Learning Versus Unlearning- A Takeaway from Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

I recently finished the New York Times bestselling memoir, Educated, by Tara Westover.  It is a book club’s dream title, as there are multiple themes and topics for discussion.  The author delves deeply into family relations, mental illness, women’s roles, off-grid living, holistic medicine, and more.  Like any good book, it made me think…  A…

Summertime Hygge: The Perfect Picnic

Hygge.  The Danish word may not have an English equivalent, but the concept resonates strongly and wordlessly in my American soul.  It’s a brilliant little term; a single word which manages to describe a mood, vibe, mindset, atmosphere, and belief system in just five letters.  “Cozy” is a word often used as an English synonym,…

Progressing Mindfully: Going the Extra Mile

I love to walk in the morning.  There is nothing more invigorating than a burst of fresh outdoor air to oxygenate the brain.  Add the surge in adrenaline and endorphins (and with luck, a nice sunrise), and I am ready to take on the day.  Usually, time permitting, I complete one or two miles.  It’s…

Lucky or Unlucky? Decide for Yourself

Feeling lucky today?  If so, why?  If not, why?  Believe it or not, your current situation or circumstances don’t matter.  It is your perception that determines whether or not you are fortunate, charmed, blessed, or indeed lucky.  This idea became crystal clear to me the other day when a seemingly unfortunate experience left me counting…

Cat Magic: Demystifying Their Hold Over Humans

My sister called the other day.  I could hear my young nephew sniffling in the background.  “Aunt Jen?  We have a problem here…”  I waited patiently on the line for the request for that special, crisis-averting, child-soothing nugget of wisdom she needed.  The kind that can only come from an adult who is not the…

Uncomfortable Truths Revealed In Isolation

I am grateful for social distancing.  This may sound obnoxious, considering the reason for this “new normal” is a wildly contagious illness.  Not an inch of our spinning sphere has not been impacted.  There are clearly those who have suffered and/or perished after contracting the disease.  There are the family and friends knocked down by…

Riding Out the Storm

“We are all in the same boat.”  Hmm….  Sounds like such a wise and profound analogy for the COVID-19 “experience,” and even for life in general.  As human beings, we are all born, live, and die.  No one is immune and our common experience (in this case, some type of suffering) unites us all.   An…

Carrot Soup

“Want some carrot soup?” he asks.  I look up from my Chromebook and laugh before making a puking sound like a five year old.  “You’ll like it,” he confirms, answering his own question in spite of my obnoxious reply and saunters into the kitchen to set to work.  I glance out the window from where…

Bored AND Overwhelmed? Declutter Your Life

We are now in the fourth week of social distancing here on Long Island, NY in order to stop the spread of COVID 19.  As we’ve been settling into this new reality that will likely continue for weeks and maybe months, my friends and I have begun to experience a new combination of emotions:  Boredom…