Jeff Riley's Summer Update

July 13, 2023

As I write this, it is 92 degrees. Summer is officially here! I hope your summer is off and running well.  Things at the Friends Foundation are in full swing!

Since our last newsletter, we made new friends at our Picnic with Friends event and celebrated long-term supporters at our LoyalTea Celebration. We also hosted a fantastic Author Talk featuring Dr. Lisa Damour. Lisa discussed her latest book, The Emotional Lives of Teenagers - Raising Connected, Capable, and Compassionate Adolescents.  She provided valuable insight into supporting teens as they go through life and how to help them manage their emotions. Lisa addressed how it can be challenging to raise teens and then said something that caught my attention.

Instead of describing raising teens as difficult, challenging, or rewarding, she suggested calling it  “rich and spicy.” I loved this shift in how something seen as a challenge was reframed into a positive statement that more accurately reflects the experience of raising a teen. I have carried this over into my personal and professional life in describing things. If I had a difficult day but good things still happened, I can say it was rich and spicy. If I had a stressful but successful meeting, I could say it was rich and spicy. It has been a fun way to effectively communicate that something was demanding while also lightening its weight! Beyond the quizzical look others send, it drives a pleasant conversation.  

I’ll close with this; what phrases could you use to reframe our hot summer days into something positive? If you have some phrases you use, please share them. And, as we deal with the heat, I wish you a rich and spicy experience!

Yours very truly,

Jeff Riley
Executive Director
Denver Public Library Friends Foundation