How to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps.

Everyone does their best. Even though some people’s best is really shitty.

—My GrannyBarb’s mantra

16th May 2014 2,256 notes , Comments

Adult purchase of the day: this keyring!


absolutely love this keyring because it anthropomorphizes the need to have a place where my keys always are. Mine’s name is Marie Antoinette Lady Bird Sparrow and as soon as I get home she goes in her lovely home where she is safe and sound and easily find-able. (Available here for $5 USD)

25th Mar 2014 1,422 notes , Comments

Step 323: You can’t love something you need

If you need someone — how they make you feel, what they do for you, how they keep you whole — then you don’t actually love them, you just love the role they play in your life. The further you can push away from that need, the closer you’ll get to loving the human.

(This is an idea from Joko Beck’s Everyday Zen, which I *highly highly highly* recommend for anxious and/or ADD types, but this is true for everyone.)

24th Mar 2014 1,565 notes , Comments

Step 322: Have a Pouch of Responsibility inside your purse

Inside a clear, zippered pouch goes the following: Three tampons, a pack of gum, Kleenex, some hand-sanitizer, safety pins, bobby pins if you need them, a few band-aids and ibuprofen. Then, when minor crisis looms, you can shout (inside your head) “TO THE RESPONSIBILITY POUCH!”

Special thanks to Anna for the suggestion!

17th Mar 2014 2,328 notes , Comments

Step 321: You don’t have to have feelings *about* your feelings

Angry? Sad? Lonely? Ashamed? Maliciously gleeful? All of those are OK ways to feel and you don’t have to spend extra time and emotional energy berating yourself for feeling them. That is not productive.

14th Mar 2014 1,992 notes , Comments

Step 320: You don’t have to feel anxious about all these steps

Today, play a game with yourself. Just do the one thing you are doing at that moment carefully and correctly. Don’t spend time thinking about what you did wrong yesterday, or how much you have to do today, or any of it.

If you focus on that one small thing you are doing — “Right now, I am putting this toast rind in the garbage. Now, I am washing this one dish and drying it,” — you’ll do it right, then move on. 

6th Mar 2014 768 notes , Comments

Trigger Warnings for Cats


Trigger Warning: Vacuum Cleaner

Trigger Warning: Something On the Wall Only You Can See

Trigger Warning: One In 75 Cars 

Trigger Warning: Your Human Is Wearing a Knit Hat

Trigger Warning: That Golden Retriever That Lives Two Houses Down

Trigger Warning: A Bag of Skittles Falling On the Floor

Trigger Warning: This Sweater Smells Weird and Reminds You of Another Trigger

Trigger Warning: Gravity Exists

4th Mar 2014 1,794 notes , Comments

Step 319: No matter how much you love someone, your time together is limited. Make the most of it.


Today, I celebrate, and offer every bit of gratitude in me, for the life of my grandmother and favorite person, Barbara Jean Dowdell … AKA Grannybarb.

She was an intrepid girl reporter. She was a cocktail waitress on a steamboat on the Great Lakes. She was the first female editor of the Daily Iowan. She had the best stories, supplied by a life built on the understanding that there is no such thing as boredom, only lack of attention.

She was a great wit, a maker of the best gumbo imaginable, a shameless (and gifted!) flirt, a writer, painter, knitter, stained-glass maker and someone who saw the back of a business card as an ideal place for a tiny watercolor portrait.

Read More

28th Feb 2014 554 notes , Comments

"Hi. I’m a millennial. And I am a MONSTER."

Very pleased that my TEDx talk on why people are wrong about Millennials is an editor’s pick on

25th Feb 2014 760 notes , Comments

Nothing to do with adulting …

But I could not love the picture The Daily Beast made for my piece more. 

The rest is here.

23rd Feb 2014 236 notes , Comments