Honoring Promises

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I had a wonderful friend who was roughly 40 years older than I am.  Her name was Millie and she lived across the street from me.  A few years after I met her she became my unofficial mother due to family problems.

Millie was always there with solutions to issues, a shoulder to cry on, or most importantly, a good story and a laugh.  My children loved to go visit Millie to “help” her with her chores, read, or just be with her.  She was a special person, and the closest thing to a grandmother they had.  We often talked books, characters and plots.  She was an avid reader also, and we were always comparing books and authors.  Eventually Millie became very sick with ALS, and died.  Since she was a fan of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Series, one of her regrets was that she wouldn’t live long enough to finish the series.  Since her children didn’t read, she wanted me to read the entire “Kinsey Series” as she called it as a remembrance to her.

Y is for Yesterday

This task took me longer than I’d like to think about to complete.  I was always looking for ways to avoid it.  For one thing, I’d have to completely understand that she was gone, and not just away at the hospital, and this was something that took me a long time to get through.  For another thing, Sue Grafton hadn’t finished the series, and not only that, she was taking a long time to do so.  Finally, about two years or so ago, I decided I’d start the series and read it over a period of time, planning on finishing whenever the last novel was published.  This was not to be, since as all of us Sue Grafton fans know, the alphabet ends at “Y”.  (For those of you who don’t read Sue Grafton, she died in 2017 from cancer without finishing her series.)  So, for now, we’re all left wondering what did become of Kinsey Millhone?  I’ve put my imagination to work and come up with a few theories, but the truth is, we probably never will know.

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Sue Grafton

Honoring promises is important.  One reason for my not doing this sooner was fear that if I did finish, my memories of Millie would fade.  Yes, that is nonsensical, I know.  But, once I started the series, I was so glad.  The character of Kinsey Millhone has been an exciting one to get to know.  She’s added a lot to my life, and I often think about her.  Not only does Sue Grafton live on, but my wonderful friend and surrogate mother lives on as well.  Thank you, Millie, for this last gift.

 

 

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A Positive Outlook

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If you tend to dwell in negativity that is all that you will find.  Looking for the best in life will force you to find it.  We do tend to find what it is that we’re looking for, after all.  I know this can be difficult (I too have spent way too much time in negativity), but remember, if you change your focus, you can change your life.

When times are hard, look at what is going right and build positivity from there.  Life is never just one thing.  Positive and negative both surround us, but if you focus on the good things it will give you the strength to overcome the negative.

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Never Make Yourself Smaller

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Don’t allow other people to make you smaller or “less than” what you are.  It’s so easy to make yourself smaller in order for someone else, who you love, to feel better about themselves.  After all we tell ourselves, it’s because we love them that we become smaller.  Why shouldn’t we help someone we love feel better about themselves?

However, it’s not up to us to become smaller, “less than”, to make someone else feel larger.  Our beliefs in ourselves matter also.  If someone insists that you need to be smaller, it’s a large indicator that they really don’t have your best interests at heart.  It’s not up to us to be “less than” so someone else can feel “more than”.  A true friend will celebrate who and what you are, not make you feel smaller.  Someone who professes to love you will never ask you to make yourself smaller.  No matter how difficult, be true to who you are.

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Summer is for Reading!

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As you all know, this has been a summer of record highs all over the world.  Basically, there have been fires on almost every continent this year, and just about everyone has suffered from the heat and humidity.  As a person who really dislikes both heat and humidity, and does not have air conditioning, I’ve been surviving by getting my heavy work done in the morning, and sitting in front of a fan while reading in the afternoon and night.  Much as I love to read, and I’ve been able to read a lot, but I’d prefer to be comfortable.

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So, my belief that not only is that summer for reading, but every other season is for reading, too! I’ve gotten through a record number of books this summer thanks to the heatwave and humidity.  What have you done to get yourself through this extremely hot and humid summer?

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Christopher Robin and Me

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I recently went to see the movie Christopher Robin.  It was wonderful, and I loved it.  I’ve also got another part of this whole Hundred Acres Wood thing going on, though.  When my mother was pregnant, she was told that I was a boy because my heartbeat was so strong (once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away), so my dad decided my name would be Christopher Robin since he loved the A.A. Milne books as a child.  As you can imagine, it was a bit of a surprise when I was born without the requisite “boy parts”.  Needless to say, my parents were in a bind since they hadn’t come up with any girl names.  Not to put too much of a fine point on it, I was named Christine, since it’s the closest girl’s name to Christopher.

I have always loved the Winnie-the-Pooh books, and being a lonely child, I spent countless hours exploring the Hundred Acre Woods with Pooh, Piglet, Tigger, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Owl and Eeyore.  I had a wonderful childhood spent in fantasies that were altogether real.  What were your favorite playmates when you were young?

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Eggshells and You

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I just wanted to post this quote I found for those of you who are dealing with hyper-critical family members.  One of the terrible things about being criticized for everything you do, is how it dismantles your sense of self.  Remember when someone is belittling you, it says more about them then it does you.  No matter how hard it may be, look within for your sense of self, stand tall, and even if you have to dance in the shadows, dance.

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Where Thoughts Go, Energy Flows

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This is just a little reminder for you.  Try not to fill your brain up with negativity.  Even though negative thoughts are so easy, don’t be tempted to dwell on them. While we all know that it’s easier to think about how terrible a problem is, the only way to change it is to think of a solution.

While not every problem has a solution, sometimes the solution is to simply stop dwelling on the problem.  In life, there are always going to be things that we can’t change.  We can’t change someone else, so a solution is to stop dwelling on their behavior and think about something you can change – like not letting what they choose to do and say bother you.

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Of course, this is hard – negativity (complaining, dwelling on situations) is so much easier than positivity, and finding a solution.  Remember, it’s a process.  Like anything, it will take you quite a while to focus your energy on what you can do.  Put your thoughts toward positivity and see how it changes your life.