Changing Things Up


Version 2

My goal, in writing this blog, is to keep things interesting and relevant, so I’m constantly assessing what posts people like and respond to.

He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.

-Harold Wilson

With that in mind, I’m changing my weekly updates on book challenge progress and turning them into monthly updates. If anyone was really looking forward to weekly updates, email me and we’ll talk, but I’m not seeing much engagement, and they’re certainly not one of my more popular posts.

Right now, I’m not planning to replace it with a new feature. I’m also changing to a Monday & Thursday blogging schedule.

I appreciate every single person who reads my posts. I love to read comments, and I enjoy opinions and discussion. Therefore, I encourage you to leave a comment or respond to someone else’s comment. But even if you’re just stopping by to read, thank you!

See you on Thursday!

What I Read This Week

Six Months, Three Days, by Charlie Jane Anders– This is a novelette, only about 26 pages, but those 26 pages are among the best I’ve read recently.  It’s about a couple.  He can see the future.  She can see multiple possible futures.  But they both agree that their relationship is going to end, badly, in six months and three days.  They get together anyway because they know that the good parts of the relationship are going to be really, really good.

I read rave reviews about this, and bought it because it seemed like an interesting, fresh premise.  I wasn’t expecting it to be actually as good as it was.  I figured that with both of them able to see the future, the story wouldn’t take me anywhere surprising, but it did.  Not only that, but it made me think.  I can’t wait to read it again so I can catch everything I missed the first time.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, by Jesse Andrews– This one has been on my TBR list for awhile, and I finally got around to it.  I liked it, but didn’t love it.  The narrator was likable and did self-deprecating well, but there were too many stereotypes in the book for my liking.

The “dying girl” seemed flat to me.  She wasn’t the main character, so I suppose she didn’t need to be as well developed as our narrator or Earl, but I don’t know much about her.  Maybe that was the point, but she was a title character in the book, and I didn’t much care about her.  She doesn’t really seem to have any friends until the narrator befriends her, and even then, her main characteristic seems to be that she thinks he’s funny.  And she likes posters of men who are old enough to be her father.

I get the point.  She’s a girl with cancer, and she doesn’t have to be funnier or more insightful than a normal kid.  Books seem to want to make these kinds of kids wonderful, as if dying builds character.

The problem is that she’s completely forgettable.  Even a “normal” girl has interesting things about her.  She was a symbol in this book, not a real girl, and because of that, I liked it less than I would have otherwise.

It’s worth reading, but I’m glad I got my copy from the library.

We Are Called to Rise, by Laura McBride– This is a multiple point of view book, and I very quickly found my favorites.  There’s only four, and they’re very different, so I had no trouble following the narration.

I really liked this book.  It’s slow getting started, but once it hits the “single, shocking moment” described on the cover, it’s like a thrill ride.  I couldn’t wait to finish and see how all these wonderful people were tied together.

The ending was one that left me with questions, has made me think, and want to discuss.  I loved how this book empowers the characters.  None of them are perfect, and their flaws are right out there in the open, but that only makes me like them more.    All of them are tested, and see what they’re really capable of.  All of them change by the end.  This isn’t a book with easy answers, and it’s one of the things that I loved, and frustrated me, about this book.

This one may be worth another read someday.

If you’ve read any of these books, and agree or disagree with my opinions, let’s discuss in the comments.

Feel Good Friday

When I first started this a few weeks ago, I have to admit that it took me some time to find positive news stories.  I consider myself to be pretty good at focusing on the positive, but since I’ve started this, the positive news stories are easier to find.  Since I don’t really believe that the world has become a more positive place, I have to believe that the change must be in me.  That as I always tell people, when you change your focus, you change what you see.

Police officer rescues “aggressive” dog.

Restaurant finds a solution to food waste.

Paralyzed dogs play fetch. 

There’s a real life Darth Vader Corvette!

There’s your good news for the week.

