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Happy Valentine’s Day. And before you say anything, yes, I know you don’t celebrate holidays, so just humor me.


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But, I do “celebrate” February being American Heart Month since heart disease is the leading cause of death – for both men and women.


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Gee, that’s one way to turn a “fun” holiday into a real downer. Today’s supposed to be about letting people you love and care about know that you’re thinking of them. Think Hallmark cards, squishy teddy bears, chocolate hearts.


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Do I have to? I rather think about eating well and exercising. I would think you would want to make sure you are around for the people you care about.

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I do, and the irony is that I know what to do. I just can’t find the motivation to keep it going for more than a few days. But when it comes to eating well and exercising, nothing seems to deter you.

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Because every morning, I walk into a large closet filled with size 2 clothing.

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That’s funny.

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It is the truth. I have always been a clothes horse. Now, decades later, I have a significant investment hanging in my closet. And, since almost everything is timeless and classic, I would be extremely annoyed if it no longer fit.

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Well, even if that’s something us “mere mortals” can’t relate to, at least it keeps you motivated. I just don’t have anything like that in my life.

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Really? I can name two things.

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Well, I’m not sure Natasha and Sawyer would want to be referred to as “things”, but I see your point. I think I did a better job staying fit when they were younger and truly needed me every day. Plus, back when I was cooking for them, I was more focused on healthy eating.

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Those are excuses. Are you saying that now that they no longer need you as cook and chauffeur, they also do not need your life experience and unconditional love? Especially as they face the challenges of adulthood.

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Ok, now I don’t know whether to feel guilty or sad because I’m not taking good enough care of myself to always be there for them. At least, if I’m lucky, for the next 30 or 40 years.

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How about stop being so dramatic and just start taking better care of yourself? Do you remember the airplane and oxygen mask analogy?


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Absolutely. It was one of your more clever trick questions. You asked me if I was on a plane with the girls and we lost altitude, causing the oxygen masks to drop, would I first put the mask on myself or the girls. I answered, “The girls, of course.” You then pointed out that if I didn’t take care of myself first, I wouldn’t be in a position to help them.


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And everyone else that might either need you or want to have you around for a long time. But, it is your call … you can make smart decisions now or regret it later.


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Well, that’s brutally honest. But it has motivated me to go for a walk and think about how I’m going to not only begin, but maintain, a “new and improved” lifestyle. I guess, in many ways, I’m now saying Happy Valentine’s Day to myself, not you.


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Mission accomplished.
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It seems the pandemic has resulted in people “recycling” relationships from their past, and I have already admitted to doing that and then being “ghosted” (the relationship was doomed the first go-round and trying to resurrect it reminded me of why). Although on the surface it may seem rude, there are a few “legitimate” reasons for ghosting, some less obvious than others.

Looking back to decades of dating, a handful of engagements, and two failed marriages, I realized none of them started as friendships. I will also admit that very few started with sparks of passion (I know those fizzle out), but all were analyzed in terms of compatibility. Too bad I was not aware of research indicating the majority of romantic relationships begin as long-term friendships.

This story began as an impromptu business meeting when I asked to speak to the manager of a food franchise I frequented, thinking there might be an opportunity to create a joint marketing opportunity with Red & Black. There was no way to know the attractive man sitting toward the back of the store, who I noticed when I first walked in, would be the district manager.

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Design by Sawyer Pennington, Underlying photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash


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I can’t believe it’s already May, which means hot and humid weather is just around the corner. All I can say is … ugh.


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Not a scientific term, but descriptive nonetheless. And, I hate to break the news to you, but the science of climate change and global warming means summers will keep getting hotter.


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I can remember growing up in New York and summers being hot, but not like now. Of course, it didn’t help that Mommy didn’t run the air conditioning until it got into the 90s.
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I appreciate that bullet points may not be the typical approach to Mother’s Day, but it seems appropriate to me …
  • Be sensitive to those people whose mothers may no longer be with us, especially given how many have been lost to COVID
  • If you have lost a mother, remember they are always with you – in your heart and in your memories
  • Remember Mother’s Day also includes all those “unofficial moms” and “mother figures” who are like second (or replacement) moms
  • And, last but not least, If you’re a mom, try to enjoy the day by doing something for yourself, as today may be the one day you can get away with it


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This year I write about Mother’s Day with a heavy heart and still much raw emotion, as our mom passed in December. My pragmatic side (yes, that’s usually Black’s area although she did sound somewhat warm and fuzzy above) knows that she had been 94 and led a full life, but that really doesn’t make it any less sad or fill the emptiness. But I find myself, when I least expect it and triggered by the most unexpected things, finding comfort in wonderful memories. And although Black’s first bullet point hits too close to home for me, I’ll try my best to focus on the other bullets.

Wishing all moms a very Happy Mother’s Day!