Life's like that!

August 27, 2011

'Happy Chaos' and '365 Thank Yous'

Had the chance to check out new books from the public library.

Happy Chaos by Soleil Moon Frye - Enthusiastic, spunky, and positive, Punky Brewster was the quintessential eighties kid. Nearly thirty years later, Soleil Moon Frye-the adorable girl who played her on TV-is all grown up. Now she's a married mom of two, an entrepreneur who parlayed her successful kids' clothing line into a partnership with Target, and a social media whiz with millions of followers. Many of the same girls who watched Soleil on television are now grown up with children of their own, too, and they look to her as a go-to source for realistic, in-the-trenches parenting advice, inspiration, and fun. Happy Chaos invites those women into Soleil's world, and makes them revel in the chaos of their own lives, too.

Soleil believes that "happy chaos" is the sign of a family operating at its best-when parents accept that they'll make mistakes, that there will be messes, tears and skinned knees. She learned to love a jumbled life during her own childhood, when her own mom created an atmosphere that was thoroughly unconventional.

I kinda enjoy reading her book about parenting and her experience as a child actor. Although I have never watched her sitcom 'Punky Brewster', I can imagine her popularity since she looked so cute as a young kid. She shared some useful tips about sibling rivalry between her two daughters. One thing I learn is that when one of my kids need new shoes or clothing, I should only buy things for the needy child and encourage the others to help pick out the best one.

365 Thank Yous by John Kralik - One recent December, at age 53, John Kralik found his life at a terrible, frightening low: his small law firm was failing; he was struggling through a painful second divorce; he had grown distant from his two older children and was afraid he might lose contact with his young daughter; he was living in a tiny apartment where he froze in the winter and baked in the summer; he was 40 pounds overweight; his girlfriend had just broken up with him; and overall, his dearest life dreams--including hopes of upholding idealistic legal principles and of becoming a judge--seemed to have slipped beyond his reach. 

Then, during a desperate walk in the hills on New Year's Day, John was struck by the belief that his life might become at least tolerable if, instead of focusing on what he didn't have, he could find some way to be grateful for what he had.

Inspired by a beautiful, simple note his ex-girlfriend had sent to thank him for his Christmas gift, John imagined that he might find a way to feel grateful by writing thank-you notes. To keep himself going, he set himself a goal--come what may--of writing 365 thank-you notes in the coming year.

My mother always remind us to have good manners, especially thanking people for the things that they have done for us. Whenever I feel discouraged or disappointed, I try to remind myself about the good things that I have in life and be thankful for them. This book reminded me that when I get into the habit of counting my blessings, I really have nothing much to complain about.