The words of the week are “unique” and its amusing sidekick, “bizarre.”
I’m a stickler for using “unique” only for the truly one-of-a-kind. You, for example, are unique.
You might also be bizarre. I don’t know you, so I can’t be sure about that.
But my readings this week indicate that nature is really bizarre. And absolutely wonderful. You may find the latest Bachelor scandal to be the most interesting thing around, but for me, these surprises from nature have kept me riveted:
For example, why didn’t I know that wombat poop is cube-shaped?
And so many fascinating details hinted…
I’m “should-ing all over myself” today. I should feel happier. It’s a gorgeous blue-sky snowy weekend day. I have nowhere I have to go, and an unusual length of unplanned time to do the things I love.
And yet, I just feel…meh. I don’t feel like going for a walk in the snow, my sense of humor seems to be hiding somewhere underneath the couch, and even David Johansen’s Mansion of Fun (our Sunday afternoon ritual) is fine, but not engaging.
I’m an old hand at this low-grade feeling of dissatisfaction. It is not my primary mindset, but as I’ve…
I want to lead this week with Aimee Gramblin’s post about preparing for difficult mental health days. In this article, she gives a great gift to anyone who has “good” and “bad” mental health days. I used to cycle through periods of depression much more than I do now, and if I had this safety net in place, I might have weathered some of those storms more easily.
As we slide toward the middle of my least favorite month of the year, I am feeling surprisingly well. I’m starting the second in a series of courses on Coursera on Positive…
Please don’t rely too heavily on Grammarly. It is not always correct. Case in point:
This article was originally subtitled as you see it above.
Grammarly indicated a critical error, changing “in sight" to “insight.” A critical error, indeed.
“In sight" is a prepositional phrase meaning, roughly, “in view." “Insight" is a noun meaning “a deep understanding of a person or thing.”
I changed the word to “ahead" although it lacks the nuanced meaning of “in sight.” I will, eventually, have a sun-filled vacation again. That vacation is somewhere beyond the horizon of my foreseeable future. It is “out of sight,” as opposed to “in sight.”
Use of the English language with AI assistance is helpful. Editing the English language requires intimate knowledge of its inconsistencies and ambiguities that AI does not (yet) fully comprehend.
February is a sneaky month. For all its promise of Valentine's love and lengthening light, its 28 days are the dreariest of the year.
I was happy in January, pleased with my work, and grateful for my life. Then I tripped over the turning calendar page, and my mood plummeted. February.
Since about 2014, I have had a sunny vacation to look forward to at this time of year. It’s been a very successful strategy to avoid February’s winter darkness and get a dose of sunshine.
My sister and I took a two-week cruise last year. Bright blue skies and…
Recently, I have been contemplating delegation, because I’ve been giving tasks to team members remotely, and some of it has been more command-and-control than my usual style. I have written on the Messy Desk blog about specific strategies for delegation, including an example of delegating to a less-skilled worker with little initiative. Even though I mentioned coaching, mentoring, autonomy, and situational leadership in that article, I really didn’t discuss collaborative methods that can transform an organization.
When we think delegation, we usually think of top-down “This is what you will do.” That kind of delegation is perfectly appropriate in some…
What a month January has been! Politics, COVID spikes, school starting, getting The Messy Planner out to readers. I haven’t been nearly as productive on Medium as I was in November and December, but life outside of writing has been busy-busy.
First, I want to talk up a publication. The editors of Middle-Pause have been the most helpful and interactive I’ve worked with on Medium. Marilyn and Debbie gave me kind and supportive comments that improved my writing. If you are a woman “of a certain age,” I’d recommend that you both read and write for this publication. …
Every single day you make choices that affect your life.
“Every choice feeds every choice that comes after, whether we want those choices or no.” — Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Some choices are small, but pile upon one another to create a mountain over a lifetime. Saving and investing $5 a day can mean having millions in 50 years. One cigarette is no big deal; a pack a day has a short-term impact; decades later, you have lung disease or cancer.
Other choices feel huge, but change your life’s trajectory only slightly. Breaking up with…