Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pretending normalcy

The last two days I have done my best to get back to business as usual.  I went back to work.  I'm trying to catch up in the blog world.  I cooked dinner for the first time in a week and a half.  It's part of the process I go through whenever I face loss.  For instance, I went to work the day after my Grandmother died.  Not because I expected to be of any use to my employer on December 27, 2009, but because I tend to wallow when I have nothing to do.  I hate wallowing.  There is no good reason for it in my world.

So it only makes sense that here in this space, I should try to write about things other than pain, and loss, and grief.  There are a million things that are on the roster to write about, and they deserve to be shared.

Today I'm catching up on the Blogger Book Club, my most favorite excuse to read in the whole entire interwebs.  This month's theme was "books made into movies", and allowed us all to pick our own books.  I decided to read The Silver Linings Playbook.

What it's about:  This book chronicles the story of Pat.  At the beginning of the story, we meet Pat while he is living in a mental institution, about to be released to his parents.  He is madly in love with his wife, who he has been separated from, and trying his hardest to be reunited with.  Throughout the book, we watch Pat learn to live life as a member of society while dealing with psychological illness.

My thoughts:  When I saw the trailers for the movie, I never guessed that the story line was what it is.  I honestly thought it was a cute story about friendship and love.  And it is, to a certain extent.  That really isn't what I took away from this book, however.  I found this story to be a lot about human struggle, and our constant desire to better ourselves.  I think that this need to become better is not only good, it is necessary.  And that is what this story reminded me.  Pat thinks that he is trying to get better so he can reunite with his wife, Nikki.  In reality, Pat's life goes down an entirely new path, and takes on new meaning.

I finished this book prior to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary.  However, I can't help but see in this story the sad truth that we as a society just don't do enough for those suffering from mental illness.  The author paints a terrifying, stark picture of life for Pat inside of a mental hospital, where Doctors are cruel, and nurses are mean.  I've erased 4 different follow-up sentences to what I've just said, and erased them all.  I have a lot to say on this subject, but a book review is simply not the place.

In the end, we do find that Pat has found a new life.  An unexpected, but no less happy life.  And that is the big take-away of this book:  sometimes in the midst of turmoil, a better life comes along, and we don't even realize it's exactly what we need.

Buy, Borrow, or skip:  I strongly believe that in light of what is happening around us, this book should be a must-read for everyone.  Compassion is needed now more than ever.  So I am giving this book a buy.  I simply adored it.

Has anyone seen the movie yet?  I'm dying to see it, after hearing several people tell me how great it is.  Hopefully we'll get around to making that happen sooner rather than later.

That's about all I have for you today.  But don't fear, in the midst of everything, we did manage to attend the company Christmas party, and we will have pictures of that coming at you soon.  For now, have a good day, and go out and LIVE, wontcha?


  1. oooh I want to read that. I just got a Kindle Fire and now I just want to read read read on it. Putting this on my list. Also, I'm about to e-mail you. So be watching.

  2. This book sounds so good. I have an inkling we land on the same side of these issues... I'll definitely add this to my nook! :)

  3. Kristen - I'm so sorry for your loss, but you have such a good attitude! I think carrying on is the right thing to do - no matter how hard it is. xoxo

  4. Oh i really want to read this book! Break out one of your awesome Christmas sweaters and have a candy cane or two. Still praying for you all!

  5. The movie is AMAZING. One of my new favorites and I want to watch it over and over. Makes me cry, makes me laugh. I'm adding the book {I haven't read it yet} to my 2013 book list!

  6. I can't wait to see the movie, Amy and I tried to see it when I was visiting, but you know "select theaters.." b.s.

    Kristin. Wallowing.. Not doing it. Ugh, I need to learn from you. I tend to do just that over the stupidest things. And yet you have such extreme heartache..

    I just love you, and have you in my thoughts constantly.

  7. Oooh, adding this to my to read list.

    I always find work to be a good distraction from the turmoil going on around me. When I was going through my divorce work really saved me from wallowing.

  8. I NEED to read this book.

    Kristen, I have a Christmas package for you, and I need to send it. Just know that I love you and Ammon very much, and that you are in my prayers. I'm thinking of you and your family, and hoping that you are letting yourselves grieve and reflect on the good things in life.

    Let me know if you need anything, okay?

  9. Wow, I haven't heard of this book or the movie - it might not be coming to Australia for a while.

    I admire your ability to looking wallowing in the face and then step around it. I walk into wallowing all the time. I think part of my process needs a few days of wallowing of processing and then I kick myself out of it.


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