Archive for the ‘Psychology’ Category

Unplugged

01Sep18

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  — Anne Lamott I didn’t set out to unplug this summer. It happened organically, thanks to meandering morning walks that took longer than expected — and work deadlines that came up faster than expected, too. I felt guilty at first […]


In spite of his casual dress and soft southern accent, Windrow intimidated me when I first joined the news desk. He was whip-smart, often funny, sometimes gruff. He was also an experienced editor and a commanding presence in the newsroom. That’s why I snapped to attention when I saw his name on my phone’s display. […]


I was planning a return to Como Lake last weekend to see how our young eagle was coming along. But then I got distracted by the sunrise. As I passed the Gibbs Farm Museum I couldn’t help wondering how many spectacular sunrises Jane DeBow Gibbs had watched from this same spot some 170 years ago. […]


We’re used to wild weather forecasts in Minnesota. But for once, yesterday’s all-caps warning was no exaggeration. “URGENT … BLIZZARD WARNING EXPANDED THROUGH THE TWIN CITIES METRO … HISTORIC WINTER STORM ONGOING.” If the warning from the National Weather Service sounded dire, the road conditions were even worse. Once my friends and I realized we […]


Rather than make grand resolutions for 2017, instead I chose a single small word to guide me through the new year: focus. I’d been trying to do too much, I decided. I would be happier and more fulfilled if I did less, and with greater attention. Then a bunch of unexpected things happened — my […]


The past 12 weeks have been among the most liberating and transformative of my adult life — but among the busiest and most stressful too. I was wistful back in September as I considered leaving the home Esteban and I had bought and rebuilt together. Half of me worried we would regret our decision; the […]


It’s been more than 20 years since Esteban and I first walked into our house, but the memory is still vivid. The wallpaper and woodwork were yellowed. Brown rings of nicotine stained the ceiling. The puke-green shag carpet reminded me of dead sod — with a path trampled down the middle, to the kitchen. The […]


On this day 73 years ago, French and American troops liberated Paris from Nazi occupation. Louise Dillery remembers; she was there. Louise was born in Paris on December 14, 1925 to Radjzla (“Rose”) Silberstein and Israël Gradstein, Jewish Polish immigrants who met in Paris. My mother was from Warsaw, and my father was from Lodz […]


My blog-pal Anthony has a great memory, because this morning he reminded me of a post I wrote three years ago. With apologies to those for whom this is a rerun, it at least explains why I was more excited about the heat-sensitive eclipse stamps than yesterday’s actual eclipse. ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• I admit it: I feel […]


If you live in the U.S., you likely find yourself in one of the following states tonight: 1. tired of hearing about the eclipse, 2. dying to see your next eclipse, or 3. disappointed you missed the eclipse. I first learned of the now-infamous solar event on April 27, 2017 in the Palm Beach Post’s […]


Before visiting a new city Esteban and I usually read up on its history. But thanks to an overambitious itinerary, we knew little about Rouen when we arrived in September of 2015. Rouen was among Europe’s most prosperous and influential cities during the Middle Ages. Our first night was a blur (I’ll tell you about […]


The words “thank you” can’t begin to convey my gratitude for the outpouring of support after my last post. I’m thrilled to report that Esteban is fully recovered and back to his daily routine. “This is the age of miracles and wonders,” as Paul Simon wrote. Although it was distressing to spend so much time […]


It’s been a rough 10 days, friends. On July 9 my husband Esteban woke up with shortness of breath and a tight chest. In a scene that was eerily reminiscent of his first heart attack six years ago, we piled into the car and sped to the emergency room. The only photo I’ve taken in […]


As an amateur photographer I have lots of bad habits, but by far the worst is not looking at my photos after I take them. Over time, the weight of all those photos becomes oppressive, as it can take hours to sort through my mostly crappy snapshots to pick out a handful of favorites. Eventually […]


When it comes to travel, Esteban and I are planners: Before every trip we peruse a stack of guide books from the library, study some history, and map out our logistics. Eight cities and three countries in one trip. WHAT WERE WE THINKING?! Although we still leave plenty of time for serendipity, planning helps us […]


On my desktop sits a folder called “funnies.” Some of its contents date back to the earliest days of the internet, so I no longer remember their source. The internet circa 1973. I had a lot fewer bookmarks back then. But no matter: Whenever I’m having a rough day, the “funnies” file always brings a […]


The first time I met Aunt Lisa, Esteban and I had rented a Plymouth Reliant in Queens and had driven it through rain and sleet almost 300 miles north to Lake Placid. I remember almost every mile thanks to the bald tires and absent windshield wipers (which presumably had been stolen back in Queens). Lisa […]


Graphic created with images and posts compiled from UNICEF’s Twitter feed. All images copyright UNICEF. Read more about UNICEF’s work with refugees.


After shooting some 15,000 frames in the past 12 months it took me a while to choose my 2016 Picture of the Year. But here it is, at last: Supermoon over Downtown. I know what you’re thinking. “IT’S TOTALLY OUT OF FOCUS!” Which is why it seems like a perfect metaphor for my past year. […]


Fail harder

28Aug16

I read an article a while back about Johannes Haushofer, a professor of psychology and public affairs at Princeton University who wrote a rather unconventional résumé: rather than tout his accomplishments, instead he listed his failures. “Most of what I try fails, but these failures are often invisible, while the successes are visible,” Haushofer wrote. […]