Can You Spot the Optimistic Takeaways from A Christmas Carol?

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The first Sunday after Thanksgiving, I hop on the light rail and travel to the Denver Center for Performing Arts to see A Christmas Carolby Charles Dickens. For two glorious hours, me and a hundred or so other avid theatre goers put our gadgets away, sit in the dark and allow ourselves to be transported to the streets of Victorian London. We marvel at the tale written over two centuries ago by a master storyteller. We are transfixed by our fellow human beings who act out the classic story just as our ancestors have done for generations.

Two little girls – I would guess nine or ten years old – sat in back of me. They were appropriately shocked and appalled during the scene in which two business men come to ask Scrooge to donate to the poor. He refuses to give any money stating that those badly off must go to London’s horrible workhouses and prisons.

“Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”

“if they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

 My Three Optimistic Takeaways from A Christmas Carol

The First– It gives me great encouragement we can still be appalled by dreadful behavior in this age of internet trolls and ugly politics. Or, at least, our youth can be.

The Second– Scrooge’s transformation from a selfish old curmudgeon into a loving and giving person is proof positive anyone can have a change of heart. It is never too late to be a better person

The Third– Dickens reminds us no matter how hard change is or how much they are ridiculed, people of courage will still work toward a greater good. These positive changes benefit each and every one of us.

“Some people laughed to see the alterations in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset…”

If you are working toward change, I hope this post has been a gift of encouragement to you. Stay the course. Never give up. You are worth the effort.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

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Are You Investing in The Right Things?

A few weeks ago, I treated my tootsies to a pedicure at my local salon. Sharing the pampering experience were two sisters and a toddler. Suddenly Grandma came in with a stack of lottery scratch cards. She divided them up between their family. The toddler – wisest among us all – was asleep. Fun right? Her daughters didn’t think so. They begrudgingly took the cards and started to scratch. I was left with the impression they’d done this game way too much in the past.

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Grandma assured everyone in the salon buying the lottery scratch cards was worth it. After all, she’d won $61 once. Nodding with what I hoped would be taken as polite congratulations, I began to do the math in my head. Now I’m not a lottery player, but I believe those scratch cards are five dollars a pop. The stack was about an inch thick. Her money. Her decision. The practical cynic in me, however, can’t help thinking a better use of her money would be a family trip to Disney World. Everyone would have a better time. And memories don’t end up in the trash can at an indifferent salon.

The experience made me think. What resources have I been throwing away by investing in the wrong things? We all have precious resources. Time. Energy. Hope. Love. And yes – Money. Most of these are finite. Invest your time, energy and money wisely. Spend your hope and love extravagantly.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Five Ideas for Learning on the Cheap

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Are you a curious person who likes to learn? Maybe you’re looking for a career change. Or maybe you’ve recently retired and just want to do something different. Taking classes or workshops can be the answer. Here are five ideas for learning on the cheap.

Five Learning Resource Ideas for Adult Learners

  • SCORE.org(United States Small Business Administration) – Did you know the Small Business Administration wants your business to be successful too? They started the SCORE program in order to foster growth in the small business community. SCORE provides classes and coaching professionals to help. Highly recommended
  • LinkedIn.com– For a minimal monthly fee, you can take online workshops presented by industry professionals
  • Udemy.com– Online resource for just about any course subject you can imagine
  • Local Colleges – You’ll find adult learning programs at many community colleges. They offer a wide variety of classes at reasonably priced fees
  • Local Museums, Botanic Gardens and other venues – Stuck for ideas on your new learning adventure? Try your local museum or botanic garden. They frequently offer specialty classes/ workshops for interesting subjects. Don’t forget local organizations! These groups focus on writing, art or hobby interests

Honorable mention – YouTube.com:I’m a big fan of this online resource. I’ve lost count of how many times I access YouTube in order to figure out how to do a DIY project or a quick home repair.

Being a lifelong learner doesn’t have to break the bank. Technology has provided us with opportunities to learn at a lower cost. So, enjoy those classes and keep your brain active!

