This book has to be one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. It’s part journal, part Polaroid photography, and part guidance.
The idea for Susannah Conway to write this book followed on from the sudden passing of her partner, the deep, dark hole she fell into and how she slowly, but surely climbed her way out. From her journalling of spending hours alone in he house, in her pyjamas, longing for her partner to return in some form or feeling, to her counselling, long walks on the beach and her move to another city to rejuvenate her career, this book tells the story of how although you never get over a death of someone, you can learn to live in harmony with your thoughts and feelings. In theory it sounds like a book that would be good for helping people deal with bereavement in their lives and getting themselves back on track, but it is so much more than that.
I felt the book didn’t so much relate to the very recent passing of my beloved grandma, but it pulled more at the feelings I have towards my health and illnesses. It spoke to the grieving I have for my previous life, to the reality that is my current life and how I am trying to create a life for myself that will work for me, for the new me.
Each chapter ends with ‘Reflections’. These include little tasks you can do to treat yourself, to delve deeper into your thoughts, and to just remember that everything is ok. My favourite task is writing 20 little cards of treats for yourself, put them in some sort of basket and when you’re feeling low, struggling with life or just feel like you deserve a little happy time, you pull a card out and do whatever is on it. It might be a bar of chocolate, a posh cup of tea or coffee, a chapter of a book or a cuddle with the cat, whatever works for you. And what’s more, my crafty mom made me beautiful little cards and envelopes to pop these ideas into, so opening every treat is a pretty, cute little treat in itself, adorned with a beautiful butterfly on each little pocket. Each little task can be created to your own personal likes and loves.
The book is beautiful to flick through, every few pages is adorned with meaningful quotes, soft Polaroid photos and it brings an overall feeling of peace to you as you read. This book itself will be one of the treats I add into one of my little envelopes.
In recent times of high anxiety, feeling blue about my difficult health situation or just having one of those days, I’ve recently reached for these pages and got myself lost in a world of learning to feel good about life, and most importantly, myself, again.