COVID as CATALYST
Let us get this out of the way. There is nothing good about COVID. In the same way there is nothing good about cancer, having your dog die, or losing your job when you’re living pay-check to pay-check. No, there is nothing good about COVID. What there is, however, is perspective. In this theme, COVID as CATALYST, we offer a collection of essays and articles that explore the different ways the pandemic has motivated people to see their world differently and make changes that, perhaps, one should have been making anyway. There’s a good chance you might see yourself in one of these pieces. And, if not, we encourage you to contribute yourself at firstname.lastname@example.org
On The Move
How COVID is influencing real estateAlmost 9 million Americans moved in 2020 between March and October, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), spurred on by the Pandemic. That number includes college students who moved home when the Pandemic hit in March. It also includes families who moved from cities to suburbs and older residents who thought this was a good time to get off the procrastination couch and downsize or get that retirement home in the country.
Taking Life by the MomentWhen COVID hit, and lockdowns sent us all inside without an end in sight, it felt strangely familiar to me. I'd never quarantined or lived through a pandemic, but the emotions it stirred reminded me of the year I spent locked inside my house and mind after my husband died of pancreatic cancer.
It Took A PandemicIt’s human nature to postpone making major life decisions, to spend time weighing the pros and the cons, contemplating the options, looking and looking and looking before you leap. It’s my nature to go beyond this all the way to procrastinating and distracting and sometimes even putting on blinders while kicking all those difficult, gut-wrenching, point-of-no-return cans down the road. Until life intervenes.
All Quiet in the Kennels
The rise of pet adoptions during COVIDWhen the pandemic hit, the last thing I thought of was getting a second dog. I was more concerned with washing my hands and figuring out how I would teach in the fall. But shitty things kept happening. My father-in-law died of Covid, my daughter was dumped by her long-time boyfriend, I worried about teaching in-person, and about my father and step-father’s health.
The End of the Exhale“What happens at the end of the exhale?” That was the question posed by Frank Ostaseski, one of the leaders in end of life care, in a recent interview. The exhale he is referencing, is the one that happens after you take in a deep breath, hold it for a moment, and let it out all the way down to your toes.
Traveling the World, One Year at a Time
If Early Retirement Calls, Are You Ready?If you could live in a different country every year, for the whole year, where would you go? What would your Top Ten list be? That’s a question we’ve been asking friends—and ourselves—ever since my now-wife and I decided in our early fifties that we wanted to do just that for the first ten years of our retirement. We called it our “Ten Year Plan.”
The Curtain is RisingWhen Covid hit in late February 2020, my mother was nearing the end of her arduous, painful Alzheimer’s journey. As weeks turned to months, I contemplated with agony the pros and cons of traveling to Florida to say goodbye. Ultimately I made the trip, but the decision was excruciating—the fear of not saying goodbye versus the risk of contracting Covid in route, knowing that would seal her fate.
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