Education

# Watching kids do lightning fast mental math is both mesmerizing and mind-blowing

### Their finger twitching looks random, but WOW is it impressive.

Digamarthi Sri Ramakanth/Wikimedia Commons

2003 UCMAS National Abacus & Mental Arithmetic Competition

In the age of calculators and smartphones, it's become less necessary to do math in your head than it used to be, but that doesn't mean mental math is useless. Knowing how to calculate in your head can be handy, and if you're lucky enough to learn mental abacus skills from a young age, it can be wicked fast as well.

Video of students demonstrating how quickly they can calculate numbers in their head are blowing people's minds, as the method is completely foreign for many of us. The use of a physical abacus isn't generally taught in the United States, other than perhaps a basic introduction to how it works. But precious few of us ever get to see how the ancient counter gets used for mental math.

The concept is simple and can be taught from a young age, but it takes a bit of time and practice to perfect. Watch what it looks like for basic addition and subtraction at lightning speed, though:

If you don't know what they're doing, it looks like students are just randomly flicking their fingers and wrists. But they are actually envisioning the abacus while they move their fingers, as if they were actually using one.

There are various methods of finger calculations that make use of abacus concepts. Watch another method that uses both hands in action:

Even very young children can calculate large sums very quickly using these abacus-based mental math methods. Watch these little superstars add two-digit to four-digit numbers like it's nothing.

How do they do it?

Much of the skill here requires a solid understanding of how an abacus is used to calculate and lots of practice with the physical movements of calculating with it. That's not exactly simple to explain, as it take a couple of years of practice using an abacus—for these mental calculations, specifically the Japanese soroban abacus—to gain the skills needed to be able to calculate quickly. BBC Global shares how such practices are taught in Japan, not only for mental math but for overall cognitive memory:

Abacus mental math programs online recommend learning it between the ages of 5 to 13. It is possible to learn at older ages, but it might take longer to master compared to younger students.

But if there's a finger method you want to try for addition and subtraction up to 99, one that's simple and quick to learn is called chisanbop, in which ones are counted on one hand and 10s are counted on the other. Here's an explainer video that shows how it works:

### Chisanbop!

Most of us carry calculators around in our pockets with us at all time, so such practices may feel like a waste of time. But learning new skills that tax our brain is like a workout for our mind, so it's not a bad idea to give things like this a spin. Even if we don't learn to calculate large numbers in the blink of an eye, we can at least exercise our mental muscles to keep our brains healthier. And who knows, maybe we'll get a party trick or two out of it as well.

## 3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under \$7 a serving

### O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.

“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost \$7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans (\$6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef (\$7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning (\$2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese (\$4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa (\$3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells (\$4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans (\$2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

O Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew (\$4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef (\$7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes (\$4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots (\$2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste (\$1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced (\$1.00)

1 clove garlic (\$.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

O Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics

O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet (\$4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef (\$7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes (\$2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce (\$2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste (\$1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta (\$3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese (\$4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

O Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Joy

## Kids asked their parents to 'dance like it's the 80s' and they delivered big time

### Some things you never forget.

@tabathalynnk/TikTok, Photo credit: Canva

They've still got the moves

Ready to get transported back to the Decade of Decadence? Cause this wholesome new TikTok trend is gonna put you right back in the attitude-filled, neon colored post-disco era otherwise known as the 80s.

Specifically, it’s going to take you back to an 80s dance club.

In the trend, kids ask their parents to “dance like it’s the 80s,” as the 1984 track “Smalltown Boy” by the British pop band Bronski Beat plays in the background. The song's high energy tempo mixed with heartbreaking, anguish-ridden lyrics make it a fitting choice to bring us back to the time period.

As for the parents—let's just say that muscle memory kicks in the minute the tune begins to play, and it’s a whole vibe.

Check out Tabatha Lynn's video of her mom, Leanne Lynn, which currently has over 8 million views.

@tabathalynnk My moms 80s dance moves, I wanna be her when I grow up 😍 our kids better not ask us this in 30 years 😂 #80s #momsoftiktok #dancemoves ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Leanne and Tabatha told TODAY that since going viral, the dance is now a common “topic of conversation in the family text group.”

There are two factors here that folks really seem to connect with.

One: 80s dancing was simple. Just moving to the rhythm, maybe a head bob for some flair or a robot if you’re feeling adventurous. Of course, the 80s had ambitious moves like the worm and the moonwalk, but for the most part it was just about groovin’ to beat.

