Newspaper Columns from The Citizen

May 2022

Faithful readers and longtime friends--I started writing this column in 1994, I think. My son had not yet been born and my middle child was a toddler. For more than 25 years I've shared my thoughts on parenting, children, development, and culture. I've written about history, travel, my grandmother, my father, and other experiences that I hope gave you something to think about in your own existence.

I've gotten feedback from you in the form of posts and emails and even an occasional letter in the mail. Most of the time you have been encouraging, but even when you disagreed, it was fun sharing some back-and-forth as we worked through life's issues.

I've been a writer since I was old enough to hold a crayon and I'm so grateful that The Citizen has allowed me to publish my thoughts over these many years. My editors have always been good to me and even though I've done most of my work through email and I rarely see them, I still consider them friends.

But the time has come to say goodbye. I have so much more I could write, but retirement approaches for me and I am working to make my world a little smaller.

My very first article was entitled Why Bother and the main character was my oldest daughter, only six at the time. I've shared with you challenges with my children, things they taught me, and how I've tried to grow into a better person with each passing month. And in just the past year I've shared stories of my middle daughter (The Raven) and my son just last month (To Cover a Hurt).

Now my children are adults, two of them are marrying this year, and I'm hopeful for grandchildren sometime in the coming years. I'm ready for the transition of a new son and daughter into the family.

Several of you have consistently responded to me when my articles come out. Almost always you encouraged me and thanked me for my words. My gratitude is deep and sincere. I don't write for accolades, but the encouragement that you regularly provided says so much about you. You are kind and thoughtful people. You spent minutes saying something to me for no other reason than you wanted to tell me that my words mattered.

I will still be writing my column for Counseling Today and as has been true for most of my life, I'll always have a book in progress. But the minutes of the day go faster now and I am wise enough to know when it is time to change gears. That realization has come many times over the years.

I knew when it was time to stop teaching at Georgia State University and I knew when my days at the FBI Academy were no longer as much fun as they had once been. And the same could be said about my work with the Cold Case Squad in Atlanta. When activities take more energy than they give, it is time to move on.

I was a soccer referee for many years and for my last several years, I was one of the oldest referees in the league. My last year as a referee I was at the very top of the game. I was respected by my fellow referees and by the various leagues, assigners, and coaches. I did international and pro games. But I was getting older and I knew I couldn't go at that pace forever.

And, as is true now, I knew it was time to close that chapter of my life. I haven't regretted it even though there are things that I miss about Georgia State, the FBI Academy, the Cold Case Squad in Atlanta, and being a referee.

But going out on top--when people might say, "You still have good years in you for this"--is much better for me than being the person that others whisper about saying, "He should have moved on a long time ago."

So please accept my gratitude for these many years. I may still post to my email list an occasional thought, but as for my work with The Citizen, I'm closing that book. I wish you well and thank you so much for this incredible journey that we have shared together. Blessings always.







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