Summer sage in Portland, Oregon. (Jennifer Willis, 2020)

backpack possibilities and daring optimism

It’s no secret that I have something of a backpack obsession. I’ve written about this previously, on my search for the perfect travel pack. And I find this urge arising again, in no small part because eBags is having a major sale on their inventory in advance of some mysterious changes they’ll be making. But […]

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Pink dogwood in Portland, OR. April 2020.

I’m just happy to be here

Upon reaching the cashier in the check-out lane . . . Cashier: Hi! How are you today? Response: I’m just happy to be here. This has been M’s default reply for more than a decade now. He’s always been jovial when he said it, and it rarely fails to elicit a laugh. It’s a solid […]

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Football teddy bear in a Green Bear Packers hoodie, sitting in the sunshine with rocks and flowers.

sports in the age of covid-19, a completely unrealistic approach

It’s going to be a while before we see the return of organized sports. The NBA canceled the remainder of its season after professional basketball players started testing positive for the coronavirus. The 2020 Tokyo Olympics have been postponed until 2021. For the moment. it remains possible that Major League Baseball might still happen, though […]

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A tomato kitchen timer.

timed sessions, when time has no meaning

I’ve been wanting to re-start this blog with more regular posts on helpful and constructive topics, but life was always intervening. That seems like an entire lifetime ago. One of the topics I wanted to cover was the benefit of using a timer to help get started on projects, to focus on ongoing work, and […]

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anatomy of a panic attack

I ended the last year by having more anxiety and more panic attacks than usual. I wanted to describe one recent panic attack and how I handled it, because it happened when I was out in public and probably no one was the wiser. This increase in anxiety/panic is probably due to my recent discontinuation […]

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Orange "Courage" silicone message bands. Photo by Jennifer Willis, 2019.

and sometimes, just like that, courage appears

A little over a week ago, I was doing some deep thinking about my work and my life in general. Without going into too much detail, I was considering making some major changes, including walking away from something I love but in which I was finding myself increasingly stymied. I ended up reminding myself that […]

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