Did you know that May is Mental Health Awareness month? This week, I’ve intentionally curated my reading, writing and learning to focus on my own mental health so I could then pass those nuggets along to you. Read on!

What I’m Reading:

This week, I did some buddy reading with my teenage daughter and read What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard. This book chronicles Elizabeth’s experiences as she enters residential treatment for her eating disorder and it took me on an emotional roller coaster. I thought I’d gain insight into the mind of a troubled teenage girl with disordered eating, and I did, but I also gained insight into the mind of her troubled mother with disordered eating. And it hit home. Now, I do not have an eating disorder, but I do have a complicated relationship with food. This book made me face some difficult realizations and really question my actions for how they impacted my own children whether I knew it or not. This was an incredibly powerful book for me.

Next up was one that I had been wanting to read for an incredibly long time: The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. And I wish I’d read it sooner. I wondered if it would live up the hype….and it did. Based on the premise that we all meet five people in heaven to help us make sense of our time on Earth, Albom envelopes us in Eddie’s life, death and eventual understanding of his place in the world. I couldn’t put the book down and haven’t stopped wondering about the people, connections and unconscious relationships in my own life. If you’re looking for comfort, for solace or for a higher understanding of how the seemingly understandable works, then this book is for you.

What I’m Writing:

Are you ready for this? I created a taste timeline in my notebook. Really! Here’s how it works: Think about the big stages in your life and the foods that come to mind, like my great-grandmother’s chicken and biscuits when I was a child, the cheeseburger pizza during my college years, the Gerber puffs of being a young mother and now, the gluten-free pizza that brightens nearly every weekend. =) It was such fun to think back on the important stages of my life and the foods that instantly brought me back to each of them. I highly suggest you give this a try and turn it into a family conversation at the dinner table!

Are you participating in Kate Messner’s Teachers Write summer writing experience? Join me!

What I’m Learning:

This past week, my daughter participated in her first track and field meet (she came in first in the discus event!). This is an entirely new sport for me (I previously was a softball mom!) and I had to learn how track meets work and where I should be standing so I didn’t miss my daughter’s events. =) I did a quick Google search and had some fun exploring the history of the sport, too. I know, totally nerdy, but fun to share a fact or two with my daughter.

What I’m Loving:

I watched this video far too many times! This talented crafter makes a precious little box out of a piece of patterned paper. I love paper and I love collecting decorative boxes, so this was right up my alley

Have you heard of Mote? It is literally saving my life (and my hands!) right now. I’m wrapping up my Spring semester at the University and jumping into summer teaching, which means A LOT of typing, something that has been wreaking havoc on my hands over the last year. But with Mote, I can leave audio comments in Google Docs quickly and easily, making them even more helpful and personal than the printed ones!

Have you seen the Room Rater yet? I think I’m a little late to the game on this one, but it’s worth a peek!

There you have it! I hope this inspires you to make space for more reading and writing in your own life. What are the highlights from your literate life this week?
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