Monday, November 7, 2022

What to Do When the World's on Fire

 LUCY BURDETTE: Honestly, it feels a tad hard to stay optimistic these days. Covid is still with us although probably less lethal, horrifying wars abound, countries we don’t trust are rattling their nuclear sabers, the climate is warming and our politicians don’t seem to want to take action. Oh and don’t let me forget violence against politicians, and ordinary citizens who deny basic truths. What is wrong with this country?? (Make sure you vote tomorrow if you haven’t already–it’s more important than ever that we all speak up!)

Remember the early days of the pandemic when we were all holed up in our respective caves and terrified? It’s not quite that bad, but it could be. So I thought it might be time to talk about how we’re doing and to share ideas about how we’re handling the stress. 

For me, it’s a combination of keep working (because I have a lot of work that I am happy to have), keep reading (has anybody else tried Colleen Hoover‘s books?), and watch cat videos. See above for the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time, sent by a friend from college days.

How about you Reds? Tips for staying sane?

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: How do I manage stress? Honestly, having my dogs around helps. It’s hard to feel angst when you’re rubbing a furry belly. (Those of you with no dogs but with hirsute spouses can try this as well.) I make sure to spend time outdoors every day, walking the dogs or bringing in wood from the woodpile or just sitting on my front porch.

I also find the more I can stick to my routine, the better I feel. Is this an age thing, or do we all crave order and repetition, but never get the chance when we’re raising kids or working for someone else?

RHYS BOWEN: I certainly find life stressful enough now, having been through Covid, insurrections, lies and rising inflation. I worry how people can survive with the cost of everything soaring up. I’m not sure that I do manage stress that well! I find it hard to get back to sleep if I wake in the middle of the night. 


Certainly being in nature helps. When I’m in Marin I often drive to a nearby beach and listen to the lap of water and watch the sea birds. Now I’m back in Arizona and I love the view from my office window. I like lying on a sun bed and watching palm trees swaying above me. I love to swim, or just lie in the water looking up at those palm trees.

And I love to laugh. British comedies like Miranda (on Britbox) can do a power of good for me.

HALLIE EPHRON: My kids and my grands do a lot to keep me focused on what matters. Laughing a lot helps, too. I find the books and TV shows I watch have to have a strong dose of smart humor and likeable characters.  And trying to get a walk in every day. Lucy, love that cat video!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: This is such a profound question, and  such a personal and complicated answer. My husband has said to me “I have never heard you be this angry.” But that’s where it is, I am so sad, and so angry, and so… 

Astonished.  

I have spent my entire career looking for the truth, and it is jaw-dropping tonthink about how people just don’t care. They just – – don’t care about the truth, the only thing that matters is what they want. And that becomes true

Okay, end of rant. It’s such a balance, because we have to care about the big picture, and also care about the little picture—ourselves, and our families, and our little world.


I truly think we simply have to be grateful for what we have. Did we have a wonderful muffin for breakfast? Is our coffee completely delicious? Is there a beautiful bird in our backyard? We saw this woodpecker! Amazing!

 I am so aware that what we have is right now. And we have to love it and embrace it and notice it.

I do my work, the best I can.  I try to enjoy my very very lucky life, and I try to look at the world as if humans are basically good. 

I put my head down, and I work. And I try to count my blessings, and be optimistic. 

DEBORAH CROMBIE: Lucy, the cat video is hysterical! I definitely need to see more things that just make me laugh. It's such a hard balance these days–I feel a responsibility to be engaged with what's going on in the world, but on the other hand it's so terrifying and it makes me so angry that it's impossible to function without some way to shut it out. Routine helps, as Julia says. Concentrating on the joy of small everyday things, friends and family, reading (thanks to Judy Singer for recommending the audio versions of Evie Dunmore's books–an absolute delight, but so meaningful, too.) And, unless, I'm frantically up against a deadline, writing, because once I'm absorbed in my story, it holds the world at bay.

