I've finished reading both books that I brought home with me for vacation, so my Mom gave me another book to read – one which she has really enjoyed. It's The Art of Racing in The Rain by Garth Stein and it has testimonials all over the back cover from authors I respect, so I'm sure it must be pretty good. However, I read the first chapter on a train ride to visit one of my friends and by the time I had finished it, I had to use all my strength to keep from sobbing in public.

I'm not sure if I can handle reading this book. I'm going to try again, but the beginning just reminded me so much of the ending of the movie Marley & Me that I felt it was insurmountable. I watched Marley & Me on a flight once and let's just say that although I'm not the biggest animal person (spoiler alert), by the end of the movie I was in pieces, as if my own dog had died. I turned to Future Hub and told him we were never having a pet and 'I don't know why people put themselves through this sort of thing'.

Why would you subject yourself to an unhappiness you know you will experience?

I suppose what people who give cats and dogs (and other animals) a home believe is that the happiness they will experience over the life of their pet will much outweigh the sadness they know they will eventually face when that pet passes on to the big farm in the sky.

Life is full of unhappiness. So how do we cope?

I think that humans are very capable of handling it. And on some level we know that we must experience sadness with all the good stuff too. I've read numerous times in books and articles that people who consider themselves happy actually don't experience less pain or periods of sadness than others, it's just that they are aware that they get the bad with the good and know they will experience thoughts of sadness, depression even, bouts of anxiety, self-doubt and just that general feeling of itchiness and nothing being right – and that it too will pass.

I am reminded of this all the time. When I'm having a crappy day, just feeling down for no particular reason, I think, I will feel better again. I just have to ride this out, be kind to myself, not try too hard. It helps.

I'm going to make another attempt at reading that book. Mom says it's really great – as long as you can get past the bit in the middle when you get really angry at some character or another. I'll just try to ride it out.

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