When 2018 Looks Like 1953

There’s a guy I work with who asks a lot of questions – some are work related, some are of a personal nature.  He has told me that he feels comfortable around me so he asks for parenting and relationship advice, as well as suggestions on how to properly fill out documents.  He also shares too much about his wife and kids

It can get exhausting.

He’s a nice enough fellow.  You know the type – earnest, polite, inquisitive, lacking in self-confidence and completely unaware of personal space, but basically harmless.

We share a large, open office area.  I know when he’s about to ask me something personal because I’ll hear him wheeling his chair across the expanse of industrial grey carpet between us, and park at the side of my desk.   This particular day I heard the squeaking wheels and turned around in time to see him plant his can of Mountain Dew on my desk, next to the forms I was attempting to complete.  He was rubbing some sort of ointment on his shoulder as he told me of his injury.  He then placed the tube of smelly, greasy ointment on my stack of forms.

Some people are tragically unaware.

He says, “Jesse, I’ve a question for you.”  I extracted my forms from under his shoulder potion and said, “What’s up?”

He took a loud swig from his can of pop and said, “You know how you mentioned that you are a single mom and that’s why you’re only in the office in the mornings?”

“Mm hm,” as I tried to keep working.

“Well, it’s like this,” he stammered and continued.  “I notice that you wear rings on that finger,” he said while pointing to the ring finger on my left hand.  “So, are you single or what?”


At first, I wasn’t sure I’d heard him correctly.  I glanced at the motivational calendar showing a picture of a hot air balloon, and checked the date.

Yep, 2018.

Then I looked up at him to see if his expression would tell me that he was kidding.  I stifled a laugh when I saw the serious look on his face.

I composed myself, smiled and talked to him like a third grade teacher might address the boy in class, who can’t get his point across without hitting.  That teacher is frustrated and has to keep from yelling.  She looks the kid straight in the eye and calmly explains why he needs to keep his hands to himself.

Like that teacher, I wanted to yell.  “Are you kidding me!?  This is 2018!  Get your ointment and your sticky pop out of my space!  Wake up and look around you!”

Instead I took a breath and said, “Dan, I have some rings I like to wear, and they fit this finger.  I think of these rings as a promise I made to myself to stay single.”

He looked from my finger to my face and said, “Oh …”  He picked up his can of Dew and started to wheel back to his desk.

“Hey, Dan,” I tossed his tube of ointment to him, “you forgot something.”



The Yam Incident or Inside an INFJ Brain

Sometime during the holidays I’d returned from my eighth trip to the grocery store.  I put water on to boil, and unpacked the groceries.

I needed coffee.

As I put away the pasta, bottled marinara (don’t judge) and the sugary cereal, I discovered a bag of …

I wasn’t sure, but I thought they were yams or sweet potatoes or something in that category.

My initial reaction – based on years of tightly pinching** pennies – was, “Gasp, I hope I didn’t get charged for those root vegies!”  I grabbed the receipt and verified that there wasn’t a charge, which was a bit unfortunate because, had there been a charge, I’d have been able to more accurately identify the tubers.

Next thought was, “How did those get in my cart?  What kind of sicko wanders the produce section looking for unsuspecting victims and then launches a tuber attack?”

I made sure the kids knew I was incensed.  I wondered aloud.  A lot.  “What am I supposed to do with these?  Do I take them back?  Like I don’t have enough to do?!  I still have to finish the baking!  This isn’t fair!

I looked over at the kids to see if they were as worked up as I was.  They’d moved to the other room by then.


I sat down with coffee and iPad to search – “yam vs sweet potato.”  What do I even do with these things?  I’m not gonna go to a whole lot of fuss if my kids aren’t gonna eat them.

The voice in my head said, “Throw them away!  You don’t have time for this.”  But that prompted the other voice to say, “You can’t waste perfectly good root vegies.  They might be chock-full of vitamins and minerals!”

I got lost down the rabbit hole of tubers; recipes; holiday prep; best holiday cocktail and How to Simplify Christmas.


Undecided, I put the three in a bowl.  It occurred to me that perhaps they belonged to the folks that had been ahead of me in the check out line.

The voices in my head had a hay day with this new line of thinking.  “Oh no!  They got home without their tubers!  Now they can’t make grandma’s favorite recipe.  Christmas will be ruined!”

I even considered how I might track them down and get their vegies back to them, you know, in the spirit of Christmas.


