Truthful Tuesday with PCGuyIV posed the question: Would you rather endure cold winter weather or hot summer weather?
Cold winter weather seems to be my body’s fiercest enemy so I’d rather the heat of summertime. Growing up in New York I didn’t complain about neither because it just was what it was and there was no way around it. “Snow days” weren’t as quickly declared back then as they are now so I spent many a days trudging the streets in deep snow to get to either school or work in frigid temperatures. People always say “Oh, you’re from New York so you should be used to this,” but during the 15 years I lived in Florida, getting assimilated to the scorching hot temps was par for the course and now cold air hits me like a ton of bricks. The weather in my current hometown has much milder temperatures so neither the cold nor heat are too overbearing.
Oh how this pandemic has re-introduced me to things I’d forgotten I love so much! Something I used to enjoy during my free time was reading and I’d make time for myself almost every day to complete a chapter or two, at the least. However, over time life became so hectic the only thing I wanted to do during my down time was…well….nothing! But given how the pandemic put me in a state of flux for the past year—feeling like I was slowly losing all senses—it was important to find something entertaining to both occupy my time and strengthen my mind. Of course I turned to my Bible first to ease out of those gloomy days and remain hopeful. Perhaps I’m not alone in that pursuit, as it seems many have found their spiritual relationship strengthened since COVID.
Since I find self-help books quite valuable, I finally cracked the pages of T.D. Jakes’ Crushing: God Turns Pressure into Power and honestly felt like so many chapters were written for me. Knowing how much of a fan I am of TDJakes, a friend was thoughtful enough to get us tickets to hear him speak at a local University in 2019. We both walked out feeling the impact of the message and bought the book.
Next I picked up The Orphaned Adult: Understanding and Coping with Grief and Change After the Death of Our Parents by Alexander Levy. For anyone struggling to cope with grief, I strongly recommend you get a copy. It was vital in helping to identify my feelings and taught me how unhealthy it was to tiptoe around the roller coaster of emotions that became part of my normal life; I no longer felt alone in what I was experiencing and became more comfortable talking about things.
Then, during one of our family Zoom calls, my cousin and I decided to select a book to read together and we settled on The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates. It was about his growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, and the struggles he and his family endured and how they affected his youth. His writing style in this particular book took a little to get used to but I quickly got hooked and wanted to experience more of his work, so my next selections were The Water Dancer, set in the Southern United States during pre-Civil War, and We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy, which told of former President Barack Obama’s time in the White House. Now on deck is Barack Obama’s The Promised Land, Michelle Obama’s Becoming and Cicely Tyson’s memoirs Just as I Am.
In addition to reading on the regular, I also reunited with my crochet needle and picked up a few cross-stitch projects but not as much time has gone to either. I’ll keep you posted!
Today I worked on another stressful task, unsure how I’d feel in the end but knowing I had to get through it. I’m not going to give much of my personal opinion on the matter except to say resume writing is exhausting! What Joe Schmoe made this a regular thing?!?! I’ve written obituaries — educating myself and curating stories to share the meaning to the 75+ years of someone else’s life — in less time than it takes me to summarize my own relatively short career. This is yet another thing I make harder on myself by further revising the document after declaring I’m done, always thinking of a better word or alternate way of expressing the same thing, and striving for perfection that’s never been defined. At least I’m no longer using pencil and paper, which was my preference for a long time. So many writing skills have deteriorated and been replaced with ever-evolving technology and I have to admit, the computer is a lifesaver.
I felt completely overwhelmed in the beginning and I won’t be stress-free until I gain employment but at this moment, I’m somewhat relieved…and still actively seeking!