October 2019: Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
This book is not new. And I'm sure many of you have read it. But I am recommending it for a specific reason...
From time to time, everyone - not just artists - become exhausted. Creatively, intellectually, physically - you name it. Exhaustion and depletion can hit and leave you flat and needing to refuel. A big part of overcoming a creative slump or period of exhaustion is learning how to rest whatever it is that is tired - and then just exactly how to refuel.
Between being a first-time mom and running a business (and trying my best to do justice tol allll the other important roles in my life - wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, boss, buddy, dog mom, etc.), I've found myself running out of steam long before everything that needs my attention is attended to. This leaves precious little time for "self-care" or the intellectual side-bars that usually keep my curiosity hop-scotching from one topic to the next. I know that I am absolutely not alone with these feelings - and that everyone feels this way sometimes (not just new moms and business owners).
So, I thought I would share with you my go-to secret to achieving a blend of rest, relaxation, and refueling: Jane Austen's Pride & Prejudice.
I keep an old, tattered copy permanently in my bedside drawer. This last month, I picked it up and read a few chapters each night before I went to sleep. I had started several other books that I had been excited to read, but I just couldn't get into them. It was like my intake for the day had already been maxed out.
So, why P&P? It never fails to inspire me - and make me laugh. I enjoy the turns of phrase and witticisms that pepper each page. I relish shedding my modern concerns and entering an era removed from the current one. It is an escape, but because of the delightful writing and rich descriptions laden with sarcasm and subtle meaning, I am never bored by it. In fact, even though I know the story very well by now, I am always sorry when it ends.
I always come away with renewed interest in sending out embellished snail mail thank you cards, mending my socks (another activity I find delightful and relaxing), and generally living life at a slower pace. Some people take a bubble bath or kick back with a beer. I read Pride & Prejudice.
I admit that on this read-through I really tripped over how easily Elizabeth fell into Wickham's trap. I would think that even back then it would be off-putting to be ambushed with tales of woe two sentences after being introduces - and that Lizzy wouldn't be that flapped by a handsome face. But we can save the debate on that score and many others for the discussion.
Now, I mentioned my told, tattered copy. It the second copy of this book that I have worn through. Both have been pitiful paperback with brittle spines and nonsensical covers. I have long wanted to find a beautiful copy of this book that would enhance the experience of reading it instead of detract and distract. I have finally found such a copy. Hard-backed, but small, with gold-edged pages and a ribbon for marking your place. Beautiful. And I am stocking it in the shop, for anyone else in need of one.
Pride & Prejudice Discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, November 13th at 9pm (no matter what your timezone is).
Closing comments: "Don't knock it till you try it." Plenty of people judge this book based on movie adaptations etc, and it's unfortunate that it is so closely associated with sappy rom coms. If you haven't read the book, don't pass judgement on it until you do. If you've read it and it's not your thing, I would LOVE to know what your equivalent is. Be it a book, beer, bubblebath or whatever. How you you rejuvenate? Tired lady looking for beta here! Comment here.