There is no time like the present to take a deep breath, and slowly exhale. As I have matured, I learned that if we didn't take care of ourselves, nobody would. So, I make it a point to keep myself as healthy as possible. By healthy, I mean I try to maintain my body and my mind. My mother is famous for tellng me tht I am the true "Miss Pollyanna." Who? A long time ago in a galaxy far away... just kidding. When I grew up there was a book, Pollyanna, a 1913 novel by American author Eleanor H. Porter, considered a classic of children's literature. The book's success led to Porter riting a sequel, Pollyanna Grows Up (1915). Eleven more Pollyanna sequels, known as "Glad Books", were later published, most of them written by Elizabeth Borton or Harriet Lummis Smith. Further sequels followed, including Pollyanna Plays the Game by Colleen L. Reece, published in 1997. Due to the book's fame "Pollyanna" has become a byword for someone who – like the title character – has an unfailingly optimistic outlook -- that's me. I embrace what is described as the Pollyanna principle.
I'm not the only one. Apparently, Miss Izzy is too. In Becoming Miss Izzy, written by American authors Sue Zook and Mary Lazsarski, Izzy embracest he Pollyanna principle and this book is destined to listed among one of the greatest children's books, just like Pollyanna. Parents and Grandparaents would be remissed if they didn't purchase this book for the middler schooler.
The Connected Agenda by Kristie Leonard
Kristie Leonard was born in 1989, which makes her just the right age to write about technology and the internet. Kristie hardly recalls life before the internet connected each one of us with the world. Growing up in Maryland and attending college on the West Coast, Kristie made use of the ability to live in one place while keeping a foot in the other.
The seed was planted for The Connected Agenda, a serial featuring Kay Whatley who took her own experiences with technology and the web to help a friend. Good genes helped as her mother was a topnotch hacker back in the day (more about Mom later!). Kay’s friend Chip has found himself in over his head in a foreign money laundering scheme. Kay enlists the help of Aussie hacker extraordinaire, Norbert, to work with her to find out where the money is being funneled and by whom.
Kristie Leonard will have you eager to discover what happens next. The Connected Agenda is a fast-moving serial that will keep you guessing – will Kay be able to save Chip from his technological nightmare? Will Kay realize her tech skills are not insignificant and perhaps meant for something bigger?
VIEW THE CONNECTED AGENDA TRAILER
CATCHING A MIRACLE by Mark J. Spinicelli
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Eight-year-old Shelly White is admitted to St. Theresa’s Hospital for Children for cancer treatment. In the meantime, she strikes a friendship with her fellow roommate Kristin, who is also undergoing her own battle with cancer. Dr. Gregory Wall manages the patient care for both children working tirelessly to pursue the treatment options that are available. He knows all too well that his best efforts may never be enough to save them.
In a mystifying episode that later comes to be known as St. Theresa’s first official miracle, Shelly’s cancer seemingly disappears overnight to the utter amazement of Dr. Wall and the rest of the team at the hospital. Sadly, Kristen is not as fortunate. She eventually succumbs to her illness, even as Shelly makes her way out to leave the hospital as a fully cured and healthy little girl.
Fast forward to thirty years later and Dr. Shelly White now works alongside Dr. Wall at the same hospital with a mission to save as many children as possible from cancer. She also starts the Kristen Foundation in honor and fond memory of her roommate who did not have the same privilege of coming out of her illness alive.
At a fundraising event in aid of the foundation, Shelly meets advertising executive Nicholas Harris who, she soon realizes, is going to play a crucial role in changing her life and that of her patients though a cure for cancer. Nicholas and his father Salvatore have their own reasons for wanting to be part of the same journey.
At this point, far from ending on a predictable note, Catching a Miracle soon enfolds into an unexpectedly fast-paced thrilling story involving the race to find a cure for cancer, the fight against corporate greed, and the involvement of powerful political entities who will stop at nothing to prevent the cure from being found.
CALMING DOWN – the stuff that DOESN’T work !!!
By C J Kruse
SAYING “CALM DOWN”
This is when we think that calmness can be commanded. Someone is worked up, and we say, “Calm down.” Not only are we doing something ineffective, we are being rude.
Because, when we tell someone to calm down, we are basically telling her that she doesn’t have legitimate reasons for being worked up, which usually only makes her more frustrated.
This is our least effective (and most commonly used) technique.
This is when we think that time equates to calmness. The problem is that time doesn’t make us calmer. In fact, it often only makes us more upset, because we don’t spend that time allowing the calming process to occur. We spend it dwelling on our fears and frustrations. If we’re not careful, time will only fan the flame of our bad emotions — giving them power to keep us worked up.
This is when we think that being alone will make us calmer. It doesn’t really ensure that we’ve stopped raging. It only ensures that we aren’t sharing our space with anyone while we do it. If we want solitude to help us, we can’t just distance ourselves from other people; we must also distance ourselves from those destructive thoughts and feelings that keep us excited.
This is when we try to act like nothing’s bothering us. It usually provides an instant sense of relief, albeit a frail one. Because, it really just makes us more fragile. More afraid of our bubble being popped, which is threatened by all the real things we find bothersome.
This is when we try to shelter ourselves from what is bothering us. The issue with this is that we allow ourselves not to deal with the real problem. And, we often end up eliminating challenges that could strengthen us, as well as people who we would be better off having by our sides.
This is when we try to numb our discomfort with false anesthetics. We turn to junk food, video games, internet-surfing, or even drugs and alcohol. It doesn’t offer real improvement, because real solutions don’t just help us escape our problems; they help us deal with them.
This is when we attempt to relieve our stress by becoming hostile — usually, towards whatever we view is the source of our stress. While there are some healthy ways to take out aggression, such as beating on a drum set or a boxing bag, it is very easy to misplace our aggression unhealthily, adding more damage to what has already been done.
RECIPROCATING BAD BEHAVIOR
This is when we attempt to fight chaos with chaos. Your kid throws a tantrum, and you throw a tantrum back. Your husband gets loud and crazy, and you get even louder and crazier. In the movies, it works. In real life, emotional problems don’t go away by bringing more emotional problems into the equation. The only real cure for chaos is order. We can only improve a bad situation by bringing to it what it is lacking.
MAKING UP FOR IT LATER
This is when we think we can reset the balance in our lives by making up for our bad moments with good moments. After we flip out at our spouse or scream at our kids, we decide to go above and beyond. Maybe we make a nice dinner. Maybe we take our kids to the fair and buy them toys and ice cream. The problem with this is that it fixes what isn’t broken and fails to fix what is. Because, the problem in our lives isn’t that our good moments aren’t good enough; it’s that our bad moments are really bad. So bad, that they spill toxicity into all of the other moments in our lives. They create 99% of the regret and remorse that we walk around with the rest of the time. The other major problem with this thinking is that it is self-enabling. It allows us to continue our bad behavior — falsely assured that there is no need for us to practice restraint in the present moment.
If you like what you’ve read here, and would like to find out what actually DOES work, check out THIS BOOK, available for preorder now!