Posts filed under ‘Susan’s World’

Kindness is Paying Someone’s Way Who Can’t Pay You Back or Pay it Forward

This post is part of #Write31Days where bloggers write every day in October on one topic. I am writing about Acts of Kindness, random and otherwise. It will be interesting to note how I am different and/or how my community is different

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Have you ever paid for the person behind you to receive a free coffee, toll crossing, or donut? This idea is on most random act of kindness lists, I don’t prefer that idea. When I spend my money, I want to make a difference in someone’s life. People who are in such lines, have the money for the coffee, toll, or donut.

Instead, how about paying for someone who can’t pay it back or forward (at least right now)? Below are some ideas.

  •  Pay for a homeless person’s lunch.
  • Take a senior on a fixed income to the movies.
  • Put a gas card on the windshield of a single mom’s car.
  • Treat a low-income friend to an event at church.

Kindness notices the needs of others. And then acts. 

 

Your Turn . . . Keep a look out for who you could bless with an experience or food. 

You can practice being kind by leaving me a comment. 

Want to know what other acts of Kindness are on the list? Go to my Landing Page . . Scattering Kindness: A 31 Day Adventure of Intentional & Random Acts of Service.  

Please leave me an idea or two that I can add to my acts of kindness list. The idea can be intentional or random.

Go here for yesterday’s post: Kindness is Looking Someone in the Eyes

Related Posts . . . Hospitality Field Trip Refreshes and Teaches

Previous #Write31Days Topics

Thanks go to Elizabeth Symington for making my #Write31Days button and basic graphic for the kindness quotes.

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Austen in August Reading Challenge 2018

I found this book last year at a local thrift store and I’ve been waiting for August to sink into its lovely pages. Isn’t this a pretty book cover?

You either love her writing or hate it. You think it is well-written or insipid. Until 2015, I had no interest in reading any of Jane Austen’s books. Then I decided to accept the challenge to actually read her books. That August I read all six. .And I enjoyed each one.

This August I will participate in my 3rd Austen in August (AIA) reading challenge. I am joining with other folks from The Book Rat. This is The Book Rat’s 10th year to organize an AIA.

The Deets:

  1. Austen in August is a celebration of all things Jane Austen, featuring reviews, discussions, vlogs, giveaways, interviews and more!
  2. AIA will run for the entire month of August. You can read Austen’s works, adaptations, biographies, etc. Anything Jane Austen is allowed.
  3. There will be an Austen Read Along to coincide with the event: Longbourn by Jo Baker.

I read all the Jane Austen books in August 2015. I also read Emma: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith and listened to Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen.

I continued this challenge in 2017 where I reread Northanger Abbey. I read Austenland: Novel by Shannon Hale, The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, and Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld.

The following books are available from the library as eBooks. I will choose several to read during August. I will definitely do the Group read.

Your Turn . . .  What Jane Austen book is your favourite to read? . . .  What do you suggest I reread? . . . I hope you join us this year’s Austen in August Reading Challenge.

Related Posts . . . Reading Challenge for My 60th Year (2018)

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Follow Seven Principles to Make a Dream Doable

I am reading this book, finally after decades of it being on my to-read list. … I followed seven ideas to make this a reality.

Do you have a dream that you are actively achieving? Or, is the dream still in hibernation mode?

I am a bucket list maker. I have dreams in quite a few areas, including theological, cooking, and reading. I have things I want to do during specific seasons as in Summer. On my birthday, I write what I want to accomplish that birth year. I have more ideas than one person could complete in a lifetime. However, I am finally in pursuit of one dream that seemed impossible. At least it seemed impossible according to my original guidelines.

I began to learn Spanish when I lived in Puerto Rico for most of my middle school years. One of my teachers thrilled us with episodes from Don Quixote de la Mancha, to the extent I decided I wanted to read the 1,000-page book in Spanish. Even though I’ve had years of Spanish since then, my grasp of the Spanish is not yet advanced enough to read this adult classic (in Spanish).

“Mom,” my daughter said, “just because you used to know a lot of Spanish doesn’t mean you’re a failure if you can’t read Don Quixote in Spanish now.”

This year, my 60th year, I decided to lay aside unrealistic expectations and make Don Quixote (DQ) the classic book I conquer. And to make this doable, I will read it in English. (In past years, I’ve read, in English, Anna Karenina, The Imitation of Christ, Moby Dick, and War and Peace, to name a few.)

