You have to treat yourself gently when you’re grieving, which can make it hard to find entertainment. I looked for things that were absorbing (to distract from me from my pain for a little while) but not too dark or complex or highbrow, or that had twins or cancer or bad things happening to children in them or was too cross-cultural. Here are the highlights.
Favourite movie: The Spy Who Dumped Me. I would not normally look twice at a movie with a title like this, not being into James Bond or Austin Powers, but it’s actually a story about female friendship, set against the background of two best friends who end up as accidental spies. Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are hilarious versions of something powerfully recognisable.
Favourite TV series: Suits. Smart-arse genius college drop-out poses as a lawyer in a top corporate firm in New York City. Kinda like West Wing in that it thinks it’s smart but is still pretty light in tone and easily digestible. OK, so I was mainly in this for the pace of the dialogue and the fashion, but there are several seasons so it lasted me a while and I didn’t have to go to the effort of finding something else. Arthur says it was the perfect combination (for me, not for him) of froth and endless repetition.
Favourite non-fiction read: Come As You Are (pun intended) by Emily Nagoski is a book about the oft misunderstood area of female sexuality. She delves into how sex is actually psychology in a way that is frank, witty, practical and sciencey-but-accessible. I found the things she talks about to have general applications to life, not just sex. The book is worth it for the chapter on stress alone. I’ve made a number of changes to my psychological health as a result of reading this book.
Favourite fiction read: The Matilda Saga, by Jackie French. Historical fiction re-telling iconic Australian myths through the stories of women. Compelling and delightful, you don’t need to know the myths referred to in order to enjoy these, but the series is also not a bad crash course in Australian history! With the exception of Book 4 (spoiler alert) which breaks one of the above rules, each book has a happy ending. There are 8 in the series, so they kept me occupied for quite a while. I’ve gone on to read more by Jackie French too.
Favourite music album: Resurrection Letters vol.1 by Andrew Peterson. I did not feel pressured to feel comforted by the resurrection when listening to this album, and that surprised me. Several of the songs are heavily narrative driven, which means they end up being theological while avoiding cliche. ‘Is He Worthy?’ has been particularly meaningful for me, saying out loud things that sound untrue, like that the Father loves us, or that the Spirit moves among us, and giving space to breathe through them.
Favourite workout music: This was tricky, because lots of stuff with a decent beat that you can jump around to is pretty angsty or has lyrics that normally wouldn’t bother me but which I haven’t had the energy to deal with. I went back to the 80s and 90s to create my own workout playlist that had an upbeat feel.
Keep on Movin’ – Five
Bring It All Back To You – S Club 7
Wannabe – Spice Girls
Walking On Sunshine – Katrina and the Waves
The Best – Tina Turner
Heaven is a Place on Earth – Belinda Carlisle
MmmBop – Hanson
Categories: Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.