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

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Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash

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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Photo by Bruna Araujo on Unsplash

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:

The game of telephone

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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Photo by Bret Kavanaugh on Unsplash

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.


There’s always a lesson to be learned

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Photo by the blowup on Unsplash

Most writers will tell you that rejection is part of the process. We expect to hear “thanks, but no thanks,” more often than not. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re submitting a poem, an essay, a short story or a full-length novel, writers usually have to kiss a lot of frogs before getting that first taste of publication.

That’s not easy to take. You pour your heart and soul into a written piece, agonizing over things like plot points, character development and word choice for endless hours. When you finally feel as if your work is ready to share, then…


And why saying goodbye this time was harder than ever.

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Photo by Igor Oliyarnik on Unsplash

And there she goes — again!

I just watched our 22-year-old daughter drive away after spending six weeks with us. One of the silver linings of COVID-19. Saying goodbye to her today seemed more difficult than all the times prior combined. Maybe because her extended stay was unanticipated, a bonus of sorts. But it’s also been an exercise in ambivalence, like my heart has been riding a teeter-totter since November.

She arrived in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday and remote work allowed her to stay through the New Year. When she started the job last spring, I never envisioned getting…


The birthplace of Rock and Roll—and me!

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The Cleveland Skyline — Photo by Paul R. Heidorf (my dad)

I was so excited when I received a note inviting me to write for Medium’s publication ‘Show Your City’. But then I started contemplating exactly what to highlight. If I wanted to keep my piece inside a reasonable word count, I couldn’t include half the things I could boast about my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. Narrowing it down would not be easy.

Visually, there’s nothing spectacular about the city itself. Yes, there’s some cool architecture, access to nice beaches and spacious public parks, and lots of neat residential areas in and around downtown. But again, nothing spectacular. …


How I plan on finding more joy in 2021 and you can too

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Photo by Bonnie Kittle on Unsplash

We’ve packed away the Christmas decorations and said goodbye to 2020. It’s not uncommon to experience a feeling of letdown post-holidays, even after a year when there was less hustle and bustle than usual. So, you may be asking yourself — now what?

If you live in a part of the world that’s cold and snowy during the winter like I do, you could be staring at the calendar and anticipating the long months ahead with a sense of dread. Grey skies and cold temperatures keep many of us cooped up inside our homes throughout January and February (and often…


But I won’t give up hope for a better tomorrow

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

This is not the piece I had intended to publish this week. I’ve been distracted by current events and the significance of anything else pales in comparison to what happened in our nation’s capital today.

January 6, 2021. The day on which Congress was charged to count the electoral votes from the November election. Objections were anticipated. No one thought it would be easy. But when I got home from work today and turned on the news, I felt as if I’d fallen into an episode of the Twilight Zone.

Where am I?

Who are those people storming the United…


The push and pull of letting go is making my insides hurt

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Photo by Peter Forster on Unsplash

He came home the day before Thanksgiving, and I couldn’t have been happier. He’d been away since August — the longest I’d gone without seeing him since he’d been born. At least remote learning hadn’t ruined his freshman experience. Based on how little he texted or called home, I was confident that he was adjusting well—studying hard, making new friends, and having fun.

As soon as the school announced students would be returning home in November through mid-January, I got busy preparing for my son’s extended stay. Cleaned his room from top to bottom. Filled the pantry with all his…


But this writer is up for the challenge in 2021

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Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

It’s that time of year again. New Year’s Day is right around the corner and many of us are thinking about setting goals as we move into 2021. After the year we’ve just had, saying goodbye to 2020 should be easy and our expectations for the future may look a lot different than they have in the past. Thankfully, we can set the bar low as it’s hard to imagine next year being much worse.

We have a New Year’s Day tradition in our house. A glass jar marked “Blessings” sits on my kitchen counter alongside a small notepad and…

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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