Posts filed under ‘Susan’s World’
Do you think that complaining, moaning, and grumbling is a harmless past time? Or do you think it can really stink up our lives and the lives of those around us? I belong to the second camp of thinkers.
Studies have shown that even a few days of stress [negativity and complaining are stressful] damages the neurons in the hippocampus (the part of the brain used for problem solving and cognitive functioning), and impairs its ability to create new neurons.
Over time this can result in the hippocampus shrinking, which can cause a decline in cognitive functions such as memory and the ability to adapt to new situations. – By Jessica Stillman
Read the rest of the article By Jessica Stillman: Complaining Is Terrible for You, According to Science.
Any repeatedly exercised muscle gets faster and stronger. As we repeatedly complain, this link in the brain gets faster and stronger making it easier to complain. Complaining really does become an automatic response to life. We become a more and more negative person.
Here are some other reasons why we shouldn’t complain.
- It is a bad example.
- It reflects poorly on me.
- It shows I am not a grateful person.
- God says to not complain.
- In truth when I am complaining, I am complaining against God.
- It is contagious.
- People rarely listen and reflect, instead they complain, too.
- People won’t want to be around me. Or I will attract negative people.
- I am showing an entitled attitude, my ideas ARE always the best ones.
- I let impatience and pessimism rule my heart. This makes me feel depressed.
- Complaining drains my energy.
- My focus is on the problem and not the answer, therefore, nothing changes.
- I feel badly about myself.
- Complaining makes me feel impotent and angry.
- I lose my inner peace and perspective.
- My body gets flooded with cortisol, a stress hormone. This negatively impacts my physical and mental health.
- I let lies rule my thinking.
- I act like I can’t handle issues and people. I am in victim-mode.
- This destroys communication and healthy bonding.
Update on the No Complaining Challenge: I complained! Back to Day 1.
Your Turn . . .
- I was surprised at how BAD complaining is for your brain. What do you think about that?
- Which of the ideas resonated? Why?
- What would you add to the above list?
- Join me in my No Complaining Challenge.
Related Resources . . .
- 5 Good Reasons You Should Stop Complaining by Tyler Speegle
- The Price We Pay When We Complain by Joseph Stowell
- 31 Days of Finishing (2014 #Write31Days series)
- Finding Laughter (2015 #Write31Days series)
Today is Day 3 of the #Write31Days online writing challenge. My topic is 31 Days of Fruitful Words INSTEAD OF COMPLAINING. I know I will be challenged in more ways than writing every day. If you’d like to have more fruitful words coming from your mouth, please join me from October 1-31, 2016.
Go here for the landing page which has all the posts from this series.
Go here to see what #Write31Days is all about, the categories and the bloggers who are participating.
Are you competitive?
I am. I am even competitive in my reading. Therefore reading challenges spur me on to read more consistently. Last year my goal was to read 57 books.
Did I make that goal? YES! And I did so with 30 books to spare!!!
This year, (starting in my birth month) I want to read 58 books. I will use various “techniques” to get there. One such technique is using BINGO.
In past years I have used other people’s BINGO lists. This year I came up with one of my own. I picked categories because I like to read a bunch of books from the same author, from a series, etc. In other words, I LIKE to batch read from categories.
Below are the 5 categories I finally settled on
- 5 Books by the Author Charles Dickens
- 5 Books I’ve Never Finished
- 5 Books from the Gilmore Girls Books List
- 5 Books from the The Mitford Series by Jan Karon
- 5 Books That Have Been Recommended
- . My list of books is at the very end of this post.
You can go here to fill out and then print your own BINGO Reading List card.
Each time I make a BINGO, I will allow myself a treat. As I am not so good in the reward department, I am not sure what that will be. I would like it to be book related.
- I don’t want to buy another book as there are TONS of choices on my Kindle and bookshelves and from the library.
- Maybe read a book not ON THE LIST?
- Give me some ideas, please!
- And when I get a BLACKOUT, at that time I will BUY a book from my Amazon Wish List. I have hundreds to choose from. Seriously.
Your Turn . . .
- Are you competitive – even in reading?
- Do you ever do BINGO Reading Challenges? Why? And how do you reward yourself for completing a BINGO? A blackout?
- Have you ever made up your own BINGO list? If yes, how about linking it?
- If you were to design one similar to mine, what categories would you include?
- How many of the books on my list have you already read? The list is at the end of this post.
- It would be so fun if you’d read along with me. Let me know if you decide to.
Related Posts . . .
- Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015
- 10 Read Aloud Questions & Answers
- 13 Benefits of Reading
- Finding Laughter: What Does Norman Cousin’s Laughter (and book) Have to Do With Me?
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth
- I Read 87 Books in 2015
- Top Ten Books I Read in 2015
- Using an X-ACTO to Make a Kindle Cover from a Hardback Book
Below are the books in each category. Of course I reserve the right to make changes at any time!
5 Dickens Books
- Oliver Twist
- The Old Curiosity Shop
- Our Mutual Friend
- David Copperfield
- The Pickwick Papers
5 Unfinished Books
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- Simply Christian by NT Wright
The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis Unmapped Darkness by Thomas Finch 5 Gilmore Girls Books S is for Silence by Sue Grafton Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt Elle Minnow Pea by Atonement by Ian McEwan Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
5 Mitford Books These High, Green Hills Out to Canaan A New Song A Common Life: the Wedding Story
n This Mountain 5 Recommended Books The Passage by Justin Cronin (Barb) Chocolate Snowman Murders by Joanna Carl The Neverending Story by Michael Ende (Elizabeth) Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr The Lost Island by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (book 3/4)
One of my goals for my 57th year of life, was to read 57 books. To help me accomplish that goal I signed up for reading challenges. I am competitive and I even like to compete against myself!
I signed up for the following challenges . . .
- . . . Austen in August Reading Challenge. I read all her majour works.
- . . . #write31days where Finding Laughter was my topic. I read a bunch of books on this topic.
- . . . Back to the Classics Challenge. I read books from 10/12 categories.
- . . . Reading to Know Classics Book Club. I only read 6/12 of their suggestions.
The rest of the titles I read came from recommendations, gifts, and from my bookshelves.
I met my challenge of 57 books and raised it by 30!!!
Your Turn . . .
- Did you make a reading goal for 2015? Did you meet it?
- How do you motivate yourself to read?
- What are some books you’d recommend that I read?
- Have you read all 87 books on my list?
Below is the list of books I read in 2015.
- 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (audio)
- A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter by William Deresiewicz
- A Light in the Window (book 2) by Jan Karon
- A Man of Grit and Grace: Paul by Charles Swindoll
- A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
- A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
- An Acceptable Time by Madeline L’Engle
- An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louise May Alcott
- At Home in Mitford (book 1) by Jan Karon
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life you Have by James A Autry
- Christmas Day in the Morning By Pearl S Buck
- Dawn’s Light by Terri Blackstock
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Franklin and Winston: A Christmas That Changed the World by Douglas Wood
- Get It Done: From Procrastination to Creative Genius in 15 Minutes a Day by Sam Bennett and Keegan-Michael Key
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph ConraD
- I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
- I Know How She Does It by Laura Vanderkam
- I’m Glad I’m a Mom: Inspirational Stories of Love, Laughter, and Everyday Life by Hearts at Home
- Inspiration Sandwich by SARK
- Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
- Laddie; a true blue story, by Gene Stratton Porter
- Last Light by Terri Blackstock
- Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent
- Let Magic Happen: Adventures in Healing with a Holistic Radiologist by Larry Burk
- Living Oprah by Robyn Okrant
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
- Miss Julia Lays Down the Law by Ann B. Ross
- MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche
- Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
- Night by Elie Wiesel
- Night Light by Terri Blackstock
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- On The Outside Looking Indian by Rupinder Gill
- One Thousand White Women: The Journals of Mary Todd by Jim Fergus
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter
- Prayer: Life’s Limitless Reach by Jack R Taylor
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
- Seasons in Rome: on twins, insomnia, and the biggest funeral in the history of the world by Anthony Doer
- Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Shepherds Abiding by Jan Karon
- Skipping Christmas: A Novel by John Grisham
- Still Alice by Lisa Genova
- Still Life by Louise Penny
- The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
- The Blessing: Giving the Gift of Unconditional Love and Acceptance by John Trent & Gary Smalley
- The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
- The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America by
- The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-Day Save-Your-Life Plan that Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds by Rip Esselstyn
- The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
- The Great Divorce by CS Lewis
- The History of the Snowman by Bob Eckstein
- The Hope Quotient by Ray Johnson
- The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
- The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson
- The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
- The Pursuit of God Paperback by A. W. Tozer
- The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
- The Registry (Book 1/3) by Shannon Stoker
- The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
- The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen
- The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge
- The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
- The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope
- The Sweet Spot: How to Find Your Grove at Home and Work by Christine Carter
- The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction by Henry James
- The Woman in Black: A Ghost Story by Susan Hill
- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
- Thrush Green by Miss Read
- Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading by Nina Sankovitch
- Too Busy Not To Pray by Bill Hybels
- True Light by Terri Blackstock
- Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand
- Walking the Road to Bethlehem: Your Journey to Christmas by Adam Hamilton
- We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson
- What’s So Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey
- Wide My World Narrow My Bed: Living & Loving the Single Life By Luci Swindoll
- Writing is My Drink by Theo Pauline Nestor
- Zero Belly Diet: Lose Up to 16 lbs. in 14 Days! By David Zinczenko
I have read 77 books so far in 2015 and there are still 2 weeks left. I read so many GREAT books. It really was hard to pick just 10 and the list keeps changing. But for today, here is my list.
