May has been a stressful month one of those months that starts with one bolt which hits you unexpectedly. You take it and then comes another. You take it and then find another. You take it hope that’s the end for now and then get sent two large boulders which land just at the same time when your positivity has just been about diminished. That has been our month. So much so that my husband and I are raising a glass on the 31st May to the end of May and hoping for a much more positive June.
Stress does funny things to you that let’s you know that its arrived. These have included unpacking my bag to get ready for an awards dinner to find that my evening jewellery had been left at home. And my underarms resembled a forest as did my legs things I usually wouldn’t overlook. Forgetting my pin number for my bank card for an account I use all the time. So much so had to phone the bank. And not being able to read more than a few pages of a book at a time. This is not like me at all. The last time that happened was 13 years ago when I became a mother for the first time and my brain seemed to go to mush.
Reading is my huge de stresser in life I need it in my life. So I turned to what is termed as “light reading” or “chick lit”. I have said before I hate those terms and I do. Does it matter it’s still reading? It allowed me to read and not feel that I had to think too much about what I was reading. More than that the issues in the books actually helped me. As a friend said to me today when you
have months like this the best thing to do is be grateful for who you do have in your life.
Book 31 was “The Bad Mother” by Isabelle Grey. It’s about a women about my age (45) whose world crumbles in the course of 24 hours. First she discovers her long-lost aunt is in fact her mum. Her parents who are her rock are her aunt and uncle. Although she is separated from her husband she is expecting to get back with him. He then tells her he is in love with someone else. As she comes to terms with it all she finds and meets her real father despite being warned not to. In doing so she neglects her own children and draws a fort round her relations with her parents. This book tackles some really difficult issues and sees points of views from all the key characters with the exception of the blood father. The moral of the story is that family is family and they will stand by you no matter what. I reflected as I finished the book that this is what family means to me they are the most important thing in my life. Why? Well in part because my parents have instilled that in me all my life which gives me the confidence to show my kids this too.
Book 32 was lent to me by a friend “The Little coffee shop of Kabul” it is about strong friendships through hard times and adversity. I could relate to this as the longer you live the power of friends touches me those I have known for a few years. Those I have known as a school girl and those I have known over the course of my working life and other chapters of it. Facebook is criticized quite rightly and I am often frustrated with it but that said it does allow you to connect with people in a way we never have been able to before. Without Facebook I would never have been in touch with school friends or past colleagues the way that I am. Or keep in touch with family near and far. For that I love Facebook. Over the course of this month Facebook friends have contacted me to ask if I am ok. I thought I was doing a great job of being positive but one friend had noticed something wasn’t quite right and that really touched me. As have friends in the village whose advice I value as we pound the streets on our regular walks. “The Little coffee shop of Kabul” is about friendships in the hardest of places to live Afghanistan.
“Light Reading” or “Chick Lit” call it what you want but often it’s what you need. At the end of the day it has me picking up a book and reading. It’s made me realise the importance of family and your parents in your life and made me value friends near and far. For that its as valuable as the worthiest book in the world.