MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

Because isn’t that the point?

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Unsplash photo: Ian Barsby

In our rule-abiding society, we are surrounded by dos and don’ts. Rules can be as large as how we govern and as small as the social convention to replace the toilet paper roll if you’re the one finishing it. Rules extend into fashion, communication, education, sports, travel and every endeavor we care about. The question is, “Are they useful?” Should we abide by them, and at what cost?

Different people and different cultures have something to say about rules. …

HUMOR

It’s National Popcorn Day, and boy do we need it

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Unsplash Photo: Corina Rainer

It’s a comfort food. It’s a snack food. No … It’s Super Popcorn. Just in time for our need to crunch, we have upon on us National Popcorn Day, and it’s not as trivial as one might think.

Consider this: The average American conservatively eats 38 quarts of popcorn annually though some sources estimate almost double that. If that person is not you, then it’s your neighbor or family member. Alternatively, it just might be you, and you’ve lost count of the kernels.

But on this day, January 19th, National Popcorn Day, we have many reasons to celebrate popcorn that go beyond our immense consumption. …

HUMOR

Chess anyone?

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Unsplash photo: Piotr Makowski

When we last visited Alfred and Coach, Alfred shared that it was awkward seeing his friends after break. Their conversation didn’t flow. Alfred feared he was backtracking. Coach suggested that Alfred use his love of chess to connect with friends. Coach explained that life is a zig-zag and that Alfred was zagging, not backtracking. Alfred was to consider starting a chess club.

Coach: <in full voice> Hello Alfred! So glad to see you today.

Alfred: Hey, Coach. We have a lot to talk about, so we better get started. I am glad, you’re glad to see me, though.

Coach: <chuckling> So if we better get started, that means you have something to share. What’s on your mind? …

Starting 2021 with the right attitude

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Author’s photo of mug

It’s a fair question to ask what made me decide I needed to buy this mug. After all, I have so many. In the game that my kids play, “How many ways can we make fun of mom?”(lovingly, of course), my extensive mug collection has been a frequent landing place. And that was before adding my new mug.

I believe why this mug called out to me is that I have been building up my bravery to go places in my writing that I have not historically gone. …

HOLIDAY

Kind of crazy to call us out, right? But maybe not …

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iStock photo: Nastco

Who knew that January 10th celebrates “Peculiar People Day.” If you look up the word “peculiar” in the dictionary, you’ll find the first listing to be what one would expect:

“Strange or odd; Unusual”

It’s the second one that grabbed my attention:

“Particular; Special”

I’m going with the second interpretation because what makes my day special is when something unique is offered up — a response I hadn’t expected, a look that made me laugh, a story that sounded so crazy “it just might be true.”

I must have been having some subliminal urge to celebrate “peculiar” because yesterday when I was perusing Medium, I landed on a piece by author Devin Arrigo, whom I hadn’t read…

MEAN WHAT YOU SAY

Can we see a light?

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Unsplash photo: Peter Gonzalez

While there is not much we can agree on these days, we seem to commiserate on the pain and loneliness of life during a pandemic. Any quick glance through the day’s Medium pieces will show how many people have a tip or an experience or a plea that relates to Covid. Our temporary lifestyle feels anything but temporary.

Then came the vaccines, fortunately, now plural. This seems to have spawned repeated use of the expression, “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel.” From where did that expression arise, and what are some alternatives?

The origin of “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel” came from George Eliot, who shared this sentiment in a letter back in 1879. She (yes, “she” because George was really Mary Ann and needed a male pen name to be published) wrote a friend after she had been experiencing a long and disheartening…

HUMOR SERIES

And Coach explains the “zig-zag”

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Unsplash photo: Raphael Biscaldi

Alfred and Coach are meeting for the first time in 2021. At their last session, Alfred shared that he needed to “veg out,” watch some anime, and not have to think much. They reviewed topics from previous sessions, which included using curiosity over smarts sometimes, being generous in meaningful ways, “wearing other’s shoes” to better understand what’s inside, and finding humor — whether as a creator or an appreciator.

Each week, Alfred and Coach begin by looking back at how Alfred has applied their last lesson. Alfred reports that he now has friends to sit with at lunch, that they call each other by name, and sometimes they laugh. …

HOLIDAY

Let’s celebrate World Introvert Day

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Unsplash photo: Kartini Maxson

I can’t believe I almost missed World Introvert Day. Since I am only penning this piece on the international holiday celebrating introverts, it means that if you are reading this, you too are late like me.

Well, maybe it’s not that unusual to be late to toasting introverts. After all, they don’t make much noise or draw much attention to themselves. And they celebrate the January 2nd date with a few other noteworthy causes that they’d probably be happy to deflect the spotlight onto. We have National Science Fiction day, of which I imagine quite a few introverts have contributed to that special art. …

At the end of a long tunnel

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(Photo/Adrien Olichon on Unsplash)

Let’s start with the obvious. Our world has endured mental and physical anguish that takes us back to some of our darkest days, including wars, terrorism, hazards of nature, and personal failure. COVID feels like a villainous twist on a theme while it sets a new standard for fear, isolation, and a pervasive sense of loss. We wonder whether there is a future that we want to be part of. I’m here to write that there is.

It’s the old adage, “There is a light at the end of the tunnel.” Of course, we don’t know how long the tunnel is until we break forth into light. …

NEW YEARS

And it’s all of 3 words

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Photo Unsplash: Andrey Metelev

I belong to the group of people that have big New Year’s resolutions. Not 1 or 2, but 4 or 5, and maybe even 7. The thinking goes that with so many options for how to be a better person, or have a happier year ahead, surely one of those resolutions can be achieved. So, why not aim large? Or said in a more calculated way, reduce our risk of resolution-failure?

This year is different, though. I have only one resolution, and it’s all of 3 words. Yes, 2020 has been the year where we learned that less is more. …

About

Jill Ebstein

Mom, consultant, tennis and dog lover. My focus is intersection of business/family/modern day peculiarities. Created AtMyPace series https://mediumauthor.com/

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