Life Advice



Millennial Life: It's Not Goodbye, But See You in November

After next week, this column won't be appearing in my local newspaper, all because of a speech I gave last week.

This makes it sound entirely more dramatic than it is, but that's how you reel in a reader. The more boring answer is that I'm running for city council.

After three days of practicing a two-minute speech and using a ladle to mimic a...Read more

Millennial Life: Maintaining Adulthood is About Choosing Your Battles

It's reaching the end of the school year crescendo with things being brought home from their classrooms. Art projects, handouts and indistinguishable writing that might have been crucial notes in the social lives of elementary schoolers are littering my kitchen.

I love my children, but a huge part of me would just enjoy putting all their ...Read more

Getting Involved Can Take Learning a New Culture

He let the consultant finish. They outlined the new elements of the park and the benefits of changes and additions. It would be walkable, incorporate green spaces and have a modern feel. At the end of the presentation, the chair of our board asked to go back to a specific page in the PowerPoint. He pointed to the baseball diamond, which now ...Read more

Millennial Life: The Joy in the Impermanence of Things

There's a house I drive by every morning when I drop off the kids that is full of knickknacks. I know the person who owns it and that they have a large collection of collectibles. For whatever reason, as I drove by this morning, I thought about what a sale it could be someday.

That sounds pretty cold, but living in an older neighborhood, you ...Read more

Millennial Life: This One Time, at a Yearbook Conference

We had barely settled into our rooms for our high school trip to San Francisco when the fire alarms went off. Suddenly official-looking staff zoomed by in the hallway, and one of my classmates sniffed the air. Was it smoke? It was.

We all barreled into the stairwell, screeching as you do when excitement overrides actual fear. We started on the ...Read more

Millennial Life: Fake Money, Real Lessons in Power

One year in elementary school, our teacher tried to prop up a unit on financial education by building a classroom economy. Unfortunately, the result was a bitter bidding war.

Our teacher made the money as authentic as possible. With the school logo in the middle, the green bills weren't on cardstock but on flexible paper that we would wad up ...Read more

Millennial Life: If We Forget Our Past, What Is the Foundation of Our Future?

I'm not one to gasp when something dramatic happens, but when I rounded the corner and saw the bulldozer pushing against the building walls, I couldn't help myself.

I had known the building only as decay. It was the former home of the country club, and the remaining structure sat lonely in a field of dead trees. According to the neighborhood ...Read more

Millennial Life: We Are Not the Ones to Define Our Times but Live Them

Good game, COVID-19. After three years of dodging and deflecting, the little extra line on the at-home test came as a surprise, equal to a line on a pregnancy test. Even though, like pregnancy, you can know there is a possibility, seeing the confirmation is still bewildering.

Thankfully, we had mild cases. The whole house came down with it, ...Read more

The Stories We Tell Say Something About What We Value

It was puzzling how my relatively stern Oma could listen to absurdly costumed polka music. It was usually a small band with an accordion or electric piano awkwardly perched in front of a Bavarian chateau or a herd of brown cows. The singers and musicians were always happy and smiling a touch too wide.

It was a little "Stepford Wives" with ...Read more

Millennial Life: Hope for Facing an Unknown Future

Every millennial has a story about the disconnect between their lives and the suggestions from their parents. The one that we like to titter about -- but that has decreased in actual use because some older generations had to reenter the workforce -- is how we should print our resumes on nice card stock, dress up and walk in to speak to the owner...Read more

Millennial Life: Developing Ourselves and Our Communities Takes Time

It was a graduation for a community class that had been running once a week for the last few months. The instructor looked around the room and lauded how the new graduates might go on to plant seeds of knowledge wider than he might ever see. While the class had been split between a Zoom and in-person group, it was nice, he said, to see younger ...Read more



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