Figuring Things Out

May 16, 2024

Planes, trains and automobiles.  One of our family’s favorite movies – and also how I spent last week traveling through Ohio and Indiana.  Lots of time for contemplation and reflection, which we can never get enough of, I think.  Below are resources and recommendations to help you make the most of any moments you can grab for yourself this week and beyond.  Also sharing a few good opportunities to learn, grow and advocate.  Thanks for being here.

People who search for meaning in their lives and their experiences survive loss better, cancer better, heart disease better and have healthier immune chemistry, lower C-6 markers of inflammation, and lower risks of stroke and Alzheimer’s disease.

--Younger Next Year for Women by Chris Crowley

Listen up. 

I drove nearly 10 hours last week for meetings in the Midwest.  Lots of cornfields, cows and time for a few good podcasts:

  • This one from Brene Brown details the importance of accessing joy in times of struggle. According to Mental Health America, experiencing joy doesn’t just make us feel good. It can also lower anxiety, decrease stress hormones, promote heart health and even lessen pain.

  • This series connects parents of people with disabilities and addresses all kinds of important topics that we live everyday.

  • This episode from Lisa Hope Tilstra’s “Make Life Less Difficult” podcast features an interview with me! I am honored to be part of Lisa’s series and enjoyed sharing my perspective and story. Totally agree that we all have important stories, and sharing them helps us and others in really valuable ways.
person holding black iphone 7

On my nightstand.

So many books.  So little time.  Right now, I’m working my way through a couple worth sharing.  Younger Next Year for Women is focused on self-care for women as we inevitably age. Reading it is my attempt to learn more about what’s important to prioritize in order to live a longer and healthier life.  (I’m finding it inspiring and intimidating – which must mean it’s good.)  Also making my way through Martha Beck’s new book, Integrity, which is more work than I expected but filled with golden nuggets from this author, coach and mother of a son with disabilities. Because I can’t live on non-fiction alone, I also just started a novel about the Vanderbilts.  Reading helps me learn and grow AND escape the day-to-day realities that can sometimes be overwhelming.  What are you reading these days?

Savoring sadness.

Susan Cain is a researcher, lecturer and author who I haven’t yet read. Her new book, Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing Make Us Feel Whole, intrigues me. It seeks to explain the value of embracing sorrow to counterbalance society's pressure to constantly be positive. I find this idea fascinating, since I consider myself quite positive + I also enjoy a “really good cry,” a soulfully sad song, and movies that leave me in tears. After experiencing such things, I often find myself …well…happy. Susan’s new TED Talk explains how feeling pain enables us to better feel life’s beauty. What a wonderful message for us, our children and others we care about and for.

a boy crying tears for his loss

Help wanted this summer.

Do you know a young adult who is especially passionate about or skilled at working with young people with disabilities?  Our son’s amazing sleepaway camp, the Southampton Fresh Air Home, is hiring -- and I can’t think of a better place to spend the summer!  Andrew attended camp at SFAH every August from age 10-18. He had so many life-changing experiences, met incredible fellow campers, and absolutely loved his counselors!  Andrew’s experiences at camp transformed the way he sees himself and his ability to live independently. Powerful stuff, indeed.

Learn more about this amazing job opportunity here.  And please contact me directly if you’d like to hear about our family’s personal experience with SFAH.  We could not be bigger fans.


Today at 3pm.

Are you struggling with the current shortage of home healthcare providers? Do you want to connect with parents and other caregivers to share strategies and provide support to one another? Today at 3pm begins a monthly forum created by the Connecticut State Independent Living Council to help families navigate the shortage of personal care attendants (PCAs) in today’s work force. Register by emailing [email protected]. She’ll send a Zoom link before 3pm.

This powerful New York Times op-ed from activist Ady Barkin explains why home healthcare so important and offers ways to improve options for people in need. Please share with others to help people you know better understand this complex issue.

Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

Contact Kris

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