And even worse decision-making skills!

OH WELL. (Silas Baisch/Unsplash)

This morning, I was excited not to go to the beach.

That is not my normal response to a cancelled beach trip. I love the beach. I need to be rolled in sand and doused with salt water at least once a week in the summer to irrigate my pores and wash away my bitchiness. One of my favorite benefits of being a freelancer is that I can go to the beach whenever I want (within reason, but without asking for permission). …

I cook, I clean, I pine for ’50s chill pills

Not-me, scrubbing the terlet. (Pexels)

I realized this morning that 85% of my head space is taken up with domestic matters these days — what can I make for dinner, using just what I have in the kitchen, when can I get to the store to replenish the larder, why is the inside of my house covered in a fine layer of Play-Doh dust three days after I did my last cleaning blitz.

I’d blame the pandemic, but I think the current situation is just drawing attention to a problem that’s been with us since, oh, forever, I guess. I’d give you some stats here…

5 Coping Strategies From an Experienced Hypochondriac

I bought this Purell in simpler times.

As a lifelong hypochondriac, I would describe myself as used to being anxious. On any given day, I worry about a hundred different things, but most of my fears are health-centered — it feels like I’ve been afraid of getting sick and dying almost since the day I was born.

Maybe that’s why several of my friends have mentioned that I seem unusually calm during the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong: I’m plenty worried about catching coronavirus — but I’m also accustomed to being worried about my health.

In normal times, being a hypochondriac is pointless, as wiser people than…

“Toddler” and “sane” don’t often go together, but they should, is my point.

We are not in this picture. (Shelby Deeter/Unsplash)

My dad died a few weeks ago. I’ve written before about how disorienting grief turned out to be. Especially at first, I didn’t really know which way was up. But although I didn’t feel functional at work or in most human interactions during my first days in mourning, there was one area of my life that felt normal: hanging out with and taking care of my daughter.

A few notes here. My daughter is 18 months old. If you believe what you hear about toddlers, you wouldn’t think that parenting one would contribute to an even keel. …

Mourning has been much more surreal than I was expecting

Karim Manjra/Unsplash

In September, my Dad died. I was prepared, I thought, to grieve. But no one mentioned how really odd the experience of mourning can be.

I expected to be sad. I am sad. But I wasn’t expecting the visceral sensation of a sadness this big. There was an empty space in my chest. Sometimes, when everything was quiet, I thought I could hear the wind rushing under my ribs. And then, usually, I’d have a panic attack.

I lost the ability to do much of anything for a while — work, read, even waste time in my usual way. Working…

I’ll be blogging here for 30 days

Danielle MacInnes/Unsplash

Hey, remember when blogging was fun? I sure do. In about 2003, I had a livejournal that not a soul cared about and it was the greatest.

I hasten to add: I do not mean that it was good. I mean that I loved writing it. There was no way to monetize it and I had no thought of making a career out of it. I made a bunch of friends and wrote whatever I wanted and locked it if I got nervous about privacy. (Speaking of which: no, I will not share it with you now. …

The bad news: you’ll probably have to keep a regular schedule.

Step 1: Get a dog, I guess. (

A little over seven years ago, I became a full-time freelancer. And while I could say plenty about how to make freelancing work, today I’d like to talk to you a bit about how to get stuff done while you’re working from home. Because other than drumming up new business, making yourself actually sit down and do the thing is the hardest part of freelancing.

Plus, an increasing number of full-time employees work at home these days. Companies have gotten the memo that telecommuting is an attractive benefit. …

Our culture is very, very broken

“Oh good. I was just wondering what to do with these five spare minutes.” (Image: Rawpixel/Pexels)

How many hours a week do you work? The average for U.S. workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, was 34.4 hours per week in May 2019.

That might not seem like a lot, but compared to workers in other countries, we put in a crazy amount of time at the office. The World Economic Forum reports that Americans work 1,783 hours per year — more than workers in Hungary, New Zealand, the Slovak Republic, Italy, Japan, Canada, Spain, Slovenia, and the U.K., among other countries.

№1: Your baby is going to kick the sugar-honey-iced-tea out of you

“I’m going to murder you.” (Daniel Reche/Pexels)

Before I had a baby, I read a lot of parenting books. Well, I say “read.” Actually, what I did was skim them until I got to a part that freaked me out — mastitis, say, or teething-induced sleep deprivation — and then I’d throw the book across the room and call my mom.

Inevitably, she’d say the same thing, “You have to take what’s useful and leave the rest, honey. They don’t write books about your baby.”

My mom is very smart. Also, she has 40-plus years of dealing with my anxiety issues. And after I had Baboo and…

Together, we can end the stigma around mental illness

Pictured: a fellow sufferer in search of connection. (Image: Tom Swinnen/Pexels)

I spent this morning at my primary care physician’s office, crying while wearing a gown that opens in the front.

The gown didn’t help. Neither did the part where they weighed me. But the rest of the appointment went better than I could have hoped. I went there to ask for medication to deal with my anxiety and depression, and left with a prescription. But more importantly, I felt that my doctor had listened to me and that we had a plan to deal with my situation. She also made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

“Listen, my husband is…

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt

I’m an Old Mom.

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