Eyes Wide Shut: Why are We So Gullible?

I think most of us understand that this country is in the midst of the most acute and chronic era of divisiveness since the Civil War. Too many of us are holed up in our respective silos. It’s us against them; my camp versus your camp. We’re right, you’re wrong. We know the truth, you’reContinue reading “Eyes Wide Shut: Why are We So Gullible?”

Who I Am is Not What I Am: The Curse of Performance-Based Identity

Most of us harbor a self-critic in the Amygdala of our brain. It operates on a continuum ranging from selective and reserved to vocal and harsh. While a modicum of self-criticism is necessary and probably desirable, too many of us take it to the extreme. The genesis often occurs in childhood when we get theContinue reading “Who I Am is Not What I Am: The Curse of Performance-Based Identity”

Take Nothing for Granted. It’s Great to Be Alive.

“Take nothing for granted. It’s great to be alive.” I’ve heard those words uttered by Chicago disk jockey Lin Brehmer dozens of times. The phrase has been his mantra for years. And, every time I’d hear it I’d tell myself he’s absolutely right. We have all taken so much for granted every day of ourContinue reading “Take Nothing for Granted. It’s Great to Be Alive.”

God Doesn’t Play the Blame Game.

Why is it that so many of us look to assign blame when the shit hits the fan? Everything has to be somebody’s fault: our boss, our parents, our sibling, our spouse, the yahoo down the street, politicians, the media, God. Tragedy is part of life. It happens every day. Sometimes there’s an obvious villainContinue reading “God Doesn’t Play the Blame Game.”

Ready, Set, Go. A 64-year-old’s First Day of Grad School.

The author poses on the campus of Northeastern Illinois University. It’s incredibly difficult to fathom, but I’m just seven months away from my 65th birthday. Holy shit! Some of my same-aged friends are at this very moment planning for imminent retirements. Others have already stepped away from their respective vocational rat races. But not me.Continue reading “Ready, Set, Go. A 64-year-old’s First Day of Grad School.”

Happy Father’s Day Asshole

Have you gone shopping for a Father’s Day card? If so, you’ve undoubtedly seen dozens of greetings that state, in essence, I am who I am today because of you, Dad. The verse inside may use words like love, acceptance, guidance, caring, kindness, role model, and hero. But, what if one of those sentiments isn’tContinue reading “Happy Father’s Day Asshole”

It’s Not Your Fault

The 1997 movie Good Will Hunting is one of my favorite films for a number of reasons. Each of the main characters is deeply flawed, lonely, fearful, and trying desperately to mask the pain that envelops them. Among the numerous powerful and poignant scenes in the film is a breakthrough moment in the relationship betweenContinue reading “It’s Not Your Fault”

The Toxicity of Shame

I’m not sure who first identified the acronym for shame, but it’s spot-on: Should Have Already Mastered Everything. In other words, I should be perfect. I should understand this. I should know how to do this. I should… fill in the blank. Author Brené Brown, who spent many years researching shame says, “Where perfectionism exists,Continue reading “The Toxicity of Shame”

Real Men Eat Quiche: And They Cry Too

Not long ago, my 4 ½ year old granddaughter, Charli, and I were playing while her little sister napped. She was smitten with some superhero character she had seen on TV and began to act out a battle scene. But, when Charli got a little too rambunctious I said to her, “Be careful honey. YouContinue reading “Real Men Eat Quiche: And They Cry Too”