Excerpt from Letters to Sam: “Aunt Sharon’s Secret”
Dear Sam, Recently, Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland created a research program called “The Institute for Research on Unlimited Love,” in which much of the focus is on the study of altruistic love. Altruistic love means giving to another simply out of compassion. Not because you think you should. Not because you feel responsible for the other person, or because you wonder what someone else can do for you in the future, or because your charity will help reduce your taxable income. Altruistic love is simply for the sake of the other. The studies at this institute have shown that this kind of love—which is the most pure—is also the most healing.
BODY & MIND
There is an implied expectation in our society that we do as much as we can in as little time as possible. The children may be out of the house, but the workload hasn't lessened one iota. In fact, it's almost as exhausting as when they were home! “Multitasking,” originally a computer function, is now a common phrase used to describe a capable “go to” person. Let’s face it, who hasn’t caught a call on their cell phone while driving (very carefully, of course) and felt as though they used their time effectively? Or read emails while watching the news on TV and simultaneously prepping dinner, with the laundry on spin cycle? And these are but a few examples of free time!
The Yin and Yang of an Empty Nest
When I think about an empty nest, all sorts of thoughts come to mind. As relatively new empty nesters, my wife and I are weathering a number of transitions—some wrought by our children moving out of the house, and others driven by the economy and its impact on our work lives. (It can be a nasty combination.) One issue stands out, though: What do we gain and what do we lose in our new status as empty nesters? If you're like me, you see things on both sides of the ledger.
Charleston, SC: Mother-Daughter Rendezvous
It was a late Saturday afternoon in mid-March 2009, and we were happily exhausted after touring a museum, two historic house museums, and nine glorious private homes and gardens in Charleston, South Carolina. What better way to recoup our stamina than to sample the complimentary wine and cheese in the courtyard of the elegant Elliott House Inn before stepping next door to 82 Queen for some Lowcountry specialties? It was only Day Two of our long weekend in the history-filled city, yet the mother-daughter bonding already had kicked in on the long car ride from Raleigh, North Carolina, the previous day.
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