Posted in books, differences, education, mindset, parenting

Reading is reading!

The Kid is learning to read. I mean, he’s in the years-long process of learning to read.

He loves to read.

Part of that is that he reads things that are interesting to him. It doesn’t have to be books. It doesn’t have to be at his reading level. Whatever is interesting.

Sometimes, he likes to read his old picture books. (The words in those are not always easy to read, since they’re generally intended to be read out loud by a competent reader. Even when they are easy, he enjoys them.

Sometimes, he reads LEGO magazines.

Sometimes, he reads chapter books.

Right now, he’s reading a Minecraft graphic novel. I believe he’s read it in its entirety three times since acquiring it less than a week ago.

Reading is reading. It’s all practice. It’s all building skills, building habits, nurturing a love of reading.

I remember overhearing a conversation years ago between two moms. One’s son was only interested in reading comic books. She forced him to read “real books” before he was allowed to read comic books. They weren’t school-assigned; she just didn’t think comic books “counted” as reading.

There are words, sentences. There’s a story. There are characters.

It counts. It all counts.

Reading is reading.

Posted in books, meandering, podcasts

Magnetism in enthusiasm

There is something delightful about people who get jazzed about a topic, even if the topic is weird (by my standards) or not something I’m necessarily interested in.

I have read most of Malcolm Gladwell’s books and have enjoyed them thoroughly. Some of the pieces within them are about topics that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to read about. But they were in the book. So I read them. And they were interesting!

He has a podcast called Revisionist History. Some of them I enjoyed because the content was up my alley. But then he turned to talking about music history which, oddly, I wasn’t super-interested in.

And yet, I was captivated.

He was so immersed in what he was talking about and so excited to share it that it was interesting to listen to.

Six-ish months ago, I bought a one-year subscription to MasterClass. Not entirely understanding what I’d purchased, I was delighted to learn that I had access to all of the classes, not just the one I thought I had bought.

I’m taking in all of the classes about either writing or photography. (The Kid has enjoyed some episodes of Penn and Teller and others about space travel.)

In the time I’ve been a member, new classes have been added, including one by Malcolm Gladwell.

It’s about writing, so I was going to watch it regardless, but by this point, I’d become a fan enough that I would have watched at least some of it anyway.

And it doesn’t disappoint.

Listening to the podcast adds voice, inflection, etc. that the consumer doesn’t get in writing.

Watching the MasterClass adds gestures and facial expressions.

If nothing else, he is excited about his work and the stories he tells.

I have no connection to him though I’d love to share a meal or afternoon tea, I get no kickbacks for books, podcast listeners, or MasterClass subscribers (though I think I can maybe give you a referral link to MasterClass and get a discount on a renewal). I am just delighted that his work has crossed my path at this point in time when I appreciate them.

Have you been in a space where you’ve been captivated by someone’s enthusiasm about something that you otherwise might not be interested in?

Posted in books, hope, mental health, mindset, parenting, vulnerability

Book quote: family and belonging

I listened to Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown. (OK, I listened to part of it. But audiobooks and I have a complicated relationship, and I didn’t finish it before it was due back at the library.)

Given my unpleasant relationship with my family of origin, this quote spoke to me. There is something comforting about the end…but I’ll talk about it after you read it.

Also, given that I’m transcribing from an audiobook, I can’t guarantee that the punctuation is as you’d see it in the book.

“Even in the context of suffering … Not belonging in our families is still one of the most dangerous hurts. That’s because it has the power to break out heart, our spirit, and our sense of self-worth… And when those things break, there are only three outcomes …

“One, you live in constant pain and seek relief by numbing it and/or inflicting pain on others.

“Two, you deny your pain and your denial ensures you pass it on to those around you and down to your children.

“Or number three, you find the courage to own the pain and develop a level of empathy and compassion for yourself and for others that allows you to spot hurt in the world in a very unique way.”

That bit at the end—spotting hurt in the world in a very unique way—is like a consolation prize. “You didn’t have what you needed when you needed it, and sometimes you still don’t. People who haven’t experienced it don’t understand it and often, you’re blamed for what was inflicted on you. But you get to have the capacity to help others the way you wished you had been helped.”

Better than passing it on. And hopefully, helping someone else not to pass it on.

Posted in books, mental health

Book quote: suicide

Sometimes, a little tiny bit of something I read or listen to sticks with me.

I’d like to share these bits with you. I haven’t decided if I’m going to ramble on about them or just leave them here for you to take or leave. Probably some of each, really.

Anyway.

Right now, I’m reading Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson, The Bloggess. She has mental health issues and writes about them very honestly. She’s a wonderful combination of hilarious and poignant. Not many books make me laugh out loud reading, but this one has quite a few times already, and I’m less than 100 pages in.

This bit stuck with me earlier this week, a succinct explanation for something that many people have written beautifully about.

“And when we see celebrities who fall victim to depression’s lies we think to ourselves, ‘How in the world could they have killed themselves? They had everything.’ But they didn’t. They didn’t have a cure for an illness that convinced them they were better off dead.”

Due to feedback, edited to add: That’s not one of the parts of the book that is laugh-out-loud funny.