Sign in

I read, I write, I learn. I’m forever dedicated to my curiosity. Blog: Twitter: @BonnieJohnson

Can we stop asking each other this question?

Photo by Antenna on Unsplash

Whenever you meet someone for the first time, it doesn’t take long before your new acquaintance will ask,

“So, what do you do?”

I hate that question. Not because I sit on the couch all day watching tv and eating Doritos. I hate it because it’s a comparison question.

People ask that question so they can rank and file you into a spot that compares you to them. Where do you fit in the hierarchy of society? They want to know what you do for a living so they can get an idea of how much money you make. That…

Do some places hold special powers over us?

Some places from my past seem to insist on being revisited. I wonder if I’ve inadvertently leaked a little of my soul’s energy in these places. The tug from my leaked energy can’t be ignored. I must return to the spot — just to breathe it into my essence again.

That’s how I feel about a small town I lived in when I was between the ages of 2 and 5. Although I lived in three different houses in this particular town, my favorite was the one I shared with my grandparents. …

Putting fear in perspective

Image source: PxHere

The fear center in our brain, the amygdala, is a powerful and tricky thing. Designed to help us survive dangerous situations back when we had to dodge lions, tigers, leopards, and even large eagle-like birds that could pick up and carry off our young. Our amygdala sparked our fight or flight response and we needed it to survive.

amygdala [ uh-mig-duh-luh ] noun, plural a·myg·da·lae [uh-mig-duh-lee]. Anatomy.

  1. an almond-shaped part.
  2. a ganglion of the limbic system adjoining the temporal lobe of the brain and involved in emotions of fear and aggression.

His company is worth $73 billion today

Photo by Drew Rae from Pexels

After putting up $4 million of his own dollars and raising $91 million more, he was down to his last $5,000 and about to lose his company. Desperate, he went to Vegas and put it all on the blackjack table. Talk about risk!

But he saw risk differently than you or I might. You see, by then he’d already served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was honorably discharged having received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and two Purple Hearts.

Unhesitatingly rushing through the intense hostile fire to the position of heaviest contact, Lieutenant Smith fearlessly removed several…

Situations, like clay, mold to form what works best for us

Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

We can’t avoid new situations, no matter how hard we try. If we could, COVID-19 wouldn’t be a thing right now. Life comes at us. We need to shape it to best suit our needs. But how?

Imagine a new situation as something soft and pliable, something ripe for molding. We get to decide its final shape. Think of a new situation as a lump of wet clay and throw that blob into the center of your awareness.

Inspect the rough shape of it

Take a look at the general shape of each new situation. …

I’m a Boomer, You’re a Millennial, Can We Talk?

Photo by Giacomo Lucarini on Unsplash

Generation Labels

Boomers, Millennials, Gen Z — all man-made labels stamped on people born at a particular time. The label assigned to a generation usually spans 20 years. That’s a large track of time. A lot can change in 20 years.

Lumping vast swaths of people together under one label is the king of all generalizations. Broad statements about a large group of people will mostly be false. Everyone’s different, after all.

Generalizations and labels miss the interesting bits. What’s worse, labeling divides us into tribes and encourages an “us vs them” attitude. …

Don’t group me in with the fools who won’t wear masks

Wikimedia Commons

Recently President Biden referred to certain states lifting mask mandates as “Neanderthal thinking”. It was an admonishment. He was referring to how small-minded it is of these states to throw all caution to the wind. As a proud Neanderthal descendant myself, I was more offended he lumped us in with these pea-brained governors.

Before you sling “Neanderthal” as an insult, there are some facts you should know about us and why I’m proud of my Neanderthal heritage.

Just the facts

Neanderthals lived before and during the last ice age of the Pleistocene…

She’s disappearing right before my eyes

Photo by Author

There’s nothing anyone can do to stop it. It starts slowly at first, leaving little clues that something's not quite right. By the time we fully understood what was happening, it was already well on its way to stealing her from us.

Like an old faded Polaroid picture, the person I’ve known my entire life is receding into a wispy outline of herself. Alzheimer’s shrinks people. Did you know that? Her body seems half the size it used to be.

Food battles

Eating is not interesting to her anymore. She would rather eat chocolate than a proper meal. Who can blame her…

Even when it’s hidden behind a mask, you can still feel a smile

Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash

I once read somewhere that smiling at someone was like blowing them a kiss from your soul. What a lovely thought, but how do we do that with masks pulled tight over our smile-makers.

I want to blow kisses from my soul. I yearn to catch kisses blown my way from other souls too.

Here we are in a pandemic — still. How can we send these kisses from our souls through layers of cloth?

Smile with your eyes, of course. Smize. It’s a thing.

smize /smīz/



assume a playful or alluring expression of the eyes. …

Just like popular memes, they’re really hard to miss


Warning: I’m about to call to your attention a strange phenomenon which, once you are aware of it, will present itself everywhere. Like the Bernie meme. If you’re ok with that, read on.

I see them almost nightly while watching the news. Last night, for example, there was a story on clear-cutting old-growth forests. They interviewed someone from The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. His last name was Forest. Of course it was. They’re everywhere and you’ll notice them when you pay attention.

I’m talking about aptronyms.




a person’s name that is…

Bonnie Johnson

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store