Tag Archives: Reading

Have you ever had to go out of town just to savour a book? Introducing Birth of a New Brain by Dyane Leshin-Harwood

My kindle and I, my kindle & I… oh what a wonderful treasure…

Dear world, last week while on a brief blogging break, I was excited to receive the ARC (Advanced review copy) of my lady Dyane’s forthcoming memoir. I got it in my email on Wednesday night, and tried to start reading it on Thursday. With the boys ha, I can’t find the time to read at home so I read on the go as in when stuck in traffic. But when the book you browse promises to be one so full and pregnant with ‘stuff’, men you have to go find some cool place to savour that book. I was fortunate to have a trip planned for the next day although I wasn’t so decided yet. Well, that book sealed it for me. Whatever thing I had planned to do during that trip was going to take second stage because I had to savour that book and finish it before or else…

I am going to be very honest with you, not because I know Dyane online, but because I laughed so much while reading that book – I just want to recommend it to you before I even tell you more. I am going to do three posts on that epic memoir just to tell you how much it got into me…

In this first post, I’ll share the pictures of my reading cocoon and the beauty of the day even when I got back to the home I was hosted in with the boys. In my next post on this memoir, I will share the reasons (not related to the main topic of the memoir) which make me advice you to get the memoir. The third post on this memoir will be focused on my review of the main topic of the memoir which is “mental illness” – “Postpartum Bipolar disorder” in Dyane’s case. Thank you already so much Dyane for loving and trusting me enough to send me an ARC of your epic memoir. My hats off to you after all you’ve been through and still go through, to find it in you to finally write this memoir and in that style. Reading truly takes me roaming & roving

Dyane Harwood’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder with a foreword by Dr. Carol Henshaw (co-author of The Modern Management of Perinatal Psychiatry) will be published by Post Hill Press on October 10th.

It’s available for paperback pre-sales on Amazon at this link – Kindle pre-sales arriving this summer!

And the boys also got a blast at our host, a highschool friend of mum’s whose husband and her are befittingly called Papa and Mami by my siblings and I. The boys call Mami, Icecream Grandma because she has a big icecream venture. They negotiate to visit there at least 3 times a year. Look at the pictures:

Ain’t all that wonderful? It was a well deserved break for me afterall, Dyane’s epic memoir topped it all for me… I am so grateful.

Wishing us all a happy and cozy week ahead




Marie Abanga
Needs perpectives and retrospectives

Why do you do the things you do?

Hello e-world and hope we all start off another week with gusto.

Today, I want to use 3 instances to reflect on why I do somethings I do. I am writing this post because some incidents in life have left me so full of contemplation or reflections on the why I do them in the first place. I am chosing 3 of them I think and hope we can relate with or just get us to think about our own instance.

  1. Cleaning up especially at others homes

I love cleaning up. You can read this post I wrote about that. When I visit someone, if I feel comfortable being there, I’ll very often end up in the kitchen offering to help. My task of choice is doing the dishes. And no not staking in a dishwasher which I near got so offended having to use in Belgium, I mean using my hands and dipping stuffs in water and greasing them clean. My next offer, is cleaning bathrooms. One weekend, I was at a friend’s and I felt the urge to clean the bathroom. That’s not my first time doing so, and well maybe sadly, each time I do it not even a thank you is said. That day a ‘selfish’ thought crossed my mind: ‘Why do it when no one cares anyway?’ … But then I calmed myself down, do it for the love of you and for the fact that you’ll be using the bathroom or clean dishes yourself anyway… In my home, there’s an artwork on which it is written: IN OUR HOME CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS . I am happy living that mantra wherever I feel comfortable, appreciation or not!

        2.  Writing

I love reading and writing, have loved these from childhood. When 4 years ago I realized I could be an Indie Author, I skipped for it. For me, it was all about carrying a passion to another bigger platform. That has brought me so much joy, I keep writing both for publishing, on my blog and in my journals at home. Income for my writings is sincerely not measured by royalties but by the therapeutic wind blowing through my brain as I type. Secondly, when I get any feedback from someone who has been touched in anyway by what I write or have written, I am so fulfilled. I still don’t know how to read or understand wordpress statistics neither am I interested. I don’t compare my blog progress by likes, comments and views or clicks etc – really I’ll be deceiving myself if I wanted to take on monitoring those.  My love of writting even extends to doing book reviews regardless of if I get any on my own books. I mean I wish I could afford to be a professional book reviewer. Of the 25 reviews I have left on the amazon, 17 have been found to be useful. What Grace oh my! The same with reading, I read for the love of me, it’s a mental stimulation technique and ain’t that the best way of knowledge acquisition? That is why I follow so many blogs and read many of them, leaving comments on posts I am moved by. It musn’t and is the least reciprocal but I am ok with that. I don’t think I follow all who follow me anyway !

        3. Being & Stayinh positive

I recall insisting to my mum that all what I’ve been through in life I see as experiences and not hurts, mistakes and … I had quickly come to realize that to keep striving in life, I was better off being positive than not. Gladly, one way I discovered to be and stay positive is to deal with my emotions and process whatever I have been through sooner than later. I do those by writing and reading most especially. There are sure some situations which will take much longer to deal with and process, but the secret I have discovered is staying positive that that too shall come to pass. Being positive for me also means reaching out as soon as I can. I follow my instinct and reach out – more times than not, the support has been trememendous. A few weeks ago, I reached out by email to 5 or so blogging friends and they were each in their own capacity so supportive. Being positive for me is abovr all a guarantee of mental and emotional wellbeing. Even my physical wellbeing is assured if I know I am trying my best and some days workout and watching what I eat,  may be not as good as others. I have never measured the raison d’etre of my optimism by ‘material achievements’ or whatever is considered as ‘success’. I decided in January to keep a Gratitude Journal and each evening I write down at least 5 things am grateful for. That way, I lay me down to sleep with positive thoughts and actually keep track during the day only of such incidents. This morning for example, not panicking when I thought I was late fills me with gratitude and am positive I can thrive in that domain too.

