To practice some self-love and care these past few days I instinctively turned to the thing that makes me happy: reading. In books I find escape and solace; I find adventure and new friendships; I find compassion and hope.

I took to my bullet journal to make a note of some quotes and passages that have always helped me heal and focus. Because that’s what we’re going to have to do. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but eventually our pain will have to give way to productive, collective action.

But I don’t have to worry about that right now. Before I roll up my sleeves and dig deep, I’m going to climb into bed with some hot chocolate and find peace in the comforting words of old friends.

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FRODO: I can’t do this, Sam.

SAM: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy. How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened. But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something. Even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t. Because they were holding on to something.

FRODO: What are we holding on to, Sam?

SAM: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

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What do you guys turn to when times are rough?

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