Red readers, how are you doing? Tips for staying sane?


90 comments:

  1. Staying sane. Sometimes it's hard to believe that I am still sane. I agree with Julia about giving a dog a belly rub. That relaxes both of us. And, I noticed this past week that a little routine is good. My husband got Covid, a mild case, but for four days, I had a routine of fixing his meals, getting him something to drink (liquids are important), and giving him his treats. Gee, it kind of sounds like I'm still talking about my dog. Hahaha! But, taking care of someone or working on a meal do help me put all the worry aside for a bit. Rhys, I was looking at a house with a pool the other day, and I can imagine how lovely it would be to just float on my back and relax that way. Debs and Hallie, laughter is essential, isn't it. I saw I dog video last week that still has me howling (hehehe). I will try and link it, but I don't know if I can do that as a commenter. Hank, I feel your anger, too. I'm just so mad at people who have the truth before them and choose to ignore it. I have cut back on the amount of news I watch, and I think that helps some. The political ads are driving me crazy, and I'll be glad the ones running now will be over on Tuesday. Of course, I realize I may have a whole new set of worries then.

    Basically, I am reading, watching some TV (like British Baking Show and Doc Martin and The Magpie Murders), and talking to friends and family. Of course, my thirteen-year-old granddaughter brings such great joy to me that I refuse to let anything worry me when I'm around her. Now, to bed because this night owl has to get up early for a doctor's appointment tomorrow. I do try to avoid Monday morning doctor appointments, but, alas, this one couldn't be avoided.

    https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=5289641521145732

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    1. Hank Phillippi RyanNovember 7, 2022 at 9:01 AM

      Isn’t magpie murders fantastic? I am absolutely in love with it!

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    2. Ooh, I am so behind from being out of the country for almost a month. Magpie Murders is on my must-watch list!

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    3. Magpie Murders! Loving it

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  2. On Dec 23, 2020 my partner of 15 years died in front of me of a heart attack, so I look at the world in a whole different way now. I got a glimpse of what’s really important. My family, my hobbies, my cat, my friends, writing. My retired life is very simple these days, but it won’t last forever, so I enjoy what is around me and worry less what I can’t change.

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    1. Losing someone you love changes everything, doesnt it… Teresa I’m right there with you -

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    2. Oh that sounds very hard Teresa. Sounds like you've got a good routine for continuing on in a sane and meaningful way.

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    3. Hank Phillippi RyanNovember 7, 2022 at 9:02 AM

      That is so difficult, Teresa. We are sending you so much love.

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  3. I share the rage and the sadness and Hank's rant. Like others of you, I get outside for a long walk every day, or just sit on my deck and watch the clouds. I talk with and see loved ones as often as I can. And I shut out the world and work, as I did during lockdown. Making up stories where most of the people are pretty good folks and where justice prevails in the end for the community is a great respite.

    Also, the video is great. I'll see if I can share it with my bestie who is fluent in French and whose granddaughter is in kindergarten in a French immersion school!

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    1. It's a gift to be able to shut out the world and move into one we've made up!

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  4. Unlike others, I am feeling less stressed this year than the previous 2 years. I am healthy, Ottawa has mostly returned to normal, and we recently completed our short provincial and municipal elections with stable results.

    Also, I have been able to travel several times this year for fun, which really makes me happy. I am travelling to Montreal tomorrow for another foodie getaway. It's Restaurant week there and I have booked several prix-fixe 3 or 4-course gourmet meals to enjoy and plan to bring back plenty of foodie goodies from the year-round markets.

    What else? Long daily walks/other exercise keep me sane, and my reading mojo has come back from this summer.

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    1. So glad you're feeling better Grace! The foodie getaway sounds delightful.

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    2. Yes, but our stress isn’t about our personal health. Our country is most lune about to implode and our lives will be ever changed.

