A,B,C’s for Living Well

It’s been a long time since I have tackled blogging, years, actually. The breakneck pace and roller coaster reasons as to why it has taken me so long to get back to writing is in the past. I am excited to get on with a fresh start. I recently re-watched the movie, Julie & Julia (2009, starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams). What I love about that movie, aside from the amazingly gorgeous food and superb acting, is the way the lead character, Julie just launches into her experience, cooking recipes every day for a whole year from Julia Child’s famous cookbook, and then blogging about it. I am inspired by her tenacity!

Following in Julie’s footsteps, I am giving myself a writing challenge that will last for one year. Thankfully, it will not entail cooking a complicated French recipe every day. For my challenge, every two weeks my post will feature a “recipe” for living well during challenging times. Today’s introduction post is auspiciously exciting due to the new moon, solar eclipse. My challenge begins in earnest on December 28th with the first of 26 posts based on each letter of the alphabet; thus, The A,B,C’s for Living Well! {Example: “A” is for Awareness} Posts will be made about every two weeks. Since there are 52 weeks in a year, the challenge should wrap up in December of 2021. By then, I hope to have written a compendium of ideas to help myself and you, dear reader, to live well in these challenging times.

Why would I do this now? Communicating through writing is something I have always enjoyed and have not had a lot of time for since about 2003. Recently when I was journaling about 2020, it became crystal clear that many people (myself included) have been struggling to find balance, wellness, and meaning during very uncertain times. Due to the sale of Wayne’s House in January of this year, my work life changed tremendously. Then in March the pandemic arrived so I suspended all Further Shore’s “in person” programs. Suddenly there was time for me to be still, breathe, and ponder life. I pondered what my contribution might be, given these limiting circumstances. I pondered resuming classes toward a naturopathic degree, learning to groom dogs, or getting an actual job as a barista. I pondered ‘retirement’ and other possible scenarios for life. I made a “plus and minus” list about the things I enjoy about career, family, socializing, and travel. A big take-away was that I missed communicating through the written word and that writing helps me to find balance and meaning.

While I am not super confident that I have anything to write about that anyone will want to read, I am going to write it anyway. Here’s why:  The coronavirus has changed everything for all of us. The psychological and cultural impact of not sharing space, hugs, or human touch is bound to give rise to communication break-downs that will be difficult to repair. In general, people seem wearier, more frustrated, anxious, and angry. I am noticing more grief, guilt, and anguish from people who are concerned for loved ones with covid-19; or who have lost someone to it; or who just feel like they are imprisoned by the restrictions the virus has placed on society. Whether we like it or not, we are in a collective experience of loss. I have learned a lot from the dying and their caregivers about how to navigate loss. I am ready to share it in words on a page. This will be my personally penned “hug” to those who choose to read. I hope you will join me.

9 thoughts on “A,B,C’s for Living Well”

    • Thanks for your vote of confidence, Daniel. Just want to say that my past students (and student interns) have been great teachers for me too. That includes, you!

  1. This is so cool and I’m excited to read this as it evolves. Aleia, you always find ways to make life more meaningful and I am forever grateful.

  2. Hi Aleia,
    Without John and Michele here, how will I run into you at parties? Oh yeah, Covid! No parties anyway! I’ve seen your emails and almost attended “Death Cafe” . This time I hit links and found words that resonate. I’m looking forward to connecting.


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