life Work

Surreal vs the Mundane

March 4, 2022

News. Just . . . seems incredibly surreal, yet I know it IS real. In 2022, people are fleeing for their lives and impending disaster feels quite possible.

And yet the mundane details of life just keep moving forward.

I will be donating again this weekend and appreciating the (relative) safety and trying to breathe through it all.

But first, work.

I actually have an unusual and fun work day today: our PGY1 class has their yearly day long retreat and I will be leading it (each class gets their own – and these were on pause for two years due to COVID, but they are back). There is a discussion component I will be leading in the afternoon, but there is also an oceanside walk + beach yoga with sun in the forecast all day (low 63 / high 80). They deserve this break and I guess I get to tag along for the ride.

This picture is from Captiva not Hollywood Beach where I am headed today, but I love the colors

Our nanny is off on a brief and unexpected trip (helping with a family situation overseas) and my kids will be going to aftercare for the next 3 days. It will be a bit of an interesting experiment to see what life would be like without full time childcare.


Zenhabits: 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life. I know, sounds click-baity. But I liked this list (esp as #1 and #3 are practices I really believe in).

Buy the Flowers via Modern Mrs Darcy.

Edit Your Life – featuring me! Was so much fun to chat with Christine Koh. Spoiler alert – she will be on BLP this coming Monday!

NPR News. If you are feeling panicked about the news (and there is so much that is legitimately and terrifyingly panic-inducing) because’s headlines are 5 inches tall, try NPR. I find it a much less fear-inducing format. You still get the important details but without as many emotional overtones.


  • Reply Arden March 4, 2022 at 6:32 am

    The Zenhabits link isn’t working. 😉

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger March 4, 2022 at 8:23 am

      Fixed it!! Thank you 🙂

  • Reply Tierney March 4, 2022 at 9:54 am

    I have been listening to The Economist’s daily news podcast. I like the European perspective on current news events, which exposes me to events I wasn’t even aware of. For example, I didn’t know that France is having their national election in 5 weeks and Pres Macron hasn’t officially submitted the required signatures yet since he’s been, well, busy. It’s 25 min and covers 1-3 stories a day.

    • Reply Coree March 4, 2022 at 12:48 pm

      BBC’s Ukrainecast is also really good. And the Politico UK and EU newsletters.

    • Reply Christine March 5, 2022 at 2:58 am

      Oh, the Economist one sounds like exactly what I’ve been looking for to add to my podcast menu for an outside-the-US perspective. Just looked it up – can I ask if you mean the one just called “The Economist Podcast” or the one called “The Economist Morning Briefing”?

      I do also love NPR news and The Daily by the NYT (although the latter has been known to really go for it sometimes, and made me cry more than once, most notably in the very first weeks of covid, but also while interviewing Ukrainian refugees the other day, and refugees from Afghanistan a few months ago… okay, the Daily can definitely be intense, but I really do enjoy how in-depth and thoughtful they seem).

      Funny observation though: I never really used to “get” how my parents or grandparents looked to one particular voice on TV or the radio to tell them about the news and help them process it. It seemed to me like an outsize dependence on some person you just see for a few minutes a night who, we can only imagine, is primarily reading off a script. But now I kind of get it – I’ve never especially loved watching the news on TV, but I think some of these podcasts are those people for me. When I woke up to the news that the war in Ukraine had started last week, I found myself thinking, “okay, let’s not go nuts scrolling, I’ll just wait until the Daily comes out and those guys will tell me what’s happening and how much I should panic.”

  • Reply Irene March 4, 2022 at 10:09 am

    My oldest loves her aftercare. It’s been the biggest unexpected blessing of this school year (along with a wonderful teacher). It’s extra social time in a slightly structured environment- just what she needs right now. Hope your kids love it too.

    I feel like our family is just starting to come out of the fog of COVID (although I am starting to wonder if my kids will be forced to wear masks forever, very jealous of your news on that front) and it’s jarring and upsetting to be confronted with the horrors in Ukraine and be reminded there’s a lot still really bad in other parts of the world too. I am trying to find a balance similar to yours. I wish there was more we could do that is actually helpful besides just $.

  • Reply Amanda M March 4, 2022 at 1:48 pm

    Though it is also sending money, this is an interesting idea for how to help in Ukraine shared in a newsletter I saw this morning:

  • Reply Sue March 4, 2022 at 8:06 pm

    Sarah, just wanted to say thanks so much for introducing me to MakseLife and letting us know there was a sale today! I am excited to receive my new planner! Always love reading your thoughts. Have a good weekend.

  • Reply Gol March 5, 2022 at 10:57 am

    What’s happening in Ukraine is heartbreaking but far from unique, it has been happening for the past 2 decades to Iraqis, Afghanis, is happening to Yemenis, Syrians etc. unfortunately nothing new, just business as usual

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