ANECDOTE | LIFE LESSONS

When you focus on a single goal, it may mean sacrificing everything else.

Large dog is looking off-camera on a rural property with rolling green hills behind him.
Large dog is looking off-camera on a rural property with rolling green hills behind him.
Silas patrols our property for invaders. Photo by Author.

After spending more than four hours under the deck yesterday, my almost 13-year-old dog, Silas, is finally acting his age and moving like an old dog this morning. He gingerly stepped out of his dog bed and slowly walked outside to go relieve himself. Then Silas flopped onto the ground by the door, waiting to be let back in. Normally, he goes on patrol around the yard.

The ultimate sign of his physical and mental exhaustion is that Silas did not react when he saw my husband petting, Duke, our much younger Labrador. Normally, owning two big dogs means we…


Are there drugs, guns, alcohol, or other temptations there?

Clear liquor was always preferred as you could replace what you drank with water before the parents got home. Photo by Andreas M on Unsplash

I sometimes wish kids came with a parenting manual. New challenges arise at each stage of parenting. I’m now at the stage where I have a teen and a tween. Instead of helping them learn to read or tie their shoelaces, we’re focused on social and emotional development. We’ve had multiple conversations about sex, puberty, menstruation, and drugs. But have I prepared my kids sufficiently to resist peer pressure? I hope so, but they haven’t been really tested yet.

I recently wrote an essay about gun ownership and got an interesting question in the comment section. Roz Warren pointed out…


I still despise the NRA and believe in aggressive gun safety laws.

Asian woman holding an assault rifle aimed at a target off-camera
Asian woman holding an assault rifle aimed at a target off-camera
I have only used a shotgun and handgun, never an assault rifle. I’m not even sure what kind of weapon this woman is holding. Photo by Zhang H on Unsplash

I grew up in the suburbs of California, surrounded by fellow progressives and liberals who also champion civil rights, access to justice, and the role of the government in providing a social safety net.

I’m the mom who hosted a lot of playdates at my house because I was worried other parents had guns in their houses. I’m probably the last person you think would own guns. Yet I left the suburbs and now live in the country.

When we moved here, I reluctantly agreed to purchase a shotgun and a handgun for self-defense. I resisted the idea when my…


Let’s use our privilege to speak out against injustice and transphobia

I’m always ready for the fight. Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

“Don’t be such a tattletale, Anna. If he hit you, just hit him back!”

The teacher looked at me with annoyance when I told her that a boy had hit me on the playground. I was frustrated when she refused to intervene but then shocked that she told me to just hit him back. I had expected she would tell the boy to stop hitting other kids.

I’m sure this wouldn’t necessarily happen today, nearly 40 years later. But when it happened back in the late 70s/early 80s, it left a lasting impression on me. It was the first time…


Music transports us and brings memories to life.

Photo by Aline Viana Prado from Pexels

Van Morrison wrote and sang one of my favorite songs, Brown Eyed Girl, and whenever I hear it, I instantly think back to a specific moment of my senior year of high school. My friends and I had cut class and blasted the song on our way to the beach. The cheerful melody and lyrics about young love make me nostalgic for the carefree days and innocence of youth.

I was in high school in the early 90s. We listened to “Top 40” music and I would often watch MTV after school and listen to Casey Kasem on the weekends…


I’m grateful even if it left me unprepared for racism

Photo: Getty Images

When I hear about BIPOC Americans who grew up surrounded by white families, I imagine how difficult life must have been for them. There’s no way to blend into the background when you’re the only one who looks different.

I had a far different experience growing up in Northern California. As a child, I was never the only Asian American student at my public schools, let alone the only one in my class. I always had at least two other Asian Americans in every class and sometimes far more. There is safety in numbers. …


We look forward to our familiar favorites and trying new finds

We visit Maui annually and adore this special place. Photo by Maui Creative Photography

When I step off the plane at Kahului Airport onto the island of Maui, I feel like I’ve returned home. That’s a bold statement to make, considering I’ve only been to Maui as a visitor and never lived there for more than a week. But after eight trips there, it truly does feel like a place my heart calls home.

Once my daughters were 4 and 7, we took them on their first airplane trip: a flight to Maui. We’ve since returned each year (and one lucky year we went twice!). …


I am guilty of steering my kids away from the creative arts.

Photo by Rebecca Orlov | Epic Playdate on Unsplash

Little kids often dream of being singers, dancers, or artists. Yet how many of those dreams are crushed by well-intentioned parents who warn their kids about the low odds of “making it” with their artistic talent?

I confess that I am one of those parents. I read Scott Woodsessay, “Please Stop Telling Your Kids to Have a Plan B” and winced. I realized I am the target of his advice because I’m holding my children back by advising them to pick pragmatic careers where they won’t face rejection based on superficial reasons like their race, gender, or physical appearance.


Why is there so much shame when it comes to our periods?

Photo by Annika Gordon on Unsplash

When I was in 7th grade, I was eager to improve my basketball skills so my mom signed me up for a co-ed basketball camp that summer. Boys and girls would run drills, play scrimmages, and work on our dribbling and shooting side-by-side.

I was proud that I could hang with the boys and was better than some of the girls. I loved that they didn’t split us up by gender — until I didn’t.

One day, we had to run a drill that involved everyone lining up at the baseline. Then, one at a time, we would roll a…

Anna

8X Top Writer. Proud grad of CA public schools. Committed to justice & leadership development. Wife & mom of 2 girls & 2 big dogs. Love to eat almost everything

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