Stay open to the wonders of the world

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According to George Saunders, a work of art “has to surprise its audience, which it can do only if it has legitimately surprised its creator.”

When I read that, I realized I’m not creating art. Not by a long shot. I spend heaps of time bound up, worried, self-flagellating, fighting…

to not say or do anything that will upset my daughter or her girlfriend this weekend

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I’m in the doghouse. That much is clear. But, my daughter opened the door a crack today. I have another chance. I can creep out with my tail between my legs and try again.

When my daughter contacted me today, I was half-sure she was calling to cancel our visit…

It’s got to be. It’s the only word that works.

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I just mmm’d my way through my dinner. I mean, I could not stop saying, mmm. Mmm. Mmm. With every bite, I said, “Mmm.” It felt good. It felt true. I could not help myself. The mmm just emerged, it just came, unbidden.

It added to my enjoyment. …

Or, when to jump ship

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I am driving myself crazy.

On the one hand, I’m this person: A crazy, crazed, restless, excited romantic hell-bent on renting my house and moving to Italy. Where? Who knows? Rome, or somewhere in Abruzzo. These things are fairly arbitrary. Rome because that’s where Jhumpa Lahiri moved, learned Italian, and…

Taking a cue from Laurie Anderson’s parents

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I just read in an excellent and endearing article about Laurie Anderson that her life’s work has always revolved around storytelling and “the word,” whether written, spoken, or sung. …

In honor of Nina Simone

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The cat is asking if she can get in my lap, and she most decidedly cannot.

She is getting old, and her meow is almost gone.

I just found myself meowing back at her in a mirror of her own meow-less meow. She liked that. She began purring immediately. And…

Turn anxiety into copy

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My wolf is anxiety, and my prescription is to write

My daughter gave me an edict this evening.

Well, let’s back up. The big news, first, is that she called. She called me.

I’ve gotten used to being grateful for crumbs, and it’s okay. I’m not being facetious. My daughter…

Yeah, I was a Karen today. Trust me, it can happen to the best of us.

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I always counsel my kids to be patient with people who are acting badly. You don’t know what has happened to them, what news they may have received just moments before. You don’t know if they’re vulnerable, or altered by substances.

I just got home from the grocery store down…

Cultivate compassion for the mentally ill

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We have a serious problem. Someone we love very much, a man who happens to be the father of my fantastic children, is mentally ill. He is very ill, in fact, and there is almost nothing we can do to help him. As far as we can tell, there are…

Keep several tins in your pantry for easy, healthy, cheap, in-a-pinch meals

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I wanted to go out for dinner tonight for the simple reason that it looks like a bomb went off in my kitchen, and I didn’t have the stamina or desire, honestly, to do anything about it.

I fantasized about dining at the new Thai place down the hill. Or…

Christiana White

Writer, copywriter, editor, and all-round word lover. Subscribe to my newsletter at

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