Autumn, Anniversaries, and Adventures

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. As you read this, my husband and I will be heading back to Charleston from a weeklong cruise to the Bahamas. We never had the chance to celebrate our major anniversary milestones, so we took this trip. We departed with our fingers crossed that the tropical depression/hurricane wouldn’t cause any significant damage to its projected path. As I mentioned in last week’s post about Fall Break and rest and relaxation, I hope that you are able to spend a bit of time doing the things you like as you have time off from school.

Quote of the week: “Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this, their only chance to soar.” –Delia Owens

Book of the week:  The most recent book I have written, Love, Caribbean Style, was inspired by the cruise my family took during Spring Break earlier this year. The three main characters are C.J. Hathaway, Samuel Adams, and Zachary Taylor. The names were intentional—not to sound presidential, but to convey that these two men don’t get along very well. It is a clean romance about how an overworked C.J. goes on vacation only to find that her boss, Samuel Adams, has crashed her getaway. Zachary Taylor, who is also a bit overworked as a real estate agent, has taken a sabbatical on a cruise ship to get away from it all. After a chance meeting when C.J. falls into a pool on the ship, Zach and C.J. realize that they both live in Tampa, and Zach knows her Mr. Adams. It was a fun book to write, and it features the tropical destinations of Amber Cove, Dominican Republic; Grand Turk; and Nassau, Bahamas.

Joke of the week: Why did the pumpkin lose the boxing match? He let his gourd down.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: This week, I want to talk to you about integrity, which is the idea of doing the right thing even when no one is looking. This is one of the most important character traits you can develop, because it will benefit you as you get older. Integrity includes dependability, loyalty, honesty, good judgment, and respect. Being dependable means that you can be trusted to keep your promises, both in your personal life and in the workplace. Loyalty means dedication and commitment, which is important to your friends, your family, and to future employers and employees. Honesty means telling the truth, owning both the good and the bad things for which you’re responsible. Good judgment is essential, because you need to be trustworthy to make sound, safe decisions. And respect? Well, we all want to have people treat us fairly and speak to us in a kind, professional way. This means that you don’t let people walk all over you (or anybody else). To earn the respect of yourself and others, you must do the right thing when those around you want to take the easy way around. Don’t do something that is unethical or would make you feel ashamed, even if your boss requests it. Tackle difficult or unpopular jobs because it is the right thing to do, not just to earn a pat on the back or a “good job” from co-workers. I know it isn’t easy; we all want someone see our good deeds and say, “Way to go doing the cleaning of the break room.” But often, it is in finding such little ways to bless others (without them knowing whom to thank) that your actions will produce the greatest benefit. So, stay strong and do the next right thing.

Have a great weekend. 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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