It's been quite a week here. I have managed to permanently ensconce myself on the elementary school's most hated parent list and because ticking my son's teacher off with my opinions about the uselessness of required reading logs wasn't enough, I also sent an unhappy e-mail to the head of my daughter's dance studio to protest the fact that she hasn't even started learning her solo yet when almost every other child is finished. Not wanting to have only two of my three children blackballed, I sicced D. on the middle school, since they have conveniently ignored W.'s facility in math and are cheerfully boring him into comatose mediocrity. So the feeling around here this week has been low grade grouchiness and high frustration. Fun atmosphere, let me tell you!
In an effort to alleviate some of this grumpiness, I wandered through a street festival yesterday. I rationalized it by saying that I was looking for Christmas presents but really, I just needed to feel a little better myself. And so I indulged in two of my three major addictions: purses and books. They didn't have a stationary booth or it would have been a perfect trifecta of an afternoon for me. I found the coolest handbag and promptly bought myself a base bag and two shells. That made me happy. Then I popped over the bookstall and after puddling through the kid books choices, I settled on three books for my kids' stockings. (None for myself; shocking, I know but given the roughly 6000 unread books currently bowing the shelves at my house, this was probably a good thing.) At our house, Santa does the stocking presents but the older kids long ago figured out that even Santa couldn't possibly gift so many books and therefore it must be mom. But that's okay as long as they still believe in the spirit behind the tradition. I didn't exactly wrap up any other Christmas shopping but the walk outside in the warm, fall sunshine was helpful in and of itself in lowering my stress level. I should probably take more sunshine filled walks as the days start to close in on us and my irritability quotient rises.
I started the reading week off really well, zipping through two books and posting a scadload of reviews. But then the wheels fell off the cart and nothing seems to be motivating me at all. My reading adventures this week took me through a World War II coming of age boyhood in London and into the life of a female comic book artist who has to learn to balance friendships and love and to have confidence in her own social abilities. I am still meandering down the blue highways of the late 1970's US and dipping into critical reviews of the books I read back in the 80's as a girl. I haven't visited India under the British raj this week but I will get back to it eventually, especially since I need to start another book about the "fishing fleet" to India for my book club. Maybe they'll make good companion reads. I still have 15 books lined up for review and my challenge progress has been minimal but I have decided to let the vagaries of my moods take me where they will and not sweat the small stuff. Where have your reading journeys been taking you these days?