Self improvement books usually don’t work for me, but Sophie Hannah’s How to Hold a Grudge or The Power of Grudges to Transform Your Life gave me some good laughs. Despite her organized approach to changing “resentment to contentment,” with quizzes to identify the grudge and a “grudge-fold path” to control them, Hannah clearly forgives but doesn’t forget.
Hannah uses incidents in her own life as examples, and her humorous approach may offer some consolation to those of us who recognize similar incidents in our own lives. Her stories are funny but still poignant and sometimes worthy of revenge – which Hannah does not condone. Everybody needs a safe place and Hannah believes grading her grudges, and storing them in her grudge cabinet after she has dissected them with her grudge meter is a better way – most of the time. Writing them down and letting them simmer overnight does help, but I wonder if Hannah would consider good advice someone gave me once – destroy your incriminating diaries like Jane Austen.
Grudges appear in my life everyday, and my grudge cabinet is like my bookshelves – brimming over with always room for more. I should probably reread Hannah’s book to rate them and laugh – or privately scream at them as she suggests – but now I have a grudge against her for reminding me of all those incidents I thought I had forgotten.