The Resolution Ritual

I cleaned out the pantry today. Okay, before you stop reading, let me explain that I am going somewhere with this. It was a monumental mindless task, one that I have put off for months. And as I examined can after can of expired beans and rock-hard spices, I had time to think about the New Year. We all begin with a blank slate handed to us wihen the ball drops at midnight. We are filled with hopes to be a better version of ourselves in the twelve months to follow. It is interesting how that annual dose of optimism gives us the ambition to tackle our dreams and goals with gusto, and the faith to believe that we will succeed. There are platitudes, cutesy sayings from the internet admonishing u

What Santa Teaches Us

A mother cradles the baby boy in her arms, while Dad holds his three year old sister by the hand. The line is excruciatingly long, and they pray that the young ones will remain in good spirits as they inch their way toward the destination, Santa’s lap. There will be the obligatory photo to mark the occasion. It is a holiday tradition played out in various spots all over the country at this most wonderful time of the year. But there is also something powerful at work here, something significant behind the symbol of the jolly old elf in his big red suit. Indeed, the values we learn as children from Santa remain with us for a lifetime. Santa is our first lesson in faith as we come to trust in

Purposeful Presents that Keep on Giving

The holiday hoopla is in full swing at my house as I carefully craft my never-ending to-do list. Magic, ironically, doesn’t magically happen. It requires preparation and planning and effort. The most wonderful time of the year is also the busiest for most of us as we scramble to make it all happen in an effort to preserve our precious traditions. Yes, it is hectic, but ultimately, worth it. I have spent the afternoon wrapping gifts. As I tie a bow around each package, I hope that the recipients will be happy to receive them. It is always fun to plunder the attic to see what I have tucked away for family and friends. You see, I am a shopper (and no longer in denial about it). I am on the look

Routines and Remodeling

I remember Murphy Brown, the television series in the late 80’s that broke all kinds of barriers as it tackled controversial topics of the day. At some point in the storyline, Murphy met Eldrin, a hippie turned house painter. She hired him for what she believed to be a quick job. It turned into a multi-year project. I have been thinking about this a lot. You see, I am partially remodeling my bathroom. It was supposed to take two weeks. I haven’t been able to brush my teeth in my own sink for close to five. My home has been turned into a work zone, privacy is nonexistent, and well, I am rather discombobulated. I have come to understand that human beings are creatures of habit. As much as we m

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