• Aging well,  Health & wellbeing,  Inspirational quotes

    When things get crazy

    “The world is a puzzle. There’s no need to make sense out of it.” ~Socrates If old Socrates thought his world was a puzzle, I wonder what he’d think of our world today? Sometimes, the best we can do is throw our hands in the air and surrender to the chaos — without adding any more to it. That doesn’t mean we should give up entirely, of course. As any good philosopher will tell you, there are situations we can’t change or control. But we can always take care of our own little corner of the world — and aim to find peace and sanity there. ~CL Photo: Clifford’s Coffee…

  • Civility and manners,  Friendship and relationship advice,  Ralph Waldo Emerson,  Self-care

    Emerson’s golden rule

    “As we are, so we do; and as we do, so is it done to us. We are the builders of our fortunes.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Emerson is one of my all-time heroes. A champion of self-reliance, this American essayist and lecturer had little sympathy for those who blamed their problems on other people or outside circumstances. He was ordained as a Unitarian minister in Boston in 1829, so it’s not surprising to hear echoes of the Golden Rule in today’s quote. (“In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.” ~Matthew 7:12.)  Emerson believed that personal responsibility is empowering. When we hold ourselves accountable for…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Health & wellbeing,  social skills

    Listening skills

    “One of the benchmarks of great communicators is their ability to listen — not just to what’s being said, but to what’s not being said as well. They listen between the lines.” ~ Laurie Buchanan, author I’ve always been interested in how communication works — or doesn’t work — in our daily lives. Good listening skills are as essential to healthy relationships as good talk. Thankfully, I’m married to a guy who’s an outstanding, empathetic listener. (That’s him in the background of the photo above.) More often than not, however, I notice that other people are so focused on what they want to say next that they aren’t really listening to…

  • Change,  Empty nest,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    Taking flight, growing strong

    “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest.” ~Pema Chodron Today’s quote spoke to me in several different ways. First, I thought of all the new college students who’ll soon be starting school — and how leaving the nest for the first time is such a milestone for our kids. The whole process involves facing change and challenges — and learning how to adapt. But Buddhist author Pema Chodron isn’t just referring to young people living on their own for the first time. She uses “the nest” as a metaphor for our comfort zone. No matter how old or young…

  • Aging well,  Health & wellbeing,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    Here and now

    “I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing. Dinner. Bath. Book. Bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.” ~Anna Quindlen A short overnight visit with our two-year-old grandson this week reminded me, again, how important it is to savor the moments we spend with children. I remembered his father’s toddler years (“Dinner, bath, book, bed”) and how quickly they flew. Too often, as Anna Quindlen points out, we neglect to savor the routines and rituals that anchor our lives. There’s always “the next thing” on our to-do lists. Childhood…

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