Posts made in December, 2016

Review: People that Knew Me

Since I can remember, I’ve always loved to read…

 

I can recall lying across my bed with book after book flipped open and forgetting where I was, lost in the pages of new and different worlds.

 

Then came the year I lost my eyesight and I panicked. Among many things I feared, I was depressed as I thought I would no longer be abel to take part in my passion.

 

Lo and behold, my vision loss coincided with the advancement of technology. Through friends, I discovered the National Library Service (NLS( and the Texas Talking Book program.  This program works just like your local, public library for the print disabled.  I also learned of Audible through the use of my iPhone.

 

For those reading that are not blind, I will place a code in this an future reviews for my blind and vision impaired friends and readers. This code is our tickler system so we know exactly where to find a good book that someone recommends for us. Now on with the review…

 

I could easily copy word for word the synopsis but that’s easily found on the internet. You may want to check out  http://www.willburley.com/goodreads for what’s found on the book jacket.  My mission is to let you know how this novel made me feel and think during and after my read.

 

This story is told through the eyes of Emily Morris. Emily is a young newlywed with her college sweetheart, Drew.  Life is moving along nicely and Drew’s mother needs him to care for her after a health crisis.  This takes the idealism of the marriage away and causes them both to look at reality, which turns out to not always be pretty.

 

Then September 11 happened and everything changes…

 

Fast forward 14 years and Emily has a crisis of her own and it forces her to have to deal with her past choices…and that is not a pretty sight either.

 

You should really take an opportunity to read this book. It was hard for me to put down but I was enthralled to see what would happen next…

 

Have you read this book? What did you think?

 

P.S. If you don’t like audio books you can check it out at http://www.willburley.com/knewme

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Year in the Making

A year, as a child, seemed like it took forever to get through. It was time to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and your birthday.  Not to mention to get to the end of the school year…

 

I’m finding, as I get older, a year passes by in what seems like an instant. We get so caught up in the rat race of working, paying bills and whatever else, we don’t enjoy life as fully as we should.

 

Why am I writing this post today?

 

It’s been a year since I got the call that one of my best friends had a health crisis.

 

As December started I became a little sad because she is not physically here with us anymore. The hurt became even more pronounced when I started clening up old work emails and personal text messages.  I had tons of messages and notes from her and they were always silly.  She called me “Wills” and for the life of me, I forgot why she did that…but it was hilarious.

 

She loved my guide dog, Gypsy…even when she was watching her and Gypsy shit in her bed. Now that’s a friend!!

 

We both loved our iPhones and regularly sought out new apps.  This was done so much we called each other app whores.

 

I started to feel guilty at having enjoyed the past year, minus her loss, and realized that I have many good memories of her and that will last a lifetime.

 

Today I hit the delete button on the emails and tects but not our friendship…

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6 Tips for Building Resilience to Stress

Stress is all around us in the modern world, and can really wear us down if we are not careful, leading to all sorts of personal and health issues. Building up your resilience to stress is one of the best ways of coping with it, so that you bounce back more quickly from tough times rather than get swamped by them. Here are several ways you can build resilience to stress so you don’t burn out.

 

  1. Put together a powerful support network

 

Studies have shown that those with the best support networks are often the most resilient. They know their friends and family will help them in stressful times and are not afraid to ask for assistance for fear of seeming weak. They say what they need and will return the favor whenever the other person needs it.

 

  1. Practice good self-care

 

Stress can have an extremely negative effect on both physical and mental health. Eating right, exercising, getting seven or eight hours of sleep a night, and avoiding negative coping behaviors (such as smoking tobacco, using illicit drugs, or drinking alcohol) can all help them avoid burnout.

 

  1. Learn from past experiences

 

Dealing with stress successfully often means dealing with stressful situations and learning from them, so the next time something similar happens you will be prepared. It sounds terrible to say it, but it is only through the illness and death of a loved one that a person will really learn how to cope with these types of situations.

 

Through getting support and overcoming these issues, you set a pattern for success. You don’t feel powerless – you are able to take action and produce the results you wish for.

 

  1. Be flexible

 

A lot of stress comes from an “Oh, no!” attitude that makes you tense and unable to deal with the situation in a calm manner. Being flexible – that is, rolling with the changes through understanding that change is a natural part of life, can lower your stress response and make it easier to deal with issues in a calm, practical way. Stuff happens. Deal with it. Then move on to the next challenge.

 

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

 

If you stress over every little thing, you will always be stressed. That being the case, learn to let go and not stress over things that in the long run will really make very little difference. If you get upset, think, “Will I remember this issue a week from now? A year from now?” If the answer is no, deal with it as best you can and move on.

 

  1. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude

 

When we are under stress, it’s easy to focus on the negative and the present struggle we are facing. But if we take a moment to think about all we are grateful for, it can add a whole new appreciation for life. Thinking about the best things in your life you are grateful for can change your perspective and mood completely.

 

Stress is an inescapable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Work on building your resistance to stress and see what a difference it can make in your life.

 

Writing this post really hit home for me. What are your ideas on building resilience to stress?

 

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Winter Wonderland

Being a born and raised Texan from the Houston area originally, it’s often times hard to understand what a “winter wonderland” is from personal experience.  Therefore, I listen and learn through song…

 

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What Is Resilience?

Resilience is often spoken of as a very important quality to possess. But what does it really mean, and why can it be so valuable?

 

What Does Resilience Mean?

 

If we look up the word resilience at Dictionary.com, we get two definitions:

 

  1. The power or ability to return to the original form, position, etc., after being bent, compressed, or stretched; elasticity

 

  1. The ability to recover readily from illness, depression, adversity, or the like; buoyancy.

 

The origin of resilience is Latin, dating back to the 1620s. It comes from the Latin word “resiliens” (present participle of the verb resilere), meaning to spring back or rebound.

 

Today we often comment on a person’s ability to rebound (or “bounce back”) after a hard time, such as when they have been “compressed” (that is, put under pressure) or stretched to their limit. We need to be resilient at school when we are tested, and in our jobs when we are expected to perform well, even under difficult conditions.

 

Why Is Resilience Important?

 

All sorts of obstacles can arise in life, both internal and external. It is how quickly and successfully a person returns to normal, or a new normal, that marks how resilient they are.

 

There are many occasions when being resilient can make all the difference between rising above the circumstances – being buoyant as it were, or sinking like a stone. Becoming ill, being in an accident, or facing tough times such as a house fire, the loss of a loved one, and so on, can happen in the blink of an eye.

 

It is how a person deals with these difficult challenges that can make all the difference between becoming “stuck” or being able to move on. In some cases, a resilient person might even grow stronger as a result of the adversity.

 

Is It Possible to Develop Resilience?

 

Some people think you have to be born with resilience, but the truth is that it can be developed over time. It is only through being tested that you can show what you are really made of. It is sometimes only through failure that you can truly grow into a resilient person able to handle whatever life presents you with.

 

It is a process that starts when we are young and learn that life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. We might flunk a test at school, get bullied, or get cut from the school football team because we aren’t good enough. We might long to be the star of the school play and get stuck doing the lighting and scenery instead, far out of the limelight we longed for.

 

It is how we deal with each of these situations that demonstrates resilience. Over time, we will get better and better at “bouncing back” and not letting the tough times affect us. We will see that we are not powerless, but have choices.

 

If you wish to be more resilient, challenge yourself with new roles and situations and see how your resilience can grow!

 

What are your thoughts?

 

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