Confession: I'm a worrywart. On my blog, Confessions of a Worrywart, I worry about everything from my dog's self-esteem to decapitation by ceiling fan.
It turned out I knew more than I thought I did, and I knew how to find out everything else.
My life has been as eclectic as my home décor in Washington, D.C. I earned degrees in math from University of Pennsylvania and Georgetown University and then taught for seven years at community and city colleges. Subsequently I became an artist and a street vendor, selling from a bridge table in Georgetown my cutesy watercolors, the kinds of things people hang in their powder rooms.
During a winter in Vermont, I broke my hand cross country skiing in that season's first snowstorm. Regardless, I joined the cross country ski patrol, rescued no one, and worked as a hatcheck girl at the Sirloin Saloon until a coat got stolen after I left early (with permission) to go to New York to see the boyfriend who dumped me the following week.
I returned to D.C. and became a stockbroker. The more I dialed the phone the more business I did; obsessed with cold calling, during my first full year I ranked second highest in all of Merrill Lynch for opening new accounts.
Then in 1979, as a newlywed, I moved to China, where I studied Mandarin and taught English to a group of doctors. Seven years later we adopted our middle daughter independently in Beijing.
I gave birth to our third daughter in 1988 and six weeks later we moved to Hong Kong for two years. With beaches, markets, and crowded streets, it was a lively place to explore with my three little girls. I also started a small business selling Chinese peasant paintings, which I bought in a village crisscrossed with canals outside of Shanghai.
Back in the States, my then-husband decided to run for the U.S. Congress. I gave out flyers at supermarkets by day and organized meet-the-candidate coffee gatherings for evenings.
He lost the election by a narrow margin, and I began writing while the children were at school. My articles have appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, The Pennsylvania Gazette, The Washington Post Magazine andHuffington Post. For several years I was a contributing editor at Moment Magazine, where I received a Rockower Award for my profile of sociolinguist Deborah Tannen.
One of my passions is bicycling. I pedal to book club, dinner dates, and condolence calls. No matter where I am, I travel around on two wheels: New York, London, Paris, Edinburgh, Budapest, Beijing. All the while, I plod along high and upright, more Mary Poppins than Lance Armstrong. I never go anywhere without my HELMET.
Two more things I think of when I think of me: In 2010 I had a successful hip replacement, and in ninth grade I was voted "friendliest girl."
My daughters are what I am most proud of. All three are in public service: public defender, environmentalist, public charter school teacher. Now divorced, I live with my pound hound in D.C. In addition to writing, I lead a nonfiction workshop for the homeless.
What I know now that I did not know when I was 20:
Put off until tomorrow whatever I don't have to do today. Otherwise, my to-do list will consume my life.
The here and now is overrated. The prolonged pleasure of anticipation and memory often trump the event itself.
You can never be too cautious. If I use two leashes to walk my dog, he is only half as likely to get loose.
Divorce does not have to harm children if both parents cooperate and foster the children's loving relationship with the other parent. This summer my ex and I took our ninth "family vacation" with our three daughters.
We crave what we eat. Healthful food tastes best and makes me feel better than I do after gorging on white bread and butter. Diet tip: eating a piece of dark chocolate and a handful of almonds with a glass of skim milk in the late afternoon helps limit the amount I want to heap on my dinner plate.
Some of my Favorite Posts:
I am fascinated by relationships, which led me to write Parenting Parents as They Age, Are You Having Less Sex Than You Think You Should? and Joyce Maynard's Failed Adoption as well as my Death of a Husband Series.
17 Organizing Tips For My Organizing Challenge As one who is organizationally-challenge, I wanted to challenge myself to get things in order. This three-part series documents my process and success.
*27 Awesome Ways To Dye, Decorate And Display Easter Eggs and Top 10 Halloween Costumes: Do It Yourself! These two posts went viral and, even in summer, attract readers (hint: decorate eggs with autumn colors for September through November).
I love writing about food and my healthy recipes are generally easy, with few ingredients, none of them weird. The recipes range from award-winning chili to Bobby Flay's fried green tomatoes to chocolate-chip oat-bran banana cake.
For links to all of my posts, see my bio.
Visit me on my blog, Confessions of a Worrywart, and sign up for updates about my forthcoming book, Confessions of a Worrywart: A Memoir of Lovers, Mothers, Daughters, and Others.
Now, I would love to hear about you!