Monthly Archives: January 2019

Diving Into A Sea of Books–How to be an Imperfectionist

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As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

How to be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise goes much deeper into perfectionism than I thought it would. Mr. Guise refers to studies by researchers about what perfectionism is vs. what it is not. The trait is hard for even scientists to pin down, which is probably why some believe not all perfectionism is bad, while others believe it’s all bad–that what’s called “healthy” perfectionism isn’t perfectionism, but rather striving to do the best a person can.

Mr. Guise writes as one who had a tendency towards perfectionism–and found it stifling for the growth of the mind and spirit. In How to be an Imperfectionist he gives ways to free yourself from that mindset, live with more joy and peace, less anxiety, and gain improved physical health as well.

Although the author writes about various studies, this book doesn’t come off as a “textbook”, which is a big plus for me. Mr. Guise gives examples from his own life, as to what worked for him and what didn’t. His tone is as a friend giving a heads-up to another friend.

Comment: This book is a keeper for me. Before I was a teenager, I decided I would avoid mistakes, and so made one of the biggest of my life in going down an unhealthy perfectionist road that only leads to more and more problems. How to be an Imperfectionist opens up a better, much healthier way of thinking.

©P. Booher

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The Abby Chronicles–Abby Goes to the Kitty Doctor

abby-ready-to-write

Here I am, ready to write my story!

Chapter IX

Author’s Note: It’s been awhile since I wrote anything. I told my secretary that needed to change! Further, I told her I wanted to take over her “Friday Photos” spot for this week. She protested, but I told her my posts include a picture of me so that counts. Besides, some Fridays she doesn’t post anything. She mumbled something and agreed. I also told her from now on, I want my name listed below my posts. She protested again, but I pointed out she could put her name below mine.

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Five Ways To Help Someone Who Is Dealing With Depression — Thought Catalog

It is so easy to feel helpless when watching someone you love struggle but there are several things you can do to help.

via Five Ways To Help Someone Who Is Dealing With Depression — Thought Catalog

I saw this post on the Reader. This is a very good article. I have not looked at the whole Thought Catalog site, so I can’t vouch for it, but this article is definitely worth taking the time to read.

P. Booher

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January 23, 2019 · 10:53 pm

Diving Into A Sea of Books–The Perfectionist’s Handbook

divers-underwater-ocean-swim-68767.jpeg

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

The Perfectionist’s Handbook, subtitled Take Risks, Invite Criticism, and Make the Most of Your Mistakes by Jeff Szymanski, PhD, a self-described perfectionist and clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), is mainly for people who think their perfectionism generally works well for them, but want to know  when it may drift into unhealthy territory, and how to cope with any tendencies perfectionism brings that they don’t want to have.

Dr. Szymanski describes differences between “healthy” and “unhealthy” perfectionism. He gives the pros and the cons of perfectionism. When serving the person, perfectionism can be good, but taken to the extreme, this mindset can quickly become the master of the person, resulting in serious problems.

I like the way the author uses stories from his life to illustrate what he means. He never “talks down” to the reader. He does refer to a lot of studies, which to this layperson, grew tiresome to read. However, it shows he did his research.

To me, the author generally takes an optimistic view of perfectionism. For differing views of perfectionism, check out How to be an Imperfectionist by Stephen Guise and the BBC Future article, “The dangerous downsides of perfectionism” http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180219-toxic-perfectionism-is-on-the-rise). The article links the mindset to OCD, anxiety, self-mutilation, depression, and other problems, with the worst being early mortality and suicide.

As a person realizing the damage I allowed perfectionism to do, I didn’t find The Perfectionist’s Handbook as helpful as I thought it would be.  For my part, I see perfectionism as an enemy; it brings on low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. Striving for excellence is good; beating myself up when I don’t reach my standards is not.

©P. Booher

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Diving Into A Sea of Books–You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader

divers-underwater-ocean-swim-68767.jpeg

Photo Credit: Pexels.com

As an avid reader, I get excited about the great number of books out there to read, either for entertainment, education, inspiration or with some books, all three. The quantity available in print, audio, and e-books reminds me of the vast amount of life in the oceans, so I call these book reviews “Diving Into A Sea of Books”. As with diving into an ocean looking for interesting objects, diving into books means you come across mixed results: over here, a book you don’t bother to finish, over there, a “treasure”–one that you like so much you can’t wait to reread it, and over there, a book you read and think, “Meh”.

You Don’t Need A Title To Be A Leader, subtitled: How Anyone, Anywhere, Can Make a Positive Difference by Mark Sanborn, grabbed me as soon as I saw the title, because I agree that a person can be a leader regardless of his or her official position. I worked with people who didn’t have a title yet clearly had knowledge, responsibility, and the ability to teach me what I needed to know to do my job. Some of those people, in fact, most of the individuals, had more of an eye for what was going on in the business than those who had official titles. So I was eager to read this book, to see what it could teach me.

