Finding balance in a chaotic world

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Thanks

As a child, the day after Christmas was always a struggle. The reason being, my parents made me write thank-you notes, with the implicit threat that if I didn’t, there would be less presents next year. I remember agonizing over writing them. Funny writing and mailing my Christmas list wasn’t nearly as difficult. As I grew older, the task did not get any easier. In fact in my early twenties I constructed a form thank you letter with a mail merge just to make things go faster. So why now do I find myself designing custom cards and hand writing thank you notes for everything from gifts received to dinner invites? Read more »

Just Listen

So around six months back I joined a writers group here in town. I’d been to a few others but I was always the youngest person there by a large margin and didn’t quite feel like I connected with them. What I really wanted was a group that would keep me excited and motivated about writing. So a friend of mine came across my current group on Meetup.com and I clicked with them. They seemed excited about my novel and wanted to critique it for me, if I wanted. The process has been great and the suggestions they give me are always excellent. What is interesting is that I realized for the first time in quite a few years, I’m making new friends from scratch. Read more »

If There is Ever Anything I Can Do…

A friend of mine and I tend to lead parallel lives for some strange reason. Our birthdays are two weeks apart, and in a bizarre coincidence, our first children were born two weeks apart. About the only real thing we differ on is our views of politics and religion; we tend to skew on polar opposites there, but neither of us are rabid about it so we can hold logical discussions. Suffice it to say that we tend to connect well. As our kids grew up, he noticed that his son did not respond quite as normally as other kids his age. After a few trips to the doctor and some tests, they got the news: their son was strongly autistic. When I heard this news, it broke my heart. The amount of work they will need to do for this child and the knowledge that he may not improve crushed me inside, but what really broke my heart was the complete feeling of helplessness I felt about it. I really wanted to help, but what could I do? Read more »

All of My Friends are Older Than Me

This weekend, a friend of mine is celebrating his 40th birthday. It’s funny, I often joke that I surround myself with people who are older and less successful than me so I can feel better about myself. It isn’t true, of course. Most of my friends are older than me but we all seem to be at the same relative success level. So I find myself thinking about what I want to get him for his birthday. At his age he can afford just about anything he wants so it needs to be a little more personal. Read more »

Game Strategies

GamesAs I’ve mentioned before, I love to play games. I have a fairly extensive board game collection and at least once a month, I get together with some friends and play. Around the world there are conventions held with the sole purpose of playing games. People fly in from all over and enjoy one, two, sometimes even four or five days of doing nothing but playing games. It should come as no surprise that I have attended my fair share of these events and they are always a lot of fun. One of the draws for these conventions is the chance to play games that you have never played before and also to play with people you’ve never played against. It is playing against these new people that really make the convention interesting. Read more »