Published: March 7, 2021

No. 59
Briefing Notes The Mixed Bag

Every issue of Briefing Notes is theme-centered, except for when it’s not.😊 In the course of doing the research for this publication (and happily going down many rabbit holes), I run into stuff I’d like to share with you. But they don’t always align with our official themes here. Hence, The Mixed Bag edition, as this one is!

We’ll be back to regular programming in the next issue.

  • Getting to know you again. “Imagine you have dutifully raised your children and released them into the world, growing accustomed to infrequent visits around the holidays, and then suddenly they’re back, a decade or more later, sleeping in their old bedrooms and sacking the fridge.” Every parent-child relationship is an emotional minefield, to varying degrees. But when the child living in your house is all grown up … well, that ratchets up the complication.
  • Japanese billionaire seeks companions for a week-long 2023 trip around the moon. 45-year-old Yusaku Maezawa, who made his fortunes in fashion retail, is now accepting applications for eight seats in a rocket engineered by Elon Musk’s aerospace company. There are two broad criteria. Applicants have to be visionaries who seek to make the world a better place. They must also be “willing and able to support crew members who share similar aspirations.”
  • Why we all need quiet days. The cult of busyness encourages (demands?) that we bite more than we can chew. It ignores or denies our actual fragility. We need the maternal part of ourselves to step in, rescue us, and prescribe slower quieter days. But it’s not all about self-preservation. “Simple days, when nothing much seems to be happening and when we haven’t apparently accomplished anything – days the busy person would consider dull and wasted – can be deeply fruitful.”
  • Video: Why do we, like, hesitate when we, um, speak | TED. Many of us try to control our ums, ers, and likes in our spoken sentences. “These linguistic fillers occur roughly 2 to 3 times per minute in natural speech. So are ums and uhs just a habit we can’t break? Or is there more to them?”


“I used to think the opposite of control is chaos. But it’s not. The opposite of control is surrender.” — Erin Loechner


Running Down a Dream
by Tim Grahl

This book unflinchingly bares the naked truth behind all creations and shares the practical to-do list to take you from here to there. The good news? You don’t have to be an Austen or a Michelangelo or an Oprah to create a work of art. The bad news? There’s no glossing over the pain, embarrassment, and financial terror necessary to contend with on your journey. More good news? What lies ahead for you is the realization of your heroic self.


Simon Kindleysides is paralyzed from the waist down. But in February, he walked a total of 112 miles using a robotic exoskeleton which restored his ability to walk.

Every day of the month, he would strap it on and walk for about four miles while using hand-held poles to maintain his balance. The four-mile walk was limited not by Kindleysides but by how long he could use the exoskeleton before its batteries needed to be charged. #inourlifetime

Image by Simon Kindleysides

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I was at the local medical center last week for a round of the annual pricks and prods when I saw a huge sign: “Vaccines Here.”

I moseyed over. Maybe I could get a vaccine that day? 🤭 The woman said they were only doing second shots and only for health care workers that day.

Also… and she looked at me quizzically, “We’re not administering vaccines to people below 65 yet. But keep trying because sometimes there are excess prepared vaccines. And if you happen to be there, they might give it to you. Just keep showing up.”

Just keep showing up.

That, my friend, is healthcare in America. Also, just keep showing up is probably the most universal life advice there is.

Here’s to an ease-ful week ahead. Keep showing up. With mask on (never mind what Texas is doing).

Cool beans,
Lou Blaser


A former management consultant and IT leader, Lou Blaser is the editor of Briefing Notes and the host of the Second Breaks podcast. She is also the author of Break Free: The Courage to Reinvent Yourself and Your career. Lou’s work is focused on exploring how to navigate, thrive, and turn midlife into the best phase in our life.

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