Where the Ego Fears to Tread

I just finished reading an essay on Medium by Meghan Daum, “My Life at 47 is Back to What It was Like at 27“. I’ve been thinking a lot about change and the idea that who we were is always going to be who we are. For someone like me, who is always striving to be better – a better parent, a better writer, a better human, the idea that our essence will remain essentially unchanged throughout our lives bothers me. Perhaps I’ve begun to see the threads of my life that… Read More

Clearing the Deck

This morning I got around to writing my last holiday card. Many people will be surprised to receive anything from me. I’m pretty hit-and-miss with correspondence around this time of year. I’m ridiculously insistent on writing personal notes, so sometimes I can’t even get started, since the task seems daunting. This year, though, has been more contemplative in nature. I took the time to do it. I’m ending the year on a good note, so that I can begin the next with an empty slate. No odds and ends left undone. I… Read More

The Pitfalls and Promises of Self-Help

I’m a self-help scavenger. Over the course of a lifetime, I’ve read hundreds of self-help books. Like many people, I started life off on uneven footing and always had the sense that I had to make up for something that I was lacking – something that was preventing me from being the confident, self-actualized, happy person I thought I should be. It’s taken decades to understand how to make self-help advice useful and how to discard that which is not. There is a wide variety of books out there, one for every… Read More

Catalysts and Dogmas: Cultivating an Open Mind

When I got pregnant, it was neither a surprise nor unwelcome. I was slightly terrified, as it was clear to me that while I had the advantages of a partner and financially stable home, I was completely unprepared to have a child. I started doing what I always do – I researched, reading every parenting book I could get my hands on. That’s when I started buying organic food. We had the income, organics somehow seemed like a moral choice and we lived in a metro area where it was relatively easy… Read More

A Small Tmesis Before Re-Entering the Fray

The muddied waters of a chronic depression have surrounded me for months. My highs haven’t been very high, my lows not too low. A mental shoulder shrug answers when I check in with myself. Autumn is in the air and with it, a sense of relief. Finally a season to suit my mood. Melancholy is in vogue again and the suntanned Pollyanna of summer is out. The weeks following a long Pacific coast vacation became jumbled with school starts and appointments and busy-ness. I was taken off guard even though I’d planned… Read More

Some Disassembly Required

My mother-in-law likes to tell me how my husband tore apart household appliances as a kid, just to see how they worked. I suspect she’s still bitter about a toaster or two. Now an electrical engineer working as a programmer, he continues to take things apart to figure out what’s broken. His great skill is in coming up with non-linear solutions, which is sometimes delightful, other times irritating, if you have any aesthetic sensibilities at all. Nothing ever looks the same again. But it works. There is a level of fearlessness required… Read More

Making Life Changes: Some Imagination Required

You can’t do that. What about X, Y, Z? Remember when you tried that and how badly it turned out? Stop being so selfish. Think about your family. Why should you get to do that when everyone else is blah, blah, blahhing? What will so-and-so think? WHAT IF…? It’s been a year of transition for me. I am not a preternaturally happy person on the surface and the stress of making changes has made me a less-than-agreeable human to be around. But I’m having moments, glimpses of the lighthouse beacon of a… Read More

Intentional Blogging: Committing to Ephemera

Everything is fleeting, including the summer during which I took a break from blogging at The Green Study. So here I am again. I browsed blogs this summer, but kept my “presence” to a minimum. I wrote casually at another blog TGS Zen Garden to focus on some health and lifestyle changes I’ve made. Someone read my novel this summer. That was scary. I paced a lot, sometimes peeking in to see if I could tell anything from the expression on my first beta reader’s face. I thought criticism would wound. I… Read More

Giving Up the Ghost

I’m a useful sort of person. It feeds my ego to be needed, to be relied upon, to be allowed to demonstrate my competency. My office is organized, collated, labelled and efficient. I remember birthdays, dental appointments and people’s preferences. On the flip side, I’m tense, terse and occasionally quite sarcastic. I don’t wait for others to catch up. I don’t have time for small talk or nattering or gossip. Which means you’d like me to do your taxes, but really hope I don’t show up for a party, where I will… Read More

A Change in Enthalpy…Good to See You

I inexplicably dropped out of the blogosphere this week. Apparently, it only takes 5 days to destroy a habit of writing and exercise and you know, getting dressed for life. I’m constantly juggling priorities and this week I just lay down on the floor and let them pummel the hell out of me. Entropy has settled in and for any consistent reader of this blog, it’s obviously a constant battle to pull myself out of it. Enthalpy is the sum of energy in a thermodynamic process. It is described as useful energy…. Read More