Relaxation, Reality, and Resolutions

Happy Friday, RISERS! I hope this week has been a good one for you. Here we are almost a full week into the new year! I had a chance to visit my mom in Georgia for her birthday. The seven-hour drive gives me tons of time to plot my storylines…and to find the cute goat that sits on its driveway as if it’s a dog. I made at least five trips between spotting the cute little thing. As for the story, I finished chapter one of my upcoming book Return to Cedar Falls.

Quote of the week: “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” –C. S. Lewis

Movie of the week: Ah, the first movie I saw at the theater in 2023 was Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Yes, it’s an animated movie, but I have found that many an animated movie brings to light a great lesson, as this one does. I won’t spoil everything about it, but the hero’s journey helps Puss in Boots realize that everything he needed (or wanted) was within his power and right before him. He didn’t need a wish to make his perceived reality shift to his actual reality. Other characters are in pursuit of the wish, and their endings are a surprise to them, as well. It has a catchy soundtrack. I do want to give one word of warning, however; a few places might trigger trauma for any person who has been adopted or in foster care. I’d advise parents to perhaps preview the film and then use their discretion before taking younger children to see it. My boys (adopted) didn’t have any issues, but it would be irresponsible of me not to mention it. I hope you enjoy the movie.

Joke of the week: Why was 2022 such a blur? The resolution must have been too low.

Recharge Tip for the week: Now that it’s January, it’s time to put on the old thinking cap and plan a vacation. If you’re thinking, “I can’t afford a vacation,” then plan a staycation. Family day trips that don’t require overnight accommodations are equally as fun. People often hesitate to take time off from work for such outings, but it is extremely important to keep yourself from getting burned out. With either a traditional vacation or a staycation, you can schedule a time to unplug from technology, engage in the hobbies you keep telling yourself you want to do more, or take LOTS of naps. (I personally encourage you to do that.) Take a little while to imagine where you want to go and visualize yourself doing fun things. If I can imagine myself going somewhere or doing something, the chance of it becoming a reality is huge. You are the only you the world has, so give yourself a bit of time for some relaxation.

Shout-Out of the week: This week I want to give a shout-out to all the people who work in a school environment. That means teachers, administrators, secretaries, librarians, cafeteria workers, and especially custodians. We have had a restful time off, but these staff members had school on their minds (hopefully somewhere near the back) during the entire winter break. Let’s all thank them for their love of teaching, of directing students and teachers, of feeding hungry (and often grumpy) students, or of cleaning and sanitizing the schools. Even as a substitute, I have enjoyed the middle school environment more than any other place in the world. You are one-of-a-kind people.

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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