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    3. Likely not lune. You aren’t in the USA and don’t share the personal threat to your life and liberty, yet. I’m not sure anyone not raised in the USA can completely understand the fear and rage. Our wonderful country has been destroyed by the Republicans who have no personal integrity and worship power and control above all else. Civil War or break up of our country is very likely. We have a reason to be outraged!

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    4. I think we’d all like to move to Canada right now, Grace! Too much craziness in our world. Rhys

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    5. Canada has its problems but we're definitely in a much better situation than what is happening in the US and other parts of the world.

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    6. Your foodie weekend sounds wonderful, Grace!

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  5. I think the way I stay sane is that I pick and choose what to rage or respond with sarcastic semi-witty remarks. I can't stay pissed off 24 hours a day or I likely would go crazy. Plus, I've got enough crap going on in my personal life (the issues with my back and everything that comes with trying to get better) that I just don't have a lot of spare time to be freaking out about everything.

    It's not that things don't get me very, very mad but there are only so many hours in the day.

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    1. So true Jay. It's a shame to waste ALL of our time ranting. Hope your back improves soon!

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  6. Roberta, it's so stressful! I agree with Hank about how angry I am. People are choosing their "truth" and it is terrifying. The TV in the kitchen is off, just off. The political ads are disgusting. The hate - climate is more than scary. It is too easy to disseminate hate-filled videos and books, and one incident after another has my stomach churning.

    So, I totally agree about humor. (The cat video will have to wait until everyone else is awake.) For every serious story I read, there is a fun one sandwiching it. I am re-listening to Jenn's whole Hat Shop series before her new one drops and also re-listening to the last Royal Spyness book, before Rhys's new book arrives. Debs, thanks for the shout out! I am so glad you like Evie Dunmore's audiobooks. I may listen to those again, too.

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    1. I am very eager to read both Peril in Paris and the new hat shop mystery!

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  7. "They just – – don’t care about the truth, the only thing that matters is what they want. And that becomes true." This pretty much sums it up (thanks Hank). I never in a million years would have imagined that the danger to our democracy would have come from within - from our our citizens who don't care about the truth.
    I try not to let it get the best of me - like others have mentioned, I focus on being grateful for what is good and that has really helped me feel less stressful.
    Thanks Lucy for the cute video! Cats make the world a better place!

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  8. Dru Ann Love, girl detective. What a fabulous series that would be! I'm sorry to miss Crimebake and hope to return next year.

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  9. I could take a longer and louder rant, Hank. I just don't understand the mindset of those who want simple answers for complex problems and who deny what is in front of them just because it doesn't look exactly as they want it to. I find politics hard to ignore and almost impossible to follow. Sheesh. The world is a hard place these days, which is why I'm re-reading childhood favourites and escaping into feel-good movies every now and again. Too bad I can't hibernate like bears do...

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    1. childhood favorites and feel-good movies sound perfect Amanda!

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    2. Hank Phillippi RyanNovember 7, 2022 at 9:05 AM

      Yes, I am afraid of it, I really am. I absolutely cannot understand it.

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    3. It is about power, money, racism and in a few ignorance! I am completely disgusted and want to rant continually. Some of the ignorance is caused by the media vacuum in rural areas, small local newspapers bought and eliminated, local tv stations bought by large media conglomerates. All they are left with is faux news.

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  10. Ohio is enduring the midterm election of all time...and everyone is afraid to put up yard signs. I'm polishing a manuscript, writing a short story, sorting photos from our recent trip, and shoveling out the house before the kids descend for Christmas. Loved the French cat video!

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    1. That's one of the things I hate the most--we should be able to say publicly who we support without fear of retribution--from either side!

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  11. Thanks for the cat video.. hilarious. These days are terrifying. I watched a little video that Prof. Timothy Snyder did on his Substack yesterday talking about how we are in danger of losing what makes us America. Sigh.
    So I go for walks, even in the pouring rain which has come here in Oregon, I look for my favorite hawks. I meditate and I read. I stay connected with loved ones and I try to do my bits to stand up for justice and peace and treat people well. I go to events around immigration, racial justice, and climate change. I feel more hopeful if I'm doing something, even if it's small.

