**A Little Extra Optimism**

**Smiles & Happiness Make A Huge Difference**

While we are all still learning ways to deal with and accept what our “new normal” is, it can continue causing so many fears and stress. No one knows when or even if COVID-19 will come to an end allowing us to live comfortably and not wear a mask anytime we leave our homes. Of course, masks are suffocating and not comfortable, especially when the temperature is pushing 100 degrees outside, but a little discomfort can possibly save our lives.

In the meantime, as we are waiting for things to settle down, it is important to try remembering the positive aspects of life. So, let’s make a list of things we enjoy and some of our favorite things. It has been so long, some of us may have forgotten what it means to enjoy and favorite means. Enjoy means either to take delight or pleasure in or possess and benefit from. Favorite means preferred before all others of the same kind.

Now that we have had a little reminder, what are five things you enjoy? This can be anything you can think of, the sky is the limit! To get this started I will share my list of five things I enjoy the most.

1. Listening to music because this helps me relax and even helps my massive stress issues.

2. Of course, I enjoy writing. This is something that has always helped me to process and let go of my emotions, both positive and negative.

3. My husband probably will not appreciate me sharing this, but he will be okay. I enjoy watching General Hospital at night with my husband while we eat our dinner.

4. Even though my two sweet cats can get rather obnoxious at times, I do enjoy time with them fighting over my lap. Our older cat has an overwhelming need to sleep almost on my head every night; we actually end up sharing the pillow.

5. I enjoy quiet and drama-free evenings and weekends at home with my husband and our cats. Many people would say this is boring, but there have never been any troubles or issues caused by times like this.

We were already reminded about what favorite means, so now comes the questions! What are some of your favorite books, authors, movies, music, TV shows, places to travel, colors, meals, etc.? I guess this can be a little tricky because some favorites can go hand and hand, but we can have a little fun with it or at least I hope we can. I am going to share my five favorite types of music/musicians and my five favorite books/authors. I am hoping y’all will share some of yours as well because I think it will be fun and interesting.

Truthfully, I love most music. I am not a huge fan of country music though because it always makes me sad and that isn’t what I want when relaxing listening to music. So five of my favorite bands are the following:

1. Red Jumpsuit Apparatus because they will always hold a special place in my heart considering my husband proposed on stage with them before they sang “Your Guardian Angel”.

2. Radical Something because no matter how awful my mood is, their songs can make me smile and be calm. Their music has beach vibes, probably because they are in California!

3. Simple Plan because they have a calming, chill, and relaxing vibes. This band is from the country my husband and I have talked about moving to, Canada. Depending on the outcome of the upcoming election the move may happen sooner rather than later.

4. Taking things a little old school, but yet still current is Fall Out Boy. This is a rock band that started off playing in their garage back in Chicago Illinois before making it to the big time. My husband and I have enjoyed this band for many years now!

5. The Pretty Wreckless is an amazing rock band that took me a while to warm up to, but that was because my husband pushed them on me too much. I am a very stubborn person and when something is pushed on me too much, I will fight to hate whatever it is. This band is from NYC and has several songs that can make anyone smile because the singer is singing what most of us are thinking and feeling.

To save y’all a little time from reading too much, the only other favorites I am going to share is who my three favorite authors are and some of my favorite books by the author. My top three favorite authors are James Patterson, Nicholas Sparks, and Kelly Rimmer.

James Patterson has written many fantastic books and continues doing so to this day. I find him and his books very addictive and almost impossible to put down once you begin. Patterson’s series “The Women’s Murder Club” is one of the BEST series I have ever read. There have been 20 books released so far, with the 21st set to be released in 2021and I have read 19 of them. I had to slow down reading these books because it was torture when I finished a book and had to wait for the next one.

Another book I read by Patterson that was outside The Women’s Murder Club series was “Filthy Rich”. The incredible details he wrote in this book had me despising Jeffrey Epstein long before he was even arrested because it is a horrible and jaw-dropping story. Honestly, after reading the book I thought Patterson was supporting that disgusting and appalling perverted man causing me to not want to read another book from James Patterson. Thankfully, I later saw an interview James Patterson did and it was crystal clear he did not and never would support anyone like Epstein.

While James Patterson is an astonishing and enthralling author, Nicholas Sparks is a captivating author on a whole different level and style. Since Nicholas Sparks began his writing career in the mid- ‘90’s with his first book, “The Notebook” that was not only a best-seller but even turned into a hit movie later. He continued his incredible journey writing many other fabulous and beautiful love stories that could bring tears to anyone’s eyes. A few more of his books that were brilliant consist of Two by Two, Every Breath, The Best of Me, The Last Song, and The Choice, but there are many others that would be very worth reading!

Kelly Rimmer is a truly spectacular author from the beautiful country, Australia. I have read all seven of her books that were released in the United States and cannot wait for her to release another. Kelly has an engaging and engrossing way to keep her readers completely mesmerized. She adds an emotional twist to the stories she writes. Kelly has a natural ability to make you feel every emotion each character is feeling.

The seven books that I have read of Kelly’s were so amazing they would be worth reading a second time. The books I have read were: Unexpected, Before I Let You Go, Suspending Reality, A Mother’s Confession, Me Without You, When I Lost You, and The Secret Daughter.

First, I want to thank you for visiting my site today! I hope your weekend has started off well and you are staying safe. Weekends are our time to rest and recuperate from a long week. I hope you are enjoying this post and you will share some of your favorite things and things you enjoy because I think it will be fun to see how much a like of different we are all. I admire differences because it allows for us to learn, grow, and build relationships!

I am looking forward to reading more of your posts this weekend and learning more about you if you are able to make a comment! Whatever the rest of your weekend holds, please do everything you can to stay safe! I hope y’all never forget that I am always sending y’all LOTS of love, comfort, support, and many positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa