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Alternatives to Despair

In light of the news of the day here in the United States, I’m taking a detour from our journey through Thirtysomething Panic, and hoping to make a tiny difference in your day (and in mine) with a tool you can use if you are feeling despair, grief, rage, or fear—or file away for another time, if you don’t need it today. 

On a day on which a fundamental right has been taken away and others may be under threat, amidst so much other tragedy and suffering in the world, it is easy to despair. Here are some ways we can and do respond when despair beckons.


Tell The Truth

Recently, we’ve discussed how to handle the Order of Operations problem, and how to make the Isolation —> Belonging Shift. We also met Rachel Friedman, who shared useful ideas for navigating the imperfect art of adulthood

Now, let’s dive into one of the foundational commitments that will help you break through Thirtysomething Panic (or set yourself up for success in any period of life transition): Telling the Truth.


The Chill Factory

Jordan Friedman, a 25-year pioneer of stress and anxiety management education, invited me to join him on The Chill Factory Podcast. 

It was a joy to talk to Jordan about compelling ways to quiet Thirtysomething Panic–and, for that matter, anysomething freakouts. After the conversation, Jordan teaches a powerful stress reducer you can use right away.
Listen wherever you normally get your podcasts, or here.


And Then We Grew Up: Thirtysomething Panic and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood (Interview with Rachel Friedman)

Once in a while, I find a book that I wish I could put directly into the hands of everyone who is struggling with a certain topic. When a friend recommended Rachel Friedman’s book And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood, I was excited to read it, but I had no idea how much it would speak to some of the core issues that thirtysomethings struggle with. I highlighted the book within an inch of its life, and I knew I had to talk to Rachel and share her insights with you all. 


A “Real Grownup” and the Isolation –> Belonging Shift

Last week, we talked about the Order of Operations problem when dealing with Thirtysomething Panic (or changes at any stage of life). In preparing to share my insights from ten years (!) of coaching with you over the course of this 10th anniversary year, I’ve faced my own OOO problem: since each individual is different, the Order of Operations of how my clients and readers will create change in their lives is different for everyone. And yet, because I’m writing to you as a group instead of coaching you as an individual, I have to make some decisions about how to order these insights and action steps.

So over the next few posts, we’re going to begin with some concepts that can be really useful to start with, no matter who you are and what you’re working on. We’ll explore ways to lay the foundation for a successful change odyssey. In particular, we’ll look at and practice some key commitments and skills that will set you up for a powerful journey towards creating the career, relationships, and life you want: 


Where Do I Start? How to Deal with Order of Operations Overwhelm When You Have Multiple Life Goals That Affect Each Other

When I was in seventh grade, I remember Mrs. Mezzocchi teaching us the acronym PEMDAS—Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally. This was a mnemonic trick to help us remember the order of operations for solving a mathematics equation.

Fifteen years later, when my first taste of Thirtysomething Panic came on like a tidal wave, I found this phrase flashing through my head. What is the order of operations here?!? I kept wondering. Where is my Thirtysomething Panic PEMDAS?

My relationship, my career, my purpose on this planet—EVERYTHING felt up in the air. Whenever I tried to start working on figuring out one piece of the puzzle, I felt like I couldn’t make any headway, because I’d start thinking about how it hinged on the other variables and second-guess every idea I’d had towards action. 

What should I focus on first? 

At times, this question can be very useful. At other times, it can stop all progress in its tracks. 

Panicked About Dating in Your 30s? How to Deal with Awful, Awkward, Truly Bad Dates and Stay Positive as a Single Thirtysomething (Interview with Rebekah Manley)

Dating in your thirties can be discouraging, demoralizing, and exhausting.

If you’re a single 30something and want badly to find a partner, what used to be fun and exciting can take on a different weight and urgency.
 
Some of us always assumed we’d be partnered and settled down with “the one” by now, and are surprised and frustrated to find ourselves still single, exhausted from the search, and scared that “it” will never happen.


What Are You Experiencing in the Pandemic? [Spoiler Alert: You’re Normal]

Wow. Wow, wow, wow. What a seismic shift we have experienced in the last few months.

How are you hanging in? What are you focusing on? 

There is so much to say, as well as a great, quick little tool to share, to help you center in what is good right now. But to start, I want to say this:

Whatever you are experiencing, however you are feeling: you are not alone.

Most everyone is experiencing significant stressors and accompanying “thought chaos” at this time. But people are having a huge range of experiences. 

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