It really does take a village.

Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

Last night my sixteen-year-old daughter Lucia went on a dinner date with one of my best friends Jamie, and I took Jamie’s fourteen-year-old daughter Maya out. It was Lucia’s idea. She’s been talking about it for months — how she wanted to go out to dinner with Jamie. So they made a plan and then because it seemed like such a good idea, I decided to take Maya.

It was a temporary mother-daughter swap. We’ve been family friends since our kids were infants. We’ve gone on family vacations together and celebrated holidays together. …


The evolution of memory

This past week I went to Chicago to spend time with my mother and stepfather. My mother is 80 and my stepfather is 93. About fifteen years ago they moved to a 100-unit apartment a block from the house where I grew up. They have a vibrant community of neighbors and are wholly independent.

Flying to Chicago was my first time traveling since February 2020, the last time I saw my parents. The travel part of the trip was a harrowing experience. …


Reentering the life of being the boss

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Four months before the pandemic I sold my business. For close to twenty years I ran a yoga studio in one of Seattle’s busiest neighborhoods. For many years I ran the business with a partner but after a few years I bought her out. As a solo owner, I made numerous changes. I remodeled, introduced new workshops and classes, and hired new staff.

And then, just when the business was really thriving, making good money, experiencing stability like never before, I was done. I felt like I had worked through all of the possibilities for that business. I couldn’t see…


The necessity of forgetting

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

Last night I got together with four of my best friends. We gathered to celebrate one of our birthdays. We’re all in our fifties now — some of us more solidly than others. We’re tamer than we once were, choosing mocktails over bottomless bottles of wine. Post-pandemic it’s enough to simply get together. We don’t need a weekend trip or a restaurant for it to feel special.

Last night we talked about memory — about dementia in particular. Several of us are noticing it in our parents. We’re at a place right now where we’re noticing it a little bit…


And that’s a good thing.

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

When my daughter was little she didn’t keep secrets. She told me everything. Once when she was four, she told me that she and her friend snuck candy. She told me even though she knew she’d get in trouble for it. As she got older she began to sensor what she told me. She didn’t want to get in trouble and she didn’t want to hear my perspective on what she or a friend did, even if it wasn’t bad.

Over the years my daughter has shared past-kept secrets with me. When she was fourteen she shared with me the…


How does your relationship transform you?

Photo by Suzanne D. Williams on Unsplash

Yesterday my partner and I had a fight. We’d just come off of eleven days of family houseguests and we were both live wires — frayed and ready to spark. We had a fight, a small explosion, recovered, and went on to have a lovely night taking our teenage daughter and her cousin out to dinner.

As we drove to the restaurant I reflected on how much my relationship with my partner has evolved. We’ve grown into a more functional, resilient team. We are more complex. We are better than we once were. I’ve been in relationships where this hasn’t…


Watching friendship from behind the register

Photo by Alena Darmel from Pexels

Yesterday was officially our first day without a mask mandate. We’re one of the last cities to take this step and it’s been a long time coming. At the women’s clothing store where I work, it feels like people everywhere are finally coming out of the woodwork, shopping for summer clothes, buying that summer dress or pair of strappy sandals that they wouldn’t even consider before the year of pandemic isolation.

Early in the day two teenagers came in and bee-lined for the jewelry counter. They hovered over it, oohing and ahhing over the rings and earrings. Though we’re consignment…


Parenting in a time of global despair

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

“The lake feels like lotion!” the little boy shouted to his friends, treading water at the base of the ladder. “So smooth and refreshing!”

I lay on the other side of the dock, my head propped up with a life jacket, reading my book, Love Becomes Us by Amy Bloom. It was hot, hotter than it had ever been in the Pacific Northwest where I live.

My family had been lucky. We escaped to this mountain lake on a planned trip with my brother-in-law and his kids. …


Making a business out of looking for a job

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

I’m a serial entrepreneur. Everything I do becomes a possibility for a business. It started with garage sales when I was a kid. My sisters, the neighbor kids, and I would gather junk from our parents’ basements, load it into wagons and schlep it down to the corner of 57th outside of Powell’s Bookstore where we’d set up on Saturdays and Sundays. We labeled our wares with masking tape prices and sat outside waiting for customers. …


Thanks for the inspiration Justine Bateman

Photo by Ravi Patel on Unsplash

Right now I am reading Justine Bateman’s book Face: One Square Foot of Skin. It’s about beauty expectations for older women with a particular emphasis on the pressure to get plastic surgery to stay young-looking. Young is the standard for beauty. Old is the standard for ugly, washed up, hard to look at. In her introduction, Bateman talks about how, as a young actress, she longed for the smile and worry lines she saw in older European actresses. Somehow, despite growing up in Hollywood, she saw beauty in these signs of aging. …

Laura Culberg- Welcoming Opposites

I write about seemingly mundane experiences that are relatable because we are human. Subscribe on Substack to get my stories directly: lauraculberg.substack.com

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