Daily Dish

Letter Writing

Unmailed Letter to an Old Friend

May 22, 2004 Dear S, At last, one of those rare weekends when L is here with D and M, and I have 48 hours to myself. Well, not entirely to myself, but chunks of time and that's pretty good. M is doing better, by the way, finally. It was heartbreaking for so long, but we're definitely on the upswing. Before I forget - a nice moment. M was able to persuade L to go with him to an art class, the Saturday class he takes at the college that I told you about. He wanted his dad to see … [Read More...]

Lifestyle

Store Sign in Intercourse PA

Stealing the Soul

An open, unguarded expression… Anyone’s for the taking?

f Beautiful Confident African American Business Woman

One Step Beyond “No”

How to say no… effectively.

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Random Musings

Woman Putting on a Happy Smile

The Nature of Smiling

What you see – and don’t – in the nature of a smile.

Very Little Boy on Cell Phone

Adaptable In Extremis

Might cleaning up bad habits be easier than we think?

Holding the World in Our Hands

In Good Hands

Trust, sharing, and community. A thank you.

Mature Woman Contemplating

Showing Up

Maybe you call it reinvention. Maybe you call it starting over. I call it… showing up.

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Most Recent…

Man in Fedora cropped

The Economics of Fedoras and Fussiness

By Brian Sorrell I fear that some may misapprehend my affection for the fedora, as its important functions might be lost on those who do not embrace the inestimable value of a well-crafted hat. When you select a fedora, go with fur felt, preferably with a leather sweat band and a high quality silk lining. At the back, just at the lip of the band, you will notice a little bow, which is a nod to the hatters who went mad … [Read More...]

Little Girl on an Escalator

Standing on the Down Escalator

I've seen this statement retweeted numerous times. In a profile piece on The New York Times, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is quoted as saying "I don't have anything in common with people who stand on escalators." Given the lifestyle of the man in question - billionaire philanthropist, media mogul, former major of the Big Apple - you could say he doesn't have anything in common with many … [Read More...]

Woman With Focus

Women Struggling With Success

This question is dogging me: Why do women still struggle with their own success? Or, as it appears in a very short post on Forbes with an accompanying video on leadership, "Do Women Hold Themselves Back From Success?" Citing a study and its findings that of "somewhat happy or happy women" who participated, "only one in four believe they are extremely or very successful," I'm bothered by … [Read More...]

f Never Stop Trying

Knowing When to Quit

When you are raised to fight for what you want, to persevere against the odds, and you are taught that quitting is an act of weakness - knowing when to quit is a tough call. Doing it, even tougher. Naturally, context is important. "Quit while you're ahead" works fine for the non-gamblers among us who find ourselves up twenty at the slots or fifty at the Black Jack table. Quitting a job that you despise? … [Read More...]

f Careful Listening in a Meeting

Listen First, Talk Second

I ran into this little gem recently: Listen first, talk second. It's a terrific reminder to all of us in relationships - or who want a relationship - dating, living together, married. It's excellent advice for any parent dealing with their child, especially if he or she is a tween or teenager. It's a smart strategy if you're negotiating, or sizing someone up as an employee, a team member, a supplier, a potential partner. How … [Read More...]

William Shakespeare

Feet on Ice, a Taste of Home

'Tis long since I did pen a verse or two, With couplets and a rhyme to make you smile, And yes this is a sonnet, that is true, Though horrid in such rusty, dusty style. Alas my week has kept me on my toes, With unexpected jaunts and throw-back tasks. Like what - you say - to make me turn from prose And ponder Pinot Noir in handy flasks? Maternal duties called (as did my son), "I think my foot … [Read More...]

f Sassy Woman

Why Opposites Attract

When I'm mad, you know it. When I'm worried, you know it. When I'm on top of the world, you can't miss it! As for my Man Friend? While I'm not convinced we're "opposites" exactly - there are many ways that we are different, not the least of which is the way we work, personal style, neatness around the house, and preferences for quiet time. So why is it that opposites attract, and if they do … [Read More...]

Couple Kissing

Kissing Bridge

Who doesn't remember their first kiss - when and where it took place, what his or her name was, how it felt - awkward, strange, wonderful? Who can forget the scene in Sex and the City when Charlotte is trying to reform the Very Bad Kisser? His hapless attempts to maneuver tongue and lips leave our heroine covered with slobber and nursing a bruised chin. We may not judge a book by its cover, but … [Read More...]

Juicy Double Cheeseburger

Meal Planning

It's not even an hour into my work day and I'm popping Advil for a nasty headache, then glancing at my schedule for a time I can sit with a hot cloth over my eyes. They're strained. Heat helps. Twenty minutes later I'm loading up a filter for a third pot of coffee - early, even for me - hoping my elixir of choice will brighten my mood and magically restore my vision. Standing at the counter, I'm staring … [Read More...]

