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Jill Reid
Author of “Real Life” & “Discover Your Personal Truth” | Writing on life, relationships, happiness, health, & personal success — http://RealLifeBookSeries.com

ENVIRONMENT

The enemy had been silent — and deadly

bee sucking pollen from white flower
bee sucking pollen from white flower

“Thirty years ago, there were nearly 4 million bee colonies in the U.S. Today, fewer than 2.5 million remain, thanks to a reddish-brown parasite so tiny it could stand on the head of a pin, and to a malady so new no one is sure of its origin.” — Hannah Nordhaus, High Country News

They called an emergency meeting.

The situation had taken a desperate turn, and nothing seemed to be making any sense.

All across the garden, the flowers were on high alert.

The air was still — calm, quiet, motionless. Not a single vibration tickling their leaves. Not a sound to be heard.

The bees were gone.

The flowers hadn’t seen them in weeks, and confusion and…


HAPPINESS

The instinctual human need to be touched is a necessary component to our overall well-being

Happy woman wearing short-sleeve yellow top and gold watch hugging herself green leafy background
Happy woman wearing short-sleeve yellow top and gold watch hugging herself green leafy background

You’ve seen the pictures — a rear view perspective of a person with arms wrapped around their back in a comforting hug, the hands gently holding them with assurance and affection.

At first, you might think the person is enjoying the connection of a warm embrace. And when they turn around, you discover they’re hugging themselves.

Well, it turns out there’s something to that.

According to an article by Crystal Raypole in Healthline, “The importance of human connection can’t be understated, and social support offers plenty of benefits. When someone you care for wraps their arms around you in a hug, for example, you probably feel comforted and…


MINDSET

Creating an idealized vision of your life brings both risk and reward

happy girl with long red hair standing in ocean waves looking up to the sky and laughing
happy girl with long red hair standing in ocean waves looking up to the sky and laughing

To achieve your dreams, you must embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward. — John C. Maxwell

Most of us believe having something to look forward to — and be excited about — is a necessary component in providing the mental and emotional assurance that we’re working toward a better “someday.”

But what happens when those dreams fail to materialize? Was the time wasted?

Not really. There’s something intrinsically stimulating about imagining how wonderful our future realities will be based on our own needs, wants, and desires. …


PRODUCTIVITY

Clearing your mind and house of clutter may help you sleep better at night

profile of girl with long brown hair wearing white long sleeve shirt with eyes closed and head tilted up with blue ocean behind her
profile of girl with long brown hair wearing white long sleeve shirt with eyes closed and head tilted up with blue ocean behind her

I dictated this story from my laundry room.

Tired of tripping over the growing pile of dirty clothing taking up residence in my closet hamper, I had sorted the darks from the whites and gathered all the towels from the bathrooms and kitchen. Creating three separate piles, I scooped up the smallest one and trudged to the laundry room.

Dumping the load on top of the dryer, it sat there for three days — waiting for more of my attention.

Every time I passed the undone task, my brain reviewed my already overloaded to-do list. And somehow, taking the time to start that first batch of laundry kept slipping down in priority.

Because the task would require more than stuffing the clothes into the washer, adding detergent, and setting…


Whether a burning desire or flight of fancy, writing takes courage

smiling girl with long brown hair wearing black leather jacket standing on sidewalk and looking up to sky
smiling girl with long brown hair wearing black leather jacket standing on sidewalk and looking up to sky

It’s usually on the list of most people’s dream occupation — being a writer. There seems to be something mystical, even esoteric about the profession.

Why?

Maybe it’s the fantasized notion of creating unique masterpieces, or being able to write on an independent schedule — without a boss or supervisor — and having the freedom to take a day off whenever the mood strikes.

And while writing is a noble and rewarding endeavor, the truth is many may not have a true calling. Or patience.

It takes more than a naive interest to sit down and express your thoughts to…


I want to be funny again, complete with giggles and grins

laughing girl with short dark hair wearing long sleeve blue top and black pants laying on white couch
laughing girl with short dark hair wearing long sleeve blue top and black pants laying on white couch

“Humor is the great thing, the saving thing after all. The minute it crops up, all our hardnesses yield, all our irritations and resentments flit away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” — Mark Twain

I’m done holding my breath, worried I might say or do something I consider humorous in front of other people. What if no one else gets the joke? Am I the only person who thinks a cat with an ingenious way to blow out a birthday candle is funny?

I don’t think so. Seriously, how could anyone not laugh out loud at that video?

But back to the source of my discontent.


PRODUCTIVITY

And I plan on keeping it that way

smilnig woman with shoulder length blonde hair wearing colorful pattern top holding her hands under her chin
smilnig woman with shoulder length blonde hair wearing colorful pattern top holding her hands under her chin

I’m a little annoyed with the attitude of some people.

Not saying it’s you, but we’ve never met so I really can’t be sure. For the moment, I’ll assume you’re someone I’d like and be able to get along with — at least on most days.

So what’s gotten under my skin, irritating me like parade of red ants stinging my toes? A simple phrase that rolls off too many tongues, too easily.

“At this point in my life.”

Those who utter these few words typically back up the legitimacy of this expression with an exaggerated eye roll and deep, exasperated breath — as if the specific point in time…


Don’t let too much time go by hoping for a miracle

girl with long dark hair wearing sunglasses and long-sleeve off-the-shoulder tan sweater
girl with long dark hair wearing sunglasses and long-sleeve off-the-shoulder tan sweater

There’s a lot of merit in the concept of repeat behavior

In general, if we’re doing things right, our systematic methods can become instinctual, producing consistently positive results and an overall optimistic attitude. All good stuff — with the added benefit of reliable outcomes if we maintain the strategies we worked so hard to establish.

So how can we instill the same kind of mindset in our writing?

Is it possible to develop specific patterns and practices that will produce dependable results? Maybe, at least in a sense. While we don’t want to turn into automated assembly lines when it comes to being creative in our work, there may be an alternative. …


HAPPINESS

The answer is closer to home than you think

Woman with dark hair wearing sleeveless white shirt and bright green pants leaping in air hold large group of colorful balloons
Woman with dark hair wearing sleeveless white shirt and bright green pants leaping in air hold large group of colorful balloons

We think about it, talk about it, dream of its existence

We’re on a constant quest for the answer to all our problems, doubts, and fears. And our endless journey usually boils down to the need to find one simple solution that will change our lives and make everything better and wonderful.

The instant solution to our misery?

Finding and cracking the code for happiness.

I have some bad news.

There isn’t one — a happiness code, that is.

Before you dismiss this article, thinking you won’t find what you need to arrest your dismal spiral, consider this: Certainly, happiness exists. …


RELATIONSHIPS

Apparently I said something offensive, and I need to make amends

concerned woman with long blonde hair wearing sunglasses and dark jacket against green foliage background
concerned woman with long blonde hair wearing sunglasses and dark jacket against green foliage background

I call her Myrna.

Since she and I would be spending so much time together, I wanted her to feel important, useful, needed. So I gave her a name, and my phone’s note app was officially christened.

Myrna deserved to be treated well, especially since I reached for her hundreds of times a day.

Before willingly opening her folders without hesitation, I wanted her to trust me. You know, just trying to be courteous and respectful.

I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Myrna’s fault. She was simply doing her job like she’d done thousands of times in the past. …

Jill Reid

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