In a holiday frame of mind

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It’s that time of year when we get together with family and friends.  We go to parties and eat and drink too much, stay out too late, spend too much money and flit between a state of bliss and stress.  We want to drift into that place where all we feel is sweetness and light.  Inevitably we are sometimes disappointed.   Our plans don’t come to fruition and our Continue reading

Getting organized the Japanese way

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I recently heard about a book that promised to change your life.  It’s called “the life-changing magic of tidying up:  the Japanese art of decluttering and organizing” by Marie Kondo.  I wanted to see what all the fuss was about.   I put my name on a list of over 100 waiting to read it at the library and a few days ago I received an email that  a copy was available. Continue reading

Survivor’s guilt: am I good enough without a real job?

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A few days ago I hit day sixty of my post-retirement life.  A lot has happened in two months.  I moved, left my career and friends in the DC area, got to know a new community and neighbors, and started working with a volunteer organization.  I’ve kept busy and engaged with all kinds of tasks, but every once in a while I think about that prior life when my value came from my job title and the size of my office and the number of people I managed.  What is my value now?  Am I a success or a failure? Continue reading

Weeds as a metaphor for life

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I don’t like dandelions.  I don’t like crabgrass either or other weeds, but my dislike for dandelions is extreme.   For the past two weeks I have been outside every day with my forked tongue garden tool digging up the dandies.  They yield willingly to me after a rain or in the early morning when the ground is soft.  When the grass turns brown from lack of rain, the dandies thrive in spite of it, sticking out their dandelion tongues at me in defiance.  See, they say, I will grow in any weather in any soil and   Continue reading

Busyness, boredom, and the meaning of life

Shiloh relaxing at home

Shiloh relaxing at home

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday.  I’m not at work and the days follow each other with nothing to distinguish them.  Which days are better?  The ones in which I get a lot done or the ones in which I relax and do not.  What does it mean to get something done?   Does it matter what I do each day?   The short answer is that is does matter to me.  In some parallel universe is another me watching what I am doing with my time, or more importantly, judging me for what I am not doing.  So, being busy becomes “good” and doing nothing is not. Continue reading