Last week brought so much sad & awful news around the globe that I found myself pretty emotionally worn by the end thinking of everyone involved. Yesterday though, I found two bits of solace, so I'll share with you in case they'll help you too. The first is a little book by George Saunders that I bumped into at the library, 'Congratulations, by the way: Some thoughts on Kindness.' It's a short and quick read based on a commencement speech that he gave at Syracuse University. A great reminder that the acts of kinds that we either do or wish that we had done are the things that truly stick with us. Ironically, the things that we are usually focused on are not what we will remember later down the road. Also, a bonus of some lovely illustrations of the starry universe as you go along. The other is this article that was in Sunday's New York Times, 'Love People, not Pleasure.' Arthur C. Brooks speaks of the things that will truly make us happy on our search for happiness, ironically are not what many of us seek. The things that DO bring us happiness are the people in our lives, while the other, extrinsic things (fame, fortune, material possessions, etc.) actually make us sick & unhappy. Give it a read, a great discussion on happy and unhappy. Locally, New Orleans' rise in murders and crime seemingly right in line with rising temps, is also troubling to say the least, as well as a cyclist being brutally killed by an 18 wheeler at a heavily trafficked intersection last week. Personally, my dear great aunt, a second grandmother to me, also passed away a little over a week ago. Life is all about balance & it seems the hardest to keep in mind and to achieve. To remember that balance is actually achievable can be easily forgotten and these two bits of hope helped to remind me of that. I hope that they give you a boost too if you need it and here's a wish of hope for balance sooner than later around the globe & peace for the places now at war. I also try to remember something that a dear friend has said to me many times, 'That after the mountain, comes the valley.' ps - for a lighter read, I also found this biography on Julia Child by Laura Shapiro, which is also off to an excellent start!