When every plan is subject to change

Welcome. At an At Home and Away team meeting on Monday, we discussed the tentative way we’re planning now. Minju has just received an ...


Welcome. At an At Home and Away team meeting on Monday, we discussed the tentative way we’re planning now.

Minju has just received an email informing her that her daughter’s gymnastics class is starting in four weeks, it’s time to register. With the news of the Delta variant changing our perceptions of what is safe on time, how could it commit to anything in four weeks? I have dinner on the schedule for Thursday, but my date and I have agreed to decide Thursday afternoon if we go ahead. We change our minds and plans from day to day, hour to hour, keep an eye on the number of cases, weighing the risk and the reward.

My inbox is full of emails from readers recounting postponed plans: the birthday dinner exchanged for steaks at the grill house, the road trip from Oregon to South Dakota to visit mom. canceled, the cruise on the bucket list in Malta canceled. (“We upgraded flights and booked a veranda room and the ALCOHOL PACKAGE. Absolutely crushed,” one reader wrote.)

If you are working on living in the present, this moment could prove to be an effective teacher.

I asked Last week how you were doing, and Linda Adams in Montreal made a smart change to my request: “When my husband passed away, people would often ask me, ‘How are you? “, And I found it to be such an important question that I couldn’t even begin to answer all the different and often conflicting ways I was feeling and living my new solo life,” she said. writing. “As part of bereavement therapy, they would ask, ‘How are you today?’ Adding “today” suddenly made this a question I could answer. Today I feel a bit exhausted but also extremely grateful for the little kindness I felt from a stranger this afternoon.

How you are today is not how you will be tomorrow. The way you are doing right now will change the next. Your long-awaited August vacation might be canceled, the plans you made for tonight might change this afternoon. As Rilke wrote: “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror./Continue. No feeling is final.

Sometimes it feels like the virus is the only thing we can think about or talk about. Next time I meet up with friends, in person or virtually, I’ll talk about this as well:

Just four seconds of intense exercise, repeated two or three dozen times, could be all that many of us need to build and maintain fitness, strength and power, according to one. Inspirational New Study on the Power of Lightning-Fast Workouts.

-From “Exercise vigorously for 4 seconds. Repeat. Your muscles can thank you.By Gretchen Reynolds.

How are you today? Tell us: athome@nytimes.com. Include your full name and location and we may include your response in a future newsletter. Were At home and away. We will read every letter sent.

We have received questions about the illustrations at the top of the At Home and Away newsletters. Each month, we fill this “gallery space” with the work of a different artist in residence. This month’s artist is Brooklyn painter and illustrator Jackson Joyce. You can consult his illustrations at the beginning of the month here and here.

As always, other ideas for leading a full and cultivated life, whether at home or away, appear below.

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Newsrust - US Top News: When every plan is subject to change
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