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    1. Gillian, where in Oregon are you? My middle daughter lives in the Portland area. Just seeing Mt. Hood in the distance lowers my blood pressure when we visit her.

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    2. that's a very good answer Gillian--we do what we can, even small bits.

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    3. Thanks Lucy and thanks for bringing the topic to us! Karen, I'm in NE Portland, near the Rose City Golf course, where I get great sunrise views of Mt. Hood and where I see hawks, bunnies, and occasionally coyotes or a bald eagle.

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    4. Hank Phillippi RyanNovember 7, 2022 at 9:06 AM

      Oh, your surroundings sound breathtaking! Wonderful!

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    5. My daughter is in the NW area. She just moved there from Hollywood, and I can't remember the name of her community, Saint something, I think. It's so beautiful there.

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    6. Glad you like it Karen! I go to Forest Park in NW Portland all the time to hike. So lovely. I switched my photo to one of my sunrise pictures.

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  12. Pat a cat – we have 9, so just choose any one or two. Watch the 1 year old kittens gambol about.
    Pat the dog – less comforting than a cat, but he does love to share a chair on Geriatric Row and watch the garden grow.
    Speaking of Geriatric Row – just set. Listen to and watch birds. Wait for butterflies. We are having unheard of heat this week, and we saw our first female Cardinal ever. They are not known to be in this district.
    Read recipes. Choose recipes. Make a recipe. Eat it, vote on it, and decide whether to keep it.
    Go to the virtual library. Choose a few books – usually at least one audio, and one ebook. Download to ipod and listen all day. I just discover Marion Todd, and have the new Richard Osman saved for next week when our company will be gone.
    Do some jigsaw puzzle. This can take 5 minutes or 5 hours. Usually aided by a cat, though she does tend to undo what you have just done. Watch Coronation Street at the same time.
    Assume that if you don’t do it today, maybe you will do it tomorrow – or just later…
    Be glad that I came from a family of fine ‘I can cope with anything’ stock. Be even more happy that I inherited my father’s view of life where ‘a hurricane is viewed as a bit of a breeze’.
    Be thankful that my husband who is a bit of a worrywart is too lazy to even do that!
    Don’t worry – be hoppy – great song and great philosophy!
    Rhys – I am amazed at your two different places to live, and contemplate the difference in smells. I associate and revel in smells – they trigger such thoughts and memories. So you go from the lovely pungency of the sea to what I can only imagine as the nothingness of the desert. I can picture you coming back to the sea, raising your arms and just inhaling that incredible smell.

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    1. Margo, your I can cope with anything approach is inspiring! love this list of what helps. I can't help but think of the litter boxes however...we both hate that job!!

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    2. They are all indoor-outdoor cats. They go outdoors to play, and come indoors to poop!

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    3. Margo, yes the two homes both have views of hills which I love but in California we often get the breeze or fog from the ocean so it’s fresh and can be damp in winter. Where we live in AZ has so many flowers blooming and such clear skies. I’m lucky to have beauty around me

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    4. Margo, what a lovely comment. I have a farmer friend in my area who writes the most wonderful Instagram posts about the joy of small things on the farm. Whenever I read them I feel a little bit of the anxiety drain away.

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  13. The cat video is a stitch, Lucy/Roberta! Thanks for helping me start the day on an up note.

    I just spent the weekend with my mother, who cannot now be left alone, but who continues to live in her own space at my brother's house. (He was on his ninth vacation of the year, so he clearly knows how to handle stress, but I digress.) Mother likes to watch college games, so we had the TV on most of the day on Saturday, blaring so she could hear. Which meant all those rude and flatout LYING political commercials were in my face, something I usually avoid like the plague. It's no wonder everyone is so angry, with that going on all the time.

