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The THRED blog has one central purpose: to start conversations. We don’t all agree. We don’t have the same views and experiences on life and faith. But if one person is brave enough to say what they think, then we have the opportunity talk about it and learn something.

Every post on this blog is just that—the start of an open and honest conversation, and an opportunity to learn. THRED doesn’t endorse all the views expressed here. But we believe they all matter, and they are part of an important dialogue that will help us all grow. So pick one out, share it, and continue the conversation in the comments. Because your voice matters too.


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Healthy Progress, Not Perfection Healthy Progress, Not Perfection

Healthy Progress, Not Perfection

Read Time: 4 min.

How anyone can keep up with the diet trends these days, I’ll never know. If you’re getting your health information online, what’s good for you and what’s bad for you is simply a matter of science… or opinion… or scientific opinion. It’s all very confusing! But the one thing I think everyone can agree on at this point is that what you put into your body matters. Through much...


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Weird, Wonderful Creativity Weird, Wonderful Creativity

Weird, Wonderful Creativity

Read Time: 3 min.

I have some issues with the word creative. I feel like it’s a word people say about you when they want to say that you are weird, but you are also in the room. This is really a shame because to be someone who creates (and is weird) is awesome! I create every day in my job at a Shakespeare Theater and most days in my downtime as a way of de-stressing. I have always loved painting. As a kid, m...


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The Self-Inflicted Curse of Creativity The Self-Inflicted Curse of Creativity

The Self-Inflicted Curse of Creativity

Read Time: 3 min.

I tend to be called creative a lot. From the moment I chose design as a major in college, I sealed my professional fate as a “creative” in the industry. Fast forward four years, a business minor, and way too many Red Bull-fueled late nights later, and I found myself as a proud… college graduate who was living at home with my parents — sound familiar? Thanks to my decision to pursue a creative care...


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What We Hate Most in Others What We Hate Most in Others

What We Hate Most in Others

Read Time: 3 min.

“You hate most in others what you hate most in yourself,” Mr. Baxter said, as he looked around my seventh-grade class. Then he focused his gaze on one of my fellow students in particular. She knew those words were meant for her. I saw her tense up. She did not take his words kindly. Why? Because instead of allowing for her to judge another pupil with impunity, Mr. Baxter turned the tables and push...


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Our Confusing Selves Our Confusing Selves

Our Confusing Selves

Read Time: 3 min.

When I was little, my dad had a poster of an adorable chimpanzee next to his desk. This was long before the days of memes, but you may have seen an updated version. The chimpanzee held a thinking pose above the caption, “I think, therefore I am… confused.” My dad explained to me about the concept of philosophy and a man called Descartes. I felt incredibly grown up to be in on what I consider...


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Bracing for Holiday Challenges Bracing for Holiday Challenges

Bracing for Holiday Challenges

Read Time: 2 min.

A few days ago, I called the father of my two twenty-something children. For the past couple of years, the kids and I have been celebrating Thanksgiving at his condo in Philadelphia—Christmas is at my house. I had gotten word through the “grapevine” (a.k.a. my son) that his dad was upset about the possibility that after dinner everyone would leave for their separate dwellings, and then he’d be stu...


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Road Rage Versus the Grateful Heart Road Rage Versus the Grateful Heart

Road Rage Versus the Grateful Heart

Read Time: 3 min.

For me, driving downtown is the worst. I lose all sense of patience and spend my entire commute questioning other people’s sanity and driving abilities. From start to finish, it’s a very negative experience. Then one day, it occurred to me: I could change my mind. Now there’s a thought. I like to think of myself as having a grateful heart. Most of the time, that’s true. Maybe I should say, in most...


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Gratitude—The Big and Small of it Gratitude—The Big and Small of it

Gratitude—The Big and Small of it

Read Time: 4 min.

