If you are excited, dreading, stir-crazy, yearning to return to society– you are NOT alone.

It feels like a dense fog had settled on life. And now that the fog is slowly lifting, we feel exhausted.

The struggle has been real. For me, social isolation (I’m an extroverted introvert), over-baking for relaxation, the unusually cold and inhospitable winter, have been some of the challenges. The fear of getting sick from COVID and the grief of witnessing so many lives cut short.

As I consider the tempest of emotions and the tempo of life that has been, I’m going to go out on a limb and say that re-entry to life as we knew it is, for most of us, ready to be reimagined. We’ve been through a lot. We know more in some ways–and less in others.

Let’s talk about societal re-entry we’re facing in this issue, shall we?

Some things that got me through the pandemic will not be keepers Some patterns and preferences will stay. We will need to reimagine new avenues for thriving in the coming months and years.

What are some of the things noticed during the past year that warrant keeping? In some ways I became more scheduled and that, paradoxically, resulted in feeling more free. Let me explain. Dedicating time and energy to get on the bike more consistently, write and market my memoir, get outside to hike and take photos in the woods…when it worked, I felt more balanced during a time of upheaval. Which meant I was expending time and energy in alignment with what was important to me. It’s where I’ll look for clues about what to carry forward.

How about you? What do you want to carry forward?

We will not all be ready to re-enter society at the same pace. This article does a great job explaining how and why it will be different for each of us.

Some suggestions for navigating include practices grounding exercises and gratitude, and gradually exposing yourself to anxiety provoking situations. Forgive yourself for anything you wanted to do during quarantine that you did not get around to. Show yourself compassion.

You deserve it.

One mindset reframe I’m working on with coaching clients now is that of readiness.

In normal times, we often think we need to FEEL READY to make our move.

This was not then and is not true now. Ready, even in so-called normal times, never comes. There will never be an invitation or permission-granted from others. We must give ourselves the permission to move toward what is important to us. And what better time than when we are emerging from global medical crisis like no other?

My coaching clients are moving on to work that suits them better now. What are you called to explore and see it through? Who are you called to be?

Whatever your situation, we are all in this together. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

Gail’s Life Hacks

What Question I’m Pondering:

How can this (project/conversation/decision) be easy?

What I’ve Added to the Morning Mix:

MorningBrew.com. Aptly named, it’s a summary of financial, national, international and random, yet relevant, news bits go well with a cuppa coffee. Just enough zing but not too much at that hour to be annoying.

What Podcast I’m Enjoying: Design Matters with Debbie Millman.  Most recently, a fav is an episode with Roxane Gay.

What’s Delighting Me on Social Media: I’ve been following a fox mamma and her baby foxlettes who have taken up residence in Suzannah Conway’s yard in West London. Photographs of foxy frolics daily on IG @susannahconway

Speaking of Social Media: I’ve kicked one habit pretty much to the curb, that of checking my first thing in the morning. It’s still not easy, but I like starting my day better without it. Next up, I’m going for longer period of times this summer when I will purposely leave portable tech behind for hours at a time. I anticipate this will be challenging (as in, it doesn’t count if I put it in the beach bag, right?), but I’m going for the way I feel when I let myself be without it.

Go Behind the Scenes: Life of a Memoir

BIG NEWS: Do you listen to audiobooks? The audiobook for Carrying My Father’s Torch is ready for distribution. It takes a few weeks to be available to the public. I finished narrating my book from my clothes closet with a witty sound engineer who works in LA. I’m so glad I did my own narration. It infused the stories with nuance and expression it would not have otherwise. I hope you’ll have a listen! If you’d like to be among the first to be notified about the launch, simply reply YES to gail@gailgaspar.com and I’ll add you to the community.

Did you know I’ve given 21 virtual book talks around the country? Less than one year ago, I had no idea this was possible.

If you missed the talks and want to listen in, several book talk recordings are posted here. Thank you to everyone who has connected me with book groups, organizations, universities, bookstores, press, podcasts, and book reviewers. I could not have done this without you! And, if you know someone who might be interested in a book interview/discussion about themes in Carrying My Father’s Torch­–family relationships, moving beyond trauma and perceived limitations, finding one’s voice, reimagining a legacy–please let me know.

I was delighted to discover that my book is still a best seller in several categories and that Amazon makes a recommendation for other books based on it. One of those is the best-seller, Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The coupling was highlighted in other ways too. Students I spoke with at Tulane University were assigned to read his book after mine. And I shared a zoom author platform with Foer’s mother, who also recently penned a memoir and is former CEO of Sixth and I, a center for arts, ideas, and religion, in Washington, D.C.

Torch Adventures

Tag me (@gailgaspar on FB and gail.gaspar on IG) and the book #CarryingMyFathersTorch on social media with photos of you with my book or a picture of the book. You’ll be entered in a random drawing to win a free audiobook + $25 Amazon gift card. Offer ends June 6, 2021.