Planning Through a Maze

Plan A, Plan B, Plan C… Plan “Me?”

Everyone loves a backup plan - Plan B to your Plan A, and maybe a Plan C to your Plan B - especially if you're a believer in Murphy's Law (or a little bit paranoid). Recognizing the need for accommodating contingencies, this is the wisdom of "plan for the worst and hope for the best." In our work lives and our family lives, planning is useful, isn't it? Granted, some situations are tricky to manage. In particular … [Read More...]

Couple in doorway black high heels

Men Are Different. (I Know, Right?)

"Panzer General? Yes, that's good," he says. He's talking to his son on the phone. I hear his 26-year-old's voice. It's deep, upbeat, energetic. "Yeah, we need to get back into those games," he says. He pauses. "Kursk? Right. Largest battle. 1943." I'm sitting next to him in bed contemplating Jane Austen, Revlon's Raven Red, my perfect peep-toes in a box gathering dust and set atop a stack of … [Read More...]

Mother and Daughter looking at photo album

“You’re Just Like Your…” (Fill in the Blank)

"Like mother, like daughter." How many times have you heard that expression or possibly used it yourself? It may be a compliment or it may be a neutral observation. Occasionally, it's a dig. "Like father, like son." What about that one? Have those four words passed your lips - with pride and affection? Other variations come to mind, especially when you're mad or overtired. "You're just like … [Read More...]

Coffee is Heart Healthy

Have Your Coffee (and Drink It, Too)

Who doesn't love their coffee? How many early mornings have you found yourself clutching the can of Folgers, joyful over Jamaican Blue Mountain, or impatient to indulge in the chickory-infused option picked up at Publix? Perhaps you're perked up by any variant in a shot or a mug, as long as it is strong, dark, and caffeinated. Once again, those of us who adore our coffee … [Read More...]

Proud Mature Man

James’ Father

By Scott Behson, PhD A few months ago, I attended a reception for Honor Students at my university. I had served as the mentor for the thesis of one of my favorite students (a promising young man named James), who will leave his mark on the world one day! It was a great night where we acknowledged the efforts and intellectual endeavors of our very best students, and I was in awe of … [Read More...]

Little Girl with Big Brown Eyes

Common Sense and (Early) Childhood Education

You may dispute the study that is referenced. You may dispute the comparisons made to our youngest and most vulnerable. However, it would surprise me if you dispute the logic: Children who grow up in neglect and despair are less likely to succeed in life, however you define that success. A recent article broaches this subject from several angles. Appearing in The Huffington Post, it addresses … [Read More...]

School Bus

School Bus Blues? Not Exactly.

You rise early to scan emails, to get a jump on your Monday checklists, to stand at Mr. Coffee where you place the filter, measure the French Roast, pour the water - then wait. You hear them before you actually see them: shiny yellow school buses rolling by your window. You remember your marigold-colored Number 2 pencils, neatly sharpened; your lemon and white hound's tooth suit … [Read More...]

Woman Lying on a Beach Midriff

Permission to Daydream

It’s August. Are you on vacation? Are you planning some time off or have you already given your brain and body a period of rest? If you're anything like me, sadly, the answer to both those questions is no. Taking up the charge for regular reverie and daily downtime, the value of daydreaming is explored in an article at The New York Times. Ready to hear why permission to daydream is granted … [Read More...]

Zen Garden

Radical Simplicity

I had this thought over a quickly prepared meal of pasta and chicken. Radical, for me. Radical simplicity, in fact. (Both the meal and the thought.) Maybe it was the manner of throwing together dinner: No desire or time to run out for veggies, a make-do approach to whatever was in the fridge and pantry, and a wish - a fervent longing - to simplify. Everything. My life is not easily simplified. … [Read More...]

f beautiful woman smiling

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger (Maybe)

It's a question that comes up when we're looking at a fork in the road, or wondering about the road not taken, or just noting that the years are passing more quickly. We run through a litany of "things I wish I knew when I was younger." Ever tried it? The answers may be illuminating, amusing, poignant. Rather than telling you what I've come up with (this time), I'd like to comment on one list … [Read More...]

Woman on Phone listening

An Offer You Can’t Refuse

The home phone rings. You don't pick up. At least, not usually. It's never anyone you care to speak to - telemarketers, fundraisers. But this time, something is different. This time, your gut says to answer. So you do. Maybe it's an old friend from college. An old boss or client you haven't heard from in three years. An old beau who is just the right pick-me-up for what ails you with his snappy repartee … [Read More...]