Last Sunday, I went to the bookstore. I had just got an email from them, which said that as one of their card owners I had the right to a small discount on books physically bought at the store.
I’m a proud kindle user and I love the possibility of having more than one book with me when I’m traveling while still occupying a small space in my bag, but I have to admit that printed books still have their own appeal. In a certain way, seeing all those books together usually triggers my book-buyer self and fills my to-buy list in a way that no Amazon suggestion will ever match. Finally, it was a warm not-too-sunny day and I just needed an excuse to get some air.
And so I hopped on a bus (I hate driving and looking for parking space in the city center, and now it’s even becoming super expensive) and braced myself for a quiet morning at the bookstore.
I spent quite some time there, mainly because I couldn’t decide which books I wanted to buy, but I eventually made my way to the checkout. And of course, I made a mistake. I was so caught up in my enthusiasm about the books I was buying that I completely forgot about the discount until it was too late.
I cursed myself as I exited the bookstore, but I did it with a big smile on my face. Not only because I’ve always thought that money spent on books is never wasted, but also because it meant that I had found something that engaged me so much that I completely forgot about anything else. I had given a meaning to my Sunday morning, and it was like a jolt of adrenaline no matter what.
I’ve been thinking about this episode in relation to the word that was supposed to be March’s Word of the Month: in my plans, it was supposed to be Optimism. You know, that general good feeling that comes with daylight time getting longer and longer (one of the few upsides of Summer, in my opinion), and in general with nature coming back to life after a long time sleeping.
It’s true that the events of these first few months of the year leave very little room for optimism, especially here in Europe. I’ve been wondering whether it was the case that I changed my “word of the month” with something more appropriate, but I decided that I won’t. It hasn’t been an easy choice, but for once I want to acknowledge the fact that we can have nice things even in rough times, and know that those rough times are going to pass, one way or the other.
There’s very little we can do as individuals in moments like this, but for sure spiraling and giving up is not the way. We need a little spark of optimism, no matter how slight that is.
P.S. Whether or not my optimism is driven by the fact that I’m now justified to go back to the bookstore is still up for debate