First of all, holy cow! Book #5 already! I've really enjoyed this dedication to reading a book a week, as it has forced me to slow down a little bit and relax. Which is a perfect segue into why I'm writing about a book before I actually read it.
I was all set to read a different book for #5. I loved Maria Semple's book Where'd You Go Bernadette and couldn't wait to read her new novel. I got it as a Christmas present and have been waiting for the right time. All last week, as I read a book I didn't love, I stared longingly at Today Will Be Different and counted down the days until I could start it. Yet, here I am, about to read a completely different book that wasn't in the plan.
I've had Dan Harris's book on my radar for awhile. He's one of my favorite news anchors; I love that he's really funny and really approachable and strikes that balance between being smart and self-deprecating. Reading the jacket of his book surprised me; he talks about an on-air panic attack which set off a mission to figure out how to calm the constant voice in his head. He finds, the synopsis reveals, meditation.
I don't know if I'm a meditation kind of person. Slowing down for me is really hard; introspection can be extremely scary. I spend most nights before I fall asleep wishing I could turn off my brain. I'm the person who has a hard time doing yoga because the whole "quiet time" thing at the end makes me antsy. At the same time, I realize meditation - or at least some sort of quiet reflection - would do me a lot of good. So, here I am.
I have to say, most of the stress I feel, I put on myself. I have a fantastic life. My sons are healthy, my husband cooks dinner every night, we live comfortably, I have great friends and my job is personally satisfying. But, many days, I feel like I go hours without truly exhaling. I carry my tension in my shoulders and clench my jaw when I work. My relaxation techniques now are pretty solid - gym, wine, bath, books, the occasional ugly cry in the car - but, I know I should probably do better. My fuse is, at times, frighteningly short.
What better time, really, than to find a way to slow down and reduce unnecessary stress? My kids are getting busier, the demands of my job are always increasing and - in case you hadn't heard - our president has declared war on my profession. If I can get even 10 percent happier and reduce some of the outside stress that tends to dominate life in the quiet hours, I'd say this book will absolutely be worth the read.
I'll keep you posted.