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Handling the Holidays When You’re Grieving

Holidays can be a minefield to navigate when you are grieving the loss of a loved one, especially if that loss was recent and this is your first holiday without them. There you are, feeling so very sad and vulnerable and raw, and everywhere you turn you are listening to cheerful holiday music, looking at pictures of smiling people, and watching excited children and beaming parents going about their holiday preparations. The contrast between where you are and where the rest of the world seems to be can be overwhelming and quite painful. Holidays are a time when cultural tradition exerts tremendous pressure on you to be a certain way, feel a certain way, act a certain way – ways that feel almost foreign to you in the midst of your grief. As you look around your holiday table, the     . . . read more

Waiting for the Right Time?

I stopped blogging a few months ago to pursue what turned out to be a fairly involved personal project: baby #2. She arrived just before Thanksgiving and has brought a joyful chaos with her. I started wanting to write again a few weeks back, but there was always stuff to do. I kept thinking: maybe I’ll write when my laundry pile is gone. Or my paperwork pile. Or when I’ve slept through a night. So here’s my blog post. I must be doing great, accomplishing those thing, right? NOPE. Not even close. I’ve got lots of piles and minimal connected sleep. The truth is I’m not going to have everything done. There is no immediate future involving all things cleanly squared away while I sit down to write. So here I stand (literally I’m standing), dishes in the sink, laundry     . . . read more

The Case for No New Resolutions

I’m not making a resolution this year. Some years I’m into it. Sometimes I feel like it’s a good opportunity to reflect and form new habits. This year is different. I just feel like I’m at max capacity. I’m not willing to add anything new because there is nothing I really truly want to subtract. So maybe I do have a resolution: accept and honor the real limits of time, energy, and focus. I’ve pushed myself to do a little more, and a little more, until… I’m at the limit of what one person can reasonably do. I think it’s a fine place to be: maintaining a delicate balance of doing a fulfilling amount of work without consistently over-doing it. I think it’s wise to know our true limits. We can only do so much in a day, week, or     . . . read more

What 56 Pull-Ups, Positive Psychology, and Mister Rogers Taught Me About Failure (and Happiness)

I looked up at the bar, but I knew I couldn’t do any more. I had reached muscle failure. I looked at my coach, feeling defeated, and said, “I’m done.” She looked at me warmly and said, “Okay.” As I caught my breath, I thought about how I didn’t make it through the whole workout. It was a failure, a disappointment. Then I looked up at the whiteboard, where the workout was written. I started counting up the pull-ups I had completed in the 20 minute workout. 56. Wait a second…when and how did doing 56 pull-ups become possible? And when the heck did it start to represent a failure? I started CrossFit about two years ago. I cared only about gaining energy and sleeping better so I could live my life more fully. But soon there were other perks. I     . . . read more

Change and Motivation: Overcome the F#ck-It Factor

A post for grown ups only due to realistic (okay, okay… inappropriate) language. Change is hard and maintaining motivation over a long period of time is a classic human difficulty. I believe that if you are going to invest in a key life change, you want to think about starting in a way that will set you up for long-term success. Building a strong foundation for change requires intentional thought. Why? Because sooner or later the usual suspects come knocking on your door: stress, fatigue, pressure, social situations, burn-out, and lack of preparedness. When that moment comes, and it always does, two little words stand between all your hard work and the impending self-sabotage. Fuck it. Those two words cue the U-turn into setback city, often to get lost and not re-emerge to changeville for a long time. Real change     . . . read more

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