Saturday, March 13, 2021

The Sunday Salon: One of My Three Good Things is Three Good Things

 




My emotions are like a yo-yo these days. I get my first vaccine and I feel optimistic. Then our state leadership opens everything back up, and I am in the pits of despair. I start hearing about more people being able to get shots and I begin to feel more hopeful...Then I hear that our library is opening up completely, even the 100-person meeting rooms, no masks required, and none of the staff has yet been vaccinated, and I see red and write angry emails to the head of the library and the county commissioners who made the decision and our governor...

Do you have any useful ideas for me to keep from these wild fluctuations of mood?






Dusk Night Dawn: On Revival and Courage by Anne Lamott (Author Event)
A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Foster (1001 Children's Books)
One Hundred Poems from the Japanese edited by Kenneth Rexroth (Japanese Literature Challenge)






The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett (Mood-Boosting Books)

Yes, and...Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr (Daily Meditation Reading)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri (Chapter-a-Day Read-Along)

All Things Wise and Wonderful by James Herriot (Mood-Boosting Books)

The Makioka Sisters by Junichiko Tanizaki (Japanese Literature Challenge)

Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson (1001 Children's Books)

The Little Book of Lent (Daily Reading During Lent)








Three authors came (virtually) to Houston last week. British author Kazuo Ishiguro spoke via Inprint about his newest book, Klara and the Sun, on Sunday night. Babette Fraser Hale, wife of longtime newspaper columnist Leon Hale, spoke for her ailing almost-centenarian husband about his new book, See You On Down the Road, on Wednesday via Brazos Bookstore.  Author Anne Lamott spoke about her new book, Dusk Night Dawn, on Thursday via Brazos Bookstore.







During National Poetry Month in 2020, the Academy of American Poets asked readers to share a poem from its Poets.org collection that helped them find "courage, solace, and actionable energy." The month culminated in a Shelter in Poems live event










Good Thing #1:  3 Good Things
I signed up for a "pathway to happiness" using Greater Good in Action three weeks ago.
Look at what my practice is for Week 3.

Good Thing #2: Our Second Vaccine
We were able to get our second vaccine last week, and a sore arm was our only side effect.
We will be fully immunized on March 24th. Happy Day!



Good Thing #3: 2021 Picture Books
I started reading picture books for the 2021 Cybils. I know, I know, it's a bit early. The three books I read last week were all very good: Eyes That Kiss in the Corners; Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena and Christian Robinson; and Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell. 

And, listen, you do not need to have a physical child in your life as an excuse to read picture books. Picture books are for all ages





I'm happy you found your way to the Sunday Salon. Sunday Salon is a place for us to link up and to share what we have been doing during the week. It's a great way to visit other blogs and join in the conversations going on there. 

Some of the things we often talk about at the Sunday Salon:

  • What was your week like?
  • Read any good books? Tell us about them.
  • What other bookish things did you do? 
  • What else is going on in your life?

Other places where you may like to link up over the weekend are below. Click on the picture to visit the site.


My linkup for Sunday Salon is below. 

81 comments:

  1. I can imagine your frustration. Here the vaccination goes on very very slowly. Started with the capital city province and it is not complete but getting there. The masks, the sanitizing, the writing down of information at banks - Name, address, Identity Card No, Telephone number is a must for contact tracing. No one should grudge the inconvenience as against the bigger picture. We are opening up hotels but they categorized for tourists and locals separately. Tourists cannot leave the hotel, can use contained beaches all facilities and that's it. They were allowing tours to places of interest, where the whole area was cleared other than for the tour group but I don't know whether that is allowed now. Hopefully we will get over this.

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    1. I'm not sure I'd allow Texans to visit your beautiful country.

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  2. Oh, I'm with you. I'd be writing letters like that, too. I can understand a large library carefully opening, monitoring attendance, all that, if the viral levels in the area are low. But no masks? Meeting rooms? I think not. I'd be writing letters too. (On the other hand, I freak out when I contemplate going to a store. So maybe I'm not the best person to weight in with an opinion. On another note, I'd love to hear Anne Lamott.

