'Ff'lo (fflo) wrote,

down days, and a book

I've had a coupla bad days, outta nowhere, but they've given me a new book, a sample of which I'd had sent to my phone after reading susandennis writing about it the other day.  (Hi, susandennis.)  It's Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman. I keep looking forward to the next sit-down with it.  Plus, aside, I want to tell Beth here at work about this bit in it:  "If I’m ever unsure as to the correct course of action, I’ll think, 'What would a ferret do?' or, 'How would a salamander respond to this situation?' Invariably, I find the right answer."  Sounds disingenuous, perhaps, but the narrator doesn't come across that way at all.  Eleanor's sincerity is never in doubt.  But it's all about getting to know her through her thoughts and actions, and the oblique-ish ways that happens.

I don't usually have a book going.  As I say sometimes, for a lit student and professional word worker and fan of language and story and turns of phrase and type, I read remarkably little, outside stuff on the internet, email, other everday communication stuff (signs, for inst), and the work stuff.  And close captioning, I guess.  It's nice to have a book going.  When I do, it reminds me of someone who always had a book going, and I want to tell her about the one I am into, if I like it like I'm liking this one.

The sneaky way that kind of thing happens is part of what's a joy, so far, in Eleanor O.

I need to eat something.  My day is off, tho I'm back at the office.  Where the database keeps going down in a small way for a small time.  And where I should get something to eat, cuz I need to eat something.

One more thing (sort of) about Eleanor first, tho.  I saw the idea floated some many months ago how taking care of something or someone engenders love for that entity, and I thought yeah, I know how that can work.  Not every time, of course.  But there's a way a deep fondness and caring grows from simple care.  I'm growing fond of Eleanor by just learning about her, paying attention and finding out--- appreciating in the sense of coming-to-understand.  I think that process leads to love too.  Sometimes.  Not every time, of course.

When I felt like shit yesterday and the dog was impatient to go out but I wanted to finish scooping the litter box first, I told her, from two rooms away, that I need to finish this not-neglecting and then we'd go out.  And then I thought how I was doing that not-neglecting of the cats before doing the not-neglecting of the dog, by taking her out when she needed to go out.  And when I too could probably benefit from getting outside, walking down the street, being in the air, etc.  This got me to thinking about a self-care angle of not-neglecting as applied to myself.  I have major not-neglecting skills when it comes to the other animals living in my house.  Maybe it's a way of thinking about it--- a lower bar, but a more fundamental kind of take, and a double-negative--- that can help me trick myself into practice better self-care?  Like, when actually taking good care of myself is too much, perhaps I could aim for taking care of some of the basics of not-neglecting.

I mean, it's an idea.

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