For several months, I rummaged through thrift store shelves and garage sale piles for my very own copy of this classic, Don Quixote de la Mancha. I finally found a two-inch thick, paperback, in pristine shape for $1.99. I love a good deal, especially when buying things I don’t need.

And besides the bargain, I could check Step 1 off my list – Buy the book.

For Step 2, I cracked open the book to the Table of Contents to figure out a reading schedule. I became immediately daunted. Oh, no. This print is too small for me to read. ­

My daughter stepped in again, “Why don’t you go on Amazon and buy a large print edition?”

“Or,” I said, “I can get an e-copy, since I can control the print size on my Kindle.”

After an hour on Amazon, I still had not purchased an e-copy. There are at least 8 DQ versions for the Kindle. How do I pick the BEST version to read?  Too many choices are paralyzing.

I grabbed my ear buds and took a walk to clear my head. When I walk, I frequently listen to an audio book or podcast. After 30 minutes, I put away my headphones and house key. I wondered, Is there an Audible English version of DQ? I opened Audible on my phone to check. Yes, there was an English book. Without any more research, I clicked on this first entry and bought it.

I am now on chapter 72 of 126 chapters. I listen almost every day while I get in my daily steps. I am proud that I am finally tackling a long time dream because I modified it to fit my current lifestyle and skills.

Principles I learned from this process.

  1. Choose a dream.
  2. Make a list of steps from beginning to completion.
  3. Identify expectations and remove the unrealistic ones.
  4. Brainstorm (by yourself or with someone else) actions to achieve the steps.
  5. Do necessary research. But don’t give yourself too many choices.
  6. Choose a path that is doable for this stage of life. Realize that for most goals, there is no BEST path to achievement.
  7. Start the process TODAY.

Your Turn . . . What is a longtime dream you’ve had, but keep pushing out of sight? Is there some way you can adjust it to fit your current lifestyle and skills? 

Let us know in the comments. And we can cheer each other on as we make our impossible dreams possible.

Related Posts . . .

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Reading The ABC’s of My Bookshelves 2018

“Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.” ~ Gustave Flaubert

I have more books than anything else in my home. They are the hardest things for me to declutter. Since I really want and need to streamline my home, boxes (and boxes and boxes) of books need to relocate. But first, I want to read or re-read them.

 

  • Have you read all the books on your bookshelves?
  • Do you have any you want to reread?

My answers are “No” and “Yes.”

How do you pick which books to read?

I have so many that sometimes it is hard to choose which ONE book to read first. That is why I am creating The ABC’s of My Home Bookshelf list. At least I’ll narrow the list to 26 books. Below is my (tentative) list. As I read a book for that letter, I will bold the entry.

The ABC’s of My Home Bookshelves

  1. Actual Factuals for Kids: with Verses From the Bible by Nancy S. Hill
  2. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller
  3. Corelli’s Mandolin
  4. Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar
  5. Extraordinary Results from Ordinary Teachers by Michael Warden
  6. Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest by Bonnie Gray
  7. Goliath Must Fall: Winning the Battle Against Your Giants by Louie Giglio
  8. Hollow City (2nd novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children) by Ransom Riggs 
  9. The Invisible Bond: How to Break Free from Your Sexual Past by Barbara Wilson
  10. J
  11. Kisses from Katie by Katie Davis .
  12. Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong Quest to Bring Calm to My Life  by Priscilla Warner
  13.  The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
  14. No Easy Jesus by Jason Mitchell
  15. Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, And Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg
  16. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  17. Q
  18. The Right Attitude to Rain (An Isabel Dalhousie Mystery) by Alexander McCall Smith …
  19. Switch On Your Brain by Dr Caroline Leaf
  20. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson
  21. U
  22. V
  23. Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
  24. X
  25. b              
  26. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan

Your Turn . . . Have you read all the books on your bookshelves? . . . How do you pick what to read?

Related Posts – I’ve tried different things to narrow my reading choices.

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Reading Challenge for My 60th Year (2018)

These are some books from my bookshelf.

How do you improve yourself? 

  • Take classes at the local college or online?
  • Hire a personal trainer or coach?
  • Participate in health or financial challenges with your mates?
  • Regularly follow your morning and evening routines?
  • Create and follow S.M.A.R.T. goals?

All if the above ideas are great ideas. But my favorite way to improve myself is by reading.

