Dreams, Doubts, and Dance Parties

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. Please forgive the missed blog post last Friday; I had driven to Georgia and back (twice!) that week and then on to Myrtle Beach, S.C., where my daughter had her graduation trip last weekend. On Friday night I survived a Taylor Swift dance party with wall-to-wall people and LOUD Taylor Swift songs for four hours. We had a blast, and I was never so glad to get back home from a trip in my life. This week, I’ve had leadership team meetings at school. I am looking forward to being able to serve the school—both teachers and students—to the best of my abilities.

Quote of the week: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.” –Henry David Thoreau

Song of the week: The song this week is one I have no doubt you have heard…many times. In fact, you may have a love-hate relationship with it. “Don’t Stop Believin’” is one of my favorite songs when trying to get myself excited about any goal I hope to achieve. It is on one of my writing playlists, and I have included the song in a karaoke scene in my cruise novel. Whether you like it or not, I hope that whatever dream you are working on this week will come true.

Joke of the week: I had a dream about the whole ocean—that it was filled with orange soda. Turns out it was just a Fanta Sea.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: As I mentioned in a previous post, I now work as an instructional assistant at the middle school not far from my home. Two of my children attended this school, and I spent several years as a substitute teacher there. In addition to joining the leadership team, I have decided to sponsor two clubs. One of them, the NaNoWriMo Club, meets only during the month of November for National Novel Writing Month. The other is the Book Club. In the last two years, I have developed a passion for writing, and I want to share it with students.

Let me tell you how this relates to something important. As the new school year begins, whether you are in high school or will pursue higher learning in a trade school, community college, or university, don’t be afraid to make time to do something fun. Jump out of your comfort zone and try something that scares you half to death, yet you feel like you will burst unless you do it. Everyone has something interesting they can teach someone else. I have always had the mindset of being as helpful as I can be in any environment, so naturally, school is no different. I have had a little bit of what they call “imposter syndrome,” where you become suddenly unsure of the talents or abilities you possess, so I have asked friends and colleagues if I would do a good job with the clubs. I am jazzed about either exposing students to various books or assisting them in writing their own books through NaNoWriMo. In the same spirit, I challenge you to get out there and share your best self with the world. The world needs you.

Have a great week. Remember, you are most awesome, and YOU ROCK!

Marion Rhines is a foster-turned-adoptive parent. She lives in Knoxville, Tenn., with her husband and five children. She has written and published two children’s books as well as two foster-care-themed novels. She has a Facebook blog, Tips from the FLIP Side, and enjoys working with children of all ages.

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