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  Our lifestyles tend to be unpredictable and changeable. Within these changes are lessons—about how little in life can be truly planned for, or accurately anticipated; about how good fortunes can sometimes turn bad or turn up. And when there’s a shift in our lifestyle, our relationships are often deeply affected. A death, a divorce, a marriage, a move, a new baby, job loss or new job, an illness, will upset the balance and impact the course. Take for example a move away from friends and some family to live near your daughter, son or a sibling. How will this...

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We may not have gone many places over the last few pandemic-era years, but the offers now are starting to ramp up for the rest of summer and even into the early Fall. If you are handed an invitation to friends for the weekend or a night or for dinner or brunch after being locked in for several years during Covid, be grateful. Show your gratitude with a small and thoughtful hostess gift.  But it’s another task to add to your to-do list. At this age, what the heck do you bring?  We all have too much stuff and are...

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  What’s perfect? Few things in life are except maybe the solution to a math problem. There is only one answer. The right one.  Perfect is rigid and usually subjective. It implies that there is only one way to do something without faults or defects. How does that affect creativity if there’s no room to fail? What a crazy standard! Whether the design of a building, a dress, a work of art, a person’s looks, a meal, a guest, a friend, a dinner party, a student or child, a family gathering, holiday, the expectations are dizzying. And try as we...

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  We all have limits of one kind or another.  You won’t pay more than X dollars for a pastry while I won’t pay Y dollars for valet parking. And what’s your limit on a haircut and coloring?  You might not buy a car manufactured in Germany or China or go on a vacation to Russia or Florida because of your political beliefs. Someone else may never or rarely come to New York City because they think everyone there is loud, bossy and rude.  You might not visit a certain art museum because it took down a neighboring building you...

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  Who’s on your speed dial? Hundreds, maybe thousands of names. Many are obsolete.   We feel it’s time to dial it down. Yes, it’s hard to do but most of us can take a giant leap toward simplifying our lives by culling many contacts from our speed dials and from our brains. They’re taking up too much real estate.  Speed dial, it isn’t anything that you did. We’ve had some wonderful years together, but enough contacts are enough.  In an age when we’re trying to declutter and tidy up our lives as instructed by Marie Kondo and those who...

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