The physics of clutter

I have started anew attacking the clutter that has accumulated in our house. I’m inspired by Stacey Platt, author of a book called What’s a Disorganized Person to Do?. Platt lives in a 500-square-foot New York City apartment that forces her “to simplify and let go: two endeavors that make life easier, less stressful and […]

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A new day

I was looking for a present for a friend who recently retired and is looking forward to new adventures. What I found was two blank books packaged together, each decorated with a lovely quote. They are perfect quotes for someone starting a new chapter in her life or for all of the rest of us, […]

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Can we be too helpful?

Can we help we help our children make better decisions? Or, can we help our spouse achieve his goals? Yes, but sometimes we are too helpful, say Eli Finkel, a professor at Northwestern University, and Grainne Fitzsimons, a professor at Duke University, in an article “When Helping Hurts” in the May 10, 2013, issue of […]

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You have a family

The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout’s new book, is about Jim and Bob Burgess and their sister Susan. It’s about all families and how complicated they can be. “What am I going to do, Bob? I have no family,” Jim says. “You have a family,” Bob says. “You have a wife who hates you. Kids who […]

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The gift of gentleness

Fayteen is overwhelmed with concern for her daughter, Ranna, who is facing serious, complicated health issues. And, I am concerned about Ranna and about Fayteen, who is exhausted from taking care of Ranna and trying to keep up with her business. “Take good care of Ranna, and take good care of yourself,” I told Fayteen. […]

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Wisdom from Maya Angelou

“If you could be remembered for one thing, what would that be?” Southwest Airlines Spirit magazine asked Maya Angelou in its May 2013 issue. “I’d like to be remembered for my kindness,” the poet answered.

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A major accomplishment

I just completed an entire month without consuming a single soft drink. Some people might consider such a feat to be only a minor accomplishment. But, for me, it was a major accomplishment. Even though I’ve been going to Weight Watchers meetings for almost a decade and I weigh a couple of pounds under my […]

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Find your inner voice

We believe that each of us has an inner spirit or an inner voice. The only way to find your true self is to be still and quiet, to get away from the loud voices and racket that surround us, and to listen to that inner voice. Thomas Kelly, a Quaker, talks about this voice […]

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Take a walk

For me, the best way to take a break is to take a walk. When I’m tired, a walk makes me feel refreshed. When I’m too busy and feeling overwhelmed, a walk makes me feel calmer. When I’m stressed, a walk helps me relax. I recently found this quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson on the […]

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Caregivers need regular breaks

If you’re the primary caregiver for a child or a sick spouse or an elderly parent, you may need a break. In fact, you need regular breaks. The best way you can take care of the person you love is to care for yourself and get some help. That’s a truth we know instinctively, but […]

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