And these dear e-world are some special instance which help me to realize the big WHY I do the things I do. I think getting to that point is a good thing and so maybe my post will help some of you start your own reflections too; or well just know you ain’t alone in your struggles to understanding why???

Reading takes me roaming n roving: oh how therapeutic

Grace Revealed

Dear World, that’s what am currently reading. Aw that book rocks; it’s one of those taking me roaming n roving and me loves that.

You see, reading I hear is as valid to the brain as is exercise to the body. Gosh do I love reading. I just thank my stars for my SS H ero who got me that kindle for my birthday. Now each other birthday he don’t go look far for a gift… an amazon gift card of even 10 euros is more than gold for me. And all others out there who ask I tell them to get me a gift card… how smart right? That way I have e-books to last a life time while saving my own cash to buy those of my special e-buddies like Dyane’s and Linda’s which I await with trepidation.

Imagine visiting so many countries and settings and all in that santa clause speed 🙂 Ain’t that roaming??? Imagine finding you have similarities with people so far away from different cultures and etc etc; imagine realizing they are just ordinary human beings like you with their own daily life struggles regardless of them being “Americans hailing from the super power and land of Milk and Honey” we all envy back in ours…

So I read, I try to review for the sake of appreciating the author’s efforts in writing (am one now so I can imagine what authors go through before, during and after that process of fingering words here and there); and then I share in all ways I can – hence I become a roving ambassador of what I read.

Reading is to me so therapeutic and I don’t strain my hearing one bit. To all those who love reading, here is an invisible toast 🙂

Indeed, I want to make all my four memoirs free for my birthday week starting on January 18th. More on that next week – at least that way we all can get those free kindle apps, download for free, and read especially when stress comes knocking or traffic is hectic and you are in a cab etc:)

One of my great Anxiety triggers

It's so important for me
It’s so important for me

Hey pals, I want to share with you one of my great anxiety triggers and how l have dealt with it most of the time. It’s sort of an odd one maybe but it can get me go ‘shaggy’ pretty well. That is, being late!

It’s funny that it is only until recently that l came to realize that l was obsessed with punctuality as a ‘fighting mechanism’ against anxiety. l mean real freaking anxiety.

l am doing the 33 day journey to discover my soul signature as created by somebody l discovered online, his name is Panache Desai and you could check that out for yourselves right here.

How it all started

I don’t recall bothering much about punctuality until l was maybe 14 and ‘in charge’ after my parents’ divorce. One day, I had to meet our mum in a neighbouring home to collect provisions she often brought for us given that back at our dad’s we were often starving.

When I wanted to leave, l realized to my horror that my dad had padlocked the gate on his way to work or maybe it was our ‘step mum’ following his instructions? He said he didn’t want nobody entering or leaving his house without his permission.

I was so freaking angry but I had to think quick because the time my mum and l had agreed on was already a few seconds away. If only I had tried to leave much earlier, l would have seen that gate locked and thought of a good plan right? Or so I thought.

If only l had watched as he left for work, l would have had a first hand account of what actually happened or outrightly challenged whoever was locking that gate right?

That day, in order not to miss my appointment with our dear mother, I skipped our tall fence which had broken bottles on top. I don’t know where the energy came from and how l was wounded that day or all the other many times l did that.  l however decided since then, to try and be as early as possible than late even by a second.

Being late for sports today

And so, l have always tried to be ready well ahead of time and hate this notion of Black Man Time. Heck, I did a post on that during a recent Blog Challenge and was surprised at how many people commented and all.

getting ready to leave
getting ready to leave

You can imagine how freaked l was to get up late this morning for sports. I mean 30 good minutes late? What were you dreaming of? Sure l slept late because l hosted my colleagues for dinner, sort of a farewell, and they had ruined my plans by coming a good hour late and leaving an hour later. But still then, l should have put the damn alarm right? Those voices ranted on and on, l was so pissed but l was equally determined to go if only to calm down and teach myself a lesson.

The sports dealt with me
The sports dealt with me

You see, l don’t like going for sports at 6 am but 5.30. l prefer when am almost the only one out there with mother nature and all. Men, l was even called a witch back home because l went out at 3.30 /4 am.

Managing that anger of being late

I try not to be in the first place. I rather be 30 minutes earlier like when l had to visit my dear June in London. I prepare for a trip 3 weeks ahead, l go to work 30 minutes ahead, l got to my own wedding 15 minutes early and left their decorated car behind because it was still at some florist.

Yet, there are situations l can’t help but only deal with right? lt sure takes a lot of my 3 Ds, but l often manage to pull through.

This morning, l went for the sports to calm down and l worked almost twice as much. l even met another jogger and we smiled at each other. Hmm, that was cool. I heard more birds sing and saw businesses open up and cars go by. Not bad indeed. I talked to myself and my music helped. l am grateful for all these tactics and opportunities.

Ama was proud of herself afterall
Ama was proud of herself afterall

And when it is people who are late for our appointments, l have learnt not to freak but to read or listen to music while waiting. To close people, l can be nasty for even a 5 minutes delay or mere suspicion of one. But that’s that. I somehow have to release my frustration and keep any depressive flags at bay right?

Dear gentle readers and followers of mine, how do you recognize and deal with any triggers you may face in life?