    The minute I got home I headed out to the garden. There's a lot to do, but it's still way less upsetting than almost everything else going on, and it's very soothing to do my chores, accompanied by a good audiobook.

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    1. Julia, your comment about the hirsute bellies made me hoot!

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    2. Does she have headphones for the TV Karen? that might help all of you!

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    3. She has her own TV in her room, but we wanted to spend time together, and there's nowhere to sit in there. So we watched the games on the gigantic TV in their great room.

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  14. Thank goodness you wonderful authors do what you do because losing myself in a good book is my favorite way to combat stress!

    Lately it has become so much easier to get angry and then what to do with that anger? I have always enjoyed reading the daily paper, even though they stopped delivering to my "remote location" after 10 years, so it's online for me which is not so enjoyable. Earlier today i discovered they would no longer be delivering to anyone in my county. Wow! How to stay in business. On top of that, the paper came out and endorsed and absolutely terrible candidate for Congress, which has upset many people, according to the letters to the editor.

    Lucy, I would normally agree with you about encouraging everyone to vote. However, recently someone close to me told me that they would not be voting because they didn't "like" any of the people. I certainly get that but if she did vote I'm pretty sure she would have voted a straight ticket for her party, which just happens to be the 'wrong' party if you know what I mean. So I counted that as one for the 'right' side.

    Definitely time to pet my fur guys and read my books!

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  15. Hank Phillippi RyanNovember 7, 2022 at 9:04 AM

    Lucy, I love that idea! Dru, see you soon!

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  16. Oh my goodness, thank you for a much-needed laugh via the cat video on this dull foggy Monday morning. I am personally terrified by tomorrow's Voting Day. I'm trying not to think about it. Like you and my many writing friends, I absolutely can't fathom how we got here.

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    1. it's really scary times...I try to think that our country has lived through worse and come out on the other side. But at what cost?

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  17. Yes we live in frightening times. And I fear it will get worse. Lies and disinformation and conspiracy theories so bizarre and so damaging to the fabric of our society.

    I think I've become a champion of self-care since retirement and kids leaving home. As I said before I worked in academia where work-life balance was sneered at. Its great to be free of that.

    Walking. Nature. This morning hub and I walked at our favorite park by the lake. We heard the honking of geese, and a flock of hundreds and hundreds of snow geese flew right over us. On and on they went, the sun bright on their white bodies. As they flew into the distance the sun glinted and flickered off their bodies so they looked like jewels in the sky.

    A little further on - a mown trail through a grassy area. We came out of the woods and saw a fox sitting in the grass scratching his/her shoulder with back foot - just like a dog, of course. He sat there for awhile enjoying the sun. Didn't see us. We watched him tip toe into the tall grass and when we whispered he looked right at us, then ran away. Gorgeous.

    And reading. Nothing beats the Flavia de Luce series for sheer joy and delight. Plus brilliant writing. A book and a cup of tea. What could be better.

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    1. I love Flavia de Luce... and your morning walk sounds just delightful. No foxes in my area, just the occasional coyote.

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  18. The morning walk, the morning yoga, the 4 o'clock glass of red while watching yesterday's Jeopardy. Routine.

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    1. Goshdurnit.... I AM signed in to Google. It's ME. Susan D.

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    2. Hi Susan, the routine with its beloved parts does help...

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  19. Love the cat video! Definitely need more of those. I hike, or run, or do something that raises my heart rate, pumps endorphins, and puts me in a peaceful state of mind. Like Hank, gratitude is the key. We have so much to be grateful for if we just pause to see it. When all else fails - a glass of pinot noir!

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  20. Timely post, Lucy! I have just been feeling flattened by current events. Here in northern Ohio, where districts have been gerrymandered, a longtime US Rep is fighting for her political life against an opponent who is downright scary. She has spent decades working for the good of her constituents, working across the aisle as a matter of course to get things done. Just reading what passes for political discourse sickens me. As others have noted: how can any person with their faculties intact blindly accept all the hateful verbiage? Then multiply that race against all the others in the state and across the country. Ugh!

