101 Things to do instead of worrying about the world by Felicity Brightside
|101 Things to do instead of worrying about the world by Felicity Brightside
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: Tired of worrying that the world is going to hell in a handcart? Distraction is at hand!
|Date: October 2017
|Publisher: Short Books
I don't think that I've ever been quite so worried about the state of the world as I have been of late - and I speak as someone who lived through the Cuban Missile Crisis and various other apocalyptic moments. It almost certainly comes down to a lack of confidence in the people who are supposedly in charge, whether it be from a political point of view or of our stewardship of this planet we call home. But what can be done about it? We've tried voting, arguing and demonstrating. Now we're down to pulling up the drawbridge and doing our best to think about something else.
It's at moments like these that you're grateful when a light-hearted gem of a book comes along to distract you and my treat at the moment is 101 Things to Do Instead of Worrying About the World. So, what's in there? Essentially, it's a collection of word games, quizzes and mindful exercises. (I think a certain world leader to two could do with some of those.) The aim is that you should rediscover your calm and tranquility. How well, did it work?
Well, I'm afraid the first offering got me more worked up: Make a front page full of the fake news stories you'd like to see. Actually putting the thoughts into words just made me even crosser! Counting my blessings did help to calm me down but I resisted the temptation to put on my favourite song and dance like nobody's watching. I'd have seen it even if nobody else did and it wouldn't have been a pretty sight. The positive word search looked more promising and I settled down with a pencil. You're given 'happy' across the centre of the page and I went hunting: snappy, snarl, snarls, slop, quiver... Ah, dear, this wasn't going at all well, but perhaps I'm more deeply sunk in the more than I thought?
Don't do as I did and start at the beginning and work your way through the book - it's not a self-help manual. Open it at random or flick through until you find something which grabs your attention. The meditation technique at #12 works a treat and getting your legs into the illustrated position isn't mandatory. I loved the idea of spreading a little happiness by doing a good deed for someone else. I liked the idea of the papier mache - glued strips of paper fixed onto a balloon - until I thought about which face I could turn it into, quite easily. Playing kitchen table tennis caught the mood of the moment - I even had a bulb of garlic to use as the ball.
I enjoyed the quizzes. I did the sudoku. I even made a puppet out of an odd sock. I made a note of a few things I would try later. And yes, by the time I got to the end I did feel a lot more relaxed. Unfortunately the original problem hadn't gone away, but I didn't feel quite so agitated about it. I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
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