Since yesterday, I’ve added 15 more books to my summer reading list. One of the books that made it to the must-read list is Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected by Kelle Hampton. The book first caught my attention because of it’s title, but what really drew me in was the description. Kelle writes about the first year of her daughter Nella’s life. When Nella was born they discovered she had down syndrome; Kelle describes finding unexpected happiness and her changing expectations and perspective on life. For those who know me and my family well, this book has special meaning for other reasons than finding beauty in the unexpected. My cousin Brady also has down syndrome. For me, the lure of this book is seeing the experience through a mother’s eyes. Kelle intrigues and fascinates me, just as my aunt and uncle do.
I read an interview between Kelle and Gretchen Rubin and I was excited to read about Kelle’s “one-word mantras”. She writes, “I choose one-word mantras that I say out loud to myself. Sometimes they last a year, sometimes only a couple months, and I choose them based on the events in my life and what I need to remember.” It reminds me of the book Eat, Pray, Love in which Elizabeth Gilbert talks about the one word that describes who she is. While Gilbert’s concept is more definite, Kelle’s is temporary and I like that. It made me think about what word would describes the events in my life right now. Scarily enough, the first word that popped in my head was strapped.
It’s kind of scary to me that strapped was the first word that popped in my head. Although I’ve been somewhat aware of my feelings of wanderlust lately, I didn’t fully realize how much I felt tied down lately. When strapped came out of my mouth, it brought up a lot of feelings of regret I’ve been suppressing. I often wonder where I’d be if I never left Guatemala, bought a house and dog, etc. Would I feel more fulfilled not being so grounded in life? I’m determined not to let these feelings of regret take over. In fact, like Gretchen says in her post about negative emotions being an engine of happiness, feelings of regret can fuel the need to make changes in your life. The “a-ha!” moment in this post… “… people tend to have more regrets when they still have opportunities to act.” One more book added to the list… If Only: Turning Regret into Opportunity by Neal Roese.
As a side note, Kelle Hampton also has a blog which I’ve enjoyed reading. Check it out here.