I make soup when I'm stressed. The mindless chopping calms my mind. My freezer is full of it: chili, lentil, potato, squash/bean, chicken/turkey. There isn't room for more varieties, though I contemplate making some split pea soup and clam chowder anyway. It doesn't help that I make gallons of each variety. At this point my dog loves soup more than I do.
Besides eating soup, I've been reading a lot because I don't think TV is improving my life and I might as well learn something. I went to the library and really thought about my childhood experience of being surrounded by books. How I had made sense of the place? How did I choose my books? I stood in the library entry, really looking at the place for once.
There are displays all over the place. Sometimes I borrow a book from a display, but this time I noticed a sampling pointed me to books beginning with numbers 300-500. Oh. Seems kind of obvious now. I dutifully went to those bookshelves where I skipped wars and found a couple of books on childhood trauma.
Did you know victims of child abuse suffer long-term physical effects from their experiences? People who suffered multiple types of abuse including physical, sexual, neglect, verbal, etc. are likely to die years before their more blessed peers. They can die 20 years earlier, often from heart attacks, cancer, addictions, and adult abuse. The experts are saying we need to quit sweeping the topic under the rug as the long-term effects of childhood trauma are the leading cause of death.
I'm not just reading heavy topics like this. I've been switching back and forth between escapist fiction and learning new stuff. I don't know what else I'll be learning. There are a lot of books in 300-500 and I almost went back for history books in another section as I was heading to the check out counter. I already had 4 books and I've decided that 4 is enough for the library's 3 week borrowing window. If I use them up, I'll just get more and start a new 3 week window.
I've gotten old enough to be ingrained in some of my ways. Looking at the library with fresh eyes makes my world bigger and better, as does learning new things. When I put myself in my younger self, I can feel the excitement the library meant to me. Every aisle was an adventure, and every book an opportunity. Reading about other people, real or imaginary, let me try on their lives to see if I wanted to be like them when I grew up.