#sol20 number 12

slice of life updated

My slice today is inspired by an email in my inbox this morning titled “A Short List of Good Things.” I’m using it as a mentor text as I think about writing as a means of processing and coping and distance learning/ writing opportunities for students. How we will stay connected with them and support their emotional as well as their academic well being?

The email begins with these words:

I don’t need to tell you it’s an intense time. Between the churn of virus-related news, the unsettlingly warm weather in NYC, and a bunch of uncertainty and malaise around the presidential election, the ambient stress out there is REAL. So far, my preparedness plan has involved…

The middle of the email says this:

So far, my preparedness plan has involved the following:

And it ends with these two sentences, and a list:

Anyway, here is a short list of stuff that’s making me happy—or at least distracted—right now. It was a good relaxation exercise, putting this together. I hope it helps you too. 


I don’t need to tell you it’s an intense time. Between the steady stream of articles full of graphs and statistics and dire warnings about the possibility of our health care system being overloaded, the stockmarket spiral, and the newly inducted into our everyday vocabulary phrase “social distancing,” and the canceling of events, the sense of dread out there is REAL.

So far my preparedness plan has involved the following: watching and then turning away from the news, indulging in too many Tates cookies (I think they contain a secret ingredient that triggers instant addiction), a trip to a favorite local bookstore where I purchased a cookbook and a novel, and a couple of naps to make up for the hours of nighttime insomnia caused by my racing mind.

Anyway, here is a short list of stuff that keeping me happy- or at least distracted- right now. It was a calming exercise, putting this together. I hope you try it too.

  1. The aforementioned cookbook. It’s full of gorgeous photos of inventive recipes that use fresh and interesting ingredients. I am hoping to have time and reasons to cook for my people soon.
  2. Long walks around the point where my mom lives, close enough to the shoreline to hear the waves on the ocean side of the point and see the ferries crossing the Sound. I am not exaggerating when I say that the steady roar of the water helps me remember to breathe in and out deeply.
  3. Listening to this book on Audible because I love Alice’s resolve and resilience.
  4. Watching my elderly mom love on her aging dog. Their bond is so lovely.
  5. Facetiming with my grown children and sharing that experience with my mom, whose delight with the technology that makes it possible for her to see and hear her granddaughters makes me grin just thinking about it.
  6. Cozy slippers, comfy turtlenecks, and soft leggings.
  7. Children’s book authors like Kate Messner, who are sharing lessons and resources with schools and students experiencing distance learning.
  8. Soup. This one seems self-explanatory. My favorites? A good chicken soup. Butternut squash, as long as it isn’t sweet. Carrot- with a grind of pepper on top.
  9. Fires in the fireplace. Anytime the temperature dips below 60 is a good time for a fire IMHO.

What’s on your list? I hope you’ll share it too.

7 thoughts on “#sol20 number 12

  1. I needed this too! What a wonderful exercise to help us calm racing minds and remind us of the importance of self-care. If my Children’s Lit course has to be moved online, I’m definitely going to be using that wonderful resource put together by Kate Messner!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just what I needed to read this morning! Thank you, Lisa. We all need to focus on stuff that can keep us distracted. My nighttime insomnia (when I wrote my post, but couldn’t post b/c our internet wasn’t working) included wild runaway thoughts about how we could possibly cope w/ the current situation without the internet! I’m currently trying to figure out how to gather remotely w/ book club friends to choose our books for the upcoming year since our yearly retreat scheduled for this weekend has been canceled. Walks, soups, books, and chocolate seem to be my current things keeping me happy!

    Liked by 1 person

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