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tony davis
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we are waiting for you to come home, claire. come on home. and bring greg and v. come home...!
Toggle Commented May 30, 2011 on The End of Life in Chicago at Life in Chicago
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It always amazes me how the choices we make one day end up having powerful influences on the rest of our lives. Not only has your job affected you, Claire, but you have done the same for the people you have served.
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i unpack exactly like you do, claire--so that everything is put away within the first or second day. i know people who have been in a place for five years and still have moving boxes in unpacked in the corners! and i will feel the same way about moving from los angeles, i guess that is why "moving" is the theme of my writing on my blog! it is in fact a huge deal. 10 weeks is not much time, but we will be happy to welcome you here. i am still not even sure why you are leaving chicago (other than the weather and your love of california), because you have greg's family close to you, but maybe your reasons are personal. regardless, california waits for you and your family. http://leavingcaliblog.blogspot.com/
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well, i think there is good stuff in there too, but i am suspicious of anything labeled "rules". for instance, many comments are about #7. but honestly, there are times when someone is just an asshole, and it has NOTHING to do with being a "mirror" of something i don't like in myself. you know what i mean? sometimes a spade is just a spade.
Toggle Commented Feb 18, 2011 on There Is No Better Than Here at Life in Chicago
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this list is a little too "self-help bookshelf new-agey" for me. what i mean by that is that it is designed for, i believe, priviledged white people who are searching for meaning in an otherwise comfortable but slightly unfulfilling life. this is not you, claire! i don't think the universe gives a crap whether we learn "lessons" or not, and who determines what these lessons are anyway? i think it is all just experience, and WE are the ones who decide if it has any meaning or not. if you want to "grow" from the experience, then that is your decision, but the teacher in the sky did not assign this to you. BUT...i do like #6 as well, and agree with it. like they say, "when you have one foot in the past and another in the future, you are sh**ing all over the present"! my second favorite is #1...:-)
Toggle Commented Feb 17, 2011 on There Is No Better Than Here at Life in Chicago
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i read recently that the reason people become miserable is because they resist seeing what IS. sounds to me, and to other commenters, like you are doing more than most, but not seeing it because you are spending so much time in what you are NOT doing. i don't know! paying attention to your needs is important though--i mean, how much time will a bubblebath take away from your writing, and how much will it benefit your writing? an old supervisor of mine coined the phrase "being comfortable with the chaos", and i love it, because that is the world, claire, not an "ordered, everything done and in nice piles, balanced" thing. from a cognitive perspective, the problem is not your life, but how you think about it. is there a way to make adjustments to your thinking as life changes so you can feel okay in the chaos? just wonderin'
Toggle Commented Feb 10, 2011 on Still Not Good Enough at Life in Chicago
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claire, when i was a performer, i knew that there would be some people in the audience who would HATE what i was doing onstage. i had some reviewers even seem to hate me, though they didn't know me. it was tough to take, but i continued on because of those people who did enjoy my performances. like you say, nobody will be forced to read your book. there are a lot of memoirs out there by people who are NOT writers. YOU are a writer. and if people did not want to read about your life, this blog of yours would not exist for long. take your insecurities and drown them in a double cappuccino and get back to that manuscript! we want to read your book! :-)
Toggle Commented Feb 1, 2011 on The Problem With Memoirs at Life in Chicago
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The brain is not really equipped to deal with the loss associated with death. It is no surprise that we all grapple with the idea of what happens to our loved ones, and I have shared in that struggle for many years. By the time my mother died two years ago, I had let go of all my beliefs and had to face the adopted idea that she was just gone--for GOOD. I kept a lock of her hair so that, though she was cremated, there would always be a physical reminder of her with me. When she died, she was already gone, as she had been suffering from Alzheimer's for three years. As her brain functions deteriorated, so did her personality and essence. She was reduced to being a body long before her brain finally gave up. I would love more than anything to think that she is looking over my shoulder right now, but I simply cannot believe that just so that I have some comfort. The difficulty of her being gone informs my life in a very valuable way--knowing that someday I too will be gone. In other words, this is it. This idea, based on science, and not belief, results in a greater appreciation of life than I ever had when I used to believe in an afterlife. After all, if it is better after we die, why worry about making it great now? Rubbish. I miss my mother daily--every moment. And yet I would miss Life more if I did not have it. There is enough mystery in my very presence here to last me for a lifetime--I don't need to create more mystery--I am surrounded by it in nature.