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

The Benefits of an Active Shelf Life

I’m a reader. Not just a reader. I’m a “must read the list of suggested books from my local library or online resource” type reader. Don’t try to limit me to only one genre. I’m interested in everything from books about local history to ghost stories to modern thrillers to classic tales. I will, on occasion, explore the works of foreign authors from diverse backgrounds. Why do I read everything I can get my little mittens on? I’m a reader, because I’m a learner.

The Benefits of Being a Reader:

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  • Reading is exercise for the mind – Your brain needs fresh knowledge to grow. Don’t stop learning just because you become an “adult.” Growth is essential for everyone regardless of age.
  • A well-read brain is a healthy brain, especially as we age – Staying active is important for a healthy body. Your brain ages too. Learning new things can help keep your mind sharp.
  • Reading promotes imagination – Movies, TV and video games are entertaining, but someone else is doing the imagining for you. Reading a book offers plots and descriptions of the author’s story scenes, but it’s your imagination building the world as you see it. You take away inspiration, encouragement and knowledge gleaned from what you’ve seen in your mind’s eye.

Read Often. Learn as Much as Possible. Share Your Knowledge.

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Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well

Trick or Treat!

Trick or Treat! How About a Special Book Cover Reveal Instead?

Coming Spring 2019!

Book Cover Design by ebooklaunch.com

Protect the Innocent. Punish the Guilty.

Seth the Ice Lion, now an Apprentice in the Jalora Legion, reluctantly travels aboard ship with his new battalion. Western Beta’s mission seems a dull assignment. Guarding miles of bogs and old ruins should be a simple task, but Seth soon learns nothing is easy for the Bearer of the Lion Ring. The Jalora is the embodiment of Good and the source of Seth’s power. It commands he search North Marsh for a relic capable of saving his homeland from the ravenous appetite of the Jackal invaders. Surrounded by deadly bogs and savage beasts, he must find the relic before the Lion Spirit inside of him takes control of their shared body.

Invaders from across the sea hold a firm grip on Valdeon, but their thirst for blood remains unsated. They lust for the riches of Andara. Using fear and greed as weapons, the Jackal enlist aid from the continent’s unscrupulous mercenaries to prepare for a larger invasion. They build a stronghold – Stone Fang Fortress – in the Blood Mountains of the north. It is here they prepare to conquer the free world.

Will Seth find this powerful relic before the Jackal swarm invades Andara? Or will his people be enslaved under the iron fist of the Jackal Lord? Seth’s answers hide in the deadly bogs of North Marsh…

Catch up on the Heart of the Warrior series

Amazon

BN

Amazon

BN

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

 

Are You Prepared for The Dreary Times?

Being a Northern Dweller, I have my “To Do” list of cold weather preparations I tackle each Fall. Clean the gutters. Have the furnace serviced. Pick out my inside projects, so I’m not bored out of my mind during the dreary weather. Winter can be cozy and fun looking outside through the window of a warm house. Don’t prepare correctly and Jack Frost can make things down right bleak.

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Our lives can be reminiscent of the changing seasons. Grief or misfortune can bring about the Winter within our souls. Every life experiences the chill and barren ice fields. Nothing can prevent our dreary times. If we prepare during our Summers and Springs, however, the internal Winters will be bearable.

Preparations for the Dreary Times:

  • Cultivate Good Friends
  • Allow Yourself to be Loved
  • Jealously Guard Your Time. Don’t Waste it on Negative Things
  • Diligently Pursue the Positive in Your life

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.

Are You at A Fork in The Road?

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Choices. They can be overwhelmingly difficult sometimes. Do you take that job in another city or stay in your home town? Should you buy a house or continue to rent? Crème brûlée or Mud Pie? Hint: Crème brûlée. Always.

We live in an exciting time. So many options to choose from! How can you pick the best one for you?

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List out the pros and cons for each option

Carefully evaluate your lists

Do the cons outweigh the pros?

Take your list to a trusted friend or mentor

Still Stuck?

Meditate on the options for a time. Your subconscious knows the right path.

Be Positive. Be Happy. Be Well.