The tubers sat in the bowl, untouched, until after the holiday, all the way into the New Year.  I’d occasionally glance at them and consider Googling more recipes, but walk away in disgust.  Incidentally, yams have an exceedingly long shelf life, making it virtually impossible for them to grow moldy so that I could throw them away without guilt.

One day, I found myself without kids.

I was alone.

In the kitchen.

With the yams.

Inspiration struck in the form of Sweet Potato Soup.  Even if I was the only one who liked it, I deserved it, dammit.  Besides, the pictures on the internet made it look so tasty.  Thanks to the multiple trips to the store, driven by the mania of the holidays, all the ingredients were found in the pantry.

This would be fun!

As I gathered the ingredients and found the seldom-used potato peeler, I thought back on the couple from the grocery store.  I wondered how they were doing.  How was their holiday?  Did they ever end up making grandma’s recipe?

With sweet potato in hand, I dragged the peeler across the rough skin to discover that this vegie – one of three that had been waiting in a bowl in my kitchen for going on four weeks – was not the kind needed to make Sweet Potato Soup.

I gathered up the other two roots, ceremoniously walked them out to the dumpster, and came in to put some water on to boil.


* I’d considered buying three more so that I might include a photo with this post, but I’m not going there.

**You may be thinking that I don’t really pinch pennies if I buy bottled sauce and sugared cereal.  The fact that I thought about what you might be thinking, about my lack of pinching pennies, is another example of the varied thoughts running through my over-active INFJ brain.   





Out With the Old on the New Moon

This morning I wrote “Cleanse – ask me” on Jen’s list for today.

(Public school would do well to teach kids how to cleanse.  I feel a rant coming on.)

I’m not talking about pore strips or burning sage, although I do like both.  I’m talking about cleansing or purging stuff to clear up energy.

I read just enough in astrology to be both intrigued and confused about what happens when planets are retrograding or going direct or lining up or whatever it is that they do that explains the weird energies flowing through our little house.  It turns out that tonight is a dark (new) moon and the perfect time to purge/cleanse/get rid of whatever needs to be gone.

The gurus say we can purge in whatever fashion we choose – bedrooms, kitchen drawers, garage shelves, digital media, books, photos, letters and *gasp* relationships.

If you know us, you also know we tend to move a lot.  With each move I purge.  It’s a great way to leave behind any energy that we don’t want to take with us.  (I do not recommend moving as a way to get rid of bad energy, but sometimes it is necessary.)  We purged a lot in the last move, but there’s still a lingering trace of something that does not feel right.  I can’t define it.  It isn’t a note with a certain handwriting, or a gift that should have gone to Goodwill.

At this point in the day, it isn’t practical to start a full-scale purge.  For the record, I’m not ready to give up my cookbooks even though I rarely open them and tend to grab the iPad to find a favorite recipe.

For tonight’s new moon, my purge will look like this:

pitch the yogurt with the October 2017 date;

clean the cat box – thanks, Jen;

sweep the floors and spritz some cypress oil throughout;

put the donation stuff in the back of the car;

clean out my work inbox;

purge my default setting of focusing on what could/might go wrong;

and put some of the thoughts swirling in my brain into this post.

If you’re wondering, Jen doesn’t need to purge anything.  She is my inspiration for cleaning and purging.  Her bedroom looks like a minimalist board from Pinterest.  It’s serene, inviting, cozy and hip – all the things I aspire to be, but won’t be, because apparently I need to have my kids’ artwork and mementos covering every square inch of this house.  I put it on her school list because she’s fun to do things with.

I know what they say about clutter and feng shui and energy, but for me, the bigger issue has to do with my default setting – my inner curmudgeon.  For all the times I shout about our charmed lives, my inner cranky girl needs to remind me that things could still get messed up or go wrong.

Tonight I’m purging her voice, and I’m keeping the cookbooks, and the drawings from when my kids were three.

Letting Go and Hanging On

Did I tell you my back quit hurting?  (Not to make it all about me.  ; )

I talked about chronic back pain on the other blog, where I also wrote about listening to the body when it screams at us (pain!) in an effort to get our attention.

I distinctly remember when the pain started – three months into the last relationship.  (Hello, RED flag!)  The pain ebbed/flowed/annoyed me through that relationship, the breakup, living at mom’s (sorry, mom, but you know what I mean), and through starting a new job at an office that was not a good fit.

I knew the back pain was about stress.  I thought I could push through with yoga, valerian root, whiskey and walking.  Sometimes those things helped, but the pain was still there, waiting to get my attention when I refused to see the stress for what it was.

