You know what’s ironic? An editor turning out a magazine about habits in the midst of a global pandemic. Me, a mother of four, skirting around the kids, skipping breakfast and dodging the shower (again), only to sit down and review a poem called “Morning Routine.” Ah, yes. Family life in 2020.
What a peculiar and powerful moment in history. Most people’s routines, mine included, dissolved in a sea of good intentions and coping mechanisms by April. Different habits emerged—some noble, some less so.
By May, I think everyone was asking some form of the same question: “Is this how I want to spend my wild and precious life?” Probably not.
In recent weeks, I’ve been inspired by Viktor Frankl’s words from his remarkable book Man’s Search for Meaning. Reflecting on his time in a Nazi concentration camp, Frankl says, “When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are forced to change ourselves.”
Change ourselves, both individually and collectively—this is the opportunity before us.
Annie Dillard says, “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” She’s right. And regardless of the circumstances—global pandemic, social unrest, economic uncertainty—the choice to change is ours to make. Every day.
In this relevant issue, we’ve invited 11 fascinating people to offer their slant on habits. Award-winning authors, prominent thought leaders, avid researchers, skilled writers—even a poet.
Their words will inspire you to change, to set intentions and build grit. And while most articles are brimming with practical tips to help shape your days, there is plenty of space to simply read and ruminate too.
I’m happy to report that, in the end, compiling this issue gently nudged me out of my pandemic-induced rut. I’m sleeping better. My phone is no longer married to my bedside table. Spending is under control. My husband and children rightfully hold my attention. I’ve even lost ten pounds.
I say this only to reiterate what we already know: habits are malleable. Change is possible.
If there was ever a time to dissect and discuss habits, it’s now. I hope you like the issue.
To your best life,
Elissa Joy Watts
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