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Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Pandemic

In Forge. More on Medium.

From the mother to the teacher to the waiter, we have had enough

LOIC VENANCE/AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

We are Simone Biles. And Simone Biles is us. A day after the Olympian announced her withdrawal from the women’s gymnastics team final — and later the individual all-around — the Internet devolved into ridiculous chatter about the star athlete’s “toughness.” (Jesus, the woman has four gold medals.) Stepping back instantly re-ignited the debate over whether Tokyo 2020–2021 should have even happened — is the world ready? Are the athletes prepared? Should we be doing this yet? It also made Biles the poster girl of a very acute American identity crisis that is playing out all over the nation —…


The pandemic shrank our social circles. It’s time to expand them.

Photo: Markus Spiske via Unsplash

“I’ll tell you one thing, I’m sick of this damn Covid thing.” Carl and I had never met before, but on this we immediately found common ground.

Carl came out to our family’s cabin in New Hampshire to make some long-overdue repairs. We chatted about the weather and the astronomical price of lumber before talking about the pandemic.

In many ways, Carl and I were completely different: I lived in an apartment in New York City; he lived in the countryside on 10 acres with his dog. I spent most of the pandemic in the hospital treating patients; he spent…


Thank God it’s not dead

Photo: CSA Images/Getty Images

The entire pandemic, I’ve been hearing about things that Covid-19 may or may not have killed. Business travel. Buffets. Birthday candles. Snow days. I’m not sure all, or any, of these things are really going to go away: Human nature has a tendency to snap back to a certain base level of accepted normalcy, and I’m not sure one (incredibly tumultuous!) year is going to upset that applecart for centuries to come. And I hope not. Because I really love shaking hands.

Shaking hands was suppose to go away, wasn’t it? It’s strange that we remained — and in many…


🌱 Today’s tip: Fake a “reset” with a haircut or room re-do

In many parts of the world, people are getting vaccinated, things are opening up, and plans are reappearing on calendars as rapidly as they disappeared last spring. But what if you aren’t sure if you’re ready for reentry? Research suggests that you can trick your brain into registering “temporal landmarks” that motivate behavior changes — the way spring, or a new school year, can make you feel like making a fresh start. Force a “fresh start” feeling by making one tangible change.

“Even simple changes like getting a…


Here’s what to do with that late-pandemic impulse to make a big change

Photo: Hispanolistic/Getty Images

Blowing up your life has always seemed like a romantic idea — shrugging off all the things that were weighing you down, wiping your slate clean, actually doing the thing you always kept tucked in the back of your mind. Trying your hand at a job in a totally different industry. Picking up and moving somewhere new, just for the thrill of the change.

Now, there’s a sense going around that those options are feeling more possible than they ever have before: Covid already blew up our lives. Now, the thinking goes, comes the chance to do it ourselves.

A…


The rejuvenating power of feeling like a visitor

Photo: Masaaki Komori/Unsplash

Rejuvenation. That’s what a friend recently told me she needed. She’d written a book that was published in October, right before the election, but she’d felt too exhausted to publicize it. Not that it would have mattered anyway. The world was shouty and stressed.

Now, with vaccines and tulips all around us, she was still dragging herself from masked grocery store visits to the occasional school pickup (when school wasn’t closed because of Covid.) “What can rejuvenate me?” she asked. We listed the obvious options for middle-aged women in Brooklyn: yoga, wine, essential oils, hanging out in someone’s backyard for…


As the pandemic inches toward completion, here’s an important message: You’re not done yet

Photo: John M Lund Photography Inc/Getty Images

Heading into the final stretch of the women’s snowboard cross race at the 2006 Winter Olympics, American Lindsey Jacobellis held a commanding lead over her competitors. As she ascended the second-to-last jump, Jacobellis looked back to confirm her lead, flew into the air, then grabbed her board in a celebratory display of swagger. The showboating would have been no big deal except that when she landed, Jacobellis fell on her backside while Tanja Frieden of Switzerland zoomed past to win the gold medal.

This kind of showy blunder happens all the time in sports. NFL players DeSean Jackson and Danny…


Instead of waiting impatiently for the future to arrive, use the concept of ‘dual reality’ to find peace in this weird pandemic moment

Photo: dowell/Getty Images

If 2020 was the worst year ever, 2021 is on track to be the weirdest. Not bad, per se — or at least, not as bad as what we’ve all survived to date. More like, a year that’s shaping up to be more than a little bit… off.

As I write this, most U.S. states have freshly expanded Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all adults over the age of 18. Yet, at the very same time, states across the country are seeing an alarming surge in cases. The same is happening across Europe and in Canada. In Brazil, the pandemic is…


If you haven’t done these things in a year, now is the time

Woman cleaning her kitchen with a smile.
Woman cleaning her kitchen with a smile.
Photo: Halfpoint Images / Getty Images

Many of us have spent the past few weeks acknowledging the anniversaries: of the last time we went to an office, or that our children went to school, or that we ate inside a restaurant.

It’s a sad time, and a strange one, but it’s a hopeful one, too. After a long year-plus, every one of those anniversaries is for something we may be able to do again somewhat soon. Which means that right now, about a year since the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, is a good moment to start readying your life to expand again.

What…


✍️ Today’s tip: Write your own pandemic reflection.

Here’s a way to process everything this year has — and hasn’t — been: Write it down. Take 15 minutes to write your own pandemic reflection.

It can have immense benefits. As Ryan Holiday writes in Forge, “I journal each morning as a way of starting the day off fresh — I put my baggage down on the page so that I don’t have to carry it to meetings or to breakfast with my family.” Or into post-vaccination life.

Here are a few prompts:

What final pre-pandemic memory do you keep returning…

Forge

A publication from Medium on personal development.

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