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    1. It's not like me to strike out, but when it comes to public safety and making foolish decisions, I'm holding public officials accountable.

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  3. No I’m afraid I don’t have any ideas, I’m suffering too. My daughters go back to school next week for only one day with vastly reduced class sizes but in three weeks time the entire school goes back. What will change in three weeks. I’m dreading it. Our lockdown hasn’t been lifted yet and cases are still popping up.

    On the plus side the sun is shining and it’s getting warmer!

    Have a good week.

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    1. The only solution for us has been to isolate ourselves, and that has been mentally stressful.

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  4. I used to enjoy Leon Hale's columns back in the day and it's good to know that he's still with us and still writing.

    I have Kazuo Ishiguro's new book on my Kindle and am looking forward to reading it in the near future.

    The best thing about my week has been that I've spent much of it working in my garden, mostly doing cleanup from the freeze so far, but I am heartened to see most of my plants waking up and coming back to life again. Apparently it takes more than 9 degree weather to do them in. In the coming week, I'm hoping to actually get in some new plants and get them into the ground. Spring has sprung!

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    1. I was shocked yesterday to see that my azaleas are blooming. I'll post a picture next week.

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  5. I don't understand opening everything 100% AND not enforcing a mask mandate. Makes no sense to me :( I have grown to love picture even more as I've gotten older :)

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  6. Deb, I'll email you later on my thoughts about the library as I work at one. But focusing on the good things helps.

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  7. Deb, I can understand why you have mixed feeling of all that is happening around you. Our state is moving cautiously but, the teachers union is livid about a return to school in person in April yet, teachers/staff have not been given vaccine priority by the governor. We will both be fully vaccinated by 4/2 but will be proceeding with caution despite a move in the right direction.

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    1. It doesn't make sense to open schools before teachers and staff have been vaccinated.

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  8. I so know where you are coming from. Our state is fully opened, too. They just expanded the vaccines to include our age group, but it's going to be crazy trying to get an appointment. I'll be up first thing on Monday trying. Still, it's very scary with everything being open. For some reason my moods go up and down. I don't know if it's because of the virus or what it is. I try to read but my mind tends to wander. Hopefully things will calm down for all of us.

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  9. I just posted that my husband's job has brought us to Florida, where there hasn't been a mask mandate since sometime in the fall. Or maybe ever? I'm unclear. After spending the entire pandemic in cautious California and Oregon, "culture shock" doesn't even begin to describe my state of mind. And everyone I know is a healthcare worker or over 65. They're all vaccinated and ready to come for a visit but I'm not vaccinated and probably won't be for months (An unemployed healthy 42-year-old is not on anyone's priority list). I'm struggling with how to handle that. I know the CDC says it should be fine but that doesn't mean I'm personally ready for it. Not to mention that I've been a hermit and only interacted with my husband for a year now and his cousin and his wife for 3 months while we were in California. My emotions are all over the place too. I think re-opening is going to be hard for those of us who've taken this seriously, in ways we might not expect.

    Congratulations on your second vaccine! I'm glad you were able to attend your virtual author events.

    Enjoy your week!

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    1. It's terribly confusing, and it has been beyond emotionally upsetting.

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    2. Jen, I live in Florida and although there isn't a State Mandate, there have been city and county-level mandates. Where I live there is a mask mandate.

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    3. Right now, our state attorney general is challenging a city mandate for masks in the courts. Sigh.

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  10. I totally understand your frustration Deb. I will be getting my first shot on Tuesday and I know people think once I get it, I can start visiting and going out etc. That is definitely not going to happen. I realize it doesn't help, but if you can't change it, don't stress over it. It will only hurt you. I like that you wrote letters to express your concerns. It is so hard, especially when I hear that over 40% of the people working in our long-term care homes refused to get vaccinated. Keep looking for the good things.

