Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Sunday Post #368

This post contains affiliate links. I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

The Sunday Post is a chance to recap the past week, talk about next week, tell you what I’m reading, and share news. It’s hosted by The Caffeinated Book ReviewerReaderbuzz, and Book Date.

The Sunday Post #368

On The Blog Recently

In My Reading Life

I read Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman. This is a classic self-help book that I've seen around for years. The author claims that modern society places too much importance on intelligence and not enough on self-awareness. If you want to be successful in the modern world, you need to know how to manage your emotions and recognize emotions in others. We don't teach those skills in school. The author argues that we should. I also think we should because fear and anger are profitable. That's why news stations always show the worst stuff first and save the happy stories for the end. We're encouraged to be scared and angry all the time, and if we don't know how to control ourselves, we'll take out our emotions on each other.

A lot of the book focuses on schools and how they can help children develop emotional intelligence.

This book did help me understand myself better. The author talks about the causes of depression and anxiety, which is helpful because I have those. It was interesting to learn about what's happening in my brain when things get really bad.

It also solved some mysteries about my childhood. I guess my elementary school recognized that I had depression and anxiety and attempted to cure me? I spent a lot of time with the school counselor, and we did some of the exercises discussed in this book, but I had no idea why I was doing the exercises. None of the other kids had "emotional intelligence" homework. I guess I should give my school props for attempting to help, even if I didn't understand why I needed help. No one bothered explaining depression or anxiety to me. I just assumed I was stupid and lazy, and they were punishing me with extra schoolwork.

Anyway, the studies mentioned in the book were done in the 1970s and 80s. I wish there was a newer version with updated studies. The world has changed a lot since 1970. The book was still pretty interesting, though.

Then I went to a college to ask about enrolling in EMT classes. I learned that I can't enroll until I pass the prerequisite class with an 86% or better. I signed up for that class and read a book for it. The book is the BLS (Basic Life Support) Provider Manual. It teaches you how to do CPR. I guess it's a great book because I passed my CPR skills test. Thanks, book!

We had some rainy days at work, so I conquered all 963 pages of Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. My library's website had this book labeled as a romance. Dear reader, it is most certainly not a romance. It's actually pretty tragic. It's about upper-class Russians in the 1800s who are struggling with how empty and phony their lives feel. Their public appearance is more important to them than their happiness. They stay in bad relationships and do charity work because it looks good, not because it brings them joy. Since everybody is miserable, they have affairs and make bad choices.

After reading several Russian classics, I've come to the conclusion that Russians in the 1800s were very bored. This book is like a soap opera. There are a ton of characters, and they all have massive amounts of angst. It takes a lot of concentration to remember how everybody is connected. There are a lot of tedious political conversations. I struggled with the book at first, but I liked it more as I got deeper into the drama. It's like watching a trainwreck. You know that something awful is going to happen as a result of the characters' actions, but you're not sure how bad the carnage will be.

I think the author did a great job with the characters' emotions, especially Anna's. She's not a likeable character, but I understand her confusion and desperation. Her whole life has felt fake. She doesn't know if people actually love her, or if they're just using her. Her friends ditch her immediately when her affair becomes public. It would be a terrible way to live.

I can't say I love this book because I was often bored, but I'm glad I read it. It gives some interesting insight into the values of the upper-class.

Then I read Murder In The Dark: Short Fictions And Prose Poems by Margaret Atwood. I thought prose poems might be more accessible than other poems, but nope, I was thoroughly confused. The poems mostly just seem like random sentences tossed together. I'm not sure what I was supposed to get out of reading them.

I did like a few of them. Atwood talks a lot about language and storytelling. I like how playful those poems are. For example, there's a choose your own adventure romance. The characters go through horrific things but still end up with a happily ever after. That's clever. I guess. I don't know. I didn't get this book.

In The Rest Of My Life

It feels like a million things have happened since I last wrote a Sunday Post. Here's what's going on:

  1. Baby Brooklyn graduated from preschool. She starts kindergarten in August.
  2. If I pass my EMT prerequisite, I'll also start school in August. It'll be my 12th year of college.
  3. I survived my first super-busy weekend of 2024 at my park ranger job. We had a water rescue that ended well, a cardiac arrest that ended badly, and several law enforcement calls because the tourists were wilding. This is why I need EMT classes. People are stressing me out.
  4. I've somehow gotten a lot of reading done. And I've been somewhat good at going to the gym. I guess I'm slightly winning at life, even if I'm completely overwhelmed.
  5. Here are some animals from my trail cameras. We have baby foxes!

