Sweets for your sweetheart

Valentine’s Day is coming up (if January ever ends)… A gift that provokes anxiety or guilt (or both!) is not a good gift. If your partner is reducing or eliminating junk food, buying chocolate, cookies, candies, etc. is not a thoughtful thing to do. Likewise, if you’re reducing or eliminating junk food, don’t ask for … Read more

And instead of but

When a sentence has two parts—the first part positive and the second part negative—the conjunction makes a big difference in how the complete sentence is received. “You played that song really well, but this note should be two beats.” “You played that song really well, and this note should be two beats.” “You played that … Read more


Apologies. We tend not to be good at them. We tend to force children to mutter them insincerely. We get in the habit of muttering them insincerely, if we mutter them at all. The first place I heard an excellent, clear explanation of what an apology should be was in Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture at … Read more

Can you go a month without complaining?

A while back, I read a few articles about complaining and how it rewires your brain. Not in a good way. Also a while back, I used to run 30-day challenges on Facebook. Two of those challenges have been “life-changing” as per feedback from people in the group. One was no added sugars (which we … Read more

Podcast quote: problem maintenance

As I mentioned a bit ago, I have been bingeing on Where Should We Begin? by Esther Perel. The first episode of the second season (“You Need Help to Help Her”), she’s talking with a couple who has a young adult daughter with problems. Most of the details of the episode aren’t relevant to this … Read more


I’m writing a book. This is a little piece of it, written about six months ago. I expect that I’ll share a few more bits of it, and also that some things I write for the blog will end up in the book. Editing is likely. I was recently struck by the abundance of hope … Read more