Ghosts, Ghouls, and Gratitude

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. As you are reading this, I will be dressed up like Happy from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I was asked to help the special education teachers (as that was my job, before switching to the library) so that they could cover all of the characters. This is one of the reasons I love working in a school. We have a Halloween dance after school today, but we also get to dress up on Monday. If you are dashing off to holiday parties over the weekend, PLEASE be careful. The world needs you.

Quote of the week: “Where there is no imagination, there is no horror.” –Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Song of the week: I would be remiss if I let Halloween slip past us without mentioning one of the best songs/music videos from the 1980s: “Thriller” by Michael Jackson. The song was released in 1982, but MTV didn’t appear on the scene until 1984. I still remember the video premiere and how thousands of people watched it on television for the first time. In addition to Michael Jackson’s exciting choreography, the video hit new “horror” heights with its narration by Vincent Price, the man for Roger Corman’s not-so-scary horror movies. If you’ve never had a chance to enjoy the music video for the story it tells, I hope you’ll take the time to watch it and enjoy Halloween.

Joke of the week: Why don’t mummies take time off? They are afraid to unwind.

Nugget of Wisdom for the week: So far I have mentioned several fun things related to Halloween, but now I want to be serious for a moment and talk about gratitude. We typically spend a great deal of time in November reflecting on our blessings as we prepare for Thanksgiving. But it’s also important to express gratitude, a positive emotion, whenever we pause to take notice of and appreciate things around us that we often overlook.

On November 1, my husband will retire from his job after 29 years. Although it hasn’t always been easy or fun, we have been very thankful for the opportunity he’s had to work for this company. I must say that he is a little nervous about taking that next step, but we know something good is out there waiting for him.

No matter what your age, there are times in life when it is hard to be thankful. Times when we are experiencing a terrible situation. Adopting a more grateful mindset can lessen the perceived severity of whatever we are going through. If you are experiencing a rough spell, don’t look at it as “Why is this happening to me?” but instead, “What am I supposed to learn from this?”

I am thankful for the opportunity to write to you every week, and I hope you will have a great weekend and a safe Halloween. 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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