Bookshelf Therapy

Disclaimer: I’ve decided to make this emotional. It wasn’t a necessarily out-of-the-ordinary day, but I need to get this out. And I want to say happy birthday to a friend who is missed by so many; I wish I could be more articulate about that, but I can’t, although I don’t know what else can really be said. I will say that this post ends happily; I know, I’m a sucker for ruining endings.

This day has been exhausting. Not because I physically exerted myself, or because it was a hectic day at work, or because my social calendar was too overwhelming (a rare occurrence). None of these can be blamed for my exhaustion, and yet, I’m searching for a reason why I feel chewed up, spit out, and left behind. Or, at the very least, why I felt like that earlier (all day).

It started with the news coverage of the recent college campus shooting in Oregon. Even now it brings tears to my eyes and the “why’s” to my mind. Innocent decades-long lives lost for a second of an action stemming from hatred. I don’t think I’ll ever understand. Will anyone? And then, of course, President Obama’s passionate speech that followed this tragedy. His comments on gun control always lead me to question myself and my beliefs. I’ve always grown up knowing about and following gun safety guidelines, laws, and the responsibilities that come with owning, carrying, and firing a rifle, shotgun, or handgun. I know the outcry against gun rights and the ease of access to purchasing guns isn’t directed towards me per se, and are not unwarranted, but it frustrates me that the guns are being blamed. I’m not going to go any further than this, because families, friends, communities, and a nation are all grieving, and regardless of the cause, those entities are pained and are suffering because of the “why’s,” “what if’s,” and right now all I can do is keep them in my thoughts and heart, and hope they can find peace with the help of loved ones, and if not totally end their pain, at least be able to work through it.

Then, I experienced something I’ve only experienced a handful of times. The mounting pressure of finances, bills, figuring out a way to get my blog more noticed, the disaster that is the state of my apartment right now, beating the crazy Friday-afternoon-rush-hour-traffic, overflowed and all of that anxiety marched across my brain and hit my mind with military force. I felt sick, nauseous, and just sad. The marching eventually ceased, but the recovery has been slow.

At home, I poured a glass of wine and watched a few episodes of The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore. Comedic relief about things actually happening in the world is calming to me – oh and the wine helps too. Then, I started on a project I’ve been thinking about all week: organizing my new bookshelf.

This really did the trick. Holding some of my most valuable possessions and putting them among each other and other little trinkets eased my soul. Books have always allowed me to escape the world I live in and dive into others, and organizing them makes me almost as happy as reading their pages.

Treasures Among NovelsWhen I was a kid, usually when my mom asked me to clean my room, I would just reorganize my bookshelf; rediscover titles I hadn’t read in a while, and even discover letters or pieces of paper that I would stick between them to save for something. The rest of my room would be neglected, as I would always sit/lay down and just read. Tonight, I was happy to find something wedged between Pamela and To Kill A Mockingbird – my Maine fishing license. It’s funny to me that at one point I was certain I would remember where I put it – but guess what, I’ve been wondering where it went probably around the day after I stuck it in there.

Anyway, my bookshelf is now organized and full. Few “strange” things give me pleasure like a full bookcase. I added the lamp, black wooden chair, and my favorite soft throw because I’ve been needing a reading/writing nook  that I can be inspired and comforted by. Because, I’ll be honest, my desk is a mess.

Reading Nook

As far as my anxiety, it is calmed for now. The state of the world is complicated, and I know it will continue complicating itself. I will help myself by being informed, standing strong with my beliefs, and loving everyone who has supported and believed in me. And if all else fails, I’ll have my books.

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