YOCR #13 – Constructive Wallowing & Let’s Be Less Stupid

I have finished my Loft online class, having learned some of the ins and outs of plotting stories and novels, and am returning to my Year of Creative Reading.

I’ve recently completed two books, “Constructive Wallowing” by Tina Gilbertson and “Let’s Be Less Stupid” by Patricia Marx.

Constructive Wallowing by Tina Gilbertson
Constructive Wallowing by Tina Gilbertson

“Constructive Wallowing” was a surprise find in a bin at the Goodwill in Aberdeen, South Dakota. The book looked brand new and only cost me $1.50. It was a fabulous and fast read whose subtitle says it all: “How to Beat Bad Feelings by Letting Yourself Have Them.”

There are a number of ways you can get in the way of experiencing your feelings, many of them unwittingly taught to us as children by well-meaning adults. This book provides a process by which you can safely regain a connection with your true emotions by really feeling them. The book came at precisely the right time as my father-in-law recently passed away, as did the mother of a friend. I found the book so helpful that I passed it along to my friend as soon as I finished it, hence my not getting a photo of my copy. (I nabbed this one from the author’s website.)

One of reasons the book attracted me was through the juxtaposition of the two words in the title. It seems as though “constructive” and “wallowing” would contradict each other, but they don’t. Also, the suggestion that people fully experience “bad” feelings (the author says there are no “bad” feelings) instead of forcing themselves to think positively counteracts the continual affirmations I see posted on social media sites. Who can be positive all the time? Not me.

Let's Be Less Stupid by Patricia Marx
Let’s Be Less Stupid by Patricia Marx

The other book I recently read, “Let’s Be Less Stupid,” came recommended by a story on NPR. The premise sounded great: A middle-aged person notices she’s losing brain power and decides to spend four months trying all kinds of techniques for improving it. The book is meant to be humorous. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the humor (perhaps because my brain is middle-aged or I’m simply humorless 😉 ), so much of the book was lost on me. At least it was a quick read.

On to the next book ….

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