Every other week, Paul Ollinger investigates how redefining success can help us lead better lives.
My dad died the other day. He left this world while napping in his favorite recliner surrounded by his children. He was 93.
Despite my love and commitment to my father, I have shed zero tears over his passing. I promise I’m not an unfeeling monster (I cried at least once when I took my daughter to see Wicked). …
This piece is part of How Google Drive Can Make Every Corner of Your Life Easier
If you’ve ever been in a product design meeting, you know that often, it’s impossible to predict all the ways a piece of technology will be used once it’s out in the world. Human experience is too variable.
I’d bet, for example, that Google’s product team didn’t have “grief management” as a use case on their whiteboard for Google Drive, but that’s exactly what I used it for.
I met Greg when I moved to Chicago for graduate school. We had an intense, whirlwind…
This story is part of Forge’s How to Write Anything series, where we give you tips, tricks, and principles for writing all the things we write in our daily lives online, from tweets to articles to dating profiles.
When someone famous dies, first come the tweets. “RIP” after “RIP.” Strings of broken heart emojis. Maybe a few “NOOOOOOO!”s. It’s a digital gasp, expressing pure emotion.
Then you start seeing more substantive messages. Anecdotes. Specific memories. Photos. Within hours, thoughtful Instagram eulogies are posted.
Today, January 7, makes 10 years since Baby Gavin passed. I’m sharing a story with a life-changing lesson.
A decision had to be made. The impossible decision. A nurse quietly entered the room and injected a dose of epinephrine into my son’s IV. I wouldn’t have noticed her except that when she left, she closed the glass door behind her and drew the outer curtain for our privacy.
We were alone. After days and days of incessant attention from multiple doctors and hospital staff, the room was completely quiet. …
The first item on any list, my mom always said, should be to make a list. That way, you can cross something off immediately.
When my mother died last year, she left her affairs well-organized — unsurprising, for someone with her talent for list-making. But after many months of declining health, her death came so suddenly that my sister and I never got to have that all-important conversation about her wishes for her memorial, her bequests, and what she might want done with her things.
Her things. That summer, after my mother’s death, it fell to my sister and me…
I driving my kids to school, trying my best to block out the intermittent screams from the backseat as they squabble over snacks, when a scene from my own funeral flashes into my mind.
“I loved my mom because she was so generous,” says my older son, who is somehow a well-dressed adult with his same freckled, five-year-old face, which is wet with tears. My other son nods in agreement from the pew, thinking back to all the times I bowed out of plans with friends or rearranged my work schedule so I could tuck him in at night.
Bill Gates is fascinating for many reasons: his wealth, his habits, his ideas.
The new Netflix documentary Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates covers them all. It follows his extraordinary journey, from globalizing office software to building one of the world’s most influential companies, becoming its richest man, and now, leading its largest foundation.
But the reason I’m fascinated by Gates has nothing to do with any of that. It’s not his success, or his way of thinking, or his approach to solving the world’s most critical problems with tech. …
Dear Joint Accounts,
My partner and I have been together for 20 years. We both have adult children from previous marriages. The problem is, he won’t add me to his will. His children are his beneficiaries, but they are doing fine financially.
We’ve talked about marriage before, but if he’s not committed enough to include me in his will, I don’t really think we should be tying the knot. I would like some kind of resolution to this, though. Am I wrong to expect him to add me to his will?
For many people, end-of-life planning can…
Five years ago, at age 31, I became the widowed mom of a toddler when my husband, Aaron, died of a brain tumor — immediately following my father’s death, and before that, a miscarriage.
I now think of 2014 as the year I became an expert at living through awful things, and I assumed at the time that all that devastation would make any future disappointments more manageable. If you’ve gone through something truly hard — if you’ve cremated your husband and spread his ashes in his favorite river, if you’ve had your six-year-old child stare wistfully out the window…
A publication from Medium on personal development.