HOPE: MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER….

This morning, as I visited blogs and responded to those who visited my Bookish Friday, I noticed my One Word logo in the sidebar at Serendipity….and realized it has been a while.

Has HOPE carried me along on my journey this year?  Am I finding new optimism in my daily life?

Well, some of the time, but then there are times that I flounder and even throw up my hands in dismay.  Like when my skylight cover repeatedly fell during the big winds of this year; or when the wind destroyed my patio umbrella, requiring a new one…and then I had to find someone to set up the new one.

Yes, these are ordinary setbacks.  But in the past month, I have been fighting a skin irritation (allergic reaction to hair dye?), and right now I’m going through it again.  My daughter does my hair and didn’t test the dye this last time, since it’s the same brand she has always used.  But now she is doing some research…and I’m using the hydrocortisone recommended by the doctor…and my skin is on fire, still, but slowly cooling down.

I may have to let my hair go to its natural color, whatever that might be (gray?) until we find a solution.

Meanwhile, I am still reading and somehow, it does distract me enough…but I have to keep cold compresses close by, too, and wash and change the lotion every few hours.

This happened last month, too, and it took a full week to clear up.  I am HOPING that it will clear up sooner this time, but then, that’s just optimism.

My current read is He Said/She Said, by Erin Kelly, a NetGalley review book that has kept me twisted up as the story weaves the past and the present together, giving us bits of information as we move along.

 

Blurb: In the summer of 1999, Kit and Laura travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. Kit is an eclipse chaser; Laura has never seen one before. Young and in love, they are certain this will be the first of many they’ll share.

But in the hushed moments after the shadow passes, Laura interrupts a man and a woman. She knows that she saw something terrible. The man denies it. It is her word against his.

The victim seems grateful. Months later, she turns up on their doorstep like a lonely stray. But as her gratitude takes a twisted turn, Laura begins to wonder—did she trust the wrong person?

15 years later, Kit and Laura married are living under new names and completely off the digital grid: no Facebook, only rudimentary cell phones, not in any directories. But as the truth catches up to them, they realize they can no longer keep the past in the past.

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Just when I thought I had it all figured out, the author threw some more twists our way.

How scary is it to try to escape the world of “digital footprints”?  I tried to imagine living off the grid, and realized, along with these characters, that it is nearly impossible.

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I have two more NetGalley review books to be released soon:

Beach House for Rent, by Mary Alice Monroe, and The Breakdown, by B. A. Paris. (6/20/17)

 

Then Every Last Lie, by Mary Kubica, is on my shelf and will be released on 6/27/17.

 

 

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I am hoping to love each of these…and then it’s on to July, where I have three more books from NetGalley.  A busy summer ahead!

Now…if I can only stay free of skin allergies/infections…and broken things in the house…sigh.

Check out my new patio umbrella through the window.

 

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What is your One Word?  Are you keeping it in your sights on this journey through 2017?

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MY JOURNEY WITH HOPE…

Good morning, Blog World!  It has been too long since I wrote about my One Word, which, for this year, is HOPE.  (Today I’m linking up to Bookishly Boisterous, for my Bookish/Not So Bookish Thoughts).

I am still striving for balance (last year’s word), and hoping to achieve some of my goals for this year.  I’m reading from the Books I Buy, in a challenge, and have read and reviewed 23 so far.

My purchases keep adding to my shelves, with 20 books bought in January; 13 in February; and 4 in March…so far.

But…I think I’ve got this!  See, optimism, second cousin to HOPE.

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Let’s take a look at how it’s going in the other parts of my life:

My daughter is celebrating her marriage on April 1, at a nearby beach community (two hours away).  I have some things on my list, and so far, so good.  I found TWO possible dresses, and decided that one of them (the one my daughter likes best) would be for the wedding, and the other would be fun to wear for the reception (the next day).

