Archives for General

General

Would You Hang Out in a Public Living Room?

In a public library in Blackpool, England is a room filled with cozy couches and armchairs, coffee tables, and comforting food and drinks such as tea and biscuits and jam. It is one of several public Living Rooms in England, with some in the works in the U.S. Anyone can stop by one of these public Living Rooms and engage in conversations with others, or just sit quietly. People can leave after just a few moments, or stay as long as they want. The Living Rooms are nonjudgmental spaces. Guests are often asked to help in small ways – for example, they might be asked to brew the tea or bring a cup to one of the other guests. Some end up offering to help in bigger ways, such as by repainting the reception area. Sometimes the most significant help that is exchanged is the camaraderie and empathy.
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General

Beyond ‘Are You Seeing Anyone?’: Questions that Honor the Real Lives of Real Single People

Some of the world’s most scintillating conversationalists come totally undone when their conversation partner is a single person. All they can seem to come up with is, “So, are you seeing anyone?” Americans spend more years of their adult lives not married than married, and there are more single people than ever before. Yet remarkably, other people often assume that what single people want, more than anything else, is to become unsingle. It is as if they think that single people have no interests and no passions in their lives, no jobs and no people who are important to them.
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What If You Never Get Thanked for Your Gift?

Back when I used to read advice columns more often than I do now, I noticed that there was an issue that would come up again and again, especially around the holidays. Readers were upset that they routinely gave gifts to certain people who never acknowledged them. Often, though not always, the gift-givers were grandparents who mailed their gifts and never received a word of thanks from their grandkids or the kids’ parents. The readers wanted to know what to do: Make a stink about it? Stop giving the gifts? Just keep doing the same thing and keep your feelings to yourself?
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A Woman After Her Own Heart: Guest Post by Edie Jarolim

[Bella’s intro: For decades, I have been yearning to find books about single people who live their lives fully and joyfully. Books that do not make some tired old romantic plot the centerpiece, but instead showcase the kinds of experiences that can make single life so meaningful and so fulfilling. Fiction would be great. Nonfiction, as in memoirs of real single people, maybe even better. Sadly, those kinds of books are hard to find. So it was a pleasant surprise to discover Edie Jarolim’s new memoir about her life as a writer, Getting Naked for Money: An Accidental Travel Writer Reveals All. I told the author that if an endorsement from me would ever be of value, she was free to use this: “Edie Jarolim is a single woman leading a rich, complicated, exasperating, inspiring, and adventurous life of a writer. Fortunately for all of us, her insights, wit, and story-telling skills are superb. More, please!”
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Your Biological Family and the People Who Feel Like Family: How Should They Relate to Each Other?

Do you have people in your life who feel like family even though you are not related them through legal or biological ties? Do you also have ties with biological or legal family members, such as parents, grandparents, children, a spouse, in-laws, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles, and other family members? If you answered yes to both questions, then the next question is: How do your two kinds of families relate to each other? Is there one best way for them to relate to each other – the way you should aspire to achieve?
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General

Stressed about the Election? That’s Bipartisan

Everywhere I go, it seems, people want to talk about the election. I know lots of centered, secure people, but these days, when the topic turns to the election, they all seem anxious. The American Psychological Association must have noticed the same thing because they commissioned the Harris Poll to conduct an online survey on the topic. More than 3,500 adults participated, either in English or Spanish. It was a diverse sample.
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