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The Good Press - Issue #10: Strength

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The Good Press

June 24 · Issue #10 · View online

A newsletter of observations about life, sports, and/or anything else that comes to mind


Hello and welcome to another edition of The Good Press.
We’ve made it to double digits, Issue #10.
Thanks for reading, subscribing, and sharing thoughtful feedback. As always, I hope you find this and every issue of The Good Press to be worth your time.

Strength
I hope everyone had a nice Father’s Day weekend. We had a delightful Sunday, with my parents picking up our favorite Italian food and driving down into the city to spend time with my brother and I and our partners. We spent a few hours together and it was about as perfect a day as can be.
My dad is a no-frills kind of guy. Some good eats, good conversation, and some time together is his kind of Father’s Day. It was six of us all together, with five of us splitting a bottle of wine. My dad is ~15 months sober, and he can enjoy himself without imbibing. He doesn’t treat it like it’s that big a deal.
I’ve been thinking about how subtle strength can be sometimes.
As the virus has upended so many of our social norms, it’s taken a constant, perpetual strength to remain as vigilant and steadfast as we can be. At the onset of the pandemic, I wrote about my motivation for staying COVID-free.
She’s Why: Love and Life Sheltering in Place with a High-Risk Partner During a Viral Pandemic
Obviously, nobody wants to get infected. It doesn’t seem fun to experience.
Yet, as much as we appreciate when people don their masks to protect others, we should be more mindful about appreciating the subtle strength we’re displaying every day. It’s not easy to adjust to all this, and yet we have.
There’s nothing wrong with acknowledging the subtle, everyday strength. It’s the same thing as my dad with his sobriety. It takes an everyday strength, and yet for him, it’s a way of life. He’s too humble to pat himself on the back for it.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you have to.”
That sentiment is something that my mom always told me when I felt stuck and I didn’t feel strong. Whether it was grad school, or changing careers, or any other minor problem I’ve conquered that felt so vast at the time, when I had to do something, I always found a way. Today we’re finding a way. There’s strength in forging ahead. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for that.
Knowing my partner is high-risk has been extra motivating for both of us, but it’s also been incredibly taxing, physically, mentally, and emotionally.
For the first three months, neither of us wanted her to physically leave our small studio apartment unless it was to get some fresh air on our roof deck, where we could walk up a flight of stairs and have minimal surfaces to touch.
We’re not built for this, as human beings. None of us are. Our society is built on interaction, our cultural norms include hugs, high fives, and handshakes.
All of that has changed, at least for now, but what hasn’t changed are the safety protocols we’ve had to follow on an everyday basis since mid-March.
If I come back after running an errand, and I forget to wash my hands before scratching my face once, it could be catastrophic. One slip is all it could take.
Of course, if I keep getting paranoid about not being diligent or precautious enough, I’ll drive myself crazy. Last week, I made a minor mistake writing the wrong zip code on an online shopping order, and I beat myself up for it harshly. To me, that minor mistake was emblematic of the constant perfection I’ve been striving for. I have to be perfect or it could be tragic.
I wasn’t feeling very strong that day. It made little sense to beat myself up for typing in the wrong zip code. My billing and shipping addresses have different zip codes, and I wasn’t careful when I was typing them in. I felt like I’d failed. Hours later, the company refunded my order. No harm, no foul.
But those hours in between? I didn’t feel strong. That everyday strength that I need to have? It felt like it had melted away. I had felt like I had failed, even though it wasn’t a health-threatening error. Thankfully, she gave me strength.
Our relationship is beautiful for so many reasons, but part of its strength is the way that we share strength with one another when we need it. When I feel down, she lifts me up, and vice-versa. It’s wonderful to have people in your life that can remind you of who you are and what you’re capable of.
Strength isn’t about being able to lift heavy things, or putting up a shield to protect yourself from negativity. Sometimes, true strength is allowing your insecurities and vulnerabilities to spill out of you, knowing that your partner will never judge you for feeling small. Two of the strongest people I’ve ever met are my mother and my partner. Both of them are barely five feet tall. Yet they share a fearlessness and a drive to not let their weaknesses define them. When life dealt them lemons, they didn’t complain. They planted lemon trees.
