As a 10-year-old, I took my promises seriously, at least when it came to trying to be a good girl in a Catholic culture. For Lent, I’d commit to give up candy or to place any coins –my only income at the time– into the slot of the little yellow cardboard box shaped like a…

It’s easy to feel grateful, given my charmed life. Excellent COVID-free health, a successful law firm, a loving life partner. End of day entries in the gratitude journal flow:             Morning dancing             Incredible coworkers             Bills paid Even at the end of a challenging day, there’s plenty. What doesn’t make the list:             Wind…

The bitter cold of the pre-dawn dark stung my cheeks. The bag on my shoulder heavy with the Sunday edition Omaha World-Herald, I trudged along the snow packed sidewalks making my deliveries. Nose dripping, I stifled my silent weeping as I approached the corner where I’d meet my brother delivering his section of the route. …

“Your hair’s getting long,” he said, noticing my coronavirus coiffure. Gerry has such an eye for beauty and style that the home he and Bob share was once featured on the glossy pages of the Inspired Living as one of the loveliest in the city. I held my breath, sensing he was about to be honest with me. “You look younger,” he said. …

“How are you?” she asked with sweet sincerity.  Should I say? Should I be truthful? I pause ever so slightly.   “I’m good.”   I pause again.  “Really good,” I say, trying not to sound too enthusiastic.  This year caring inquiries have come from cousins across the country and Facebook friends not seen for years. An extrovert, I’ve lived long enough to amass an abundant army of people who want…

“You use gratitude like cocaine,” she said. Her observation was as calm as if she were saying “The sky is blue today.”  My mentor often shared wisdom I eagerly embraced. But the suggestion that I had been sticking the numbing needle of thanksgiving in my veins silenced me.  Gratitude has long been my great go to. I had just shared what was going well in my life. My busy law firm….

I stride past the multitude of campaign signs, the one red, white and blue one that says “Polling Place Here.”  A handful of men pace away the cold with hands in their jackets as they wait for the doors to open. I immediately spot the inspector. A short woman in a red polo, she appears…

Her words would not leave me. Intended as a compliment, they felt strangely disturbing.                 “You’ve got it all together.” I replayed the words in my head for a week. Was I a source of comparison, envy, or inspiration? My friend, 20 plus years my junior, sees my life in the present and from the…

Decades before ThredUp, Poshmark, or even EBay were where millions shopped second hand, I was a thrifter. As a student on work study or a waitress saving for a trip to Barcelona, my fashion fix fit within my Goodwill budget. Unlike a quick click on my laptop to indulge in an instant Amazon acquisition, thrifting…

We argued about the garlic in the guacamole. He stormed outside. I stood at the bathroom mirror focusing my shaking hand on my mascara. I heard the front door open and his footsteps coming up the stairs. He opened the bathroom door, punched me in the stomach, and calmly said, “Now you can tell your friends I’m…

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