The Exact Right Place to Be

I had a friend once who told me about her mishaps in dating. Her husband died and she’d been raising her daughter for years on her own. Every once in a while, she’d go out on a date, for practice, she said. Sometimes she’d get involved in a relationship. But after the first two relationships ended badly, she decided she was going to swear off men altogether. “I just refuse […]

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The Maladjusted Book Club: Dazed and Dreaming

Why does sinking into a nice long slumber sound so appealing? Is a dream world where we’d all rather be? This is a question faced by Otessa Moshfegh’s narrator in the new critically-acclaimed novel, My Year of Rest and Relaxation. Like many of us, I am a person who wants to escape, who wants to distract myself from the sometimes painful realities of life. There has been many a time when […]

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Following the Rules

I have a memory of being a child, driving back from vacation at the beach with my mom and stepdad, and the car breaking down. They worked together to push it out of the road and then we sat on a patch of grass in the hot August sun, waiting. “What are we going to do now?” I had asked. The answer: “We don’t know.” That was scary for me. […]

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Opening Veins and Writing

On the Saturday mornings I don’t have my kids, I go to yoga and then my favorite café to write. I try to treat myself by getting a breakfast burrito or a Danish, sipping on a cappuccino, and trying to snag my favorite seat by the window. I try to make my writing time special because I know that if I do it at home, I’ll distract myself with domestic […]

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Kicking Ass at Failing

This morning, my son’s first day of middle school, did not go as I planned. I’ve been anxious about it all summer, this step from elementary school into pre-adolescence. A big, wide building with several wings. More homework. A transition of timing, of friendships, of life. I wanted the morning to go smoothly. I wanted everything to work out as it should. Perfect, or as close to perfect as it […]

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Being Free

Yesterday I took my daughters for a walk around our neighborhood after dinner. It’s only recently that I’ve allowed my four-year-old, the baby of the family, to walk instead of ride in her stroller. On this day, after holding my hand to cross the street, she ran up ahead on the sidewalk, spreading her arms wide and skipping as the breeze ruffled her dress and blew her ponytail. She makes similar movements at […]

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This Is Really Happening

The other night I was reading my daughter one of our favorite children’s books by Mo Willems, “Edwina, the Dinosaur Who Didn’t Know She Was Extinct.” The story is not so much about Edwina the dinosaur as it is about Reginald Von Hoobie Doobie, the elementary school hero who sets out to prove everybody wrong about the existence of the friendly neighborhood dinosaur. Dinosaurs can’t exist, he tells his teacher […]

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