Chapter 3

I love reading. I love words and I love stories and so I love reading, I always have. Still despite my love for it, as I’ve gotten older – I tend to get out of the habit of consistent reading. My life might be busy or I’m doing a lot of reading for university and so while my love for reading remains true – the actual reading slows down. Sometimes I stop reading because I’m busy or sometimes because I came across a challenging book. It sort of stumped me and I’m struggling to get into it.

I know what I like to read. I know what are ‘easy reads’ for me and which authors and which styles of books I can knock over in a day or two and which ones will tend to drag out. So if I know I just want a good, quick, easy read – I know where on the bookshelf to look. I sometimes (quite often) read the same book twice (multiple times actually) because I know how much I love it, the safe option. However sometimes I get adventurous and think crazy thoughts like ‘Perhaps I should mix it up and read this autobiography, or this thriller, or this classic novel’. And then I start to resent my adventurous crazy side because it’s kind of hard. You just can’t get into and you’re stuck at Chapter 3 and it’s just not happening.

Sometimes I find myself re-reading the same words over and over again and getting nowhere. Sometimes I put the book down for so long that when I finally do decide to give it another shot, I’ve forgotten everything that happened and I have to start from the beginning – and yet I’m still stuck at chapter 3. Fast Forward 5 months and I still can’t finish Wuthering Heights. It’s meant to be a classic, it’s meant to be good – it’s just not for me. So I shelve the book, annoyed that it somehow beat me and I pretend I never even started it. In fact I remove it from the shelf so it can’t taunt me. And yes, I have a strange relationship with reading.

Oh boy did I get slammed when I realized how much my relationship to reading and books related to my relationship with pain and processing.

Sometimes in life we shelve our feelings for some particular reason. Something hurt us, pretty bad – but for whatever reason, we shelved the emotions. “I can’t deal with this right now – so I’m just going to put these feelings over here and come back to them later”. Perhaps you are the same in that you tried giving it a go – you sat down and said ‘I’m going to deal with “blank” issue now’. You got going and you were reading and dealing and then you got to about Chapter 3 and you stalled. It got too hard, you weren’t seeing any results and you gave it up. You shelved it and thought ‘perhaps pain really isn’t for me, I’m actually looking for a quick easy read anyway’.

I don’t need a really great book analogy to explain that unresolved pain or issues from the past – need to be dealt with. They might not trip you up now – but no matter how “together” you are – they will trip you up at some point.

Unresolved pain is like that book you could never finish. You’ve put enough distance between yourself and the pain that you almost don’t remember why you were hurting. You spent enough time away from it or neglecting it or kicking it further underneath your bed where everything you’re looking for seems to hide and you almost don’t remember why.

What really sucks is that now you have to re-read through Chapters 1 and 2. The stuff you wished was behind you. The stuff you need to deal with and remember so that you can move past Chapter 3.

 As humans, we’re conditioned to believe we can just pick up where we left off.
You can’t.
As humans, we’re conditioned to shelve our pain and process it later.
We never really do.
As humans, we’re conditioned to ignore the little signals and triggers that unresolved pain emits.
Those signals are signs of deep emotional damage and it’s worth taking a look.

I know it seems hard and tedious and painful – but you need to pick that unfinished book up off the shelf. You need to pick up the pain and allow yourself to feel it and then move forward. Don’t pick up the ‘easy reads’ and just try and coast through life taking the easy way out. You need to know that beyond Chapter 3 is when the story starts to get good. It’s when you start to invest in the character – it’s when you figure out the character’s purpose and direction and it is only when you finish that book – that the story is complete. I’m not saying you’ll love the book or even that it gets easier – but it will be complete. Only then can you be whole.

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February Reads

Oh I read a lot of books in February. February isn’t even really over. But I still read a lot of books. Here’s a bit of a summary.

Whatever Tomorrow Brings – Lori Wick

I’ve made it my mission/goal to own, or at least read every Lori Wick book. There are quite a lot of them, but without actually looking into it, I think I’m halfway already. This is the first book in a four part series called ‘The Californians’ and I actually think this is Wick’s most popular series. These books are simple, straight forward, pure and enjoyable. I rarely like to read modern stories and sometimes all you want to read in your lunch break is something easy. I read this on my kindle and breezed through it. I’ll probably buy the other 3 soon.

