Too Much Work and a Pile of Books

In the past few months, I’ve gotten really good at limiting how much I was doing. This was after I had to take time off for the second time in six months to cater to a body that didn’t like my stress levels.

I’ve learned that when you have PTSD, there is a certain level of constant stress in your body.

No really, Lene? Well, some days are blonder than others …

What I didn’t realize was that my normal levels of activity — work, medical appointments, meetings, volunteering, spending time with friends and family – together added up to a certain level of stress (even good stress is stress). Under normal circumstances, it was something I could handle. But now that PTSD is underneath it all, my normal routine puts me past the limit of what my body can deal with. Which means I had to reduce my normal routine or my body would make me sorry.

Interesting, isn’t it?

And then September happened and all that went out the window. I’ve been writing a fair bit, other things exploded all over, and I had to step up to take over responsibility for a committee that a friend of mine normally runs due to her having an unexpected and extended trip to the hospital. Because that’s what we do for each other — we cover each other’s derrières.

So the thing I’ve learned is that when other areas in your life grow, something else has to go on the back burner. In this case, it was a blog and social media. Because I don’t want to make myself sick again.

I owe you a post about my trip to The Ex and have several interesting ideas for other pieces, and #RABlog Week starts on Monday. Yikes!

It’ll come when I can.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share a bit about the books I’m currently reading.

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton.Because I really do want to know what happened. I mean, I get that people might not want to vote Democrat and there’s nothing wrong with that — one of the great things about the people I know online and off is that we like and respect each other regardless of politics. But voting for a narcissistic bully with no filters, who caters to white supremacists, and endangers global peace? I wish I could say “not my circus, not my monkeys,” but what happens in the US directly affects Canada and the rest of the world.

Breathe…. Anyway, I’ve just started diving into the audio version of this book, read by the author. Hillary isn’t a spectacular narrator, but there’s something about listening to her talking about the aftermath of the election in her own words and her own voice that’s really powerful. Also, the beginning of the book is making me tear up. I think I’ve put a significant lid on my feelings about what happened. For that reason, and because nonfiction makes my brain work, this is a daytime book.

The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman. I’ve been working on this for a while — it’s a collection of speeches, essays, and forewords to books narrated by Mr. Gaiman himself. Who is an unbelievable narrator — all his books benefit from him reading them. I take this in small chunks, because his nonfiction writing often makes me think quite deeply. Also, I find that reading Gaiman is like listening to Baroque music. It is intricate, musical, and very complex. You need to pay attention in a different way. And that takes being awake. This one is also a daytime book.

Dead Beat by Jim Butcher. This is Book 6 of the Dresden Files, a series I’ve been popping in and out of for years. It’s wonderfully written fantasy about a wizard in modern-day Chicago, narrated by none other than James Marsters (a.k.a. Spike from Buffy), who does a fantastic job of making these characters and the action come alive. One of things I love about these books is that there are consequences to actions and although the main characters generally survive some pretty intensely serious supernatural shenanigans, they’re not always in one piece afterwards, physically or emotionally. More is at stake here than in so many other novels. Sure, this is the book I read to relax at night, but it’s still touching my heart.

What are you reading these days?


Rick said…
I finished Dreamland and I started over again, (it is that good). I have a book about the story and making of Dunkirk on the horizon.

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