• Tradition

    9/11, a Tradition, and a Question

    In 2012 I started a new personal tradition for the National Day of Remembrance, which I’ll get to in a minute, after I add a personal take on this 20-year anniversary of 9/11. A couple of months ago, Jim and I visited Naperville, Illinois. It was our home for more than twenty years, and where we were living twenty years ago today. Naperville has a 9/11 memorial adjacent to the river, downtown. On our recent visit, Jim and I took a walk and visited the memorial. As we approached, I noticed that the plaque described the reason for the memorial, to honor the approximately 3,000 people who died on 9/11.…

  • Random Thoughts,  Something That Could Change Your Life,  UGH.

    One Year Since Everything Changed

    We’re all starting to recognize that it’s been a whole year since our entire world turned upside down. One exact date doesn’t fit all; each of us has our own markers. Soon the internet will be flooded with thinkpieces about this still unbelievable and in many ways devastating anniversary, and while I wouldn’t normally choose to add to the clutter, I couldn’t imagine not writing about it, especially this week. For me, this week marks a year since I last worked on-site with my team. This week marks a year since I last went out into a crowded bar to listen to live music and dance with a bunch of…

  • Amazing People,  Blessings,  How To,  Something That Could Change Your Life

    Thanks, Healthcare Workers! (or, Here’s a Template for a Thank You Note)

    “You were all already heroes in my eyes way before this tragedy struck my family, but now that I know what I know from experiencing it, I am truly in awe of all of you.” I wrote a thank you letter last week, as did my mom and sister. I delivered them to the hospital staff who sit at a table just inside the ER doors, taking temperatures and evaluating people who want to enter the building. Those gatekeepers would deliver the thank you notes to the Nurses’ Station on the COVID floor for me, just like they delivered various things my dad, mom, and sister needed from home when…

  • Confessions,  UGH.

    It’s Okay Not to Be Okay.

    A couple days ago I was a little down, which is an understatement. It happens to all of us at one time or another, especially this year. This particular horrible day was the first one in a long time for me, thank goodness: I have many, many more good days than bad. Terrible days like that one are a huge contradiction to who I normally am: a chipper and optimistic person who is also a great cheerleader and excellent cheerer-upper for others. Days like that one can be confusing and/or totally shocking to those who know me well, but nobody has good days one hundred percent of the time. In…

  • Fun in Knoxville,  Motivation,  Working On My Fitness

    Relearning Old Skills is Easier When You’re Kind to Yourself.

    Recently we went for a bike ride. This was a big deal for me. I haven’t ridden my bicycle in at least six years…maybe more like eight years: I can’t recall. Twelve years ago I rode my bike a lot because that was the summer when the price of gasoline jumped to nearly five dollars per gallon and I was absolutely not paying that just to drive myself to the salon for my part-time job, or to my workouts at the gym. I rode about 75 miles each week, something I can’t imagine doing at this point in my life. Anyway, we have this great ten-mile green way near our…

  • Family Fun,  Friends,  Motivation,  My Friends Have Mad Skillz

    New Pandemic Hobbies Keep Us Busy!

    I have a lot of friends who are, overall, very happy right now. (And I’m not just talking about the introverts!) They’re thankful for the serenity and forced slow-down this pandemic has brought upon them. Naturally they are sad for all of the losses that have resulted from it as well; that has to be stated, but that’s a different topic for another day. I can’t say that I’m always thankful but I definitely do have moments and days when I am. Maybe we all do, at different levels: there are good days and bad ones, good weeks and bad ones. These days, months into the pandemic, many people are…

  • How To,  Motivation

    25 Things to Do While Social Distancing During a Global Pandemic

    What with COVID-19 (coronavirus) having just been declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, it has become more important than ever for us to work together to “flatten the curve” (slow down the spread of the virus) so as not to completely overwhelm the capacity of health care systems. And by “work together,” of course I mean “get it done but only while placing ourselves at least six feet away from other humans.” COVID-19 is spread by respiratory secretions and possibly from touching contaminated surfaces, so lots of hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds while not touching our faces is our best bet when it…