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Are We There Yet? vol. 224 Thumbnail

Are We There Yet? vol. 224

Over the past week or so, the New York Times has had a Friendship Challenge. The idea is to provide some science-backed strategies to help revive fizzling friendships and deepen your close ties. It starts with a quiz to understand your friendship style, and hopefully leads to stronger bonds with your friends. My first question was, Why? Why do we need this challenge, and why do we need to strengthen bonds with friends with whom we may have lost touch or drifted?

It turns out that there are a lot of reasons for deepening friendships.   We all know that friendships can enrich our lives. Friends can help us learn about ourselves and challenge us to be better people. But there are increasing numbers of studies that show that friendships may be as important to our well-being as nutrition and exercise. Having a close circle of friends has been shown to decrease our risk of diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Friends help to decrease feelings of isolation or loneliness, which are linked to issues like high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.

So, if you find that you have friendships that have fizzled, take the challenge and see if you can revive those relationships.

Take care and stay safe.


A Better World: A Novel by Sarah Langan

You’ll be safe here.

That’s what the tour guide promises Dr. Linda Farmer and her family when they move to Plymouth Valley. Sure, the locals are privileged hot house flowers who observe a weird religion Hollow, but the schools are blue ribbon, the air’s clean, the food’s fantastic, and Linda’s out of options. With the outside world in shambles, this move is her family’s last chance.

Linda, her husband, and their teen twins work hard to fit in, accommodating their square peg personalities into rounded holes. It works at first—the family rise up, gaining acceptance from the powerful elite. Then Linda encounters Gal Parker, a hot mess of a woman, whose wife has abandoned her and whose kids are sick. One terrible night, Gal commits an unthinkable act.

All of Plymouth Valley turns on Gal, refusing to speak her name. But Linda can’t stop wondering: what would drive a woman to do something so awful? The more she learns, the more frightened she becomes. A clock is ticking, too—before the Plymouth Valley Winter Festival, Linda’s got to figure out: should she and her family be fighting to stay, or fighting their way out?

Learn more about Bob Len here.

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