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Joyful Stress

Let me list for you some of my responsibilities.

I have a full-time job with a utility company, and while that job is staying, the location is moving… and me with it.  Starting in a month, I can expect an additional sixty minutes added to my daily commute (thirty minutes each way.)

I am planning to be married in about three and a half months.  Few preparations for that have begun, but they’re looming.  It also means a lot more time spent being attentive to someone else… happily so, but it’s time lost.

I am hunting for a house, in mind of the aforementioned change in marital status.  More time and worry.

The prior two items require a significant cash influx.  In consideration of that, I have been attempting (with Brobdingnagian efforts from the fiancee) to liquidate significant portions of my stock.  I have recently learned about the relative benefits of a store system on eBay vice the traditional auctions, but I’m not experienced enough to provide good information about that.  The important item is the time expenditure required.

It is the holiday season, and there have been not merely the traditional visit to my parents to arrange but also visits with the fiancee’s parents.

I have a monthly post here at Storyteller’s Unplugged, which I value highly.  I have never missed an opportunity to contribute, and I have attempted to make the contributions worth reading… often a tough task for someone who is not a professional writer.

In recent months, I’ve also been contributing book reviews to a horror ‘zine called The Black Glove.  I review only books which are at least two decades old and attempt to cover both the expected classics and lesser-known works.

This last item was tacked onto the load even while I had all of the other responsibilities to consider.  It has caused me no small level of concern because I want to do a job of which I can be proud.  Simultaneously, it is providing relief and joy.

I love reading.  My love of books is an outgrowth of that, not an isolated occurrence.  Amidst the various other, very real stresses (and the stresses from things I used to do regularly, but which have been lapsing due to other demands; my time on boards like the RLD, Big Adios or Shocklines; answering e-mails) my reading level had dropped away.  By putting myself in a position where I was required to read, I spurred myself back to a level of at least one, typically two novels or collections per week.  It’s not much compared to my reading levels at most points in the past, but it’s more than I’d had in recent months.

There are people and events in all of our lives which demand attention.  Every person, however, who reads this blog shares a love of the written word.  I have learned that, when I’m bogged down by my duties, a little bit of reading isn’t necessarily mere escapism – it can be a reminder of one of the true joys in my life.  I have also found that when I’m in a better mood, that reflects upon the people around me.

I don’t know if this holds true for others, but I expect it does.  So, that’s my roundabout, explanatory way of suggesting that you find a book… nonfiction or fiction, it doesn’t matter… and read it for enjoyment this holiday season.  Hopefully it’ll remind you of why you love reading, too.

If this post seems more disjointed than ones from past months, I beg your forgiveness.  I typically have at least two posts available; as it is, the time is 11:19 PM as I complete this, and I have to be awake at 3AM to fly to meet the parents in New Jersey.

Time waits for no man.  Busy, busy!

… but I’ll have a book with me on the plane.

3 comments to Joyful Stress

  • David Niall Wilson

    As a graduate of the sixty plus minutes each way commute school, let me say one word. AUDIOBOOKS. I understand the levels of stress you are facing, my own world just tipped upside down and new responsibilities loom on all sides…I stand ready, and I think, at your suggestion, I shall stand ready with a book in my hand!


  • Lots of resonance coming out of your experiences, Bill. And the idea of keeping up with reading making a difference in how you comport with the world is especially telling. I always kick myself when I get back to reading after an imposed (it seems) hiatus and it reminds me that I’m a much more articulate person when I’m reading (and writing, for that matter). Oddly, writing in depth emails does the same thing.

    — Sully

  • Forget April. December is the cruelest month. Looks like we both picked the wrong time to give up mainlining horse tranquilizers. Best of luck juggling all those aerial bowling balls.

    And thanks for the timely reminder for a little chill time. Got just the book in mind…

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