Loneliness is a complex problem of epidemic proportions, affecting millions from all walks of life.
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Side trips off the straight and narrow
I have encountered a number of terrifying dogs while walking in my new neighborhood. As I stand immobilized with fear, their owners often seem oblivious.
I lost my temper with a neighbor. I restored good relations with a face-to-face apology—and also biscotti.
I graduated from high school decades ago. Why then does so much about the heroine of the film "Lady Bird"—a high school senior at war with her mother—seem so familiar to me?
Rediscovering a family heirloom made me curious about its owner—my great-grandmother.
Attacks on girls and women take many forms throughout the world, from outright assault to subtle but insidious messages that females are not and never can be the equal of males.
I miss the days when privacy could be protected with locked doors, locked filing cabinets, and maybe a bank safe deposit box. Cyberspace has made those protections obsolete.
Legendary singer Barbara Cook, who died in August at 89, overcame crippling mid-career alcoholism and depression. Her 2016 memoir "Then & Now" is a moving reflection on her life.
The process of getting settled in my new home has made me think about the lives of the people who make the things I buy.
For three days in June, I watched a pair of robins tend their young. Their devotion to their offspring filled me with admiration and gave me food for thought.
When strangers call me “Hon” or “Dear,” I am not pleased. They may not realize it, but it sounds both sexist and ageist to me.
A swirl of negative thoughts had a firm grip on me, but time, perspective and the counsel of friends helped restore my peace of mind.
When it comes to peacefully exploring foreign lands, humans have an abysmal track record. What evidence is there to suggest they will behave differently in outer space?
A walk on a warm winter evening triggered feelings of serenity mixed with sadness.
I watched “The Dick Van Dyke Show” as a child, but missed almost all of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” And yet both Laura Petrie and Mary Richards influenced my life.
Long winter nights and holiday traditions can combine to summon vivid, bittersweet memories of loved ones we have lost.
I moved to a new home just before the presidential election. Both events knocked me off kilter, and I am still trying to regain my balance.
For decades, I shuddered at the memory of my high school years. Attending my high school reunion helped me put those memories in a new context.
On two morning walks several months apart, I had starkly different experiences with strangers I thought might need help.
Since 2003, I have lived four miles away from my two nephews. During that time, they grew from boys to young men—and they transformed my life.
As a stranger-than-fiction presidential race dominates the news, I pause to contemplate a more mundane area of public affairs: government service.
My nephew’s high school graduation inspired me to reflect on my aunt’s graduation 77 years ago. The world the Class of 1939 entered might have seemed as perilous as today's world.
As a volunteer music therapy aide at a busy urban hospital, I have learned firsthand the power of a piano to lift spirits and ease cares—at least for the length of a song or two.
In any creative endeavor, how does one strive for perfection while not being paralyzed or defeated by the knowledge that perfection is unattainable?
When long-distance friends lose a loved one, can email, sympathy notes, or heartfelt Facebook messages take the place of a visit?
Someone put a dent in my car door, and my insurance company declared the car a total loss. Here's how I fought big business and won.
A college application asked my nephew to explain how his past had shaped his world view. As I looked at his answer, I wondered how I would respond to the same question.
In high school and college I yearned to live in Paris. But life intervened, and I made just one trip there. Now I wonder if I can summon the courage to visit again.
After a bad experience with a pie crust, I learned the value of keeping it simple and trusting my instincts. I also discovered you can learn a lot about life from making a pie.
In a world of 140-character tweets and other fast-paced electronic distractions, I continue to derive knowledge, inspiration and solace from books.
I helped care for my mother for six years before she died. The sixth anniversary of her death feels like a turning point for me.
Susan Hooper, a freelance writer, is a former newspaper reporter and government press secretary.