Adventure is calling, but you can’t come to the phone right now. Clearly our predictable textbook style of living has gone the way of the dodo bird. Let’s be honest. Some of us eat pizza like it’s going extinct. Wanna hear a joke about pizza? Never mind; it’s too cheesy. But sincerely, most of us had a predetermined path for our lives that we invested most of our energy in. We believed in a somewhat probable outcome. So much for guarantees, eh? Heck, I used to have an irrational fear of obstacles, but I got over it. I also had a fear of speed bumps, but I’m slowly getting over it, too. They say the biggest human fear is the Unknown. Like….

How do we embrace all this doggone uncertainty? More school and store closures, but only in “certain” neighborhoods? What is the next nasty surprise waiting around the bend? For starters, sweet friends, please focus on your goals, not your feelings. That anxiety and never-ending fear will not offer you the courage and confidence you need to face it all. Feelings can be crippling; even paralyzing. Thoughts, on the other hand, can anchor you before your doubts and distress run you ashore.

Have you noticed how obsessive and mentally preoccupied some have become? There are those who have worn masks for so long, they have forgotten who they actually were beneath it. Their fixation is a maladjusted way of dealing with their overwhelming fear or even terror. Fear of the unknown can convince some that if they control others, they will be safe somehow. But one thing is for certain: Hysteria is never a healthy response. Please stop viewing each other as either heroes or villains. You just had a two-hour fight with your hubby about whether or not you were fighting. Geez. Take your politics glasses off for a bit, and have a genuine look at what is real. Disagree, but do not disrespect.

Others have become addicted to the daily drama of the mainstream media narrative. Witness the zealotry, verbal abuse, shutting down debates with opposing views, and the flat-out viciousness of those who purport indefinite and indiscriminate lockdowns. There is a cesspool swirling. Please do not fall in, sweet friends. Truth has become an increasingly illusive concept. Acknowledge that solutions tend to be multilayered. And some cures are worse than the disease itself. If you insist on a debate with a family member, wait till he has food in his mouth. Oh, and people argue less on a full stomach. Speaking of which, if you want to impress me with your car, it better be a food truck. Just sayin’…

I just ordered a “life alert” bracelet. So if I ever get a life, I’ll be notified immediately. Do you know the feeling? The fabric of society has been torn to shreds. And make no mistake: There is a price to pay for not seeing and hugging your family, for not being able to put food on the table, and the chronic, unending fretfulness and nerve-wracking unease that has become our lives.

Indeed, illnesses are real, but so is economic catastrophe, loss of civil liberties, and horrific mental health consequences. We all crave security, and want a sense of control over our own wellbeing. Every one of us. Yet now, we may feel trapped in a downward spiral and completely emotionally drained. Perhaps, all that is within your control at the moment is your attitude and emotional response. That is okay, sweet friends. Life is all about how we handle Plan B.

Your only current hobby is tracking packages. Perhaps your life has become one big: “I don’t know.” Somehow, we must make peace with simply not having all the answers and not knowing our future. Pursue what you care about deeply. Remind yourself that every time you cross a street or get behind the wheel of your car, you are in essence accepting uncertainty. You allow and tolerate risks all of the time. Do not pay attention to half truths, which only serve to fuel your dread and doubts. Please listen to others’ points of view. You can entertain a thought without accepting it. You know, the only one who listens to both sides of the argument is the next-door neighbor. But seriously, you simply cannot prepare for every possible scenario. Life is way too unpredictable for that. Fear not, glasses users: Next year, everyone will be seeing 20/20.

“I don’t want you to think like me. I just want you to think.” Sheesh. Fighting about politics? You know why they have elections in November? It’s the best time for picking out a turkey. Heh. Don’t despair. It was once said: “I have wondered at times what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the US Congress.”

Take heart, my friends. There’s nothing like a bit of shared commiseration to make you feel better. Be flexible. Trust me, people begin to heal the moment they feel heard. Learn to disagree in peace, please. Bending sure does beat breaking. Stay the course. The bad news: There is no key to happiness. The good news: It isn’t locked.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or at