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Is it real?

Nick loves the movie Top Gun.  He watches it over and over, singing the songs while following the story line.  In case you are not familiar with the story line, this is a spoiler alert!  Goose dies.

Nick always tells us at that pivotal point in the movie, “Goose is dead.”  It is like he has just learned that for the first time.  His emotional response is real each time even though he has seen the movie hundreds of times.  It’s one of the cute things that Nick does, but I realized that I do it too.

For example, when watching a movie I have seen before, the end is always the same and yet I too can be hooked in emotionally.

I was thinking about this the other day and I asked myself – Do I get caught up in emotional drama of things that have happened to me before?  Does my strong response take me by surprise each time even if I have previously had the same experience.

If I choose to drive on the various freeways around the city during the hours of 3 pm to 7 pm,  I am going to be in traffic.  People will cut me off in their attempt to get to their destination.  This will happen.  If I know that this will happen, why am I surprised?  Why do I let myself get upset?  Why don’t I recognize that this will happen and prepare myself emotionally and physically for the eventual situation?  Why do I let myself just roll along with the emotional outburst?  Is my response real or is it a conditioned response to the situation?

I have acted differently in other repeat situations.  Over the years, when Nick starts having seizures, we have prepared ourselves for the event.  Even though the initial start of the seizures is unexpected on any given day, I know that it is an eventual certainty and I have a plan.  We always have his rescue medicines available to him.  We know exactly what to do to support him and to minimize the effect of the seizures.  Preparing the plan, and implementing it, brings a sort of peace in the midst of the situation.

Why can’t I do this with those traffic situations or the long lines in the grocery store or the many many other things that create a strong emotional response of frustration and even anger.  I don’t get angry when Nick is seizing.  I just implement my plan.

I am grateful that I do feel emotions and I am not suggesting that we stuff our emotional response.  Rather, I am offering up the idea that we evaluate our response to determine if it is a real emotional release or a conditioned response to the situation.  Then, with that insight and forethought, we can plan and we can choose to respond differently.

I choose joy. I choose gratitude.  I choose peace.

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  1. “if you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got”

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Announcing that I have finished a book with the working title of “The Fairy Fort.” I am currently pitching it to publishers. Keep checking back to watch the progress of my newest novel.

Here is a quick glimpse of the story.

Sarah Doherty is an 18-year-old living in rural Ireland at the tail end of the Great War. Plagued by severe epilepsy, she is protected by her parents and lives a sheltered, secluded, lonely life. The Fae, local Irish fairies, interfere with her life. She falls forward a century in time through the local fairy fort of standing stones. She had a seizure in 1918 and woke up in 2020. The 21st century world includes life-saving prescriptions, physical comforts and the independence and freedom she seeks. The locals are welcoming and Andy Mclaughlin, a handsome young historian, is intriguing. She doesn’t want to return home.

Then a letter arrives from Boston divulging the story of Sarah and Andy’s lives that are deeply entwined in the previous century. They are not yet in love but as they seek to verify the letter through online resources, they feel a growing obligation to their unborn family and to each other. What would happen to their posterity living in Boston if they don’t return to 1918? Even if they do make it back, her parents can never know what happened to her or that would change everything.

This Young Adult time-travel romance explores the question: Do we have the freedom to make choices or is free will an elaborate illusion?

This is my third book. I love reading time travel romances. I am an advocate for epilepsy awareness because my 43-year-old son has intractable epilepsy. As a genealogist specializing in Irish research, I live part of the year in the village where the story is based. I wrote the book to help young adults understand that difficult situations can change your life. Sometimes miraculously.