Posted in Encouragement

The Journey of Change

When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves. ~Viktor E. Frankl

One of my favorite sayings I like to quote is, “the only guarantee in life is change.”  People, as a whole, fight the idea of change because at some point in life, change became a bad thing.  As I sit here and contemplate all the changes I have had to deal with these past few weeks, I feel that instinctive fight against change.

I love change.  I never have viewed change as a bad thing, only the next level of my journey in life.  But the onslaught of the changes hitting when they did and are, is making me quite discombobulated.  Not in a bad way, but in a rough way, if that makes sense, Dear Bloggites.  The changes are good things and I have felt a new type of freedom from the changes that have taken place and a new anticipation of hope and happiness in the changes that are coming.

One of the great changes heading my way is a bittersweet change for the people involved.  That is the move for my son, Travis, and his wife, Tori and (of course) my Awesome GrandKiddos.  Travis and Tori have always said they were going to move from her home state of Kentucky to Texas.  Their journey was stilted and put to a standstill from this world we call life.  However, that stilting is coming to a halt and the move is going to happen.

Tori just received her first Travel Nurse assignment for her job she is taking in Texas.  This assignment is going to bring her and the kids to Texas while Travis stays back in Kentucky until their house sells.  The temporary separation of their family unit is a hard pill to swallow for them.  Their beginning years of their marriage had them separated while Travis served our Country in multiple countries and Tori work her nursing job in Kentucky.  They vowed to not separate their family unit after they finally were in the same home, in the same state, in the same country, at the same time…LOL

The vow of non-separation had to be taken off the table to help them reach their ultimate goal of living in Texas, and so it is going to happen.  Many tears are being shed, both of Joy and Sadness, but they know it is what they need to do to reach their goal and they are willing to do it.  My hat is off to them.  I know how hard it was on them the first go-round and it is going to be, in a sense, worse this go-round.  But, I am determined to make sure Tori and the kiddos are occupied enough to not think too much about it until Travis is back home with them in Texas.

Another great change that is going to happen is that my Bestie, Tracy, is going to be a grandmother for the second time but it will be her first time active duty as a grandmother.  Her daughter is pregnant and due in a few months and Tracy is going to help Steph with the baby while she is at work.

These two upcoming events will land Tracy and me into a new level of our lives-full time grandparenthood…LOL  I am so excited to see my GrandKiddos on a regular basis.  I cannot wait to teach them more bad habits to drive Mommy and Daddy crazy, hehehe. 😀  One thing Tracy and I were unable to do because of our life circumstances was have our children grow up around each other (I have known Tracy since 1982) but it looks like we will be able to enjoy watching our grandkids grow up around each other.

The Journey of Change is not a bad thing, but it can be a rough thing.  The one thing I do know, as change happens and once it is done, my world; your world, will be that much more than it was on a new level of you in your life.  Embrace Change-embrace the pain, embrace the blessing, embrace the bumps, and embrace the joy.  Embrace Change, because it will always embrace you!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Kindness Of Strangers (Penniless Across America) by Mike McIntyre

“I’ve never understood what people mean when they say they have to find themselves.  We know who we are.  The hard part is being that person.  It’s always so much easier to be someone else.” ~Mike McIntyre, The Kindness of Strangers

The Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyreToday was our Broads & Books Book Club Meeting.  The book we discussed  is The Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyre.  The theme of the book captured me right away.  I always try to see the kindness in others and I believe people are inherently good.  This book is a non-fiction work about the author, Mike McIntyre, who decides to face his fear of life in general by quitting his job and traveling across the United States with no money and being wholeheartedly dependent upon the kindness of strangers on his journey.