    My cat Jimmy--who just jumped up to say hello all--has been extraordinarily affectionate the past week. The weather has been stupendous and I've gotten long walks in. I've tackled chores in manageable bits (Jay, I'm learning the hard way not to push it--my back lets me know quickly when I need to stop). I'm reading mostly nonfiction--currently Temple Grandin's new book about visual learners, before that Ghost Soldiers--about a daring rescue raid in the Philippines as US forces began the push through Leyte to Luzon. My dad was part of that push, so it was interesting to put this story in that context. And I haven't read any of Colleen Hoover's books, but they're like boomerangs at the library--out, then back, then out, then back....can't keep them on the shelves!

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    1. There is a Colleen Hoover book on Kindle Unlimited so I'm going to give it a try. She has THREE books on the NYT list at the moment!

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  21. Today does feel like a pivot point for the US. I really, really hope that dull feeling in the pit of my stomach is wrong.

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  22. I find myself disengaging more and more these days - and I'm not sure that's a great response. But sometimes I can't manage the energy to do anything else. Sigh.

    Pass the dark chocolate, please.

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  23. I try to limit my daily intake of news (from my trusted sources only). I am frustrated by so much in the world at the moment but I’m attempting to understand the mindset of people who don’t think like me and who seem to believe the ton of misinformation out there which of course they don’t view as misinformation (sigh). If I could wave a magic wand I would outlaw outright lies in political ads from both sides. But, once again, the problem is that neither side is willing to admit that the ads contain outright lies. It is such a vicious cycle. Emily Dame

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  24. I hang on to Tom Stoppard’s words from ARCADIA: islands of order in an ocean of chaos. We all want to change the world, and maybe we do that by tending our little island and trust/hope there are enough others out there doing the same to hold it all together.

    When I worked, I would try to find something good on the walk from the train to the office to lift my spirits. Some birdsong, the breeze caressing my cheek, a pup being walked. It helped a little to at least start the day on a better note.

    Hank, I can’t imagine how it feels to have dedicated your life to the noble pursuit of truth and have it feel devalued by so many. But there are still so many of us who do value that work, we just don’t have the megaphone at the moment.

    I’m looking forward to being an election worker tomorrow. I got teary when they had us take the oath to uphold the Constitution. It just seems to mean so much more now.

    Lisa in Long Beach

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  25. In addition to things mentioned above, reading, exercise, etc., I've decided to learn something new. I'm slowly, painfully, working my way through a small crochet project. So far, I'm not good at this. We'll see if it settles into a calming distraction. I'd really like to learn water painting, but need to find a way to learn at home since I'm my mom's only and fulltime caregiver. The end of political ads will help reduce stress too!!!

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    1. The one good thing about that pandemic is that you can learn so much online these days! Hope you find a good painting class.

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  26. I also finally watched the second season of Bridgerton. I'd been saving it for the right time, and I can't tell you how nice it's been to escape to Shonda Rimes's Regency world for a couple hours every evening. I so enjoy her multicultural casting that when I started a re-view of the 2020 film Emma, I thought, "Wow, why are there so many white people in this movie?"

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  27. I've been struggling with health problems since March, and sometimes I just don't have the energy to deal with the wider world. I hope I have turned a corner and am back on the road to wellness, but I still spend a lot of time hiding inside the covers of favorite books that I enjoy re-reading. I hope for the future, but dread the election results. It's all a little bit much for me these days.

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    1. I refuse to dread the election results. We will prevail.

      Diana

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    2. 🌊🌊🌊

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    3. Gigi, have missed your comments here! Best wishes for continued improvement in your health. I have a shelf of comfort reads and comfort movies, too, when I just need a break from the world.

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    4. I had the same thought--we've missed you Gigi! Hope your health improves quickly.

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    5. Gigi, you have been missed. Sending strengthening thoughts. Elisabeth

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  28. Wonderful tips, everyone! Thank you so much!

