I'm going to get straight to the point and say that this week has been shit. I made the transition from my old role to the new one and that has caused a whole host of problems and a ridiculously strong sense of isolation. It really is not fun in my office at the moment. There have been other factors that have made this week stressful, namely that I have a new house mate and I always find it testing living with a complete stranger. You know the phrase 'shit storm'? Yes, that pretty much sums up my week.
As a food lover, I have a ridiculous tendency to drown my sorrows in a bag of mini eggs or a rather large bowl of my Dad's chilli. But as the need for comfort has been surfacing with an unusual frequency in recent weeks, I've been thinking about other ways of getting a calorie free warm and fuzzy 'it'll be ok' feeling from other sources. Running still works a treat and since I've started running home from work I've been out a lot more. I've been enjoying leaving work and pounding out my frustration before I even get home.
Then there's the written word. I've been turning to books even more than usual to achieve that sense of calm that usually comes over me as I read. My reading this week has consisted of the feminist novel Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Dracula by Bram Stoker, both of which have been just what the doctor ordered. Usually when I start comfort reading I head straight for The Woman in White, Great Expectations or an old favourite from my battered collection of very well-loved teen reads. This time, though, it has been refreshing to dive into two novels that I've not read before, and that are also pretty different to anything I've read before.
Books have always been an escape for me (excuse the cliche), but I had forgotten quite how comforting they could be when, to put it bluntly, shit got real. It's nice to immerse yourself in other people's worlds and, by comparison, my week hasn't been as bad as Lucy Westernra's. I know Dracula is not going to come and start sucking my blood nightly (I mean, I really hope not), but it is good to put your own worries and stresses into perspective. I can find excitement, distraction, happiness, and even hope in the pages of a good book. Yes, books often make me sad and we all know I'm a sobber, but even those books can still be comforting. And sometimes all you need is a good cry, so why not turn to Birdsong or The Universe Versus Alex Woods for a little extra help.
Until this job situation settles down and the flat situation settles down then I'm going to continue with my schedule of comfort reading. I have some very tempting looking books waving at me from my shelves so I'm going to sit down with them later and decide which looks to be the most comfort inducing. In fact, I have a whole evening of bookish delights in store for me as I'm planning on re-organising (by which I mean alphabetising) my shelves. Here's to comfort reading, not comfort eating.
Do you comfort eat or comfort read? Which book would be your choice for the ultimate feeling of comfort?