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    1. Over 40% of people working in long-term care homes refuse to get vaccinated? This world! It's beyond me.

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  11. It must be so frustrating. I am fortunate to live in a state with a governor who is at least trying, even if the local officials and many residents take a more lackadaisical if not outright defiant attitude. I'm so tired of the emotional ups and downs. I wish I had some advice to offer. Just know you are not alone in how you are feeling.

    I am so glad you loved The Girl of the Limberlost. I really need to re-read that one again. It was one of my favorites when I was growing up, and one of the few books I have re-read over and over--just not in recent years.

    I hope you have a good week. Take care and stay safe.

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    1. It is comforting to know that I am not alone.

      And Girl of the Limberlost is such an optimistic story. Glad I read it.

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  12. Hi there dearest Debbie! I hear your frustration my friend. Come and pay a visit to Africa. Our biggest problem with spreading the virus is people not wearing masks (or wearing it in their hands) and not practicing social distancing. Most Africans have not clue what a "personal bubble" is, never mind 1.5 meters social distancing! LOL!! For the angry letter writing - read Your Perfect Year by Charlotte Lucas. It's light and fluffy and will make you chuckle.

    I've seen the new book by Kazuo Isighuro, Klara and the Sun is out. Please let me know if you've read it and if you've enjoyed it!

    I can't tell you much this week, been hectic. But holidays are just on the horizon.

    Take care of yourself and have a good week!

    Elza Reads

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    1. I keep waiting for Klara and the Sun to arrive in my mailbox, but maybe I should get on the list at the library. Thanks for the recommendation, Mareli.

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  13. I had a rough week emotionally as well. It's been a long year. I keep telling myself I just have to keep on keeping on, doing the things that I know keep us as safe as we can. Maybe start and your day with some yoga, a cup of coffee or tea (or wine) outside in the sun or sunset - small little rituals to ground you and make you feel better. When the world gets too big, I tend to focus on the smaller things I can control. :)

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  14. Congrats on getting your second vaccine! I’m still trying to figure out when I can get my first. The next vaccine phase in my state includes essential government employees, so I’m crossing my fingers that I’m essential enough to make the cut.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  15. I mentioned last week how crazy I thought the decisions your governor made. You also mentioned spring break.
    It is spring break here but few people will be travelling. The Canadian government shut down all flights to the Caribbean and Mexico in January until April. The Canada-US border remains closed except for essential travel. I'm sure some people will find ways to break the rules.
    Our non-essential stores only opened this week to 25% capacity. Nothing else is open here in Toronto. No restaurants, no salons, no gyms, no nothing. Libraries are opening but with limited services and masks must be worn.
    We are slow with the vaccine rollouts but all in time.

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    1. I'm proud of the Canadian government for taking a strong leadership role.

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  16. I understand your feelings. I am glad your first vaccine and that you are hearign good news about the numbers of vaccination. But it is sad to hear that all the restrictions are off and people are cramping it up. Stay safe please.

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  17. I am so glad you are now fully vaccinated. It is a good feeling, isn't it? I feel frustrated for you and for others in states that are foolishly behaving. That is how I see their behavior, anyway.

    Hang in there and keep doing what you've been doing in spite of them.

    My moods go up and down, too, especially since our residence is soooo restricted. For our own good, I think, but I want to scream sometimes. Instead I go watch a movie...and then add up the positive things about being here in spite of the limitations.

    Stay safe!

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  18. i feel the same, so i don't have much of a suggestion. wishing you the best. stay safe

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  19. I just don't understand how some states are just opening everything. It is scary. I become shot eligible on Maech 29 and can't wait.

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  20. Glad you were able to see these authors give a talk. I'm always even more inspired to read books from authors after seeing them virtually and I had a chance to talk to a few earlier this week as they talked about building a brand for themselves.

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  21. Did you enjoy the three virtual author talks? Did any of their talks make you want add their new books to your TBR?

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    1. All three. I am still waiting for Klara and the Sun to arrive, though.