However, I was disappointed in the examples Mr. Sanborn gave. The people certainly made a positive difference. But they became leaders and made a difference in their work or communities because they already had the respect and recognition of their potential leadership skills from people in positions of authority who were willing and able to give them a lot of support. The people didn’t do it alone; mentors stood by to give them advice, help them untangle red tape, donate money or time, or mention their names to other people who could help.

To me, this book showed that anyone can make a positive difference–the qualifiers being: if the person works for people who respect and value anybody’s ideas, regardless of his or her job, or if the person has a powerful mentor willing to step up to the plate.

I’m sure this book has value for many people. For me, it doesn’t, so it’s going in the donation pile.

©P. Booher

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Chocolate-Chip Cookies, Anyone?

Somehow snowy weather gets me in the mood for making cookies, especially chocolate-chip cookies. We had a little bit of snow this morning, then the snow changed to rain, but by then I was in the mood, so we made cookies.

Here’s the recipe we followed:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 cup oleo stick, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine flour and baking soda. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, combine melted oleo and brown sugar. Mix well. Stir in egg and vanilla extract until well blended. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

4. For each cookie, drop a heaping tablespoon of dough onto a cookie sheet, leaving about 2 1/2 inches between each. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 11 minutes or until edges harden and centers are still soft.

Enjoy!

P. Booher

 

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Friday Photos–A Winter Walk

Creek and woods in Winter

Photo Credit: P. Booher

Apple branch (new)

Photo Credit: P. Booher

Under the Pine Tree in Snow

Photo Credit: P. Booher

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A Sacrifice of Praise

“By him (Jesus) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Book of Hebrews, Chapter 13, verse 15, KJV.

I’m not happy with some of the circumstances of my life right now.

Some kind of virus tackled me a couple days before Christmas, and I still feel lingering effects, and the other day at work I overheard something that’s not the sort of thing an employee wants to hear. Plus, the news in my country is unsettling, to say the least.

This morning as I prayed I gave God a “sacrifice of praise”. A sacrifice  means a cost is involved; it requires giving up something–often time or money. A sacrifice of praise means praising God when it’s hard, when you don’t feel like it. It’s easy to praise or thank God when things are going well. For me, the sacrifice here is to give up my feelings about my circumstances and praise Him anyway. I praised God for His goodness, His care, His sovereignty–all attributes which don’t change, regardless of what else changes.

I have no guarantee my circumstances will improve the way I want them to; giving a sacrifice of praise isn’t to change the things that are bothering me. But praising God during difficult or uncertain times changes me. I view the circumstances differently because I see them through the filter of faith in God Who is good no matter what happens or doesn’t happen, God Who is bigger than my circumstances.

“Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD….” Psalm 150:6 (KJV)

©P. Booher

 

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“MONDAY MORNING GROAN” Jan. 7

A DEVOTED LIFE

“And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground,for out of it you were taken; for you are dust,and to dust you shall return.”  Genesis 3:17-19

man holding hoe Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

I do not till the soil nor do I cultivate seeds. I am not a farmer.
I am not a rancher. I do not graze livestock nor do I breed cattle.
My wages do not come from agriculture.

My wages are derived…

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Personal Energy Conservation

person laying on sofa while reading book

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Some sort of virus ambushed me a couple days before Christmas and gave me a sore throat and cold. The sore throat left; the cold symptoms are hanging on tenaciously.

I’ve always been able to work through having a cold, but not this one. I reported off work three days over these past few weeks, and left work early one day, feeling too drained to complete the shift. That’s not me.

While feeling better now–I worked a 2 pm to 9pm shift Friday followed by 7am to 2pm shift yesterday without feeling drained–I’m still not up to par.

With this cold, I have to practice personal energy conservation. I do some things, then decide to let other things go until another time, rather than continuing to work and making myself too tired. For instance, following an overnight snowfall, this afternoon I swept the car off, swept the upstairs porch steps, cleaned the sidewalk off and scattered de-icing material on it, took cans out and put them in the recycling bin and walked my route around the house to feed the birds. By then I felt as though anything more would be too much. Taking the garbage out would have to wait. Cleaning up pine tree branches in the yard definitely will have to wait for a day when the weather is better and my energy and enthusiasm are back  to rights.

Practicing personal energy conservation isn’t fun, but my body is enforcing the idea right now. I look forward to the days when I’ll be even stronger; as it is, I now have greater sympathy for, and a lot less judgment of, people who must practice personal energy conservation all the time due to chronic illness or pain, whether physical or emotional.

©P. Booher

 

 

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