ONE. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I am not a naturally clutter-free person; so this book offered some good, although different from the norm, advice for me.
- My home is (or can be) a sacred space.Take care that it is a place of joy.
- Focus on what to keep – things that bring joy. Feel positive about every item in my home. Don’t keep things that have unhappy feelings attached to them.
- Louie Zamperini had disaster after disaster after disaster happen and yet he continued living.
- His tenacity and inspiring outlook on life inspires me and makes me want to be more tenacious in the face of my own disasters.
- Shows the power of God’s healing and redemption.
THREE. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend by Rachel Bertsche. This year i discovered some books where folks took on year-long projects and then wrote about them. That intrigues me as I see the power one project has for a year instead of trying to do many projects in a year. This is the first such book I read this year.
- As someone who lets a busy life interfere with making and developing deep friendships, I liked this book’s focus.
- I was informed and encouraged to do the same. Perhaps in 2016 I will make this my focus.
- This was a novel twist on following self-help literature especially since sometimes the advice contradicta.
- This book points out how contradictory media messages are targeted to women. We need to be aware and CHOOSE for OURselves what it the best way to live. Don’t be a sheep.
- mental illness . . . spiritual discipline
- love and renewal
- an unexpected find
- Reading a book a day is ambitious.
- Words impact me – a LOT. So using reading as therapy makes sense to me.
- I would have read all self-help books which might not have been as beneficial.
SEVEN. Last Light, Night Light, True Light, & Dawn’s Light (a Restoration Novel Series) by Terri Blackstock. Yes, yes, yes, this is really a trilogy which I have classified as one book. And I did read them one after another for a week.
- It is ONE story though about the world’s population living without electricity. Of course this impacts every area of life and the characters struggle with bare survival – at first.
- I liked the faith component and figuring out how to have a good life with a community surrounding you and without conveniences.
- Shoot me if you want, but I like and even need a HAPPY ending. This book delivers.
- Although I wasn’t sure that was where the book would end.
- I will read more Dickens in 2016.
- Hope is an option.
- Our foundation of hope is Christ.
- There are things I can do to bring more hope into my life, my church and my workplace.
- I would like to go through this book with a group of people.
TEN. Any book by Jane Austen. I read all her novels (for adults) this year for the Austen in August Reading Challenge. I recommend them ALL. Yes, here I am cheating because these are 6 different books with 6 different story lines.
- I enjoyed reading each book for a different reason.
- If I had to pick a fave it would be Emma. Going from haughty to humble is something I can relate to and hope where I end up in life (humble).
Related Posts . . .
- 6 Month Update: Classic Book Reading Plan for 2015
- 11 Grief Resources: Books & Websites
- 13 Resources for Chronic Pain: Books & Websites
- 21 Things I Learned by Reading Individual Bible Books in One Sitting
- A Grown Up Book Report on The 21 Balloons
- Books on my Laughter Bookshelf
- How Good Books Aid in a Child’s Growth
Each November I try to do things that will help me focus on and increase gratitude in my life. This year I read James Autry’s Choosing Gratitude: Learning to Love the Life You Have. It was a quick read and my highlights are below.
Autry says gratitude is much more than saying, “Thank you.” It is a way of living and even a way of feeling. He encourages us to continually take gratitude inventories in the different parts of our life: Family and Friends, Community, Work, Play.
After reflecting on these, we are invited to share the lists with others. Autry would like this writing, reflection and sharing to lead to others doing the same. He’d like to start a gratitude movement.
I like the sound of that, too: a worldwide gratitude movement.
In any situation, Autry says, we can focus on the bad or the good. We can complain or give thanks for how things worked out in spite of the bad. We can look for the blessings that helped us cope and for the people who intervened.
I am a glass half-full type of person. I surround my thoughts with quotes that support that type of positive mentality. So I really liked the gratitude quotes Autry scattered throughout his book. Here are my faves . . .
