Year: 2019

crabapple flowers

Cherry Blossoms

At my mom’s, outside the sliding-glass door in her living room, across the narrow stone patio and a swath of grass bright green from recent rain, there is a cherry tree. Cornus mas. It is about 20 feet tall and just as wide. The blossoms are a soft baby pink, with the slightest hint of sweetness. …

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Hosta growing in the shade

Three Choices

Last week, I argued with reality: “She shouldn’t just push her empty plate at me and expect me to pick it up.” “He should help, or at least call.” “I should be making more progress on my book.” Every ‘should’ pointed to an argument with reality. Arguments with reality result in anger (negative energy directed …

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new growth on an evergreen

What We Are Given

I am back at my mom’s again, this time by automobile rather than airplane because I don’t know how long I will need to be here. On other trips I have come out of obligation (could she tell?), with silent wishes for a mother different from the one I have (could she hear?). This time …

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Leda running

Do’s Aren’t Enough

“What thoughts do I allow myself to think at breakfast?” I read that recently somewhere. I thought it was in one of Steven Pressfield’s Writing Wednesdays blog posts but can’t find it now. The point the author was making was that in service of fulfilling our intentions, what we don’t do is as important as …

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Aren’t you afraid…?

The third question: Aren’t you afraid you’ll get writer’s block? Writer’s block doesn’t frighten me. This is not because I view myself as exceptional or immune. I am not afraid of writer’s block for the same reason I am not afraid of talker’s block: it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t happen unless I give in to the resistance that …

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How did you do it?

According to a 2014 study by the RAND Corporation, 49% of single women will not have enough savings for retirement, compared to 20% of married couples and 35% of single men.  The second question: How did you do it? Meaning: How did you afford it? There are things I was given and things I did …

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Three Questions

In the process of transitioning out of full-time employment, there were three questions I was asked consistently. The first came from people around my age and they asked it only when no one else was around: How did you know it was time? The second was asked only by women and, like the first, was …

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Ruminating on Good

The opposite of worrying a wound is ruminating on good. The word “ruminate” comes from cows chewing their cud. Just as cows regurgitate their cud to re-chew it, humans do the same—not with food but with experiences. Our behavior is understandable because it is how the human brain is hardwired. Back when our ancestors lived on …

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Leda in pajama pants

Worrying Her Wound

(If you don’t want to see a photo of an icky wound, stop scrolling when you get to the end of the post.)  When I was in Tampa for my final trip for the bank, Leda was in boarding. Leda is my greyhound. She is nine-and-a-half years old and we have lived together since she …

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