Last November, Katie and Greg grew restless and bored. With colder days, a raging pandemic, early darkness, and a one-year-old, each day mimicked the one before. They’d fallen into a rut.
By Janet Dahl I am the first to admit that my general appearance, while at home during the shutdown, became increasingly casual as the pandemic wore on. And on. A few weeks ago, after a morning spent pulling weeds from the flower beds and pruning a few shrubs, I Zoomed with a college friend. Still in my gardening attire, I realized I’d gone—perhaps—a little too casual. My good friend laughed
When I look around, I’m beginning to see hope. I had my second vaccine last week, I’m visiting my parents next month, and I’ve booked a trip to California’s wine country. Life—and travel—is revving back up again. But a recent article in the Wall Street Journal stopped me in my airport-racing, museum-trotting, city-sightseeing tracks. It seems I’m a bit of a dinosaur. Donna Bulseco writes of the obsolete fashion faux-pax
My walking buddy and I meet every Tuesday for our weekly dose of sanity. We power walk through a neighborhood or a park, catch up with our lives, and solve the problems of the world—and those of other people too. Last week, she tripped over a bump on the sidewalk, slammed her knee to the ground, and fractured her patella. She’s out of commission—and I’m without a walking partner—for two
Late last year, a college friend passed away. Other than at our sorority reunion—18 months ago, when she was still in good health—I hadn’t seen her in decades. But, thanks to email and texts and social media, we’d stayed in touch. And her death hit me hard. I still haven’t written a sympathy note to her husband. I’m at a loss for what to say to a man I know
Four years ago, we sold our big house in Texas and moved 800 miles away to a small home in Nashville. As we sorted through our belongings, and packed up our life in Houston, we donated, purged, consigned, and sold. I got rid of the dishes and linens and cookware and clothing I didn’t use or wear. All the stuff I didn’t like. But I saved—and transported to our new city— a
We watched the final episode of Justified last night. And I feel like a good friend moved away. I’ll miss Harlan County and Boyd and Art and Raylan—oh, especially Raylan. A tale about the U.S. Marshals service and crime in a southeastern Kentucky coal mining area, Justified contains a good amount of violence. But even the bad guys are likable. So—my husband and I now need another series to watch.
Long ago, I gave up glitzy parties and morning hangovers and late-night celebrations. I no longer require noisemakers and hats to mark the end of the calendar year. On New Year’s Eve, I’m happy with a good movie to watch and a quiet dinner my husband and I prepare together. And our letters. The tradition began a few years ago. With the kids grown and gone, we craved a festive
A huge thank you to the lovely ladies at The Kitchen Nashville for their suggestions and opinions on the latest and greatest kitchen gifts. Those little stocking stuffers we don’t know we need and might not buy for ourselves. But, once we use them, we wonder how we managed without these helpful items. They make playing in the kitchen so much fun. Food Huggers – I wish I’d invented these
Who remembers Family Ties and Back to the Future? Last week, I read a couple of articles about Michael J. Fox and his enduring optimism. I am a big fan and was heartbroken for Fox when, at age 29, he received a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis. Sure, he had money and success and resources most of us don’t. But, it’s still devastating news and the progressive nervous disorder took a toll
As he leaned against the door of a New York City subway train, my adult son fainted. Like a giant redwood tree, he toppled over, his head crashing against the edge of a hard plastic seat. Out cold, he lay on the filthy floor, blood gushing from his eye. A couple of good citizens called an ambulance, maneuvered him off the train, and waited with him until help arrived. He
I dread this weekend. Sunday morning, after we turn our clocks back, I will sink into my annual semi-funk. Next week, with darkness arriving before the workday ends, I’ll be ready for dinner at 5 and bed at 7:30. Not long ago, I read an article about the folks in Tromso, Norway. The sun in this urban area, 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, doesn’t rise—at all—for two months.
I tugged on my thigh-high waders, lacquered my skin with mosquito spray, and tiptoed into the murky water. Serge Krouglikoff maneuvered me into position—a spot where the light and shadows were just right and I wouldn’t sink into the squishy marsh floor. And then I saw them—tiny specks off in the distance—led by a gardian on horseback. Serge (even his name is cool) is what I’ve imagined an esteemed London
In his recent hit, Rob Thomas sings “I’m not afraid of getting older….” Well, I am. As I approach a milestone birthday and witness my parents and in-laws decline, I worry. I worry about their waning health and quality of life. But I also worry for me. What can I do, as I approach my sixties and beyond, to keep my body from rolling steadily downhill? Adam Lee assures me
You may have shaken hands with someone wearing a tiny pin, or even a t-shirt, announcing “I am a 7.” Some people introduce themselves by offering, “I’m a 5.” They want us to immediately know what to expect from them – and their behavior. After seventeen years of counseling and steering clients through depression, grief, life transitions, trauma, and disasters, Sharon Ball founded the Nashville Center For Enneagram and Wellbeing.
I suppose I always think it is the older folks who get stuck, slip into a rut, and need to reboot their lives. Those people tired of their 9-5 commitments and finished raising their kids and wondering how much longer they have to find their passions. Or those who are just plain bored. And then I met Max Hawkins. From outward appearances, the methodical twenty-something seemed to live in a
Personal happiness is a hot topic these days. We can find loads of books and podcasts on the subject. Checklists abound for what we need to do to be happy – count our blessings, get plenty of sleep, meditate, go to church, keep our homes organized. According to Dr. Bill Bellet, many of us work WAY too hard to find happiness. As we chat in his Nashville office, I get
The 21-day project, outlined by Dr. Bill Bellet, seems simple enough. Perform four, easy tasks each day. If you skip one of the assignments for the day, you must start over with the entire three-week cycle. Helpful to clients in Dr. Bellet’s Nashville clinical and organizational psychology practice, this “challenge” consists of four daily components. Every day, for three weeks, you: Write down three things you are grateful for –
Two years ago today, on my 57th birthday, I embarked on a project. I pledged to do one new thing—every single day—for the following year. As it turned out, one year of novel activities, both large and small, rolled into two years of something new every day. Now, 730 days later, I realize what a gift my experiment turned out to be. Just as my grown sons were beginning their careers and evolving