As the Seasons Change, So Must We

Photo by author So, how was your summer? Did you get away from your routines and responsibilities and do something you enjoy? Or were you happy to stay home and catch up on projects that felt good after they were finished, if not necessarily enjoyable in the process? Perhaps some of each.   Alas, the iconic Minnesota State Fair end-of-summer-get-together started this week, meteorological summer ends August 31, and kids are getting ready to go back to school and college. Well, some kids, at some schools, in some states. With all the pandemic uncertainty of the SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant, who knows what rules schools will institute (and parents will concur with) over the next [...]

Looking Back, Moving Forward; Cleaning Out, Letting Go

Shutterstock by Maren Winter; Desperate woman behind stacks of binders and flying papers           What clutters your office or basement? Are your files electronic or paper? Letting go of the past creates space for the new.    Cleaning out my office was one of my summer goals. After twenty years of working from home, I want to paint, get a new desk, and be able to navigate my space without assaulting my fragile shins on file boxes stacked three deep. I don’t mind organized clutter; I know where everything is; I just can’t access it easily. And now that my memoir is coming out (date still pending), I want space—in [...]

2021-07-30T15:32:17-04:00July 30th, 2021|Categories: Expectations, Letting Go, Psychology|Tags: , , , , |

Change Is In the Air

It’s summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, almost half of Americans are fully vaccinated, and we’re ready to play. Is there fun in your future? Photo by Jess Zoerb on Unsplash Happy Summer Solstice and Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads! It’s Midsummer, and for the first time in many years in the upper Midwest, it feels as if summer really is in full swing. The temp has been in the upper 90s, the grass and fields are parched, and people are cramming the airports and snatching up last-minute cabin and rental car reservations. Or so I’ve heard from family and friends. What plans do you have for this northern hemisphere glorious summer? [...]

Making Sense of Chaos: How our Brain and Immune System Respond to COVID-19 and Stress

Socrates contemplating, By Anastasios71 on Shutterstock COVID-19 and emotional stress trigger inflammatory immune responses. And then our brain changes. It does matter what we think and how we process events in our life. What has your month been like? Were you able to focus on something important to you or do something fun and energizing? Did you accomplish what you intended to this month? My May 1 calendar note read, “Make sense of chaos.” I don’t remember what was going on astrologically to trigger this directive, but this was the month’s message for me. I set out with intention. A year ago in May, we lived in a peak of uncertainty with rising COVID-19 [...]

When Life Interferes with Expectations

Photo by Anoir Chafik on Unsplash When life interferes with expectations, reflect and regroup, and then put one foot in front of the other with purpose and direction. Trust that you will find your way. Expectations After almost four months of not walking outside, I spontaneously slip out of my sheepskin-lined slippers and into my tennis shoes, grab a windbreaker and my house key, and confidently walk out the door. As I carefully step up onto the parkway trail across the street from my house, I take a deep breath and inhale the damp spring air. The trees bordering the spring-fed pond are just starting to bud; polka dots of green splatter the barren, [...]

Why Some People Won’t Get Vaccinated and How to Fix That – Guest Post by Brennan R. White

Today’s guest post is by Podcaster Brennan R. White @Explainthenews. To listen to the podcast, go to Podcasts - Explain The News. Vaccine hesitancy, istock photo With COVID-19 vaccination rates falling for the first time, and supply beginning to outpace demand in the United States, the quest for herd immunity is getting more difficult. Twenty percent of the country is reportedly hesitant—but potentially willing—to get vaccinated. What are their reservations, and what will help them overcome their hesitancy? As of today, 54 percent of adults in the United States have received at least one vaccine dose, and 37 percent are fully vaccinated. Recent polling suggests that just 60 percent want to get vaccinated, so [...]

COVID-19 Interrupted Life: How Will You Move On?

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash Life, Interrupted:  Everyone, it seems, is reflecting on the first year of the pandemic. What’s your takeaway on how this past year has affected you, your life? I resisted but finally took twenty minutes to jot down how my routines changed (very little, other than no travel or coffee dates) and how the circumstances influenced my perspective, attitude, mood, and energy (anyone else block out the first four months?). Whether or not you even care to look back, most of us will concur that life has been interrupted. The one we were familiar with, anyway. And the changes we’ve had to make are dragging on, far longer than [...]

Regrets: What To Do When We Have Them

istockphoto by stereohype “Have no regrets” my friend murmured after I shared my angst over decisions I faced as my father approached death. That was a decade ago, and I’ve been mulling over regrets ever since. Is it even possible to live life without the remorseful “I can’t believe I did/said that” torment we inflict upon ourselves? And how do we move on from this all-too-human self-criticism? I revisited regret this week. For my writing class, we were to write a scene in which a character does something despicable and then rationalizes his actions. I take my homework seriously—even after all these years—and I contemplated the assignment all week. Despicable is such a strong [...]

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My: Overcoming Distractions and Fears

Shutterstock by Francey, Wizard of Oz Yellow Brick Road in a Dark and Spooky Forest In the 1939 classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy, the Tin Man, and Scarecrow confront their fears in the dark and scary forest as they travel along the yellow brick road to the Emerald City. Witches and wild animals—and all sorts of imagined risks—lurk in the darkness. Lion jumps out and reminds them they need courage, along with a brain and a heart. Together, arms linked, they set off on the path to reach their individual goals. Were you missing any of these essential comrades on your journey through 2020? Did you make informed decisions, connect to your [...]

2021-01-18T11:06:16-05:00January 18th, 2021|Categories: 2021, Health, Psychology, Resilience, Survival|Tags: , , , , |

A Season of Hope

Unsplash by Jaanus Jagomagi The United Kingdom began vaccinating for coronavirus this week as the United States and Canada approved emergency-use authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and prepared to protect healthcare workers and vulnerable adults in long-term care settings. It took monumental effort to develop and produce a vaccine and conduct Phase I, II, and III clinical trials in less than a year. There is hope for a safer tomorrow. And here in the Northern Hemisphere, we look to the skies for the aurora borealis and anticipate the winter solstice with its subtle yet convincing reversal to longer and lighter days. Even the planets get in the game, with Jupiter and Saturn aligning close [...]

2020-12-13T11:51:50-05:00December 13th, 2020|Categories: COVID-19, Hope, Resilience|Tags: , , , , |
Go to Top