Time Flies, Be Happy Now by @JoanReeves #mgtab

Time flies. Be Happy. As you begin to read this post you may think I’m just writing down whatever thoughts are spinning around in my brain, but I promise you I do have a point.

I woke up this morning from a dream in which my older son was holding a book. He asked me, “Why do you have this old book? You should get rid of it.”

I went on to tell him it was a book from my mother’s library and that the title came from an incident when Alabama was struck by a huge  meteor storm in 1833.

My mother had told me that her grandmother recounted the incident to her children, telling them it was so bright outside that the roosters crowed as if it were dawn, and the chickens exited the hen house. Everyone awoke thinking it was time to get up and start their day.

Mom had quite a collection of southern literature, and I remember seeing the book in her bookcase. Often, I’d think I should read it, but time flies. Life is too short to do all we want. When my mother passed, I, as the book lover in the family took her books home with me.

While my coffee brewed this morning, I went upstairs to my library and pulled the book from the shelf. Why had I dreamed of this book?

The inside title page shows it was published in 1934 by The Literary Guild in New York. It’s a first edition.

With thoughts of my mother on my mind, I thumbed through the book, thinking that the older I get, the more I miss her and my dad even though they were not the easiest people to get along with—not with each other and not with their children.

My mother and I had our love of reading and of books in common. Unfortunately, she was a perfectionist. It’s not easy having a perfectionist for a mom. She had a difficult time being happy because life is so imperfect. Maybe that’s why I write romance, creating characters who, by the end of the book, have found their way to happiness. In many instances, they learned how to be happy. Learned? Yes. Happiness is a learned skill. Sometimes, it’s a choice we make.

For my mom, everything had to be perfect for her to be happy. That’s rather odd, because when I was a kid, I remember my grandfather—her father—often saying, “Folks are about as happy as they decide to be.”

Many times through the years, I’ve remembered my grandfather saying it. Maybe he was saying it for my mother’s benefit too?

So, my point in today’s post is that it’s never too late to learn to be happy. Even though I don’t read all the books in my mom’s collection, just having them in my bookshelf makes me happy and makes me think about the things that joined us together rather than the things that kept us apart.

As a writer, I spend a lot of time thinking about human nature and motivation. One thing that’s true for fiction and real life is that most of us seem to make the same mistakes as we bumble our way along the road of life.

If you have a hard time being happy, here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way.

1. Never take advice from anyone who’s more screwed up than you.
Everyone likes to give advice, but always ask yourself if the person dishing out the advice is living life more effectively with less hiccups than you.

2. Learn from others because you’ll never live long enough to make all the mistakes yourself. Model their positive behavior and adapt what they did to your efforts.

3. Be patient with those you love, especially when they interrupt you as you’re trying to accomplish something you feel is important, but in the grand scheme of things, it may not be.

4. Spend your time working effectively rather than hard.  Assess what your doing and how you’re doing it so you can keep what works and toss what doesn’t.

5. Enjoy yourself and your life. Have a good balance between work and play.

6. Change how you think about work. If you can think of it in more positive terms, then you may enjoy it more rather than dreading it. This is important since you probably spend more time each day at work than at leisure.

7. Always make room in your life for the people you love. If you tell them, “Not now,” often enough, they’ll go away.

8. Be patient and slow to anger and bite back words that may poison your relationship. Too many people vent their frustration and irritation on those around them. Words really can hurt. Words can kill relationships. If you need to vent, hang a body bag in the garage and get a pair of boxing gloves and go at it.

Post Script

Embrace your life and everyone in it.

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A Year Later

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine Day.

While we celebrated Valentine Day in our special way with loved ones, family or friends, the teenagers of Parkland held a day of remembrance to pray for their lost friends and promise they will never forget them. My grandchildren live in Parkland and were a mile away in their own school when the shooting took place.

One of the survivors, a lovely young woman only 17 last year, was interviewed in the Parkland Lifestyle magazine and explained how she overcame the trauma and her fears. She needed to show the world that this drama could not be repeated again. I was so impressed by the article I’d like to share some of its thoughts with you.

The day after, this MSD senior talked to her congresswoman and organized a march. “This happened at my high school. I had to do something. I’d wake up at 6 a.m. and slept at 2 a.m. I made so many phone calls. I contacted the bus companies, the parents, chaperones, reached out to the Civic Center in Tallahassee, organized cots from the Red Cross… “

Many more marches followed in the “Road to Change”. Those young people, not even 18 yet, explained they didn’t want to take guns away. They had conversations about extreme risk protection orders or universal background check or disarming domestic abusers. People would say, “Oh I can get behind that.”

