Category: Life lessons

Thoughts as senior residences let up on lockdowns

Our 93-year-old mother’s virtual imprisonment in an assisted living apartment for almost a year has to rank among my family’s top stresses of the pandemic.   Would Mom have been better off living with one of us? Didn’t she deserve the same care she gave her own mother at home for 17 years? But when... Read more »

Leanne, I wish you could read this post

This is the third post in the last four that I’m writing about death. My good friend Leanne Star, former coworker and current fellow blogger on ChicagoNow, died unexpectedly over the weekend at age 72.  Three weeks ago I blogged about another friend and former coworker whose death from cancer was anticipated. Leanne’s came out... Read more »

Do what makes you happy

We’ve all lost friends too soon, and their deaths bring up the big questions. Am I making the most of my time? What do I want to accomplish yet?  After a coworker’s recent death, I wrote in my journal: “Keeping mortality in mind is supposed to help a person make the most of every moment,... Read more »

Home alone for Thanksgiving birthday?

Having a birthday at the end of November has always been sweet. Often my birthday falls between the Thursday and the Sunday of Thanksgiving week, which gave preretired me the day off work. I get to celebrate with family gathering for Thanksgiving, and who better to observe a birthday with than the people responsible for... Read more »

Think you're in charge? Get a cat.

Through most of human history, our species believed we were ordained to rule over animals. How silly that notion is becomes obvious when you observe an animal that has lived alongside humans for many millennia: the cat. For a reality check about how much in charge you actually are, get a cat. Consider the preferences... Read more »

It’s getting too cold for outdoor get-togethers. Now what?

When a friend ended a get-together in a park with “I don’t know when I’ll see you next,” it took me a few seconds to realize why she said that: It may be too cold to meet outdoors again for many months. She hasn’t seen friends indoors since the pandemic struck. Another friend who has... Read more »

Friends should talk — about their own relationship

Interviewing singer/songwriter Wafia Al-Rikabi on NPR’s Weekend Edition last Saturday morning, Scott Simon asked about “Lose a Friend,” a song on her new EP Good Things. “My best friend didn’t want to be my friend anymore,” Wafia said. “One day I just was unfriended . . . I’m still here trying to figure it out.... Read more »

Five-C's criteria for my condo

Spending more time than usual at home, we might be feeling as bored with our dwellings as with ourselves. The blahs can bring on an itch to redecorate. I had hardly changed anything in my South Loop condo after making it livable when I moved in seven years ago. Before scratching the redecorating itch, though,... Read more »

Reduce coronavirus anxiety with a pet

Reduce coronavirus anxiety with a pet
August 21 was three months since losing my cat Lizzy. Too long living without another sentient being, especially during these days of isolation. So I started to look at the cat pages on the website of PAWS, where my friend Bobbie, a volunteer, encouraged me to find my next feline companion. The winner, whom I... Read more »

Finally acting on New Year’s resolution to spend more freely

The last post ended with my mulling over whether to join Facebook to be able to rent a car from Getaround. Before I came to a decision, my thoughts had gone in a different direction. But first, in case you’re curious: it is possible to be a “lurker” on Facebook — a member who doesn’t... Read more »