True confession: I bought a new curling iron last week because a magazine told me to. I was bored with my hair, and now that I’m using this new curling iron, I think it looks better. I realize this makes me a participator in consumer culture, and I’m OK with that.

We’re an aspirational culture. We’re always looking to find easy, quick ways to improve our lives. I think that’s one of the main reasons we pick up consumer lifestyle magazines. Callouts promise us quick weight loss, better finances, more beautiful skin and hair and better fashion sense. The good ones deliver, if even in small ways, and the not-so-g00d ones don’t.

I believe that we also read consumer magazines is to discover solutions to everyday life challenges. I love helping readers discover those solutions. I think that’s one of the main reasons I’m so passionate about this field.

That’s also why I’m so excited for the October issue of Military Spouse magazine. As a military spouse, I know that our particular group faces a specific set of challenges as a result of our partners’ occupations. They can loom large (deployment, combat stress and PTSD, life and limb-altering injuries, marital strain due to extensive deployments) and they can be more “everyday” (frequent moves, new social situations, new communities). I love that MilSpouse seeks to help spouses deal with these types of challenges in its pages. I wrote two such stories (on the more everyday stuff), one involving multipurpose furniture, and one having to do with “giving back” to a community even when you’ve just moved there. Along the way, I got to speak with a young army wife who runs ultramarathons and a navy wife who has become an integral part of the success of the United Way. I sincerely hope MilSpouse’s readers enjoy these stories as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Happy Friday!

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