Photo stories

  • Grief and loss,  Motherhood,  Photo stories

    September memories of Mom

    “There’s a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begin.” ~Mitch Albom, One More Day September is a bittersweet month — a month of longer shadows, golden light, shorter evenings, and rich, poignant sunsets. It’s the month when cottages are closed for the summer, school resumes, sweaters are pulled from storage, and autumn officially begins. In a way that only September can do, it feels like both a beginning and an ending. September 20…

  • Friendship and relationship advice,  Photo stories,  reciprocation,  relationships

    The right balance

     “Good relationships are built on mutual trust, mutual respect, and mutual effort.” ~Mona Sutphen I once read an article by a therapist who suggested that “imbalance” is often at the root of relationship trouble. When any relationship feels off, the therapist advised, it helps to do a reality check and consider what could be out of balance. Am I talking more than listening? Am I taking more than giving? Am I initiating social activities or just waiting for someone to call me? Understandably, we all have times when we fall short of being present in the ways people need us. Then again, sometimes we expect more than someone can give…

  • Health & wellbeing,  Inspirational quotes,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    The hero on your journey

    “It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ~Joseph Campbell Mythologist Joseph Campbell believed that everyone’s life is a “Hero’s Journey.” Along the way, there are metaphorical dragons to face. We each encounter life-changing challenges or setbacks (sometimes other people) that stand in our way. And while we rarely realize it until later, our biggest challenges and darkest moments contain the greatest lessons. For starters, there was the time I had both hips replaced within five months, in my forties, after a crippling battle with osteoarthritis. Though my surgical recovery took a while, I learned a…

  • approval seeking,  Personal growth,  Photo stories

    Whose approval do you need?

    “I must work harder to achieve my goal of not seeking approval from those whose approval I’m not even sure is important to me.” ~Lauren Graham, American actress Being a people-pleaser is exhausting. When I was younger, I spent a lot of time trying to impress my parents, my teachers, the cool kids at school, and every authority figure I was told to “respect” without question. In retrospect, I wish I had some of that time back. These days, people go to incredible lengths to get attention from virtual strangers on social media. Sometimes I’m embarrassed for them. As today’s quote suggests, it’s worth asking ourselves why we’re “seeking approval”…

  • Civility and manners,  Communication,  Events & news,  Photo stories

    When silence is golden

    “Tune out the cheap shots people take at you. Don’t waste words on people who deserve your silence. Sometimes the most powerful thing you can say is nothing at all.” ~Angel Chernoff Often called “too sensitive,” I used to be devastated by criticism of any kind. Thanks to my freelance writing career, I’ve learned that constructive criticism — and even rejection — can lead to growth and improvement if I’m willing to push my ego aside. You don’t have to try freelance writing to learn resilience. Life gives us plenty of opportunities to grow thicker skin. Then again, we need to spot the difference between constructive criticism and “cheap shots,”…