"To be mature you have to realize what you value most. It is extraordinary to discover that comparatively few people reach this level of maturity. They seem never to have paused to consider what has value for them. They spend great effort and sometimes make great sacrifices for values that, fundamentally, meet no real needs of their own. Perhaps they have imbibed the values of their particular profession or job, of their community or their neighbors, of their parents or family. Not to arrive at a clear understanding of one's own values is a tragic waste. You have missed the whole point of what life is for." (Eleanor Roosevelt)
I just started subscribing to Gretchen Rubin's "Moment of Happiness"-- daily quotations sent to your email. Have you read The Happiness Project? A lot of it is helpful and inspirational (and motivational). I'd say (for myself, of course) that all of it all at once is a bit overwhelming...I took a few chapters at a time, skipped ahead, and went back to review. Recently I went to her blog, and it's a bright and optimistic place, full of personal anecdotes and reader sharing, and lots of great ideas to try.
[I especially appreciate that she (Gretchen Rubin) is a fan of children's literature and actually started a children's lit reading group for ADULTS. Now I can come out of the closet! I love re-reading Lucy Maud Montgomery (Anne of Green Gables), Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), Chronicles of Narnia...I know there's lots of us who loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and cried reading Charlotte's Web. The fun books that got me reading when I was really little were of course Ramona Quimby, this Betsy book series --by Carolyn Haywood (I just looked it up) and of course Judy Blume -- those books were SO fun! They were my escape and comfort -- immediate comfort -- and I bet they still work better than Valium. When I work with the kids in the literacy program in middle school it seems like reading (to them) is not a comfort, but a constant struggle. There are all these easy-access (for adults and children) books now like Harry Potter, tons of vampire books, the Hunger Games...(but they can't compete with all the other distractions, iPad minis, the latest apps everyone's into, etc)...and I wonder how these sensational magicky books compare to the older kid lit books, the classics. Did you ever read Tuck Everlasting? That book totally haunted me. And what about Madeleine L'Engle, HOLY. I didn't really read much, just my favorites over and over. I didn't get into the Hobbit when all the kids were schlepping it around, but I think it's cool now. Oh, I read some Lemony Snicket cuz it's so weird! he writes such crazy stuff for kids!
Ok, that was the longest tangent ever.]