Below are 3 benefits of reading from my post, 13 Benefits of Reading,

  1. ,Exposes us to novel ideas, actions, geography and people so that we become more culturally, emotionally, politically, and historically aware.
  2. Clarifies difficult topics.
  3. Gives us the opportunity to learn from the mistakes and wisdom of others.

Every year (around my birthday), I decide what reading challenges I will do that year. My reading challenges this year are as follows ..

  • Read 2.018 minutes a month.
  • Read 60 books from the library, friends, etc.
  • Read the ABC’s from my own bookshelves. The list is here.
  • Read books for my monthly book club.
  • Read Don Quixote as part of my classics education.
  • Finish Mrs Dalloway.
  • Participate in the Austen in August Reading Challenge.
  • Leave Amazon reviews for books of people I know.

If I add anything else to this reading challenge for my 60th birthday year, I will update this post.

Your Turn . . . What is on your reading list for this year?  . . .  What would you add to my list?

Related Posts . . . 

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Did I Reach My Goal of Reading 59 Books?

Book cases are valuable pieces of furniture in my home. You? They contain treasured books that I’ll reread and books I’ll read for the first time. I like setting reading goals so that I make sure to regularly indulge in this favourite hobby.

My goal last year was to consume 59 books. I finished 63. I read from a wide variety of genres. My newest one is decluttering. I have made great decluttering progress and such books keep me motivated.

AUDIO BOOKS

  1. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  2. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
  3. How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter by Matt Kepnes
  4. I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
  5. Lila: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
  6. The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
  7. Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder by Arianna Huffington

CLASSICS

  1. War and Peaceby Leo Tolstoy
  2. What’s So Amazing About Grace by Philip Yancey

DECLUTTER

  1. Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller 
  2. The Hoarder in You: How to Live a Happier, Healthier, Uncluttered Life by Robin Zasio
  3. Housebroken: admissions of an untidy life by Laurie Notaro
  4. Unf*ck your habitat: you’re better than your mess by Rachel Hoffman
  5. Year of No Clutter: a memoir by Eve O. Schaub

HEALTH/HOBBIES

  1. Architectural Photography: Composition, Capture, and Digital Image Processing by Adrian Schulz
  2. Fully Alive: Discovering What Matters Most by Timothy Shriver (audio book from Library
  3. Getting To Know The World’s Greatest Artists: Picasso by Mike Venezia
  4. Hallelujah Anyway: Rediscovering Mercy by Anne Lamott
  5. Healthy Brain, Happy Life: A Personal Program to Activate Your Brain & Do Everything Better by Wendy Suzuki, PhD
  6. How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries by Kathy Lynn Emerson
  7. Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen: Learning to Cook with 65 Great Chefs and Over 100 Delicious Recipes by Dana Cowin
  8. Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner
  9. TED Talks Storytelling: 23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks by Akash Karia

JANE AUSTEN (her books and adaptations)

  1. Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale
  2. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  3. The Jane Austin Book Club: A Novel by Karen Joy Fowler

MEMOIR

  1. Glitter and Glue: A Memoir by Kelly Corrigan

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. The Dinner: A Novel by Herman Koch
  2. The Eden Prophecy: A Thriller by Graham Brown
  3. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  4. Hearts And Bones by Margaret Lawrence
  5. The Sleepwalker: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian
  6. The Testament of Gideon Mack by James Robertson
  7. Welcome to the World, Baby Girl! by Joanna Fluke
  8. The Young Messiah by Anne Rice
  9. False Impression by Jeffrey Archer

RECOMMEND

  1. small great things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult

SERIES

The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor (1/3)

Blackwell Cold Case

  1. Traces of Guilt (#1/2) by Dee Henderson
  2. Threads of suspicion (#2/2) by Dee Henderson

Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny

  1. Glass Houses: A Novel (13/14)

A Hannah Swensen Mystery

  1. Banana Cream Pie Murder (Book 21/21) by Joanne Fluke

In the Land of the Long White Cloud saga Book

  1. In the Land of the Long White Cloud (Book 1/3) By Sarah Lark

Mitford Series

  1. To Be Where You Are (Book #11) by Jan Karon

Ruth Galloway Mysteries by Elly Griffiths

  1. The Crossing Places (#1) by Elly Griffiths
  2. The Janus Stone (#2) by Elly Griffiths
  3. The House at Sea’s End (#3) by Elly Griffiths
  4. A Room Full of Bones (#4) by Elly Griffiths
  5. Ruth’s First Christmas Tree (#4.5) by Elly Griffiths
  6. A Dying Fall (#5) by Elly Griffiths
  7. The Outcast Dead (#6) by Elly Griffiths
  8. The Ghost Fields (#7) by Elly Griffiths
  9. The Woman in Blue (#8) by Elly Griffiths
  10. The Chalk Pit (#9) by Elly Griffiths