Toggle Commented Jan 17, 2011 on Sunday Thoughts at Life in Chicago
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wishing you an absolutely wonderful weekend with family, claire!
Toggle Commented Nov 26, 2010 on Happy Thanksgiving! at Life in Chicago
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another beautiful post. as a life long bachelor (not that i have an option here in california!), and a childless man, i have had many years of discovering where there might be meaning in my self-centered days (i say that proudly). i suppose many people have children in order to feel useful, or to give meaning to a relationship, or just because they want to. nothing wrong with that.it is the same reason why i went back to school and became a counselor. the other day i told one of my clients that of all the things i had done that day, the hour i was spending with him was the most meaningful thing i had done. at the end of the day, for me, it is about the impact i have had. that can be on friends i have had dinner with, or clients, or bloggers :-). sounds like for you, and for many parents, it is about the impact you and your children have on each other--it is unavoidable. meaning dropped in your face everyday, sometimes inside of poopy diapers! i am rather comfortable with the moments in my life where meaning is not so loud--still, quiet times in my apartment with candles burning and nothing really going on. i think about the seconds ticking by, and revel in the fact that i am even here at all, how wonderful and awful it can be, and how soon it will be over. and then i experience gratitude for it all--all of it. life is meaningful to me because i won't always have it. that is my conclusion, and it serves me well. i am glad that you had a few days to experience meaning in a different way, claire. now go pick up those high heels before you trip over them...! http://leavingcaliblog.blogspot.com/
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2010 on The Weight Of It All at Life in Chicago
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this is a beautifully written post full of honest feelings. it amazes me how you insert disclaimers about not complaining, when i do not hear complaining at all in your posts. i hear longing. i am glad that greg heard it too and proposed this separation. it will be as good for v as it will be for you two. imagine falling in love with your husband all over again with this rich connection of a child as a base.
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claire, posts like this are the reason you started this blog so many years ago. thank you for sharing this in such a beautiful, well written, personal way. i would like to think that this is how our loved ones are supposed to go, with us sitting beside them, holding their hands. that is how it was always done in the past, in the home. i hope that whenever i go, i have someone beside me this way, holding my hand on the way out.
Toggle Commented Aug 5, 2010 on Seven Years at Life in Chicago
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i hate that term "take the high road"! what is that trying to accomplish? when someone is cruel to me, they need to be told that is not cool! and i am the one to do it. but i will do it privately, not on a blog, cuz that is where things get messy. doing it publically is "taking the low road", i think. i would suggest NOT just swallowing it though--let this person know how you feel about the email--directly.
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none of us know how long we will live, but i suspect that you think about it more than most. it would be wonderful if everyone cherished life this much, realizing that we could only have a day or several years left. i can't imagine your experience of being "motherless", claire. i am nearly 48, and lost my mother just last year, but it has already had a profound impact on me, being motherless. but when i think of the countless things that impacted me growing up, even though i had a mother, i have to ask if i like who i am today. and i have to say that pretty much i do. hopefully, despite your motherlessness, you like who you are today. i would bet that V does...
Toggle Commented Aug 3, 2010 on Motherless Mothering at Life in Chicago
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those blue eyes are gonna set the world on fire someday...
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claire, i remember reaching a point in my life when i realized that i would NEVER catch up--in other words, the "To Do" list would always be there. being single, i would worry about this list because when you are single you sometimes have the ability to catch up once in a while! but i imagine that there is NOBODY with a family who ever finishes the list. ever. never ever. with me, the goal is not to finish the list anymore, but to be okay with it always being there, and walking out the door feeling calm about it (existential anxiety). sounds like that is what meditation helps you to do--and if so, make room! and...realize how much you are already getting DONE! happy summer! http://leavingcaliblog.blogspot.com/
Toggle Commented Jul 21, 2010 on This Week at Life in Chicago
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i am sure you will receive a million comments on this post, claire, but i would just like to throw in a little CONGRATULTIONS!!!!!!!!!!! good job on passing the exams. and yes...we do write for ourselves, i think, but that changes a bit once someone starts reading what we write..!
Toggle Commented Jul 12, 2010 on Where I've Been at Life in Chicago
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sweet claire...how sad that anyone has to feel that they do not love someone or are not loved. ever..
Toggle Commented Jun 18, 2010 on This Love at Life in Chicago
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Feb 26, 2010