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The Bigger Picture
Oddly specific. Universally applicable.

Why should I?

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

At this point in time my life is almost miraculously fortunate. The stars have finally aligned. I find myself with my most excellent love who earns enough for both of us to live just metres away from a magical beach, close to special friends and with every material possession I could possibly need.

Of course this is an incredible privilege, but I wouldn’t want you to think I’m anywhere near the 1% league. We live very simply in a caravan park, and try our best not to use more resources than necessary.

The one thing that holds me back from…

Research-backed advice from an anxious millennial

(Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash)

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical expert, a psychologist, or a therapist. The following advice comes from my therapist and experience. It should not replace advice from professionals.

My breathing shortened, my chest tightened, my head felt heavy and off-balance.

A rope inside me pulled tight. I thought it would snap, I couldn’t imagine what might happen if it did. I felt trapped in my own living room.

What if, what if, what if.

What if I paid only the interest on this month’s credit card bill? …

Cigarettes are unlike marriage. You don’t think you will do it, but end up doing it anyway. A lot.

(Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash)

This is funny. No, seriously. I mean, I don’t know about this post. But, how some things in life are.

They say, every 7 years, all cells in your body are replaced, so, in a way you are a totally new person ( source: Fb trash). But, when it comes to intoxicants, it’s strange how 7 years can come down to a day. I mean, look at me. The only clear stance I had in my life at 16, was to not smoke (and that I liked girls). …

Thanks, Mom, Dad, and modern capitalism

(Photo by Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash)

Listening to an old episode of Slate’s podcast Mom and Dad Are Fighting, one of the hosts echoed my childhood and provided some healthy perspective on parenting.

The host argued for “letting kids be kids.” He claimed, perhaps with some exaggeration, that he spent his summers watching professional wrestling. Yet he had published successful books and worked for Slate.

His sisters similarly wasted their free time as children but became a doctor and a lawyer. “Why don’t we just let kids be kids?” the host asked.

I shared this anecdote with a friend in her mid-forties who has three kids.

One surprising email can change everything

(Image by Mirko Kaminski from Pixabay)

Never click on a link that leads to a picture of a dog who is available for adoption. If you do so, and you aren’t ready for a new family member, you’ll probably end up with one anyway. If you are ready to adopt, you’ll likely fall in love with an animal that is not a good fit for your family or has already been adopted. Either way, your life will be turned upside down.

I should have learned this lesson long ago. I was no stranger to shelter websites. Maybe I am just a slow learner. Or maybe, I…

How to really screw up a first date

(Photo by Dmitry Vechorko on Unsplash)

Before getting married, I liked to think that I was a pretty good dater. After all, I had been doing it for years and I always figured that practice makes perfect.

I made it a habit to ask out women whenever the opportunity arose. My thinking was that if I was to get better at this, I had to keep doing it.

For the most part, this approach worked. The more I dated, the less nervous I was. I became skilled at the art of conversation and was soon an experienced dater. Or at least so I thought.

I hoped…

Flexibility is the force du jour in the discussion about the future of work. Employees are in search of it and employers are cautiously open to embracing hybrid work as we emerge from a year of forced fully remote work for a large subset of the workforce.

(Image/Laura Davidson via Unsplash)

Hybrid work encompasses a range of approaches. On one end of the spectrum an organization can be hybrid if some workers are always remote, and some workers are always in the office. On the other end of the hybrid spectrum is maximum flexibility where all employees spend some time in the office and…


Adventures in homeownership…and partnership

(Photo by the Cameraslinger on Unsplash)

We got a visit from the township compliance officer yesterday. That’s never a good thing. He knocked at the door in his proper brown uniform, introduced himself, and asked if he could tell me about a complaint he’d received. Why, of course.

I stepped outside with him, and we walked across the yard to the deep ditch on the east side of our property.

“See these cattails?” he asked, pointing to the six-foot high reeds. “They need to be cut down because they’re obstructing sight lines to the main road,” he said.

I thanked him for letting us know. This…

This simple tactic could right oh so many of the wrongs in our society.

(Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash)

As a first-generation American in a large Italian immigrant family, I would often experience and witness the “schiaff.” A schiaff (or schiaffo in its proper form) translates to slap or smack.

More specifically, the schiaff was a smack upside the head. Oftentimes, the recipient of this demoralizing act wouldn’t see it coming. While it did not cause great physical injury, the schiaff had the power to stop a person dead in their tracks. It was demeaning. Shaming. In one fell swoop, it could render a person speechless while also robbing them of their pride and dignity.

Schiaffs were given by…


What we all need for whatever catastrophe comes next

(Image by Jaroslav Šmahel from Pixabay)

In 1999, I was married to a man who fell under the influence of a radio personality preaching Y2K fear. Many believed that Y2K would cause widespread utility outages, mass hysteria, traffic light malfunctions, computer shutdowns, and general mayhem. Some media figures stoked fears, warning of imminent doom and catastrophe. My ex, who was given to conspiracy theories and susceptible to fear, bit — hook, line, and sinker.

For those unfamiliar with the “Y2K Bug,” computer programming prior to the year 2000 did not account for the changing of the date from 1999 to 2000. When this realization hit in…

The Bigger Picture

Oddly specific. Universally applicable.

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