A Woman's Voice


B00K REVIEWS ~ “Growing Up And Liking It” (more steps to a happier self)

Book Review by Hope

Growing Up & Liking  It: Thirteen Steps to a Happier Self

Author: Dolores Ayotte.

(Tate Publishing, © 2010, 192 pages)

At a time when most of our lives are complicated by schedule, commitment, stress and expectation, motivational author Dolores Ayotte greets us with a delightful, easy to read book that suggests an alternative approach to experiencing our lives. A follow-up book to I’m Not Perfect and It’s Okay, Growing Up and Liking It is a compilation of 13 life lessons, born of the wisdom of a life well lived and told through relatable stories, anecdotes, personal experiences and inspirational quotes. In her book, Ms. Ayotte encourages her readers to slow down, to listen, to question and become enthusiastic about the lives they lead.

As a reader, we are given a sneak peek into the Ms. Ayotte’s relationship with her friends, her husband, her children and her grandchildren. Her stories, simply told, convey not just the wisdom of her experiences but the way she reflects on her experiences to better her perspective and enhance her own life.  Her stories convey a strong dependence on a faith well-honed, a spiritual soul at the center of her thought and natural teetering between the roles of teacher and student that lends a sense of humility in the conveyance of her message.

What I found quite interesting in the read of this book, is the number of inspirational quotes incorporated into the teaching of the 13 steps to a happier self. For me, this is testimony to the breadth of seeking and reflection that has gone into the living the life that inspired these lessons. Inspiration from the likes of Mother Theresa, the Bible and Vince Lombardi are woven into practical pearls of wisdom that are easy to apply to anyone’s life.

The underlying message I found in all 13 steps, is that in our own lives, we are the ones with the power to change what is not working. The author encourages us to know and address our own needs; physical, emotional and spiritual. She encourages us to choose wisely what we strive to be, and pay dear attention to the journey taken to achieve our goal. She encourages us to finish what we start, say what we mean and mean what we say. Though none of this is news to any of us, the reminder to pay attention to these simple things is so welcome in our event-driven, constant connect, always on, always available lifestyle that has come to be our way.

In reading this book, I felt like I was talking to an old friend. The language is simple yet poignant, the stories relatable and familiar, the rhythm of the read easy and the message clear and consistent. As I read her stories, I was reminded of similar ones in my own life and my own family making her message all the more accessible and her suggestions all the more applicable.

Each of the thirteen chapters ends with a summary and a reflection. In this, Ms. Ayotte gives the reader practical, doable suggestions to help us begin to examine our own lives and find the places where we can begin to find and welcome our true self.

The book ends with an Epilogue that reveals the delicate and painful experiences that paved the way for these lessons to be compiled. The startling honesty of Ms. Ayotte’s story inspires all us to question, to know ourselves, to trust ourselves and our instincts and to find and hear our own voice.

I’m Not Perfect and It’s OK and Growing Up & Liking It are must reads for anyone looking to better their station in life, is seeking to find and define their own life’s legacy or find their way through a personal crisis. The read is simple, the message profound and the author’s story an inspiration to be the best that is within us.

By: Hope Rising

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Book Review by Nikki Rosen

Dolores is a writer and a former teacher. She recently published her book, Growing up and Liking It, a follow-up to her first, I’m Not Perfect and It’s Ok.  

Dolores suffered with depression at one point in her life. Over the years, she learned some tools to help her rise above the darkness. Her book contains some of these life lessons that helped her to empower herself. Lessons she wants to share, to give others hope.

This compact book contains 13 self-help tips. Each chapter is a quick read with nuggets of truth Dolores shares from her life. She uses her interactions with family members; her husband, children and grandchildren to bring home her message of hope and empowerment.

In reading Growing Up and Liking It I felt as if I was sitting with Dolores listening to her share her heart. There is a genuine warmth and intimacy in her writing. This book can be helpful for people who need some “inspiration to get back on track.”

