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deep breath
Apothecary Whom
I think it would be fair to say that the past two months have been the most stressful in my life. My already disturbed sleep patterns grew even worse. (Seriously, I can't remember having a decen night's sleep for the past 3 1/2 years.) My professional abilities were questioned, and although this turned out to have been the result of an incomplete and biased evaluation, the damage to my fragile ego and a client's confidence have been rattled. This winter, which meteorologists are calling the coldest in 20 years, just kept getting more and more miserable. (In fact, we've had about 10 centimetres of snow thus far today. MAKE IT STOP. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP.) I experienced back and abdominal pain every single day. And to top it all off, my very sweet, very affectionate cat decided to start attacking me without warning or provocation.

Much as I enjoy Val McDermid's novels, it's probably not a good idea to read them just at the moment. Time to turn to more soothing sources of entertainment. I dug out my DVDs of Doctor Who (seasons 5 and following). How could I have forgotten just how much joy — amid all the hard stuff — there is in this series? After watching the Van Gogh episode (with its "pile of good stuff" and "pile of bad stuff"), I was curious to find out more about Vincent and discovered that my library has a three-volume edition of his complete correspondence, with reproductions of all the sketches and drawings he included in his letters. I almost cried while flipping through these massive books! What an absolute treasure! I took the first volume home, and I can't wait to spend many hours browsing it.

So this will be my strategy from now on: surround myself with works that, if not entirely positive, contain at least an atom of hope or beauty.

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