my tragic right hip

Busting out bad joints all over the place

February 23rd, 2018

A Picture of Moss

This is my favourite moss. It’s a spot just up off the driveway of our cottage, set back into the woods a bit, near a bit of a clearing. I walk to it, by it, all the time, when heading out on adventures with our boy if his cousins have already left and he needs an adventure-mate. It’s unbearably grey and rainy here in Toronto, and cold. Perfectly acceptable end-of-February weather if you felt as though you could endure even another February day.

So, today in my my mind I’m brushing my hand against the fluffy pillow-like moss on the rocks by a place where I’ll be in a few months when the weather changes, and we’re in the rush-rush of the summer season. The colour is delightful, and green, proving that even the sight of something so hopeful and growing can help you through the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the longest-shortest month of the year.

Over the last few weeks/months/years, I’ve been having a hard time concentrating. At first I put it down to the disease, and that never-ending “brain fog” it induces both from medication and from, well, disease. But it’s more than that, it’s too many decisions and questions during a day, it’s not enough exercise, it’s too much sugar, it’s too many hours spent with a phone, watching too much TV, it’s the in and out of how to spend the couple of hours at the end of the day after the boy is in bed before my mind can actually fall into a fitful sleep.

I decided this year to pump up my reading by making myself accountable to GoodReads. I set up a reading goal (52 books), and I’m tracking them on my phone. At times like this, fiction gets hard, but nonfiction feels like a breeze. I’ve finished Roxane (with one “n”) Gay’s excellent Bad Feminist. I’m really enjoying Worry-Free Money and felt like Gretchen Rubin’s Happier at Home wasn’t necessarily about being happy or being at home (goodness she’s a writer in love with quotes. So. Many. Quotes.). I’ve started reading a book about Monet’s Water Lilies series. Nonfiction has a way of soothing your over-worked mind, I find. Letting you puzzle in someone else’s thoughts for a bit as yours continue to be muddled and messy.

Reading has always been the way in which I sort out my world. But working in publishing means that I’ve gathered many, many books–my shelves are sinking at the weight of it all–and so, like many other years, I’m trying to work my way through them. Make some hard decisions. I have books from my very first publishing job that I’ve carried around for years, hoping to read, planning on reading, when is that moment when I’ll just know that no, I won’t get to this in my lifetime, and is it worth the emotional baggage and years of collected dust. I never imagined from that very first moment when I discovered reading could be a challenge (remember Read-a-thons? I took them as a personal gold-star-maker, used up both sides of the sheet and then some) that I could “succeed” at, that there might be a moment in my life where books didn’t give me pleasure. Now, with life so full and balance completely off, I’ve struggled for the last few years to find my way through the backlog of books I have on my to-be-read shelf.

But who am I without a book in-hand? What do I do without a giant stack of books beside my bed? How do I define myself if I’m not a reader.

I’m getting older. I’m outside of mainstream publishing. Beyond the books that win the Giller or the GG, I don’t know what’s hot at the moment (but if I read one more essay about Rupi Kaur through teaching I might have to give up entirely) and I’m not sure I care any more. Finding my way around the stacks that I have might be a valuable thing to do for a year, maybe two–to not buy the latest bestseller (or anything new, really, unless it’s for book club) but suffering from FOMO is a real thing when it comes to my reading.

Anyway, enough rambling for today. Perhaps I shall go home and finish something while my family’s at hockey practice.

Leave a Reply

about me

Girl with titanium hip will rock. Girl with titanium hip will write. Girl with titanium hip will read. Girl with titanium hip will battle crazy-ass disease called Wegener's Granulomatosis. Now stuff that in your spelling bee!

my virtual self

deanna [dot] mcfadden [at] gmail [dot] com

classic starts by me

Friends & Foibles

and the simple things


recent comments