 

So, since we can’t all just up and leave everything that drags us down, what do you do? Any progress, no matter how small, is progress. You can’t just quit your job, but if it makes you that miserable, you can start taking steps to find something better. If I can do it anyone can. Hate where you live/who you live with/how you spend your time? Take steps, no matter how small, to change those things.

What inspires you? Do more of that. Nothing gives me more motivation to write and leave my comfort zone than reading does, so I read as much as my schedule allows me to. Take as much time as you can to do those things that make life worth living.

Take care of yourself, and you will blossom.

What inspires you? What do you do to rekindle inspiration? 

Let the Sunshine In

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Earlier this week I found myself burrowed under several dog hair-coated blankets, surrounded by the flickering of a few bakery-scented candles, typing furiously at my laptop with anger bubbling at the edge of my mind like a wave about to crash. My twelve hour work day had just begun a few hours prior, and I couldn’t focus or conjure up a single positive thought.

The managers of my rental house had been neglecting to fix our heat or our water, which were broken for over a week. Bronchitis had taken hold of my body for about three weeks, refusing to allow me any rest. I’d been working 60 hour weeks even through all the holidays, and I couldn’t catch a single break.

An hour later I forced myself out of my cramped, cozy workplace in order to take my dogs outside for a walk. My body physically recoiled from the 10-degree weather as we bustled out the door and onto the icy sidewalk but the sun hit my face and my anger melted away.

I often underestimate the wonders of Vitamin C. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a real thing, and often makes my regular mental health issues so much worse. As much as I dislike bright light, and would prefer an overcast, rainy afternoon any day, the sun truly does a lot of good for me.

Even if you don’t have time for a long walk or an extended period of time outside, going out for just a few minutes, or opening your curtains and blinds to let the light in can help. It’s really easy to get swallowed into the darkness that winter brings- make sure that you’re doing all you can to fight it.

For those of you really, really struggling, here are some easy things you can do in under five minutes to help.

-Open a window in the room you’re currently occupying. If it’s too cold for that, just open the curtains or blinds and let the sun in. 

-Sit on your porch for a few minutes. 

-If you have a mailbox that isn’t attached to your house, walk to and from it. 

-There’s a beautiful invention called a therapy light box that you can purchase. If you sit in front of it, you are provided with the same effect as sunshine. 

-Eat food with a high amount of Vitamin D or take Vitamin D supplements.

Stay safe and happy this winter season my friends.

 

How do you deal with S.A.D? 

 

A Little Background…

 

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Hello, I’m a 23 year old currently residing in Winchester, Virginia and I love to write. For the past few years I’ve been slacking on having a personal blog, but my life keeps getting more and more interesting and I’d like to share stories and my own thoughts with the world. My spouse and I are living in this state for the next eight months or so, and then we are taking a renovated school bus across the country with our dogs. So my adventures, thoughts, and poems will be placed on here. If you have any questions for me, there is a Contact Me page at the top of the screen as well. I’m really looking forward to writing for myself again!