approval seeking,  Originality,  Personal growth

Whose life?

“Whose life are you living, yours or the one somebody prefers for you?” ~Vanita Oelschlager, Write with Me

By the time we reach middle age, we’ve established patterns, preferences, routines, and habits. We’ve made some difficult choices; traveled a few paths; tried a few different things. We want to believe we’ve ultimately crafted our own way of living — including the place we call home and how we choose our meals. In reality, each of us is a unique combination of influences — parents, siblings, partners, relatives, teachers, peers, and popular culture … just for starters.

Who are your strongest influences? Which ones suggested, or even dictated, the life you’re living now? ~CL

Throughout my career, I've worked as a book production editor, travel magazine editor, features writer, and weekly newspaper columnist. My award-winning lifestyles features and essays have appeared in many national magazines and anthologies, including Newsweek, Reader's Digest, The Christian Science Monitor, Writer's Digest, Victoria, Better Homes & Gardens, Bella Grace, and more. My weekly Sunday "Life Lines" column ran for 14 years in The Daily Tribune (Royal Oak, MI) and won a First Place (Local Columns) award from the Michigan Press Association. My essay collection, Writing Home, includes 93 previously published columns and essays focusing on parenthood and family life.

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