Nikki Rosen: Gentle Recovery 

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Book Review by Laura Davis

Growing Up and Liking It – 13 Steps to a Happier Self is the perfect sequel to I’m not Perfect and It’s Okay. The Canadian author,  Dolores Ayotte, once again gives down-to-earth practical advice that any woman would find valuable. I’m Not Perfect and It’s Okay the author’s previous book, left me with the feeling that I had just sat down with Dolores over a cup of coffee to get some good advice. Growing Up and Liking It, had me feeling much the same way. The advice is still sound and something we can all benefit from and Ayotte in her personable and likeable way, instantly makes the reader feel at home as she doles out her advice with anecdotes and quotes.In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen so many quotes in one book before. If anything, the author’s pen name should be “the quote lady” as I’m certain she has a good one for every occasion! But, as she explains in her book, “Over the last 25 years, I have collected numerous quips, quotes, stories and newspaper articles.”  This is something that comes naturally to her and has helped enormously in her writing. Without the quotes, the book just wouldn’t be the same.I love the author’s easy style of communicating with her readers. I can picture her at her desk, as she often stops in her writing to tell us what she is doing, or what her husband is doing while she is writing to us. Truly, she has a unique way of engaging the reader.At the end of each chapter Ayotte has provided questions or suggestions on how to get started on having a happier life. I found that I took a long time reading this book, not because it was a large book, it is only 192 pages, but  because I wanted to meditate on her suggestions.

I believe this is a good book for a woman’s study, combined with her first book you would get a good dose of wisdom and timely advice from a woman who loves the Lord and genuinely longs to share what she has learned from following Him.

Growing Up and Liking It – 13 Step to a Happier Self, is one book you will want to add to your shelf!

Laura Davis: Interview And Reviews 

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Growing Up & Liking It

by Author Dolores Ayotte

I find myself not being a huge fan of ‘self help’ books. Maybe for two reasons? One being maybe I think I have it all together and don’t need any book telling me how I should feel or how I should be acting. Or maybe it’s because I am afraid of what I might find behind the words someone else has written, that they may hit too close to home. But since I do not limit myself to just one particular genre, I agreed to read and review Growing Up & Liking It.

As I read, I found myself analyzing my inner self and the person I have allowed life to mold me into.  The more I read, the more I realized just how much of the ‘real’ me was missing. For so many years I relied on people and circumstances dictate how I was to live my life. I was one of those that would pretty much say what I thought people wanted to hear in order to be accepted and liked. After a period of time I could feel the ‘real’ me go more and more into the shadows and the me whom society accepted becoming stronger and stronger.   

  
I have been married and divorced 5 times, each time I thought ‘this is the one’ or ‘this one is my soul mate’. Each time, I got a huge slap of reality and a broken heart. I felt in some of the marriages like a robot, just existing. I felt my life and the purpose for me being on earth was to be a mom, wife, maid and so on. I existed each day to make the kids happy, the spouse happy or the neighbors happy. I gave up on making ‘me’ happy any longer and kept in the shadows. I found myself becoming depressed and feel worthless. At one point I had to go see a Dr. because if I did not get some help with my nerves, I told him I felt like killing my family. Back then, you could say that and not be taken out by a swat team.

By reading Growing Up & Liking It, it made me redefine myself. I realized that I was guilty of gossiping in the past, some in the present but made me to realize not to do it in the future because of how it DOES affect people. In the long term, gossiping can mold and shape a person’s way of thinking about themselves or of others. Words can be a lethal weapon that can cut a person to his or her core. Sometimes it can’t be repaired. Just as bullying can cause people to think so low of themselves, they find the only escape for them is suicide or self inflected pain such as cutting. 

 I can go on and on about the lessons I have learned from this book but I will stop here. And to be honest, I haven’t learned anything new, the old things have just “reawakened” and come to the surface. Things that have been hidden for protection deep down inside the ‘self’. I plan on reading the first self-help book she has written, and maybe I can rediscover myself in other ways as well. 

 I recommend this book very highly for those of you who have found that life has caused the ‘real’ you to be hidden away, safe behind a locked door. Read this book and others by her, and you will find she has the key to let them rejoin your life.
I give Growing Up and Liking It five stars *****

 

Reviewed by : Book Reviews by Nora Chipley Barteau  

 
  
  
 
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