I’ve done a really, really good job at disentangling myself from guilt in the past few years. I used to feel guilty about resting, taking a day off, not having a clean kitchen, not eating the “right” things, wearing certain clothes, having feelings, posting too much on social media, posting the wrong things on social media, spending money, not spending money, watching too much tv, not watching the right kind of tv… You name it, I could find a way to feel guilty about it! But I’ve knocked that off.
Who is served by my guilt? Because it’s not me! And honestly not really anyone else either because my personal brand of guilt does this fun little thing where I become paralyzed and will find a way to do whatever is causing the guilt even harder. It’s fascinating. For example, if I’m feeling guilty that I haven’t done the dishes in three days… well buckle up because we’re gonna stretch that out a whole ‘nother week baby!!
Anyway, like I’ve said, I’ve done a lot of work to release myself from all that guilt. Now, if my dishes aren’t done today they’re just not done today. Maybe tomorrow! And I’m more likely to actually do them tomorrow, too. Whew. Feels good.
But there is one area where I still feel really, really, really guilty and I can’t shake it. But now that I’ve recognized it, I get to work on it: READING. Why TF am I feeling guilty about reading? I kind of think it’s because I’ve positioned myself as someone who loves to read and now I have to fill that role or something? But then also there’s the fact that it IS my job! And publishers send me these books and want to know what I think and blah blah blah. So, on one hand I have my personal TBR that I want to get through and then all these other books that I didn’t ask for, some I’m excited about… Oh and then there’s book clubs? Woof. So much reading that I want? to do? I think? But also it’s all starting to feel like homework, too.
ANYWAY ALL THAT TO SAY THAT I READ ONE SINGLE BOOK IN JUNE AND I’M NOT SURE I EVEN LIKED IT THAT MUCH? And all month I was feeling guilty about it until this week when I was like “Hey, self, you didn’t read much this month. Fine. BFD.” And then I was like, “You’re right, Self.”
So here’s what I read in June:
I know that I said I wasn’t even sure if I liked this book but it’s not because this book wasn’t good, it’s mostly because I haven’t been able to focus this past month, much. And I wasn’t able to get invested in this book the way it deserved to be invested in. I had it as mostly background noise and it wasn’t meant to be devoured that way.
This book is about finding your place in the world. It centers on several different characters who are all at these points of transition. Their lives all overlap. They’re all lost and trying to navigate amidst grief, first loves, and aging. I know this sounds very sad and depressing but, remember, they’re not stuck in those spots. They’re finding their way through it all.
I’m also finding that I really like books that take place in the 60’s and 70’s.
If you liked Sue Miller’s Monogamy, I think you’ll like this one, too.