For the women who grow wilder with every passing day.

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Photo by Elizaveta Dushechkina via Pexels

We’re no longer young and naive. We’ve made most of the mistakes we’re going to make in our lives and we don’t care about the ones left to make. They won’t rattle our cage because we already gave up the cage.

Money no longer matters to us. We have what we need and we’ve built a life that doesn’t require us to depend on anyone but ourselves. We know we won’t let us down.

The ideas other people call crazy keep coming. They don’t understand. We buy trucks and RVs. We quit our jobs. …

Five easy ways to keep the anxiety, stress, and arguments at bay.

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Photo by kaboompics via Pexels

Every year, I declare several weeks at the end of the year the “Running of the Gauntlet.” Gauntlet Season, as I casually refer to it, runs from the Monday before Thanksgiving to the day after New Year’s Day. We cram a lot in these short weeks and it’s enough to make us crazy.

Now is the perfect time to check ourselves and put into place practices that will curb anxiety, lighten the load, and give us a chance to enjoy the holidays instead of merely survive them.

#1 — You do not have to accept an invitation just because it is offered.

There is nothing that is going to stifle a season of joy like an obligation. Let’s be clear on one thing: very few people are entitled to your time and your company. …

There’s a new kid in town. Is it going to work for you?

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Photo by Lisa Fotios via Pexels

If you’re like most people on Medium that have an email address readily available, you’ve gotten an email from a new platform encouraging you to sign up with their creator program promising a big return on your creative writing investment. But, is it going to work for you?

I have been on Medium for over two years and it’s been a life-changing experience. I don’t mean that from a monetary standpoint. I say that from a place where I’ve learned to find my voice, hone my skills, and connect with readers and writers in a meaningful way.

I’ve been on News Break for a whole week and feel like I’ve learned completely different lessons very quickly. It’s an interesting experience in figuring out what I’m doing with my writing, what purpose it serves, and what platform is going to help me reach my goals. …

What we stand to learn from the little tree that couldn’t

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Photo by Javier Gutierrez Acedo via Creative Commons

I have never in my life identified with a conifer. All of that changed the minute I took one look at the tree that will adorn New York City’s Rockefeller Center this holiday season.

Usually, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a majestic specimen that is the most iconic image of a Christmas tree I know. It is lit to the hilt and celebrated by musicians, many of which are of the county variety which is weird for New York City, who gather for a television special so that all can take in the tree’s beauty.

That will not be happening this year. …

The color on the map tells one story but the reality is another.

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Photo by Dennise Leon via Unsplash

Last night, media outlets finally made the call, after over a week of ballot counting and scrutiny, that Arizona had flipped to a blue state. Of course, that’s not really what’s happened.

They’re called battleground states for a reason and Arizona is a state that is being fought for hard by both parties. It’s a tug-of-war that has meant months, if not years, of pulling from both sides. Neither side is readily willing to let go, especially of the presidency.

Biden took the majority lead in votes early on and held it. That’s not surprising. As was the case in most battleground states, democrats came out with a strong lead due to early ballots being returned more heavily by democrats rather than republicans. …

Surprisingly, it wasn’t about death or moving on after loss.

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Photo by Ekrulila via Pexels

I’m an emotional one. I have all of the feelings. They come early and often. What this means for me is that processing all these emotions is exhausting and often a struggle. I have no idea what I’m doing and can easily spin off the face of the earth.

Like most people, I’ve had a screwed up definition of grief my whole life. I thought grief was what we felt when someone died. That’s it. That’s the list.

Having had very few people in my life die during my first 45 years, I figured I had avoided that emotion pretty well. Then my therapist dropped a bomb in my lap after I expressed frustration with my woeful lack of ability to get over anything. …

Let’s not discount the fact that something great has happened.

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“Kamala Harris” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Creative Commons

This morning, I woke up to a beautiful Colorado sunrise coming through the windows and a text from my group chat that Georgia had flipped blue. Bleary-eyed, I turned on the TV just as Pennsylvania did the same thing. I waited patiently all morning for someone to say what I had been waiting to hear.

With Biden taking these states, we will have the first female vice president in US history. Still, there are two ways to read this statement.

Option 1 — This is a huge moment for women in America but we are still riding shotgun instead of driving the car. …

But we still fixate on it and forget the good.

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Photo by Brett Sayles via Pexels

My daughter and I got into an argument on Tuesday. Nope. Forget that. I’ll be totally honest. It was a knockdown, drag-out fight. There was yelling. There was cursing. There were tears. It was no one’s finest moment.

I am not infallible. She may have lit the fire but I grabbed the gasoline, dumped it on there, and then did a dance around the whole mess.

Tuesday was a crap day. I had too much to do before heading out on vacation the next day. The election had my anxiety through the roof. …

This sounds like we need to make better choices in our lives.

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Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva via Pexels

After a long week, I finally sat down on my couch with a glass of wine. I had intended to relax. Off in the corner of my laptop screen was a tease for a Bloomberg Opinion article. Relaxation left my body. Agitation took its place.

Curiosity got the best of me and I clicked on it to find out what in the name of Margaret Atwood was happening in the world. The tease looked like this:

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Screenshot of tease from author's computer

I know enough about writing and journalism to know this word choice was deliberate. …

Everyone has a tipping point. You just don’t know what it is.

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Photo by Sharon McCutcheon via Pexels

The chandelier above my front door is exceptionally bright. It makes it impossible to turn it on and be in the room at the same time. I never actually liked the chandelier so getting a new one would be a solid decision. Hell, changing out the light bulbs to the non-runway kind would be a good move.

Three years ago, though, I decided I would get a dimmer switch and install it so that I could tolerate that stupid chandelier.

I Googled the wiring and watched several YouTube videos to make sure I installed it right. …


Vanessa Torre

Flaming pinball, nerd, music lover, wine snob, horrible violin player. No, I won’t stop taking pictures of my drinks. IG: vanessaltorre

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