I recently spent several weeks in the Land of Magical Thinking. I liked it there. It was a place where whatever I wanted to believe was true. It was a place where the word hypocrite didn’t exist. It was a place where I could get what I wanted. Or at least it felt that way.

I think we’ve all been tempted to go there or are lost there without even realizing it, especially during these challenging times. Here’s how I ended up in that dangerous place.

Our son lives 2,500 miles away in Las Vegas. We went to visit him…

I’m a teacher, and I’m furious. Why? Too many people are asking us to take huge risks but are unwilling to make even the simplest sacrifices themselves.

Look at the president. He has been pushing to get our students back in the classroom and has gone so far as to threaten cuts in funding for schools that don’t follow orders. Yet he refuses to use his executive power to ask all people to wear a mask, one of the simplest ways to prevent the spread of Covid-19. …

I was reluctant to add another voice to the cacophony that is filling social media feeds until I remembered what Desmond Tutu said. “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” I am not neutral, so I will not be quiet.

In the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, what matters seems to be getting lost. It is getting lost in people being told to take sides. But there are no sides here; there is only truth.

The truth is that being murdered because of the color of your skin is…

What have you done during this COVID-19 lockdown? Have you sewn and donated dozens of face masks? Have you cleaned out your garage, basement, or attic? Have you written a song that satirizes, inspires, or entertains during this challenging time? If you have done any of these things, I give you kudos, but you can stop reading now. This post isn’t for you.

This post is for those of us who are just living and finding that challenging enough.

When the lockdown first started, I alternated between nightmares of loss and dreams of accomplishment. I am not going to go…

Source: Wine and Unwind

Wine and Yoga

When a friend recently suggested we go to a wine and yoga class, I readily agreed, thinking that my love for this friend and enjoyment of wine would more than offset the bad blood between me and yoga. I was wrong.

I knew we were off to a bad start when I arrived and everyone but me had a yoga mat. It hadn’t even occurred to me to bring a yoga mat. I don’t own one, given the whole bad blood thing, but still. It’s not like me to go anywhere unprepared. …

I don’t remember having houseplants growing up. My mom was a single parent to five children, so I’m sure taking care of one more thing — even something as simple as a plant — was not a priority. And since we often replicate our childhood homes, I didn’t think about having houseplants when I set up house. A few times after visiting the home of someone who had lots of houseplants, I would become inspired and run out and buy one for my own home. Then I would forget about it and, inevitably, the plant would die. …

Keep the lid up and the toilet paper soft.

If you’re of a certain age, have inherited some particularly nasty genes, or are having gastrointestinal issues, your doctor will instruct you to have a colonoscopy. Don’t be blindsided by this backside-based inspection of your large intestine. These annals of my most recent colonoscopy will give you a heads up on the, er, down low.

One week before the colonoscopy: Meet the Gastroenterologist. Although pre-procedure meetings with doctors always feel like an insurance money-grab to me, I think this one is necessary. While I could have passed on the umpteenth review of my medical history — father died of colon…

A Senior Discount on Humble Pie

Yesterday afternoon I was in the neighborhood of a lovely grocery store that I rarely get to visit, so I decided to go in and pick up a few things. I wandered the aisles admiring the beautiful displays of cheeses (fresh mozzarella), fish (two freshly made salmon burgers), vegetables (scallions and tomatoes on the vine), and baked goods (raisin and cranberry rolls).

I smiled at the teenage girl at the register as I began unloading my basket. An older worker noticed that the girl rang my rolls up as scones and helped her correct…

It’s obvious why the dentist didn’t think my front teeth were worth saving.

Pulling My Front Teeth, Take Two

As the dentist injected another dose of Novocain into the gums above my front teeth, I felt tears pooling in the corners of my eyes.

“These shots are the worst,” she said. “I know, because they made us give them to each other in dental school.”

I felt a tear trace its way down the side of my face, and the dentist handed me a box of tissues.

“Here,” she said. “They can definitely make your eyes water.”

The shots were obscenely painful, but they weren’t the source of my tears. In the days…

On Friday, photos of my mom appeared on my Apple watch. I wasn’t aware of pressing any buttons. The photos had been taken at different times, but they both showed Mom smiling and her bright blue eyes shining. The photos made me happy and weepy; we were approaching the one-year anniversary of her death.

It was a very difficult year. It was a year when sadness was an ever-present lump in my throat. It was a year when I jumped every time my home phone rang; she and telemarketers were the only people who called that number. …

Jeannette Sanderson

I read, write, and run in the beautiful Hudson Valley, where I live with my husband, our black Lab, Beckett, and our rescue pup, Magnolia.

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