Book recommendation: Pick Me Up, by Adam J. Kurtz

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51rFj-LWXyL.jpgWhat up, nog? I was on WGN Radio playing "The Worst" with Justin Kaufmann on Tuesday night. You can listen to it here!

Some of us have been living with this weird rage/fearball on our shoulder for the last month or so. It's not a great feeling, especially when it distracts you from your real life and real goals ("real" meaning, right at home, in front of you.)

So I was pleasantly distracted a few weeks ago I got something surprising--an actually good PR pitch. No offense to PR people but their pitches can be off the mark, poorly written, generic, or sometimes off-putting (one rep insists on calling me "Cheryl" despite my increasingly agitated corrections.) However an email with the subject line SORRY ABOUT MY PUBLICIST caught my eye, and so I read it:




So tickled was I by the pitch that I asked for a copy of the book, and I'm glad I did.  Pick Me Up is a great gift to buy a friend who:

  • is creatively oriented
  • struggles with productivity and workflow issues
  • suffers from post-election anxiety
  • wants to feel more "mindful" (is there a better term for this yet?) but doesn't have a lot of time or patience for mindfulness crap. 

I was going through it the other night when I was convinced I was the only person in the entire country who noticed or cared about some political scandal or another--the foolishness of this belief bothered me as much as my anger and fear.

So in an attempt to clear my mind, I opened Pick Me Up. The concept behind it is that it's a low pressure type of creative journal. Pick it up (hey, I get it now!) and flip to any page, and if you like it or are intrigued, follow the prompt.

Some that I've liked so far include:

  • "Think about everything that you didn't know you could do, until you did it anyway. Start a list and add as you return."
  • "What's your (current) greatest challenge? (with lines provided for several visits' worth of entries.)
  • "Write something to work on or grow through right now." (also with lines provided many installments.
  • "Advice you gave recently that you might need yourself."

Working on entries like these helped distract me and get me in touch with my actual feelings, some of which actually involved totally non-current-events-related stresses that were wrapped up in ugly current events-themed wrapping paper.

Not every single aspect of the book rings my bell--there are a few action items in it that I don't want to do (like write something and take a picture of it and send it to ten friends) but the book actually invites the reader to pick and choose and flip around. Don't like this prompt? Move on. Tear the page out even. Who cares! No big deal. I like that it invites occasional, convenient interaction and doesn't demand a whole routine you have to follow.

One question I have about the book it is its record keeping. In very few places does it suggest the reader write down the date or what happened that day, yet it promises with time that I will be amazed by my personal growth. Who knows, it's quite possible that I will be--I look forward to seeing if it does. And if not, I had a fun, distracting time working on it.