Podcast 132: Consider Reading Children’s Literature, Refresh Your Workspace.

Try This at Home

Feeling overwhelmed by the news, or by events in your life — or both? Consider reading children’s literature. I love reading children’s literature all the time, but when I feel anxiety or dread, I often turn even more readily than usual to children’s literature.

Need an excellent work of children’s literature — or rather, young-adult literature? Elizabeth’s book Flower is a terrific read.

And here’s my list of my 81 favorite works of children’s literature. The book I mention reading is E. L. Konigsburg’s brilliant From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Elizabeth mentioned Paula Danziger’s The Cat Ate My Gymsuit. So, so good! 

This try-this-at-home isn’t about escapism, or turning away from difficult truths and realities, but about finding ways to maintain your mental equilibrium during tough times. When we have more command of ourselves, we’re better able to engage with the world. C. S. Lewis’s essay, “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,” is fascinating. I’ve read it ten times. Elizabeth and Sarah talked about “feeling on the rack” in episode 9 of “Happier in Hollywood.” 

Happiness Hack

Cat, a Rebel, suggests choosing new desktop wallpaper as a fun way to change a work environment. She used the free service Unsplash

Four Tendencies Tip

Can you switch Tendencies? No, not really. But you can change your circumstances to harness the strengths of your Tendency, and to buttress the limitations and weaknesses of your Tendency. Want to take the Quiz to tell you whether you’re an Upholder, Questioner, Obliger or Rebel? It’s here. Or to learn even more, buy The Four Tendencies book. 

Listener Question

Abby is an Obliger who’s trying to work on a side hustle, but it’s hard to put the time into that effort when she’s also working for her father. If you’re pursuing a side hustle, be sure to check out Chris Guillebeau’s terrific podcast “Side Hustle School.” 

Elizabeth’s Demerit

Elizabeth has been feeling very crabby; she took it out on her husband Adam; and now she feels even worse.

Gretchen’s Gold Star

I give a giant gold star to the Delta counter agent who did a terrific job in handling the chaos that ensued during a five-hour weather delay. (Demerit: I should’ve found out his name, so I could acknowledge his excellence.) Here’s some fascinating research about waiting in line.




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