I started at a new office the beginning of December.  Two weeks ago, I noticed my back had quit hurting.  I didn’t say anything to the kids because I didn’t want to jinx it.  I kept doing the yoga.  The holidays gave me an excuse to drink whiskey.  (In case you’re wondering, I have never combined whiskey and valerian root, though I’ve been tempted.)

Recently, I lifted a heavy object, as a test.  I anticipated a stab.  I thought for sure my back would scream at me.  And, nothing.  No spasm.  No twinge.  Nothing.  I was able to put away the artificial tree without so much as a wince, except I did feel a little guilty about putting Christmas away so early.

I figured I was safe in telling the kids that my back pain was gone.  I did, and didn’t jinx anything.


All of this makes me think about resolutions and, conveniently, it’s the time of year when we might take stock in where we are and if we are happy – or at least not miserable – with where we are.

In 55 years, my success rate is abysmal when it comes to resolutions, partly because I rarely make any.

I’m not perfect.  I haven’t got it all figured out.  But I do a fine job of making myself feel bad without adding failed New Years’ resolutions to the mix.

I prefer to look back over the year and decide which things I will let go of and which things I will hang on to.


I will hang on to noticing when something does not feel right.  Whether it’s a conditioner or a brand of coffee, a book that seems too violent in the first 40 pages, an acquaintance that drains more than enriches, or a crappy pair of jeans that I never feel good wearing – I will let go of what isn’t good.

It’s in the noticing that something doesn’t feel right, that I learn to let go.

I will hang on to paying attention to my intuition, and let go of the stuff that does not feel good.


For Will:  I plan on letting go of worrying.  The worrying feels bad.  I’m tired of communicating those worries to the Universe, and to Will.  I know he is tired of hearing about it, too. (This one will be difficult, and all you seasoned parents are laughing at me because you’ve told me that, as parents, we are never done worrying.)  But, I will stop voicing my worries to him, and I will hang on to letting him know how much I care.


For Jen:  I will most definitely hang on to this connection we have, but I will let go when she strives for more independence.  Is that even possible?  I guess we’ll find out.


For me:  I will hang on to trusting myself.  I will trust myself to say, “No, thank you,” when something doesn’t feel right.  I will trust myself to let go of those things that do not make me wholeheartedly say, “YES!”

Oh, and I will let go of guilt (stop laughing!) and hang on to letting it be about me, once in awhile.


It’s going to be a good year!


Happy New Year!



Commitment Issues

I’ve got a 25% More! bottle of conditioner in the shower.  I am tired of the smell of that conditioner.  I’m ready to move on.  I want a new scent.

That doesn’t mean I have commitment issues, does it?

I’m not being silly, here.  I mean it.

Can commitment issues be detected back in junior high when I couldn’t decide between Flex or Prell, or Levi 501s or flares?

Wouldn’t it make sense that if you hesitate to commit to a deodorant, then you probably won’t commit to a relationship, either?


(I’ll have you know that I am a frugal person.  I’ll continue to use up that annoying bottle of conditioner, even if I use too much each time, and it makes my bangs greasy.  Maybe I could bribe Jen to finish it, or use it for shaving my legs.)


I’ve noticed that usually men are said to have commitment issues.  Why do women want to commit more readily than men?  (When I first typed that sentence, I wrote, ‘Why do women want to be committed more …’  Freudian?)  After all, don’t we do most of the work of relating in a relationship?  It occurs to me that if I am commitment-phobic, it’s probably because I’m tired of doing all the relating.


In my defense, I have a cutting board that I’ve owned since 1987.  I’ve lived with that cutting board longer than anyone I’ve had a relationship with, including my parents – even if I count the times I moved back in with my mom.

That makes me laugh.

Should that make me sad?

That cutting board has survived many moves.  It is the perfect kitchen tool – the right shape, reliable, dependable, and the right size.  If only I could find a ….


I once received a gift of a glass cutting board.  (Ironically, it may have been a wedding gift.)  I hated that thing.  No one can convince me that cutting boards should be made of glass.  I’d swear the chef’s knife would wince each time I’d attempt to slice an onion on it.  I’d rather drag my nails across a chalk board than cut on glass.

That “board” was a well-intentioned gift.  Should I have stayed committed to it?  I think, NOT!


For that matter, why must I defend myself for being hesitant to commit?  Why do we applaud the capacity to commit without evaluating what it is that one commits to? Whether it’s an office or a cutting board or conditioner or a relationship, if it isn’t a good fit, isn’t it best to forgo commitment and make a change?

