life

How Do You Manage to Notice When You Need Updates or Upgrades?

Today is a maintenance day at Chez Rothman. Our heating system has an error code, and we’re upgrading our wifi. So people are stomping around—and I’m very happy about that. What we’re doing today is “extra” maintenance—updating and upgrading. We do normal maintenance all the time. The cleaning people make our house sparkle once a …

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When Do You Realize It’s Time to Expand Your Horizons?

When the pandemic started, I was fine—better than fine—staying home. I felt safe and secure. Mark did the grocery shopping and cooking, and we spent a ton of time together. All good stuff. I was happy with limited horizons. However, after I received my first booster, I wanted to go out—and I was still concerned. …

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What Would Have to Be True for That Outcome to Occur?

Have you ever had a long-term disagreement with someone else? I’m going to discuss something small: when to take the garbage out for garbage day. (Talk about a first-world problem!) Our garbage day is Wednesday and nothing about our pickup is predictable. The current garbage company picks up the recycling and the actual garbage at …

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What Do You Gain or Lose with Shortcuts, Rules, and Laws?

I love shortcuts—especially if I’m not supposed to use them. Why can’t I avoid right-angle paths and use the hypotenuse instead? That saves me some time. Can I make my exercise easier? I can—and I too often lose the value of the exercise. So shortcuts aren’t always good or always bad. The context matters. Shortcuts …

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When Did You Last Outgrow a Friend—Which Allowed You to Create Your Better Life?

When we were kids, we outgrew our clothing, sometimes at an alarming rate. (I vividly remember one summer when my older daughter needed a new pair of sneakers every three weeks.) Later, as we changed from childhood to our teenage years, we outgrew our interests. Some of us have outgrown jobs and found new jobs. …

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How Do We Balance the Power to Make Decisions with Who Feels the Outcomes?

When you were a child, your parents made all the decisions for how you lived. I distinctly remember thinking it was “so unfair” that I had to go to bed and not read more. Yes, I was one of those kids who read under the covers with a flashlight. Even as adults, we live in …

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What Filters Do You Use to Manage Sensory Overload?

Have you ever been in a situation with too much light, smell, sound, or cold/warmth? Or you took a bite of something, expecting a subtle taste—and felt overwhelmed with the taste you got? That’s a sensory overload. We learn to filter out the “noise” from the signal when we feel sensory overload. And some of …

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When Is a Small Application of Money the Right Tool to Solve This Problem?

(I can’t write about the shooting in Texas. My heart is too heavy. Instead, I’ll write about problems we can solve.) At a recent dinner, friends described this problem: “On a recent flight, we took off late. Many people on the plane had connecting flights. The flight attendants made the obligatory announcement about waiting for …

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Longevity and Success: How and When Do You Choose to Show Up?

I have a new nonfiction book in the 2022 Write Stuff Storybundle this week (the bundle is only until March 10 or so). While you might not have heard of some of the writers, I’m sure you’ve heard of Lawrence Block. He’s a multi-award-winning mystery writer. His contribution to this bundle is a memoir. The …

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