Does it bring you joy?

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With one of my literacy teachers (the tall one) and three of her students.

I recently realized that life in my 70s has a guiding question that could have come straight from Marie Kondo, the tidy-up guru, though I have never watched a single one of her TV shows or videos and my house still retains pockets of clutter.

In fact, I apply the question, “Does it bring you joy?”, more to my life as a whole than to my dwelling and possessions, though I make sporadic efforts to apply it there, too. I use it to tidy up my life, so to speak, to focus on the things I really want to do.

It has not been an easy question for me to answer. One reason that it guides me now is that my answers to it have evolved over the years and shown up in surprising ways that I would not have guessed in earlier times. Continue reading

Gap weeks

Gap years are the thing. My great-nephew hasn’t figured out whether he wants to do political science or biology in college, though he knows which college he’ll attend and has already been accepted. So he’s taking a year to work and figure that out. It seems that for an 18-year-old he has figured out a lot already and a gap year is a sensible part of the plan. Continue reading

Donald Trump, kickstarter

img_3032We are selling our beautiful house in the Michigan woods and plotting a move to the nearby city of South Bend, Indiana. We have many reasons for doing this and we have been thinking about it for some time but what prompted us to take action, to actually put our beloved home on the market and begin the rollercoaster of real estate searches, showings, and offers, has a lot to do with the election of Donald Trump and the stunning, fast-moving stream of events since then. Continue reading

Natural Woman

Sometimes I feel like retirement has allowed me to become appallingly lazy. But really, it is just revealing to me what life might have been like all along if I had been able to obey the preferences and rhythms of my human self.

Most people can’t afford to live like natural human beings but, instead, we have to be superhuman. We have to do more than we are built to do, exceed our capacity, and live with the consequent stress. Continue reading