Women’s Murder Club Series by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro

  1. 10th Anniversary  by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  2. 11th Hour by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  3. 12th of Never  by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  4. Unlucky 13  by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
  5. 14th Deadly Sin by James Patterson and  Maxine Paetro
  6. 15th Affair  by James Patterson and  Maxine Paetro
  7. 16th Seduction by James Patterson and  Maxine Paetro

YEARLONG BOOKS

  1. A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson
  2. The Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person by Shonda Rhimes

Your Turn  . . . Did you meet your reading goal for last year? What one book do you think everyone should read? I think everyone would benefit from reading small great things: A Novel by Jodi Picoult.

Related Resources . . .

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Philosophy of Life Hasn’t Changed in 9 Years

Last Sunday I preached at church on my life verse. As I was preparing for the sermon I remembered that sometime ago I had written about it on my blog. I did a little research and found that in 2008 I was tagged to define my philosophy using only 6 words.

Here is that first post, 6 Words That Define Philosophy of Life. In thinking about this topic, I first I came up with ideas that others might have used.

Jesus could have used one of the following as His 6 word philosophy . . . 

  1. The Father and I are One.
  2. Greatness? Humble servant, always obedient.
  3. I always do the Father’s will.
  4. My life, for yours, for eternity.

Augustine might have had the following as his philosophy … Desire what I know God desires.

And finally The Westminster Larger Catechism says . . . Glorify God and enjoy him forever.

Then I wrote a post about coming up with my philosophy, My 6 Word Philosophy of Life Brings Perspective. Can you guess how many tries it took to narrow it down to 6 words that I WANT to base my life on? It only took 12 tries. Go read this post to see what my progression was. And to see what my life verse is!

Your Turn . . .  Have you ever taken time to narrow down your philosophy of life? If you have, can you connect it with a verse in the Bible? . . . If you haven’t done either, I encourage you to do so and then share it with us. . . . If you’ve already done it, share it with us.

Related Post . . . I ended this concentrated thinking time by writing this post, 11 Generations Participate in 6 Word Philosophy of Life Meme.  It was interesting to see how this chain started and where it went.

Why don’t you continue this chain by answering and then tagging some folks to answer? Let’s get this meme going again. This kind of reflection is good for us.

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Checking Your Heart for Leaf Scars

Gazillions of leaves are falling . . .
Into my yard.
On my roof.
Under my doormat (?).
All over my car.
In my outdoor glider.

One time a bunch even descended upon me (and in my shirt) as I left my house.

Why in the world are these leaves attacking me and others en masse?
Because it’s Autumn.

Technically, it’s because there is less sunlight and water, the tree stops making food and grows a seal which disconnects the leaf from the tree. This is a protective measure the tree “instinctively” makes in order to help itself survive the winter.

More in-depth answers are available to the autumn questions at kidzone. Also your kiddos will enjoy the following autumn projects like . . .

So what does all this have to do with anything relevant to my life as a Believer?

There are times in my life when it feels like autumn.
I lose my leaves, my sense of connection with my core, my energy. I shut down for a season. These leaves can be my composure, joy, temper, courage, integrity, commitments. I bet you can name some more.

A tree in this cycle is healthy. When I’m in this cycle, not so healthy.

It always happens when I move myself (not always intentionally) away from the light of the Son and water of the Word. If this goes on for a spell, a seal forms around my heart.

At the point where the stem of the leaf is attached to the tree, a special layer of cells develops and gradually severs the tissues that support the leaf.

In my heart, these layers are caused by fatigue, unbelief, anger, pain, fear, overload. And when I don’t regularly feed myself with truth, as found in God’s word, I lack the ability to take care of myself properly. I feel severed from God’s leading.*

When the leaf is finally blown off by the wind or falls from its own weight, it leaves behind a leaf scar.

I’ve got leaf scars! Too many are the result of my own choices.

But I am grateful that God is . . .

