Women’s minds: Unwanted pop-ups

Reading books is not a love my husband and I share. However, a couple years ago he agreed to read a set of books that had piqued my curiosity. I came across the books while cataloguing for the Tabor College library, and decided they would be an interesting, if not enlightening, read.

In this particular case, I judged the books by their inviting covers and intriguing titles: ?For Men Only? and ?For Women Only,? written by a husband/wife duo of Shaunti and Jeff Feldhahn.

Finding ‘me time’ benefits everyone

I?ve always been a sucker for the TV sitcom.

As a kid, I would take a bath early on Friday night, get in my jammies and settle in for ABC?s TGIF?a full lineup of kid-friendly sitcoms including ?Step-By-Step,? ?Full House? and ?Family Matters.? My sister and I would sit in our bean bags and laugh at yet another escapade resulting in Steve Urkel?s nasally ?Did I do that??

In college, I remember studying the rhetoric of popular shows and realizing the humor of a sitcom often comes from exaggerated, negative stereotypes stemming from gender, race or relationships.

Because I was engaged and married while still in school, I took a personal interest in dissecting sitcom relationships?particularly that of Debra and Ray Barone from the sitcom ?Everybody Loves Raymond.?

Now we have something to write

I can always tell my mail has arrived by the distinct squeak-clank the mailbox makes as letters and other miscellaneous items are placed inside.

On one particular day last week, I was going through my recently deposited stash?junk, recycle bin, junk, recycle bin?when there it was, the first Christmas card of the season. I opened it to find a photo-card with three smiling faces and a merry Christmas wish.

After opening the card, I went through three levels of emotion. First, a feeling of warmth?we were remembered this Christ?mas by friends living in Oklahoma.

Second, a feeling of good intentions?our family should send out greeting cards this year with the face of our adorable 8-month-old plastered on the front.

Be thankful even on terrible days

About a month ago, Oct. 22 to be exact, I had a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Just like Alexander in Judith Viorst?s children?s book, ?Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,? nothing worked in my favor. And while I didn?t wake up with gum in my hair and no one forced me to buy ugly shoes, I did contemplate moving to Australia.

The day ended with me fighting tears and a monstrous headache. To try to unwind, I opened my new copy of Real Simple magazine and came across an article about thankfulness.

Although not a new concept, the article suggested making a daily gratitude list. Even though I didn?t expect to have much of a list at the end of my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I decided to try.

And much to my surprise, I listed 11 items, even on my worst day.