When Social Distancing Became a New Practice
Who would have thought we as a nation would be practicing “Social Distancing” in March, 2020? We started this year with such high hopes for a new decade with personal and economic growth and overall abundance in mind. While the Covid-19 pandemic is very serious and we need to live and act responsibly everyday, it has made us step back and think about what is most important and dear to us. It’s our family, friends, our community and the well-being of our nation and our world.
Let’s try to take this time that we are living and working virtually, to reconnect with family and friends, and take care of those parts of our lives where there has not been enough time. We have heard and seen where our children are learning or practicing new skills, like sewing, baking, old fashioned card/board games, new crafts, and drawing along with their homeschooling projects. Even I have toyed with writing my next book! Let’s take in the potential life lessons that this global pandemic event has handed us and make lots of “luscious lemonade out of these lemons”.
Be Safe… Be Secure.. Be Kind
Marilyn and Ora
When people decide to acquire new skills to further their careers (or move into new ones), it often means paying for college or professional courses and perhaps even shouldering some debt.
Alternatives are emerging: microcredentials. As the term implies, these are credentials for highly specific job or career skills, and they can be earned online. They are not degrees, but certifications signifying that a learner has met an educational goal and demonstrated competency in a certain skill. An individual might accumulate several microcredentials on their way to upgrading a skill set for a particular career.
This kind of online, informal learning could mean a big cost savings for mid-career workers needing to keep up with changing job duties and emerging technologies as well. Skeptics feel that conveniently earned microcredentials may constitute a less-than-rigorous educational experience and that the credential courses could be too easy and use insufficient metrics to truly evaluate competency. Even so, the rising costs of retraining and continuing education during this decade may make microcredentials more attractive for companies and employees.1
The language in financial aid letters varies from university to university, and as a 2018 study by New America and uAspire concluded, these variations in terminology can make it “exceedingly difficult for students and families to make a financially informed college decision.” As an example, this broad study of letters from hundreds of schools noted that more than 100 terms were used to describe a popular federal loan, and 24 of those terms made no mention of the word “loan.”
Recently, a bill was introduced in Congress seeking to create a standardized template for financial aid offers; at the moment, it seems to have little traction. So, parents and students must carefully study the jargon of awards letters. The key question is: what is the net cost of attending that school? To determine it, look at the breakdown of both direct and indirect costs. Direct costs are items like tuition and fees as well as housing and meals. Indirect costs include things like class supplies, books, and transportation expenses. Then, subtract any grants and scholarships from the sum of both the direct and indirect costs. That will give you the net cost you are seeking – the real cost to your household of that education. If the aid letter contains no breakdown, you should contact the financial aid office of the college and ask for the specifics. Look to see if any scholarship offers have a chance of diminishing after the first year or two, and check what percentage of the financial aid offered comes in the form of loans. Most university financial aid letters arrive in mailboxes in April or May.2
2 chicken breasts
2 tsp. olive oil (if you opt to cook in skillet)
4 cups spinach
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1 Tbsp. olive oil (for dressing)
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
Recipe adapted from wideopeneats.com4
One school of thought says that high-intensity workouts are ideal for our busy days. A half-hour or less of interval training leaves us fitter and healthier. Or does it? Could it actually raise our injury risk?
The slow fitness movement, a response high-intensity interval training (HIIT), is gaining fans. One simple reason: some of the people who sign up for HIIT classes find out that their bodies aren’t prepared to handle them. The American College of Sports Medicine has noted that “potentially increased injury rates” can accompany this workout regimen, especially for people engaged in long, sedentary workweeks.
Slow fitness workouts may incorporate ju-jitsu, gymnastic rings, handstands, and tai chi, and jazz or ballads may be on the sound system instead of techno or nu-metal. The emphasis is on gradual improvement and mastery as well as mindfulness. In a stressful and hurried world, these workouts may constitute rewarding breaks on commitment-laden days.3
That word from the song by Aretha Franklin in 1967 is a hallmark phrase, recognized by millions, regardless of age. Many of us grew up with this “second golden rule”. Self-respect and respect for others is a trait that becomes the foundation for being the best YOU.
I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. —Maya Angelou
Respect your efforts; respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both under your belt, you have real power. —Clint Eastwood
2020 Started Out With Such Hope and a Year of Abundance
We started this year with the best of intentions, to take in each moment and reach for our bigger goals and intentions. Now , speaking of STRESS, each of us is living in an era that no one could have imagined on January 1st.
We are barraged with hourly news on the Corona-Virus (COVID-19)and what to do and not to do to protect ourselves and our families. On top of this global pandemic we also are witnessing a showdown with oil producing countries, regions which conspired to topple the global economy and each of our retirement and investment accounts.
So let’s talk about today’s STRESSES and how we may cope with this once in lifetime event ( we hope!).
The first thing I think about is how much control or lack thereof do I have in this situation. In our state and county, we are in a ‘Shelter In Place” mode except for essential businesses and operations, meaning most of us will work from home and only go out for food, or essential services needed. We all love control and certainty, and now that is not possible in this timeframe.
That makes my world, my family’s world pretty small and I can handle that. I own and run a small business which can be run remotely and we can take care of most actions without human interaction. I am very concerned about the global economy, however, its out of my control. I can invest my time to look through this temporary black swan event, and focus on how to help my clients manage as we all live through the next month and the next quarter.
If you can check the media and the stock market , just once a day, ( okay twice a day) to keep your mind focused on your business, your family matters, and the challenges that you need to take care of that day. When we stay in the moment with what we know and what we have to do, that will make us most productive and feel “in control”. Keep your mind, clear of distractions like FaceBook, Twitter, Instagram and some of the other social media traps. When life returns to “normal”, then return to other media.
The most important stress reliever is fresh air and exercise. Since our gyms are closed for social distancing, we can take time to run, walk, jog, in the fresh air, and take those ear plugs out and enjoy this moment of exercise!