Dear Readers, As always, FOUR BOOKS, a self help article : When You Come To Help Me, a professional article: Kick Me Please, and a Cool Place to Go and a Cool Place to Eat. I’m a Florida girl from Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, and now Tallahassee, so I’ve traveled around the state quite a bit finding cool places. Enjoy, and Happy New Year, Rosanne
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THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS by David Rosenfeld. Defense lawyer Andy Carpenter usually tries to avoid taking on new cases at all costs. But this time, he’s happy—eager, even—to take the case that’s just come his way. Andy’s long-time friend Martha “Pups” Boyer takes in stray puppies that the local dog rescue center can’t handle, raises them until they’re old enough to adopt, and then finds good homes for them. Not everyone admires the work Pups does as much as Andy does, however. With Christmas just around the corner, one of Pups’s neighbors has just reported Pups to the city for having more than the legal number of pets in her home under the local zoning laws.
Set in post-apartheid South Africa, J. M. Coetzee’s searing novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-year-old professor of communications and Romantic Poetry at Cape Technical University. Lurie believes he has created a comfortable, if somewhat passionless, life for himself. He lives within his financial and emotional means. Though his position at the university has been reduced, he teaches his classes dutifully; and while age has diminished his attractiveness, weekly visits to a prostitute satisfy his sexual needs. He considers himself happy. But when Lurie seduces one of his students, he sets in motion a chain of events that will shatter his complacency and leave him utterly disgraced.
The Forgotten Coast of Florida contains the most beautiful beaches in the world. It also hides a secret. A viscous murder causes the area to lock doors; staying inside away from the glory of nature. Delicious Tupelo honey, the most desirable of the golden nectars, silently gathers in hives. Locals collect it lovingly as did ancestors before. Gulf County Detective, Sue Gibbs, also gathers something of worth. Slowly, she chips at family and friends as she gathers information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator. Even the revered ladies of the Panhandle Patriots, who know well secrets of the area, are not beyond scrutiny. These special ladies silently discover mysteries on yellowing sheets of crumbled paper from earlier generations. Detective Gibbs will find the killer regardless of consequences. This case will cause discussion for future residents. All of this waits for discovery on the Forgotten Coast.
SELF HELP: WHEN YOU COME TO HELP ME … Unknown
Do not tell me you know how I feel. Do not tell me what I need to do. Do not tell me I’m wrong. Do not rush me, because you don’t know where I am going. Do not take my burdens from me.
Tell me you are there and that you care. Ask me how I feel and then let me tell you how I feel. Let me express my anger, loneliness. And fear, and let me cry if I need to. Ask me if I want to be touched with a prayer, and then let me decide. When I say no, accept it. When I say yes, do it. Hear me, not only with your ears, but also with your heart. Let me feel your humanness and please be honest with me. I need to trust you. Care for me and let God cure me. If you do these things, we will both grow.
They say it pays to advertise. What do you tell others about yourself? I’m a klutz. I’m not good at math. I can’t’ walk and chew gum at the same time. I’ve always been overweight. I’ll never win any beauty contest. I never get things done. I just can’t keep a job.
Would you like to hear others say these things about you? No? Then why talk about yourself this way? You have strengths and talents, areas in which you excel. This means there are other areas in which you are not as accomplished. It does not mean weakness or failure. You need to focus on those things you do well. Realize, with learning and practice, there are many areas where you could find success, if you chose to put in the time and effort. After all, what is a weed, but a plant whose virtues have yet to be discovered?
You must be realistic and put things in perspective. Suppose you had a Ph.D. in finance. Do you think you could perform a root canal? How about brain surgery? After all, you are obviously intelligent and well educated. What’s the problem? You may be an outstanding accountant, but doing a root canal or brain surgery is not your area of expertise. It doesn’t mean you couldn’t do it. It means you do not have the education, experience, or interest in doing it. This same reasoning holds true for repairing your car, baking pies, using the computer, or playing the piano. You’re better at some things than others. Start advertising your strengths.
Write Your Own Script: Forget what you’ve been told by others; write your own script. The self-fulfilling prophecy is alive and well in life and it can work positively or negatively.
A positive life script could have developed in this manner. You received messages of love, encouragement, and support with expectations of success.
