For me, the first 4 months of pregnancy are miserable. Life seems to fly at a constantly ridiculous speed, until that first dreaded day of morning sickness (which everyone knows is all day and all night). Then the world, or maybe just my world, comes to an almost screeching halt. After the reality sinks in and I strive to have a decent attitute and not let my kids die from starvation (making them food is almost unbearable), life does start to move...at a snail's pace. Every day seems forever. My only goal is to survive. Everything that I normally find fascinating and enjoyable now bores me or makes me sick. Food makes me gag and then puke. Sometimes even just the mention of a certain food makes me ill. I lie around all day, searching my brain for any kind of food that I think I might be able to get down. This mental exercise is draining, because about an hour after I have finally had success eating a few bites or yogurt, or a handfull of glute-free pretzels (which are surprisingly tasty) or half a banana (never more), the hunger/nausea pains begin to increase again. Now what am I going to eat?
This pregancy so far, almonds have been my best friend. But the only thing that really gets my mind off my own misery is comedy. I need something funny, anything to make me laugh! So for the first couple of weeks, I watched every episode of Parks & Rec available on Netflix. That show is hilarious! I loved it. I didn't even care that I was turning into a bit of a TV addict. It's not like I watch TV all day. Just for like 3 hours every afternoon. Yeah, I know, it sounds pretty bad! We also watched shows like Leave it to Beaver and Signing Times, so that makes it a little better, right? At any rate, I don't really care if it's a little bit terrible. And that is the other thing that bothers me about "morning" sickness. I become ambivilant about things that I normally care very much about. The longer I'm sick, the less I care. It's a good thing I have my family and a calling at church, because I really do care very much about people. And it makes me feel semi-normal for a little while to spend time with the young women and other leaders who are my friends a couple times a week.
So, after a few weeks of awful days and long, horrible nights - and after I ran out of Parks and Rec episodes - I came up with the idea of reading. I LOVE to read! I hardly ever allow myself the luxury because it just doesn't seem responsible when I have so many other more important things that I barely manage to accomplish as it is. But I figured that while I am too weak to clean for more than a few minutes at a time, too dizzy to workout, and too unmotivated to accomplish something of real worth (I'm not completely horrible - I do still read to my kids and play the piano for them), this is the perfect time to forget my worries and dive into a good story!
Enter my new obsession: The Hunger Games. It is hard to explain the obsession, because it isn't just about a good story line or well written books or even compelling characters (although all of these elements certainly contribute to the overall appeal of the series). What I love about the books is something much deeper, and multi-layered. On one level, I love the evolution of the main character. I love looking at her world through her eyes, as she grasps to understand the people and situations around her as well as (and especially) her own feelings. At the beginning, she is focused solely on survival. But through her experiences, she finds her humanity. Her vision widens and her feelings deepen. The way this evolution comes to fruition is absolutely brilliant, because you feel it happening inside of you, too. But then, on another level entirely, is the story of a revolution, and what happens when society rises up against extreme oppression. It is not pretty! It is painful. It is bleak. There are characters you grow to love who die and people who are supposed to be defending freedom, but who are actually more interested in power. But there is also hope and healing and a fresh start. And I like that, because it is a reflection of reality. And there is a bit of a love story, a love story that is believable, one that is anything but shallow.
So now that I have read all three books, I find my self re-reading little parts, then huge sections! I don't think I've loved any fictional story this much since Gone With The Wind. Maybe I'm a nerd, but I don't care. Maybe I should read more good books. It has been a long time! Let me know if you have any great suggestions... my usual attention span has been greatly reduced, so I pretty much don't have patience for it unless it's extremely interesting or entertaining. Excuse my temporary shallow-ness! But please, suggest away!