The Farmer's Lament, a Poem
Tolkien recognized the importance of lay poets and musicians. His characters sing and compose verse about the great deeds and events of their age. What about in our world? Here's one attempt, inspired by Tolkien's Durin's Song.
How to Build Self-Discipline: Why Awareness and Intrinsic Motivation Are Key
Self-discipline is the ability to do what needs to be done, to stay in control, to accomplish your goals. How do you build discipline? Here are strategies I use.
Designing Your Life: How To Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans
How you can use a designer mindset and iterative improvement to build your way forward to a coherent, satisfying life.
The Tragedy of Marital Strife: Why Marriages Fall Apart (And How To Stay Together)
Two of my friends' marriages fell apart. Why does this happen? And what can we do about it? Here's why I think marriages fail, and the strategies we use to keep ours strong.
Cooperation without Coercion: How to Motivate Children (5 Things to Try)
What do you do when your strong-willed child won't cooperate? Children love cooperating... but they also love showing their independence. Here are 5 things to try.
Life as a Practice: Pursuing Excellence in Daily Life
In a practice, you progress: you level up. If we treat daily life as a practice, what does it mean to level up? Hint: It involves effort, excellence, and virtue.
Why I Left Full-Time Academia and What I Do Instead
A PhD doesn't mean you're stuck with a traditional academic career. Flexibility, family, freedom: Here's how and why I decided to take a different path.
Why You Should Pursue Excellence, Not Success
Pursuing excellence will help you succeed—but pursuing success won't make you excellent. Here's why I follow this life philosophy, and why you should want to, too!
It's Just Fencing: On Approaching Life with Playfulness and Sincerity, Not Seriousness
My fencing coach used to tell me to train hard... but in the end, it's just fencing. It's the paradox of play: real and not real, serious and not serious. Here's how to apply that paradox to the rest of life.
The Best Reason to Have Children
It amazes me that strangers feel comfortable saying to parents 'You sure have your hands full!' 'Why so many kids?' 'Are you expecting another one?' Uh ... it's okay to want and love children!
Recovering Beauty in Modern Life
Beauty is vital to humans, but there's a breakdown of beauty in present culture—in architecture, art, music, more. Why? How can we recover and cultivate beauty?
Dialogue Takes Two: Why Sharing Ideas Matters
Friends have shut down conversations because they disagreed with me. But dialogue is important—for finding common ground, truth, understanding—and it's only possible if everyone in the conversation is willing to talk.
The Nebulosity of Categories and Where the Usefulness of Personal Labels Ends
My identity is multifaceted. Unlike Randy, whose primary label is 'trad Catholic', I don't hold one aspect of myself up as the core. Why not? Flexibility, and room for dialogue and change.
How We Live Debt-Free in a World of Chronic Debt
Debt is ingrained in the modern economy, but it’s not the best way to manage money or build wealth. We live debt-free, paid cash for a house, and can maintain our freedom on $20k/yr. How? Read on.
Intentionally Building Strong Community Ties
Before moving to Idaho, I'd never been part of a strong community. Now, my friends are people I can truly rely on—which is how it's supposed to be! Why is strong community so rare? And how can you build your own?
Adjusting to Life in North Idaho
How I began switching from being a full-time academic in Boston to some mishmash of stay-at-home-mom, scholar, gardener, and writer. Change is a process; here's part of the story.
Opting for Flexibility in Work
Self-employment enables me to achieve the work-life balance I want. Here's why I love the flexibility—and how you can get the same flexibility in your own life.
Discovering the Traditional Catholic Mass
How I discovered the traditional Latin Mass a few years ago, why that discovery changed everything for me, and what was wrong with the Novus Ordo Masses I'd attended.
A Blog About Education, Lifestyles, and Community
A brief history of how the Deliberate Owl came to be and why we're writing a blog about us, our lives, and how we're living out our values.