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What’s This All About?

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“Be Happy Not Because Everything Is Good, But Because You Can See The Good In Everything.”


Hello there! As I journey into 2018, I anticipate creating and fulfilling new, healthy goals in every aspect of my life: mental, spiritual, and emotional. Join me as I learn how to navigate through life, picking up new skills and interests along the way. This year I am striving to live freely and fully. 

I look forward to altering the way I see life and my role in it. I want to see through a new, more positive lens as I encourage people and journey forth into each new day. I’m very excited to start pursuing my dream as a writer; practicing, learning, and making connections as I travel along. 

I hope you will join me as I constantly learn new and interesting things, discover new opportunities, and indulge myself in wonderful new reads. 

Photograph Phun!

First off, please excuse the revolting pun in the title! I couldn’t resist. These past few weeks the weather has been transitioning from disgustingly hot and humid, to pleasantly cool and breezy. One of my favorite evening activities is to snag my camera bag and head out to our gorgeous backyard. 

One of the best photography subjects I’ve encountered is my five goofy kittens. Yes, I said ‘five’. And, yes, I know I’m crazy. We have two boys and three girls, and I adore them! They are the cutest, silliest, most annoying things I have ever seen! And did I mention cutest

Happy Halloween!

As the temperature drops and the leaves start falling, it’s hard to resist the urge to snuggle up in your favorite blanket and pull out a good read. With October coming swiftly to a close, I thought it would be only fitting to snag a thriller from my shelf.

Widely known for his spooky tales, Robert Louis Stevenson is one of the creepiest authors is have ever encountered. I’m currently working my way through his collection of psychological thrillers.

“The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” is possibly his most-known short story. I’ve picked this book up off my shelf a least a dozen times, but I never got past the first two chapters. Each time I try, I get a little tingle in my spine and my stress levels spike. But I’m guessing that’s the kind of reaction an author like Stevenson would be proud of. 

Some of the other titles in this collection include, “The Suicide Club“, “Lodging for the Night“, “Thrawn Janet“, “The Body Snatcher“, and “Markheim“. I can tell just by reading the titles that this collection will not be suitable for bed-time stories! I can’t wait to jump into these spooky reads. I hope you all have a spooktacular Halloween! Happy reading!

What I’m Reading, What I’m Learning

Looking back, I cannot believe how much I read this month! With a whopping total of 10 titles! Here’s a peek at what I’ve been reading and discovering:

Crime And Punishment, by Fyodor DostoevskyDigging deep into the roots of human nature and modern psychology, Dostoevsky accomplishes the great feat of capturing the inner turmoil of a murderer’s desperate thoughts. Dealing with heavy topics such as suicide, the worth of a human life, and whether or not a man can truly transform and be a changed creature. 

Evil Under The Sun, by Agatha Christie. Once again, the Queen Of Mystery scores a ten-out-of-ten! Set on a secluded island hotel, this thrilling mystery will keep you on your toes, alert and waiting for Hercule Poirot to once again sniff out the murderer in the mix.

Cat Among the Pigeons and Murder In Mesopotamia, by Agatha Christie. Ok, so maybe I went a little overboard with the whole ‘Agatha Christie’ thing. I absolutely adored these books. Both were fantastic and entirely original. Stunning to the core!

Anne Of Green Gables and Anne Of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery. Anne Shirley. Fantastic, creative, imaginative, innocent, unique, red-haired, freckled-faced, beautiful Anne Shirley. Words cannot express how much I have fallen in love with sparkling Anne, and loyal Diana, and charming, chivalrous Gilbert Blythe. I delved entirely too deep into these books, allowing myself to get sucked into a world of flowers, and spring, and country cottages, and innocent school-girls. It was a lovely journey. 

Here are few more titles that I won’t fuss over too much: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley. Faro’s Daughter and Sylvester, by Georgette Heyer. The Fascinating Girl, by Helen Andelin. In Praise Of Stay At Home Moms, by Dr. Laura Schlessinger. 

I encourage you to share your thoughts on these titles down below in the comments. I would love to hear what you’ve been up to, what you’ve been reading, and learning about this month, and what thoughts have popped into your mind. As always, Happy Reading!

April Update

Spring is here! After months of freezing temperatures, puffy socks, and baking just to keep warm, it is finally here! And with it, flowers. Flowers! I have waited all winter for them and they’re finally here, popping out of the ground, springing up with vim and vigor!

April is sliding to a close and, looking back, it was pretty decent. I read well over ten novels, I registered all of my classes for Fall Term, and, as I’ve already mentioned, the flowers are here!

April went by fast. I feel as though I had so many fun experiences and accomplished so much in a short amount of time. But I also feel as though I let so many opportunities slip right through my fingers. Small, little opportunities in every-day life. Not saying ‘I love you’ to my family enough, not letting Jesus guide through every moment of every day.  

Overall, I am thankful. Thankful for the opportunities that I did have. Thankful for warm weather, and sunshine, and birds that sing. And, of course, thankful for the flowers!