Would a sense of frugality dictate that one ought to stay because of the investment already made?  That’s a sunk cost!  Move on, already.  (Except for conditioners which, one could argue, aren’t really necessary, anyway.  Besides, one is no better than another, but most of us seem to think we need conditioner.)


How about we commit to life?  I say we commit to experience.  Commit to change and process and the journey.  (Even if the word journey is used too often.)   So what!  I commit to getting as much out of this journey as possible.

I commit to me!

And apparently this annoying bottle of conditioner.  And flares and 501s, and my beautiful cutting board, but not deodorant.  You can’t make me.



“I’ve Missed Talking to You”

Normally, she’d have gone through the self-check line, but they were busy.  Her four items made their way down the conveyor belt in time for the clerk to say, “That’s all for you?  Looks like Italian tonight?  I’ve the best recipe for lasagna, of course it calls for spinach and my family would shoot me if I dared put anything green in a meal.  Do you know what I mean?  Like they think I’m trying to kill ’em or something.  Little do they know, spinach is one of the best things for ’em.  Do you like spinach?”

She smiled as she inserted her credit card in the chip reader.  She started to give an answer about spinach, but the clerk went on.  Luckily the boy bagging her groceries had already finished.  She said thanks, without having to jump into the spinach-in-lasagna debate.


She had two more files to close and then she’d be done for the day.  She opened a file just as a co-worker approached.  She wondered about keeping her head down and not making eye contact so as to avoid conversation.  If she acknowledged her co-worker, she’d be enveloped in drama and details from the previous weekend that had nothing to do with her.  But even keeping her head down wouldn’t protect her.  “Wow.  You must have a lot going on.  What’s that file about?”  What could have taken 20 minutes turned into 40.


Between the teller at the bank and the clerk at the post office, she learned about the lives of people that she would never meet.

She knew secrets about people who didn’t know her name.

She knows things about folks that they only learn during the process of talking to her.  She’s heard people say, “I guess I needed to tell someone that.”  “It feels good to unload.”  “I haven’t thought of that in years, I can’t believe I’m telling you this.”

If she had a dollar for every time someone said, “I’ve never told anyone that before,” she could afford to move to a deserted island.


A long time ago she realized that she was some sort of conduit for processing other people’s stuff.   It was not her job to fix anything.

She just listened.  She listened and let it pass through her.

Sometimes they felt a little better having been heard.  Often times, they felt embarrassed for having divulged so much that ought to be personal.  They’d laugh at themselves and apologize, and do the same thing the next time she saw them.

It was as if they couldn’t help themselves.


One evening found her at a social engagement that she hadn’t wanted to attend.  She’d tried coming up with an excuse.  She wanted to stay home, but The Voice said, “Come on.  You never go out.  It’ll be good for you.”

She went.  He talked.  A lot.  At the end of the night he said, “I’ve missed talking to you.”

She smiled.

What could she say?  “Thank you?”  “I missed listening to you?”  “I’m glad you like to talk to me?”

He drove away as she turned the key in her door.

She put her purse on the table and saw the cat waiting for her in their favorite chair – the one where they sat together in silence.

The Problem With My Teenage Son

He texts at 8:30 p.m. asking if it’s okay to stay the night at his friend’s house.  (I’m irritated that he didn’t text earlier in the evening, but remind myself that he doesn’t need to ask permission.  After all, he’s 19 now, and he’s asking permission to spend the night with a friend whose parents are home.)  I text back and ask if it’s okay with the friend’s parents.  He texts and says, “We already asked.  It’s okay.”

Then he texts, “Love you.”


I ask him to chop some wood and get us stocked up on kindling.  He does so without grumbling.  (I’m irritated that he doesn’t notice that we are out of kindling and that I have to ask, but remind myself that he was quick to get the job done.)


I ask him how classes are going.  We sip coffee as he discusses his frustrations with this new semester.  He mentions that his grades are good.  (I’m relieved and somewhat surprised that he checks his grades, and then wonder why I am surprised.)


I grumble at him for always being on his phone.  “You seem so disconnected from us,” I say.  “It feels like you don’t want to be here.”  He says, “I do want to be here,” as he goes off to his room to get ready for school.  (I wonder if I would want to be here if someone was always bitching at me about chopping wood and being on my phone.)


The day the bank statement arrives, we heatedly discuss his finances and whether there will be enough left in his account to pay for the next semester.  “I see how often you stop at Taco Bell.  Why?  Is that what all your friends do?”  He says, “I’m a homeschool kid, mom.  It’s good I have friends to hang out with.  We’re not buying beer and cigarettes.”