Many of us, myself included, use the words “thank you” as carelessly as “excuse me” or “gesundheit.” We tend to throw around “thanks” without necessarily giving it a thought. We say it at the Starbucks drive-thru, after opening a present, or when someone holds the door open for us. But I want to talk about gratitude, and I’m not entirely sure that thanks and gratitude are as synonymous as we might...


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Integrity and Freedom from Judgement Integrity and Freedom from Judgement

Integrity and Freedom from Judgement

Read Time: 4 min.

As I’m writing this, the hearings on the newest Supreme Court judge have just finished. I purposely did not watch them… it was too much for me. Lately, I have been overwhelmed with the feeling that I’m waiting for a dream sequence to end; that I’ll wake up to a world where leaders don’t mock abuse victims, where honesty and integrity are still valuable, where character and courtesy mean something....


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Toward Integrity Toward Integrity

Toward Integrity

Read Time: 2 min.

I stood by the self-checkout register, running my groceries through the scanner. No one was paying me much heed. You know what it’s like. I sometimes think we self-scanners go to the self-checkout line so that no one will bother us. For me, it’s a race against the annoying voice of the bot who tells me to bag something or reminds me to take my change. Then I got to the Gala apples. Quickly I looke...


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Generosity and Our Tribal Hearts Generosity and Our Tribal Hearts

Generosity and Our Tribal Hearts

Read Time: 3 min.

We often think of generosity as being willing to give our money to others. But this is a narrow definition. A wider definition of generous is, “having a kindly spirit.” Through the years, I’ve discovered many ways in which my spirit has not been so “kindly” toward others. But here I want to share three things that have made me a more generous person. And I think that’s a good thing. CONNECTION has...


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Great and Terrible Babies Great and Terrible Babies

Great and Terrible Babies

Read Time: 3 min.

Babies are great… and awful. If you listen to an honest debate between a loving parent and someone who doesn’t have children, chances are high that they would not truly understand each other. Parenthood is a life-changing experience, so much so that it is often hard for people whose home has already been invaded by a baby and people who still think that Saturday mornings are for sleeping in to spe...


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Sufficient, But Not Saving Sufficient, But Not Saving

Sufficient, But Not Saving

Read Time: 3 min.

I often notice that a lot of commercials and ads have one big message in common: if you’re not buying or doing or subscribing to or wearing such and such, your life is not as good as it could be. There seems to be almost a moral pressure to consume the advertised thing. It’s easy to wonder if I’m good enough, doing the right thing, living life the right way, or consuming the “right” things. These ...


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Getting Real About Money and Limits Getting Real About Money and Limits

Getting Real About Money and Limits

Read Time: 3 min.

I’ll be honest, I’m not writing about my financial health because I’m financially healthy. I’m writing about it because I’m not great about my money… and it bothers me. A lot of people in my life would say that I’m a pretty good adult—perhaps that I have been since I was about four. It’s a hazard of being an only child. And in a lot of ways it’s true. When I’m presented with a task or an area of m...


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When Fall Doesn’t Come When Fall Doesn’t Come

When Fall Doesn’t Come

Read Time: 3 min.

I am a California baby raised primarily in the northern Midwest. For most of my life, fall meant a clear change in the seasons. In childhood, fall meant leaving the city for field trips with my Detroit classmates in the orchards of the Michigan countryside, driving through different northern regions to see the colorful changing foliage, and jumping into leaf piles that my dad created in our front ...


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Courage in the Wilderness Courage in the Wilderness

Courage in the Wilderness

Read Time: 3 min.

My feet were dragging across a rocky singletrack trail in the Superstition Wilderness east of Phoenix. It was nearly 90 degrees outside and I was 43 miles into a 52.4 mile run—a double marathon. The entire right side of my body was cramping, my legs were sapped of energy, and I could feel my heart rate climbing like a mountain goat up a scree field. I hurt. I hurt bad. I was in what ultrarunners c...


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Failing Friendships and Learning to be Kind Failing Friendships and Learning to be Kind

Failing Friendships and Learning to be Kind

Read Time: 4 min.

