The sober truth about being a non-drinker

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“No thank-you. I don’t drink alcohol.”

She looks alarmed and glances at other people. I imagine her thinking “Why did we invite her to the party?”

She regroups: “Oh cool — are you sober?”

“No, I just don’t drink.”

Confusion spreads across her face.

There is no other way to put it, unless you socialize exclusively with non-drinkers, you are stigmatized if you don’t imbibe in the occasional glass of wine or beer or scotch.

If you don’t drink, people assume there must be a reason and most often those reasons are 1)…

Police stops, football trophies, trespassing, travel

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I live in Minneapolis and when George Floyd was murdered this past summer by a Minneapolis police officer and protesters marched by my home and white suburbanites came into my city to trash it, I started to think more about white privilege. Oh yes, as a liberal, I thought I was in tuned to white privilege. But I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t paid attention to what it really meant. People of color were certainly telling us — but I, for one, did not really listen.

White privilege means you don’t have to…

How your magical immune system can keep you safe.

Image Credit: NIAID-RML

If you are worried about getting the Coronavirus, you are not alone. It is hard to ignore the media coverage of it and the seemingly rapid spread, hospitalization, and fatality rates associated with this virus.

And sometimes, it feels like there is nothing we can do but wash our hands over and over. Even then, it can feel like an inevitability that we will get sick.

But, having a healthy immune system can help you. And even if you do get sick, a healthy immune system will minimize…

Spoiler Alert: Dog obedience training isn’t for the dog.

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We lost our beloved golden lab mix a few months ago. She was a constant and loyal companion. A very timid rescue, she rarely disobeyed or did anything wrong. In fact, we were excited the first time she got into the garbage (probably 4 years after we got her) and declared: “We have a real dog!”

While I said “I’ll never get another dog” because her lose was so hard, Loki came into our lives recently. While he is a great dog, he is not the loyal by-my-side dog that Brandi…

A perfect process for doing a friend-cleanse.

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We all want friends. Humans are naturally social animals. We want relationships with others because, evolutionarily speaking, we depend upon others to survive. Even intense introverts want friends. We count on friends for a variety of reasons. We also find comfort in knowing that we have a “history” with these people — some of whom we may have known for decades.

When I moved a few years ago, I didn’t have trouble making new friends, but in my anxious efforts to find new friends, I probably wasn’t particularly careful in my selection process…

What to do when you wish you could go back.

Courtesy of Annie Spratt

A few years ago, after a health crisis for my spouse, we decided to sell our midwest house and move to the desert Southwest to be in a dry and presumably healthier climate. We found a community we thought we liked and a realtor who could show us nice houses. We spent more money on a house than we had planned, but decided our happiness was worth it. We took the leap.

This is a decision I regret.

We didn’t just sell a house and move to a new city…

You don’t need a ton of friends . . . just a few people and a little small talk

Image Credit: Kristina Triplovic

Everyone knows the feeling. It’s sadness mixed in with a bit of fear covered in a blanket of empty. It can lead us to feel anxious or depressed or send us to our beds in the middle of the day. We might try to fill our emptiness with eating, drinking, promiscuous sex, gambling, compulsive shopping . . . the list goes on.

If you feel lonely, you are not alone. Nearly everyone has experienced feeling lonely at one time or another…

Surprisingly, worry can actually help us.

I come from a family of worriers. My mother was a worrier. My daughter is a worrier. Other relatives have confessed to being worriers. My cousin confessed to me that she can create worrisome situations in her head that are so vivid she wonders if she has a “syndrome”.

I worry that worrying might be genetic.

If I don’t have something to worry about, I create a worry. The headache must be a stroke. The people who made the offer on our house will probably back out at the last minute. I won’t have…

How to be cool and calm in the midst of difficult circumstances.


If you watched any of the impeachment proceedings, you may have noticed the aplomb with which Representative Adam Schiff conducted business. In spite of people behaving badly and many cringe-worthy moments that made us all feel embarrassed to be Americans, Schiff kept his cool. He didn’t snap back. He didn’t react. He was calm and collected.

If he got angry, he didn’t show it. When he was attacked, he didn’t get defensive. When others challenged his power, he kept his power in spite of the challenge.

Wow —…

Why establishing new routines is critical to healing

Things are not the same after you lose a dog.

Coming home is different. Your dog is no longer waiting at the door, wagging her or his tail, so, SO very happy to see you no matter what kind of mess you are or what you did that day.

Waking up is different. You aren’t greeted with a wet nose in your face or the telltale dance of “I gotta go now,” or more importantly “I gotta eat now!”

Meals at home are different (no drooling and begging). …

Ann Lowry (Ph.D)

Leadership and organizational development coach. Emotional wellness coach. Owner: .

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