Yesterday’s task:  Shoes.  I was hopeful, and went to a couple of shops in the nearby mall, and left very disappointed.  Then I recalled a DSW store even closer to me, and while I wasn’t all that hopeful…I was pleasantly surprised.  Not only was there a great selection, but the shop assistant was very helpful.  Something I didn’t find in the upscale stores I had tried first.

I found the shoes!  Now I just have to manage to stay comfortable enough all day.  Hmm.  You know how they seem comfy in the shop, and then, after a few hours of wearing them, your feet are screaming?  I hope that is not the case, or I’ll be walking around barefoot.

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Nails!  I found a nail salon two miles away with great reviews.  I knew I didn’t want to go all the way over to my daughter’s salon, as I’ll be having them done the day before.

Did I forget anything?  Oh, yeah, hair.  Well…my daughter did the color last week…and she could actually style it before the wedding, but I suspect she’ll be a little busy.  I’ve got this!

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Is HOPE guiding me in the rest of my life?  Am I trying to curtail my book buying compulsions…just a little bit, so I can finish the year with great numbers?  I’ve been bookmarking books I want to buy…and sitting on my hands to avoid that “click to buy” compulsion.  Sometimes it works.

 

 

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Currently, I am reading It Happens All the Time, by Amy Hatvany, a NetGalley review book, a provocative and compelling novel about two friends whose lives are changed by a drunken kiss.

 

 

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So, that’s it for today.  How are you doing with your One Word?  Does it follow you around, reminding you of what you vowed to do this year?

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A JOURNEY: UTILIZING MY ONE WORD IN MY DAILY LIFE…

hope-resized

Finding strength in my One Word, HOPE, is a journey.  Just like everything about this blog.  A journey through my interior life as I explore my feelings, my attitudes…and take actions.

Am I looking at life through the lens of hope as I explore?

I am finding that little things, seemingly, look different to me when I apply a hopeful attitude as I approach them.  Something minor, like deciding what books to read through new processes, like my TBR Jar (something I am trying this year).  My TBR Jar, created with a quirky little container, now holds all the “dusty TBR books” from 2014 and 2015, and the first half of 2016.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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My Read the Books You Buy Challenge – 2017 takes me on my hopeful journey through newer books, spotlighting those I acquired from July 2016-December 31, 2017.

So far, I’ve added 4 of those newer books in that category to my “read” list.

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There are many things in life we have no control over…like the things that other people do.  Our reactions, attitudes, etc., over which we do have control….can shine a ray of hope into our lives as we let go of the anxiety, fear, and resentment we might feel towards the “things we cannot change.”

Yes, a little bit of that old “serenity prayer” can help us in such situations.

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However, I am practical, and I like to focus on what I can change…and my reading and blogging are a good example of what I can change.  How I decide what to read, what to blog about, and even something as miniscule as my blog headers, layout, and background.

Which brings us to Bloggiesta.  This weekend, we are having a little mini-event, and I’ve already started working on my Serendipity blog, my focus for this blog party.

In my pictures folders, I have several sample headers and blog buttons ready to go.  Which to choose?  I am feeling hopeful that I will find one that makes me want to go to the blog and post reviews, events, etc.  One that might appeal to visitors as well.

Like I said…HOPE.

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What is your One Word, and how are you using it in your daily life?  Do you find it helpful?

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MY NEW ONE WORD: HOPE!

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It is time to renew my One Word!  Yes, January begins a whole new year, with more resolutions or vows to make.  Check in with Sheila, at Book Journey, to sign up.

Last year’s One Word was Balance, and while I made a little progress—baby steps!—I have more work to do.

 

 

balance

 

In the meantime, choosing a new One Word will not subtract from those ongoing efforts.

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As you have probably guessed from the image at the top of this post, HOPE is my new ONE WORD.  With so many unexpected changes in our lives, some I am struggling with, I am going to need all the HOPE that I can find.

I thought of the word as I was watching an interview between Oprah and Michelle Obama.  Hope was the theme of the last eight years for the Obama administration…and since some of us will be challenged by the next year’s events, I want to draw upon that hope.

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What are you choosing for your One Word…if you are selecting one?  What is your story?

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