I’ve heard it said that, even more than their lessons, educators teach who they are as people. Students learn about their teachers’ passions, annoyances, available buttons to push, and amount of care they hold for their pupils—perhaps even more than they learn about their coursework. As a teacher, I have seen this happen. As a former student, I’ve learned that the most important person a student c...


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Marshmallows and Delusions of Grandeur Marshmallows and Delusions of Grandeur

Marshmallows and Delusions of Grandeur

Read Time: 3 min.

As a kid, I loved marshmallows. The way they turn golden brown over an open flame. Their powdery mouthfeel and sugary taste. And not to mention their effortless ability to perfectly smoosh together on top of a melted peanut butter cup (that’s right—even as a kid, my s’mores game was strong). Unfortunately, these puffy treats were ruined for me thanks to the marshmallow experiment. If you aren’t fa...


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How Art Has Changed My Life How Art Has Changed My Life

How Art Has Changed My Life

Read Time: 4 min.

I was recently asked what experiencing a creative art taught me, if I could quantify its effect on my life, and what “good” came from it. As a self-proclaimed “arty farty” person, my first reaction is to soap box the importance of art in our culture.  How it shapes us and our reality.  How it’s used in marketing, film, politics, and is statistically proven as valuable for test scores and SAT’s. I ...


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What I Didn’t Know I Needed to Know What I Didn’t Know I Needed to Know

What I Didn’t Know I Needed to Know

Read Time: 2 min.

Like many others, I wasn’t able to escape craze surrounding Hamilton: An American Musicalthat has swept America in the last few years. Whether it’s the shock and novelty of rap in a major musical, the celebration of an unsung American hero, the brilliant character development, or the themes that keep recurring in unexpected places, it seems to be finding its way into American hearts on a host of l...


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The Gift of a Tender Heart The Gift of a Tender Heart

The Gift of a Tender Heart

Read Time: 4 min.

Despite how it sometimes seems when we focus on the negative, Americans still value kindness as a culture. Each person’s view on kindness may be a little different, but the idea is still in our framework as a people. No one has ever sat in a merging lane of a highway traffic jam forever. Someone will eventually let them in with a wave. Most children’s television programming regularly teaches ways ...


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You Can’t Plan You Can’t Plan

You Can’t Plan

Read Time: 4 min.

Life is funny, isn’t it? From the beginning of my freshman year of high school, my goal was to be in the select Jazz Choir for my junior and senior year. It was going to happen. It didn’t matter that only 16 voices got selected. It didn’t matter that I needed to fit it into my schedule. I just KNEW. And when the roster was posted at the end of my sophomore year and my name was under the altos, my ...


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Why I Spent Four Years Pursuing a “Useless” Degree Why I Spent Four Years Pursuing a “Useless” Degree

Why I Spent Four Years Pursuing a “Useless” Degree

Read Time: 4 min.

Every once in a while it is nice when things don’t go according to plan. For me, those were my four years as an undergrad at the University of Illinois. I had entered college with the intention of pursuing a degree in International Studies. My concentration was in “Middle East Politics & Policy.” The plan was to go on to pursue a career in diplomacy, move to Washington D. C. and intern with th...


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My Actions & My Intent My Actions & My Intent

My Actions & My Intent

Read Time: 3 min.

In recent years, I have noticed a trend: my friends and acquaintances have been justifying their not-so-great actions with the phrase, “but I’m not a bad person.” To me, that is a particularly nondescript way of defining one’s self. Because at any given time, the sum of the things that do define you will be far smaller than the sum of the things that don’t. I am a 27-year-old man. I am not a 26-ye...


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The First and Only Rule of Being Good The First and Only Rule of Being Good

The First and Only Rule of Being Good

Read Time: 3 min.

Being a good person is simple. Like most things, people tend to overcomplicate it. They scour the internet or ask the smartest people they know (i.e. parents), hoping for the missing piece to the puzzle. But like I said, it’s pretty simple – all you have to do is pay attention to religion. I’ll admit, coming from someone who isn’t religious, this might seem like shaky advice. Now, I’m not sa...


