The September theme is about how we rush through life. We spend most of our time “doing” rather than “being”. Some of us must do everything “right” but neglect doing the right things. I’ve selected books to help us get back to what matters. Of course I always include a little fiction and non fiction MURDER! A little self-help about stopping useless habitual behavior. A serious article about why are middle class Americans so darn angry. And finally a cool place to go in Tallahassee and a cool place to eat in Gainesville. Enjoy, Rosanne
1. 4 SEPTEMBER BOOKS FOR SEEKERS
4 – COOL PLACE & COOL FOOD
When All You’ve Ever Wanted is Not Enough by Harold Kushner Why is it that, after attaining many of our goals, we are left with a sense that something vital is missing? In his deeply inspiring bestseller, Rabbi Kushner shows us how to live as human beings are meant to. He guides us to a heightened sense of joy, purpose, and meaning, and helps us to redirect our energies toward goals that will bring us lasting happiness and true fulfillment.
Scheduled to Die by Alan Cupp: Carter Mays’ newest client, Dana Carrington, has been given a year to live. Her prognosis didn’t come from a medical professional, but rather the handsome, charming man she met while on a business trip. After an evening with charismatic stranger, Mike Sweeney, filled with potential and intrigue, things quickly deteriorate into the most frightening and traumatic experience of Dana’s life. Paralyzed by fear of the seemingly ever-present Sweeney, Dana hires Carter to protect her and stop her psychopathic suitor.
Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior by Judith Martin Your neighbor denounces cellular telephones as instruments of the devil. Your niece swears that no one expects thank-you letters anymore. Your father-in-law insists that married women have to take their husbands’ names. Your guests plead that asking them to commit themselves to attending your party ruins the spontaneity. Who is right? Miss Manners, of course. With all those amateurs issuing unauthorized etiquette pronouncements, aren’t you glad that there is a gold standard to consult about what has really changed and what has not? The freshly updated version of the classic bestseller includes the latest letters, essays, and illustrations, along with the laugh-out-loud wisdom of Miss Manners as she meets the new millennium of American misbehavior head-on. This wickedly witty guide rules on the challenges brought about by our ever-evolving society, once again proving that etiquette, far from being an optional extra, is the essential currency of a civilized world.
Polite Murder at Rancho Mirage by Aram Saroyan: The 1981 killing of wealthy, wheelchair-bound businessman Robert Sand, who was in his late 60s, by his beautiful 40-year-old wife, is not especially involving, but the personality of Andrea is. A former call girl and actress, she had been married four times before and had had dismal experiences with each husband. And she did not fare much better with Sand, who involved her in acting out his fantasies, many of them sadomasochistic, and whose jealousy kept her a virtual prisoner in their Palm Springs condo. Andrea, as depicted by Saroyan ( Last Rites ), had difficulty in separating reality from fantasy; she also suffered from a histrionic personality disorder, attention-seeking, irrational angry outbursts and narcissism. Found guilty of murder in the first degree, she received a 26-year sentence. A model prisoner, she will be eligible for parole in 1997. Saroyan, who sets out to show “how bad things are or can be between the sexes in America,” makes his point, and along the way presents a profile of a complex personality that will keep readers spellbound. Article –Dr. Valerie Allen
Article – 3 Things To Stop Doing by Rosanne T. Morse, MS/MFT
Drawn from the full article: 3 Things You Can Stop Doing Today by Natalie Kerr Lawrence, Ph.D.
We live with a lot of mostly unwritten rules for generally accepted behavior: Wash your hands after using the restroom. Don’t double-dip your chips. Don’t stare at other diners. The kind of things people in polite society get taught as children, that become ingrained and automatic. Most of the time that is just fine. Don’t get on an elevator with a strange man. Some ingrained behaviors might be having a big impact on how we present to the outside world, how we think of ourselves, and think of others.
Americans like to think we are highly individualistic but within our American culture we have definite ideas of proper behaviors that we cling to, sometimes with our noses in the air. We are social animals with a fundamental need to connect with others and we want to be like and accepted, so we establish these norms and judge everyone by them. Anyone who doesn’t conform risks negative social consequences of ridicule and maybe automatic rejection. Conformity isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s good that we wash our hands, diners tip their servers 15 to 20 percent of the bill, or that we rush to help those in trouble or needy. Other times, not so much… three quick examples:
- STOP automatically asking, “How are you?”……….
Mostly we use the phrase as a simple greeting. “Hi, how are you?” The usual response is one word: goodhowareyou? This usually happens even when people are moving in opposite directions, with no possibility of having an actual conversation. This isn’t a good habit for us. Just say Hi and move on. When you do ask “How are you?” make eye contact and listen to their answer. Break this habit and ask only when you care and have time to hear the answer. If you are asked this question, answer honestly and mean it. “Hi” or “Hey, I don’t have time right now it but I’ll talk to you later. “Or, just maybe, they really are asking you, so “do you have time? I’d like to talk?”
Busyness seems to be a measure of success or a badge of endurance of some kind. People brag about how little sleep they get, or overworking, forgetting to eat, or skipping vacations. This is just some weird hangover from Puritan suffering is good philosophy. Get over it. Brag about what is going good in your life. I had a great night’s sleep, I’m feeling wonderful. Work is going great. My kids are the greatest. We set this example by our behavior and even over schedule our children so they have little time to just be and wonder and explore.
Is Harold Kushner right in his book, When All You’ve Ever Wanted Isn’t Enough, that we keep busy to “fill the gnawing emptiness in our soul” or do we fill our calendars because it’s the norm. Everyone else seems to be doing it, so we think it’s the “normal” thing to do. We don’t stop to question whether this obsession with busyness is good for us, but maybe we should.
Multi-tasking while you are driving makes you part of the danger, is self-indulgent, and a bad practice. Stop it. Think about the last time you drove a car. What else were you trying to do? It takes a lot of skill and attention to navigate a 2000 lb.+ steel vehicle along the highways and byways of our world. There are thousands of others doing the same thing so being distracted is a danger to ourselves and others. Period. Give yourself some peace, just drive. Observe the traffic and the road conditions. If traffic is light, enjoy the scenery. Soothe your urges by knowing you should not be doing anything else, at all. Just drive. With all our demands, gadgets, hi-tech, interactive this and that, we seem to feel obligated to attend to those things instead of driving.
These are just three examples of social norms that many people follow blindly, without thinking. There are countless others. Tune into all your automatic behaviors and re-evaluate whether they add or subtract from your health and happiness. Then, as the lawyers say, govern yourself accordingly.
COOL PLACE: Lake Hall, Tallahassee: Lake Hall at Maclay Gardens provides opportunities for swimming,fishing, canoeing and kayaking. Boats without motors or boats with electric motors are allowed. Pavilions and grills along the lake shore provide the perfect setting for a picnic. https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Maclay-Gardens
COOL FOOD: Ballyhoo Grill, Gainesville: We serve the freshest Seafood, Steaks, Oysters and Sushi available. We prepare everything from scratch from our salad dressing to our award-winning soups. Our steaks are hand-cut and oak-grilled by our professional chefs. Our spacious dining area makes Ballyhoo a great place for large parties. And a FREE LOBSTER on your birthday! http://www.ballyhoogrill.com/