Digital Purging

Digital Purging

Don’t you love the sound your computer makes when you drag a file into the trash? The only thing better is the sound your computer makes when the trash gets emptied. Slowly over the last month I have been doing some serious digital purging. It’s not quite as refreshing for me as, let’s say, purging my closet, I think because I enjoy the physical work of moving and hauling and bagging. Sitting at my computer dragging files with two fingers does not work up a sweat. Yet, the digital purge is important and cleansing for me all the same. In the tidying up rage, it’s easy for me to forget about my computer files because I think so much in...

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A Beautiful Life: The Whitman Family’s Story

A Beautiful Life: The Whitman Family’s Story

I met Kenton Whitman last summer in the middle of the woods in western Wisconsin.  We had both signed on to help a local herbalist put together a “back to nature” festival and were meeting up at the site to discuss details and tour the grounds.  He and his intern at the time, Brett, pulled up in a van shortly after I did, and when we all came together in the driveway I was immediately struck by the authenticity and loving-kindness that radiated from their direction.  I remember thinking, “these are people who are doing what they really want to be doing in life and who want to talk about it.”  Kenton was barefoot (the whole visit, hike...

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Tiny Beautiful Things

Tiny Beautiful Things

Cheryl Strayed wrote a book a few years ago called Tiny Beautiful Things – It’s a book based on her stint as an advice columnist known as  “Sugar” and it’s full of people sharing their heart wrenching experiences and asking advice.  It’s full of stories about the things that make being human so hard, yet at the same time, can hold so much beauty if we let them.  The story I’m about to share isn’t about overcoming drug addiction or sexual assault or homelessness like many of the  Dear Sugar columns were, but tiny beautiful things don’t have to be about overcoming the hardest stuff of life.  They just have to...

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notes on (almost) the end of summer

So it’s almost the end of summer. Not meteorological summer — not yet — though the mornings are not bright as early as they were a few weeks ago, and nights are growing dim rather quickly. But the end of summer, as in the weeks that my big kid is not in school. Though only 1/4 of our household is actually on the school calendar these days, it still sort of keeps time around here. A familiar rhythm. Summer ends, and then “we” go back to school. Soon. But not quite yet. There are still a few more days of left of what has been a nice season. We did not take any family vacations, nor did we do everything on the “summer...

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Naming Needs

Naming Needs

Leading up to my birthday, both of my sisters independently texted my spouse asking for ideas on gifts that would indulge me a bit. Not sure how to respond, one night on the couch he fished, “Ellie, if you were to pamper yourself, what would you choose to do?” Without making eye contact or breaking stride, I snorted, shook my head and said, “I have no idea.” He brought this up on my birthday, and I felt bad for blowing him, and thus my sisters, off. But upon further thought, I still had no idea. Part of being kind to yourself is coming to terms with your limitations. I don’t get massages or my nails done. I’m lucky if I get...

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Enough Clothes Already

Enough clothes already! No, this is not a post about nudism or nudists. Also it isn’t about Never Nudes (which you’d know about if you giggle at “Arrested Development” like I do way too often on Friday nights). This is about clothing of all varieties and materials and how I have too many and so do you. What? How can I accuse you of having too many clothes? And what is too many, really? And who is measuring? And who gives a rip? “But wait,” you say, “we’re all on a spectrum, Claire…we’re all at different places in life….we all make different incomes and choose different paths and make choices...

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Blessings of boredom

Blessings of boredom

This Saturday I ran myself ragged. And I loved every minute of it. No, not because I am addicted to being busy. No, I am not trying to brag (okay maybe a little bit). I spent a wonderful day with friends and family doing many of my favorite things: playing, eating, talking, gardening, laughing, and just being. I was exhausted at the end of the day, but full of the peace of a life well lived, a life with meaning and purpose. Then on Sunday morning, the business section featured an article about the importance of boredom in one’s life. I found it a rather odd article mixed up among the retirement advice and the stock report. But it featured one of my husband’s...

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