Let’s Talk with Karla Brandenburg

Getting Lost in a Book
by Karla Brandenburg

Because I work a “day job,” I often find myself juggling time, scheduling what free moments I have available. Except during “busy season.” During busy season, my job doesn’t always allow for extras. It’s a hectic time of year that demands more time, more focus and more energy. I spend 12+ hours of my day feeling like the guy in the ball retriever cart on a driving range, every pad filled with people taking aim at me, peppering me with more balls. Talk about battle weary!

Every year has its own personality, and there have been some that aren’t quite so bad as others, but when the heat is on, when the pressure to perform in a finite period of time and space is overwhelming, the adrenaline rush can be overpowering and it’s tough to turn my brain off and relax at the end of the day.

That’s when I pick up a book.

Reading takes me away from the stress and pressure, out of my own head and into another world, another time, another place. A book takes the focus off of the demands of my day job, and as tired and work-weary as I am, a book does for my racing brain what a cool down after an invigorating exercise circuit would for my body.

There are lots of ways to manage stress, but I have to be honest with you, many of those suggestions are just as stressful to me. They require scheduling or acquiring a skill I don’t possess. Reading is a no-brainer. You don’t have to go anywhere. Don’t have to do anything. For me, it’s a form of meditation.

What do you do to stop the adrenaline rush in the fast-paced world we live in today? How do you quiet your mind?

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Comments

  1. tinawhittle says:

    I punch things, specifically the heavy bag at boxing class. Getting the adrenaline up and channeling it is the best!

  2. I always have to read before I go to sleep to quiet my mind. And it can’t be a contemporary story as that’s too realistic. So I go for sci fi or fantasy or a historical romance or historical mystery. Sometimes I’ll switch off between the two. But contemp set stories go into the afternoon slot when my brain is fried and I spare an hour to read someone else’s work. That’s only if I’m not in the proofing stage for one of my stories.

    • I agree with you on the contemporaries. I do read a fair share of them, but there are times I’d rather turn that off as potentially too realistic and go with a historical that “couldn’t possibly happen.” Same with conversation. I’ve had to tell my DH on occasion “that topic is off limits tonight – it’s too stressful.”

  3. I love your graphic of being buried in paper. With electronic files, you’d think we’d be entirely paperless, but that isn’t so. I still respond better to seeing a stack of something I need to tackle. Having it all filed away is like putting my sweaters in bins in the top of the closet. Out of sight, out of mind! This year I’ve taken on new challenges, so the need to have “me” time is even stronger. I love books and I prefer Kindle books these days. Didja know I can still hold a Kindle and be fast asleep? It’s true!

    • LOL – I can believe it, Maggie. And in spite of the electronic age, there are certain things you have to do with paper. Part of my day job is proofreading, and I’m a firm believer you can’t proofread electronically – too hard to miss an extra period that might really be a speck of dust, or notice a missing period that might actually be that speck of dust on your screen (not to mention its VERY hard on the eyes). So I had a mountain of paper over the last couple of months that ultimately ends up in the shredder, but the piles were indeed impressive!

  4. Reading is tops. I also go to yoga classes twice a week and find that much as I tell myself I’m too busy and should just skip it, I go (Hubster takes the same classes and he doesn’t skip, so I’d feel guilty if I did). Although my attitude at the beginning is, “aren’t we done yet?” by the end, I’m destressed.

  5. Getting out in nature works well for me, but when that’s not available, soothing music and a good book can work wonders.