We’re almost 3 weeks into 2021… how are your New Year’s resolutions going?

Like, really?

I’m not a fan of creating lists of things to tackle starting January 1st, but I AM a fan of seasons changing. Opening a new annual planner is like a season changing and calls for some introspection:

Are things in my life going the way I want? Why not? What can I do to change that?

Along with those questions, here are a few others I would suggest you ask yourself before making (or continuing to try to enforce) any well-intentioned New Year’s resolution:

1…


Juicing vegetables every day

There aren’t many things I can do to gross out our 8- and 10-year old boys. But sipping on my fresh-pressed morning veggie juice certainly is one of them. Especially since it usually includes dramatic things like radishes and chard. Some mornings it can be a sour swallow even for me.

“I bet you don’t even like it, do you, Mom? You’re only doing it because it’s healthy,” our 10-year old accused yesterday morning.

Guilty as charged.

Isn’t that they way adulting goes though? We do healthy things because they are good for us even when they taste awful?

That…


Happy New Year! 2021

It’s almost here. That shiny New Year many of us have been waiting for to say “good riddance” to 2020, the year that has been immortalized by death, destruction, and conservation of toilet paper.

And yet, we are also realizing 12:00AM on January 1, 2021 is not going to be some magical reset button. It’s not a Y2K in reverse, making everything better with a switch of the calendar. Many of us lost loved ones and jobs this year. 2021 isn’t going to make that any easier. In fact, this year may actually be worse for a lot of people…


Enneagram 9

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

My mom would say that to my siblings and I often enough, I probably thought it was a Bible verse. Finding out “God helps those who help themselves” is NOT a Bible verse was actually a little shocking later in life.

I’m an Enneagram 9. I have spent a large part of my life avoiding confrontation and passively (sometimes passive-aggressively) keeping smooth peace on all sides of my little boat. I used to be a peacekeeper. Most would agree, those types of peace negotiations tend only to…


Commit30 for Good Notes

I like to think I am a very intentional person. I am a busy mom and MD, so I have spent years learning how to plan my time carefully so that I can Get All The Things Done.

But time seems to go by at ever-increasing speeds. Sometimes I feel too focused on the next big thing (what about kids Christmas lists? and the school book order? and that meeting at work?) to sit down and enjoy this moment.

How do I plan and yet remain present for my family and myself?

1) Put your phone away.
We are all…


Eliminate common toxins from your home.

“Sure. You can turn me into a hippie just like you,” my husband said last week.

This is just one of a thousand ways he says “I love you” every day. He had never eaten broccoli before meeting me (I smothered it in cheese the first time I served it) and my future father-in-law warned him I was a “tree hugging hippie” just because I lived in British Columbia.

“Not true!” I recall protesting at the time while vaguely remembering writing letters on behalf of animal rights when I was a pre-teen in small town Saskatchewan. Trees probably enjoyed hugs…


NaNoWriMo

Especially if those words are rushed crap?

NaNoWriMo would say, “Yes.” Apparently crap words are better than no words. And LOTS of words are better than just a few.

This is my first year participating in the month-long writing challenge and I’m skeptical before it even begins. I’ve picked a light, fun, adventurous, and weird fiction novel project to work on. It is something that will keep me on my toes and keep my characters talking to me at all hours of the night. …


NaNoWriMo is just around the corner again. With so many ideas rattling around in your brain (and on Ulysses draft sheets), how do you narrow to a clear choice for 30 days? Do you pick your best idea? Your fave idea? Or the most palatable? The easiest? Most encouraging? Is it even valuable to rush through 50,000 words in 1 month?

I guess we’ll find out! You certainly could end up with 50,000 words that are complete crap at the end of it all… but is that any worse than a blank page and not writing at all?

I suppose…


History of Present Illness

I write other people’s stories every day at work. Sometimes a dozen or so of them within a shift. Sometimes more. The stories may span years or just the past few hours. Everyone arrives at the same place: our emergency room. Their story is the thing that gets them past the rolling computer that takes their insurance details and into a hospital bed.

Years, days, hours can be condensed into just a few short lines.

How can someone’s pain or tragedy or or new diagnosis or ultimate hospital bill that causes bankruptcy be filtered down into such a small paragraph?


“That’s the secret of how to enjoy writing and how to make yourself meet high standards,” said Mrs. Berman. “You don’t write for the whole world, and you don’t write for ten people, or two. You write for just one person.”

- Kurt Vonnegut: Bluebeard

Who are you writing for? Is the problem with social media and mainstream media and news articles and tech articles and how-to instructions that lack of focus? Is everything watered down too much to appeal to too many people at once? Thereby losing its initial spark in the first place?

If so, this may be…

Jennifer Brown, MD

Wife, mama, and MD starting a regenerative ag farm with her husband in northern California. Jennifer has a deep passion for family & food, media & memoirs.

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