And why making plans feels so good

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We are all everyday time travelers. The human brain is wired to function in the moment and deal with daily life, while simultaneously sorting through the past and imagining the future. This process isn’t just cool—it’s fundamental to understanding ourselves and forming identity.

The pandemic upended our normal sense of time. For me, this winter seemed to stretch on forever in a string of formless, sludgy days that felt endless, and frustratingly unproductive. But then one week this spring, I realized that I felt energetic and hopeful. That I had accomplished a lot in a single day. …

As we ease back into socializing again, we have to deal with our feelings about the very different years we’ve all had

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I have pandemic resentment.

As we ease back into socializing and I reconnect with folks I haven’t seen in many months, I keep finding myself in conversations about how hard the past year has been. Inevitably someone mentions a close friend or relative who had it much easier, and we all bond over our shared sense of frustration with how unequally Covid has affected us.

I don’t particularly feel like I deserve to feel resentful. I got laid off from a job I loved and built a freelance business from scratch while also parenting a five-year-old and a three-year-old, but…

We’re weirdly attached to a schedule that became the norm when current technology did not exist

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We’re in the midst of a huge conversation around the future of work. One of the biggest conventions up for negotiation: the 40-hour workweek.

This is a moment to figure out new ways to make work support our lives, flipping the current dynamic in which many of us live to work. We can start with our schedules. I’m not saying that nobody should work 40 hours a week, and certainly many of us work far more than that. The 40-hour workweek is just shorthand for embracing big, systemic change that puts our humanity first and our productive capacity as workers…

Three conversations that have nothing to do with the pandemic

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In a way, the pandemic has made small talk easy, even for those of us who struggle with conversations about pets or the weather. These days there’s always an ice breaker close at hand, whether that’s new travel rules, predictions about the next phase of pandemic life, or where you are in terms of being vaccinated. (“Oh, you’re a Pfizer?)

We need these conversations. They help us manage our anxiety, and stitch together reality from our still fairly isolated realms. But at this point? Pandemic talk is just. So. Boring. And reminds us that we’re still in a pandemic, even…

But seriously, they should just empty the dishwasher every now and then

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I think things are fairly equal in my marriage. I make most of the money. My husband does almost all of the cooking and more of the daily child care than I do. I run admin. He deals with lawn and car things. The rest we tag-team in a haphazard way that mostly works out. Still, we argue over division of labor, and we both spend some time feeling put upon.

But lately, I’ve come to believe that feeling resentful about the work I do at home is distracting me from my real source of stress: capitalism.

Our culture of…

We’re all rethinking work these days

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Chances are, your job has changed in the past year. And it’s not just that we’ve swapped cubicles for kitchen tables, donned protective gear, and adopted Zoom for everything from board meetings to birthday parties. How we think about work — and how we feel about it — has changed, too.

In her newsletter Culture Study, Anne Helen Petersen, whose book Out of Office comes out later this year, writes: “This has been the hardest thing for people who didn’t work from home before the pandemic to visualize: your current WFH scenario is not your future WFH scenario.” She predicts…

As your life starts to slowly fill up again, find a few ways to keep cutting yourself some slack

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Years ago, in a prenatal yoga class, I heard a question that fundamentally changed the way I think about everything, from hosting Thanksgiving to handling my inbox: “What can you not do?”

The instructor didn’t mean it as an assessment of our limits (“What are you not able to do?”) but rather as an invitation for us to take stock of what we could drop from our crowded lives (“What can you stop doing?”).

That invitation was life-altering, and I want to pass it on. Even if you’re a hyper-organized planner who zooms through to-do lists and self-soothes by researching…

If you haven’t done these things in a year, now is the time

Woman cleaning her kitchen with a smile.
Woman cleaning her kitchen with a smile.
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Many of us have spent the past few weeks acknowledging the anniversaries: of the last time we went to an office, or that our children went to school, or that we ate inside a restaurant.

It’s a sad time, and a strange one, but it’s a hopeful one, too. After a long year-plus, every one of those anniversaries is for something we may be able to do again somewhat soon. Which means that right now, about a year since the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic, is a good moment to start readying your life to expand again.


Your local Facebook group is more than a way to score half a bag of cat litter

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Recently I nipped my online shopping habit in the bud, and here’s my secret: Instead of buying new stuff, I post the stuff I no longer need on my local Buy Nothing Facebook page. Somehow, it scratches the same itch for small-scale change — and watching the tote bags full of old duvet covers and too-small sweaters get picked up off my porch is far more satisfying than waiting for something new to arrive in the mail.

There are currently thousands of Buy Nothing groups around the world, some on Facebook, others in person or on different email lists, and…

Anticipating joy is good for your mental health

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Quick, don’t overthink it: What are you most looking forward to doing when things get a little easier? Is it eating at your favorite restaurant? Drinking too many cocktails and then taking a cab home? Booking a day at a spa? Dropping your kids off at their fully vaccinated grandparents’ home for the night? What’s one thing you’ve been longing to do — just one! — that would help restore your sanity?

My number one post-pandemic fantasy is entertaining at my house again. I can’t stop thinking about what that will look like when it finally happens — and even…

Annaliese Griffin

Annaliese Griffin is a writer and editor who most recently led the Quartz Daily Obsession, an award-winning newsletter. She lives in Vermont with her family.

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