There are times when life gets to be just a little too (fill in your own adjective here) for all of us. I've had the odd year here and there like that, and I imagine we probably all have. So how do we cope?
Everyone has her (or his, let's be ecumenical here) own coping mechanisms. Me -- I'm all in favor of reaching for the things -- books, movies, tv shows, and, yes, food -- that swathe me in a warm, cozy cocoon where the world goes away.
With books, I turn to some of my all-time favorite authors: Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Peters, Margery Allingham, Carolyn Keene (and yes I know Carolyn Keene didn't really exist), Margaret Sutton (who really did exist), and a few others. Georgette Heyer (1902-1974) wrote a dozen mystery novels, but she is far better known for her historical novels set chiefly during the Regency era in England (think Jane Austen's time period). Heyer excelled at creating the world her chatracters inhabited, and the sophisticated wit and understated sexual tension between heroine and hero never fail to draw me into the story and completely away from whatever ails me. I have laughingly said on a number of occasions that, when I reach for a Heyer novel to reread, my stress level is way too high.
If I'm not in the mood to read for comfort, I turn instead to the television set and my DVD collection. Sometimes it's a favorite series -- like "Bewitched" or "I Love Lucy" -- and other times it's a favorite movie -- like "The Philadelphia Story," perhaps my all-time favorite flick. If I'm in a particularly British mood, I might pull out the DVDs for "As Time Goes By," starring Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. I've lost count of how many times I've watched the entire series. Another British favorite is "The Good Life" (known as "The Good Neighbors" in the US) with Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Paul Eddington, and the incomparable Penelope Keith. I've just about worn out my DVDs of another Penelope Keith vehicle, "To the Manor Born."
You can probably tell by now that when I need comfort, I want to laugh... because so many of these books and movies and television series are humorous. Even if I already know all the jokes, it doesn't really matter. Old friends are the best when we need to be taken out of ourselves, right?