The Dip – Seth Godin

I’ve been trying to expand my reading more lately and this quick little non fiction read did the trick. It actually changed my perception on a few things and had me thinking and talking about it for many days to come. Based around the concept of ‘quitting’ and how quitting isn’t always the worst choice and sticking out the wrong things can be so damaging. It’s applicable to entrepreneurs, marketing execs, people stuck in dead end jobs and .. well you could apply it to anything. I recommend it.

Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

Uggghh. I’ve been trying to finish this book for no joke, at least a year. I had it on my iPhone and I struggled and struggled through til I finally downloaded it onto my Kindle and finished off the last 25%. I wanted to read Wuthering Heights because it’s such a classic and it’s referenced over and over again in literature. Characters rambling on about how it’s their favourite book etc etc and I wanted to see what the fuss was about. I still don’t get it. Flawed cruel characters, storylines spread out over decades, old english and well.. It just wasn’t for me. I’ve hated maybe two books in my whole life and this is one of them. I’m so glad I finished it though, it was bugging me. Now it’s still bugging me, but only because it was so rubbish.

Heart of Gold – Lacy Williams

Why was this book so short? I’m not even exactly sure what this book was about it was over so quickly. Something about some sort of homestead, the search for gold which actually didn’t exist, love, family breakdown, horses and bandits. I couldn’t tell you the characters names or characteristics if I tried. That’s what happens when you purchase free books on kindle!

The Widow of Larkspur Inn – Lawana Blackwell

YES! I think I may have finally stumbled across a new Christian historical fiction author with delightful taste and easy reading style. I technically have a few chapters to go on this baby BUT February technically isn’t over and so technically, technically I can put it on this list. It’s my list so I will do what I want. This book centres around a recently widowed woman who brings her children to a new town to turn a run down old Inn into a Lodging House after her deceased husband leaves them with financial troubles. The title actually describes it fairly accurately. It has characters you fall for, a town you wish you could experience and life lessons and struggles you can relate to.

Now I can safely say I delivered all that I promised for February. This is not one book review but five short ones. Claps for Steffany.

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Things I care for..

The following list is things I currently care for:

  • Perfect nails.
  • Creative stimulus.
  • My job. Working hard.
  • Writing.
  • People reading quality books.
  • Letters.
  • Hugs.
  • Relaxation.
  • Preparation.
  • Motivation.
  • Sleep.
  • Doing my best.
  • Sweet texts.
  • Sweet postcards in the mail.
  • Understated outfits.
  • Promoting Kindle.
  • My favourite colour is SHINY.
  • People who just make things happen.
  • Innuendo.
  • Boy&Bear.
  • Responsibility.
  • Integrity.

Kindle – A Review

I recently got a kindle!

It was part of all the things I got spoiled with at Christmas time. I seriously love to read and I talk about books frequently so I thought I’d do a little review on the Kindle. Every single person at work asks ‘what is that?’ when I read in the break room at work, so it’s safe to assume people aren’t very informed when it’s comes to the kindle.

I was pretty anti the idea of an e-reader. My love affair with books isn’t all about the stories, it’s actually with physical books. I love covers, crumped/used pages, fresh pages, libraries, the smell of books. I really love it all. Why would I give all those things I love up, for something I had to purchase, and then still, purchase books. However the one Kindle User at work convinced me to at least consider it. He brought his Kindle into work for me to examine and have a play with and little by little, I came to a place where I added ‘Kindle’ to my Christmas list.

It’s actually pretty fantastic. I have the Wireless version which doesn’t allow me access any old time but I need to be hooked into a wireless network. Which suits me and would suit other budget’s fine as it is the cheaper version.

Books are reasonably priced with classics for free and sales that occur from time to time. It’s all hooked in with an amazon account which I already had and with a click of a button I can purchase a book.

It’s extremely lightweight. No backlight, so it’s healthy for your eyes. It holds my place and let’s me know what percentage of the book I’ve read. I can skip chapters ahead, navigate easily page to page. You can purchase groovy little cases (of which I am yet to do) and I barely notice it in my handbag.

For me, the Kindle will be my travel reading companion, and I use it for my everyday reading at work. People who use public transport – GET A KINDLE. You will love love it. I’ve only really bought the one or two books. And I won’t get too carried away either. I will just buy the books I know I want to read during my breaks at work.

I recently went on a Cruise and took 4 books with me. My suitcase was heavy. I wish I had my kindle then, I could have packed more sunscreen and after sun gel. Which was what I actually needed.

