• Autumn,  Change,  Halloween

    Ch-ch-ch-changes

    “There is nothing permanent except change.” ~Heraclitus, Greek philosopher As much as I love Michigan’s dynamic four seasons, I’m not quite ready for autumn — which officially started yesterday. A neighbor’s maple tree is already starting to turn red, and the temperature suddenly dipped low enough to call for sweaters and boots. But I’m still running around in sandals and summer cotton tops. I don’t avoid change, but tend to follow rituals and routines. I patronize the same favorite restaurants, favor the same pair of jeans (though I have a drawerful of others), and brew a pot of coffee at the same time every morning. You too? Last week I…

  • Featured,  grandparenting,  Home & Family,  Parenting advice

    A little night magic

    “Sometimes you never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory.” ~Dr. Seuss Our son had warned us that our two-year-old grandson, Liam, might have trouble settling to sleep during his weekend stay with us. While this was a change from Liam’s usual pattern — he’d usually fall asleep without a struggle — Doug and I were prepared for the screams that ensued not long after we put him to bed on Friday night. But I didn’t have the heart to let Liam “cry it out,” as some childcare experts would advise. Instead, I invited the little guy to join us outside in the backyard, to sit…

  • Aging well,  Arts & crafts,  Motivation

    Blooming

    “One day you will look back and see that all along you were blooming.” ~ Morgan Harper Nichols, author and artist I found today’s quote while preparing for an “aging” workshop I’m leading at a local library tonight. An issue that appeared often in my research is the nagging belief that we “haven’t done enough” with our lives. No matter how accomplished we are in any arena, most of us undervalue our achievements and overlook our daily victories. But if you take inventory of all that you’ve done with your life, you’ll realize that you deserve more credit than you’ve been giving yourself. When you list your own moments of “blooming,”…

  • Aging well,  Grief and loss,  Health & wellbeing,  Home & Family

    Love and goodbye

    “Grief is the price we pay for love.” ~Queen Elizabeth II Watching the beautiful funeral ceremonies for Queen Elizabeth II yesterday, I got to thinking about the many ways that love opens us to the possibility of loss. Throughout our lives, we lose close friends who move away. As we age, our parents slow down. As our kids and grandkids grow up, we feel another kind of loss as we watch childhood give way to adulthood. Each time I wave goodbye — when a car filled with loved ones is backing out of my driveway, or I’m leaving a dear friend at a restaurant — a twinge of sadness tugs…

  • 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…

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