Category: Life lessons

Differences about what we’ll do now

My friends and I agreed about those who weren’t treating COVID as a serious health threat. But now that we’re vaccinated, we diverge about reentering seminormal life. The differences have made me feel defensive on occasion.  Did I detect a self-satisfied tone when two vaccinated friends said that they intend to keep their masks on... Read more »

Resumed activities fall short: bad luck or a bad omen?

During the pandemic, my friend Sandie and I have played Scrabble online twice a week, double the amount we used to play in person, and my book group has met via Zoom. The activity that I missed is Chicago Greeter, where I’d logged almost 1,000 hours giving tours to out-of-towners. Chicago Greeter resumed operation in... Read more »

What I’d like to say to someone who refuses a vaccine

Maybe you also know someone who doesn’t want to get a COVID vaccination. There’s a good chance that someone isn’t in the Baby Boomer generation. Eighty-five percent of us are or intend to be vaccinated, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. One in four adults under 30 are wait-and-see or definitely not. The person I... Read more »
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The caring example of my cousin Bob

My cousin Bob may have been as attentive to his frail Aunt Anita, my mother, if he weren’t in a wheelchair. But he might not have had the time because, at 58, he would still have been working.  A decade ago Bob woke from back surgery in a Joliet hospital unable to move his legs.... Read more »

Being alone is a choice for many older women

Interviewed for the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, 83-year-old Jane Fonda said she was through with romantic relationships.  “I don’t want to be in a relationship, a sexual relationship, again,” she said. “I don’t have that desire.” Three-quarters of my women friends of my generation are single, with the single numbers equally split between never married... Read more »

Reentry at different rates

As more of us are vaccinated, we’re noting reports that people are nervous about reentry into something resembling our former lives. Have we forgotten how to socialize? Are we so used to cocooning that we won’t want to go out? Will we back away from people who get close?  Today, my fully vaccinated day one,... Read more »
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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 »
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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 »