A Word ... for the Zeitgeist
Read With Us: Let's Talk About It

A Bit Sluggish

It's very cold.
I'm discombobulated because the painting project continues this week.
I'm running a bit on the sluggish side today.

Maybe you, too? It's definitely time to . . . 

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On the first a Monday of early in the month (see aforementioned discombobulation), I share random things that have recently caught my eye. Interesting articles, little factoids, and inspiring this-and-that, for the most part. Things that might help get your day started in a revved-up kind of way.


Let's start things off with a quote . . . 

The secret of change is to focus all of our energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.
            --- Dan Millman

This is the quote I wrote in my planner to inspire me this week. I've seen this quote several times over the years, but I've never "collected" it -- mostly because it's often attributed to Socrates. Although sometimes, also, to Dan Millman. I don't like to use quotes when (a) I can't attribute it to the originator, or (b) if the originator is offensive to me. But this quote seems like the Right One for me this week, so I decided to dig around a little. It's safe to say . . . Socrates is NOT the originator of the quote. Apparently, that all got started when someone posted it on Facebook, claiming it was Socrates who said it. (Go figure.) It was, indeed, Dan Millman - who is a former gymnast, coach, and teacher who is now a writer and inspirational speaker. I couldn't find anything terribly offensive about him on a cursory review. So. There's my quote for the week. (Not Socrates. No matter what it says on Facebook.) 


Read With Us


Tomorrow - Tuesday, January 11 - is Read With Us book discussion day. Bonny, Carole, and I will post a question about the book here on our blogs for a comment-driven discussion AND we'll be hosting our Zoom book discussion later in the evening at 7:00 pm Eastern time. If you've had a chance to Read With Us, you already know it will be an interesting discussion . . . and if you haven't? Well. We're a fun group to hang out with, so you're welcome, too.

I'll be sending out the Zoom invitation notice later this morning (again, see aforementioned discombobulation) with a couple of links for "advance prep" if you like that kind of thing, or if you'd just like a "refresh" on the book. I've decided to just send the invitation automatically to those of you who frequently join in for the Zoom discussions -- AND I'm also including others of you who have mentioned reading the book in the comments. If you don't receive a Zoom invitation before the end of the day today and you really want to join in, please send me an email and I'll send you the link. And if I do send you the invitation and you can't join in . . . no worries! (BUT it would be helpful if you let me know you won't be able to make it.)


Expanding Your TBR List

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When it comes to reading, I really enjoy well-translated books from international writers. It's not always easy to find good translated novels to read, though. They're not usually promoted on the lists of "best of" book lists we typically see here in the US. They just don't seem to land on most readers' "hot picks" lists, either.  And yet . . . many of the best books I've read in recent years are actually translations. (And, to me, good translations are magical!)

I know that a lot of you are looking to expand your reading experiences and "read harder" (I can never really understand what that means, exactly, but I do know it's quite a popular concept . . . ), so I thought I'd share this source of international books written in other languages and translated into English from Words Without Borders. (That link will take you to their list of Best Translated Books of 2021.) Another good source of high quality translations is the International Booker Prize. Give it a try! You might find something magical.


A New Foreign Lifestyle Concept For You


I know most of you are familiar with the lifestyle concepts of . . . 

hygge (Danish; that coziness feeling)

fika (Swedish; pleasant and frequent coffee breaks)

friluftsliv (Norwegian; open-air living)

shinrin-yoku (Japanese; forest bathing)

But have you heard of uitwaaien? It's a Dutch lifestyle concept . . . and it embraces walking or jogging into the wind - especially in the winter - for the purpose of feeling invigorated and reducing stress while boosting one's general health. Researchers are, indeed, finding there are health benefits to being outside (safely, of course) in all kinds of weather, including cold winds. I know that I never "feel like" taking my daily walk with the dogs when it's cold and windy outside, but I always love it when I actually get out there! I love the bracing cold . . . for awhile. And I love coming back inside when the walk is over. 

I'm not suggesting you go all Wim Hof here, but . . . maybe get out there on a windy day and try a little uitwaaien!





I know it's been a very long time since I've used "Corona Lisa" in a blog post. I try not to talk much about Covid in this space. Because, of course, you get enough of that everywhere else. But it's big on my mind these days . . . because we're dealing with it right now in our family. Erin and Keith are both deep into their "mild" (ha! that is a relative statement) Omicron bouts of Covid following their (ill-advised but couldn't be helped) holiday travel. And Brian and Lauren were exposed at a (ill-advised but couldn't be helped) work event over the weekend. And Tom spent the weekend at a curling event in Detroit (sure, it was a closely "bubbled" event, but . . . probably ill-advised ). And we have (vaxx'd and boosted) painters working in our house right now (also ill-advised and highly-debated, but sometimes you just gotta take the risk).

So. Anyway. Back to my point.

This Omicron variant? It really is everywhere. And even if most of us have been trying really hard to do the right things and stay isolated as best we can, it's out there, folks. And it's super easy to pick up. 

