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Currently | A Lot of Love for the Little Things

Around Here | Job hunting is the worst. That’s pretty much it. I worked on a bunch of applications near the end of the July, and I’m now waiting impatiently to hear if I’m going to get interviews out of any of them. And searching job boards. And filling out more applications. And waiting and waiting and waiting.

Reading | I got a lot of reading done in July, but not much so far in August. I have finished two books — We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge and Camino Island by John Grisham. We Love You, Charlie Freeman was great, but I have a weakness for books on families being part of anthropological experiments. I also liked the way Greenidge wrote about race and the complicated history we have with race and medicine in the United States.

Camino Island was a fun read… but otherwise not great. I picked it up because the central mystery/thriller of the book was a literary heist, but that ended up being pretty secondary to a book that mostly felt like a series of extended monologues on The State of Publishing and Writing. A friend described it as a book by someone who wants to write literary fiction, but doesn’t really know how, which seems pretty accurate to me. But, for all of that, I still read it all the way through and mostly enjoyed the experience.

Watching | The only thing I have wanted to watch in the last week or so is old episodes of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. I’ve been in a weird mood lately, and that show is just soothing and warm and funny in a way that is perfect right now. I would love to watch something similar… but I just can’t find anything that fits.

Listening | I’ve enjoyed the first three episodes of Book Riot’s newest podcast, Annotated, quite a bit. It’s an audio-documentary series, kind of like Hidden Brain or This American Life, except for stories about books and the literary life. The fourth episode — “The United States V. One Book Called ‘Ulysses'” — dropped today, so I’ll probably dig into that this afternoon.

Buying | Even though it’s summer and really warm, I still like to cuddle up in the morning under a blanket with a cup of tea. But all of my blankets were way too hot for that too be comfortable… dilemma! Last weekend I bought myself a summer blanket. It’s navy and a light cotton blend and it’s perfect. Life is about the little things.

Brainstorming | My therapist suggested that one way to move through a long period of unemployment is to put together a “bucket list” of things to do or accomplish during a season when having enough time isn’t an issue. I’ve been working on my list, rather slowly, but made sure that it also includes a bunch of things I’ve already done… since there’s nothing more satisfying than adding something to a list and immediately crossing it off.

Loving | Last weekend I went to Madison to spend some time with friends. I saw a play, went for a walk in a nature conservancy (with a cool bubbling spring!), stuffed my face at a food festival, and spent a lot of time catching up with people I don’t see often enough. It was an excellent visit.

Anticipating | Tomorrow morning, my sister and I are leaving for a semi-spontaneous trip out to Denver. This weekend is the one year anniversary of Nate’s death, a fact of the calendar that I have no words to describe. I haven’t known what to do with myself as the anniversary approaches, but getting out of town and creating some positive memories seemed like one good option. So after a lot of hemming and hawing on my part, we booked flights and a nice hotel and we’re just going to see what happens.

But before we go I’ve got laundry to finish, books to pack, and applications to finish… so I better wrap this up. Happy August, everyone! What are you most looking forward to this month?

{ 18 comments… add one }
  • bermudaonion (Kathy) August 10, 2017, 10:35 am

    I’m glad you’re getting out of town for the weekend. I hope you can celebrate the great things about Nate while you’re there.

  • Drew August 10, 2017, 6:22 pm

    Hi Kim.
    I like your description of ‘Camino Island.’ My feelings exactly.

    And those anniversaries and markers are tough stuff. I hope the trip does you good, if even a bit.

    Thanks, as always, for sharing your perspective on life, books, and getting through.

    • Kim August 31, 2017, 7:02 pm

      The anticipation of a big anniversary always seems worse than the day. That was true this time and I think it’ll keep being true for a long time.

  • Sarah's Book Shelves August 11, 2017, 6:43 am

    I’ve been enjoying annotated too! And I hope the trip goes well and helps you through such a tough time.

  • Bryan August 11, 2017, 7:17 am

    Not to be melodramatic, but seriously, my thoughts and prayers are with you this coming weekend.

  • Jeanne August 11, 2017, 7:28 am

    I’m coming to the end of it, I think, but I’ve been having a season where having enough time isn’t an issue. I might make a list so I can cross things off it! That might help me be patient with the last few weeks.

    • Kim August 31, 2017, 7:03 pm

      I am all for the idea of adding things you’ve already done to a list just to have more things to cross off. It’s one of my favorite things!

  • Michelle August 11, 2017, 8:37 am

    Getting out of town for the weekend sounds like the best thing you can do. It will keep you busy and, like you said, allow you to form more positive memories. It will still be difficult, but I hope you have so much fun!

  • Tina Culbertson August 11, 2017, 11:35 am

    Best of luck on the job hunt and hoping something cool comes your way soon.
    I wasn’t engaged with Camino Island and didn’t finish.
    Podcasts – I keep meaning to check those out.
    A trip will be good, make some good memories and think of the good times you had with Nate.
    Loving your blog as always, you give me new ideas for books all the time.

    • Kim August 31, 2017, 7:06 pm

      I might have given up on CAMINO ISLAND if I hadn’t brought it with be on a trip out of town. I’m glad that I finished, if only so I can talk about it with people.

  • Isi August 13, 2017, 7:52 am

    I’m inspired about all the things you do to keep yourself busy and treasure good moments even when things fall apart.
    Hope you have a great rest of the summer.

  • Unruly Reader August 15, 2017, 11:30 am

    Thinking of you as the sad anniversary approaches. You’re doing so many good things to take care of yourself, and that’s so wise.

    In the “small pleasures” department, your new lightweight blanket sounds sublime.

    • Kim August 31, 2017, 7:07 pm

      That blanket is probably the best thing I’ve bought all summer, I love it.

  • Lisa August 20, 2017, 11:27 am

    I listened to something on NPR, I think, the other day about ways to handle hard anniversaries and one of them was to create a new tradition around that date that allows you to acknowledge it but also to create new happier memories. One woman had a Girls Weekend; it was started by her best friend and just the two of them went at first.

    Hope you have good news on the job front soon!

    • Kim August 31, 2017, 7:07 pm

      That’s so interesting, I wish I’d heard that segment!

  • nancy s August 22, 2017, 11:44 am

    Job hunting is no fun and my only suggestion is one I received a long time ago — once you apply for a job, or interview …. try to move on and not focus on the position. It’s hard to do but worth a try because you can’t control the timing/actions on the employers’ side of things! I’m sure you’ll find a great position….

    • Kim August 31, 2017, 7:08 pm

      That is a good idea, send out the application and then keep looking forward. I will keep that in mind!

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