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Celebrate, but be mindful of others’ struggles

Celebrate, but be mindful of others’ struggles


Dear Annie: After years of fiscal discipline, my wife and I have paid off our mortgage. We contemplated having a mortgage-burning party to celebrate but were advised this would be in poor taste and akin to bragging. While we are justifiably proud, we don’t wish to offend anyone.

What is your opinion?

— Paid in Full

Dear Paid: I would advise against hosting a mortgage-burning party even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic and an economic downturn in which 30% of Americans have missed housing payments and an estimated 30 million to 40 million renters are on the brink of eviction. But the current climate does put a fine point on it.

By all means, celebrate what is indeed a major life accomplishment, but keep it to a party of two.

Dear Annie: I wanted to share a solution I’ve found for sleeplessness. For the last two years, I could not get a good night’s sleep. Doctors offered pills and artificial hormones, but I did not want to go that route. By chance, I read director David Lynch’s memoir, “Room to Dream,” where he credits Transcendental Meditation with improving his mood, energy and creativity. I thought that maybe TM could help my sleep.

I found a TM instructor on a beautiful horse farm. The training is 90 minutes of one-on-one instruction, followed by additional instruction for about 90 minutes a day for three days. I believe most of the instruction is taking place virtually right now due to the pandemic. In my case, the initial 90-minute session was in person and the rest were on Zoom.

After seven days of practicing for 20 minutes, twice a day, I was sleeping eight to nine hours a night, only waking once a night.

I am so grateful. TM is not a religion; I still attend my church and have not changed my faith. The fees are scaled to income. To learn more, go to or read NIH Psychiatrist Norman Rosenthal’s book “Transcendence,” for research on TM for depression, addiction, anxiety, PTSD and even high blood pressure.

— Sleeping Much Better in Memphis

Dear Sleeping: I know several people who have greatly reduced anxiety and improved their moods overall through the practice of Transcendental Meditation. I had not heard of it for sleeplessness, but that makes sense. Thanks for writing.

Annie Lane, a graduate of New York Law School and New York University, writes this column for Creators Syndicate.

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