From the Left



Chores and Tribulations: I Crave a Better Way for Household Productivity

I love contributing to the family. But I hate chores. As a child, chores were tasks to be checked off a list so I could get on to other things. A checklist made clear that I'd either succeed or fail based on chores completed. I often felt overlooked, reduced to tasks. Patted on the head for duties that meant nothing to me so I could disappear ...Read more

The Homeless Crisis Should Not Be Treated as Out of Sight, Out of Mind

At a lunch meeting recently, I heard someone say they liked living downtown but moved to the suburbs because "the homelessness is just too much." This same person went on to say that unhoused people should be relocated out of downtown. To where? He didn't say.

I bristled. Someone else's homelessness is not something being done to you. Having to...Read more

Erma Bombeck's Great Work Lives On at the University of Dayton

I was unloading the car I'd rented when my neighbor asked where I'd gone. "The University of Dayton," I told her, explaining that the university had received a treasure trove from Erma Bombeck's family for their archives.

"Who?" my neighbor asked.

"Erma Bombeck."

"The name sounds familiar..." she said, trying to place the name.

Erma has been...Read more

Teen Dating Isn't Really the Best Practice for Adult Relationships

Valentine's Day is upon us, and my son is gearing up for a "friendship party" with his second grade class. I love this view of the day. The focus on friendship has a longer view on love than the pressure of passion with hearts and flowers.

Our son is only 8 years old. Friendship is the only thing on his mind when it comes to relationships. ...Read more

Do MRIs Freak You Out? They Used To Scare Me Too, But Then I Learned This

I didn't know I was claustrophobic until I had to get an MRI of my knee when I was 32. The technician pushed the button that eased me into the tube, and all seemed to be going well, until a few minutes into it I felt my heart rate increase and proceeded to have a full-blown panic attack.

This intense reaction to an MRI is common -- so common ...Read more

If You Have a Lot To Teach, You Probably Also Have a Lot To Learn

An intern is working with me for the spring semester. This is new for my department as the opinion editor. We get newsroom and photography interns every year. But opinion journalism is a different beast, and journalism is a fast-moving, ever-changing industry thanks to the internet. What used to be words on paper with a headline delivered to ...Read more

There's Next-Level Humanity in Remote Work and I Am Here for It

The polar vortex struck this week and blew my whole week sideways. School was canceled for my son but included homework packets to complete during the days off. I'm grateful that my job is one I can do from home. In fact, I work from home most days. But my new intern started this week, and I had been looking forward to getting him started in a ...Read more

Parents Should Foster Decision-Making in Teens To Help Them Practice 'Adulting'

Rebellion is an adolescent's inarticulate way of saying, "I want control." Parents can support that quest for control within clear boundaries of what is safe and what is legal. Rebellion is a good thing, and it's also a key part of developing the critical thinking skills a person needs to successfully "adult." The key is a secure environment ...Read more

Be Brave And Dream Big This Year

Cleaning out a storage bin I found one of my journals from high school. The entry on Sunday, Nov. 3, 1991, grabbed my attention. It was about big dreams I had for myself. I wrote, "How do I know I have what it takes?... the talent... the potential... the drive?"

I have so many things I want to tell 16-year-old me. Mainly, that she had all of ...Read more

Choose to Be an Everyday Hero in 2024

Americans like a good heroic story, but not every individual is up to saving the world, not in the defining moment sort of way that plays out in our favorite books and on the movie screen. Simon Sinek likes to say that we've over-indexed on rugged individualism and he's right. However, writing professors are also correct when they say each ...Read more

How My Career Helped Me Foster Relationships

When I landed my dream job I went back to therapy. Logically, I know that any workplace revolves around relationships just like everything else. But since I worked for so many years as a freelancer, my work life was transactional at best. Relationship development with consistent co-workers wasn't a daily part of my job. So, when I took the job ...Read more

The Year Christmas Morning Got Quiet

We lay there staring at the ceiling. Something was off. It was quiet. No squeals. No patter of excited feet running down the hall to our bedroom. Just dark and quiet. Every year on Christmas morning, my husband and I were forbidden to get out of bed -- an unspoken law of sorts. The way it was supposed to go was the children were to burst in and ...Read more

Remember Who Christmas Traditions Are Really For: The Kids

As a single mom, I've spent Christmas alone while my daughter visited with her father's family for the holiday. I've also celebrated Christmas morning as a blended family with my daughter, new husband and stepdaughter. Holidays can be challenging with so many moving parts and so many players who have emotional stakes in the day. I'm here to tell...Read more



RJ Matson Lisa Benson Joel Pett Mike Luckovich Dana Summers A.F. Branco