John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

The benefits of staying positive

By Carol Gooch / Healthy Living columnist

When you are starting a healthy diet, beginning an exercise program, stopping an unhealthy habit or working on a relationship, one of the main elements for success is staying positive.
The power of remaining positive, whatever the situation, can never be underestimated. We are all here for a limited period of time, is it worth it to spend any of that time in a depressed, negative mood?
The true test of an individual to remain positive is when challenges become difficult. Remaining positive keeps one’s mind in the right state of balance and often opens resolutions to the problems at hand.
Negativity is contagious and it spreads to anyone you interact with. Eliminating negativity, or rather, being positive is a mindset that can be found at any moment, and turned into a habit. So, what are some ideas to help you shift your mindset to remain positive?
Be conscious of your thoughts. Especially, when life just isn’t going your way. The moment you see that you are diving into frustration, agony, sorrow and low self-esteem – shift your thoughts, by thinking about something completely unrelated. This breaks the pattern of self-pity. What makes us different from other mammals is our ability to control our thoughts and think for ourselves.
There is a lesson to be learned from every situation. You may have made a mistake, but now you can accept it and continue, knowing that you will make a different decision in the future. Understand this and be appreciative for the experience.
You cannot be both angry and grateful at the same time. Start counting the blessings and miracles in your life, start looking for them and you will find more. You are alive and breathing! Realize how lucky you are and all the abundance in your life.
Practice seeing yourself positive and confident. Do this whenever you have a few minutes (examples: Waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting in traffic.) Self-affirmations (list of positive statements about yourself) are another simple and powerful tool to train your subconscious to see yourself in a positive light. This is important, as many of us can be hard on ourselves.
Memories that can immediately make you smile such as occasions where you felt happy, appreciative and cheerful give a balanced perspective to your situation. You realize that what appears negative today will change tomorrow. Nothing stays the same.
See if you can stop criticizing others and situations. Our cultural conditioning teaches us to find flaws and problems at all times. Shift from fault-finding to appreciation-finding. Alter your attitude.
The situation probably won’t change whether you are positive or negative, so you might as well stay positive. The habit of remaining positive takes practice and commitment. You are in control of your thoughts, so begin now and have a positive life. 
Take care of your MENTAL HEALTH.

Carol Gooch, MS, LPC-S, LCDC, LMFT, is a columnist for the Montgomery County Healthy Living Alliance www.healthylivingmc.com and she is the Director of Business Development for Aspire Hospital at 2006 South Loop 336 West, Suite 500, Conroe, TX 77304.

                                                           300 quotes from Emerson
To view more Emerson quotes or read a life background on Emerson please visit the books blog spot. We update the blog bi-monthly

Ask yourself this question: ‘Will this matter a year from now?’” Richard Carlson  

 “I want to get you excited about who you are, what you are, what you have, and what can still be for you. I want to inspire you to see that you can go far beyond where you are right now.” Virginia Satir

Anonymous. 17th Cent. 
368. Sir Patrick Spens 

"Sir Patrick Spens" is one of the most popular of the Child Ballads (No. 58) (Roud 41), and is of Scottish origin. The events of the ballad are similar to, and may chronicle, an actual event: the bringing home of the Scottish queen Margaret, Maid of Norway across the North Sea in 1290 (though there is speculation that it may relate to a voyage by the princess's mother in 1281). The seven-year-old princess died on the crossing, though not in the manner of Sir Patrick in this song. However, many of the ships sent to fetch her are said to have foundered and perished.

 The opening lines do refer to the king who is specifically located in Dunfermline where historically there was a royal residence, Malcolm's Tower.

The name "Patrick Spens" has no historical record, and, like many of the heroes of such ballads, is probably an invention, although some historians believe that he was actually Sir Patrick Vans.

