Posted in Friends & Family, Ugly & Beautiful

Tricks and Treats: On Fear, Bravery, and Halloween

When I was a kid, we lived down the street from our local pastor. Despite some of his congregation’s hesitations about the holiday, he absolutely loved Halloween.

I don’t remember how he decorated his house or if he ever wore costumes. I don’t remember what kind of candy he passed out. I remember two things about Pastor John’s house on Halloween night: he always looked delighted to see us, and he always made us do a trick before we could get a treat.

Apparently, this is a custom in certain areas but it wasn’t a custom in ours. As far as we knew, it was just Pastor John.

At first, the idea of performing on his front doorstep was terrifying. Should I tell a joke or sing a song? What if I wasn’t good enough? What if he gave me a rock instead of candy like those horrible adults in It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown?

But I did it. I was brave.

To me, bravery is what Halloween is all about.

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Posted in Friends & Family, Ugly & Beautiful

More Forty Than Thirty: A Treatise on Self Care and [Finally] Growing Up

I have often been told (mostly by people who don’t believe in such things) that I am an old soul. I was an intelligent and obedient child, quick to finish my homework and patient about standing in line. I was not, for the most part, a problem–and so, for the most part, I was ignored.

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Posted in Ugly & Beautiful

The Joy of Quitting

I think most of us dream about quitting our jobs at one time or another–some of us dream about it constantly. Some of us dream about quitting everything, dropping our lives and running off with the circus, living in a tiny home in New Mexico where we’ll sell turquoise beads to tourists and watch the sunset over the desert each night, climbing to the top of a mountain and living alone in a cave. It’s a dream in which we’re able to surmount our fears or inabilities, in which we’re able to steer our own destinies.

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