Happy Easter!

Beyond the egg hunts, the chocolate-filled bunnies, and little kids dressed up in itchy church clothes, Easter is truly a holiday worth celebrating. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, was crucified, buried in a tomb, and has risen again. He is alive! And He is at work in all of our lives, whether we know it or not. He died for the sins of this world and has conquered evil. That is truly a reason to celebrate. 

I hope that you have a fantastic Easter weekend and know that God is crazy about you. He loves you just as you are, not as you should be. Happy Celebrating!

 

The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People

Have you ever felt as though tasks, appointments, and lists were just piling up around you, and, no matter how many time-management seminars you attended, you could never wrangle in your crazy life? Have you ever wondered why you go to work each day, every day, year after year and if it’s even making a difference? Have you noticed that your relationships with friends, with co-workers, and with family, have all seemed to go flat? 

Our society offers us ‘quick fixes’ to these common problems. They claim to know all the answers. But in truth, these ‘one and done’ solutions only temporarily fix the problems on the surface. The real problem lies deep within our personal self (as cheesy as that may sound, it’s true). It’s in our personality, in the way we perceive life and our role in it. 

Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective People, he presents what it looks like to live a ‘principle-centered life’.  He shares how living a life of integrity, fairness, and service can boost our self-esteem and help us accomplish our biggest goals and pursue our greatest dreams. He goes through 7 Habits that all influential and effective people have and use on a daily basis. These Habits include: Being Proactive, Beginning with the End in Mind, Putting First Things First, Thinking Win-Win, and Taking Time To Invest In Yourself. These are just a few of the amazing lessons of personal change that Covey shares in his powerful book. 

Maybe you’re not a fan of reading and a big, sophisticated book on personal change just isn’t up your alley. That’s totally fine! And I have great news for you: The Seven Habits Of Highly Effective Teens, written by Sean Covey (Stephen Covey’s son) has all of the same principles presented in a fun, entertaining way, along with easy step-by-step ways to apply them in your own life. 

I am super excited to plunge into this new read! I can’t wait to shift my paradigms, learn to be a proactive go-getter, and become the best me that I can possibly be (that wasn’t supposed to rhyme). I hope that you will swing by your local bookstore and join me on this new adventure as we learn to live freely and fully. 

If you have any questions for me or about The Supreme Optimist, don’t hesitate to hit the ‘Contact’ page and shoot me an email. I always respond and love conversation and making connections. Stay in the loop! Don’t forget to hit the ‘Follow!’ button down at the bottom of the page. Happy reading!

 

 

The Writing Routine

Making a routine is tough. Sticking to a routine is even harder. No matter how hard I try or will myself to get up, open the laptop, and start typing, I always have trouble staying consistent with my writing routine. I struggle to balance my crazy writer life with my hectic normal (well, slightly ‘normal’) life. After some research, I gathered a few tips to help create a killer writing routine.

The first step is to give up so that we can gain.

  • We need to be willing to give up our guilty pleasures: Netflix, Pinterest, Social Media, or anything that takes away our valuable writing time.

I have a huge problem with doing random research while I’m writing. As I’m typing, a thought or a question will pop into my mind and I’ll immediately leave my writing to go seek the answer on the Worldy Widey Web. I jump through bunny holes of useless information for hours!

The second step in creating an efficient writing routine is getting organized. Having to sit at a messy desk on a messy chair in a messy room is one fool-proof way to kill your creativity.

  • Keeping your notes in an organized binder/folder is key to having a clean workspace.
  • Don’t let papers, clothes, books, or garbage pile up on your desk.
  • Do a daily or weekly tidy to get things whipped back into shape.

By creating a clean workspace we are allowing our brains to work at optimal capacity and allowing ourselves to be the best writers we can be. 

Don’t be afraid to act, dress, and think like a professional. By getting up, taking a shower, and putting on pants (that’s right, yoga pants do not count!) we are creating a productive mindset for ourselves during our writing time.

Every once in a while, we need to change the routine up. By changing up ‘the norm’ we make our brains stay on track, eliminating useless thoughts and wandering thinking. 

  • Try working in batches. Set a timer for fifteen to thirty minutes and get out as many words as you can in that time frame. Once the time’s up, get up, stretch, and check your phone before your next word sprint. 
  • Eat something. Always keep light snacks at your desk and don’t forget your water bottle. By having these essentials close at hand, you eliminate extra excuses to get up and wander away from your laptop.
  • Make a choice. There comes a time when we have to choose between our different wants. I want to watch tv. I want to check social media. I want to eat ice cream. I want to become a writer. We have to pick what we want most and create priorities. 

By expelling excess distractions, keeping a clean workspace, and prioritizing, we can make and maintain a killer writing routine. Don’t forget to speak kindly to yourself and forgive your own mistakes. We’re gonna mess up, and that’s ok. We need to come to terms with the fact that we are valuable, we can write a fantastic story, and that we can accomplish the seemingly impossible. Happy Writing!