Status update: December 18

There's some stuff we all need to remember today:

1. You can make it. This is a brutal time of year, with a grinding set of conflicting expectations. I don't know whether it's better to plant your feet and stand up no matter what comes at you, or take a breath and let your head go under and trust that you'll float to the top in a minute, or hunker down low and crawl under the smoke level. You can assess your own situation and decide what you need to do to make it through the next two weeks.

2. Wor…

December 31: Countdown

New Year’s Eve is a total Hallmark holiday. I like to call it prom for adults, because there’s so much hype about having a perfect evening and making it all MEANINGFUL and launching yourself into a fantastic new year, the best year ever.

That’s all bullshit. New Year’s Eve is a day just like any other day, and it’s a night just like any other night. On any given night, someone’s really happy and someone’s really sad. Someone’s vowing to make a new start. Someone’s going on a diet. Someone’s going…

December 30: The chase

I feel like I’ve been inundated by “Best of the Year” lists today. Everything ranked and quantified, and sorted out into “best,” “good enough,” “not good enough.”

And it’s really easy to feel that panic about not being good enough.

The stuff you didn’t finish. The resolutions you made a year ago and didn’t complete. The things other people did that you couldn’t force yourself to do. The expectations you had that didn’t come true last year and probably won’t come true this year and maybe won’t come…

Consider the odds

The one thing I know for absolute sure, especially at this time of year, is that sometimes the best choice is walking away.

If you've been trying and trying and putting everything you can into it, and it still isn't what you need, that's your sign. End it, and you'll be free for something better.

We're so conditioned to think that we can't quit or we've failed. But that denies the fact that some situations aren't completely under our control. And there's huge value in knowing when to fold 'em and …

What divorced moms need for Christmas (and the rest of the year)

If you're looking for gift ideas for divorced moms, this post is going to be a disappointment, because nothing in it is something you can buy. And some of these things are things a lot of moms need. But the combination of all five -- and during the holidays especially -- seems to be characteristic of divorced moms.

Time. Some of us would like some time for ourselves, without the kids, if we have primary custody of the kids and spend most of our waking, non-working hours with them. Some of us woul…

It's a trap!

I wrote about this in my email to you a couple of weeks ago, but I feel like I need reminding, so that makes me think you could use reminding, too: This time of year is a trap for kids. And adults. All of us.

It's a big set-up. Adults are supposed to provide the perfect shiny happy holiday (whether it's religious Christmas or Hanukkah or cultural Christmas or some mix) OR hold the line against someone else's holiday encroaching on your family. But at the same time the larger world is smashing us…