Life and Living

Adventures in Boundaryland!

You know how sometimes you look around your house and realize that your house is full of homeless orphaned drug addicts and you’ve gone broke paying for your brother-in-law’s best friend’s new car and you’re still feeling sore from donating your kidney to someone you saw on the news? Don’t you hate it when that happens?

DON’T WORRY, I’M JOKING!!! The paragraph above is a huge exaggeration of something that really does happen to compassionate people. Sometimes, we want so much to help everyone that we drop our personal boundaries very low—so low that our efforts to care for others [...]

Little Hints of Magic

So last Christmas I bought a jigsaw puzzle for my family. It was fun—a nice center point where we could gather and chat.

I do that almost every year, but after this holiday was over, I bought another puzzle. Then a couple more. Then half a dozen. I spent about a month tucking puzzles into our closets and shelves like some kind of manic, jigsaw-obsessed squirrel.

Then, of course, it happened. You know what I mean. THE APOCALYPSE.

About a week into the national lockdown, I got a random email from someone in a nearby neighborhood association. The writer was looking for [...]

The Wilderness Is Not Frightening to the Wild

You may have noticed that it’s getting wilder and wilder around these parts (and by “these parts” I mean planet Earth). Familiar industries are toppling, traditional family models are no longer dominant, and every social structure is being transformed. This is flat-out terrifying for most people.

 

But I suspect you aren’t most people.

 

There’s a certain type of human being who never really thrived in the old structures to begin with. I’m one of them. I’m guessing you are too. Unorthodox and almost unable to conform, we’ve always wanted to color outside the lines. After years of studying the people in [...]

When Life Wallops You, Turn It Into a Personal Revolution

A friend of mine recently experienced something I call a “life wallop.” You’ve probably had a few wallops in your own life: a relative you funded through rehab calls, high as a kite, asking you for bail money; an elderly parent, lost in dementia, snaps something brutally cruel; you see your ex on a date with your next door neighbor.

“I feel like a truck hit me,” said my friend. “It’s so stupid—I know I should just shrug it off, but I can barely get out of bed. I’ve been working so hard to evolve into a stronger person, and [...]

Early Spring with the Notorious Badger (or, Why I’ve Made a Podcast)

A bit of searching online will tell you that “Spring in the Northern Hemisphere will begin on Thursday, March 19.” You can repeat this to others in a confident voice, and everyone will believe you. 

Meanwhile, the trees and flowers in the woods around my house are calmly celebrating Spring on their own damn schedule. Bright-green crocus and daffodil shoots are pushing leaf litter aside. The exposed spot on a dogwood tree, where woodpeckers have revealed the cambium, has also turned green, flooding chlorophyll upward to every little leaf bud on every little twig.

I love the stubbornness of nature. I [...]

Getting Unstuck

Right now, I’m beginning—all right, planning to begin—several new projects. I’m going to launch a new fitness routine, declutter my closets, and start working with a new editor on my current book. It’s all hugely exciting, and I’m feeling so… stuck.

I don’t mean literally, of course. I’m physically free to start any of these projects at almost any moment. But my mind has been working overtime to convince me otherwise. I keep getting bogged down in what internet guru Zefrank calls “the terrible space between zero and one.” I know I want to do some awesome things—I can almost [...]

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