Some things I've learned over the weekend:

  • Omicron has a shorter incubation period than the previous variants (2-4 days after exposure).
  • You're most contagious in the days before you have any symptoms (that 2-4 day window usually).
  • The home antigen tests will pick up the Omicron variant -- but not usually until Day 5 OF actual symptoms (and this held true for Erin and Keith).
  • You're actually less contagious by the time you test positive. 

This explains . . . a lot. So just . . .  keep it in mind.

And, if (when?) you do test positive? Then what? That was one of Erin's first questions and biggest concerns. Now what should I do? Here's an article from The Atlantic that specifically addresses the what-to-do-if-you-get-a-breakthrough-Omicron-infection. It's helpful information to have around, although new details are coming to light all the time. (The article is from mid-December, so we do know more. The advice, though, is still relevant.)

Stay informed.
Stay safe.
Take care of yourselves.


And with that, we're OFF!
Here's to a great - healthy - week for all of us. 

Happy January, everyone.



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I try to start my walks or run heading into the wind and it is invigorating and also makes me appreciate the less windy return part. At this point, unless we embrace a total lockdown life, I think more and more of us will fall into this exposed or tested positive camp. Washing my hands and staying current on the What do I do now advice is the way to go. Hope your discombobulating resolves soon.


I feel a bit discombobulated today as well. And the wind here is HOWLING!! I'd like to walk, the sun is out, but we shall see. sorry to hear about Keith & Erin. Hopefully they are not doing too badly. We feel so fortunate that even though we were all exposed over Christmas none of us got sick. Anna did test positive, but she said she never really felt poorly. Hoping you all stay healthy! Omicron is very, very sneaky. Glad you did not suggest "Wim Hof" - LOL


Oh gosh... I am so sorry for Erin and Keith! We likewise have been debating risk and while some things are "must do" (i.e. grocery shopping, work for Steve, etc.) other things are not (dining out... not even a consideration at this point)

THANK you for the links to book translation! I love a good translation! :)

(and I can't wait to discuss Matrix!)


Sending good healing juju to Erin and Keith, and good protective juju to the rest of you. I heard a piece on the radio about how infectious omicron is (of course I can't seem to find it), but it seems almost inevitable for many of us. Mild seems to mean that you are not hospitalized, and I hope that continues to be the case. Whenever I walk into the wind, I have Bob Seger singing "Against the Wind" endlessly in my brain. I will be spending some time on that Words Without Borders site; good translations are magical and I have a real appreciation for them. Thank you!


Sorry to hear your family was touched or exposed to Covid. My oldest daughter’s whole family came down with it following Christmas. We stayed overnight on Christmas Eve Andy were lucky to not get Covid. I believe we will know an increasing number of people with this new variant since it is so transmissible. We just need to assess what risks we are willing to take. Of course upgrading our mask is a good idea, washing hands and avoided large gatherings in unventilated areas is important, too.
Thanks for the list of books. My To Be Read list is growing! Keep walking into the wind!


I really hate the cold. Really. But I do agree that it's invigorating to get out in it and then COME BACK INSIDE. hahahaha. I'm sorry about Erin and Keith and I hope that Brian and Lauren stay healthy. At this point I think we all have to do what we can to mitigate our risk while also living our life. It's hard to know the right thing, we just have to do the best thing under the given circumstances.


I hope Erin and Keith make a quick recovery and everyone else stays negative! It really is everywhere these days. I am happier than ever to be working from home! I am hopeful that this variant, as bad as it is, is what finally breaks the pandemic and makes it endemic. I know we'll likely never be free from this virus, but if we can get it to the point where it's more like seasonal flu, at least we won't be quite so anxious all the time.

Really looking forward to our Matrix discussion tomorrow!


I hope Erin & Keith make a good recovery. This happened to my niece and her partner after they traveled at Christmas, in spite of the precautions they took, her partner tested positive and had mild cold symptoms and my niece never tested positive.
I look forward to the Matrix discussion tomorrow night!


I don’t love the wind but I do tolerate it! (My dad did not like the wind either.) Omicron is a beast! We’re on a self imposed two week down low to try to escape it. Here’s to Erin and Keith making their way through it quickly. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow evening!


I love the idea of uitwaaien and walking into the wind. I brave the cold to walk often - unless the sidewalks are really icy and treacherous. I'm sorry that your family is dealing with Covid. It seems as if this Omicron variant is likely to touch most of us. Hope the painting is going smoothly. We need to have a new "over the range" microwave delivered and installed and I'm not sure that is the best idea either but needs must.


Hope Erin and Keith are holding their own! Once again all the things I love to do have been canceled and we're trying to be safe, but as you said, it's gonna break through at some point. The best way to enjoy uitwaaien is to get a dog. Mylo and I have had our fair share of wind and cold this winter. We have grown to enjoy (unless it's a really bitting wind) our walks no matter the weather and take our longest walk of the day at daylight. At this point, I'd be out for a walk even without a dog. Looking forward to talking about Matrix!


There is nothing quite like wrapping up warm for a walk on a cold windy day and then coming back inside after walking. I have managed to walk every day this year and am intending to keep that up all year if I can. It is an intention rather than a must so I won't beat myself up if I can't fit it in.

I love the words without borders website, I have found a few good reads there. Hope your Zoom book club goes well.

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