Hey, Conservative Guy

Hey, Conservative Guy

Can we talk? Psst. Over here It’s me, the spiky-haired liberal woman with the “SNFLAK” license plate (SNOWFLAKE: get it? See, not all of us libs take ourselves too seriously). Before you roll your eyes and turn away, let’s acknowledge one thing we have in common: you and I both get a daily drenching from the firehose that is media. And those messages — especially the ones from social media, a personalized, targeted stream with the force of a psychological power washer — tell you and me very different things. Or, the same things but from opposite angles. The one…

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Happiness: A Radical Act

Happiness: A Radical Act

Living lightly in dark times There’s no end of reasons to be unhappy In this third spring of the pandemic, we are only just emerging, or so we hope, into some semblance of our old freedoms. As we begin to confront its staggering collateral damage — burned-out teachers, a mental health epidemic among school-aged kids, older adults in assisted living facilities who may never recover the cognitive ground lost during the long stretches of isolation — a new crowd of miseries pounds at the doors of our awareness. We watch in horror as the atrocities mount against Ukrainian civilians, as…

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Can You Believe These Amazing Deals?

Can You Believe These Amazing Deals?

No, you can’t. Learn from my mistake I should have known better When a deal is too good to be true, there’s always a catch. You’d think that with my wisdom and experience I’d be too savvy to fall for the siren song of those online clothes retailers’ ads that pop up when I’m researching or reading the news. But my love of clothes far outstrips my budget, so when beguiling photos of outfits — each costing less than a couple of decent cocktails — divert my attention from worthier pursuits, I’m an easy fish to hook. Especially right now,…

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Mom’s Answer to Aging

Mom’s Answer to Aging

I couldn’t appreciate it until now Our mother’s words are on repeat in our heads At least they are if we were lucky enough to have mothers, or mother figures, who nurtured and nagged and niggled at us through our formative years. Mom’s admonitions pop up at the drop of an unconscious trigger: while getting dressed, for instance, and discovering a hole in your underwear. “What if you get in a car crash?” says Mom, who may be thousands of miles away or have moved on to another plane of existence entirely. Your adult self thinks it’s silly, but Mom’s…

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Light in the Darkness

Light in the Darkness

Could Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pull Americans together? This post was born in a liquor store Don’t jump to conclusions. For the record, it was late morning and I was as sober as a judge. We’ll come back to the incident in a bit, but for now I’ll just say that it was one of those random moments when great events in the larger world bleed through into otherwise ordinary aspects of daily life. Meanwhile, it’s safe to say that we are living in unsafe times; history is engulfing us whether we want it to or not, and while life…

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For Women Who Yearn to Be Heard

For Women Who Yearn to Be Heard

Life-changing new technology! Tired of trying to get a word in, ladies? Worn out by meetings where you can’t find an opening to state your thoughts because another gender keeps taking up all the verbal space? Tired of men who are perfect strangers standing outside your car as you parallel park, waving instructions at you that you didn’t ask for and don’t need? Fed up with presenting your boss with suggestions that he ignores until he hears the same idea from a male colleague? Have your words been spoken over in Zoom meetings so many times that you check your…

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Bringing War Closer

Bringing War Closer

Suddenly Ukraine isn’t far away A time has come I never thought I’d live to see As Russian forces massed on the borders of Ukraine and Putin ginned up justifications for an unprovoked invasion, I hoped he could be edged back from the brink. I listened to President Biden’s near-daily warnings of an imminent attack on Kyiv with dread, sure, but also the hope that the repeated call-outs, the strategic intelligence spills, the warnings of sanctions, and the growing outcry among European leaders, would bring the Russian leader to his senses. My cautious hopes sank along with my stomach as…

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Listen to Your Body

Listen to Your Body

Before it starts screaming at you Our bodies speak to us in sensations So say a number of the yoga teachers I’ve had the pleasure to study with over the years. It’s an illuminating addition to the admonition we hear all the time to “listen to your body,” and it makes sense. Our bodies, like good draft horses, do their best to follow our commands so much of the time that we take them for granted. They ask only for adequate feeding, maintenance, and rest. When something interferes with the body’s obedience, whether through illness or injury or the unreasonableness…

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What Did I Miss While I Was Gone?

What Did I Miss While I Was Gone?

It seems the world went on without me Returning from vacation is weird \Getting away for longer than an extended weekend takes a lot of forethought, a lot of anticipation, a lot of fortune-telling: you will wish you’d brought that sweater; you will regret bringing those shoes; you will be approached by a stranger bearing a large fruity drink containing a tiny umbrella. There’s the locale you’re traveling to that must be considered, as well as your manner of travel, and how to maximize your enjoyment and secure your comfort in both. Excursions to plan, dinner reservations to make, inflatable…

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