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I’m not a young thing anymore, and I’m okay with that

Considering what a befuddled twit I was in my youth, I really wouldn’t want to go there again — unless I could do so with my present wisdom and experience. Generally speaking, the older I’ve gotten, the happier and more at ease with myself I’ve become.

I stopped coloring my hair several years ago, and frankly, I think I rock my silver pixie. I wear clothes that have some flair and attitude, as long as they’re comfortable — ditto shoes. I stay in good shape, working out six days a week, and while I love to eat, I don’t eat…

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The dark winter of 2020–21 is behind us, giving way to an uneven spring. Depending on your circumstances — your profession, your age, where you live, whether or not you’ve been vaccinated, or if you’re one of the millions grieving someone dear who’s been lost to COVID — you may still be slogging through each grim day or feeling a sense of renewal, a return to something like your old freedoms.

In any case, if you’re reading this, you’re a survivor. With each passing day it’s increasingly likely you’ll make it to whatever will mark the final page of this…

mage by anncapictures from Pixabay

We’ve been shot! Twice! Thank God

As an educator as well as a woman of a certain age, I’ve been fully inoculated for a month. My husband is of similar vintage but due to various details too tedious to mention (if you’ve tried to sign up on some of the handy vaccine appointment websites, you know what I’m talking about), he’s still in immunity escrow. That is to say, he’s gotten both Moderna shots but has another week to wait until he’s officially, completely, mostly entirely protected.

Already the world feels different than it did two-months-and-a-bit ago. Of course, back then we were still reeling from…

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My sister has a terrible disease

It’s rare enough that you’ve probably never heard of it. It’s a progressive neurological syndrome, incurable, eventually fatal. Not Parkinson’s, though it has some similarities. I know several people living with Parkinson’s and while that’s a condition I wouldn’t wish on anyone, I’m pretty sure my sister would trade it for her malady any day of the week. …

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Since late January, there’s been a shift in tone in the nation

At least in my corner of it, which is admittedly a deep-blue pocket in a majority blue state, where most of us were mightily relieved once the Inauguration was finally fait accompli. But even scanning a cross-section of news media (leaving out the vitriolic fringe) and scrolling my Twitter feed, I notice a generalized head-cooling.

It’s not like everything is tickety-boo, of course. The flags at the middle school where I work were, like most places in the country, at half-mast this week in solemn acknowledgment of a heart-breaking milestone: over a half-million of our fellow citizens lost to COVID-19…

Those who meditate seek to quiet their internal chatter

Practitioners of mindfulness — and I can claim only a guest membership in that serene population — will tell you that the goal of meditation is to slow the random traffic of thoughts that normally clog the brain’s thoroughfares. Doing so allows for some space on your internal roadways. It allows you to make a considered choice as to which of those passing mental conveyances you want to travel in. With practice, you have the option to sit back and simply watch the thought-vehicles come and go, without being carried away by any of them.

Easing the congestion in your…

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Maybe this has happened, in some form or other, to you

You had a friend. At one point in your life, this person was a dear friend, someone with whom you felt an enduring connection, someone who made good times better by sharing them with you and whom you could count on when times were tough. Circumstances might keep the two of you apart for years at a stretch, but when you reunited it was as though no time had passed. That kind of friend.

But then life took a series of hairpin turns, and the two of you drifted apart. Lost touch. It happened gradually, the spaces between meetups growing…

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I’m a sucker for time travel stories

Some of my favorite books play with time as though it were elastic — from Madeleine L’Engle’s enchanting A Wrinkle In Time to Audrey Niffenegger’s poignant The Time Traveler’s Wife to Octavia Butler’s brilliant, harrowing Kindred, for example. Same with movies, including lighthearted adventures like Time Bandits, the Back to the Future films, and Groundhog Day as well as grittier fare like 12 Monkeys or the Terminator series.

The concept of time as something that one could mold or shift or fold or move through in more than one direction is immensely appealing to me, and I suspect to most…

Jan M Flynn

Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at

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