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Discipline is the Path to Discipline Discipline is the Path to Discipline

Discipline is the Path to Discipline

Read Time: 3 min.

For many people, the word “discipline” is a negative. A disciplined person is not spontaneous or fun-loving. It seems like being disciplined means giving up freedom and joy. The truth is the opposite. Discipline is the path to freedom and joy. I play piano, acoustic guitar, and bass guitar. I love playing in bands. But learning to play a music instrument requires… you guessed it,...


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Self-Control and Social Media Self-Control and Social Media

Self-Control and Social Media

Read Time: 3 min.

There’s a word that has always been the difference between the successful and the hopeful: “how.” I know WHAT to do to achieve my goals, but I don’t necessarily know HOW to do it. Finding that “how” requires discipline… So HOW do you create that? There’s a lot involved in exploring this question. I’d like to start with the world of social media as an examp...


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Anxiety and the Margins in my Life Anxiety and the Margins in my Life

Anxiety and the Margins in my Life

Read Time: 4 min.

It was a simple enough mistake—a small wrong curve that took me over the bridge into Manhattan instead of to my parking spot in Long Island City. But as soon as it happened, I began to lose my mind. By the time I landed on the other side of the Queensborough Bridge on E 60th Street, I was consumed with an overwhelming anxiety that took my breath away, forced me into shakes and tears, and left me f...


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Anxiety and the Little Things Anxiety and the Little Things

Anxiety and the Little Things

Read Time: 6 min.

Adulting is hard. There are the occasional perks—like having pie for breakfast. Recently, when our kids have asked, “how come YOU get to…and I don’t?” we’ve been using the response, “because we pay taxes.” It seems to work well. It doesn’t, however, touch the surface of explaining the level of stress and anxiety that adulting requires…sometimes pie for breakfast is the only way to get through the ...


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The Perfectly-Sized Family? The Perfectly-Sized Family?

The Perfectly-Sized Family?

Read Time: 4 min.

I had it all planned—right down to where I was going to meet my future husband, when we were going to get married, and when we were going to start a family. I come from a large extended family, so growing up, family was everything. My mom stayed at home with all four of us girls until my baby sister, eleven years younger than me, was well into her elementary school career. For most of my childhood...


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How Gratitude (Among Other Things) Can Combat Fear How Gratitude (Among Other Things) Can Combat Fear

How Gratitude (Among Other Things) Can Combat Fear

Read Time: 5 min.

What are you afraid of? The concept of “fear” will impart many different meanings for different people. Perhaps clowns, if you’re a child of the 80s. Or maybe heights for others. Possibly something more existential like dying, or what comes after – “the undiscovered country, from whose bourn no traveler returns,” as Hamlet put it. However, as I’ve ruminated on the idea of fear lately, I’ve f...


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I Have a Fear of Jumping I Have a Fear of Jumping

I Have a Fear of Jumping

Read Time: 3 min.

It’s not a fear of falling I struggle with. I am not afraid to fall. I am afraid to jump. We all have those little snippets of memories from when we were kids. I remember being in a park with my Mom. We were across the street from our house at a playground in the suburbs of Chicago, and we were playing on one of those wooden playhouse structures that has a ladder and a little house at the top and ...


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Is Peace Waiting Beneath Our Stress? Is Peace Waiting Beneath Our Stress?

Is Peace Waiting Beneath Our Stress?

Read Time: 3 min.

What is peace?  And is it possible to experience real peace? I don’t have any easy answers to these questions… I don’t really know much about much. Like most 30-somethings, I’m filled with more questions and confusion than ever. Including questions about peace. Questions I know will never be answered. Questions I’ll continue to ask in the hope of getting closer to an answer, while accepting ...


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Finding Peace through People and Purpose Finding Peace through People and Purpose

Finding Peace through People and Purpose

Read Time: 3 min.

