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River of No Regrets

May 12, 2017

When I mull over the word regret, I think of grieving over a missed opportunity. In my view, regret bears no fruit, so I try to stay clear of it. But being human, every once in awhile, I dip a toe into that troubled water. Reviewing my romantic history (some of it passionate, some of it dull, some even sordid), I can say, with confidence, that I have no regrets. There’s not one relationship I wish I’d pursued. I’m certain there were no appropriate spouses who crossed my path. Professionally speaking, I’m on shakier ground. There are two pivotal moments I would’ve liked a redo, now with hindsight. But I refuse to get stuck there. Where do you stand on regrets?

River of No Regrets by Duy Huynh

Soaking in Spring

May 11, 2017

Flowers by Jamie Scott

Living Up to Nostalgia

May 10, 2017

When I was a kid growing up in NYC, I used to love Entenmann’s donuts and coffee cake. They were a fixture in my family’s kitchen. Revisiting these baked goods as an adult, I was disappointed by their mediocrity. Entenmann’s was originally a small family business based in Brooklyn, and it’s possible they were truly better back then before being bought by a conglomerate. But maybe it’s a matter of maturing taste buds. What childhood foods do you have nostalgia for? And have they stood the test of time?

Painting by Terry Thompson

Overcast Blues

May 9, 2017

These last few days in L.A., we’ve been experiencing what Angelenos call “May Gray.” We get so petulant about overcast weather in this region of near unending sunshine. After 20 years of living in foggy San Francisco, I covet blue skies. I find the Spring grayness is putting a drag to my step. How does weather impact your mood?

Painting by Heidi Annalise 

Insecurity Questions

May 8, 2017

Cartoon by Liana Finck for The New Yorker.  See more insecurity questions here.

Desert Island Food

May 5, 2017

It’s Friday evening, and I’m about to set out for rotisserie chicken from a great Lebanese takeout place in my neighborhood. It’s served with an irresistible garlic sauce. There was a time when I’d feel sad about eating alone on a weekend night. But with food this good just a few blocks from my house, I’m filled with gratitude.

Illustration by Euniko Nugroho

A Shameful Day

May 4, 2017

I’ve been raging most of the time since the election, but I try to restrain myself on these pages. Not today. Not after the GOP Congress voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This is heartbreaking, as it will have a disastrous impact on the health and financial security of millions of Americans. Watch for the active resistance, which I plan to be a part of.

Illustration by Wasted Rita

What’s the Role of Work When You’re Single?

May 3, 2017

During the decades when I felt sadness about being single, I always had a career to lean on. My work in the film industry gave me purpose, structure, travel, camaraderie, an excuse to stay late in the office and a position of respect. When I lost my job and couldn’t find another, it was the most existential crisis of my life. Without a spouse or work, who was I?

This happened when I was fifty. Looking back, if I could pick a moment to be plunged into self doubt, it was better at that ripe age when I’d accumulated a measure of wisdom and coping skills. 

One of the ways out of the gloom was a technique I’d honed being single amidst mostly married friends, and trying not to feel like a misfit. And that was reminding myself (again and again) of an inner truth even if it wasn’t being reflected from the outside world: 

You have inherent value.

You have inherent value.

It became a mantra, which I silently murmured before job interviews, after job rejections, on consoling walks with my dog, and hesitant walks into social events where I knew people would ask, “and what do you do?”  

And so I survived, and went on to create a wonderful, new vocation as a Career Coach, where I get to guide others in their moments of professional crisis. 

I want to hear about your experience with work. What role does it play in your single life?

Illustration by Marc Johns

Tomato Season is Coming

May 2, 2017

Even in Southern California, we’re not quite there yet. But I’m starting to yearn for a good tomato. 

Gelato Pomodoro by Sarah Illenberger


May 1, 2017

I’ve never been a “big” bag person. Don’t misunderstand. I adore beautiful purses. But I don’t like them to be too large, particularly when I’m covering some distance walking (which is often, even in L.A). Given that my purses are small, I’m pared down to the essentials. Wallet, keys, phone, glasses. And beyond that, the one item I always have with me is a piece of writing paper and a pen. What are you never without?

Sign by Serge Lowrider