Saying no to “The Elf on the Shelf” and other traditions

I love the Christmas season for many reasons, but especially because of all the traditions. We decorate our house with a big tree with lights and ornaments that we’ve made or purchased over the years. Each ornament has special meaning. There’s the heart that I gave my wife to commemorate our first Christmas together and …

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Report cards: What not to say

I should have read the room better. If I had, I would have known to keep my mouth shut. My daughter pulled out her elementary school report card. She had been working hard over the past two months after a tough start to the year and sat with me on the sofa excited to see …

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Learning from failure

The teacher walked up and down the aisle handing out magic markers and brightly colored folders like you might find at an office supply store. I got a red one, the girl in front of me got an orange one. It was the first day of school, I was starting the sixth grade, and, of …

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It is what it is

I put my phone down in anger. I find anymore that one quick scroll or skim of social media or the day's news headlines can bring on the bitter taste of anger and sadness. I get frustrated that others can be so close-minded and selfish. I was still seething with anger when my wife, sitting …

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The pain of perfection

I write the first action item on a blank piece of paper. I don't like how the thought looks in black and white so I roll the paper up into a small ball and throw it into the trash can. I start over, I try again. This time I get through two items on my …

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