Escape Book Club Book

It’s time for me to announce the first book for the Escape Book Club.

Hello dear reader.

It’s time for me to announce the first book for the Escape Book Club. Drum roll please……

The book is Her Name in the Sky written by Kelly Quindlen. I didn’t want to start out with anything difficult, but I wanted to find a story that would open up some good conversation. I’ve never read anything by this author, but the premise of the book seems quite interesting. This is the description:

Hannah wants to spend her senior year of high school going to football games and Mardi Gras parties with her tight-knit group of friends. The last thing she wants is to fall in love with a girl – especially when that girl is her best friend, Baker.

Hannah knows she should like Wally, the kind, earnest boy who asks her to prom. She should cheer on her friend Clay when he asks Baker to be his girlfriend. She should follow the rules of her conservative Louisiana community – the rules that have been ingrained in her since she was a child.

But Hannah longs to be with Baker, who cooks macaroni and cheese with Hannah late at night, who believes in the magic of books as much as Hannah does, and who challenges Hannah to be the best version of herself.

And Baker might want to be with Hannah, too–if both girls can embrace that world-shaking, yet wondrous, possibility.

Everyone is welcome to read and discuss this with us, even if you didn’t ‘sign up’ for the book club. We’ll check in on the 7th of July and see how everyone is progressing with it.

Until next time…

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I’m here

These are the things that make everything worth it.

Hello dear reader.

I made it. I’m here with my daughter and son-in-law. Hugging her is one of the best feelings in the world.

Louissa is one of my very best friends. I don’t know if that’s common with a mother and daughter, but I feel extremely blessed to have that relationship with her.

I wrote a post the other day about how friends can become family. I think that happens more often than family becoming friends does. That’s been my experience at least.

I write a lot about how hard it is to deal with chronic pain. I think it’s even more important for me to write about how thankful I feel right now. These are the things that make everything worth it.

Until next time…

The Trip

This is finding life through pain.

Hello dear reader.

As I write this, I’m in a hotel room seven hours from home. Tomorrow I’ll do four more hours and be at my daughter’s house. Louissa said I are very close and I haven’t seen her in over a year.

I did better than I expected to today. My head started hurting about three hours in, but the meds helped and it hasn’t gotten insane. I’m exhausted, but laying in a bed relaxing. I’ll be going to sleep very soon, I’m sure.

I’m very thankful to have a wonderful husband who is completely supportive of me doing this. He worries because of my health issues, but is happy for me that I get to go spend time with my daughter.

This is finding life through pain. Right now, laying in this hotel room bed writing this post, I’m feeling thankful.

Until next time…

Book Escape Club

If you haven’t gotten involved yet, you still have time. You really don’t want to miss out on this!

Hello dear reader.

Books have always been an escape for me, and I love hearing others’ thoughts about them. So I’m very excited that the Book Escape Club is going to happen! 😄 I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. If you haven’t gotten involved yet, you still have time. You really don’t want to miss out on this!

I’ve been thinking about how much time we should spend reading each book. I know everyone has a lot going on and I want this to be fun, an escape, not something that causes pressure and stress. So I’m thinking flexibility. A week after we start a new book we’ll all check in to see how it’s going. We’ll do the same thing the next week. No spoilers allowed. When everyone is ready, the questions will be posted and we’ll discuss them for the next week. I think allowing a month for each book, reading and discussion, should be good. That’s about three weeks to read and one for discussion. Again, however, it’s about flexibility and fun. I’m totally open to any suggestions about what will work best.

I’ll announce our first book at the beginning of July. That choice will be made by someone different for the next book so everyone gets to choose a book. Is that okay with everyone?

I’m very excited about this. I hope it turns out to be something we all enjoy.

I’m even more excited that I’m leaving tomorrow to go visit my daughter! I miss her so much and can’t wait to spend time with her.

Until next time…

Book Escape

My daughter and I share a love of books and read some of them at the same time. We can (and do!) talk for hours about books we’ve read or want to read.

Hello dear reader.