  • the Master of autumn and spring and every season.
  • stronger than any protective seal I allow to come between us.
  • constantly wooing me back into right relationship with Him, with others and with myself.

Sisters, if you are in an autumn season . . .

  • Drink some water – the Bible.
  • Sit in the Sun (Christ) for a bit.
  • Tell Him how you feel.
  • Ask for His help.
  • Dare to share with a friend what the layers are.
  • Seek prayer from others.
  • Unload your life.

It’s that simple. And it’s that hard.

Autumn is about positive, protective, preparation for winter. It’s good for a tree to drop its business all over – everywhere.

When our autumn means we protect ourselves from God, others, ourselves, and when it means we drop our business all over – everywhere, it means trouble. But it is trouble that has an answer.

Will you join me in believing that God really has the answers for a good life?

Let’s use this earthly autumn to see where our hearts are going dormant.

Your Turn . . . 

  • What are some of the layers you’re carrying around?
  • How may I encourage you?
  • Pray for you?
  • Call or email me if you’d like to talk privately.

Remember, It’s that simple. And it’s that hard.

But no matter how I feel, I am never severed, as a Believer, from His grace, love and mercy. Nor can I ever be snatched from His hand.

Related Posts . . .

NOTE: This is an updated post from 2006.

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Austen in August Reading Challenge 2017

 

You have a few days to sign up, so do NOW.

 

Which Jane Austen books have you read? I did this Austen in August challenge two years ago and read all the main Austen books. I want to participate again this year. I plan to reread at least one book and read several related books mentioned by Roof Beam Reader.

Click on the link to read the details – Austen In August: Year 5! (Call for Participants)There will be “giveaways, guest posts, and other shenanigans, all of which are meant to inspire a great, interactive event.” Doesn’t this sound like a tempting challenge? Sign up today. To share/discuss this challenge on Twitter and/or Facebook, use  #AustenInAugustRBR.

In a perfect world, my goal is to read the following. EDITED TO ADD: I read the first three.

  1. I will reread Northanger Abbey along with others from RoofBeamReader.
  2. Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale – READ IT.
  3. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler. READ IT.
  4. Jane Austen, the Secret Radical by Helena Kelly
  5. Jane’s Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World by Claire Harman
 Your Turn . . . What Austen book is a must re-read? . . . Will you join us in this endeavor?
Related Posts . . .

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Simplicity Day Reminds Us of the “Simple” Life

Today is #National  Simplicity Day. When was the last time you looked to simplify your life in terms of goals, balance, meaning, and social media?

Answer the questions below to get you started on this reflection.

  • How balanced is your life between the various areas like sleep, work, and recreation?
  • Are you spending quality time with the important people in your life and on projects that advance you towards your goals/dreams?
  • Is your spiritual life a relationship that you cultivate?

GOALS

One of my goals for this summer is to finish unfinished projects. And one of these projects is decluttering. Yesterday, with the help of my daughter, I went through ALL of my clothes. I tried on everything and only kept what I really liked or loved. The rest is in the give-away pile.

I have given myself a month to mend (mainly shorten) the clothes that need it. Otherwise they, too, will be given away. And after a month, I will check to see what I’ve actually worn. My tentative goal is to do something like Project 333.

I still need to do more work in my closet. I am surprised at how many non-clothes items are in there. I am also surprised at how many scarves I have. Tons, I tell you, tons!

“My riches consist not in the extent of my possessions but in the fewness of my wants.” ~ J. Botherton

BALANCE

I tend to work too much. As a result I neglect the important people in my life. That is one reason I wrote a Summer Bucket List. I want to make sure I have friend-balance in my life. So far this summer I have done well with having “dates.” Read #4 for an update.

These non-romantic times have been fun. I’ve eaten, chatted, walked, viewed vacation photos, and crafted. It may seem weird to some to have to schedule in dates, but I am finding that works for me.

MEANING

One thing that gives meaning to my life is a relationship with God. I want to and need to spend daily time reading and meditating on Scripture. I need to and want to spend time talking and listening to God. And finally I need to and want to spend time at church and with the people of the church. This type of focus keeps me maturing and balanced.

Also to add meaning to my life, I am thinking about what’s important to me. I am listening to an audiobook, Thrive. Arianna Huffington wants us to consider four areas to get back to living a life that counts: wonder, giving, wisdom, and wellness. I want to focus on these as well.

