Good Mentoring: The Next Best Thing to Good Parenting

While the fond memories of family and festivities are still fresh enough to make us smile, let’s commit to spending time with family, friends and loved ones beyond the holidays. And, in the year ahead, let’s not forget to specifically spend time with young people. I had some wonderful moments with my kids around Christmas. We took our biennial theater trip to New York City to see Motown the Musical. It was a great show and such a joy hanging out …

Away From Home for the Holidays

I looked out at the setting sun, and twisted the ring Pop Pop gave me, the one I always wear on my right hand. I forgot the candles. I cannot believe I forgot the candles. It was the first night of Hanukkah, and I had failed. I was without candles, matches and a menorah. But more importantly, I was without my family and friends. I felt fortunate to be traveling in Thailand, where I’m studying for the year (so very …

Beware the ‘Befriender’

It’s often true that older people feel lonelier as their children leave the nest, their friends move south and their spouses pass away. That’s one reason they’re particularly vulnerable to new “friends” who in truth are out to exploit them. As Katherine Pearson, a professor at Penn State’s Dickinson School of Law, explains in the Elder Law Prof Blog, these “befrienders” aim to gain the trust – and eventually access to the assets – of their victims. But if you …

Friends Jump-Start Fitness (and Hotness) Together

As National Women’s Health Week comes to a close, my thoughts turn to physical activity … or lack thereof, which has been my problem. As a working caregiver (for both of my parents), I am typical: I focus on those two necessities of my life first and taking care of myself falls to the bottom of the list. It’s a terrible conundrum – I can’t let my work or caregiving slip, but there are only so many hours in the …

Facebook: Judi Dench Is NOT Your Friend. Stop Asking!

Facebook hates me. I used to think of Facebook as a sort of friend to the friendless. Whatever its societal shortcomings, I reasoned, at least by redefining the term “friend” to mean “any being capable of hitting the ‘accept’ button on a computer screen” Facebook put friendship – or something like it – within reach of just about everybody, no matter how awkward, ugly, or generally unappealing they might be. In other words, it was the perfect place for me. …

Five Steps to Avoid Acting in Haste and Repenting in Leisure

Speed and efficiency have become key values for us. We expect an instant response when we flip a light switch or download a movie on television. We anticipate immediate acceleration when we put our foot on the gas and a reverse but equal response when we brake. We are a nation of fast-food lovers. Computer-mediated communication, whether by email, text messages or phone, allows us to be in touch with anyone on the globe within seconds. Life in the high-speed …