@marynepi One thing about Ms. Suzanne, shes gonna slay. #fypage #dance #slay #80s #yasqueen #trending #trend ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Then there’s seeing the parents light up at the chance to go back to the days of their youth.

“I can literally see the young women in these women spring out in fluidity. Love this trend,” one person commented.

@lavaleritaaa Love her 😭 “Se me espeluco el moño” 😂 #80s #momdancechallenge ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

Another seconded, “I love seeing moms remember when they were just themselves.”

Of course, dads are totally rocking this trend too. Check it out:

@chrisbrown711 I dont normally do trends but i got in on this one. How did I do? #fyp #blessed #80sdancechallenge #80smusic #80s ♬ original sound - Tiktok / IG strategy 🚀

The 80s was a time of rapid expansion for music. Much of this we have the birth of MTV to thank for, which subsequently dropped music videos, CDs and a vast array of sub genres straight into the heart of pop culture.

Plus, the 80s brought us the synthesizer, which remains a strangely satisfying sound even in 2024. So while the era might have brought some things that most of us would prefer not to revisit—like acid washed denim and awful, awful hairstyles—some of its gems are truly timeless.

The trend also shows how, even though the weekly outing to a dance hall might be a thing of the past, people inherently want to bust a move. Luckily, there’s no shortage of clubs that cater to someone’s music tastes, no matter the era.

Speaking for 00s teens everywhere…just play the Cha Cha slide and we’ll come a-runnin.

Joy

## Now's your chance to help someone doing good in your community win \$1000 towards the charity of their choice

### Upworthy and P&G are back with the #ActsOfGood Awards.

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive \$1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive \$1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Pop Culture

## Homeowners share seemingly small issues that turned out to be big deals when buying a house

### Some cautionary tales here for prospective home buyers.

Here's what to look out for when looking at homes to buy.

Buying a home is one of the most significant decisions a person will make in life, both personally and financially. So many considerations go into choosing a home to buy, from cost to location to style to how much needs to be fixed. It can be overwhelming to take all the different variables into account, and it's easy to overlook things that might be bigger issues than you might think when you fall in love with certain aspects of a house.

Reddit user EveryBuddyUp asked the AskReddit forum, "When buying a house, what's something you thought was minor but has become the bane of your existence?" Homeowners took the opportunity to share their unanticipated woes, and it's a collection of cautionary tales that might help prospective home buyers avoid pitfalls they wouldn't have anticipated.

## Finding tradespeople to do repair jobs, especially "minor" ones

"Finding good people to do small jobs. The reputable companies don’t like to waste time on small jobs, so it’s usually pick someone off of the internet and hope they don’t make it worse or DIY." Guineacabra

"Finding contractors for minor repair jobs. I had a chimney leak and called 4 companies, 3 of them didn’t want the job since it was a 300-500 dollar repair, the 4th set up an appointment with me but never showed up. It took me over 4 months to find someone."Specialist_Salt_7916

Might want to learn to DIY if you own a home.

Photo by Theme Photos on Unsplash

"Tried calling every roofing company in town to fix a leaky roof vent. Half a year of buckets later I climbed up with a bunch of tar and fixed it myself." FindsNames

"Even the companies that advertise "no job too small" won't do small jobs. It is so difficult to find someone decent, even if you're willing to pay good money."DateCard

"This. One of my windows broke, like literally falling out of the wall. Called everyone I could think of for weeks basically begging someone to come and fix this. They’d either not get back to me or ghost the repair time. Eventually I convinced some repair company to come over to fix this one window if I agreed to some up sale thing where in addition to repairing that window they’d inspect every other window to ensure there wasn’t damage there too. I ended up agreeing because I was at my wits end and I was paying nearly just as much each month in increased heat bills." quilles

## Cellular and internet dead zones—and not just in the middle of nowhere

"Check cell coverage and find out about the ISP." – elSpanielo

"The town I live in has HORRIBLE cell reception. Luckily my ISP is great and has excellent service, so I just connect to the wifi. Worst part is that I don't live in the middle of nowhere- I'm in a suburb of a massive city, so I don't understand why the service is so shitty." gonorrheagoomah

"I live in a major US city. About a mile from downtown. Half my house is a dead zone..."ZoraTheDucky

"This! We forgot to check cell coverage when we were buying our house and the entire place is a dead zone. It’s absolutely infuriating years later to have to go outside and down the driveway to get a cell signal."miamental

"This!!! Zero cell in our house and one WiFi won’t even cross two rooms. Our house isn’t big. It’s 130 years old and has cobblestone between some walls. Then we found out that internet was often down here when we moved in. So I pay for two different service providers for two sets of WiFi and we still don’t have complete coverage."Pitiful-Sprinkles933

## Bamboo (and other impossible-to-get-rid-of plant species)

"Bamboo. Someone before me planted super invasive, 15 foot tall growing bamboo in the backyard. It was spreading so wildly it was uplifting the granite pool and growing under the foundation of the house. You could see the remnants of a “barrier” of sorts of where they initially planted it, obviously not knowing how bamboo grows. I myself did not know, until I purchased the house. Absolute nightmare." – abbs_twothou

"The best way to get rid of bamboo is to move." – im_a_mighty_pirate

Bamboo might look cool, but it's a nightmare.

