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When I read Marie Kondo had “kind of given up on tidying”, I felt vindicated.  The author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up made her fortune telling us to toss anything that didn’t spark joy, limit our library to 30 books, and fold our socks with precision. After the birth of her third child, she had a change of perspective (“changed her tune” was my more cynical thought). Now her teachings are said to focus on “what matters most”.  Kondo’s book—one I promptly added to my collection of a couple hundred—shared wise principles order, beauty, and simplicity. My
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It’s a Wonderful Life

Sparkling bright lights shine in neighborhoods across the city.  Happy hearts beat in anticipation as bows are peeled from packages. Loved ones reaffirm their booster status before big hugs of reunion. So much joy. And for many, so much sadness. Silent sorrows, surprise spikes of grief, or deep depression can befall us even as the universe implores us to deck the halls and be jolly. Lonely moments can strike in the middle of the office party or simply sitting with our siblings. As we look back on the year, we might question whether or not we have really made a difference, done enough, or even mattered. It’s no wonder that the move It’s a Wonderful Life is a holiday
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Military Divorce in Nebraska: Where Can I File for Divorce?

If you or your spouse is a service member at Offutt Air Force Base and you are considering filing for divorce, the first question you must answer is where do I file?  Every state has different divorce filing requirements, but all states require at least one spouse to be a “legal resident” of the state in which he or she wishes to file. Legal residency (also known as “domicile”) is defined as the state in which a person resides while also intending that state to remain his or her permanent home. This intent requirement becomes more complicated with military divorces, as spouses in a military
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When Does It Get Better?

“One last question.” She paused. ” When does it get easier?”   For a good hour we’d been reviewing her goals, timelines, and action steps. An energetic entrepreneur, she’d left her grueling well-paid job at the insurance company to strike out on her own. Despite the pandemic, she’d managed to pay down debt, have a steady stream of clients, and develop a reputation as a brilliantly insightful consultant.  But in this moment, life wasn’t feeling easier. She recently recovered from a surgery, had a niece newly diagnosed with cancer, and was implementing new software for her business. She was worn out and overwhelmed.  I resisted the hollow words of “someday”, “eventually”, and “in time.”  “Let’s talk about that next time,” I said.   For years it never occurred to me that life could or perhaps even should be easier. If I began to think my life was hard, I didn’t have to look far
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Another 10-Year Anniversary

There I am – perched and posing playfully for my dad.  Looking back at this photo from March 2011, I speculate whether I was aware of the symbolism created in this snapshot.  At the time I was precariously attempting to balance my marriage, my life, my heart.  I was teetering on the brink of simultaneously losing and finding myself. Today is April 1, 2021.  For many today is merely April Fool’s Day.  For me, today marks the 10-year anniversary of my filing for divorce.  Unfortunately, April 1, 2011 wasn’t a joke for me.  Looking at it now, it seems so
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Flowers on the altar, photos of loved ones, food that was their favorite—Dia de Los Muertos arrives each November 1 and we celebrate the “Day of the Dead” with friends. We honor those we have loved and lost. We take turns sharing stories and memories of those who’ve left this earth, but their impact remains. Tonight my friend Bill will open his latest showing of art. It will include paintings of those he has loved and lost. Among them will be John, my husband who died eight years ago. John was old enough to be Bill’s father. Had John not
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Perspective Appreciation

There was seriousness about them that I understood. Each was their own boss, and their boss had high expectations. Do excellent work. Take good care of your clients. Make money. And don’t work too much. This small group of established solo lawyers each made a commitment to spend a year together looking at their law practice and being coached. It may be painful to examine the imperfection of something of your own creation. Even critiquing my pot of black bean soup feels uncomfortable when the recipe was my own. Yet taking a truthful look is like taking a taste from
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In Love

In light of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would re-post my blog from 2014 about dating after divorce (not during divorce, after divorce).  I sat in my pajamas, clutching a fistful of candy conversation hearts, I filled out an online dating profile.  I also signed up for speed dating at the library on Valentine’s Day to get some first-hand experience as to how this all works. I quickly realized that online dating requires a separate blog (or ten) all its own.  I haven’t quite recovered from the shock of it and I am not able to type most of the
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Later Lessons Learned

“No point arguing”  he would say calmly. My litigation skills gave me a distinct advantage.  No need for him to tell me I was wrong.  He simply showed me. John and I loved each other. We shared deeply held values. We also approached life differently, and I had a lot to learn. On Fridays, John joined friends for a happy hour. I eked out a few more emails after everyone left the office for the weekend. I silently claimed the moral superiority of a staunch work ethic. “You’re welcome to join me,” he would say when he headed to our
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Graduation Gift

She was so excited.  She spent a full hour in the bathroom for her hair and make-up.  She asked me to iron her dress and if she could borrow one of my necklaces for the special occasion.  Her energy was buzzing.  My preparation, on the other hand, was in full procrastination mode.  I slogged around the house – near dreading the finality this night would bring.  At the end of the night, my eldest daughter would officially be a high school student after having graduated from middle school. I didn’t feel ready for this. My daughter, Anna, attended her grade
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