Negatives? Other than it doesn’t smell like a book? None. I don’t damage my books by having them floating around my car/handbag. It’s a win win for me. If you ever want to have a play and test it out for yourself. Feel free to ask.

If you are concerned about my mental health – I wish to inform you, that I still love books. I will still buy them. In fact, for me, I will probably still buy books and then purchase them on Kindle for convenience. My library will still be extroadinarily expansive and you will all be jealous.

I hope.

5 stars

 

Resurrect Me.

After reading A million miles in a thousand years by Don Miller, I became enamoured with the idea of living life. Living a crazy full life is different to living a life that you truly enjoy. My life is always crazy and full, which is good, but I want to make sure I am really squeezing everything out of life. So on a Saturday afternoon, after a lovely brunch celebrating a beautiful friend’s 30th, I was exhausted. Normally, I would have taken a nap while I fell asleep to some TV, but in an effort to enjoy my life a little bit more, I set out to try and accomplish a lot of my favourite things in a small space of time. Here is the photographic record of a productive relaxing and fulfilling afternoon.

And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time. Donald Miller – A Millions Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life.

My list

Things I do to make myself feel better when I kinda need feeling better:

  • Buy shoes
  • Drink milk
  • Listen to something you can scream along to
  • Take a bath
  • Take a nap
  • Paint my toenails
  • Watch Gilmore Girls
  • Talk to Tegan
  • Make up new words to Elton John songs
  • Read the Jesus words
  • Just read
  • Eat the chocolate, or lollies
  • Get a hug from someone
  • Do some ironing

Excited.

I become a Twilight Fan after reading the first book to see what the fuss was about. I read them all in fairly record time, even for a Twilight fan, and have even read two of the twice. Suffice it to say, I enjoyed the movie (who doesn’t love Robert Pattinson?) Twilight – so of course I am looking forward to New Moon, the next movie in the Twilight Saga.

Here’s the official trailer. I think it’ll be good.

Feeling superior – A story

Considering my age, financial position, level of education, work experience and job title – you’re going to find this post a little haughty. Which is maybe a good thing – I’m feeling a little haughty.

Once upon a day not so long ago in a lunchroom at a workplace a girl was reading a book. As she paused to take a bite of some boring noodles, one of the few other book readers at work, asked her what she was reading. They then engaged in a conversation about their holidays and whether they were able to read many books and which ones etc etc. The contents of this conversation are not central to the story. The girl had read about 8 or 9 – which she thought was a pretty good effort. And he had read 3 or 4 – which is also a good effort, considering he does have 3 kids under the age of like 5.

At this point in the conversation, a  coworker pipes up with “Well it’s nice for you guys – I’m just too busy to read”

So I just simply said “Well.. I guess I mostly read instead of watching television”

“I don’t watch television either, but I’m still too busy to read, you’d understand if you had children Steff” replied the haughtier than usual coworker.

I shut my mouth at this point. One, because I’m trying not to be a stuck up cow and two, because all the other parents in the room were nodding in agreement.

End of Story.

This frustrates me SO much. I had so many comebacks for what I wanted to say in return. The best one was me rattling off a list of all the things I do like work full time, study part time and all the things I do with church etc etc and how I still manage to find time to read and the worst one something about if she didn’t spend so much time being haughty and… etc etc. If you really wanted to read, you would. Even if it was a chapter or so every couple of nights before you fell asleep.

I hate that line – ‘I’m just too busy’ and my new favourite line to hate –  ‘I’ve got kids you know’. Just because I don’t have children doesn’t mean I’m not busy AND just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you CAN’T read.

If you don’t like reading, then say so. Don’t pretend like you enjoy it and you can’t find a spare 15 minutes every day. If  you loved reading so much like you claim, you’d find 15 minutes for it.

My New House

I moved into my new place last weekend. It’s lovely. I’ve put in a picture of my new bedroom. You can’t see all of it. But I think you get the idea.

my-bedroom

To the left is my reading chair – it’s so comfortable! And straight ahead, that’s my tv cabinet. And you can sort of see my bed. You can also see the curtains blowing as I get such a nice breeze through there.

Jealous much? If you aren’t.. it’s because the photo isn’t doing the room justice, I haven’t finished decorating and because you haven’t seen the rest of the place. I shan’t want to move out in a year.