Let’s use athletics as an example. As a young child, you were told how strong you were, what big muscles you had, and how coordinated you were. Baby stories told with pride relayed how you walked early, rode your two-wheeled bike before starting Kindergarten, and did cartwheels on your seventh birthday. You were a natural in T-ball. Photos taken at every sporting event were proudly displayed, and sent to friends and relatives. When the time came for you to start high school, the expectation was you would join the soccer team and likely be MVP. If you were injured, it was viewed as a bump in the road to be overcome quickly, so you could continue to move up and on to greatness. You adopted and internalized this self-view as a competent and successful athlete.
As an adult, you continued to work out or jog three times a week. You befriended and associated with people who also enjoyed fitness activities. Your partner and coworkers commented on your lean physique, muscular build, broad shoulders, or small waist. You were motivated to fulfill and maintain your belief and reputation as a healthy, active athletic person throughout the course of your life and into old age.
This positive outlook was presented to you as a young child. It was perpetuated throughout your life by your own words and actions, which sent a positive message to others, who in turn reinforced your belief. Surely, as a child, you fell off your bike, missed the pitched ball, or didn’t make first string. These experiences were considered an exception to your usual performance. You were not punished or berated. You were encouraged to do better, urged to learn from it, and move on. These positive experiences, in a supportive environment, were internalized by you and created a positive self-fulfilling prophecy.
Sadly, a negative life script could have developed taking you and your worldview in a different direction. Acceptance and support from significant others in your life may have been offered with contingencies. Your life could have been based on “if/then” rather than on “unconditional regard.” You may have struggled for recognition based on performance. The message you received could have been one of worthlessness and rejection.
As a young child, you may have been criticized for trying anything new, especially if it did not have a successful outcome. Any misstep became an opportunity for criticism, shame, and blame. You were ridiculed when you fell off the two-wheeled bike. You were teased about your appearance. You were mocked for your grades in school. You became shy and grew up afraid and discouraged. New situations aroused anxiety and feelings of failure. You felt defeated before you began. You may have learned to approach life with trepidation and the expectation of failure or harm.
As an adult, in an effort to avoid judgment, you hesitated to be around others. You faded into the background at your place of employment to avoid criticism. You minimized your accomplishments and belittled yourself. You felt inadequate compared to your peers—personally, socially, financially, and vocationally. You sent these negative messages directly and indirectly to others and they obliged you by accepting them as true.
This negative personal assessment has been delivered to you since childhood. You have internalized it and now perpetuate it through your own words and actions. You tell others you’re not sure you can finish the project on time. You tell your family you may never have enough money for financial security. You tell people life is too hard and the world is a dangerous place.
You have assumed the victim position and expect to engage in lose-lose situations. You anticipate others taking advantage of you. Your negative self-image is firmly entrenched. You not only believe you are inept and incapable, but you offer that message to all those you meet. You may not have created your negative self-image, but you are supporting it and playing out your own negative self-fulfilling prophecy.
Our day-to-day lives may reflect the quote attributed to Job, “That which I greatly fear, has come upon me.” Whether positive or negative, that which we firmly believe, will surely come true.
This is an edited excerpt from a book by Dr. Valerie Allen, Beyond the Inkblots: Confusion to Harmony. Dr. Valerie Allen is a Licensed School Psychologist and Board Certified Case Manager. She has taught students from elementary school through graduate studies in the fields of education and mental health. She is a popular author of children’s books, short stories, fiction, and non-fiction. https://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/name/Valerie_Allen_EdD,NCSP,CRC,CCM_Melbourne_Florida_110345 Dr. Allen’s Fiction & Non-Fiction Collection
COOL PLACE TO EAT: Panacea: POSEY’S STEAM ROOM & OYSTER BAR: https://www.facebook.com/PoseysPanacea/ No frills, no phony décor, but the best darn seafood you are going to find at the right price! 1506 Coastal Highway, Panacea, FL 850-984-5243
COOL PLACE TO GO: Alachua: MUSIC JUNCTION easy going friendly music -playing faces. LEARN TO PLAY: GUITAR, BANJO, MANDOLIN, VIOLIN, FIDDLE, UKELELE, DULCIMER, AND HAMMER DULCIMER, PIANO/KEYBOARD. 14856 Main Street, Alachua, FL 32615, 386-462-1181 email@example.com https://www.facebook.com/musicmandownonmainst/