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  22. P.S. Our library here in Arkansas has been opened for months...was it last summer it reopened? BUT I've never seen more than one or two other people in there at the same time as me, even BEFORE COVID, so small towns have their advantage, I guess. I can understand that in a city the size of Houston it's a MUCH bigger deal. Hang in there and I think writing letters of frustration help.

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    1. When our library is open, the place is full. And many people disregard masks and social distancing. And that's my worry.

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  23. Your frustration is easy to understand - what is Texas thinking?! (probably the same thing Florida has been thinking all along) Thankfully, our island does have a mask mandate. The library is open, but not meeting rooms. They still offer curbside pickup, so that is how I'm getting physical books. My husband got his second shot, but we had to drive 3 hours to Tampa. I was lucky to get an appointment that is only 2 hours away... not sure why there is such a shortage in our part of the state. Hang in there, Deb.

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    1. Fortunately, I'm surrounded by counties with lots of people, so we actually were able to get a vaccine easily and close to home.

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  24. I can understand why you would be upset. I don't know what some of these people are thinking.

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    1. I've been completely shocked with the thinking of many people. Some of these folks need to go back to school.

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  25. I'm afraid I'm not much help as the only way I've kept my sanity is more of a head in the sand philosophy except when it comes to elections. I've actually been relatively pleased with how my county is handling opening up. Our library is opening up but limited capacity and masks required. I know there are people who depend on that for computer use so I'm glad of that. I hope this week is a better one for you.

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    1. You are right. Many people depend upon the library for internet.

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  26. So glad you're both vaccinated, terrific! Not sure how to deal with your no mask state -- I share in your frustration. I can't imagine going to a grocery or store without a mask, hmm crazy. It's great these author events you heard .... I'm curious about Ishiguro's book & Anne Lamott's new one. I loved her book Book by Bird. But that's the only one I know. Which is your favorite of hers? Cheers.

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    1. I love all of Anne Lamott's books, though I'd say that the last few are mostly restatements of Traveling Mercies. Lamott is vulnerable, alternately pessimistic and hopeful, and laugh-out-loud funny.

      I'm eager to read Klara and the Sun.

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  27. I love your three good things, especially the poetry event. Thank you..

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    1. I want to go through the poetry event and find copies of all my favorite poems.

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  28. I cannot believe the library is going to allow mask-less and full capacity! That is unreal. I haven't been to our local library since the start of the pandemic but this makes me wonder what they are up to. Thank goodness you guys got your second dose! Even though Austin has gone to stage 3 restrictions, I'm still acting as if we were at 5. We only go out to the grocery store and luckily both my husband and I can still work from home. I hope your reads bring you much comfort!

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    1. It's shocking, isn't it? And the library staff? Unvaccinated, as of yet.

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  29. I can't think of any useful ideas to help you with your mood swings other than try to get out in nature for a few minutes every day. It always calms my mind if I can go for a walk, even for just 5 or 10 minutes. I understand your frustration and I guess I would probably just try to do everything in my power to keep myself and my family members safe. Double-masking, limited time in the grocery store, etc. I'd avoid any public areas until your state gets its act together. Sigh. It doesn't need to be this difficult, but the powers that be seem to have their heads in the sand (or elsewhere...).

    I'll bet the Anne Lamott event was a good one. Her books are so inspiring!

    Hooray for your second shot. We'll get ours in a little less than four weeks. Only sore arms with the first one.

    Your 3 Good Things coincided nicely with your Greater Good in Action practice. :)

    Big hugs to you, Deb.

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  30. I would be so frustrated if my state was opening up the way Texas is! And I agree that this is all an emotional roller coaster, but mostly up these days as so many people I know are getting vaccinated. I am pleased to hear you didn't have much of a response to your second injection as mine will be around April 1.

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    1. Apparently we older people react to shots less strongly than younger people because our immune systems are not vigorous. So, in a way, it's better to have a strong reaction. Maybe.