“I know I’m blowing through the money,” he says.  “I’ve picked up several job applications.  It’s all gonna work out.  You’ll see.”

He has said this before.

When I worried about whether it was a good idea to homeschool he said, “It will work out.”


The problem is that I worry.  I worry that I’ve not done my job.

Have I taught him financial responsibility?  Have I showed him what it is to be a good friend?  Have I taught him the importance of doing well in school?  Will he avoid the choices that get him in trouble?  Did I miss the window of opportunity to teach him the stuff he needs to know to be independent?

Did I do enough?

Is he prepared for the real world?

Shouldn’t he be here more so I can make sure we’ve covered absolutely everything?

Shouldn’t he be here …  more?

That’s the real problem, isn’t it?  The problem is that I’m not ready for him to leave.  It’s not about whether he’s ready or not.

I’m not ready.


The problem with my teenage son is me.


Yet Another Post About Self-care

As you stand at the kitchen counter eating toast and chugging coffee while paying the electric bill, the clock on the stove says you need to be in the car in 15 minutes if you are going to be at the office on time.  You still have to figure out what to take out of the freezer for dinner, run the curling iron through your hair, feed the cat, take out the garbage, finish the 15 year old’s school list and wake the 19 year old to remind him that he promised grandpa he’d mow the lawn today.

You’ve been up since 5:30 making lists, crossing things off lists, and doing the work you can from home.

What doesn’t get done this morning can be done on your lunch hour, unless you’re lucky enough to work far enough away from home that it isn’t practical to drive home for lunch.  In that case, I want to be you.

On your lunch hour you schedule appointments, return emails, check in with the kids to see how they are doing on their lists.  You make sure you have enough milk for tomorrow morning so that you don’t have to stop at the store on the way home.  Then you realize that you are out of spaghetti, and you’ve already taken the sauce out of the freezer.  Before jumping in the car to head back to the office, you rummage through the pantry and find some macaroni.  Spaghetti sauce and macaroni make goulash, for the win!  You still don’t have to stop at the store.


It’s the small victories that get you through the day.


After work there will be World History, polynomials, and helping with the sewing of the Halloween costume.  You will discuss what kind of tires his truck will need for winter and where to find the money for tires.  You’ve checked the forecast and know that snow is coming, so you’ll need to move firewood into the garage.  You’ll have to make a couple work calls that you were supposed to make earlier in the day.  Oh, and then there’s cooking dinner, too.

You stop for a second to check social media while the water comes to a boil for the macaroni.  You see a post about how important it is to take care of yourself – more on that tired old line about putting the oxygen mask on yourself first.  Your eye roll is audible.  You think to yourself, “Who has time for self-care?  If I take time to take care of myself, how will everything else get done?”  And then you realize that you take several minutes a few times a day to check in on Facebook, and kick yourself because those groupings of a few minutes here and there could easily turn into a solid half-hour of self-care.

As you pour the bag of macaroni into the boiling water, you picture yourself lounging somewhere for 30 whole minutes.  It feels icky.  It feels self-centered.  It feels like you don’t deserve it.

As you stir the macaroni and turn down the heat to keep the pot from boiling over, you picture your kids taking time out of their day for some self-care.  Maybe she sketches or plays with the cat.  Perhaps he grabs a pole and heads for a fishing hole or plays pool with his friends.  It occurs to you that you wouldn’t think they were being at all selfish.  You would be glad to see them making their mental health a priority.

As you take turns stirring the sauce in one pan and the macaroni in another, you realize that they won’t learn to make themselves a priority if you don’t show them.

INFJ at the Office

Congratulations!  You got the job!

You were nervous about the interview, but you aced it because you’re good with one-on-one conversation.  The worst part of the process was waiting for the call that would tell you whether or not you were accepted for the position.  You made yourself sick with worry.  You even practiced how to answer the phone and how to talk without finishing their sentences.

When they called to offer the job, you tripped over yourself saying something like, “Oh, no!  I mean, that’s great!  I’m sorry.  Yes? No!  I’ll take it!”

The first day was nerve-wracking what with all the introductions, but now you are several weeks into it and you’re over the bumpy part of being the new person.

The coffee doesn’t suck.  The parking isn’t bad.  You can bring your lunch without feeling like a dork.  It’s not a bad place to spend the day.

But you are an INFJ, so there are issues.  This doesn’t surprise you because you are, well… an INFJ.


