Positive Diary #21 – Books on demand

22nd November – Our bedroom and my study room, for purposes of studying, writing and now working from home as well, in one seems to me pretty cozy. As I have already said in one of my previous diaries, I live in an old house which is far from perfect, yet for years it feels perfect to me. In my study room, there is all I could possibly need. Lots of table lamps for darker days like these, cozy bed with lots of blankets and cushions, two desks for being active when the inspiration kicks in and tons and tons of books to get inspired in the first place.

So, let’s talk about those precious wonderful books today!

What are books to me? Ever since I started to write, or even before that, when I was only an eager reader, I saw books as tiny portals through which we can jump into other worlds and other people’s lives and that just felt awesome. I loved books as a child, and I read deliberately. It had also some taste of rebellion against the unwritten rules of my peers since reading was already back then seen as boring and too time consuming. I was so proud to be one of not so many who had their pass to local library, and I loved my label of a bookworm. Reading at that age gave me so much! 

Some time has passed and we, as students at high schools and later at universities, were told which books to read. It was also slightly implied to us which books are not that elevating. It is not like anyone would say – you read those, you are rubbish, but it definitely felt like it. And also, reading the recommended books takes more time then reading the books you actually like, so it somehow shifted my attention, took my time and deprived me of my love for reading for a while.

A long while.

It was only until this year, when I rediscovered my passion for reading. I jumped back into one of the urban fantasy series I stopped reading years ago, ordered all of the pieces I missed and dived into the frantic story of werewolves, vampires, shapeshifters and faes. But that’s not all. I finally ordered some of the books from brilliant Neil Gaiman whose books I always only borrowed from a library, and some other books about wiccan sabbats. I went berserk with buying new books this year and I don’t regret a single penny.

Books are elevating. No matter what you read, if you read enough. Through books, we can widen our perspective, feel what it’s like to live in someone else’s shoes or visit places we only dare to dream of. 

When we are kids, we built our world around everything we process. Adding imagination and empathy via reading is immensely enriching

And when we are adults, reading a good story can take us beyond our day-to-day life and help us to rebuilt or adjust our lives according to our deepest wishes. Nicely written historical book can explain to us problems which we are facing today. And half-forgotten philosophical essays can remind us of different perspective and approaches.

I love books. 

I love reading. 

And I love how these can make us better human beings. I cannot be more grateful for a fact that we live in a system and an age, when we can have whichever book we want on demand and we do not have to worry about persecution for reading anything.

It is for sure one of our beautiful freedoms we should take advantage of more often.

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The Positive Diary #18 – All the useful stuff

16th April – For the most of us, the current pandemic means restraints of freedom. We can’t go out whenever and wherever we want, some of us has lost their jobs, others lost a connection to their coworkers in offices as they are forced to work from home office. We cannot go to trips we planned, to concerts we paid for. We don’t even dare to dream about the future because we don’t exactly know, how it will look like. The traps of our mind, fears and regrets, might feel eternal, real and hopeless. I know it is hard, especially for some of us.

But hey, we are living in a time of great freedom and endless possibilities thanks to new gadgets and, especially, the Internet. Just look around… Do you feel lonely? You can connect to Discord or Skype and spend hours on the call with your friends and family. Is it still not enough? You can play together, wander through the Elwynn Forest or under the open skies of Middle-earth, or if you know more games than me, you can wander everywhere. And be safe.

Would you like to see a movie? And Netflix is not enough anymore? Well, there is HBO, Prime and many other different platforms. You just have to choose and enjoy it. Is it not the same without the popcorn and trashy people in a cinema? You can always make an online order and your precious popcorn will arrive. And if you really need someone to talk during a movie you want to see, you can go back to the first paragraph and try to call some of your friends.

Do you feel melancholically? Why won’t you listen to some of your favorite music? It is not the same as when you are on the go and you listen to it while being active every day, but it can definitely bring you those memories back. And the feelings you have when you listen to your favorite music, these won’t go away. Also, while listening to it at home and in no rush, you might notice, discover new aspects of these songs. All of the options of how we can listen to and approach to music have their own benefits.

Or maybe, you feel down and overwhelmed. The world seems to be falling apart, and you have no control over it. Luckily, there is plenty of useful mindfulness apps and even free YouTube meditation lessons online. You can just comfortably sit or lay on the mat and let these short voice recordings to calm you down. Maybe, you are too skeptical about trying it, but trust me, you have nothing to lose but so much to gain. If you can spare just ten minutes to give it a try, you will see for yourself.

Okay, maybe enough of fun. The TV shows are all the same, nothing can surprise you anymore and you feel empty and bored. Maybe it is a sign that you’ve had enough of fun and you are ready to work on your skills. I bet there is something, anything, you were hoping to learn for a long time now, but you never had the energy nor the time to give it a proper try. Well, guess what – this is the time we were all waiting for! If you belong to the lucky ones, who can work from home, keep their salaries, but still have an excessive amount of free time left, you can purchase some of the online lessons. I shared a subscription of MasterClass with my brother, but you can find whichever class or platform you like and get dedicated to fulfilling your dreams. There is many free “how to” and “DIY” videos on YouTube, you can try Patreon, Skillshare, whatever suits you better. Just go and give it a try.

Maybe the lessons are too much for you. Maybe all you wanted was time to practice your craft. Practice your writing, cooking, drawing, sewing, whichever skill you have and want to evolve. Because you have time to do it now.

The whole day sitting can also numb your senses, your will to enjoy the life. Luckily, you can always go to YouTube, Patreon or use any sport dedicated web or app to add a little more movement to your life. Yoga, pilates, dancing classes, shredding classes, whatever you prefer, it is there, just within a reach of you hand.

If you are tired of all those online activities, you can always grab a book you wanted to read for so long but never managed to merge entirely into it. Now you have the time. Jump into the story and let it to take you away. That is one of books’ magic purposes. They can also slow your overthinking patterns and calm you down, easily and naturally rock you to sleep.

 

I know times are hard and becoming even harder the longer they continue. I myself am having anxiety attacks when looking into future or just when I follow the news. It is overwhelming, even for a person who can easily work from home. But, as in other tough times and situations, I need to see the positive sides of this situation too. And when I look around, I see a lot. Despite the situation, internally, I have never been happier.

 

So now, just fix the outside world and we are done, right? Right.

 

Have a lovely day.

 

Yours,

 

Wicked and Clever

 

Šárka

 

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