As part of my self-care, self-esteem building, bettering-of-myself experiment that is an ongoing series of successes and (yes) failures…I’m expanding my mind and still attempting to squeeze in a bit of ME TIME, which feels almost impossible these days…but I work with what I have.
Therefore…I’m listening to music…
In fact, I was fortunate enough to attend the U2 show in Louisville, KY this past weekend. And while it was hot and I wilted and melted until the sun went down, the show was amazing and I (as always) cried during Where The Streets Have No Name as well as Running To Stand Still. U2 and I have been in a musical relationship since I was a child…and, while I have seen them numerous times in concert, this show was on my home turf and I wasn’t going to miss it. I’m glad I went.
Honestly, I needed that show. I’ve sort of given up finding inspiration in music. Why search for new music, when some of the best lyrics, some of the best songs, are in the old favorites? I stand corrected!
I’ve also started diving back into some books. In fact, I’m working on three at this very moment. Yes…at the same time.
So, what is on my reading list at the moment? Well, at the encouragement of my sister, I am working through 13 Reasons Why, by Jay Asher, on my Kindle.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with this book, but in case you’re not…here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:
You can’t stop the future.
You can’t rewind the past.
The only way to learn the secret . . . is to press play.
Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a strange package with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker—his classmate and crush—who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah’s voice tells him that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he’ll find out why.
Clay spends the night crisscrossing his town with Hannah as his guide. He becomes a firsthand witness to Hannah’s pain, and as he follows Hannah’s recorded words throughout his town, what he discovers changes his life forever.
At work, I often listen to podcasts these days, but there is still room for my beloved audio books. It’s so easy to listen to a book while I do my work…so I can escape and still be productive. Let’s here it for multitasking. I am currently listening to Alexander Hamilton, by Ron Chernow, which is the very book that Lin-Manuel Miranda was reading when he was inspired to write the Broadway musical Hamilton.
It’s fascinating and a nice escape for the first part of my day at work. Once again, here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:
In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”
Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow’s biography gives Hamilton his due and sets the record straight, deftly illustrating that the political and economic greatness of today’s America is the result of Hamilton’s countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. “To repudiate his legacy,” Chernow writes, “is, in many ways, to repudiate the modern world.” Chernow here recounts Hamilton’s turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington’s aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States.Historians have long told the story of America’s birth as the triumph of Jefferson’s democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we’ve encountered before—from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton’s famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Chernow’s biography is not just a portrait of Hamilton, but the story of America’s birth seen through its most central figure. At a critical time to look back to our roots, Alexander Hamilton will remind readers of the purpose of our institutions and our heritage as Americans.
And finally…at the encouragement of my amazing, inspiring, and brilliant friend, Melissa, I picked up a book this past weekend to read. She said that it would really help me through the struggle-bus thought process I am currently working through. So far, she’s right. I haven’t gotten far, but I’m going to make a point to sit down and power through this book. It’s called You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, by Jen Sincero.
It’s very motivating, the bit that I have squeezed in to read. And I find myself nodding and cheering for myself to get this excited about my life. Maybe it will help. I think it will. I’ve already found SO many sentences that I can apply to my current struggles. In case you’re confused…here is the synopsis from Amazon.com:
Bestselling author, speaker and world-traveling success coach, Jen Sincero, cuts through the din of the self-help genre with her own verbal meat cleaver in You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life. In this refreshingly blunt how-to guide, Sincero, serves up 27 bite-sized chapters full of hilariously inspiring stories, life-changing insights, easy exercises and the occasional swear word.
Via chapters such as “Your Brain is Your Bitch,” “Fear is for Suckers” and “My Subconscious Made Me Do It,” Sincero takes you on a wild joy ride to your own transformation, helping you create the money, relationships, career and general all around awesomeness you so desire. And should you be one of those people who would rather take a bullet than get busted with a self-help book in your hands, fear not. Sincero, a former skeptic herself, delivers the goods minus the New-Age cheese, giving even the snarkiest of poo-pooers exactly what they need to get out of their ruts and start kicking some ass.
By the end of You Are a Badass, you will understand why you are how you are, how to love what you can’t change, how to change what you don’t love, and how to start living the kind of life you used to be jealous of.
So…that’s what is on my reading list currently, but why stop there? I’ve become so immersed in podcasts as of late. And while I love a good true crime podcast, I have been directed to, or even discovered through my own hunting, some uplifting and amazing podcasts that I’ve been diving into at work as well. These include:
- Make Your Body Work: Live Healthier, Smarter, and Happier – Dave Smith, Canada’s Top Fitness Professional
- Fit Bottomed Girls – Margo Donohue, Jennipher Walters, and Kristen Seymour
- The Love, Food Podcast – Julie Duffy Dillon, Registered Dietitian, Food Behavior Expert, and Body Image Guru
- Body Kindness – Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN
I really need to think more about working toward my nutrition degree or becoming a dietician. I love learning new things and also…learning how to be kinder to myself during these very trying, often stressful times as I attempt to get this body back to a place where I feel comfortable with it.
AND…I have been out to the movies and had to see, because…reasons, WONDER WOMAN. It was campy and fun and amazing and everything that it needed to be. I was nicknamed Wonder Woman years ago by my running store/group…so this was a must see. And if you haven’t seen it yet…I highly recommend it!
I have numerous more movies on my TO SEE list…so we’ll see how many I manage to get through before they leave theaters.
So…that’s what I’ve been up to lately. And yesterday, I broke out my Vitamix and whipped up an amazing smoothie for breakfast that I’ll share the recipe for in a different entry.
What books/podcasts/music/television shows have you been enjoying lately? I want to hear all about them. Comment below!! I’m always looking for new things to get into!