Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Help and some help for me.

It's been a long time since I've posted. I'm sure that anyone who ever followed me is long gone now. But, I'm picking up this blog again. For no other reason than, I need the outlet to write as I like - and because I've noticed that many of the blogs I used to love to read have disappeared. I need the written word. To create - I write for a living, but it's forced into very strict guidelines and the real "me" often cannot be seen in it's pages. Besides, it's technical and as much as those who know me might disagree, I'm not really a geek.

Why did I go away? Living sped up even more. Unfortunately, loss was the overriding theme.

In the last two years, I lost my mother after a long illness, was forced from a long time relationship (something I thought was a great loss at the time) and less than a month ago lost my oldest sister. To say I've been spinning like a pinball at the hands of a particularly good player would be putting it mildly. I often thought about writing while all of this was going on, but in reality I was hunkered down. I marked a successful day as one I got through. I wouldn't describe my coping skills as ones to be recommended. I insulated and medicated far more than necessary. I shut out most of my friends and acquaintances. My ability to laugh was sorely compromised. I comfort shopped. In short, I was a textbook case for what NOT to do. The only thing I can say is I survived - worse for wear, but I survived. My kids didn't suffer at the hands of my craziness - I managed to keep my job.

Now, I think I may be starting to cross over to the other side "Attraversiamo" Liz's word from Eat, Pray, Love. Ok, it's hokey, but I really identify with her. If I've not crossed over, I'm at least preparing for the next steps.....weigh loss surgery, de-cluttering my life and getting rid of the house I've hated for 16 years to move south to place that I choose and a lifestyle that will finally be of my choosing. I will be 50 years old next year - it's about time.

I will write about them here - when I can and I am setting myself the discipline of writing for ME at least once a week. For a long time I looked at writing in my blog as a busman's holiday. You know, when the bus driver goes on vacation, the last thing he wants to do is drive. But now I'm slowly starting to realize that I'm having thoughts that I want to share and for the first time I don't care if they're hokey, I don't care if I'm judged, I just want to get them out. I find that this starts when I read books that excite me. I may not have the fiction bug (yet), but I love the written word.

When was the last time you liked a book so much that you reread it? Not a year later, not 5 years later, but within a month? The first time you cannot put the book down, speeding through to find out what happens (at least that is what I do), yet still feel satisfied by the story? I have a list of books that I reread from time to time for the pure satisfaction of them:
1. The YaYa books,
2. Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series,
3. Tales of the City,
4. To Kill a Mockingbird,
5. Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises).
6. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
7. The Daniel Silva Gabriel Allon Series
8. The Basketball Diaries
9. We Were Just Kids ..Patty Smith
10.......and yeah, Eat Pray Love

I think that "the Help" will be added to this list now, too. I initially resisted it because the book jacket mentioned the Oprah book club and I normally avoid those books like the plague. I'm no fan of Sophie Kinsella or other "chick lit" books. They're not poorly written, but just not my preference. The Help however, has a healthy dose of great characters, a storyline that captures you and writing that allows you visualize the story as though you were a fly on the wall. I love that kind book. I know when a book makes my "reread" list when it makes me want to tell a story, maybe my story, too.

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