Photo by zoo monkey on Unsplash

"A guy once said to me that bamboo is like a cold slow fire that is alive. If you don’t keep it in check it it will destroy everything." – Tobyghisa

"It's worse than that - it's impossible to keep it in check. You have to remove a completely, and I completely I mean every scrap of root. After I yanked out mine I was still digging out new sprouts for the next 6 months. Oftentimes the new plant was growing from literally an inch and a half of root that I had missed. Think of every tiny piece of root as a new seed." – weluckyfew

"Growing up, there was a house with bamboo growing in the back yard. It took over the yard and the owner gave up. It began growing into the neighbors' yards and down the hill behind the house. Took a professional team most of a summer to get it all." – theothermeisnothere

## Nightmare neighbors

"There’s a path behind my kitchen window that separates the garden from the house. The path runs behind all the houses on the street and everybody (residents) has access. I wouldn’t mind this but our neighbours on each side are best friends and so they stand on the path directly outside our kitchen window when they chat." – Dabbles-In-Irony

"I bought a flat. The neighbours immediately below us smoke. A lot. All the time. They smoke so much that you can smell it when you open the kitchen cupboards under and next to the sink because the scent creeps up through the holes around the pipework. Can't open the windows in the summer because as soon as they cough themselves awake in the morning the stench of cigarettes starts drifting up through them and fills out home. They smoke in every room, and in the bedrooms till after midnight every day. I'm an ex smoker and I'm still finding it disgusting." – butwhatsmyname

"Are you me?? We had this same issue, but with neighbours below us smoking weed. The smell would come up through our bathroom fans, so we'd wake up with a flat smelling like skunk. We could only have our windows and screen doors opened up for short periods of time until they were out smoking again. It was the worst." – pplluuvviiophile

"We moved in without knowing we had the neighbors from hell. They seemed nice enough at first, but it's become a major nightmare." – katttdizzle

## Badly placed rooms and appliances

"Never buy a house where the kitchen, laundry, or living room wall is shared with the master bedroom if you are a light sleeper." – SocialRevenge

"We live in a 100-year-old house with a huge, open basement. Our washer and dryer are in our basement. For some stupid reason, known only to them, the previous owners installed the washing machine and and dryer on opposite sides of the basement, instead of side-by-side the way normal people would have done. I bought one of those professional chrome laundry carts that the laundromats use to shuttle loads across the basement between machines. Eventually, I plan to rewire the place and relocate the dryer next to the washing machine." – JasperDyne

"My number one disqualification when house hunting was no toilet on the same floor as the master bedroom. You do not want to climb stairs when you have to pee in the middle of the night. If you're reading this and saying, "I don't get up to pee most nights," I am in my late 30s and here to warn you that you will." – Blenderhead36

"Single bathroom. I had underestimated the amount of time my husband just SITS on the toilet." – NoeTellusom

Window blinds can cost a pretty penny.

Photo by Mike Cox on Unsplash

## Window coverings cost more than you'd think

"Window treatments or curtains. The guy before me broke up with his his girlfriend. She moved out and took all the curtains out of spite. I didn’t think it was a big g deal until I priced out new ones." – asdfg27

"So true. It’s a massive racket. Even the mail order DIY stuff is expensive now. Expect \$150 per window and up - WAY up! And you rarely can take it with you to the next house - the windows will be different sized, the color scheme won’t work…" – lanky_planky

"We moved into a new house with 11 windows per floor. Even getting relatively cheap window treatments (but not aluminum blinds), we were out every bit of \$2k." – max_power1000

## Swimming pools can also cost a small fortune to upkeep

"Swimming pool. So much work & money to maintain. Maybe gets used a dozen times a year." – KungPowKitten

"I've done pools for 4 years and openings and closings alone are hundreds of dollars. Weekly maintenances are ~100 each." – IrishRepoMan

"For the money you invest in an outdoor pool, you can probably join a nice country club or take a really kick ass tropical vacation every year." – rawonionbreath

A few final bits of cautionary wisdom from the thread were to 1) Make sure you check out the neighborhood and the neighbors as thoroughly as possible, at all hours of the day and night. 2) Use your own inspector instead of the one the realtor recommends. And 3) Anything that's unique, interesting or large in a home will require extra maintenance, so be prepared.

