From time to time, I select a book from my bookcase to be re-read. I do this for a few reasons. First of all, I have so many books, and am always finding more books to add to my collection, that it comes down to an issue of space. Secondly, some of my books were initially read so many years ago, I don’t even remember them all that vividly. So, if a book isn’t one I would enjoy reading again, then I don’t need to keep it.
Recently I re-read Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff with Your Family by Richard Carlson, Ph.D. The book has a copyright date of 1998, and I remember I first read it when I was still a full-time college student and working part time at the Beverly Hills Public Library. I started teaching in 2001, so it’s been at least 15 years since I’ve last read this book.
What surprised me on this re-read, is that the advice that resonated with me then, still resonates with me now.
Take for example tip #11: “Live From Your Heart.”
Upon my first read, I used a pink pen to underline different phrases. I had drawn an arrow next to the tip’s title. I had even folded down the page.
This time around, I put a post-it on the page as a reminder that this was something I wanted to write about. (Hence this blog).
“Living from your heart means that you choose a life and a lifestyle that are true for you and your family.”
During my first read, I was newly married. During this read, I was on the verge of celebrating my 17th wedding anniversary, and my son will be turning 8 next month. And I’m proud to say that I had acknowledged we were living from our hearts then, and we continue to live from our hearts now.
“Living from your heart means that you trust your own instincts more than the pressures from advertising or the expectations of society, neighbors, and friends.”
We certainly don’t let others’ expectations dictate what we do or don’t do. I know several people who strongly disagree with our choice to rent instead of own. I know others who disapprove of me not enrolling my son in any after-school activities.
But that’s them.
I ignore them and instead, continue to listen to my heart.