Have you ever wanted a d0-over? That's how I felt last week - I wanted to a re-do of the whole thing... kind of like, "I want my week back."
It started out with the receipt of an email message from a family member that put me in an awkward and uncomfortable situation. I hemmed and hawed about it for a couple of days trying to decide whether to address the problem head on with honesty, or to skirt the issue with an excuse. After much consideration and many prayers, I chose to go the honesty route - because honesty is the best policy after all. Plus, it's a commandment: Thous shalt not lie. I really don't like breaking any commandments since there are only ten of them and I already struggle with a couple of these ten little rules. But the problem with total honesty is that sometimes it causes hurt feelings, and after being honest, I know that I hurt the feelings of someone I care about. I hate that. But when all is said and done, honesty was my only option because in the end, I have to live with my choices; I account to me and my God and I'm the person who has to live with how I respond to uncomfortable situations. GAH. Not a good way to start my week.
By Tuesday I was an emotional mess, which was not a good place to be since I had a medical procedure scheduled for Wednesday and all of Tuesday had to be spent preparing for the yucky procedure. By Tuesday night, I was so cranky that I could barely stand myself, and by the time I returned home from the outpatient procedure on Wednesday I was in full-blown pity party mode knowing that I still had a seven day wait for biopsy results. GAH. The week was shaping up to be a total bust.
It was at this point that I realized I needed to get a grip and find a way to turn things around, which is so much easier said than done because, really... how does one go about "turning things around," when most of those "things" are out of our control? In the end, I copped out - totally and completely copped out. My coping skills had deserted me and I was at my wits end. My solution? Hide. Bury my head in the sand and hide. And so that's exactly what I did.
Thankfully, I have this little gizmo that keeps me company when I hide. I love my Nook. Love, love, love it! I once told my husband that if I had to choose between my sewing machine, my iPod or my Nook, I'd have a hard time choosing which one to give up because they all make me so happy and I can't imagine a single day without them.
I've probably mentioned previously that I re-read books. I'm notorious for reading my favorite series over and over again, which many people find to be an odd thing to do, but it is something in which I find great comfort. My criteria for rereading books is that I must be inspired by the main character, i.e. strong character development. I also have to love the setting, whether it be historical or fantastical, I need to enjoy where the characters live. I also need to be intrigued by the journey - happy, sad, good or bad, if I know that the characters come out ahead, I will enjoy wherever the journey goes. Also, the more books in a series the better. And if the books are long and the series has multiple installments, then that is considered to be a bonus!
I've read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon seven times. I've read the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier three times. Same with the Swan Trilogy by Celeste DeBlasis - three times for those books. And I've visited Hogwarts twice. In fact, once I finally figured out that reading a book more than once was not a crime, I actually went back and reread the entire Little House on the Prairie series as an adult, and in that moment, I discovered that books actually get better with age! There is just something about revisiting old friends that makes me feel good. Which is exactly what happened last week when I decided to visit my friends Alya and Jondalar again and reread the Earth's Children series by Jean M. Auel. I just knew it would make me feel better.
I started this series in 1980 when The Clan of the Cavebear was first released. Back then, I was a senior in high school and the book was deeper (and longer) than anything I'd ever read. But I quickly became intrigued with the prehistoric aspect of the setting, and I immediately grew to care for Ayla. When the character Jondalar was introduced in the second book, I was more than ready for Alya (and me) to fall in love. What can I say? I was impressionable. By that point, there was no turning back - I was hooked. And so with each and every new installment of the series, I've gone back and started all over again, adding the latest book to the line up, which is how it came to be that with the Earth's Children series I began a lifelong habit of rereading books. I blame it all on Jean Auel.
Last week Barnes and Noble announced that Ms. Auel has finally set a release date for the final installment in this series (March 29, 2011). Oh happy day! I have long feared that the story would never reach a conclusion. I mean, come on... the first book was written in 1980 - that was 30 years ago for crying out loud. How many people stick with a single series for thirty years? Oh, yeah, I do. It's all her fault that I now own these books in hard cover, paperback and eBook format. She's definitely earned a penny from me, which I'm okay with since I consider it to be money well spent having bought myself hundreds of hours of escape and pleasure over the past thirty years.
And so here I am. Too many hours to count, and thousands of pages later, I'm in a much better emotional place. It's the beginning of a new week and my bad mood has finally lifted; the pity party is over. Hooray! I thought I wanted a do-over, but I've changed my mind. I don't want to do last week over at all - the week was a bust and that is the end of that. Last week, I was once again reminded that sometimes the solution to a problem really is hiding from the problem, and I've come to conclude that when a problem is totally out of our control, hiding is okay... and sometimes we get really lucky and the problem just goes away. I guess that is why today the only thing I want to do-over is to reread my books. And when all is said and done, that's not such a bad thing to do-over.