Judging by the emails, television commercials, and online ads we see, I suspect Americans are in a perpetual quest for serenity. We are flooded with suggestions about how to find it, like… Head for that Pacific island or New Hampshire lake, and find healing silence. Practice mindful meditation and leave anxiety behind. Put away the electronics thirty minutes before you go to bed (maybe those...


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Feeling Green, Not Guilt Feeling Green, Not Guilt

Feeling Green, Not Guilt

Read Time: 4 min.

Disclaimer: This post is not for the lover of Excel charts or anyone who is drawn to lists on legal pads. It is not for people who own label makers and also put them to use. It is for the people who find a reminder note buried in a pile, accomplish it even though it is three years late, and mentally check it off as a grand victory. This post is not for the eco-warrior—although, kudos to you. This ...


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Jumping Off the Comparison Treadmill Jumping Off the Comparison Treadmill

Jumping Off the Comparison Treadmill

Read Time: 2 min.

“You’re so slim,” said the athletically-built woman sitting across the table from me at a local lunch spot. I told her how much I weighed. “But you are so tiny,” she persevered.  I reminded her that I’m 5’ 8’ and have size 12 feet (don’t judge). “I know, I’m shrinking,” she said. Who was she seeing as she sipped her bowl of soup? It didn’t seem to be me, I thought. By any objective standard, my fr...


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Learning Compassion Over Comparison Learning Compassion Over Comparison

Learning Compassion Over Comparison

Read Time: 2 min.

I stopped comparing myself to others around 2 years ago. It wasn’t a decision I set out to make. It started when I decided to love myself. I never felt comfortable in my own body. I’ve been taught to compare my body to bodies around me, as well as to super model bodies and cartoon bodies, and my body just never lived up to those ideals. I would constantly compare my body to everyone el...


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Hope is How We Cope Hope is How We Cope

Hope is How We Cope

Read Time: 3 min.

Are you an optimist? I know I am. I’ve always been the glass-half-full kind of person. If I had to guess, it’s probably because I consider myself to be pretty lucky. This luck doesn’t just appear out of thin air—I constantly look for new opportunities to put myself out there. While doing this, there isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t tell myself, “Everything is going to be OK.” After hearing t...


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“You’re my only hope.” “You’re my only hope.”

“You’re my only hope.”

Read Time: 4 min.

“Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Early in George Lucas’s epic work, we see a hologram of Princess Leia begging the old hermit Ben Kenobi for help. When George Lucas wrote the prequels several years later, Qui-Gon Jin was convinced that Anakin, the little boy who would eventually become the baddest villain in the galaxy, was the hope that would bring balance to the Force. In the late...


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Seeing Myself as Never Truly Alone Seeing Myself as Never Truly Alone

Seeing Myself as Never Truly Alone

Read Time: 3 min.

We live in a lonely world. Some people have even said that despite (and maybe even because of) our global and immediate connectivity online and on our smartphones and tablets, we are experiencing a “loneliness epidemic.” It’s strange, but even as we live in a world where we are bombarded with people at work, in school, on the streets, at the movies, or on social media feeds with hundreds, or thous...


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Loneliness breeds loneliness. Loneliness breeds loneliness.

Loneliness breeds loneliness.

Read Time: 3 min.

I am 13 years old. School ended three hours ago, three hours that I have been sitting in my dad’s office—finishing homework, instant messaging, scrolling the internet, and waiting. Three months in, I should be used to this everyday routine by now. But I’m 13 and I want to go home. Not to the thirty-minutes away from school and work and community, too-small home we are currently renting—no. Home. 2...


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Finding Your Own Happiness Finding Your Own Happiness

Finding Your Own Happiness

Read Time: 3 min.

Relationships are like plane crashes. Let me rephrase that: relationships are like preparing for plane crashes. Still with me? Great! Allow me to explain. If you’ve ever been on a plane, then you have also had to sit through the choreographed safety demonstration that the flight attendants perform with painful smiles. At this point, you may have even memorized it. Personally, I can’t help but focu...