Enjoy Your Holiday Weekend. Don't Be Stupid.

Take care of yourselves and be kind to each other. See you around the blogosphere!


  1. Blimey - it seems as if a lot of your visitors aren't looking after themselves in the most basic way! No wonder it's stressful... Thank you for sharing the books - they sound really interesting. Have a great week, AJ.

  2. It took me a year to read Anna Karenina so you should feel proud of finishing it so quickly. I see a lot of people, even just regular middle-class folks, who are as bored with their lives as the upper class of AK. These people end up doing lots of the same self-destructive things, I think.

    Good luck with getting into the EMT program!

  3. I read Emotional Intelligence, probably when it first came out. What I learned served me well. I agree that it's time for an update -- for one thing, I think they do more with that in schools than when I was young. It would be great to see if what we're doing is working.

  4. I also spent a lot of time with the school counselor (and did two in patient stays), and I am still inexplicably sad. Congratulations to Brooklyn! I cannot believe she is already old enough for kindergarten. Time flies! And CONGRATULATIONS TO YOU!!! How wonderful (and not surprising) that you passed you EMT prerequisite. You will be amazing!!! Baby animals, even the ones that can hurt me, are always so cute. Is that Brooklyn's house back there? Nice.

  5. I would say you are for sure winning at life! What a great idea to get your EMT license; I am sure it will be handy and work, and if you ever want to, you can be an EMT. Though somehow I don't think that will be less stressful than what you do now :-)

  6. Will you study to be an EMT and work at the same time as a ranger????

  7. I can't believe how fast Brooklyn is growing up. I hope you like the EMT skills or at least it makes things less stressful because you know what to do.

    Anne - Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

  8. Wow baby foxes how cool. good luck with the 12 the year of college. I did my four years ago and have no desire to go back. Have a great week.

  9. I can't believe Brooklyn is already headed to kindergarten!

  10. Good for you. 1. passing the CPR class with over 86%. 2. Finishing Anna Karenina. I am so daunted by that book due to length and what I've heard about the plethora of characters.

  11. Wow, Baby Brooklyn is growing up! I read a number of Goldman's work 15 or so years ago and found them helpful. While self-help, he's deeper than most self-help books. I have always wanted to read Anna Karenina, but haven't gotten around to it. If I ever finish Augustine's unabridged "City of God" (which I am about 2/3 of the way through) maybe I'll have time!

  12. Sounds like a busy week. You read an interesting variety of books. Good luck with the EMT training. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  13. So your job sounds too people-y for me. Congrats on passing your prerequisite. That has to feel good. I went to a training on emotional intelligence last year. Unfortunately, I don't think the Director of the unit I work in got much from it. In fact, she just quit the job she worked so hard to create and my whole unit is shaking their hands. Nothing like quitting via email. Hope you have a great week and congrats on the preschool graduation as well!

    1. Don't know why this posted anonymously. Wanted you to know it's me!

  14. Congratulations to Brooklyn for graduating onto the next grade. It seems to go by quickly. Good luck with school in August. Sounds like the people are wilder than the animals in the park.

    Coleman's book sounds fascinating. Congrats on getting so much accomplished. Hope you enjoy your week.

  15. We can't call Baby Brooklyn baby anymore. Wahhhhhhhhhhh.

    I loved Anna Karenina so much!!!!!

    Good luck with the EMT thingie!

  16. Congrats to Brooklyn! And I love the foxes. So cool! Have a great week😁

  17. Emotional Intelligence sounds really good. And congrats on passing the EMT test! That trail cam is cool. Happy reading this week.

  18. Congrats on passing your CPR skills test! Good luck with the EMT class.

  19. Glad you were able to get some reading and gym time in. I hope this week goes smoothly for you. :)

  20. Congratulations on passing your CPR! I have to keep current and take it every 2yrs because I work at a hospital, but even if I didn't it's a handy thing to know. I'm thankful to know I can help if something happens to my grandkids. I haven't read Anna Karenina and I don't feel motivated to pick it up any time soon. Have a wonderful week, A.J.!

  21. Good job on passing your CPR! As a nurse, I wholeheartedly hope that anyone that can will take this course.

  22. Congrats to passing! Emotional Intelligence sounds like a thought-provoking read.