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July 9, 2009

July, the reject month

I'm not sure why but July is a down month for me. And it's weird, and I think this may be the first time I've even admitted it out loud. Some people abhor February, and some people loathe January, but who dreads July? It's summer, after all, and it's not full of the anxiety of the holidays or the letdown of the beginning of the year. But for whatever reason July is not my favorite month.

I try really hard not to be depressing or negative. I try, and sometimes I fail. Have you ever noticed that as soon as you say anything even remotely not-happy, people immediately chime in with all the ways and reasons and whys that you should feel the exact opposite? I noticed this years ago, when I was going through my divorce. I would be sad, or upset, or just down, and someone would say, "People have it so much worse!" or "Well, just be thankful you had four cats, not four kids!" or whatever. And I would stare at them dumbly, blankly, because there is nothing to say to that. It puts you in the unenviable position of having to either defend your unhappiness or deny how you feel. So it's best to keep your mouth shut, just don't say anything.

Writing it down is the best. I like to write in my spiral notebooks, filling up pages and pages. It gets it all out of the inside and makes it less messy or important or pressing and no one is there to tell you that people have it so much worse, or that you should be happy, or how you are full of nonsense and bullhockey. It gets exhausting knowing people always have something to say about everything! I prefer keeping it in spiral where no one can read it, no one can say squat, it's no one's business. I don't know why people feel compelled to tell you what to do, give advice. These are things I think about in July.

Last July I watched a lot of TV and drank a lot of wine, which didn't help. It just made me more morose. This July I'm not drinking at all and instead am spending the evenings reading, because nothing transports you or makes you get out of your own head and into someone else's like a book. It's like having a conversation with the author, and it's my next favorite therapy after scribbling in notebooks.

Right now I'm reading The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million, which isn't exactly light reading but it's about the one subject I could study until the end of time and never get tired of it -- those years in Poland (and in all of Europe, though Poland is a particular draw to me) when the second world war happened. I get stuck on little things, like where did all the silverware go? Did someone just move into the house of a family who had been taken away? and the author of this book seems just as obsessed with those questions as I am. His writing style is a little frustrating even for me, and I love a good comma splice. But the story is compelling and has kept me wrapped up for days.

Next on my list is The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews. The Bielski brothers are the real-life men at the center of the movie Defiance, which I watched on the plane back from Dublin. The next day I ordered the movie and all the books about the Bielskis off amazon.com. As I was watching the movie I was trying not to cry and make a scene on the airplane, and at the same time I was thinking, Liev Schreiber, so hot! With a gun! Fighting bad guys! So, anyway, I really liked that movie.

Speaking of amazon.com, they recently dropped the price of the Kindle to $299, and I can't tell if I'm truly tempted or just having gadget wanderlust. The comments are still broken, so I can't ask you if you have a Kindle and love it or if you want one, too. I'm not sure I'm ready to give up paper, though. I love books, love the way they feel in your hand (I love adding my post-it-pen stickies to pages or in some books, highlighting pieces I want to remember.) But the idea of being able to download a book right-here right-now on impulse is very appetizing. And the one thing I own more of than anything else is books, and books must be stored and stacked and when I ever move, I'll have to move them all, too. The Kindle keeps all the books in one tiny space. But even though my books definitely add to the stuff quotient in my tiny house, there's something comforting about having all of them nearby. I'd rather get rid of pots and pans I rarely use or knick-knacks or even shoes than part with my favorite books.

So that's what's happening in my July. I forgot to water the plants this morning. It's hot. I couldn't sleep last night and feel asleep an hour before the alarm went off. The cats are on a diet and hate me. My car wouldn't start on Monday and I was late to work. Blah blah blah. Clocking time until August. Or sometimes I'm just clocking time, and simultaneously wondering why it went by so fast. That's the whole problem with July!

Posted by laurie at July 9, 2009 9:28 AM