The story as told in the ballad has multiple versions, but they all follow the same basic plot. The King of Scotland has called for the greatest sailor in the land to command a ship for a royal errand. The name "Sir Patrick Spens" is mentioned by a courtier, and the king despatches a letter. Sir Patrick, though honoured to receive a royal commission, is dismayed at being put to sea in the dead of winter, clearly realising this voyage could well be his last.

Versions differ somewhat at this point. Some indicate that a storm sank the ship in the initial crossing, thus ending the ballad at this point, while many have Sir Patrick safely reaching Norway. In Norway tension arises between the Norwegian lords and the Scots, who are accused of being a financial burden on the king. Sir Patrick, taking offence, leaves the following day. Nearly all versions, whether they have the wreck on the outward voyage or the return, relate the bad omen of seeing "the new mune late yestreen, with the auld mune in her airms", and modern science agrees the tides would be at maximum force at

I. The Sailing

THE king sits in Dunfermline town   
  Drinking the blude-red wine;   
'O whare will I get a skeely skipper   
  To sail this new ship o' mine?'   
O up and spak an eldern knight,          5 
  Sat at the king's right knee;   
'Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor   
  That ever sail'd the sea.'   
Our king has written a braid letter,   
  And seal'd it with his hand,   10 
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens,   
  Was walking on the strand.   
'To Noroway, to Noroway,   
  To Noroway o'er the faem;   
The king's daughter o' Noroway,   15 
  'Tis thou must bring her hame.'   
The first word that Sir Patrick read   
  So loud, loud laugh'd he;   
The neist word that Sir Patrick read   
  The tear blinded his e'e.   20 
'O wha is this has done this deed   
  And tauld the king o' me,   
To send us out, at this time o' year,   
  To sail upon the sea?   
'Be it wind, be it weet, be it hail, be it sleet,   25 
  Our ship must sail the faem;   
The king's daughter o' Noroway,   
  'Tis we must fetch her hame.'   
They hoysed their sails on Monenday morn   
  Wi' a' the speed they may;   30 
They hae landed in Noroway   
  Upon a Wodensday.   

II. The Return

 'Mak ready, mak ready, my merry men a'!   
  Our gude ship sails the morn.'   
'Now ever alack, my master dear,   35 
  I fear a deadly storm.   
'I saw the new moon late yestreen   
  Wi' the auld moon in her arm;   
And if we gang to sea, master,   
  I fear we'll come to harm.'   40 
They hadna sail'd a league, a league,   
  A league but barely three,   
When the lift grew dark, and the wind blew loud,   
  And gurly grew the sea.   
The ankers brak, and the topmast lap,   45 
  It was sic a deadly storm:   
And the waves cam owre the broken ship   
  Till a' her sides were torn.   
'Go fetch a web o' the silken claith,   
  Another o' the twine,   50 
And wap them into our ship's side,   
  And let nae the sea come in.'   
They fetch'd a web o' the silken claith,   
  Another o' the twine,   
And they wapp'd them round that gude ship's side,   55 
  But still the sea came in.   
O laith, laith were our gude Scots lords   
  To wet their cork-heel'd shoon;   
But lang or a' the play was play'd   
  They wat their hats aboon.   60 
And mony was the feather bed   
  That flatter'd on the faem;   
And mony was the gude lord's son   
  That never mair cam hame.   
O lang, lang may the ladies sit,   65 
  Wi' their fans into their hand,   
Before they see Sir Patrick Spens   
  Come sailing to the strand!   
And lang, lang may the maidens sit   
  Wi' their gowd kames in their hair,   70 
A-waiting for their ain dear loves!   
  For them they'll see nae mair.   
Half-owre, half-owre to Aberdour,   
  'Tis fifty fathoms deep;   
And there lies gude Sir Patrick Spens,   75 
  Wi' the Scots lords at his feet! 

 Good Words to Have

Clandestine:  Marked by, held in, or conducted with secrecy : surreptitious.  It comes to us by way of Middle French from Latin clandestinus, which is itself from clam, meaning "secretly."