- “No duty is more urgent than of returning thanks,” Saint Ambrose.
- “We owe thankfulness to God, not sour faces,” Rumi.
- “Thanksgiving is good but thanks-living is better,” Matthew Henry.
- “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings,” Eric Hoffer.
Your Turn . . . Are you more of a glass half full or half empty? . . . What do you do to increase your awareness of the blessings that surround you? . . . Do you have a fave quote from the above?
Related Posts . . .
- 3 Benefits of Month-Long Gratitude-Fest
- Choosing Gratitude by Nancy Leigh DeMoss – a book review
- Choosing Gratitude And Why It Matters
- Personal Gratitude Prevents Burnout
CNC women are good at loving on one other. We honor each other with parties, listen well to each other, and we go out on Sundays after church. We want to connect better with one another and this is shown by things like our involvement in small groups, Secret Sister, and the mentoring program we had a couple of years ago.
But is there a better way for us to connect? Can we connect with more intention? I say the answer is, “Yes.”
On Monday, November 16th, there will be a new study for women. The book is Face-to-Face with Naomi and Ruth: Together for the Journey.
“Through the story of Naomi and Ruth, women will discover the power of committing to one another for the journey of faith in a relationship based on mutual caring and sharing.
- 2 small groups will begin on Monday, November 16th. One will be from 1:30-3pm. The other study will be from 7-8:30pm.
- We’ll discuss chapter 1 (in class) on that date. It is a five-week study.
- The price for a book is $9.75 (through Amazon). It is $4.99 (plus tax) on Kindle.
- I’ve ordered 8 books; so let me know today, if you’d like one. At present there is a back order on books.
- Of course you can go to a local book store to pick up your copy.
If this goes well and there is interest, we will have a one-on-one mentoring program in 2016.
Contact me today, if you have any questions and to RSVP “YES.” JOIN us in this small group, it will be time well spent.
Wow – I cannot believe this 31 days of laughter is only one day from being done! And I am sad to say that I didn’t finish all that I wanted to finish. I can see that my Finding Laughter project is far from complete with books to read, Ted Talks to listen to, experiments to try.
- Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life by James Martin. I am enjoying this book – a lot. I will buy my own copy.
- Contagious Joy: Joyful Devotions to Lift Your Spirits by a BUNCH of female authors from women of faith
- House Calls: How We Can All Heal the World One Visit at a Time by Patch Adams, M.D. I enjoyed the TED Talk by and movie about Dr Adams. So I was thrilled to learn he wrote this book.
- Managing to Have Fun: How Fun at Work Can Motivate Your Employees, Inspire Your Coworkers, and Boost Your Bottom Line by Matt Weinstein. This book is FULL of ideas. I will probably buy this one, too.
- The Healing Power of Humor: techniques for getting through loss, setbacks, upsets, disappointments, difficulties, trials, tribulations, and all that not-so-funny stuff by Allen Klein. This book sounds like it could have some helpful ideas.
- This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection by Carol Burnett. I didn’t even get to crack open the cover. But I LOVED watching her show growing up. SO I HAVE to read this one.
- Worms in My Tea: And Other Mixed Blessings by Becky Freeman & Ruthie Arnold. This was recommended by a reader. It looks GOOD! I actually bought a used copy.
Your Turn . . . Are there any other books I should be reading? NOTE: I am making my way through the suggestions given here.
Related Posts from The Finding Laughter Series . . .
- Books on my Laughter Bookshelf
- Children and Laughter – Information from these books: The Learning Power of Laughter, Lincoln Tells a Joke: How Laughter Saved The President (And The Country), If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, Henry Hyena, Why Won’t You Laugh?,
- Is Laughter Needed at Work? – Information from Fish: A Proven Way To Boost Morale And Improve Results
- The Habit of Cheerfulness – Information from I’d Rather Be Laughing: Finding Cheer in Every Circumstance
- What Does Norman Cousin’s Laughter Have to Do With Me? – Information from Anatomy of an Illness as Perceived by the Patient: Reflections on Healing and Regeneration.
I am joining 100’s of others at #write31days to write every day in October on a single topic. My topic is 31 Days of Finding Laughter. I will spend time each day studying laughter to see if I can improve my laughter quotient.
Go here for the landing page which has all the posts in one spot.
Read, learn, and discover with me what this world of laughter is all about and is it all that it’s cracked up to be. And be sure to leave a comment. Talking together will make for a richer, interactive experience for all of us.