Life Advice



A Working State of Mind

When I met my husband, he was amused that I would tell him, "Take off your shoes; stay a while."

I'm not as fervent as those in other cultures who immediately switch to house shoes, but I am a proponent of bare feet. I like feeling the ground where I stand and would horrify hikers in my 20s by tromping through the desert in Converse because I...Read more

Millennial Life: The Frayed Ends of Family

I paced the outdoor pathway around my apartment complex. My husband was fixing something on our old car outside, and I wanted him in sight for emotional support. I placed my hand on my third-trimester belly, trying to calm my nerves as I dialed the number I had received from the private investigator. I would be speaking to my uncle for the first...Read more

Millennial Life: Honoring the Time that is Given to You

I wanted to dye my hair when I was about 13. I was admiring the rave scene that was all around me in Europe, where we lived at the time. I begged for blue hair, negotiating down to perhaps just a strand, then down to temporary colors, then hitting the floor with an offer of just watercolors. One night I got a green light, so I took watercolors ...Read more

Millennial Life: Pausing to Reclaim our Time and Minds

The movie theater is a particular type of magic. It's ritualistic, with ticket stubs handed over to gatekeepers and the aroma of buttered popcorn announcing a time when food rules might be relaxed. Dinner might be a perfunctory hot dog, a side for too many Red Vines and Milk Duds.

The online reservation for seats was made for all four of us, ...Read more

Millennial Life: Reflection on the Awkward Times That Lead to Spring

This is my favorite time of the year. I don't mean the turkey on Thanksgiving or the tree for Christmas. I mean these strange days between Christmas and the end of the year. It's an awkward time. Ask anyone in an office between Monday, Dec. 26, and Friday, Dec. 30. It's a time-bending malaise that would work well as a pause, a natural recharge ...Read more

Millennial Life: When the Lights Draw Us in to Create Magic

I don't know what chased me up the ladder first, but somewhere along the way, I became the house's resident Christmas lights putter-upper. Inspired at first by the novelty of climbing a ladder and adding illuminated cheer to our young family's traditions, now I tend to be more Grinchlike, figuring out how long I can push putting up lights before...Read more

Millennial Life: But for the Grace in One Another We Go

My daughter sat up to look. Like a princess in a carriage, she peered backward and down at the person in the wheelchair, which was burdened with hanging bags. The man wore bright yellow grippy socks, the ones you get in the hospital, and was eyeing both ways on a neighborhood intersection.

After I dropped the kids off, I came back around to the...Read more

Courage Found When the Game is Afoot

The game had led us down a county road with no lights and with a different name than the GPS stated. I hit the brights on our truck and saw a home with extra cars parked on the street. I told my daughter we'd turn back around if I started to get a funny feeling.

In my town, there is an online community scavenger hunt. The anonymous host posts...Read more

Millennial Life: Find Freedom in the Mundane Memories

There was a sale on potatoes, and it seemed like everyone in the family decided to pick up a bag. At one point, I opened the pantry, and it smelled like my grandparents' cellar, the one side room that they filled with potatoes in a pile higher than I was tall.

Back in my memories, there is a small version of myself sitting in a field where my ...Read more

Curiosity Can Save the Cat

A flat, smooth trail runs alongside the Rio Grande, which is mostly dry at this time of the year. The trail can be part of a longer loop, but we rode it as an out-and-back and ended up returning with an extra passenger found along the way.

Since I'm biking, I'm wrangling everyone who will take me up on the offer to go with me. I am slow, I ...Read more

Finding Community on a School Night

Poor parental planning landed us at a hibachi grill an hour away and nearly 30 minutes before bedtime. The father from the other party that we sat down with -- not to break bread, but to watch a chef break eggs on fried rice -- whooped his approval at the two young first-timers we brought in.

It was my daughter's birthday, and we wanted to ...Read more



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