The Magnolia Story

Read it now: The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines with Mark Dagostino.

I’m able to watch HGTV’s Fixer Upper house decorating and remodeling show. It features the husband Chip and wife Joanna who have four kids.

The show was an instant sensation. The book is a revelation.

The Magnolia Story is more uplifting and inspiring than any book I’ve read recently.

I recommend buying the book and keeping it on hand to read and savor.

Joanna’s wisdom is the prime selling point for buying the book:

“It was such a blessing to find myself thriving in the middle of the pain. Unless you find a way to do that, there’s always going to be this fake illusion that once you get there–wherever ‘there’ is for you–you’ll be happy. But that’s just not life.

If you can’t find happiness in the ugliness, you’re not going to find it in the beauty, either.”

I’m buying a copy to give as a gift.

More than this, the underlying theme of perpetual miracles given to Chip and Joanna Gaines can seem impossible for others to obtain.

The duo kept having an endless spate of triumph just when the hard times threatened to do them in. It’s best to overlook that they were luckier than a lot of people have been. Their financial struggles came through loud and clear in the book. It proves that they were not privileged; they were just fortunate to have benefactors who believed in them.

Finding your own benefactors could be the sole topic of a book of its own.

I say: use this book to your advantage in crafting your own “magnolia story” for yourself and your loved ones.

Be joyous when others succeed. Be proud when you succeed. Get support from others and give support to others in times of need.

Power your own flowering story’s book with love and compassion.

That’s the true message of The Magnolia Story: kindness can be a raft carrying us over to a better place.


A Sense of Place

Round here if you’re a single person and live in supportive housing you’ll most likely be forced to live with a roommate or in a studio as opposed to a one-bedroom.

I make the case for finding what’s called a “free market apartment” or if you’re lucky to have it a rent-stabilized apartment like is offered here in New York City.

Too I make the case for living on your own if you can afford to instead of with a roommate.

I lived on Staten Island for about two years on my own when I was first starting out in recovery.

Like I wrote here before I recommend¬† living where it’s economically advantageous not where it’s the latest trend to follow.

I’m proud that by moving to the neighborhoods I did I was NOT part of the ongoing gentrification that has become rampant in cities across America.

Staten Island had its good points. Prime among them was that the rent was cheap.

The drawback was having to take the clunky Staten Island Ferry into and home from the city. The yellow boats were slow and old and got into a number of accidents.

Like a lot of the left of the dial ethic I do think doing your own thing is imperative this way and any other way.

If a person feels like they don’t fit in it’s all the more valid in terms of a life design to do your own thing.

Having a sense of place in the world–first of all with your own livable apartment–can make the difference in recovery.

I will talk about housing more in future blog entries here.