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  • Planning Your Fresh Start: Step 5
    Well folks, we’ve reached the end of our “Next Normal Fresh Start” journey together.  I’ve taken you as far as I can.  Now it’s up to you. Whether we like to admit it to ourselves or not — we have much more control over how our days, weeks, months, and years unfold than we imagine. […]
  • Planning Your Fresh Start: Step 4
    Do you know the term “bright-line rule”? It’s a legal concept.  A bright-line rule is defined as a clear, simple, and objective standard that can be applied to judge a situation.  It is not open to interpretation or exception.  Like a bright line on the ground — you’re either on one side or the other. […]
  • Planning Your Fresh Start: Step 3
    Back in April, an episode of the NPR podcast Life Kit focused on how everyone might be a bit rusty in their interpersonal skills as things start to open back up and people begin socializing again. At one point, they discussed how the pandemic might have revealed the real limits of our social capacity.   […]
  • Planning Your Fresh Start: Step 2
    Hi there! How did things go for you in Step 1? Any surprises? I didn’t give very specific directions in Step 1, on purpose. Step 1 was intended to capture ideas and impressions. Things you might not have thought about before, or taken time to consider. The next step is to take a closer look at those […]
  • Planning Your Fresh Start: Step 1
    Back in the 1960s maybe?… there was a Broadway musical with the title “Stop the World, I Want to Get Off.” I really don’t know anything about the show — just the name. Before the pandemic, when life would seem truly out of control, I would think about that title. I would think, “wouldn’t it […]
  • The Overwhelming Pressure of the “Fresh Start”
    Okay, seriously. If I see one more article or read one more thing reminding me that my “once in a lifetime” opportunity to make a “fresh start” is slipping away, I think I am going to scream and fall down. (Spoiler alert: I have a possible fix…keep reading 😊) It’s been clear for some time […]
  • It’s Anticipation. It’s Dread. It’s Dreadticipation.
    Of course, the pandemic had to end sooner or later. I was kind of counting on later. Not that I’m enjoying this, mind you. It’s just that I thought things would start back up again gradually, bit by bit, following a schedule like Michigan’s “MI Vacc to Normal” plan. And I would be able to […]
  • Maybe I’m Just Dormant
    It seems I’m not the only one who is languishing. Thanks so much to everyone who reached out after my last post to share that they, too, feel oddly unsettled. It helps to know you’re not alone, doesn’t it? But maybe that’s not right — maybe we’re not languishing. Maybe, like author Austin Kleon, we’re […]
  • “Honestly, I’m Languishing”
    How are you? I mean really — how are you? It’s been a year. Literally — it’s been nearly 12 months since I added a post to this blog. And, well — it’s been some year, hasn’t it? I finally decided to get this blog going, and we were plunged into a global pandemic. I […]
  • Anatomy of a Panic Spiral (and How to Snap Out of It)
    These are not good times for someone like me who struggles with anxiety. Struggles in the best of times. Since the pandemic began in earnest here, I’ve gotten caught up in panic spirals several times. By “panic spirals” I mean attacks of escalating panic (I hesitate to call them panic attacks because I’m not sure […]

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