It feels like a whole new world.
Two weeks to the day after my second Moderna shot, the CDC revised its recommendations for fully-vaccinated folks. This prompted a whole lot of return visits to places I hadn’t been in over a year, often seeing people I haven’t seen in that same amount of time.
Stuff I used to do all the time in 2019 now seems like a treat. So it didn’t feel “normal,” and I hope it never does. Taking things for granted is a scourge of human nature, and I want to make sure I resist it.
After all the travel I did in 2018-19, the pandemic felt like having a door slammed in my face. On the upside, my plans to be a perpetual traveler are even more solid now.
I can even view the pandemic as a blessing of sorts, because it reinforced what kind of life I truly want to lead. How’s that for a positive mindset?
(No, I haven’t been kidnapped and replaced with an annoyingly cheerful replica. Thanks for checking, though … because you never know.)
It seems everyone has their own version of a new beginning right now. People are changing jobs or entire careers, starting businesses, and generally aiming to experience life more on their own terms after having an unplanned taste of disruption.
What about you? It would be a shame to let this opportunity for reinvention pass you by.
A Once-in-a-Lifetime Chance to Start Over (The Atlantic)
Take This Job and …
Lots of people are starting fresh by changing jobs and even careers. If this is you, quitting as the pandemic tapers off leads to some interesting questions. Is an email resignation appropriate? Zoom?
The World Welcomes You
This is an in-depth article that indicates how digital nomadism is becoming more mainstream, and even encouraged by various countries around the world. It’s an exciting time to think differently about how you want to live your life.
Finish with a Flourish
If the pandemic caused many to languish, now is the time to flourish. And beyond the benefits that exercise brings to both body and brain, physical activity can also promote a sense of purpose in life, creating a virtuous cycle that keeps you going.
How Exercise May Help Us Flourish (New York Times)
It was once long believed — by the average person and by brain health experts — that each person had a finite number of brain cells, which decreased over time. But this line of thinking isn’t exactly true based on what researchers have learned about brain health over the past decade. Which is nice.
Down below, Trudi explores a new beginning of a completely different sort — the gray divorce. Did you know divorce rates are highest in the age bracket we’re headed toward?
And in the Flashback, a song Dave Grohl admits is about Courtney Love (it’s as obvious as it is scathing). But the weird thing is the way she’s “represented” in the video — this weird floating spore that some think resembles the COVID-19 virus. I’ll just leave that there.
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Breaking Down the Mid-Life Breakup
By Trudi Roth
Here’s a fun game: whose joint statement about the dissolution of their relationship is whose?
- “We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so.”
- “We no longer believe we can grow together as a couple in this next phase of our lives.”
- “We have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends.”
a. MacKenzie Scott and Jeff Bezos
b. Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
c. Bill Gates and Melinda Gates
Answers at the end, and immediate props to the publicists who crafted grown-up versions of the classic breakup line, “We’ll still be friends.”
You may have heard the term “gray divorce,” which Boomers (like Bill and Melinda) made a thing. Research shows from 1990-2010, the midlife divorce rate almost doubled. Yet it’s too simple to blame these splits on marrying too young or working too hard.
Instead, it may be helpful to look at irreconcilable differences through an individual development lens. After all, as divorce lawyer Nicole Sodoma points out:
The people we marry are not the people we divorce because people change.
For those of us focused on personal growth, that point may ring especially true.
The Gen eX-Factor
Generation X has been more likely to stay married than our folks. The reasons are a bit counterintuitive. While we were the first generation to normalize having divorced parents, we also have tended to stay married longer. So far, anyway.
But according to recent US Census Bureau data, divorce rates are highest (about 43%) among both sexes in the age bracket we’re approaching: 55-64.
Speaking of aging, we GenXers are riding the longevity wave to perhaps triple digits. So the whole “until death do us part” concept begs re-evaluation — especially if the person you said “I do” to doesn’t do it for you so much anymore.
With or Without You
We have a lot of scripts when we’re young for how [life] should look. There’s no script for midlife. You get to create it on your own.
This entails taking an honest look at who you are today. Do you and your partner desire similar things? Do you still want to create a life together? What are the financial, social, and familial implications?
While you’re soul searching, you might consider the meaning of the word “divorce.” From the Latin “divortium,” it means to divert. In other words, turn to exploring a new direction.
And, for the record, that doesn’t have to gray out all the positives of the life you’ve shared to this point.
Foo Fighters, 1995
Dave Grohl is now in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. First with Nirvana, and now with Foo Fighters. He did indeed stick around as promised. (YouTube)
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