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  31. I wish I had some sage advice to offer. I want you to know that I admire your stance, and that you have taken action in an attempt to effect change.
    While we are essentially COVID free here, our government made lots of promises about how quickly the vaccine roll out would happen, only to walk back every single one. At the latest guesstimate it will be 2022 til I’ll be able to get mine given I’m not in any of the priority groups.

    Wishing you a great reading week

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    1. It says something good about your government that you are essentially COVID free.

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  32. It is hard and I think part of the problem is that we have 50 states and everyone is doing things differently. For example my state was pretty strict on lockdowns and what not whereas Florida, say, is just wide open! Part of being such a big, diverse country I guess but it seems more chaotic than smaller countries. Like it's harder for us to come together in some ways? I don't know.

    Anyway hang in there! Congrats on the vaccines. Hopefully we see light at the end of this very long tunnel...

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    1. I feel at times as if the two political parties are actually at war with each other. I'd like to see us get along. Go stand in the corner and don't come out until you can talk nicely to each other, I want to say.

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  33. Oh, I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I also get frustrated when places open back up, despite the fact that the virus is still going on. I just wish that more precautions are made about this situation.

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  34. Oh.. that is bad.. we are still reopening very slowly here in the bay area..
    and I love that good thing #1 totally!

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  35. This is unbelievable ! In GB, they vaccinated 20 million people, here in France, during the same period : 3 million... I'm still waiting for an injection myself and I hear we could go back to lockdown again (or not). This wouldn't change much for me, I've been working mostly from home for the better part of a year, now, and the curfew has been on for months. I long for some normalcy... Let's be patient and meditate until we get there *hugs*

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  36. I wish I had a coping trick to share with you. My work keeps sending me vaccination sites and encouraging us to get the vaccine but as you know, I have to wait for 4/6 until my shingles shot is out of my system enough to not cause me to react poorly to the COVID vax. At the top of the year my campus was hinting at us returning in the fall but now with this push... I feel as if they are expecting us back sooner, possibly early summer. I am not in the right frame of mind for that. I need two months of knowing so I can ease into it. At least.

    People here are acting like everything is back to normal. Large crowds everywhere. Restaurants packed. Now when I go walking hardly anyone has a mask on and no sign of one on their person either. At times I am perfectly fine but then get so antsy. Our libraries haven't said what their plans are yet.

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    1. It's odd, but most people have become more personally vigilant after the mask rule was lifted. So that's an unexpected side benefit.

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  37. Feel for you, it does seem strange that they opened things up for your State really too soon I'd suspect. Probably pressure from business people. All you can do I guess is do what you know is best for you and those close. And hope everyone does.

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  38. I so understand Deb. We are still waiting for our vaccines and everything is opened up. We went to pick up curbside at a restaurant Saturday and the parking lot looked like it did pre-covid. And of course cases are up again. Hugs.

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  39. Our "leaders" are not showing good leadership skills!!!!

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  40. I have those wild mood swings, too! Sometimes within the space of a few minutes. I work in a public library and we will be dropping our curbside pickup days and be open for the public to come in five days a week starting after this week, but we will be keeping social distancing measures (e.g. plexiglass at the service desks, no seating, no in-person programs) and there is still a mask order in effect. For now! In Massachusetts, library workers were not included in the priority service industries, even though many of us have been working with the public for quite a while now.

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  41. I'd be frustrated too by all that news - esp the library opening with no masks required. Then why were they closed all along? Could have stayed open... I'm mad.

    I love the 3 good things! I have tried gratitude journaling (not exactly the same thing but close enough) but I wasn't getting the full benefit from it. I think I was doing it when tired and done with the day and that was part of it. I may need to find a way to bring something similar back.

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    1. The three good things (or, on some days, the single good thing) is a helpful practice for me.

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  42. Oooo I'm jelly that you went into a bookstore!!! That must've been an amazing feeling. Did you cry tears of joy? :-)

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Please share your thoughts.