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We aren’t defined by the chaos around us. We aren’t defined by the chaos around us.

We aren’t defined by the chaos around us.

Read Time: 2 min.

A mile or so down the road from where I live, there is a county-run farm. From the road, all you can see are fields by the entrance road—abundantly green in the spring and the summer, brown and trimmed in the fall and wintertime.  Across the road, a home sits in the distance, a horse pasture in front of it and an old farmhouse nearby. It’s charming. In certain lights, it’s so beautiful that I (men...


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When “Work” and “Life” Merge Into “Living” When “Work” and “Life” Merge Into “Living”

When “Work” and “Life” Merge Into “Living”

Read Time: 3 min.

I have very full days. I work full time, I’m a mom to a kindergartner, I’m a wife, I try to be active in my community—in other words, I’m not unlike lots of folks who juggle a lot on any given day. Take my to-do list from last Thursday, for example. Some of my tasks between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. included the following: dropping my son off at school, writing a client’s strategic plan, a walk arou...


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“Go get a real job.” “Go get a real job.”

“Go get a real job.”

Read Time: 3 min.

“Stop wasting time and go work for an insurance company or some other desk job. Everyone in your generation is so goddamn lazy and entitled!” I will never forget these words, mainly because my stepmom yelled them through a door I’d slammed shut moments before. This was during a pivotal time in my life: I had just graduated and was forced to move back in with my parents — sound familiar? After mont...


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What Happens When I Make Rest a Priority What Happens When I Make Rest a Priority

What Happens When I Make Rest a Priority

Read Time: 3 min.

It seems that every time someone tries to make plans with me, I’m busy. There’s always a work project, a kid’s event, a birthday, a networking meeting, a webinar, or something else going on that keeps me from fully detaching and just relaxing, with or without friends. Doesn’t it seem that we have to work for our relaxation now? We have to prepare for it, plan it, and always...


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One Thing That Will Make All the Difference One Thing That Will Make All the Difference

One Thing That Will Make All the Difference

Read Time: 3 min.

Fresh from a breakfast of piping hot spaghetti on toast and loud laughs, I headed back to work for the day on a New Zealand dairy farm. There was important work to be done. The smell of sweet silage hung in the air and the grass fields shone brightly in the early morning sun. We drove past a patch of turf that was unwieldy and overgrown. Still new to this whole dairy farming thing, having grown up...


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Two years ago, you hit me. Two years ago, you hit me.

Two years ago, you hit me.

Read Time: 2 min.

*Note: if you’ve been a victim of trauma or abuse, the following could trigger memories, emotions, and thoughts of your trauma. I want you to be well. Please only read if you’re in a healthy space to filter and process those thoughts and emotions. Also, you may feel ashamed, isolated, and alone—that’s normal. There IS help available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799...


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Finding Gratitude Between Privilege and Poverty Finding Gratitude Between Privilege and Poverty

Finding Gratitude Between Privilege and Poverty

Read Time: 3 min.

A few months ago I took a weekend trip to Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula. As I drove down the highway from the airport to my hotel, I listened closely to the radio and translated as much in my head as I could. Something about “Saturday at 7,” and “huge sale on cars, call this number!” I did my best. At some point on my drive I realized that the hotel was a straight shot from where I was, so all ...


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When Travel Raises the Hard Questions When Travel Raises the Hard Questions

When Travel Raises the Hard Questions

Read Time: 4 min.

Travel is trendy. Your local boutique store very likely sells coffee mugs and phone cases printed with “wanderlust” or “the mountains are calling” (insert trendy arrows and geometric designs), and you are tempted to buy these because you want to epitomize intrepidity, even while drinking coffee and scrolling your newsfeed on another mundane Monday at work. But why do we feel the tug to travel? I w...


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There’s more to traveling than getting drunk. There’s more to traveling than getting drunk.

There’s more to traveling than getting drunk.

