Anita's Haven

books, thoughts, stories, poetry, interviews, writing


(Written on the 12th July, 2019, back when I couldn’t see)

It often surprises me when people think I am younger than I am, or when I am in the company of people my age and I feel younger than they are. Not physically, mind you – the face reveals everything. No matter how much we may try to hide it. But younger in spirit.

And then a day quite like this one takes place – the results of high-level English exams arrive, for children I’d worked with  since their kindergarten age, and who are now 18 or so. And in all that excitement and enthusiasm, I suddenly realise that those children will not be attending lessons again, that those children are not even children any more, and what’s best and most important, I know how much they’ve grown up, and how much still lays before them. And they are so well-directed or life and simply wonderful.

For some people it may seem strange for anybody to get attached to other people’s children like this, children you’d only seen maybe once or twice per week, but this connection is extraordinary and magical, filled with emotions, severe turbulence, changes and progress. And it lasts. And this is where I reach my key point – how this relates to my feeling of youth.

When there are such amazing young people growing up around you, you feel proud that life has given you a chance to be at least partly their guide, their teacher. And now that they are setting out on their journey of adulthood, it gives you a feeling of hope that the world will be a better place, that there will still be good, caring, kind and smart people around. Because you know that they are. And this hope makes you young at heart.

(There is lots more written on this paper, but it is empty and only shows traces of me moving my pen – the pen had run out of ink, but I could not see that then. Never mind. All is well now.)

#teaching #education #love #joy #work #cvrcak

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15 SECONDS TO WORLD PEACE by Barbara Harrison – my review

A cynic would grin and pass 15 Seconds to World Peace, or even pick it up just to be able to dispute its facts. But I don’t want to be a cynic; I want the apparent dream in the title to be real(ized), so I decided to read it.

The author tries to explain a simple method of turning positive thinking into a normal daily routine, much like sipping your morning coffee or waiting for the traffic light to change. She honestly believes that once we do our tiny 15-second part, we are changing the world. Let me admit the strength of my conviction is nowhere near the author’s. It would be hypocrisy to claim the opposite. But I am hoping to get there, because I know, from my own life experience, that positivity and kindness will breed more positivity and kindness. Perhaps not every time, but certainly more often than negativity, which never ever produces positive results (unless you are strong enough to embrace it as a learning experience). My only regret is not hearing the author actually speak these words. She provides examples, quotes and testimonials from people she has met through her life, and that is all commendable for a self-help guide such as this, but the power and depth of the author’s convictions come out strongest when she speaks from her own heart, in her own voice – you can almost hear it in your head.

So I do encourage you to give this book a go. If it creates even a spark of hope in you, it has already made an impact. And I am always up for embracing kindness and inspiring motivation. Changing the world 15 seconds at a time? Why not try?! Change for the better has been overdue for far too long.

(This review is written for the Readers Review Room.  According to its ranking level, I am happy to award it a blue bookworm.)

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To friends…

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It is not very often I share someone else’s quotes here, but this one just nails it. This matters, this is what I want our children to grow up to and into.
Purpose. Period. No gender, no race, no divisions. Purpose.#kindness #positivity

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HOW TO LEAD A SATISFYING LIFE by Shiv Harsh – my review no.25

Breathe, think and live a better life

Sometimes you just need to read some non-fiction, and you don’t want it to be the newspapers, historical facts or guidebooks. You want it to be relaxing, inspiring, and you want it to make you think, but not burden you.

This book is told from a very interesting perspective – explaining the Gita in everyday life situation and terms, as the author Shiv Harsh sees it. It made me remember the saying that you never know anything really well till you are able to explain it in very simple terms. The author manages that admirably. Whether you know the writings or not, whether you are a religious person, or simply a person who likes a pro-active outlook on life, this book will be a good read for you. Although, I have to say, this book would stand its ground even without references to the Gita.

It may not solve the world’s issues, or your life’s, because it does not profess to do so at all. Do not expect bombastic, magical solutions. It does not preach religion, it does not lay blame, it does not release you of any guilt, nor does it tell you everything will be alright. But if your mind sometimes feels like muddy waters, this will definitely help you clear it out. What I especially like about it is that, despite its seeming brevity, it is so packed with thoughts and lines, that it will make you stop, pause, think and rethink. If you want to get this book’s true worth, you will not rush through. Even if you do, you will probably re-read soon enough. I kept wondering if the world would be a dull place if we all had our emotions under control, if we all really persevered in this perfect serenity and moderation. It definitely is something to strive for, for the sake of our own peace. Doing what we dream off doing, no excuses, no delays. Being who we are, respecting what others are. Keeping a healthy mind and soul in a healthy body because we can, not thanks to pharmaceuticals… To be completely honest, there were places in this book where I found myself, and I didn’t really want to. But it made me think. The lessons in the final summary all make sense.

I know several people I will recommend this book to. Not to preach, but to inspire them to pause, take a deep breath and decide what they want to remove from their lives, and what to keep steering in or toward. Bit by bit, life by life, is how the world CAN change. We may as well try!


This book on amazon

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Oh joy!

Sneaking my teaching career into my writer’s blog…

I have been correcting final exams for my students these last two weeks, and I have just realized how much progress these people have made since I first met them as little kids, till now – when they have come off age but still know there is so much to learn about life. Just listening to their interviews and reading their essays made me all emotional, proud and excited! Yes, what a wonderful world this is!

These great young people fill me with optimism – there IS hope for us yet, with such fantastic young minds and hearts eager for a good life!

It is a privilege to be part of their journey!