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Are We There Yet?  vol. 211 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 211

On Sunday, I was doing what a lot of adults do: multitasking about the work I had to get done the following week while reading the newspaper. I came across a short article titled “What Toddlers Can Teach Us About Happiness and Well-Being.” Dr. Hasan Merali, a pediatric emergency room physician and associate professor at McMaster University, shared some habits of toddlers that might improve your mental and physical health.

Move more. “Two-year-olds are active for almost five hours a day. They move joyfully and instinctively.” I’ve seen a lot of articles and studies suggesting that physical activity such as walking has been shown to have a positive impact on physical and mental health and increase longevity.

Ask more questions when developing relationships. “One study found they (youngsters) asked an average of 107 questions an hour.” While that might be excessive for adults, my guess is that most of us are guilty of asking too few rather than too many questions.

Laugh more. “One study found that young children laugh six times as much as adults.” I think that many adults have been programmed over time to adopt a more serious tone to show that we are serious people. So, it might actually take an intentional effort to laugh more when we find something funny and leave our serious dispositions behind for a little while. It will be worth the effort if it makes you happier.

Toddlers learn a lot from mirroring adults, so let’s turn the tables and learn a little from them.

Take care and stay safe.


The Morningside by Tea Obreht

After being expelled from their ancestral home in a not-so-distant future, Silvia and her mother finally settle at the Morningside, a crumbling luxury tower in a place called Island City where Silvia’s aunt Ena serves as the superintendent. Silvia feels unmoored in her new life because her mother has been so diligently secretive about their family’s past, and because the once-vibrant city where she lives is now half-underwater. Silvia knows almost nothing about the place where she was born and spent her early years, nor does she fully understand why she and her mother had to leave. But in Ena there is an opening: a person willing to give the young girl glimpses into the folktales of her demolished homeland, a place of natural beauty and communal spirit that is lacking in Silvia’s lonely and impoverished reality.

Enchanted by Ena’s stories, Silvia begins seeing the world with magical possibilities and becomes obsessed with the mysterious older woman who lives in the penthouse of the Morningside. Bezi Duras is an enigma to everyone in the building: She has her own elevator entrance and leaves only to go out at night and walk her three massive hounds, often not returning until the early morning. Silvia’s mission to unravel the truth about this woman’s life, and her own haunted past, may end up costing her everything.

Startling, inventive, and profoundly moving, The Morningside is a novel about the stories we tell—and the stories we refuse to tell—to make sense of where we came from and who we hope we might become.