jennasday

Health, fitness, communications, and everything in between!


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Remember people. It’s worth it

Another Facebook musing I’m sharing later. Still worth it, I think.

Today, I popped into the LC to get a bottle of wine and stopped to get a sample. The woman serving the sample poured it for me, then looked at me more closely and said, “Now, where do I know you from?”

She’d briefly met me, ONCE, at another LC where she was providing samples. Now, jokes about me buying too much wine aside (I share it, honest!), think about that for a second. She works in a job where she sees lots of people for a short period of time, and yet she still recognized me, weeks (okay, a week) later. Impressive.

Also today, I went to the grand reopening of a locally-owned food store I like. The owner, who I haven’t seen in probably over a year and who I’ve talked to probably 5-10 times total, looked at me and commented on how my hair is longer and curly now.

As Dale Carnegie says in “How to Win Friends and Influence People, “the average person is more interested in his or her own name than in all the other names on earth put together.”

Remember people’s names. Stop telling yourself you’re bad at names and practice. Take note of the details people tell you. Compliment people. Think of how you can help them. Care. It’s so much more enjoyable, and it’s remarkable what a difference it makes.

It will brighten your day, but not only that – we never really know what others are dealing with, or what’s hiding behind someone’s smile. Taking the time to care can matter to them far more than you think. Or maybe it’ll just brighten their day for a minute. Either way, everyone wins!

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Lightening review: My Side of the Mountain

It’s always a pleasure to revisit an old favourite, and this is exactly what I did when I reread My Side of the Mountain by Jean George. It was one of my favourites as a kid; I read it many times, so it was nice to go back.

The story follows Sam, young teen from New York City, who has decided he will run away from home and live off the land. He makes his way to his great-grandfather’s land in the Catskill Mountains, determined to survive free of dependence on electricity and machines. Throughout the book he comes a long way from the first night – when he can’t get a fire started and is convinced he will freeze and starve – to making a home for himself, finding a plethora of food sources, and even making new clothes.

My Side of the Mountain is an interesting examination of survival and solitude. It was a fairly short read (I finished it in less than a day) but it’s well-crafted, interesting, and different from what I’ve been reading lately. Still holds up, all these years after publication (1959). Recommended for all from children to adults.


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Lightening review: P.S. I Love You

When I picked up P.S. I Love You from the TV stand in the bedroom where I was staying, I didn’t know it was set in Ireland. It was kind of cool, though, to read a book in the same country where it happens.

The book, published in 2014, is a sweetly sad story of a young widow, Holly, as she learns to cope with being alone after her husband’s death. But months after he’s gone, still drowning in grief, she receives a package from him. It contains a letter for her to open each month, and as she works through them she begins to grow, to change, and most importantly to heal. He seems to have known exactly what she would need each month, and issues challenges for her.

It’s a unique premise, which was obviously romantic enough to capture people’s hearts and garner a film contract (I still haven’t seen the movie). And it’s an easy read – almost too easy.

On the down side, first-time novelist Cecelia Ahern‘s writing is what one should expect from a first-time novelist. The writing is overly descriptive, especially the characters. They are explained rather than shown, which is frustrating. The characters want to have life, they want to jump off the page, but instead they are described and told. The author is telling the story rather than opening the pages and inviting us into her world. And this is forgivable because the story is an easy one; the story is likeable. But an adult reader can’t help but want something more. I would be interested in reading Ahern’s later novels to learn how her writing style has changed.

Like I said, an easy read. One I don’t regret. But this one also won’t be on my list of most memorable books or novels I have to get back to again sometime. When I eventually watch the movie, I’ll let you know how that is!