• Karen

A Fresh Start

Updated: Apr 12

Even an introvert who loves alone time can be thrown by a forced lockdown. Much of my work already happened online and through technology, and for that I’m grateful. Yet, some of the schools and community organizations where I’d normally be teaching or speaking are barely functional these days. Like so many I’ve had to rethink and reinvent regarding my income streams. Heading into the eighth month of weird, disconnected life I decided to look at some of my Covid times realizations and start thinking about tomorrow and a new and better life.

Nope. Never did get on the sourdough bandwagon. I watched some videos on creating the starter and that cured me of the urge. I did learn a few recipes from YouTube and discovered I should be cooking my morning oatmeal in plant milk. Soy milk is great, but coconut milk was sort of blah. Though I was always a home-cooking type, I am even more committed to buying good (and good for me) foods and cooking my way to a healthy diet.

The pandemic stress combined with the political chaos of the last months has made creative work a lot harder. I’ve really struggled with longer projects, so I learned to write flash fiction. I’ve got a story going live in just a couple of days. I haven’t given up my dreams of writing a novel or something longer, but I am enjoying my shorter projects and learning new skills in writing and editing.

I tired my hand at a podcast.

My teaching work has changed dramatically. The ongoing stress levels I see in students are sky high, and I spend as much time offering support and encouragement as I do talking about subject matter or grading. Maybe more. So I have been doing more professional development and more collaboration with colleagues to make mental health awareness and self-care a routine part of my teaching work.

It’s time for reinvention—in a big way—for me and so many others. To that end I’m creating a new mid-life coaching/class to launch soon. So email me KSouthall2[at]gmail.com or contact me @askkaren on Twitter if you’d like to be included. There will be a limited number of spots.

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