Even though it’s hard to resist caring about the stats

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Wow. I finally did it. I’ve read so many articles here on Medium about “how to succeed here on Medium” and it’s finally my turn to write about how I earned more than a few dollars in one month. I’d love to say that I’ve cracked the code, discovered a way to reach and engage more readers, but I honestly do not know why one of my pieces was viewed over 27,000 times and paid out close to $900 in one month.

I started writing on Medium in June after leaving my full-time job to try to make a go…

A tough lesson learned

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I’ve worked my fair share of customer service jobs. A Burger King cashier when I was 16. A clerk at the local flower shop during college. A furniture store salesperson and a leasing agent for a large real estate development company. Those jobs couldn’t have been more different, but the same overarching principle guided each and every one of them:

“The customer is always right.”

And I couldn’t be happier — most days

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He said I’ve been watching you, Dad, ain’t that cool

I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you

It’s not just because I love Rodney Atkins, which I do, but more so because it’s about the impact our everyday actions as parents can have on our children. I love to break into the lyrics when my husband is “behaving badly” in front of our kids, a not-so-subtle reminder that he’s the parent and should act like one. Like the time he and our son set off on a college visit and decided to skip the official itinerary for a self-guided…

I just got vaccinated and here’s how it went.

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I did it. Got my first shot. One of the perks of being over 50 and living in Ohio.

So now I’m halfway there. Maybe even 80% depending on where you get your data. If I were living in another country, that might be enough to call it a day after the first vaccine. But the FDA recommends a two-dose strategy for Moderna, so that’s what I’ll get. I’ve marked my next appointment on the calendar four weeks from now.

Compared to registering for an appointment online through one of the not-so-user-friendly scheduling portals, the day-of process was pretty seamless…

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Parenting is hard. Too bad I wasn’t able to push out an instruction manual alongside any of my nine-pound babies. That may have helped. But we’re all just making things up as we go along, trying our best to provide a safe and solid foundation for our children without screwing them up in the process.

We also learn a lot from each other—what to do and what NOT to do. Many of my friends had kids before I did, so I had the benefit of watching them first before trying my hand at the most difficult job I’ve ever had…

Their answers might surprise you.

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This is my daughter. Our middle child. She was born on my 32nd birthday, and people tell me she looks just like me. But that’s where the similarities end.

Recently, our differences couldn’t have been more obvious than last month when I wrote a piece for Medium about having her home for an extended stay during COVID. I talked about how nice it was to get some “bonus time” with her — something that never would have occurred had it not been for the global pandemic. But when she read it, she rolled her eyes…

Even when my kids were behaving.

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When my kids were little, I’d proudly parade them through Target, the grocery store and the mall, always conscious of how others would stare at us. I remember other women leaning over to get a closer look at one of my adorable offspring, squealing in delight about how cute they were.

Sometimes people could get a little too close for comfort, and I drew the line at touching. …

Why the most qualified person to assess your personal health is you

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Navigating the health care system can be overwhelming. We want to believe doctors can make the best recommendations when we’re in need of medical attention. They’re obviously smart. They went to school for a long time before earning those medical degrees hanging on the wall. And their white coats give them an air of credibility, suggesting that they’re held to the highest standards of care.

Not everyone feels that way. I know plenty of people who are skeptical of the medical profession, some of whom only seek out a doctor’s care in an emergency. That’s their prerogative. But, I’ve always…

Thanks to technology and how it has changed our daily lives

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There’s no doubt advances in technology have changed our lives—dramatically. Innovation has come at us fast, resulting in many modern-day conveniences. But not without growing pains along the way.

For better or for worse, here are a few examples of the most significant changes I’ve seen during the short span between my kids’ childhoods and my own:

Nothing has changed more rapidly during my lifetime than the telephone.

Rotary phones, pay phones, collect calls, and long-distance service are still somewhat familiar but becoming more extinct by the day.

A little tip about your brain’s built-in filter system

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I was lying on my yoga mat, half-listening to the instructor ramble on about setting an intention for the class, a declaration of something positive I hoped to achieve over the upcoming hour or later that day. As usual, my mind wandered, which is exactly what’s NOT supposed to happen during yoga. You’re supposed to stay mentally focused, shut out the real world, and focus on your breath. Instead, I was silently ticking off my shopping list and wondering whether Target would be crowded by the time I got there.

But then the instructor said something that grabbed my attention.

Susan Poole

Mother, lawyer, nonprofit executive, breast cancer survivor, and aspiring author. Recently left her day-job to write about topics that she’s passionate about.

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