Dena Taylor | OBSERVATION
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A win here, a loss there, and sometimes you lose your pants

They're not mine. But they're someone's. I spied them across the street from Green Spaces last October, where I was trying my hand at co-working. I wondered how they got there. Did they fall out of a backpack or just fall off? Was it consequence or deliberate? Loss or win? Whatever went down, the person wasn't attached. With or without pants, he or she had moved on. I hadn't lost my pants per se but I did lose momentum. was tackling a few challenges. The first was finding my place in Denver since moving the year before. Networking, dating, Meetups, XXXX I had been trying co-working at Green Space for a few weeks in September when ...

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Happy New Year! Why are you crying?

Woohoo! Woo. Hoo. Huh. Ugh. Am I the only one not feeling so rah-rah about the new year? At first I thought it was because I came back to Denver with a blechy cold and felt like a big whiny holiday-cookie-padded baby. Then, as I reacquainted myself with my To-Do list — all of those undone, unpaid things from 2013, and a book I have no idea how to get published glaring back at me — I felt a familiar pressure return. But what about the NEW 2014 goals? Networking with potential local clients, putting money in my HSA, volunteering, traveling, dating — will there be room left? Energy? Money? Time? Yeah, so, what about that? I felt stuck and already behind. I stuffed another one of Mom's Christmas cookies in my mouth before taking my own advice about finding some comfort vs. forcing joy, and calling an insightful, upbeat friend for an...

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Embracing comfort, not so worried about joy

I'm getting on a plane tomorrow. Going to spend time with some people I love, people who have known me since before I could talk (oh how they must cherish those days!). The weather could be frightful, the flight could be delayed. The people could be frightful, their stress unchecked at the gate. I could be one of those people, giving in to impatience. But I'm going to try not to. I'm not going to wear a sweater with bells and snowflakes on it or force a joyous demeanor, mind you, I'm just going to carve out some moments of comfort along the way — pockets of peace, if you will — to help make it easier to go with the flow. Whether it's getting to the airport early enough to enjoy a cup of coffee, rereading David Sedaris's Holidays on Ice during the flight or listening to random favs...

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Light at the end of the manure

A few mornings ago I let my 82-year-old mother drive us over snow and ice to her chemotherapy treatment. Let me explain. I had been in the middle of an experiment last September-October, seeing if I could work while traveling abroad -- God it seems indulgent now -- when my sister Skyped to tell me a routine colonoscopy revealed a tumor in Mom’s colon. Looked like a juvie -- early stage -- but we wouldn’t know until it was surgically removed. They were hopeful but cancer is cancer, isn't it? It always sucks, just in varying degrees. There was no concern about her recovering from surgery; she's in excellent health for her age. Still, she's in her 80's. Knowing that I could be of help to her and to my sister who had been on the front lines of assistance, that I had the ability to "work from anywhere" (should I have work,...

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Goodbye Paddy

How many dogs has my family had? Two that I can recall while we were still all living together: Sandy and Tuck. After my parents got divorced there was Puppers and then there was Paddy. Paddy was a rescue dog. She spent much of her time tied to a stake in her owner's backyard. He decided to get rid of her because, "she kept having puppies." My sister found her at PAWS and gave her to mom as a gift. She was the most gorgeous shepherd/husky (or malamute) mix. To me she looked like a wolf in a winter white coat. I liked to call her Paddy o'Toole and was always trying to get her to climb up on the bed with me, or the couch, or any of the other places she wasn't supposed to climb. I'd chase her around the house, play with her, pet her with all the love...

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Bye Bye Crickets

Walking along the sidewalk of the outlet mall in Could-be-anywhere, USA, I’m startled by the assembly of crickets dead and alive. Some having been smashed under the soles of new Sketchers or worse, Thom McAn boots (does anyone wear Thom McAn boots anymore?). Some attempting to hop, painfully so, barely making it to the wall. Some ghostly carcasses being ravaged by visiting ants (from as far as South America---the shopping here is that good.) And then all the rest, slowly dying, adhered to the uppermost limestone bricks that make up the walls of Nike’s factory store, the Gap’s factory store, Levi’s and the rest. (And does anyone really shop at Bass? If so, why?). They hang out up there just because of their attraction to the light. But we go to great lengths for light, too. We move to Florida, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico—mas cerveza por favor! We gladly damage our...

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