People were receptive and the students felt America was behind them to protect the children in school. It’s amazing how fear can create courage.

This is not a political post, but a salute to my grandchildren, their classmates, friends and team members from various sports and activities.

You are still very young but you can make our world a better place.

Here are two new boxes of romance and a free one to enjoy:

UNFORGETTABLE PASSION: Unforgettable Charmers Available at Amazon

 

SWEET AND SASSY IN THE SNOW Available at Amazon

 

 

Unforgettable Valentine

UNFORGETTABLE VALENTINE — FREE this week Available at Amazon

 

 

Balance in Life

My husband often asks me to balance my time. To prove his point he showed me an article about the value of balance. According to that article, most of our troubles are due to imbalances.

We should divide our day in such a way that we can balance work, family time, socializing, exercise, spiritual time, and fun time. If a person works eight hours a day, drives half an hour each way to work, breaks at lunch for an hour, exercises for an hour, and sleeps seven hours, this adds up to a total of eighteen hours. I assume the remaining six hours are used for family time, fun, socializing, and spiritual time.

I am not sure in which category I can fit cooking, dinner and dishwashing time. Reading should go under the hour or two of fun time. And what about writing?

I retired from my day job years ago and write full-time—or to be more accurate I sit in front of my computer full time. I can manage an hour to exercise or walk every day. I can cook twice a week and eat leftover or eat out the rest of the week, socialize two or three times a week. I consider this to be a perfectly balanced life.

Except… Around Christmas time, I deliberately put work aside. With the kids visiting it’s impossible to reach my computer, considering there are always a couple, or more teenagers sleeping in my office who can never sleep early or wake up early. So I graciously relinquish my work area and remain in the kitchen where I’ve already spent two weeks cooking, baking and preparing for the family gathering and a happy holiday. Call it family time, fun and socializing,

Yes a perfectly balanced life. Except on the two days I have to take care of the grandchildren, picking them from school, driving them to their various after-school activities and waiting for them, cooking and serving dinner—all of that goes under work and family time. Let’s not forget their adorable Cocker spaniel, Bosty, that I have to walk—call it exercise and fun.

Quite a balanced life. Except on the weeks where I have a deadline for a book and write nonstop to finish my story and edit, or format a multi-author box, or promote a new release… The eight hours of work morph into twelve or fourteen hours of non-paid overtime. Forget exercise, except running to the bathroom, forget family time, my husband swore that I become deaf during this period and never answer with cohesive sentences.

Considering there is so much I want to do, I’m still faced with the same problem of balancing my time.

I think balancing one’s time is wonderful. In theory. I always learned that to be successful you ought to give your main goal your 101%.  So how can you divide your time in multiple activities and still be successful?

Yet some people manage to multitask and be successful at everything they do. If you are one of these fortunate people, how do you do it?

Don’t forget to check our two new boxes:

Unforgettable Passion – Unforgettable Charmers (The Unforgettables Book 10)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Sassy in the Snow: Find Your Winter Romance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy the Modern Princes Series:

A Bride For Prince Paul: She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!
A Bodyguard For The Princess: A murder at Harvard in Princess Chloe’s student building.
Jingle With My Princess: The doc and the princess… He saves lives but Princess Charlene may save his heart.

A Romance For Every Reader by @JoanReeves #mgtab

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A Christmas She’ll Remember

Seven memorable Christmas Romances from 7 NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Authors!

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Love, Christmas 2: Holiday Movies You Love

Sprinkle a little Christmas magic into your life with 26 new romances. Each title – exclusive to this set – is inspired by a favorite holiday movie and spun into a fantastic love story.

Written by NY Times, USA Today, and/or award-winning, bestselling authors and delivered to you is this wonderful collection full of cheer.

Snowflakes and Christmas Kisses

Do you love cuddle-up romances with “Happy Ever After” endings… ones that brighten your days and delight your romantic soul?

If you do, romp through the Christmas season with fascinating tales brought to you by 7 award-winning, NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors. We’ve blended suspense tales with contemporary themes and added a mystery to make this collection the best choice this Christmas.

Sweet and Sassy Christmas

Some are Sweet and some are Sassy. Eleven holiday romances to captivate and seduce.

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Get a warm drink, find a comfy seat, and enjoy an armchair cruise into the world of Christmas lovers and their unique stories.

Unforgettable Christmas

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My friends in The Authors’ Billboard and I join together to wish you the happiest of holidays and an awesome New Year!