That’s what strength is. Taking life’s twists and turns and finding a way to conquer them any way you can, as best as you can. We’re all in this together, we are all doing our best to get through each day, safely and securely.
When my dad is having dinner around people who are having a glass of wine, he doesn’t mind it. He doesn’t feel a need to partake, and he doesn’t want to deny anybody else their personal choice to have a glass. There is immense strength in this willpower. My dad doesn’t see it that way. To him, it’s what he has to do, so he does it. It’s amazing what you can do when you have to.
We should appreciate our ability to summon the strength within us to conquer each day, one day at a time. One day, we’ll live in a world that is COVID-free again. Until then, be your strongest every day, one day at a time.
Recommendations
I don’t want to bombard this section with recipes every week, though I really enjoy sharing some good ones here and there. No new recipe today, though.
Today I want to recommend something a little different. In times like these when we’re living our lives virtually and digitally and online more than ever, it’s important to be able to protect yourself and all of your personal data.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to use a password manager.
Password managers are services that allow for greater security online by typically having you create a single, extremely secure, difficult-to-guess “master password.” This master password acts as a code to a virtual vault, protecting information and data across all of the websites you frequent.
I personally use LastPass as my password manager, but there are a variety of services to choose from. If you aren’t already using a password manager, I strongly recommend looking into it. Once you have a strong master password, the password manager can create extremely secure, randomized passwords for all your logins, and it fills them in for you automatically.
Gone are the days of remembering a bunch of passwords, or dangerously duplicating passwords for multiple sites, which can put you in harm’s way. LastPass has both web versions and mobile apps to allow for seamless use.
Speaking of “seamless,” my other recommendation today involves being wary of these delivery apps, like Seamless and its parent company, Grubhub.
Local restaurants are struggling right now, for obvious reasons, but what you may not know is that when you order from Seamless/Grubhub, your local restaurant is often paying heavy service fees to these third-party apps.
There’s nothing wrong with supporting your community and supporting local small businesses, but be aware that sometimes these convenient third-party delivery apps can do more harm than good to those mom-and-pop shops.
Instead, I would recommend going to a restaurant’s website and trying to order from there if you can. My brother told me that recently before he checked out on Seamless, he called the restaurant directly from the number listed on the restaurant’s website and placed the order over the phone. They were so appreciative that they gave him some complimentary desserts.
Now that’s a win-win.
Parting Thoughts
When I put out Issue #0.9 of The Good Press back in April, it was very much a work in progress. I had no idea when I would put out a second issue, whether it would be the next week, the next month, whether I’d get writer’s block, etc.
I knew I’d write a second issue eventually, though. I email-blasted The Good Press to people because I wanted to challenge myself to follow up on it with regularity, and I believed that people might find it to be an interesting read.
I’m thrilled to have reached double digits with this being the tenth issue.
I wouldn’t have gotten this far without your trust in me to subscribe and stick with the growing pains. Your feedback and encouragement have always motivated me to try to make each issue better than the last. Some of them are, some of them aren’t, but life isn’t about a linear path with no deviations.
We’ll get there.
I’m having a lot of fun getting my thoughts out on the page, even when Sunday or Monday comes along and I haven’t figured out what to write yet.
Thanks for sticking with me through the first ten issues. Hopefully, the next ten issues are even better. In the meantime, I hope you can join me in trying your best to be mindful and grateful, to acknowledge and appreciate your strength and resilience. To spread love and reject hate. To embrace your creative side and create something beautiful that’s particularly yours.
Till next time, stay safe, stay strong, have fun, and remember to breathe.
-Jon
Previously at The Good Press
The Good Press - Issue #9
The Good Press - Issue #8
The Good Press - Issue #7
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