The Candle Scent I’ve Put on Hold

January 9, 2019

Oooohhhh, Lemon Mint Leaf candle, how I’ve missed you!

The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to compartmentalize different parts of my life. If I’m involved in one particular activity — say, exercise, or freelance magazine-writing, or crossword puzzle-solving — I have little rituals associated with each that are reserved exclusively for that activity. For instance, I have one music playlist for walking, one for biking, one for reading indoors, one for reading outdoors, etc. Another example: I listen to podcasts only when working on jigsaw puzzles. Ditto travel: Charleston is my walk-til-your-drop city; Hilton Head is my plan-my-new-year locale.

It’s not that I’m hopelessly anal, or that I mind spillage from one delightful pursuit to the next. It’s that I’ve come to consider everything I love sacred in and of itself, and I wa...

What’s Your Motivation?

January 1, 2019

My cousin asked a question at a family gathering a few days ago that I’ve been chewing on ever since.

A crowd of us were decompressing in the den at the end of a long festive day when she challenged us to share not our New Year’s resolutions, but the motivations behind them.

In other words: Why do we want what we want?

It was an excellent conversation starter, but one we struggled to wrap our heads around.

Why? I think we tend to fill our lives with lots of distractions to avoid having to answer this question. We don’t want to think too hard, or probe too deeply, or know ourselves too well to ponder the fears, insecurities and fragilities that drive our yearnings.