You care about your co-workers.  You remember birthdays.  You always ask how their weekend was.  You inquire of his mother’s recent surgery.  Your co-workers like you.  That’s a good thing, but that also makes it difficult to get your work done.  You are the first person they come to when they want to be heard.  They vent to you about each other, and they run new ideas by you.  All the while, management applauds your newbie efforts at teamwork, turning to you each time a new project needs coordinating.

And there you sit on your lunch hour doing all the work that you can’t get done because everyone comes to you with their stuff.

Plug along, INFJ.  You’ll find a way to be there for your co-workers and still get the work done.  It’ll take time, but you are organized.  Be patient with yourself and your co-workers’ needs to come to you. You won’t likely change this dynamic, so understand it and use it to your benefit.


Your integrity is unmatched in the workplace.  In the beginning, you’ll look up to your boss.  You’ll respect management.  After a few months, though, you’ll be reminded that everyone is motivated by different things.  (Remember this from those MBTI tests?)  You aren’t motivated by money.  Just about every one of your co-workers is motivated by money.  While they might tell you that customer service is their priority, you will learn that it is not.  You will feel the need to remind them that if they made customer service a priority, the money would follow.

They come to you to be heard, dear INFJ.  They do not want to be preached to.  They think your priorities are endearing, but they don’t begin to understand why you aren’t motivated by money.

Save your breath.  Keep working hard.  Be the quiet team-player that you are, even if that means that some days you’ll end up working through your lunch hour.  Remind yourself that we are all motivated differently and that it is possible to respect them, even if you don’t understand their priorities.

At the end of the day, you’ll be respected for doing your job well, and clients will seek you out because of your excellent customer service skills.


The Time-Out Chair

I attended elementary school in an old brick building that, many years later, turned into a church –  I think.  The church was named Saint Some-One-Or-Other, but I can’t remember which saint.  I think it’s now empty, but I’m not sure on that, either.  There was one class for each grade and it seems as though there were only about 20 kids in each grade.

Even though there were only 20 sixth-graders out on the playground, those opinionated kids could get in a ruckus in a real hurry.

That’s what social media is reminding me of – sixth graders blowing off stink, on a playground.

Everyone is yelling.

He yells over them.  She yells over him.  They yell over each other.

No one is listening.

Everyone conveniently forgot the tenet about not speaking if you don’t have anything nice to say.

They’ve forgotten tolerance, and more importantly, they’ve forgotten kindness.


I never put my kids in a time-out.  I don’t know why I never liked that form of discipline.  Is the idea that the kid is supposed to sit in a chair, face the corner, and think about how to behave better?  I guess because I’m a natural born over-thinker, I never thought the time-out chair was a good idea.

If – when I was a sixth grader – I’d ever been ordered to a time-out chair, I’m afraid of what I’d have over-thought about.  Back then the subjects could have run the gamut from:  Why do some sixth grade girls have big chests while others haven’t even started their periods?  Why do almost all girls have crushes on sixth grade boys who are so clueless?  Is world domination out of the question or a distinct possibility?  Do I want to even mess with dominating a world inhabited by sixth grade boys?

(I’ve a vague recollection of being sent to my room, which is pretty much the same thing, but for an introvert, that’s like a snow day off from school!)

I knew, when my two were very young, that they had acquired my high-level over-thinking skills.  I wasn’t going to give them an opportunity to over/out think me, so the only time-out chair we ever had was a cute little wooden thing we painted for a school fundraiser.  We ended up buying it to put in the garden.  (Imagine crickets, potato beetles and earthworms assigned to that chair for their time-outs.)


Now, however, a time-out chair would be heavenly.  I’m not sure I’d even want the internet in my corner.  I’d have a delicious chunk of time to happily ruminate on the usual subjects – cabernet vs. pinot vs. merlot; techniques for texturing the ceiling after popcorn removal; how to reclaim a neglected garden spot; do I really need AWD when front wheel is less expensive; why is it taking me so long to read the Harry Potter series when I’m enjoying it so much (see aforementioned time-sucking subjects); and what will I do with myself when kids are grown and gone?

I’m not pretending that any of these subjects are even remotely interesting to anyone else, but they aren’t unkind or intolerant or likely to raise my blood pressure.  (That said, the popcorn ceiling removal was a pretty good workout.)


Anyhow, the ruckus on both social media and the airwaves has me fantasizing that if I were Queen for a Day, I’d assign everyone to their own time-out chair – especially the sixth graders.