Happy house hunting!

Health

## Neuroscience learns what Buddhism has known for ages: There is no constant self

### Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it.

Ven. Thich Thong Hai prays by a statue of Buddha in the garden at the Ventura Buddhist Center.

Proving that science and religion can, in fact, overlap, University of British Columbia researcher Evan Thompson has confirmed the Buddhist teaching of the not-self, or "anatta," is more than just a theory.

"Buddhists argue that nothing is constant, everything changes through time, you have a constantly changing stream of consciousness," he tells Quartz. "And from a neuroscience perspective, the brain and body is constantly in flux. There's nothing that corresponds to the sense that there's an unchanging self."

This reality that nothing stays the same should be liberating, because if people believe it, they'll no longer define themselves by their thoughts or be limited by a fixed idea of who they are. Their possibilities will be endless.

Buddhist Monks have known for thousands of years what science is just now learning: the mind can be changed by training it. Neuroplasticity, as it's called, endows people with the ability to grow and evolve, triumphing over bad habits and becoming more like the individuals they want to be.

Buddha GIF

Giphy Discover & share this Big GIF with everyone you know. GIPHY is how you search, share, discover, and create GIFs.

Still, exactly how consciousness relates to the brain eludes both Buddhism and neuroscience. Buddhists suppose there's an iteration of consciousness that doesn't require a physical body; neuroscientists disagree.

"In neuroscience, you'll often come across people who say the self is an illusion created by the brain," Thompson says. "My view is that the brain and the body work together in the context of our physical environment to create a sense of self. And it's misguided to say that just because it's a construction, it's an illusion."

Pets

## Rescue camel thinks he's a pet goat and won't stop breaking into his dad's kitchen

### Albert tries his best to climb like his goat brothers.

Rescue camel thinks he's a pet goat, won't stay out of house

Camels are not pets. Camels are not pets. At least that's the mantra people have to say after seeing how adorable Albert the camel is with his rescuer. Maybe if you live on a farm or have a house with a bunch of acres to let a furry humpback creature roam then a camel for a pet would be no problem. But most definitely would not be a pet for the suburbs or apartment living. Try getting a camel through a doggy door.

Although, Albert doesn't seem to need a doggy door to get in and out of the house. The young camel has been sneaking into his human dad's house since he was just a baby. Alex, the camel's dad rescued him from a camel dairy after Albert refused to nurse from his mom. He had to be bottle fed ten times a day when Alex first brought him home.

One of the biggest issues was that the cheeky camel didn't like to stay in his pen. Somehow Albert would saunter into Alex's bedroom at night to check out what he might be doing. Now it's a constant struggle to keep the giant animal out of the human-sized kitchen where he likes to hang out. Surely he's not picking the kitchen due to the food inside.

The camel's big personality can't be contained by four walls, no. When he's not sneaking into the kitchen for snacks, he's pretending he's just one of the goats. Alex has several goats on his property that he cares for and Albert thinks he's one of them. Have you ever seen a camel climb a mountain? Neither has Albert but he's determined to try.

Watch him give climbing a try below:

This guy just can't seem to get enough of being part of the family. He even sleeps in the same pen with the goats, which Alex is probably thankful for since in means no more late night surprise visits from Albert. While the big little fella isn't going to become a goat any time soon, maybe his humans will give in to his sweet face and leave him some treats on the counter.

Health

## Response to person grieving for friend might be best internet comment of all time

### “I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to.”

"My friend just died. I don't know what to do."

Upvoted, an online publication from Reddit featuring the most compelling content from their site, recently republished this "classic" piece originally posted around 2011. The beautiful piece of writing was done by a commenter in response to a poster asking for advice on grief.

The original post simply read: "My friend just died. I don't know what to do."

Here was Redditor GSnow's moving advice:

"Alright, here goes. I'm old. What that means is that I've survived (so far) and a lot of people I've known and loved did not. I've lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can't imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here's my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don't want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don't want it to "not matter". I don't want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can't see.

As for grief, you'll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you're drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it's some physical thing. Maybe it's a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it's a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don't even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you'll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what's going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything...and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it's different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O'Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you'll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don't really want them to. But you learn that you'll survive them. And other waves will come. And you'll survive them too. If you're lucky, you'll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks."

Here's the original post: