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Life is too short

I am reading Convictions by Marcus Borg, who always makes me stop and think. One day recently when I was feeling a bit cranky, one of Borg’s statements was especially meaningful. “Life is too short to spend even an hour feeling preoccupied or grumpy or out of sorts,” Borg wrote. –Joy

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What’s your story?

Everyone has a story—or two or three, and most of us tell the stories that define our lives over and over, explained author George Saunders at an Art & Letters Live presentation in Dallas on March 8, 2017. I’ve been thinking about my stories. What are the stories about my life that I tell over [...]

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Everything comes and goes

George Saunders writes about Abraham Lincoln, ghosts and life in his new book Lincoln in the Bardo. “We know the truth of life, which is that everything comes and goes; everything is conditional,” Saunders told The Dallas Morning News. “So, how do you make a joyful, productive life in the face of that knowledge?”

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Bitter and sweet

I just finished reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and now I’m reading A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierly. Both books describe life as bitter and sweet. How true. –Joy

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Are women people?

A 1876 British Common Law ruling declared: “Women are persons in matters of pain and penalties, but are not persons in matters of rights and privileges.” In 1928, four women asked the Supreme Court of Canada to consider this question: “Does the word ‘person’… include female ‘persons’?” The Supreme Court answered, “No, it does not.” [...]

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A Christmas tradition

Christmas is a wonderful holiday, full of meaning. But, it is a busy time. “I get started early,” I told my husband a couple of days ago, “but I always end up behind.” It’s a Christmas tradition. I always feel a bit overwhelmed. How can I focus on the meaning of the season and avoid [...]

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Are you normal?

I don’t think I’ve ever been normal, but, more and more, I accept that it’s okay. In fact, Maya Angelou once said, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.” I found this quote in Maya Angelou’s book Rainbow in the Cloud—The Wisdom and Spirit of [...]

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Read a book

People who read books may live longer. Researchers at Yale University studied the habits of people 50 and older and discovered that people who read 3.5 hours a week may add nearly two years to their lives. You may live longer if you read books, but magazines and newspapers may not provide the same benefit. [...]

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Disguises and prettiness

On her journey across Australia with four camels and a dog, Robyn Davidson enjoyed freedom from “the perverted crippling insanity” of “social graces and female modesty.” Davidson wrote in her book Tracks, “I probably looked like a senile old derelict, in fact, with my over-large sandals, filthy baggy trousers, my torn shirt, my calloused hands [...]

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Good luck and staying power

Sometimes success has much less to do with courage than “sheer good luck and staying power,” says Robyn Davidson, who writes about her journey across her native Australia with four camels and a dog in her book Tracks. Sometimes when I need inspiration, I return to a book I’ve already read—one about a Resolute Woman, [...]

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