Posts Tagged ‘Dr. John Sharp’

A quick post from the Acela Express to say that I am on my way home from the launch party for The Emotional Calendar, the book by Dr. John Sharp that inspired this blog. (Yes, this is a shamelessly promotional post). The event was held at the Harvard Club and it was fun to stand under the elk heads and nineteenth century prints among all those well-dressed people and pretend to be a part of the New York literary scene. It was also fun, and unusual, to attend a party that was primarily about a book.

It always astonishes me that I can write blog posts from the train. It’s a beautiful afternoon and we are passing a salt marsh at the edge of a tidal river. A raptor is circling overhead and there is smoke rising from a power plant or factory at the edge of the bay. It is lovely to pass by the sea.

Someone recently wrote in an e-mail that “there is something grounded and site-specific about the things that end up floating unmoored out in the sea of the blogospheres and digitospheres.” I like to think of my blog posts as words unmoored in a digital sea. But right now, riding on a train and feeling a bit unmoored (literally) myself, I like to think that there are things holding these words in place. One of those things, I think, is the hardcover book that I held for the first time last night.

I love writing a blog and I love talking about the future of the internet but each time I move towards the digital world, books call me back. Publishing may be dead, but my romance with books is far from over.

Weather: sunny and cool but on the train it’s totally climate controlled!


Hannah: 6 out of 10 on the “jumping for joy” to “can’t get out of bed” scale. A bit tired.

Anna: Out of sight, out of mind. She’s still in Europe!


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Many seasons, storms, and holidays ago, I (Anna) and my trusty co-blogger, Hannah, were introduced to the concept of the emotional calendar through our  research with Dr. John Sharp, psychiatrist and author of The Emotional Calendar. This wasn’t the first book either of us helped research, but something about it was different. We couldn’t get it out of our heads. Everywhere we turned, every article we read, every conversation we had seemed to lead us back to the main idea: that seasons, weather, cultural events, and personal milestones and memory all profoundly impact something called our “emotional calendars.”

Everyone has an emotional calendar. You thought you were cranky and agitated last Saturday because your friend showed up 20 minutes late to dinner? Maybe so. But what if the reason was something deeper, something you didn’t even realize was affecting you?

Last fall was the first time it dawned on me that I was under the influence of an emotional calendar. It was October and once again it seemed to me that the leaves had changed from a lush green to firey tones of yellow, orange, and red practically overnight. That I had fallen asleep one night and been jostled from slumber the next morning by the “oohs” and “aahs” of the traveling leaf peepers.

I felt restless. I had an overabundance of nervous energy. I was itching to do something.

And then I realized what was happening.

After college, I decided to move abroad. But in order to finance that, I had to work through the summer, so I didn’t set off on my great adventure until October of that year (three points if you can see where I’m going with this).

Last October, the changing landscape, the smell of apples, and the overabundance of porches dotted with pumpkins were triggering that anticipatory excitement all over again. But this time there was no new country to explore and so, instead, I felt off balance.

This year I’ve prepared myself for this hot spot on my calendar. Again, I’m feeling a bit restless, but this time I’m directing my energy. I’m meeting new people, volunteering for more organizations, and appreciating the crisp New England air. Oh, and I’m planning a trip to Prague and Vienna, because really, it’s about time for another epic adventure!

And, of course, I’m starting this blog with Hannah with the hope that through writing, we will both become more aware of our emotional calendars and embrace them with newfound appreciation.

How is your emotional calendar influencing you?

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