Joelle from 21 Delights wrote a list (of 21 things) that brings meaning to her life. Her top 10 are as follows … her husband … her children … her relationship with the Divine … Her extended family … witnessing goodness … life stories … friendship … solitude … Music … and art. Go here to read the complete list and post about why she wrote it.

I haven’t written such a list yet. What would your list include? What do you want to do more of? Less of? Read how a STOP DOING list is helpful.

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media use can, at times, consume way too much of my time. I go on for just a quick minute. And then an hour later I am still on there. I want to and need to declutter that area of my life, too.

 It’s good practice to look at your social media use the way you would closets full of stuff. Ask yourself: Am I using social media intentionally or out of habit? What benefits does it bring me, what are the trade-offs, and do I need to change anything? If I cut back on social media, how else do I want to use that time? ~ Ellen from Simplifying at Home: Living Better with Less

In conclusion, in honor of National Simplicity Day I am reading a real book and not something from social media. I am reading Walden by Henry David Thoreau. He was an advocate for living a life of simplicity. If you’ve read this book, what are your take-aways?

Your Turn . . .  How “simple” is you life? . . .  Where would you like to make a change in the areas of GOALS, BALANCE, MEANING and/or SOCIAL MEDIA?

Related Posts . . . Check out the article that was the brainchild of this post: NATIONAL SIMPLICITY DAY from the National Day Calendar website.

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Quotes from “A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman”

Do you have particular books you want to read this Summer? I do. My list is here. I just finished this book A Year by the Sea: Thoughts of an Unfinished Woman by Joan Anderson. It is FULL of quotes I want to remember.

BE HAPPY WITH ME  

All is ripely quiet, and I lift my glass to me, a woman turned inside out, no longer wanting to become happy because, finally, I am.

“You mustn’t fret. There is no arriving, ever. It is all a continual becoming.”  (Joan erickson)

When I need centering, I sing a favorite hymn, “Spirit of God Descend Upon My Heart,” which also allows me to ease drop on my spirit and pick up on its mumblings. ·

 

HAVE FRIENDSHIPS THAT CAUSE ME TO GROW 

Every woman should have a mentor – not her mother, but someone who doesn’t have a stake in how she turns out, who encourages her to risk, who picks her up when she falls flat on her face. Joan prods, pokes, and coaxes me each time we’re together. ·

“Want to get into some trouble today?} What did you have in mind I ask, smiling at her devilishness. “Oh, I don’t know – just getting out and gathering up some experiences!” ·

 

BECOME WHOLE BY PAYING ATTENTION 

Of primary importance now is for me to retrieve the buried parts of me­-qualities like playfulness, vulnerability, being at home in my skin, using more of my instincts. Like so many pieces of a puzzle, I need to find a way to create the whole once again

I have learned to pay attention to my instincts and take notice when I feel anxious – to remove the pebble from my shoe before it blisters, get the chicken bone out of my throat – in short, to be mindful of feelings and emotions and work with them, not run from them.

Related Post . . . 8 Thoughts on Living Well  … What If The Wholesome Words Were Bleeped?

LAUGH MORE

What do you want? We usually answer with some material object. Imagine If we said something like a better state of mind, or togetherness, or simply to be surrounded by laughter.

Sitting here alone is satisfying enough, but the night would be far better if shared with another-with someone whose mood meets mine, who relishes moments, whose wonder remains untainted, who appreciates simple things and says so, who laughs much, indulges heartily, is spontaneous in spirit, is quick to embrace, and sees joy as a duty.

Related Posts . . . Finding Laughter – What I Learned From a Funny Friend … Laughter Quiz  Laughter Has My Gratitude

LIVE A FULL LIFE

I am no longer just passing through the world, but digging deep and collecting moments.

“Vital lives are about action,” Joan Erickson tells me. You can’t feel warmth unless you create it, can’t feel delight unless you play, can’t know serendipity unless you risk.” I’m trying to bring more of the spontaneous beach back to the cottage and incorporate it into my everyday life.

I must live a little each day, watch the sun as it rises and revel in its setting, swim naked, sip coffee and wine by the shore, generate new ideas, admire myself, talk to animals, meditate, laugh, risk adventures

Related  Posts . . . Live in the Day: a To-Do List … How 20 Wishes List from Fictional Book Helps Me Live Today … Do More Than Count Blessings, Be a Blessing

CHOOSE TO AGE WELL

Pam with Christmas Lights

“Why am I more cautious as I age instead of the other way around? I wonder if it’s all tied in to failure. I tend to forget my gains and remember only the losses. The failures have piled up, wreaking havoc with my confidence until, as an adult, I’ve become afraid to take chances.”