I believe the biggest factor with fear is a lack of knowledge and understanding on the subject that causes the fear in you.  Mike McIntyre decided to conquer his fear that has ruled his life by becoming completely dependent upon strangers.  The author leaves his job, girlfriend, and the city he lives in for the unknown world of America.  The leap of faith Mike McIntyre took in trusting that he would find kindness from strangers along his journey is a big leap.  He is dependent upon unknown people who are willing to show kindness to make this journey a success.  Great concept, right?  Sounds amazing, yes?  Well it is not, at least not in the way the author has written this book.

The book, The Kindness of Strangers (penniless across America), left me feeling disappointed.  Throughout the book, I just felt like I was reading the notes from the author that he took because the stories he told in the book were written with a detachment by the author.  He seemed to have no connection with the stories that he told aside from witnessing them.  I felt the author exuded a bit of an ego and kept with his stereo-typical assumptions of people that he has formed throughout his life.

There were only a few moments of epiphany that the reader felt in the book, but those moments were few and far between.  There were moments of brilliant writing and statements in the book, however, I think the author damaged his story by looking through his journalistic lens instead of actually living in the moment of the experiences he came across.

This story does help open the reader’s eyes to a different world that they may not be familiar with and does help give a little hope for the people in this world.  A hope that not all we see and hear is evil and crap in the world.  There are truly kind people who would not think twice about assisting a stranger that is in need.  I like this fact because all too often people have a jaded view of the world we live in and it saddens my heart.  I love the world I live in and appreciate the people I have the pleasure of coming across along my own personal journey in life.

I give The Kindness of Strangers by Mike McIntyre 1 out of 5 Bookmarks, Dear Bloggites.  I do not recommend this book for you to read.  Hopefully his other written works are better than this one.

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: Anti-Social Media by Kate Beth Heywood

“What a sad state of affairs when I think of a fat pigeon as a friend.” ~Constance (in Kate Beth Heywood’s Anti-Social Media novel)

Anti-Social Media by Kate Beth HeywoodAs all of you know, I love learning of new writers and strive to read at least their debut novel to promote them.  Today’s book review is on a novelist that is a fellow blogger and writer.  Her name is Kate Beth Heywood and the book I am going to review is her debut novel called Anti-Social Media.

After reading a few of Kate Beth Heywood’s blog posts, I decided to give her book a whirl.  I am so glad that I did!  The book is written about an aspiring scriptwriter named Constance.  The quote above is a good example of the quirky personality of the character.  Constance decided one day that she was done with living life in a “normal” 9 to 5 work day and quit her job (against all odds) to pursue her dream of being a scriptwriter.

In the book, Anti-Social Media, you will find humor in each character and the all-knowing pull of social media and how it impacts people’s lives, be it positive or negative.  Due to an accidental follow by a current popular actress on Twitter, Constance is all of a sudden thrown into a world of high publicity all over the social media world.  This attention causes a lot of pressure and stress on Constance.

While Constance realizes the great opportunity this attention could give her, she also realizes the negative impact the social world has in a person’s life.  Anti-Social Media by Kate Beth Heywood is a great and easy read.  The novel is written well for the most part.  As all new aspiring writers go, Kate Beth Heywood did a wonderful job with characters that were multi-dimensional with only minimal sentence errors.  The author has an uncanny ability to fill the pages in her book with real life characters that suffer from the same weaknesses we all do in life when it comes to our abilities, challenges, opinion of others, and just life in general.

This is a definite read for all types in the world.  Each person will be able to relate to the challenges of social media in the storyline as well as the impact social media has in our lives on a daily basis.  Before the creation of the internet and social media, people only had to deal with their actual peers they met in person throughout their lives; however, in the world of social media, people have to deal with not only their peers they see in person, but an entire world of unknown faces that live their lives to destroy others because they have nothing better to do or because it gives them an ill-gotten sense of judgement over those they attack online.

I give Anti-Social Media by Kate Beth Heywood 5 out of 5 Bookmarks, Dear Bloggites!  Go order yourself a copy today.  Kudos, Kate Beth Heywood, I look forward to your next novel! 🙂

~4-Ever, P