Before

Wisdom is valuing those you love before you lose them.

Any Given Picture

Sometimes we write off those who have invested most in us. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, spouses, teachers. Anyone who doesn’t reflect on us the way we wish they would. Anyone who is broken for reasons we know nothing of. We write them out of our beautiful, cool, artistic picture. And that’s our prerogative….

The Greatest

Seek every day both to maintain and to attain things of the greatest importance.

Long Enough

I’ve lived long enough to know that it’s possible to crush someone’s spirit into non-existence. To break someone down so they can’t take another step. Miraculous healing is possible, but it often empowers those who’ve done the crushing to keep doing it indefinitely. Consequences level the field and are, perhaps, the best and most honest…

Less Energy

It takes less energy to actually care than it does to pretend that you do.

Personal Preferences

Reading one’s own social media feeds that have been limited and shaped over weeks and years by algorithmic responses to your own personal preferences is not “doing your research.”

Kind of the Same

Some flavors—like apple and banana and cilantro—pervade and overpower anything and everything they’re mixed with. Other flavors are more subtle but just as delicious. It’s kind of the same with people.

So Little

There’s a passage in the Bible about becoming as little children that I often ponder. It’s worth considering whether or not you’re a Christian. I don’t think for a moment that it’s a call to become like fifth graders or even two-year-olds in terms of self-seeking behavior. What I do believe it means is flying…

Linger

Lost another dear friend to cancer. So many beloved friends and family fighting that fight, and I often contemplate the reality that I may soon join them. You never know when it’s the last conversation you’ll have with someone. You bump into them at the local mercantile—of all people, you bump into them. You catch…

Stupid Stuff

Don’t do stupid stuff. Own and apologize for the stupid stuff you’ve done. Don’t use the stupid stuff you’ve already done to justify doing more stupid stuff. Don’t use the stupid stuff that others have done to justify doing more stupid stuff. Don’t judge others by the stupid stuff they’ve done, because you’ve done equally…

Notice

Notice how the older people in your life tend to go silent as they age. Not because they have nothing to say. But because they no longer live simply to be heard.

Good Soil

I gave up on the garden idea this year and have just tried to keep the weeds at bay and the birds happy. Then I realized some plants were growing from the seeds I put out for the birds—not in places where I would have planted them but in walkways and in tight corners against…

Option

Failure is always an option. It’s just not the preferred one.

Worldview

The things we see and experience produce feelings that form mental associations that connect with hints of reality, changing how we negotiate our way through life for better or worse. What we expose ourselves to creates short-term moods that turn into deep-seated attitudes that influence our perceptions and life choices for the long term. They…

Mothers

There’s a saying that I think is largely true for many of us—that you’re only ever as happy as your least happy child. I believe there’s another corollary—that children are only ever as happy as their mother or, as the case may be, the one who plays the maternal role in their lives. They can…

Hijacked

When you let your beliefs hijack your neutrality in what data you select and how you interpret them, you’ve fallen victim to confirmation bias. To correct for it, err on the side of disconfirmation. Seek evidence that challenges your beliefs—and raise the burden of proof for evidence that affirms them. ~Adam Grant Many of the…

Still Never Fails

Love never fails. That eternal, profound realization hit me long ago when my kids were small and I was still struggling just to keep my patience. How incredibly all-consuming and eternal. It extends universes beyond human politics, philosophies and bottom lines. It has no geographical limits or borders. It has continued to hold me accountable…

More To Me

There are endless hiking trails nearby, many much closer than this one. But I return to Big Mountain more often than not. It’s where I work out the stresses of recent weeks and the sorrows of recent years. “I climb so I can feel tired and sore in places other than my heart.” At first…

After Dinner

If everyone only ever followed their passion, no one would clean up after dinner.