Paula Garrett

Soothing That 'Lost Voice'

Jan 30, 2018

I’m stuck. I go to my list of ideas for Perspective topics, and they all look tired. I feel empty of opinions that matter, devoid of any insight. It’s January; the holidays are over and my birthday just passed. 2018 is new and I feel old.

I know I have to snap out of it, so I eat what’s left of the coffee ice cream in the freezer and chase it with a diet Dr. Pepper. Where’s my discipline, my muse?

It’s too easy and boring to blame the weather or politics. I want to inspire you, and myself, so I’ll tell you about a concert I recently enjoyed.

What Is 'Boxing Day' Anyway?

Dec 26, 2017

The day after Christmas and, if you celebrated this holiday, you may be breathing a sigh of relief that the frenzy is finally over, or you may be feeling that post-present let down – especially since it’s a Tuesday, and you may have go back to work.

Today is also Boxing Day, largely a Commonwealth observance that I used to think was related to boxing up those presents that didn’t fit or were just downright hideous for a store return or charity donation.

What Should The Day After Mean?

Nov 21, 2017

A couple of Thanksgivings ago -- driving back to the western suburbs from Chicago -- I got caught in a major traffic backup on I-88. My first thought was how awful that someone had been in an accident on this day of family gatherings.

But as we inched along, finally getting close to our exit at Farnsworth, we realized we were trapped in the Black Friday mob lining up for the midnight opening of the outlet mall. Then I got really annoyed.

A Satisfying Trip Home

Oct 17, 2017

On a recent flight back to Chicago from Memphis, I had a beautiful sunset view of the Mississippi River, snaking along and defining the border between Tennessee and Arkansas.

Situated in the southwest corner of Tennessee, Memphis is more akin to the Mississippi Delta and the Arkansas farmland than to east Tennessee and Appalachia. And that geography, along with the river, is woven into the city’s DNA. Its rich musical heritage was cultivated from the confluence of rural and urban, black and white.

This Difficult Choice Should Be Available

Sep 12, 2017

Every day we face numerous decisions. Some seem automatic like getting out of bed, turning on the radio, or checking our phones.

Then there are those big life decisions: choosing a partner or not, children or not, career paths. But when it comes to end-of-life decisions, many of us avoid drawing up a will, documenting burial or cremation preference, determining which (if any) life-support measures should be performed.