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Month: October 2020

October 2020

Seen and Unseen

Her words would not leave me. Intended as a compliment, they felt strangely disturbing.                 “You’ve got it all together.” I replayed the words in my head for a week. Was I a source of comparison, envy, or inspiration? My friend, 20 plus years my junior, sees my life in the present and from the outside. My past is outside her range of vision. While now with few financial fears, I can still feel the tension in my hunched shoulders from when newly divorced I obsessively checked the next due date of my credit card bills. Today she sees me
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A Cup of Coping

I was sitting in my sadness wishing away the state of the world.  Halloween isn’t going to be the same this year.  My Thanksgiving table will not host my parents or my children.  My December traditions will resemble, at best, hollowed out holidays.  These sorrows seem petty next to the messages from my friends tearing further at my heart: a mother-in-law in the hospital likely due to COVID most surely facing her final days, an infant granddaughter rushed to the hospital for breathing difficulties, a suicide attempt, depression, anxiety, and distinct despair.  It is too much.  I am too emotionally
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Treasure Hunting

Decades before ThredUp, Poshmark, or even EBay were where millions shopped second hand, I was a thrifter. As a student on work study or a waitress saving for a trip to Barcelona, my fashion fix fit within my Goodwill budget. Unlike a quick click on my laptop to indulge in an instant Amazon acquisition, thrifting meant extended hours of enjoyment in the hunt. (Those neuropathways from our hunting and gathering ancestors run deep.) Even on the rare occasions when I walked out of the Salvation Army empty handed, I always had affordable amusement. It was like going to an art
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Sliding Standards, Shifting Lenses

Sales of sweatpants up. Sales of suits down. Standards are shifting. Selections from drawers and closets are simply not the same in our virtual and remote worlds.  Expectations are different, too. Tardiness to a training, once taken as a sign of disrespect, now simply means Alex had to let their dog out to pee at the last minute.  Logically we know that in the context of the coronavirus our ideas of how we must perform cannot remain the same. But it isn’t easy. We still want what we want when we want it and when we said Friday was the deadline, we meant Friday.  We know we need a new perspective. We need to see our measures of merit differently because life is simply not the same.  The lens of understanding is required when your friend just checked
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From Pandemic to Personal

Each week at 7:55 a.m. I hit “Send”. My weekly ritual is intended help to my coworkers living in these times. My Teeny Tiny Tuesday Tips range from how to do 4 x 4 deep breathing to how to make mini-habits.  By Thursday it had already been a challenging week. I’d just returned from seeing a friend with early onset dementia. That afternoon while on Zoom (preparing to facilitate a panel on ethics in a pandemic), one person had to hop off—they had COVID. Just minutes before, I’d learned of yet another friend newly diagnosed.  By evening I decided to follow my own advice given just two days prior. I gave myself permission to set my phone aside for 20 minutes and relax in the warm waters of my antique claw foot tub. I drew my
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May It Please the Court

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was sworn into the United States Supreme Court August 10, 1993.  That same month, I moved out of my parents’ home and into my first college dormitory.  That month, my dad made sure I had opened my first credit card to account for any emergencies.  I walked into college with my future and possibilities ahead of me to work toward any career path that tempted me and with a full expectation of being equally treated alongside my male classmates.  Little did I know at the time, that Justice Ginsburg, during the decade I was born, was working tirelessly as an ACLU litigator to pave
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