Tag: life

The race I did not run.


On June 2nd I marked September 23rd on my calendar. On September 23rd I planned to run my first 5k. An act of defiance of sorts. Defying both body and brain. Proving that I could physically and mentally triumph over 5 years of living with cerebellar ataxia, sarcoidosis, nystagmas, enlarged lymph nodes, vertigo, muscle spasms, […]

Why is it so damn hard to take your own advice?


As a teacher, writer, and speaker I give advice. I offer students, readers, and listeners with solutions to the pickles of life. For the past 8 weeks I’ve been training to run a 5k in September. I’ve been telling you that if I overcome my sarcoidosis and brain damage you can certainly overcome your problems. […]

How to Deal with Anything For my friends, two in particular, who are going through real shit today. 


How to Deal with Anything: 1.Make a Declaration You have a Problem. A Problem that has manifested into an uncomfortable truth. When living with an uncomfortable truth– illness, addiction, financial hardship, depression, anxiety, confusion, damaged relationships– the first step is to make a declaration that exposes your wound. I have____________. I am _____________. My relationship […]

Saturdays are for seizing


Someone once told me Saturdays are for sleeping. At 22 I agreed. At 38,  I couldn’t disagree more. You aren’t going to work. You aren’t going to school. You have a few errands to do. Maybe your children have soccer games this afternoon. Besides that, Saturdays are for seizing. For seizing all the reading, writing, […]

Candy Land – Student Voices (Guest Post)


Once you’re alive, can you ever really be dead?  Candy Land is a personal narrative written by one of my students, Kayla Paterson. This story, Kayla intertwines the past and the present to explore the power of life, death memories, and board games.  Meet the Writer Kayla Patterson is a 12th grade student at Robbinsville High […]

Bowling with God (or a curious conversation with my son about death)


When I grow up I still want to see the world through childish eyes. A few days after writing Advice from the Dead, Chase and I were in the car together. I’m driving, he’s tucked in the backseat and it’s raining. Of course it’s raining. Stories like this are almost always punctuated by weather. With the […]

What’s the one message about life you would share with your family?


I recently packed up the suitcase, left Cindy and the kids behind (with her permission, of course) and met up with a bunch of long-time friends in Puerto Rico for our buddy Marc’s wedding. It was a stunning little ceremony, staged outside on a horse farm nestled in the lush Puerto Rican rain forest. My […]

The four words that changed my life forever (or all the motivation you need right now)


For me, this whole writing business began when a doctor looked at an MRI of my brain, then at the floor, then hard into my eyes and said, “You should be dead.” He then told me there was nothing he, or anyone could do for me. “I’m sorry Mr. Armstrong, you should be dead.” I […]