One of the biggest surprises I’ve had since I started writing this blog was how many people are dealing with pain, physically, mentally, or both. The intent of my blog is to find ways to enjoy (or just live) life while dealing with pain. I wrote a post not long ago about things I use to distract me from pain. One of the things I listed was reading and/or listening to books. My daughter and I share a love of books and read some of them at the same time. We can (and do!) talk for hours about books we’ve read or want to read. I was thinking about that today and got an idea. It would be fun to have a book club of sorts. Here’s what I’m picturing…

We take turns choosing a book, so we’ll have variety in genre. Once a book is chosen we set an appropriate length of time to read it, understanding that we all have other things in our lives. I’m thinking a month. The book can be read or listened to (audiobooks). When the time is up, the person who chose the book comes up with ten questions and posts them. Everyone who has read the book answers the questions and we discuss it. We can do it in the form of a blog post or in comments. Those of us who do book reviews can do that as well. I know that many people who follow my blog don’t have one of their own, so I’ll gladly be the “voice” for those people. Simply email me and I’ll put it into a blog post.

This isn’t limited to people who deal with pain. Anyone who’s interested is welcome. I think we could have a lot of fun with this!

What do you think? Who’s in?

Until next time…

Home and Family (part 2)

The thing is, family isn’t necessarily about the people you’re related to.

Hello dear reader.

I left you hanging with part 1, and I apologise for that. Life sometimes gets in the way of our best intentions. But here we are, better late than never.

In part 1 I talked about moving across the country and being stuck somewhere I didn’t belong for almost 30 years. I finally found my home in the Rocky mountains of Colorado. Now let’s finish the story.

As I said, I didn’t know anyone when I moved here. I got a job in the General Store/Post Office in the village of Twin Lakes, which has a year-round population of about 25. There are a lot of people who have summer homes there and tons of tourists in the summer. But winter is very quiet. It’s like living in a big family. So obviously I became close to my fellow villagers. I was married when I moved there and had my two youngest children with me.

During the summer I worked in front of a big picture window with an incredible view and met people from all over the world. It was paradise!

Things weren’t going well at all with my marriage. We decided to find a church to start going to, hoping that would help. So Sunday morning we headed to town, found the steeple and went in. We quickly discovered it wasn’t the church we had intended to go to, but it was a wonderful mistake. Coming to St. George’s was like coming to the mountains. It was where I belonged. My husband didn’t like it and stopped going, but I’ve been a part of it ever since the first time I walked through the door. Within two years of moving to Colorado, the marriage ended and he moved away. By that time I had a family in the village and a family in St. George’s. I wasn’t going anywhere.

The thing is, family isn’t necessarily about the people you’re related to. Family is about the people in your life that are there for you, the people you can count on. Family, in my opinion, are people who really know you and accept your for who you are. They’re the ones who take the time to look past the “I’m fine,” and see what’s really going on with you. Family is the people you know will love you no matter what, even if they don’t agree with you.

This is one of my sisters that I’m not related to at all making a toast at my wedding:

She has been with me through thick and thin. I’ve tried hard to always be there for her as well. We tell each other the truth even when it’s hard. I love her so much!

Family is something you choose, as well as something you’re born into, and home is where family is.

What does family mean to you?

Until next time…

Mental health issues

I’ve come up with a few ideas to try to combat what’s happening in my head.

Hello dear reader.

Before I begin, I need to make clear that I am NOT a mental health professional. The things I say are from my personal experience.

Good. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk.

I’ve spoken a lot on this blog about my physical issues. Today, however, I want to speak about my mental issues.

I’ve been diagnosed with chronic depression, PTSD, GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), and ADD. I’m being treated for all of these, and have been for some time now. Another thing you need to know about me is that I’ve spent most of my life fighting for children. So the horrific actions being taken against immigrant children is really eating at me (see Father’s day Nightmare). I feel helpless to do anything. I find myself reading and watching everything I can find about it.

I’ve been noticing the symptoms of my mental illness getting worse as this situation continues. I’m feeling high levels of stress and anxiety. I feel a weight pressing me down. Everything feels dark and hopeless.

I’m certain I’m not the only one being affected like this. I’ve come up with a few ideas to try to combat what’s happening in my head.

  1. Turn off the news. TV, internet, social media, etc.
  2. Find a distraction. Listen to music, read a book, watch a movie.
  3. Replace the negativity with something uplifting. Make the distractions pleasant. Read a book that’s heartwarming or funny. Choose a comedy for a movie. Listen to a comedian or watch a sitcom.
  4. Ask for help. Talk to your spouse, therapist, friend, blog. Don’t try to handle it alone.

Those are what I’ve come up with so far. I’m doing #4 right now, asking for your help. Is this affecting you too? How are you handling it? What’s worked (or failed) for you?

If you’re reading this on Facebook, Twitter or another site, please click on the title of the post. That will bring you to my site. At the end of the post is a comment box. Please put your responses there so they become part of this post. That way everyone can see them. I want this to help as many people as possible.

Until next time…