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There’s a story that’s been circulating for thousands of years that’s worth considering as you react to whatever news you get from whatever colleges this evening.

That is the question I put to Anna Quindlen and Anna Sale on this week’s podcast. We ended up in conversation about money, mindshare and control in the context of marriage. Anna Sale was particularly forthcoming about how they run the numbers in her house which led to her husband saying that he never worried she would cheat on him but he did wonder if she had secret bank accounts. I myself struggle in just this same way.

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I got going down a rabbit hole recently — the original search was grudges, referring to a little problem I have with a certain someone (who we can call C.S.). I’m not proud of this trying relationship but if you and I were one-on-one with cocktails in hand, I could convince you that I was right, I have always been right and I will always be right. But that’s one of the tricks of grudge holding: one can always find someone to serve up some idiot compassion, that well meaning automatic taking-of-sides that friends do for friends. It’s a way…

I did it again. I did the thing that people do, that I do, that I tell my kids not to do. I oversimplified. I said something that suggested what has been true for me and my parents must also be true for others, and by others, I mean all others.

I have been reflecting on identity (the question seems to come up one way or another every day, whether it’s Meghan Markle or David Brooks). I find myself going back to a conversation among a small group of new friends that has stuck with me over the years.

Liz Phair

There’s a Liz Phair song I’ve loved since, well way back before I became a mother, when I went to concerts on weeknights, pressed into crowds, often watching a tiny woman play brainy, clever, sexy songs. My favorite is called Perfect World. For me, it’s always been about a specific ambition I suspect lurks within all of us to be special, and enough. The refrain repeats the admission: I want to be cool, tall, vulnerable and luscious. I would have it all if I only had that much.

The biggest thing I’ve learned is about how to learn big things

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We were hiking The Dipsea, a famous eight-mile trail in California’s Marin County that starts with nearly 700 steps. My 17-year-old, a casual athlete who might amuse herself with a swim, a run, and a speed bag session all in the same long pandemic day, was forever just up around the next corner. Finally, the lunch break I’d been waiting for was upon us and we sat down side by side looking at the Pacific Ocean. After a few deep breaths, Claire passed me my egg sandwich and said, “So I was thinking on the trail about what I need…

The six things she says you can do right now to support women and women’s rights worldwide

Let me start by saying that talking one-on-one to Melinda Gates for a good hour about her takeaways after 2+ decades of research, travel, observation, collaboration, maddening failures and massive successes was what my dad would call a Lifetime High. She is in this work deep. Changing the world is her whole life. And she is determined to do it smart.

I have been painting like crazy since the lead blanket of the pandemic made the days dark and the living heavy. Pools, tennis courts, bathtubs. Cake, beach chairs, kayakers. I set up a table on sawhorses in the garage and put on some Nathaniel Rateliff and sometimes crack into a hard kombucha. Within minutes, my hands are covered in color — which means I cannot touch my phone or laptop.

A sweet little old lady I know and love fell last week — a corner of a rug had rolled up and made the perfect trip wire. She broke 4 ribs, her shoulder blade and a vertebrae. Now in rehab, we caught up this morning and she said a thing that made me smile and shake my head at the same time. I asked her how the food is at the place and she said, “Not so good but that’s not all bad, maybe I’ll lose some weight.” It was jokey and maybe a touch true too.

kelly corrigan

New York Times bestselling author, host of new podcast: Kelly Corrigan Wonders and PBS show: Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan

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