Because One of Us Has To Be, and I Know It’s Not Me.

Adi Goldstein from Unsplash

It sucks being wrong. There’s not a person alive who enjoys it, I’d wager. No matter how enlightened we may strive to be, we all prefer the satisfying feeling of being correct while others are in error. It’s a harmful tendency, this desire to be right, and it hurts more than just the stubborn individuals who embrace this mindset. Lately, I see it directed at marginalized and at-risk communities, usually perpetrated by the folks who are already sitting pretty comfortably in control. Conservative legislators in Arkansas, for…

The Derek Chauvin trial and the portrayal of George Floyd

Photo: Mercedes Mehling/Unsplash

Listening to a New York Times podcast covering the Derek Chauvin trial this week, I heard excerpts of the voir dire, that part of jury selection where prospective jurors are questioned about their reading habits, political beliefs, and various other convictions and opinions, so the attorneys on both sides can winnow the jury pool down to just those bland individuals who do not hold any polarizing beliefs or opinions. That they will admit to, anyway.

In the voir dire for Chauvin’s trial, the prosecutor questioned a man about whether he is a football fan. The New York Times podcast played…

My struggles with meditation

Alpay Tonga from Unsplash

I’ve tried for years to cultivate a daily meditation practice, and in the last six months or so I’ve been faithful to it. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that much of what I’ve been drawn to in my life are things that aren’t to be mastered, but rather, are practiced. The law, writing, yoga, parenting. These things aren’t master-able. There’s no yoga Olympics, no ranking belts or medals. You don’t nail parenting, ever. You get up each day and give it a fresh go. The law is always open to interpretation, and there’s always fresh case law, changes to…

From Cradle to Grave with Scout

A boy and his dog, day one

We got Scout when he was twelve weeks old, a bit late in the puppy game — they say eight weeks is the perfect age at which to get a puppy: old enough to be independent from its mother, young enough to bond closely to its new human family. Scout was twelve weeks when we got him and had lived his whole life with his parents and siblings. He spent one night at our house before separation anxiety caused him severe gastrointestinal distress. …

A Covid Parable

Photo courtesy of Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

A favorite holiday book from my childhood was a tall, thin, battered hardbound volume entitled The Tall Book of Christmas, which featured whimsical drawings and Christmas-themed stories you wouldn’t read anywhere else, like the one about the mean giant who loved Limburger cheese and ruined Christmas by stealing everyone’s stockings until a young boy taught him how to be kind, or the one about the grandmother who needed extra money because her cupboards were bare, and so knitted edible mittens for sale, to the delight of every child who received a pair. The stories had a magical…

Most of what we do in life is habit — so building good habits is key.

Melissa Askew on Unsplash

If I could go back in time and give Past Me some tips, there are only a few things I’d say. Present Me knows only too well that most things have got to be learned by experience — most advice goes in one ear and out the other until and unless we are ready to receive it. Still, I believe I might have been more receptive to the future version of myself, back in the day, than I was to, say, my grandmother or…

What do we want to keep when we lose someone we love?

When I picked up my father’s ashes from the funeral home four days after his death, what I got for the $1750 fee was: a few pounds of ashes and pulverized bones inside a rectangular plastic box about as big as a loaf of bread, ten death certificates proclaiming that my father had been 77 when he died of cancer of the throat, and a cloth bag just slightly larger than the box containing the cremains. The bag fit snugly around the box and had the official feel of an item made for a specific purpose. Somehow it was less…

This Future-Me-Goals photo courtesy of Ravi Patel on Unsplash

I’m newly 48 years old, operating a stock model female body. Other than a dental crown and gum surgery, I haven’t had any modifications to my face or body which are not the result of aging. Stretch marks from three pregnancies, I guess I should disclose, but those I got for free and only recently do women go around flaunting them (a trend I’m thrilled about, it probably goes without saying).

I’m committed to seeing this life through without Botox, cosmetic surgery, or the “lift” of anything, which maybe is not something I need to publicly declare, but it seems…

Ask your mother and grandmother

photo credit: Maria Oswalt on Unsplash

Now that President Trump has nominated Judge Amy Coney Barrett to take Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court, and Republicans having signaled they intend to rush her confirmation before the election, we face the inevitability of a serious legal fight to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that has provided women with access to legal abortion since 1973.

I’m 47, the mother of three biological children and one adopted child. I’ve never had an abortion, but I absolutely would have if I’d found myself with an unwanted pregnancy. I would not have felt any moral qualms…

We had bees in our backyard last year, a whole hive of them, swarming around near the pool in the middle of summer. In the desert heat, swimming is the one thing children can consistently do outside, and since I had a houseful of them (children, not bees), the sudden appearance of a large number of bees was stressful, expensive, even slightly dangerous for the bee-sensitive among us, of which my youngest son is one. …

Nicole Meade Jensen

writer, mother, desert-dwelling urban professional with a bohemian heart and a rebellious streak. I travel the path with pluck, moxie, and a great big smile.

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