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Showing posts from April, 2012

Sixteen? Listen up.

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Fifty-four year old advice I wish I could have given to my know-it-all sixteen-year-old self...

Dear Karen,
Take a deep breath and lighten up. Those school grades that give you ulcers aren’t really going to matter....in a couple years you’ll be going to a college that doesn’t use grades. And after college...no one will ask. There are other things you should be more concerned about. Such as:
How about forgiving your parents for their divorce? You don't need to take sides. Marriages aren't easy. When you get married you’ll understand why. Crazy as this sounds, in five years you’ll be married. And here's some good news: your parent's story doesn't have to be yours.
Don’t be so concerned that some of your peers are cuter, slimmer, smarter, more athletic, more talented, funnier, richer, or luckier than you. Chances are someone wishes they had something you have. Getting older won't change things. If anything it highlights what we’re not. Discover your own special qu…

Wishful Sleeping

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I have a recurring dream that strikes me when I’m vulnerable to the nostalgic blues. In the fogginess of my sleep, I go back and undo one of the biggest decisions my husband and I ever made. I’m back in the home we left behind. Even though I feel a sense of disbelief that I’m there, I’m elated that it’s ours again and relieved that we hadn’t moved away.
As I dream, something is gnawing at my conscience. I’m feeling I need to be careful. My emotions are on high alert. I walk through the familiar rooms and while I can’t quite believe I’m back, I am wondering where do I really live?
In the morning light, I wake and look around my familiar surroundings and realize my mind spent the night in my former life. The Dream reminds me, yet again, there’s no going back. You see, it was more than just a home; it was moving away from the life we had known. 


As I begin my day, I feel vaguely dissatisfied with life, wishing I had what I left behind...imagining what life would have been like had we staye…

Wrong Place Right Time

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I’d taken the bus across town transferred to another and then arrived an hour ahead of my appointment. The lines were always long and being late only made it worse. I knew the routine, even though I hated it.
I pushed open the double doors and scanned the sea of faces now staring at me. We seemed to check one another out, seeing if we really deserved food stamps. At least that’s what I was thinking. All the chairs were taken, so I leaned against the wall. The huge clock above my head ticked annoyingly as I watched people file up to the cubicles to receive their monthly allotment. Children played on the floor while moms or dads thumbed through the old magazines. I had envisioned many things about college, but welfare hadn’t been one of them. Each month I pledged that I’d somehow make more money. 
I pulled out some homework and waited my turn. In the muffled background, I heard my name. I looked around, but the voice didn’t come from the counter. A woman my age was smiling a bit tentative…

Life's Pits

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I was walking down a road and didn’t see a deep hole up ahead. I fell in and it took me awhile to see how to get out.
The next time I was on that same road, I remembered the huge pit. It hadn’t been fixed, and even though I knew it was there, I fell in again.

You’d think when I found myself on that same road I’d remember that stupid cavernous hole and avoid it. I could see it coming, but I got too close and fell to the bottom.
As I got older, the pits got deeper and the valleys of fear, disappointment, and hardship got even darker. 





Isn’t life like this sometimes? Pits and valleys. Life is full of both and we all deal with them. 


But I was a lousy navigator—even when I knew where the pits were, I still didn’t see a better route. 


Climbing out of pits can leave us muddy, scratched and weary. Was life just going to be about being in the pits and the brief times in between?

I finally found a better way to navigate and I don’t worry about deep pits and getting lost anymore. It's like having …