Read Time: 3 min.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world right now, where would you decide to go? Would you choose a romantic getaway in Paris? An exotic beach vacation in The Bahamas? Or how about a historic tour of Florence? Chances are, if you’re American, you’ve probably fantasized about traveling to one of these (or other) new and exciting places. After all, the grass is always greener, no matter where y...


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Impact sports impacted me. Impact sports impacted me.

Impact sports impacted me.

Read Time: 3 min.

In our five years of marriage, my wife and I have talked about our children and sports a fair amount—and especially recently, because two of our children are at the age where they could potentially begin playing sports. It’s that level where kids run up and down a field, or pick flowers, as a soccer ball lays in the middle of the field with no one to kick it. But, they have so much energy, they cl...


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Somewhere Between Coffee and Crazy Somewhere Between Coffee and Crazy

Somewhere Between Coffee and Crazy

Read Time: 4 min.

Sometimes I think I’m crazy. Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop, with my earbuds and my latte, and I feel quite normal. Today I had the day off work. I slept in, I scrambled eggs, I stopped by a friend’s house, and now I’m here—drinking my latte and feeling normal. But some days, I think I’m crazy. Some days I do things that are so crazy I don’t want to tell you about them. Because I’m embarra...


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Thanks, Lexapro! Thanks, Lexapro!

Thanks, Lexapro!

Read Time: 3 min.

If I had a list of all of the things my anxiety caused me to avoid over the course of my life, I’d be the owner of one incredibly long list. It’d probably be more of a scroll, really. I’m talking about enough paper to wallpaper a house, or wrap a million Christmas presents. Enough paper to craft a flock of paper mache birds large enough to block out the sun. Enough paper to make a fleet of paper a...


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Adaptive Identities Adaptive Identities

Adaptive Identities

Read Time: 3 min.

Who am I, really?  Who are you? Good way to go crazy, you might be thinking to yourself about now. Bear with me for a moment. Think about how—once you started to think about it at all—the way you think about yourself has changed over the years. As a teenager, you may have done a lot to impress your peers, whether it was acing the science test, hanging out with the “cool” kids, or getting into a su...


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Pornography Lies Pornography Lies

Pornography Lies

Read Time: 3 min.

My parents and I were attending a basketball game, sitting among a crowd in the nosebleed section. The row ahead of us was a group of guys, each somewhere in their late twenties. Directly in front of my mom, sat one of the guys, slouched in his seat, eyes far from the action on the court as he stared down at his phone. His thumb flicked slowly, stuck scrolling through images unsuitable for the pub...


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Pornography lacks real consent options. Pornography lacks real consent options.

Pornography lacks real consent options.

Read Time: 2 min.

I don’t have a problem with pornography—in theory. I think sex between consenting adults is perfectly normal. I think people watching sex between consenting adults is also perfectly normal. I don’t think we can abolish the making or consumption of pornography, but I do think we need to change the way we talk about it. People are afraid to talk about sex for a number of reasons. It’s uncomfortable....


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Use Compassion as a Compass Use Compassion as a Compass

Use Compassion as a Compass

Read Time: 3 min.

I would consider myself a fairly compassionate person. I know, I know. Plenty of people claim this, but how many actually practice compassion day-to-day? Well, before I go any further, it’s probably a good idea to make sure we’re all on the same page here: Compassion (noun): A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate...


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Multi-Careering Multi-Careering

Multi-Careering

Read Time: 3 min.

I remember the day my dad lost his job. He was pacing in front the house. Angry. Anxious. Confused. Kind of lost. He’d already switched careers once, going from building axles to vehicle processing. Now, he had to transition again. And he did. Let’s face it. We are all going to have multiple careers in our lives. Some by choice, others because of lay-offs and closed companies. We won’t always be a...


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Top 5 Life Lessons from Working in the Arts Top 5 Life Lessons from Working in the Arts

Top 5 Life Lessons from Working in the Arts

Read Time: 3 min.

