Category: Parts of Speech

We need the right tools in life

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother or the ecology. You realize that you control your own destiny.” —Albert Ellis What are the most important tools ever invented? According to Forbes magazine in a 2006 story, the list includes the knife, […]

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Small gestures can be significant

“If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.” —Attributed to Martin Luther King Jr. I was watching the news a couple weeks ago, which I try not to do, and a story on Middle East tension was wrapping up. Without a warning, or at least a smooth segue, the broadcaster said, “And here are the […]

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Avoid the train wrecks of life

“Hey train wreck, this ain’t your station.” —Somebody on the Internet Just over six months ago we moved to a new house, which threw me into what felt like a purging revolution. Many things were thrown away. I even played the Beatles song to feel more like a radical as I filled trash bags. It worked. I threw out, sold […]

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Take a cue from your cats

“Do things that make you happy within the confines of the legal system.” —Ellen DeGeneres There is a reason we’re always almost out of toilet paper at my house. It’s a condition and there’s a name for it. I’m an ‘under-buyer.’ (Just ask my kids.) The classification makes me feel better somehow. This means I can put a name to why I […]

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Taking blame for good things

“Do you remember me, I sat upon your knee. I wrote to you with childhood fantasies. Well, I’m all grown up now and still need help somehow. I’m not a child but my heart still can dream…. So here’s my lifelong wish, my grown-up Christmas list…. What is this illusion called the innocence of youth? Maybe only in our blind […]

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There’s room for all of it

“Happy, happy Christ­mas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childish days; that can recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth; that can transport the sailor and the traveller, thousands of miles away, back to his own fireside and his quiet home!” —Charles Dickens I grew up in a Catholic home, part of a […]

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‘Help’ is a prayer we all need

We can say a little prayer even if we are not believers: “Help” is a great prayer. “Help me, help me, I am a completely doomed human” is even better. When my then six-year-old son got his head stuck in the bars of a chair at the dining table of some friends we were visiting, he went unnoticed for a […]

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Sometimes ‘mess’ is beautiful

“It’s all messy: the hair, the bed, the words, the heart, life.” —William Leal As I was driving down the street and soaking in fall colors the other day, it quickly became clear how much more I enjoy looking at the yards smothered in untouched leaves over those that had been meticulously raked to perfection. And that’s not just an […]

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Younger can also be wiser

“Maybe go outside? Maybe look up, instead of down at your wobbly thighs and aching feet? Maybe look up at the wild canopy or stars overhead, those goofy birds? If bird song were the ONLY proof there was a God—an intelligent love energy of some sort—it would be enough for me. Thrush, chickadees, loons? I’m in.” —Anne Lamott Being the […]

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Old friends, still good friends

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson The more old friends change, the more they stay the same. Sorry, I couldn’t avoid using this tweaked cliche; it’s just the way it is. These people are the lifers. The ones who remember all the sordid details of […]

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