The Blog

Darrell and I found ourselves in unfamiliar territory recently, sharing an apartment with someone who has a pet turtle. Every night I’d tiptoe back to our bedroom through the kitchen where that turtle holds court in his cramped aquarium. His eyes follow your every move. It’s creepy.

After a couple of nights I had a stroke of what felt like genius. I decided not to look at the turtle anymore.

It reminded me that all of life is a test of focus.

I have more than a little correspondence from new college moms in my inbox at the moment.

“Being a college mom was a blast,” I told one of them. “After those first five or six weeks of wandering around aimlessly, sobbing.”

Sometimes the only way to feel better is to let yourself feel even worse.

Once upon a time I thought I was ready for kindergarten.

I was wrong.

smiley face for the blogI’m good at worrying. It’s kind of a gift. Give me enough time and I’ll find some reason to worry about everything.

Except adding a smiley face or two to an eMail. No sense worrying about that, right?


Don’t let anyone tell you there’s no recipe for being a good parent. There is. Pay attention. Make lots of memories. Repeat.

I’d have difficulty improving on the advice given in this essay.

Once upon a time I let a boss know I wasn’t thrilled by the way he operated. Nothing bad happened, unless you count feeling silly -- years later -- for even bothering.

Then I talked with the author of The No Asshole Rule, and decided it had been an okay experiment after all.

How do you choose your battles?

What remains?
August 20, 2017

You never know what someone will remember from her time with you.

The other day Katie delighted me with a snapshot from her childhood, inspired by the stream of people descending the escalator at the Whole Foods on Columbus Circle in New York during the afternoon rush.

“This reminds me of that game we used to play,” she said. “‘Watching People Come Home from Work.’” We’d sit outside after she got home from school, with her snack and my coffee, and watch cars go by. No screens, no agenda, nothing but the pleasure of each other’s company.

Such sweetness.

North Shore Drive for the blogDarrell wanted my blessing on a work move a while back, but I hesitated. Would this prompt legal action? It wasn’t an idle threat, so to speak. It was important to proceed with care.

Now he was hesitating. So we talked.

What Darrell had proposed was good and necessary. How much risk did it actually represent? As we talked I remembered that in the bigger scheme, this constituted a smaller risk than we’d already weathered. “If you’re looking for something to hang the decision on,” I offered, “there you go.”

Then I realized how much of life is looking for things to hang our decisions on. There’s no map for making the most of a life, after all -- and the happiest people I know are more likely to ride a wave than follow a rule, anyway.