We cannot escape the fact that we all depend on one another

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Photo by Elias Morr on Unsplash

There is a lot of information on the internet and in books about how to become self-sufficient. I have to admit I have always been drawn to the idea. Growing our own food and preserving it for later has an appeal to me that I attribute to my grandmother. She always had a big garden and canned and froze the bounty so that we had homegrown food to eat all winter.

Another early influence on my desire for self-sufficiency was the magazine ‘Mother Earth News.’ It always had articles about how to make your homestead self-sufficient, how to become food independent, energy independent, etc. When my children were young we bought 30 acres and started a big garden almost before the furniture was moved in. We were going to live off the land. …

Slowing down and paying attention brings richness to life, lowers stress and creates great memories

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Photo courtesy of the author — Beth Bruno ©2020

Whether it’s a feeling of joy or a piece of pecan pie — when you savor something, you enjoy it to the fullest.

— vocabulary.com

When was the last time you slowed down to savor something? Maybe it was a piece of chocolate that melted on your tongue setting off pleasure sensors in your brain. The word savor elicits thoughts of enjoyment, even ecstasy, that makes your eyes close and your mouth say “Mmmm.”

We often see the word ‘savor’ applied to food and eating, but many of life’s experiences lend themselves to being savored. Walking outside on a bright fall day, finding a $20 bill in a coat pocket, the light streaming across the room and lighting up your loved one’s face. These and hundreds of other moments daily present themselves to us to be savored, but we often rush right past them. …

Getting back to basics is a good start

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Photo by Andriyko Podilnyk on Unsplash

We are living in an anxious time. We find ourselves in territory that we have no map for. We were unprepared to be thrust into the midst of a pandemic. Each of us is finding our way the best we can, but there are times when some of us become overwhelmed and despondent. Anxiety levels are going up and we need to find ways to find some stability, some ground under our feet.

Honoring our feelings is the first step. Feeling anxious when the world is in chaos is pretty normal and we should not try to just push those feelings away. Acknowledging our despair with a hand to our heart and some soothing words is a great first step to settling our nerves and beginning to find ground. …

As I approach 60, I am ready to rest in my own ‘enoughness’

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Photo by Michal Ico on Unsplash

As I was scrolling through Facebook the other day my eyes landed on an advertisement for a course that promised to teach me how to find inner peace. Facebook has me pegged. Inner peace is something I have been looking for my whole life. The elusive nature of this blissful state keeps me searching, hungering, and working toward that golden pinnacle. “When I find the key, I will be ok,” I think. Then I will be enough.

My finger hovers over the ‘order now’ button for the course. I am tempted. Maybe this will be the one. Maybe I will finally find inner peace. …

We can’t judge them all from our own experience

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Photo by Wladislaw Peljuchno on Unsplash

Every one of us who is estranged from a parent or a child has a story. Our stories may share some common themes, but they are all different in some way because every family is different.

My daughter walked out of my life nearly 10 years ago. Our relationship had been difficult but I chalked that up to typical teen-aged daughter stuff. Then her father and I divorced and things got harder. I was working to make things better, so I was not ready for what happened next. She ghosted me. Cut me off. She blocked me from her phone. She unfriended me on Facebook. She refused to answer my e-mails. …

A Poem of praise for autumn

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Photo by Beth Bruno

is the queen of months
arriving for her coronation dressed in
scarlet and gold, holding in her hand
a scepter of light,
her firmament the blue of royalty.

She spreads her skirts
and her generosity spills around her feet,
filling larders, and holes in trees.
A feast as a hedge
against the meanness of winter.

The day-god is bright and warm,
glinting off her crown of golden leaves,
enticing her creatures to bask — the wren
on the deck rail, wings fully open to catch
the last of the warmth before winter’s chill.

The full hunter’s moon shines down on the hunter,
his large eyes seeing,
his wings soundlessly beating
as he swoops down for the little
furred creature in the leaves.
His soft hoots celebrate success. …

My friend’s mother died. I didn’t know because I unfollowed her.

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Photo by Long Truong on Unsplash

I got a text from a friend this morning. She said she misses me. She is sorry that politics have gotten in the way of so many friendships. She said she had lost several friends because of it. Then she told me her mother died and she thought I would have reached out. She assumed the reason I didn’t was because we don’t agree on politics. This is partially true, but it broke my heart, because I didn’t know her mother had died.

I worked with this friend for several years. We had so much in common. We had a real connection, and could talk about anything. Except politics. And that was ok. While we were seeing each other every day, we could sidestep that topic by mutual agreement. Our friendship was too valuable to let our political differences get in the way. …

An essay by my daughter helped me see what I was doing wrong

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Photo by KYLE CUT MEDIA on Unsplash

I have been estranged from my youngest daughter, who is now 28, for nearly 10 years. In that time I have grown and changed and learned a lot about myself and my daughter. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I have made a lot of mistakes along the way as I have worked to find my equilibrium again.

One of the biggest mistakes I made was believing that my child’s estrangement meant I was a horrible person and an unfit mother. I spent a lot of time wallowing in self-loathing, so overcome by shame that I just wanted to disappear. Many days just opening my eyes in the morning was a slap in the face as I was once again reminded that I was unworthy of love. …

I went back at 48 and it was the best decision I ever made

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Graduating with High Honors at 50 Years Old — Photo by Hank Bruno

People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they don’t deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them. There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure. — Paulo Coelho in The Alchemist

Have you ever had a desire to go back to school, or go to school for the first time, but you think that ship has sailed for you? Are you 30, 40, 50 or beyond? That’s way too old to go back to school… isn’t it? …

Caring for my elderly mother is teaching me to let go

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Photo by Todd Cravens on Unsplash

Mom pulled a half-knitted sweater out of a bag. It is beautiful. Soft stripes of various shades of blue in a lightweight wool. She held it up and studied it. She said she quit knitting it when she realized it was not going to fit. “But it kept my mind quiet and busy, and that is probably why I don’t have Alzheimer’s.”

She went on to tell me that she had googled instructions for a sweater made with lightweight yarn and picked the first one that came up. She knew exactly where she bought the yarn. She knew what was happening in her life when she was knitting the sweater. She smiled at the memory of it all. …


Beth Bruno

Human learning to be human. Writing in hopes of getting there. You can follow me at https://www.facebook.com/bethbrunoauthor

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