A Little Holiday Cheer


Last week, I had lunch with an old friend I hadn’t seen since early 2020 …

And now, here we were, having lunch before she started a whirlwind 36 hours work trip before flying back to her family on the East Coast. The restaurant, a favorite where I’ve celebrated many occasions, hadn’t been there for over two years as well. And yet, in that moment, it felt as though no time had passed. We hadn’t missed a beat.

In reality, so much has happened – we’ve both been personally impacted by COVID, remote learning, work changes, life changes, and getting used to the “new normal” that guarantees that there’s a certain level of certainty in uncertainty.

I hope you and your loved ones have friends and traditions that help you feel, even for a fleeting moment, that no time has passed, and that you haven’t missed a beat. And, if that isn’t possible – because I know that is not always the case – I hope you are able to try something new and create new traditions this year. It is so important for adults, and also for kids and teens who have seen so much change over the past year.

I also hope everyone has a chance to read this WSJ article “What Children Lose When their Brains Develop Too Fast.” It discusses the research around Adverse Childhood Experiences, and the long term impact on well-being. Traumatic experiences in childhood – and we know these past two years have been full of them for people of all ages – can make young minds inflexible, and impacts executive functioning skills development.

For the past three years, I’ve spent thousands of hours developing the Life Navigator School Program with three goals in mind:

– Supporting students as they develop executive functioning skills – Including organization, time- and energy management, task initiation, task completion and cognitive flexibility

– Address the discrepancy in skills development when students have Adverse Childhood Experiences – which has been amplified during the pandemic

– Create a classroom and school culture that supports building these skills as the foundation for learning

Starting in January 2022, we’ll be meeting with schools and districts interested in the work. Right now, we’re focused on grades 6, 7, 8 and 9. If you are interested in learning more, please be in touch.

Thank you, as always, for the opportunity to do this work. I consider it a great honor, and a gift.

With warm regards,


PS. RESPONSE REQUESTED: I am planning on doing a virtual community talk in January/February 2022, and would love your input on potential topics/questions to answer/all the rest. What would you like me to talk about? Topics/questions/ideas to address?

Other articles of interest:

Schools closing classrooms on Fridays. Parents are furious (NYTimes)

College applications rebounded by 22% this year – here’s why (CNBC)

Surgeon general warns of mental health crisis (NYTimes)

Toxic positivity is really bad and very annoying (WSJ)

The Fight for Fairness in College Admissions (the Atlantic)

Featured in:


Stay connected

Get in touch