Dear health care professionals of America,
As you battle the COVID-19 epidemic day after never-ending day, each in your own way and in your own trenches, we wanted to write to you and tell you something you don’t hear nearly often enough — from us or anyone else.
We see you.
We hear you.
We are so incredibly grateful for you.
And we believe in you and the grueling work you’re doing, virtually nonstop. …
If you see yourself as an introvert and refer to yourself as an introvert and manage your day-to-day life through an introvert lens, are you empowering yourself? Or are you limiting yourself?
The answer, potentially, is yes.
It can too easily be both — even though the “empowering” part is the only one you’re going for.
I remember so vividly the day in graduate school, some 25 years ago now, when I first took the widely used Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality assessment.
When I received my results and my graduate assistantship supervisor began describing this thing called introversion — and emphasizing that it wasn’t a bad thing but just a thing — one thought took over my brain: “This explains so much!” …
Whenever I volunteer at the school where my wife teaches kindergarten, I hear staff members speaking a fascinating language that wasn’t yet invented when I was a kid.
While it’s not exactly Yoda-speak (“Teachers we are”; “Children we teach”), it is similarly notable for what it seeks to emphasize, and why.
A few examples explain it best.
Suppose a kid is running down the hallway. The teacher who sees it doesn’t scream “Don’t run!” or “No running in the halls!” like my teachers would have done. Instead, she calmly says “Walking feet” or “Walk in the hallways, please.”
(Note: The “please” is its own stunning addition to today’s disciplinary lexicon, but that’s another article.) …
I got into a fight the other day. At the kitchen table.
With the letter L.
I was taking a stand. Besides: L started it.
My wife, Adrianne, had spent the previous evening once again typing away on her Macintosh without the full services of the L key, the cover of which had come off a few weeks before.
Adrianne was getting by. But she was rightfully frustrated, both by the feel of the missing key’s empty spot and by the outsize precision required to type one L instead of two, or three, or none.
So there I was at 8:06 a.m., barely awake, engaged in a stare-down with a little plastic L key, sticking its tongue out at me. …
I was excavating the kitchen the other day— chiseling the kids’ dishes out of the sink, dusting them for evidence of fossils, and loading them into the dishwasher — when I got some bad news.
I may have frown lines.
That’s what the informative YouTube ad told me, at least.
Talk about being blindsided. I had no idea. I’ve been living a carefree facial life all these years, smiling and scowling willy-nilly, not worrying about the damage my expressions might be causing.
But now I’m kicking myself. How could I have been so naive?
For sure enough, when I walked over to the bathroom mirror to conduct a thorough head examination, I saw them. …
My brother Mark says he can flip a metaphorical switch inside himself to become an extrovert-on-demand.
“It’s like what happens to performers just as they put on their costume to play ‘superstar’ on stage,” he tells me. “The costume has a magical effect, like you’ve been granted superpowers.”
Mark is a fine actor, it turns out, so convincing I’m sure many of the people in his life think he really is an extrovert.
But he isn’t. He’s near the middle of the introvert-extrovert spectrum, though likely leaning a bit closer to the introverted side.
If he needs to jump into the proverbial phone booth and become Super Extrovert for his job as an IT consultant, or for his role as son-/brother-in-law in his wife Judith’s extended Cameroonian family, he just does it. And he does it well. …
Until today, I’ve never cased a store before going in. And not while wearing a ridiculous disguise to boot.
But there I was in the Costco parking lot this morning, slumped in the seat of my minivan, peering out the driver’s side window like a prairie dog scanning for predators.
I wasn’t looking for a coyote or a badger or a hawk.
I was looking for a masked man.
Make that another masked man. Or a masked woman. Even a masked child would do. Just somebody, anybody else wearing one of the stupid face masks I was wearing for the first time so I could go shopping — safely and responsibly — after three weeks of being at home, at home, and at home. …
Our cats Paws and Smokey are quasi-corpses, the type of old men who are stunned to wake up alive each morning— and who see staying awake as rigorous physical activity.
Paws is nine, Smokey 13. The two of them spend their conscious seconds lazing around in patches of sunlight, discussing their ailments and which of their friends are sick. Or dead.
Drinks and cigarettes in paw, they reminisce about how, when they were young bucks, they didn’t have indoor litter, and how they had to walk outside — uphill in both directions, wearing only the hand-me-down fur on their backs — to squat in a hole in the ground, five blocks away. …
We worry about people who are lonely, and rightfully so.
Take your pick: Whether we’re talking about teens or young adults or middle-agers or senior citizens, a host of recent studies reveals an epidemic of loneliness that is linked to all kinds of troubling outcomes, mental illness being among the most serious.
With the holidays approaching, we can expect to hear even more than we usually do about loneliness. We’ll see a spike in the number of news articles and television segments offering tips to help people deal with it. Again, rightfully so.
But what if you face the opposite problem this holiday season? …
I don’t know a damn thing about Alzheimer’s disease. Not really. Nothing beyond the common man’s understanding that it is a merciless invader that destroys the brain from the inside out. Slowly. Painstakingly. Certainly.
I don’t have a degree in neurology from Harvard Medical School. I haven’t conducted a single study that will be published in The Journal of the American Medical Association. I haven’t even visited any mainstream websites on Alzheimer’s, or read any books about it, or skimmed any magazine articles to learn the ins and outs from the experts.
I really don’t want to give Alzheimer’s any more than it’s already taking from me, to be honest with you. Because I see Alzheimer’s right in front of me, in the eyes of my nearly 81-year-old mother, Nancy. And those eyes tell me something that no Alzheimer’s guru…