Newsletters

Struggling Whether to Finish or Quit?

By Jean Storlie / July 23, 2021 /

Last year, I wanted to resign from a volunteer role about six months before the end of my term. There were many, many rational reasons why it made sense to walk away from a toxic situation. But something inside me wouldn’t let me quit. Every time I’ve faced the dilemma about quitting versus finishing something,…

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Deciding “Who Gets the Gifts?”

By Jean Storlie / April 29, 2021 /

My work group gathered in a cozy room for a team-building retreat. The conference room was tucked away from the hubbub of the main workspaces and high-traffic corridors, adjacent to a comfortable lounge area. We’d worked together for a while and knew each other well. Also, we enjoyed our work and got along. Our plan…

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Watermelon Grudge and Loyalty during COVID

By Jean Storlie / May 20, 2020 /

My mom, Lois, was a 1950s housewife with three pre-school kids living in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Lois, a frugal shopper, spotted an ad in the local paper for 50¢ watermelons. Shazam, she was on a mission! When my dad got home for lunch, she rushed out with their only car to take advantage of this…

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Dad, How Will the Animals Read?

By Jean Storlie / March 10, 2020 /

My morning routine was interrupted when my six-year-old daughter, Eleanor, screamed, “No!” I was in the midst of getting myself ready for work and cajoling our son to do the same. Her outburst drew me to the upstairs landing, where I looked down on a conversation she was having with my husband, Jay. He was preparing…

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Wrong Turn Skiing with Susan

By Jean Storlie / February 11, 2020 /

On a brilliant winter day when my youngest child was about three months old, I made plans to go cross-country skiing with my friend, Susan. After months of being tied down nursing and caring for an infant, this was a major outing and big adventure for me. Susan picked me up, and I bid goodbye…

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Zipping into a New Career Lane

By Jean Storlie / November 12, 2019 /

Sewing machines buzzed around me, as I quickly loaded another zipper and started to sew. My co-worker at the next station was sewing like a whirling dervish. Her hands flew up and down, back and forth. She installed zippers on sleeping bags at a rate of 90-100/hour. The handlers, who kept supplies stocked and removed…

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Holding My Breath … To Release My First Album

By Jean Storlie / October 7, 2019 /

The late-November afternoon sun cast a gloomy mood on Jackson’s day. The Sunday Scaries haunted him. His dad and he were listening to classic rock on the radio on their way to the grocery store. At 12 years old, he had been taking guitar lessons for three years. His second guitar teacher, Toby, had recently…

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The Dietitian Who Sounded Like Charlie Brown’s Teacher

By Jean Storlie / August 6, 2019 /

In the middle of the night, my husband, Jay, was rushed to the ER by ambulance with a kidney stone emergency. I couldn’t go with him because at the time our kids were too young to leave them home alone. I found him the next morning in a shared room with the curtain drawn. His…

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Broccoli Girl Finds Her Tribe

By Jean Storlie / July 8, 2019 /

In a quiet, remote lab in the basement of a building at the University of Minnesota, Mimi was making gluten balls—and going crazy. She had been doing the same mind-numbing task for months. Her mood darkened with the shrinking daylight hours as winter loomed. A graduate student in food science, she was lucky to have a job and…

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Weathering a Tornado with Target’s Customer Service

By Jean Storlie / June 5, 2019 /

We were heading toward the check-out line when an announcement came over the PA: “Attention Target Shoppers! Due to a tornado in the area, all customers must remain in the store. Please make your way to the back of the store and stay away from windows.” The announcement was unwelcome news at 7:30 pm. I’d…

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