Daydreaming about packing up and plugging in wherever there’s a decent Wi-Fi connection.

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I recently came across a story in the Japan Times about how national parks across Japan have improved internet access to increase remote work capabilities and I found myself wondering what if.

There I sat, in the living room I’ve spent far too much time in over the past 6 months, readying myself for another dull day of work, staring out the window imagining I was somewhere else entirely.

The idea itself isn’t exactly new. Marek, the Indie Traveller, has been working remotely for years, but has seen the trend really take off during the pandemic. He says friends who work 9-to-5 jobs have been spending lockdown in beach houses or country cottages and he also notes that the CEO of Airbnb affirmed a surge in demand for holiday homes in rural areas for longer periods of time. …

How failing to practice gratitude disrupted my career, relationships and self-esteem.

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The benefits of gratitude have been well documented, especially in recent years. Joel Wong and Joshua Brown wrote about the results of a gratitude study they conducted at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, a primary finding of theirs being that gratitude, “unshackles us from toxic emotions.” Robert Emmons documented a number of physical, psychological and social benefits he observed over more than a decade of research on gratitude, benefits like stronger immune systems, better sleep, more joy and pleasure, more forgiveness, more generosity, more extroversion, less loneliness and isolation.

Gratitude became a big part of my therapeutic recovery when I entered treatment because I hated myself, everything around me and was clinging to a dwindling list of reasons to stay alive. Alongside talk therapy and dialectical behavioral therapy I practiced mindfulness and wrote in a daily gratitude journal that my therapist reviewed for more than a year. …

Rather than measuring them up against ideals that don’t factor in the complications of reality.

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“What if they were doing the best they could?” My therapist asked in a session, responding to my anger and inability to forgive my parents for failing to protect me in my youth.

“What do you mean?” I asked, suspicious of how she could absolve them from having a hand in something that left me muted for more than a decade.

“Okay, so it’s true that they failed to protect you at a time when you were highly vulnerable, and your hurt about that is valid,” she began tentatively, “But what if that’s only half the story, what if they were truly doing the best they could with all the available resources?” …


Liz Stevens

Interested in how our online lives affect us IRL, personal growth, self-awareness, feminism, relationships, mental health, compassion and vulnerability.

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