Heidi Isern

writer. thinker. whiskey drinker.

2016

What People REALLY Want for Christmas

In early December I polled my community to ask them a simple question. If you could give any “thing” to anyone for Christmas, what would it be and why? If you are looking for inspiration, read below. There are 4 days to get your gift under the tree. However, what most people long to give is something that cannot be wrapped. What I’d like to give…. No canceled flights for

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Why You Can’t Fall in Love Like You Want To

“I just want to fall in love,” he said. “Nothing beats holiday romance.” Charlie blasted ‘Baby it’s cold outside’ from his new Amazon Echo while sipping mulled wine. “I just hope love happens to me so I can Fa la la la with someone.” It was November 24th and Charlie was already playing Christmas love ballads. In another week he’d put on Love Actually, secretly hoping a Midwestern model would

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Five Things I am NOT Thankful For

During Thanksgiving the internet will be crowded with saccharine odes of gratitude. Well, not from me. There is plenty NOT to be thankful for and I’d like to address it. 1. Cellulite It is the gift that keeps giving… people a complex. When I was in my 20’s a beautiful 40-something women told me, “Appreciate your tight skin now, because, trust me, as you get older, things start to loosen

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How to Survive a Red-Blue Thanksgiving

This election isn’t just dividing the nation into red and blue color maps-it’s fracturing families along party lines, just in time for the holidays. Many of my friends in San Francisco are dreading Thanksgiving, usually a time of family merriment and togetherness. Why? Many of the city’s “liberal elite” originally hail from those American red counties that tipped the electoral college to a Trump victory. My liberal minded friends are

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The One Thing to Save (ALL) Your Relationships

Communication is the most critical ingredient of any type of relationship. Yet today’s world has so much noise that we have all forgotten how to listen. “Yep, yep. Got it. Great. Yep. Yep,” he said. I was telling Toby my latest family crisis at warp speed, covering each detail as if it could be a secret clue to a buried treasure. Toby was a great multi tasker. His mouth could

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Gut Feeling? 4 Reasons NOT to Listen to It

“Just listen to your gut,” popular wisdom says. Hell, I’ve even said it myself.Your heart may lead you astray and your head could hold you back, right? But sometimes our gut is dead wrong. Like the time it told me the habanero-fired burrito at 1am was a great idea. So when do we listen and when do we tell it to shut the hell up? It’s first useful to understand

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Has Tech Killed Art in San Francisco?

My city, San Francisco, is one of the world’s smartest and wealthiest cities. Its concrete seams are bursting with tech dollars, Python code and every imaginable type of logoed hoodie. I’m thrilled to be surrounded by such innovation and easy fashion. Yet I am saddened that San Francisco’s promise of lucrative startup exits have created such a high cost of living that its artists can no longer work and live

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50 Shades of Ambiguity: Why the ‘Gray Zone’ is Good For You

‘Embrace Ambiguity’ is one of my design firm’s seven core values. It’s the one value I used to secretly wish we could hogtie and gag. Yes, I wanted to torture ambiguity like it tortured me — you know, draw and quarter it into four understandable chunks. Why? Because I was a domineering mistress. AKA a control freak. There, I said it. I liked knowing when things would be done, how they would

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Tell Fear to F*ck Off-4 Ways to Jumpstart a New Life

“I love her, but I’m too afraid to tell her in case she laughs.” “My real dream is to be a chef, but I’m afraid of starting over at 39.” “I have this idea…..but I’m so afraid it just won’t work.” All these were quotes I pulled from Scaredy Cats Anonymous, a dimly lit place where people release their qualms and take shots of courage to make a leap forward

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Why You Can’t Make Your Relationship Last

“Stop writing about finding a relationship,” he told me. “That’s the easy part. Write about how to keep one.” My friend John was a 40-year-old serial monogamist. He couldn’t make a relationship last even though he aspired to find a woman he could “have passionate sex with until he was 85.” Yet he was on his 15th girlfriend, unsure of her long-term viability. Most people say they would cut off

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