“I’m coming to see that life is not a lesser thing than I imagined it to be,” I say, thinking out loud just now. “Rather, it holds more than I have time to seize. The big secret is that everything doesn’t happen in youth.”

Related Posts . . . Singles Thanksgiving Bucket List … 3 Ways to Encourage Others Year Round … 16 Ways to Comfort Yourself

Your Turn . . .  

  • What quote from this book strikes you and why?
  • What’s on your summer reading list?

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Did I Read 58 Books Last Year? Summary of My 58th Year Challenge


I recently had a birthday, so it is time to evaluate how well I did on my birthday challenge.
I challenged myself to read 58 books because I was 58 years old last year. Did I meet that goal?

Turns out I was a reading fool! I read 111 books.

I’ve always loved books and last year I read differently.

  • I read series. In fact I read books from 8 series. The first series I’ve read to completion as an adult is The Mitford series by Jan Karon. Then I discovered Louise Penny, Shannon Stoker, Douglas Preston and James Patterson (to name a few). I don’t know why I went on a series binge, but it certainly was fun.
  • I finished some unfinished titles. I was able to read to completion four books that have been languishing in my to-finish pile. I am most proud of finishing Moby Dick. I really s-t-r-u-g-g-l-e-d with the first part of that book. Then when I picked it again last year, I LOVED reading it.  And I wondered why it took me so long to finish. The Imitation of Christ was such a deep read, I just couldn’t rush through it.
  • I discovered the Gilmore Girls reading list. I read 8 books from that diverse list last year. I plan on reading the 339 books that Rory read. So far I’ve read 82 books.
  • I am obsessed with yearlong quests. Several years ago I read Living Oprah: My One-Year Experiment to Live as TV’s Most Influential Guru Advises. And I was hooked on this genre. This year I read three such books. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life was my FAVE book in this category. And it is one I will reread so I can re-immerse myself in its helpful ideas.  This link has 12 ideas and I plan on reading from this list this 59th year.

Read the rest of the post to see the 111 titles and other categories.

Assorted Titles

  1. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron – I read and did the assignments with my daughter.
  2. Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Power of Gratitude: 101 Stories about How Being Thankful Can Change Your Life by Amy Newmark and Deborah Norville
  3. Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
  4. Daughters of the Dragon by William Andrews – I read this as an e-book while traveling in Taiwan.
  5. The Einstein Prophecy by Robert Masello – New author to me which I enjoyed a lot.
  6. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  7. The Good Life Lab: Radical experiments in Hands-On Living  by Wendy Tremayne
  8. Iscariot: A Novel of Judas by Tosca Lee – I want to read more books by this author.
  9. The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name by Sally Lloyd-Jones – This book has beautiful pictures and words
  10. Long Way Gone by Charles Martin – This is a title for the reread list.
  11. Miss Julia Inherits a Mess by Ann B. Ross (published this year-2016)
  12. One Memory At A Time: Inspiration & Advice for Writing Your Famiy History by D.G. Fulford
  13. The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller
  14. The Optimist’s Daughter by Eudora Welty
  15. A Paris Apartment: A Novel by Michelle Gable – While reading this book I kept Googling historical events and people.
  16. Pure Heart, Enlightened Mind: The Life and Letters of an Irish Zen Saint by Maura O’Halloran
  17. Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation by Gabriele Oettingen
  18. The Secrets of a Charmed Life by Susan Meissner
  19. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher – This is also a must reread. 
  20. A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller – I confess, this is not the fist time I’ve read this book.
  21. A Spy’s Guide to Thinking by John Braddock
  22. Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon
  23. Still Alice by Lisa Genova – Tears, and more tears as I read this book about Alice, a 50-year-old Harvard professor diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s.
  24. Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
  25. Thinner in 30: small changes that add up to big weight loss in just 30 days by Jenna Wolfe
  26. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battle by Steven Pressfield

Audio – I am not usually one who listens to books on tape. And I enjoyed doing this while walking or driving.

  1. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  2. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  3. Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel by Arthur Golden
  4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  5. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Spears

Austen in August – This is the second time I participated in this yearly internet challenge.

  1. Emma: a Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith
  2. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen

Book to Movie – So far, I’ve only seen one of these books as a movie. If you’ve seen these movies, which one(s) do you recommend?

  1. The BFG by Roald Dahl
  2. The Circle by Dave Eggers
  3. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
  4. A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ramsom Riggs
  6. Silence by Shusaku Endo

Gilmore Girls Book List – There are 339 books on this list. I read 8 of them this past year. Now the total # I’ve read is 82.

  1. Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
  2. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  3. Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
  4. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  5. Deenie by Judy Blume
  6. Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn
  7. S is for Silence by Sue Grafton
  8. Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett

Recommended – I got these ideas from friends, blogs, and Facebook.

  1. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilber
  2. Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr
  3. The Chocolate Snowman Murders: A Chocoholic Mystery by JoAnna Carl
  4. The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick
  5. Lying Awake by Mark Salzman ]
  6. Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
  7. The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith H. Beer and Susan Dworkin
  8. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  9. We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

SERIES – I read books in EIGHT series this year 

One. Alexander McCall Smith: Isabel Dalhousie Series – I plan on reading all the books in this series. I started reading this because I found books #57 & 58 at the dollar store and loved them.

  1. The Careful Use of Compliments (book 4/11)
  2. The Uncommon Appeal of Clouds (book 9/11)

Two. Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child: Gideon Crew Series – Completed the series.

  1. The Ice Limit
  2. Gideon’s Sword
  3. Gideon’s  Corpse
  4. The Lost Island
  5. Beyond the Ice Limit

Three. James Patterson: Women’s Murder Club (books 1-9) – I plan on reading all the books in this series.

  1. 1st to Die
  2. 2nd Chance
  3. 3rd Degree
  4. 4th of July
  5. The 5th Horseman
  6. 6th Target
  7. 7th Heaven
  8. 8th Confession
  9. 9th Judgement

Four. Jan Karon: The Mitford Series (books 3-10) – This is the first series I read to completion as an adult. There are only two book series I read when younger (and again as an adult): Chronicles of Narnia and Anne of Green Gables.

  1. These High, Green Hills
  2. Out to Canaan
  3. A New Song
  4. A Common Life: the Wedding Story
  5. In This Mountain
  6. Fluke Light from Heaven
  7. Somewhere Safe With Somebody Good
  8. Come Rain or Come Shine

Five. Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swenson Mysteries with Recipes

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (book 1/21)
  2. Strawberry Shortcake Murder (book 2/21)
  3. Blueberry Muffin Murder (book 3/21_
  4. Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (book 4/21)
  5. Blackberry Pie Murder (book 17/21)
  6. Double Fudge Brownie Murder (book 18/21)
  7. Wedding Cake Murder (book 19/21)
  8. Christmas Caramel Murder (book 20/21)

Six. Justin Cronin: The Passage Trilogy

  1. The Passage (1/3)

Seven. Louise Penny: Chief Inspector Gamache Novels (books 1-11) – Completed the series and I wish there were more!

  1. Still Life
  2. A Fatal Grace
  3. The Cruelest Month
  4. A Rule Against Murder
  5. The Brutal Telling
  6. Bury Your Dead
  7. The Hangman
  8. A Trick of the Light
  9. The Beautiful Mystery
  10. How the Light Gets In
  11. The Long Way Home
  12. The Nature of the Beast
  13. A Great Reckoning

Eight. Shannon Stoker: The Registry (books 2-3) – Completed the series.

  1. The Collection
  2. The Alliance

Unfinished: Books that took me several years to finish reading

  1. The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis
  2. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  3. The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence
  4. Umapped Darkness: Finding God’s Path Through Suffering by Thomas Finch

Yearlong Theme – I am captivated by books in this genre

  1. The Gratitude Diaries: How a Year Looking on the Bright Side Can Transform Your Life by Janice Kaplan
  2. My So-Called Life as a Proverbs 31 Wife: a One-Year Experiment and Its Surprising Results by Sara Horn
  3. Learning to Breathe: My Yearlong quest to Bring Calm to My Life by Priscilla Warner

Your Turn . . . 

  • Did you make any reading goals last year? Did you meet them?
  • Did you read “differently” this year? If yes, how so?
  • Were any books a surprise?
  • Which one(s) would you recommend that I read?

Related Resources . . .

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60 Acts of Kindness, Intentional & Random to do my 60th year

The Finish DateMarch 1st, 2019

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