All posts tagged: Happiness

How to Find Joy During the Pandemic without Feeling Guilty

A few months back, I turned 60 and my son, Nick, turned 30. We had been planning a joint party with lots of family and friends, but that idea went by the wayside due to COVID-19. Instead, we hosted two, 16-person gatherings at home — one for me and one for Nick, two weeks apart. Like so many other families, we’ve had a rough year. Just before the pandemic, we tragically lost a young friend; Nick lost his job in a round of COVID-related lay-offs; my elderly in-laws have struggled with isolation; and we’ve been terrified by the White House. A couple of festive nights felt like a good idea. It also felt totally wrong.  Allowing myself to experience joy is especially challenging right now. Fun can feel inappropriate. How can we celebrate anything when so many people are sick, grieving, on the brink of financial or emotional collapse? I thought long and hard about doing nothing to commemorate my milestone birthday, as did Nick. But letting those days pass just like any other seemed …

My Shed: 120 Square Feet of Happiness

(Photo Courtesy Jenna Briand) They say if the universe shows you a door, walk through it. Well, the universe showed me a shed. Specifically, a 10’x12′ “modern shed,” like one you might see in Dwell magazine. One I discovered online and bookmarked during an absent-minded Google search, on a particularly rough day at the office. I then wistfully stared at it on my computer for about six months, during conference calls, morning edit meetings and lunch breaks. It was the image of this small, fantastical oasis that calmed my racing pulse when my inbox topped 100, cut through the din of office drama and temporarily un-furrowed the brow that had, over time, become so… scrunched. I’d spent more than 15 years in digital media, climbing the ladder, watching my physical surroundings improve and grow with each new gig — from well-appointed cubicle to panoramically viewed Midtown Manhattan office to the most immaculate, modern space in all of Beverly Hills. Each upgrade seemed to be a sign that, clearly, I was making it. Each Herman Miller …