I believe in the power of words. The written word and the spoken word. This why I write and speak and coach others to write for a living. Right now, amid all the uncertainty and fear surrounding COVID-19, the written word has the ability to offer a sense of relief and control. Ample research shows how writing helps us to make sense of our feelings and experiences. For those who don’t know me, I’ve authored a few books and speak to businesses and groups nationwide about resilience and overcoming adversity. I have an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and am a certified instructor in Guided Autobiography, which is a method of life story writing created by esteemed psychologist James E. Birren.
With everyone’s anxiety at uncomfortable decibel levels, I’d like to offer you a small gift. Put pen to paper or fingers to your keyboard and answer these prompts. See if you can write a full page without editing yourself. Just let your thoughts flow. When you're done,...
The sun shines nearly every day in Denver. It’s what drew me here 13 years ago after losing my first husband, Brett, to brain cancer when our twins, Rebecca and Casey, weren’t even 3 years old. I needed the sunshine to heal then—and I need it now. The sun is more powerful than cancer, and I have to believe that it’s more powerful than COVID-19, which has thrown the entire world into crisis.
For cancer patients, in particular, the pandemic has created another level of disruption. Weakened immunity puts patients at greater risk, and hospitals are so bogged down by COVID-19 that sometimes treatment must be delayed in order to minimize risk of infection. That’s not all. Because COVID-19 is highly contagious, most caregivers can no longer accompany loved ones to the hospital. The changing landscape is full of unknowns, making everyone feel upside down.
This is the first in a series of new columns about resilience, an area I’m passionate about and grew...
The days begin on a bad note. I’m annoyed by all matter of people and things: my son for stomping around the kitchen late at night and leaving a mess of pots in the sink; the clean laundry that sits in a towering heap waiting to be folded; and the public speaking career I’ve worked so hard to build that has essentially gone kaput thanks to COVID.
Why does everything feel so hard?
I’m asking because everywhere I turn, people are tapped out. Done. Exhausted. Fed up.
When will the pandemic end? And, will it end?
It would be great if we had some kind of roadmap for these unprecedented times, but this is a once-in-a-century event according to some estimates. No, the pandemic playbook is being written in real time, and, much as the world would like to move on, we are nowhere near done grappling with COVID and its life and death consequences.
Like cancer, this is a bitter pill to swallow. Like cancer, we have to accept the unimaginable and...