Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's Making Me Happy

// I just adore Mario Batali. He's promoting his new book and I love hearing all of his interviews.

// A baby who sleeps wherever:

// Walks around the neighborhood after dinner:  

// I read a book! And the first I've read on my new tablet - I like the e-reading experience. Finished Wild on my business trip and I'm excited to see the movie. Reese Witherspoon in New York: "I’ve never seen a film like Wild where the woman ends up with no man, no money, no family, no opportunity, but she still has a happy ending."

// Checking out books from the SA public library digital collection is a snap (actually a soundless tap) - because I liked Wild so much I downloaded another Cheryl Strayed book, a collection of advice columns titled Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar. (I vaguely remember my sister Elise recommending both of these a couple of years ago, which doesn't surprise me because Elise has her finger on the pulse of things like this -- and she's blogging too, catch up with her here to be in the know).

I settled into bed with my tablet to read TBT for 15-30 minutes before lights out but before I knew it two hours had passed. TBT has precisely the sort of kick-in-the-gut brutal but compassionate honesty I've been looking for with my shallow forays into the self-improvement genre. (The foreword is great too -- I kept reading and thinking, wow, I really like this writer and with the last click I saw it was Steve Almond, a writer whose work I've enjoyed in the New York Times magazine).

These forays have been prompted by a new habit I've developed upon waking: running through a mental list of failures, disappointments, instances I've been foolish, situations I've been utterly unprepared for because of an intentional lack of preparation (I'll just wing it), cruel things I've said, embarrassments, shortcomings, squandered opportunities, a litany of would of should of could ofs that grows every morning (Oh! I forgot about that time I was so stupid). I heard Lena Dunham say recently there is nothing cruel someone could say to her that she hasn't said to herself, even more cruelly, in the past 30 minutes and that this relentless self-criticism and self-loathing is a means of protection: you can't be hurt by others if you've hurt yourself first.

This self-reflection could be healthy if it spurred growth or change. But it doesn't. I've been stewing in analysis paralysis. No growth. No change. The closet is unsorted. The journals are unread. No improved time management. Little tasks pushed off to another day. Always another day.

TBT exhorts me, compels me, commands me, do the work. Move on. But do the work to become the person you want to be.

What's making me happy this week - the tough love of Sugar. A great book that I don't know I would have been ready to read until now.

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad you are reading Tiny Beautiful Things! I liked Wild as well and am looking forward to seeing the movie.