I just can’t anymore.

Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

I unfollowed my mother on Facebook tonight.

It seemed like an extreme step against an older person who lives 1,200 miles away, but I took that step tonight. I don’t want to see angry posts and conspiracy theories.

I might miss some of the pictures she posts of the grandkids. I might miss a birthday greeting (why doesn’t she call me?) I might miss updates on her friends.

When we talk on the phone, we have drawn clear lines around politics, religion, and global warming (but maybe that falls under the umbrella of politics — though…

Deceptively simple in theory.

Photo by Crissy Jarvis on Unsplash

I suck a meditation.

My mind wanders, I get antsy, I generally lack focus and commitment to the practice.

Doing nothing seems too… complicated.

About a year ago, I read about a simplified technique where you sit in meditation until you have counted 50 breathes.

Simple, I thought.

Impossible (for me), I found out. But maybe that’s the reason why it’s worth it.

The Method

I first read about the method on the InsightTimer blog.

The steps are simple.

  1. Sit in meditation pose.
  2. Breathe in slowly. Hold in the breath for a couple of seconds.
  3. Release the breath.

Breaking it into steps makes it manageable.

Determine the topic. Outline the piece. Replace bullet points with paragraphs. Edit.

It’s that simple to write an article of any length.

Following these steps allows me to write thousands of words each day without ever being terrified of a blank page.

Step 1: Determine your topic.

For me, this means picking the question I’m trying to answer.

For example, this for this article, I’m trying to answer the question: how do I write a lot, every day, without fearing that I will not have anything to say?

Everything can be phrased as a question, even a work…

Being humble can open doors.

There is real value in being able to admit what you don’t know.

The ability to fess up to ignorance on a topic allows you to ask questions, explore new areas, and appreciate others.

There are people that achieve great things by projecting an air of confidence and authority. We have all seen people excel in areas that they are totally ignorant by faking it until they make it. It can work.

I prefer to embrace the things I do not know by revealing holes in my knowledge. …

I have been actively avoiding burnout for about 30 years.

From straight A grades in high school, finishing a college degree in three years, followed by an extremely demanding job, three kids, career change, and business purchase, I have managed to continuously plow forward.

Without pausing for a break and pursuing one extreme demand after another, I have been able to skirt burnout by keeping my head down.

The pandemic changed the dynamic.

The week before the pandemic started:

I worked 65 hours.

I drove 18 hours getting kids to and from activities.

I used 9 hours to complete freelance…

I’m about to throw in the towel.

It’s another day in my pajamas.

Occasionally, these days, I’ve been known to upgrade my outfit to yoga pants and a clean t-shirt if I’m going somewhere fancy like the grocery store or seeing someone from 20 feet away while picking up my kids at the soccer field when they’ve forgotten their phone (again) which means I actually need to exit the car.

I have given up my pre-quarantine standard of dress which consisted entirely of jeans and black t-shirts. …

We have all had those days when there is just nothing to say or is there no way to get the words from your head onto paper. Unfortunately, we still have deadlines and goals to meet.

So how do you writing on a day you just can’t seem to get started?

Write something awful.

Just get started with whatever is on your mind and see where it takes you.

A stream of consciousness probably won’t win you any awards, but it might organize your thoughts a bit. …

A lesson in humility.

I use the term “running a marathon” very loosely when I talk about running because no one really says “I walked a marathon.” If those people exist, I have not met them.

Also, if you try to explain to non-runners that you walked a marathon, they will not understand. The myth surrounding the marathon is too great; the accomplishment of moving your body forward 26.2 miles is too daunting for the majority of people to ever accomplish at any speed. No, they say, you ran a marathon.

I usually don’t mention my completion of a marathon…

Finding meaning in the hunt for the office supplies.

I love office supplies.

I love the promise of organization, goal setting, and a meaningful life all wrapped in items that are so ordinary and obtainable.

A new pen will push me to finally write that novel. A new notebook will get my to-do list in shape, and I will get everything done. A pack of post-it notes will organize my entire life.

Though my desk is teaming with stacks of notebooks many of which are unused, I ordered a new notebook yesterday. It looked perfect. It is red, dot grid…

This one habit can keep you from adjusting to your new circumstances.

To overcome the hedonistic treadmill, be grateful. It is that simple and that hard.

What is the hedonistic treadmill?

In simplest terms, the hedonistic treadmill is idea that humans each have a baseline level of happiness. No matter what happens in your life, you will eventually return to this baseline.

A lot research has been done showing that after winning the lottery or being involved a horrendous accident, people tend to return to the level of happiness they had before the major event. …

Allison Fleck

Writer, mother, math nerd, and occasional runner.

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