Tag Archives: Iowa

Five Minute Friday: Fall

As a child, fall meant harvest time. My parents grew up in farming families and so it seemed natural to them that we should grow and preserve at least some of our own food.

Close up of clusters of ripe zinfandel grapes

We plant our values in our children and realize the harvest when they mature into adults.

As our family worked to harvest vegetables from the gardens on our acreage in the country, the farmers around us worked to harvest thousands of Iowa acres of corn and soybeans. Continue reading

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Filed under Commitment

Do You Climb a Steep Learning Curve, or Do You Turn Around and Slide Down?

People ask me why I moved from Iowa to New Jersey. I did it in part because I knew that compared to Iowa, New Jersey is far more diverse in economic strata, religious affiliations, ethnic backgrounds, careers, cultures, customs, native languages, foods, clothing styles, values and traditions.

bookshelves filled with books

Life offers many opportunities to acquire new information. We can turn away, or we can be open to learning, a little bit at a time.

I have not been disappointed in that regard. I have found it exhilarating to be regularly challenged by so many different points of view and by people whose life experiences are so different from my own.  

What do you do when exposed to new points of view?

Do you look at as an opportunity to learn something new? Do you eagerly ask questions to help your understanding? Or, do you throw up the barricades to protect yourself from a challenge to your way of thinking? Do you furiously marshal your arguments, ordering them into strategic position so that they can return fire at the first opening? Continue reading

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Filed under Openness

Just Be Yourself, Everything Will Be Fine

“Just be yourself and everything will be fine.”

These words of wisdom have been passed from countless parents to their children at the beginning of every momentous childhood event: the first day of school, summer camp, a new neighborhood, leaving for college, starting a career job.

beautiful brunette splattered in blood

Artist Nicholas Simmons’ watercolor, “After all the violence and double-talk”

Yet somehow we keep forgetting the message.

We listen to criticism inflicted by others and by our own inner critic and we respond by trying to be who we are not. We seek to alter our authentic selves and to silence our critics by hiding behind costumes of clothes and sets replete with cars and houses. We eat in the right restaurants, go to the right cultural events, support the right charities, cheer for the right teams. In listening to the critics, we lose the joy of living our own life.  Continue reading

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Filed under Courage