“In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.”
― Gordon B. Hinckley

Good News Fridays

Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix AZ; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

Desert Botanical Gardens, Phoenix AZ; Photo Credit: Doree Weller

It’s really easy to read bad news online.  If I judged the world by the news, I’d think that everyone was depressed, angry, criminal, animal and child abusing.  There’s simply a lot of bad news in the world.

I meet a lot of people in my job, and while many of them are angry and depressed, most of them don’t want to be that way.  I decided that I wanted to take time on Fridays to promote positive news stories, that showcase the way people really are (or want to be.)  I believe in treating people as you want them to act, so I try to focus more on positive news than negative.  Plus, it’s all about putting positive energy into the world.

In the Philippines, a young boy saves stray animals.

The Beagle Freedom Project saved 9 dogs from product testing.  (Yes, product testing on animals still exists; no idea why.)

A Starbucks barista is an artist in disguise, and gifts lovely drawings to nice customers.

Have a great Friday, and remember: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”  (Gandhi)

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

Sunrise, Cottonwood AZ; Photo credit: Doree Weller

Sunrise, Cottonwood AZ; Photo credit: Doree Weller

This is actually such an appropriate topic for me.  Last week, I changed jobs.  I used to work noon to 10, and I now work 8-4:30.  Talk about a culture shock!  I get up at 6 a.m., and it isn’t even light yet.  I believe that every morning so far, I’ve made a comment about getting up in the middle of the night.  Over my 4 day weekend, I made an effort to get up no later than 7.  I’m not a good sleeper, and I try to keep a schedule as close as possible.

One morning, I had to leave extra early, which I was less than pleased about, and I got to see a beautiful sunrise, which reminded me that there’s always something to be grateful for.  This isn’t that sunrise, but it’s still pretty.

Weekly Photo Challenge

Endings and Beginnings

Dead Horse Ranch State Park: Photo Credit Doree Weller

Dead Horse Ranch State Park: Photo Credit Doree Weller


“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.  The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.”  ~Harold Wilson

I’ve worked in Mobile Crisis for 3 years, and it’s time to move on.

That may not seem like a long time to most people, but this is a job where it’s not uncommon for people to do a ride along, or work one shift, and then never come back.  It’s clearly not for everyone, but it’s in my blood, and I love it.

I’m sad to move on.  The hours are awful.  I go into all sorts of homes, with bedbugs (and other bugs).  I stand outside in the intense heat, and sometimes the cold.  I also meet wonderful people.  People who are struggling, and they call because they don’t know what else to do.  I’ve met vets.  Mothers and fathers.  Children, teachers, doctors, lawyers.  I’m going to miss it.

I’ve been talking about moving on since the day I started.  You see, I’m a Licensed Associate Counselor, and in order to get my Professional Licensure, I need to have a certain type of supervision and a certain type of counseling experience.  Although we meet everyone with every type of issue in crisis, we don’t do intake assessments or treatment plans.  I can’t get my Professional Licensure if I stay.

I could stay at crisis.  It would be easy.  I love it there.  I love the people I work with, and especially the TV Guy.  I could see myself staying on at this job forever, but that would mean leaving my long term goals behind.  I didn’t want to wake up one day 20 years from now and wonder what happened.  I didn’t want to stay past when I was happy there.  Why wait until I wasn’t enjoying it anymore?

I think this sums up my feelings:

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.”  ~Anatole France

I have to buy new clothes.  Grown-up clothes, I’m calling them.  At crisis, we wore jeans or shorts and our uniform polo shirts.  At my new position, I’ll be wearing business casual.  I tried on dress pants, and I swear, they felt like pajamas.  Everything is going to be different.  Different clothes, different co-workers, different commute (shorter!), way different hours.

I don’t like change.  Change is hard.  But, I want the end result, so that means I have to do the work to get from point A to B.  So, I can choose to complain about it, or I can move forward, determined to enjoy the next leg of my journey.  No matter what, it’s a wild ride!