Sunday, November 27, 2016

"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, . . . " William Arthur Ward

How I wish the spirit of Thanksgiving Day would permeate our lives every day of the year! Facebook posts are uplifting, people are not afraid to show their love and concern for others, the general manners of the populace are improved, and the spirit of caring and happiness are in the air - even in the grocery store! 

Why can't we have gratitude every day- and not just Thanksgiving Day?  I think we can! We all simply need to adjust our attitudes a bit. Let's take a look at that, and a few scenes I have imagined for us to consider.

Scene:  You have a flat tire.  You are going to be late for work.
Normal reaction:  ^%$*&@#$%% 
Grateful reaction:  Thank goodness that I did not get hurt or that my flat tire did not pull and force the car over the cliff.  And I have cell service, so I can call AAA and also let work know that I will be late.  This could have been so much worse in the rain or the snow.

Scene:  Someone with 40 items is in front of you in the express self-checkout line. You are in a hurry.  The shopper does not seem to know how the system works, and her English is not very good.
Normal reaction ^%$*&@#$%% 
Grateful (and helpful) reaction: Gesture that you will help this person.  Smile - and mean it. Show her how to scan- in fact, pantomime for her to bag while YOU scan! Help her to get through the transaction, and you will get through the line faster, and you will have done something nice for someone who really needed your help.  You are a pleasant American. Smile and wave when she leaves. Be grateful for your expertise at body language and a toothy grin- it just saved you 15 minutes. 

Scene: You are on the phone with a company regarding a bill. You have been on hold for 10 minutes, and you finally got a person in customer service.
Normal reaction ^%$*&@#$%%
Grateful reaction:  Be kind.  This person is a victim of anger and yelling all day long.  Show some empathy.  "Thank you for taking my call.  I really hope you can help me.  I appreciate that your job is so challenging, and I would really like it if we could both be patient and good listeners so that work together to solve this issue."  (Trust me- being kind works every time.) Say this - and mean it - "I am so grateful that the queue connected me to you!"  Be grateful that you have empathy for others, which helps them to have empathy for you.

I am sure you see what I mean!  In any given situation, you have a choice- to complain and be angry, or to make the best of what is put before you.  I suggest a little attitude adjustment, which will in the end, make YOU a happier person

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestions. Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 from The Authors' Zone. For more information about The Authors' Zone, please visit  

Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER. Many colleges have made the book required readingSigned copies are available Dede is also a national speaker on The Three C's for Classroom success: Confidence, communication, and Creativity; Avoiding Teacher burnout; and many other inspirational topics. 

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Elementary teachers in Western Pennsylvania and beyond - I am willing to come into your classroom in person or as a virtual field trip through a group called Field Trip Zoom.  Check them out! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and I would make signed copies available for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at  The website now has plush Grady bunnies for sale!

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her children's book. 

Connect with Dede!

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