Posts By: Janice Behrens

Janice Behrens

The Good Life – The Mythology of Back to the Basics

In The Good Life, Janice’s focus is on the little details that mean so much, and her keen observations illuminate truths we often miss. This article originally appeared January 12, 2007, in issue 1502. A friend of ours, a school teacher, informs us that in recent years there has been what amounts to a minor… Read more »

The Good Life – The Ways We Learn

It’s funny how many things in life fall under the category of ?both a blessing and a curse.? One of the things, as far as I’m concerned, is the fact that in this complex and amazing world we inhabit it is simply not possible to ever stop learning. On the one hand, this is a… Read more »

The Good Life – The End of Innocence?

As much as I enjoy the stage of life I am experiencing right now, there are times when I very much miss the simple faith and trust of my childhood days. I remember things like being able to eat an oatmeal cookie from a package, or spread peanut butter over slices of rubbery white bread,… Read more »

The Good Life – Of Caution and Experience

When in need of healing, some people meditate, practice tai chi, or sit alone in a quiet church. I have always gravitated to the outdoors. If I can reach a body of water–ocean, lake, or river–so much the better. If not, a few hours walking alone in the woods will recharge my spiritual batteries, and… Read more »

The Good Life – Resisting Fear

It’s a sunny afternoon in early July, and I’m lying on my back in the tall grass of a neighbourhood park while my 10-year-old daughter climbs a tree. I’m starting to drift off when I hear her calling me, asking me to look up. I know that she wants me to try and find her… Read more »

The Good Life – The Necessity of Contrasts

There are two particularly strong and pleasant memories I carry around with me from my childhood. One of them involves spending the day at the toboggan hill near our house in southern Alberta. We would set out early in the weekend morning, with our blue plastic sliders and clunky wooden sleds in tow. For hours… Read more »

The Good Life – The Value of Adversity

Like everyone else, I enjoy days that roll along smoothly. I get out of bed on time, and the weather is pleasant. The newspaper arrives neatly folded on my doorstep. I do not burn the toast. Traffic is smooth, making for an easy commute. I arrive at the office perfectly on time, and my daily… Read more »

The Good Life – Noticing the Everyday Special

When You’re young, you sometimes (at least I did) have this idea that there will be these big moments–things like sports championships, graduations from high school and college, getting that first career, your wedding day, your honeymoon, the buying of your first home–that will be the significant and defining times of your life. If You’re… Read more »

The Good Life – In Praise of Unstructured Play

Perhaps it is just a general crankiness related to advancing years, but I am feeling more and more out of touch with the spirit of the times these days. It seems to me as though society has made some kind of profound shift away from the values and beliefs that I have grown up with,… Read more »

The Good Life – Getting Young and Old Together

A good friend of mine has, for several years, been involved in teaching storytelling skills to elementary-school-aged children. She comes into classrooms and tells them funny or spooky folk tales and fairy tales from a variety of cultures around the world. Because she has a flair for the dramatic, and a lovely speaking voice, the… Read more »