Wednesday, March 17, 2021

"Control the things you can control."


The Pandemic of 2020 has left many people frustrated and sad.  We can't see our friends and family; can't travel; can't pursue our normal fun events and social lives; we can't seem to find our normal lives.  Just like you, I have never spent this much time at home.  For months, I felt like everything was out of my control, but then I found something that I could do.  

When my husband died from stage 4 colon cancer in May of 2012, my life was a whirlwind of 16 hour days working with the contractors to update my house; go through Scott's things and give them to charity; find a new place to live; put my house up for sale; and look through 30 years of accumulated "stuff."  It was an exhausting pace that I kept up until it was all finished.  I had most of it done in about 6 months, but not all.  I moved way too possessions to my new condo.  My storage room was packed top to bottom, but I just wasn't ready to revisit all the personal papers and items that Scott and I owned together.  During the pandemic, I had the time to finally go through all those boxes.  Do you know what?  I felt better.  Better that I got rid of so much clutter, and better that I gave myself some closure.  I also had items that were brand new that we had never used.  I put them all on Facebook Marketplace and offered a no touch porch pickup.  My prices were reasonable, and I sold just about every item. I gave away bags of clothing that I had not worn in 2 years, and the local Dress for Success and a local women's shelter were thrilled to receive them.  I bought new bedroom furniture, and sold my antique furniture to someone who just loved it.  Although all of this was lots of work, I felt good!  I was controlling the clutter and unused items in my home and sharing them with others who needed them. My house, storage room, and garage feel so much bigger.  And I am happy that I put my time to good use.

We might not be able to control the virus and all the things we can and can't do, but having the ability to control something in our lives is a plus for mental health.  I strongly recommend doing what you can do to purge and donate, and give yourself more light, more air, and more space. 

As always, I welcome your comments and suggestionsRittman Publishing, LLC ®

Please invite Grady Gets Glasses (and me) into your school.  if you are not in the Pittsburgh area, we do virtual field trips with a group called Field Trip Zoom or we will come into YOUR classroom via  and a company called GRADY GETS GLASSES was the winner of Best New Children's Book 2016 and 2018 (new edition) from The Authors' Zone.Grady also won a 2018 prestigious Moonbeam Award for Best Children's Book with Merchandise.

Visit Dede's web page 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!

Twitter       @dederittman
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