Life and Living

Not to Worry: 10 Things to Stop Worrying About

Everywhere I turn these days, people are urging me to worry. “Restaurants are swarming with bacteria!” shouts a local news promo. “We’ll tell you what to beware of!” From the computer in my lap, a parenting blog warns, “There’s plenty to be anxious about.” Noting the pallor of my furrowed brow, a neighbor clucks, “I think you should be more concerned about your health.”

Friends, there are many areas in which I need encouragement, but worrying is not one of them. I worry the way Renée Fleming sings high Cs: Effortlessly. Loudly. At length. You may be similarly gifted, because [...]

What You Need to Know to Age Beautifully

I was lying on the floor with my eyes closed, diligently practicing a yoga posture called shivasana (“corpse pose”). Some say that this is the hardest to master, but I thought I was doing pretty well. Not to boast, but yoga teachers often take me for dead no matter what pose I’m attempting.

Anyway, as I lay there a random idea came to me. “How strange,” I thought, “that this body had three children.” Then I realized that it actually hadn’t. Since all our atoms are replaced every seven years, not an atom of the body I have now was present when [...]

Like Ten Thousand Knives When All You Need Is a Spoon

It’s been a long day, and I’m almost out of spoons. I have a couple to use writing this, but I’ll need a good sleep to forge more spoons for tomorrow.

Does this sound odd to you? Let me tell you about “Spoon Theory,” my current preoccupation. Spoon Theory is a real thing—you can find it in Wikipedia, listed as a neologism (a phrase just entering popular usage). Spoon theory is the brainchild of the wonderful blogger Christine Miserandino, who has Lupus. She explained life as a Luperian (is that a word? A neologism?) by using spoons to represent the energy [...]

Gratefully Receive Your Own Love

God bless the wonderful John and Kitty, who built and later sold us this house! I never would have thought to put in a little gym, but they did. Since the shutdown, my son Adam has been working out harder than ever, video-conferencing with his awesome trainer.

Here’s the thing, folks: Adam is doing this because he wants to. He decided to start working out when he was in high school. I’ve never been able to force any of my children to do anything. I lack the stamina. But when they follow their bliss, they do things that blow my [...]

Time to Transform

Any normal year, I’d be prepping for my annual pilgrimage to this place: Londolozi, South Africa. This year, though I can’t go there, Londolozi is helping me see this pandemic in a different light.

In the 1970s, two South African teenagers named Dave and John Varty were devastated by the sudden death of their father. The boys were advised to sell the family’s barren cattle farm in the bushveld. Instead, they decided to try something they called “restoring Eden.” Not realizing how crazy this idea was, the Vartys spent years repairing the terrain and waterflow, bringing native plants back to [...]

Finding Silence in a Storm

“Hey, everyone,” I said to my family. “Listen.”

We all stopped talking, and quiet wrapped around us like a warm blanket. A light breeze rustled the oak leaves above us. Bees and hummingbird murmured in a patch of wildflowers.

“Do you hear that?” I said. “Wherever we end up going, I need that.”

We were enjoying a cool summer sunset on the porch of our little house at the edge of a national forest in California, planning where to go next. For six years we’d been saturated with the awesome beauty of nature. Now we hankered to be near the awesome beauty [...]

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