Conquerors, Critics, and Custodians

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been good to you. I’m especially grateful for a few days with no rain. I love rainy weather, but sunshine afterward is also a great thing. This week for me was packed with several school events: field trips to the skating rink, a pep rally, and an after-school dance. No matter how your week has gone, I hope you found something fun about it.

Quote of the week: “When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things—not the great occasions—give off the greatest glow of happiness.” ­–Bob Hope

Song of the week: Before American pop music had Britney versus Christina, there was Debbie versus Tiffany. And in the realm of Christmas music, it’s Mannheim Steamroller versus the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. I am Team Mannheim. While I enjoy many of the songs the TSO plays, the music Mannheim Steamroller has produced soothes my Christmas-frenzied spirit. I want to recommend their CD Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Symphony II. My favorite piece is the “Pat a Pan/Fum, Fum, Fum Medley.” I think you will enjoy listening to this, especially while wrapping presents or putting together your favorite Christmas puzzle.

Joke of the week: How do Christmas trees get ready for a night out? They spruce up!

Recharge Tip for the week: This week I want to talk about something we all deal with on a daily basis: negativity. We experience it from others, as well as from ourselves. It quickly becomes obvious what we (or others) have done wrong, and as a result, negativity can chip away at our peace of mind and possibly even our confidence in what we do. It can also get to the point of impeding our ability and desire to do our best. I know what you’re thinking…Does it matter? YES! It certainly does. When you have a bit of uninterrupted time, grab a sheet of paper and make three columns. One for “Things Currently Working,” another for “Achievements,” and a third for “Things I’ve Overcome.” Spend a few minutes listing items that fit these categories. I bet you will be amazed at the obstacles you’ve conquered to get where you are today. We are our own worst critics; we should also be confident in ourselves and know that we make a difference every day.

Shout-Out of the week: This week I want to give a shout-out to the people who work as custodians in schools, hospitals, or stores. It takes a lot of time and effort to keep a school building/campus in working order. My middle school employs two people who are constantly taking care of the needs of our students and teachers. I cannot imagine what it must be like to keep a store such as Kroger or Target in shipshape. Thank you for all the hard (and often unpleasant) work you do for us!

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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