“But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love;

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;

To rest at noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;

To return home at eventide with gratitude;

And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise on your lips.”     Kahlil Gibran


(A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act V scene i)
“Lovers and madmen have such seething brains,
Such shaping fantasies, that apprehend
More than cool reason ever comprehends.”

In 1962, six year old John Tuohy, his two brothers and two sisters entered Connecticut’s foster care system and were prompltyl spilit apart. Over the next ten years, John would live in more then ten foster homes, group homes and state schools, from his native Waterbury to Ansonia, New Haven, West Haven, Deep River and Hartford. In the end, a decade later, the state returned him to the same home and the same parents they had taken him from. As tragic as is funny complelling story will make you cry and laugh and come to understand the life of a child who gets lost in the system.

John William Tuohy is a writer who lives in Washington DC. He holds an MFA in writing from Lindenwood University. He is the author of numerous non-fiction on the history of organized crime including the ground break biography of bootlegger Roger Tuohy "When Capone's Mob Murdered Touhy" and "Guns and Glamour: A History of Organized Crime in Chicago."

His non-fiction crime short stories have appeared in The New Criminologist, American Mafia and other publications. John won the City of Chicago's Celtic Playfest for his work The Hannigan's of Beverly, and his short story fiction work, Karma Finds Franny Glass, appeared in AdmitTwo Magazine in October of 2008.

His play, Cyberdate.Com, was chosen for a public performance at the Actors Chapel in Manhattan in February of 2007 as part of the groups Reading Series for New York project. In June of 2008, the play won the Virginia Theater of The First Amendment Award for best new play. 

Contact John:


A truthful, inspirational and uplifting memoir of life in the US foster care system This book is definitely a must for social workers working with children specifically. This is an excellent memoir which identifies the trails of foster children in the 1960s in the United States. The memoir captures stories of joy as well as nail biting terror, as the family is at times torn apart but finds each other later and finds solace in the experiences of one another. The stories capture the love siblings have for one another as well as the protection they have for one another in even the worst of circumstances. I found the book to be a page turner and at times show how even in the hardest of circumstances there was a need to live and survive and make the best of any moment.

This book is a must-read for anyone who administers to the foster care program in any state.This book is a must-read for anyone who administers to the foster care program in any state. this is not a "fell through the cracks" life story, but rather a memoir of a life guided by strength and faith and a hard determination to survive. it is heartening to know that the "sewer" that life can become to steal our personal peace can be fought and our peace can be restored, scarred, but restored.

A captivating, shocking, and deeply moving memoir, No Time to Say Goodbye is a true page turner.A captivating, shocking, and deeply moving memoir, No Time to Say Goodbye is a true page turner. John shares the story of his childhood, from the struggles of living in poverty to being in the foster care system and simply trying to survive. You will be cheering for him all the way, as he never loses his will to thrive even in the darkest and bleakest of circumstances. This memoir is a very truthful and unapologetic glimpse into the way in which some of our most vulnerable citizens have been treated in the past and are still being treated today. It is truly eye-opening, and hopefully will inspire many people to take action in protection of vulnerable children.

I found myself in tears while reading this book.I found myself in tears while reading this book. John William Tuohy writes quite movingly about the world he grew up in; a world in which I had hoped did not exist within the foster care system. This book is at times funny, raw, compelling, heartbreaking and disturbing. I found myself rooting for John as he tries to escape from an incredibly difficult life. You will too!

A compelling story of life in the Ct foster care system. At times disturbing and at others inspirational. I found this book to be a compelling story of life in the Ct foster care system. at times disturbing and at others inspirational ,The author goes into great detail in this gritty memoir of His early life being abandoned into the states system and his subsequent escape from it. Every once in a while a book or even an article in a newspaper comes along that bears witness to an injustice or even something that's just plain wrong. This chronicle of the foster care system is such a book and should be required reading for any aspiring Social Workers .

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