    What kept me sane? Reading lots of good books, especially happy books. However, the stress from the pandemic caught up with me this summer with my falling down in late May. I think I have anxiety from the pandemic,

    Now many people are not wearing masks. I do not want to shop at a store where no one is wearing a mask. Even if I am fully vaccinated and boosted. I have walked out of the grocery shop if the check out person is NOT wearing a mask. I have walked out of a coffee shop when the only employee available to deal with customers was NOT wearing a mask.

    Yes, I have tried to stay civilized despite some people's thoughtlessness. Trying very hard NOT to kick the other person. Ha ha. I do walk away if I can.

    Currently taking an online health education class to deal with anxiety.

    Staying sane is quite a challenge right now.

    Diana

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    1. It is a challenge. Unfortunately most people have abandoned masks. I still wear mine in public indoor spaces.

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    2. Agreed. Diana

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  29. p.s. I VOTED EARLY. Got a notification from the local Election office that my vote has been counted.

    Diana

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  30. My existence is synonymous with stress. So many deadlines to meet and very little time, not to mention what a chaotic world we live in. Sometimes I've forgotten what peace of mind feels like :(

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  31. Laughing at the cat video. The dance prof cat reminded me of my cat because they walked in a similar manner.

    Diana

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  32. One thing that keeps me sane is reading this blog. I love reading, I love reading mysteries and love reading about the process of writing mysteries (or any genre, actually). I also love the mundane things that are sometimes discussed here because it feels like a discussion I’d have with my girlfriends at lunch. And lastly, though I, too, am terrified of what the election results will bring (and, as a History major, can see so many parallels between the rise of Nazism and what’s happening in the US; never ever thought it could happen here), I find sanity and reassurance reading today’s blog subject. I find it comforting to know that so many of you agree with me on this particular topic (having lived most of my adult life in a conservative area and feeling alone with my few like-minded friends). I wish I could say and believe, “This, too, shall pass”, but I am not certain how long it’ll take and at what cost? But thanks to you, Reds, for all you do for me.

    Pat S.

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    1. thanks for being here Pat--we rely deeply on our reader friends to help keep us sane!

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  33. My plan is to get thru tomorrow Thank God for books And binge watching Inside Man with Tucci and Tennant. And Bills football games. And seeing my kids in Texas.

    And long naps. And apple pies And the Reds

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  34. I try to do what Hank does. I work and keep busy. I try to be nice to everyone. But it is very hard when someone I don’t even know gets angry at me for breathing. Or driving the speed limit. There’s so much rage. But I’m not going to partake in the rage.

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  35. Loved the cat video--humor helps, but I understand Hank's rant and Pamela's point about rage. I wish I had a profound response, but exercise and being outside and finding humor helps me.

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  36. I'm not sure I know the answer to keeping sane these days. The terrifying politics and the prolonged stresses of covid (even without any loved ones in hospital) have left a lot of us beaten up, and the last few years have also brought family stress and writing life stress for me. I want to read funny books and watch silly movies (It helps to have grandkids for that!) I do try for what many of you say, and rightly so - focus on the good right in front. The crocuses and daffodils I just planted WILL come up in the snow next spring. The wandering, pointless writing I have been doing WILL turn into something eventually. Travel is opening up again. (We are going to Yellowstone. I've never been. In January. Are we completely crazy?) And a dear friend of my whole adult life, seriously ill, is better. And there are good books and friends who write them. So we move toward the light as well as we are able, right?

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  37. Forgot to say, also, bright public life is coming back. After holding ticket for more than 2 years, I finally got to see Music Man on Broadway ( a show with sentimental meaning for me. And Hugh Jackman) And I will see Tom Stoppard new play next week. And we will go to amazing light show at Botanic Garden in Dec. WITH grandkids and old friends.

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    1. Loved the Music Man--Hugh Jackman was amazing and in the end, it had a very uplifting message!

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