I work at a theater. I got my degree in Theater and Speech and have been working in wardrobe for over 10 years. I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve gleaned from my time, so here are my top 5 lessons learned working in the arts. Storytelling is how we learn. We all tell stories every day. When you answer the questions, “How was your weekend”, “What are you doing after work”, ...


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Forgiveness is for ordinary people. Forgiveness is for ordinary people.

Forgiveness is for ordinary people.

Read Time: 2 min.

Them. And us. That’s how we sometimes think about forgiveness, isn’t it? Jesus looked down from the cross and forgave his tormentors.  Pope John Paul II forgave his would-be assassin.  A father of a child killed in the Sandy Hook massacre offered forgiveness to the families of the killer within hours of the killings.  Mothers have been known to pardon the men who shot their sons. As a writer, I co...


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It’s easier to ask for forgiveness. It’s easier to ask for forgiveness.

It’s easier to ask for forgiveness.

Read Time: 4 min.

Growing up, I was a pretty good kid. I was a relatively good student, surrounded myself with good people, and did my best to be a good friend to others. Some people might say this was a byproduct of good genes and others would probably claim this was due to good parenting. Whether you believe in nature or nurture, you can’t deny parenting (or lack thereof) plays a huge role in how we grow as adult...


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Dear Suicidal Me Dear Suicidal Me

Dear Suicidal Me

Read Time: 2 min.

Dear Suicidal Me, Hi there. Remember me? I’m the one you worked so hard to maintain, the one you always wanted to be. All those hours at the gym, the yoga, the Psalms, the positive self talk when everything seemed wrong . . . But it failed. Because now you’re you. You look in the mirror and wish you could see a glimpse of me too. But you fail. You just see you. All those hours at counseling, the f...


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Suicide’s impact is broad. And our understanding is narrow. Suicide’s impact is broad. And our understanding is narrow.

Suicide’s impact is broad. And our understanding is narrow.

Read Time: 4 min.

From the moment she walked into my classroom, I saw a little bit too much of myself in her. She was an introverted junior transfer, struggling to find a place for herself in a new school, in a new state. Over the course of the first semester, I got to know her through her writing and she frequented my classroom after school. While I have several former students who I remain close to, I normally tr...


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I’m a Pastor and I Need Counseling I’m a Pastor and I Need Counseling

I’m a Pastor and I Need Counseling

Read Time: 3 min.

I walked in and there she was. A college student from the church I serve. I couldn’t turn around. I couldn’t un-commit. I could have lied about why I was there, but that’s not ethical (right?). I was caught red-handed—seeing my professional counselor. For the last decade or so, I’ve seen a professional counselor off-and-on. Sometimes, it’s been for no special reason. Other times, in the midst of a...


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My First Trip to a Counselor My First Trip to a Counselor

My First Trip to a Counselor

Read Time: 2 min.

“You know there are people you can talk to about this, right?” My first instinct was to tell my mother, rather vehemently, that I was NOT crazy. I had a loving family, great friends, and a rock solid Christian faith. I was also 26, living in a small town with very few local friends, and spending the majority of my time working.  Overworking, really. I was definitely having a bit of a quarter life ...


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When My Chest Caves In When My Chest Caves In

When My Chest Caves In

Read Time: 4 min.

Sometimes my chest caves in on itself. My lungs collapse. My ribs crush together with the force of two vehicles colliding, metal on metal screeching as it bends and breaks. My heart quivers and explodes. Instead of debris, I am left with a hole. I have anxiety. I am still not exactly sure what that means. Is my anxiety situational? Am I simply responding to the stress of “adulting”,  loss of a job...


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Life Isn’t Fair Life Isn’t Fair

Life Isn’t Fair

Read Time: 2 min.

As I’ve got older I have become increasingly attached to the phrase ‘it is what it is’. Sometimes it’s said in recognition, sometimes in resignation. Usually it’s because something happened that’s outside my control; it may not be fair but there’s nothing I can do to change it. Why can’t life be fair? Life is fair in the movies. Life is fair with karma. Life is fair in the imaginary ideal of the w...