About pbilodeau01

Born in Berlin, N.H.; bachelor of arts, major in journalism, Northeastern University; master's degree in urban studies, Southern Connecticut State University; was an editor and reporter at New Haven Register, an editor at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a reporter at The Meriden Record-Journal. Now a freelance writer and editor.


#incomes #SixFigureIncomes #inflation #FinancialProblems #MoneyManagement
Yes, it’s possible that a couple making a six-figure income together can still have financial issues.
Nedra Rhone, “This Life” columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution discussed this in a column published June 23, 2022.
Rhone says many people believe that anyone making six figures a year with financial problems have money management, not money, problems.
But as rents skyrocket and prices for gasoline and other goods rise to levels not seen in decades, it is possible for two people making a combined, six-figure income to have trouble making ends meet – never mind saving for the future.
Some decades back, a young couple just starting out in life might have thought that if they could just make $20,000 a year together, they would be OK.
Inflation has kicked that goal up fivefold, or more.
As Rhone points out, it’s great to teach kids, and young adults, good money management skills. It takes some discipline to watch what one spends money on. And, certainly, we all can improve our money management skills.
But, the lesson here is that costs of living can’t keep rising without some, if not everyone, feeling the pinch.
Food, shelter, clothing, energy etc. are all necessary for living and working. People certainly can cut out frivolous expenses, unnecessary trips etc. But everyone has to eat, have a roof over his or her head, drive to work etc.
Some recent trends are helping. For example, more people are working from home. That saves on energy, clothing and, perhaps, some food costs.
But, not everyone can work from home. In fact, it can be assumed that the less money you make at your job, the less ability you may have to work from home. Trades people, hospitality workers and others have no ability to work from home.
Fortunately, the world economy works in cycles. That means prices won’t stay at these levels forever.
Much of the high-price trends have to do with pent-up demand after pandemic lockdowns. More people are working than there were two years ago.
Wages are trending up, but many are no better off because of that pent-up demand. Some economic sectors are still having trouble filling jobs, even with offers of more pay and, perhaps, benefits.
A narrative is circulating that government policy is the prime driver of the inflation we are seeing. In reality, there is very little that can be done by government at any level to make a real dent in inflation.
The couple in Rhone’s column could look for a cheaper apartment. Those are hard to find in most areas. In fairness, landlords have had trouble the last two years getting tenants to pay rent on time because the pandemic cost the tenants their jobs temporarily. These landlords, along with retailers and other merchants, are trying to recover some of what they lost.
Rhone’s point in her column was not to criticize others’ financial situations. Don’t try to put a simple solution on a complex problem. Chances are, if you were in the shoes of the six-figure couple, you probably would face similar problems.
Times are tough for most of us. It’s time we all be less critical or judgmental of others, and more sympathetic and helpful.


#power #”WomenTalking” #Oscars #ReligiousRestrictions #dreams #action
Imagine life in a religious enclave, in which men had total domination over women.
It got to the point that some men were physically attacking the women at will.
That is the premise behind the movie “Women Talking,” which won at 2023 Oscar for best adapted screenplay.
The movie is set in decades past in a village of deeply religious people. Even though the women were regularly attacked by men, they held fast to their religious beliefs. (One has to wonder about the attacking men’s religious beliefs).
As the attacks mounted, the women had to decide to stay and do nothing, stay and fight or leave. Many meetings and raucous debates ensued.
Ultimately, after much discussion, they left, with all the horses, wagons, livestock, food and other supplies, as the men slept.
The movie never shows how the men reacted when they woke up and found the women gone.
It may be hard to envision that scenario in modern times. But, pockets of such behavior undoubtedly exist today.
It begs the question: why was it such a difficult decision for the women to leave?
In the movie, part of the debate centered around their religious beliefs. Their village was the only life they knew, and they wondered whether they would ever go to heaven if they left. But they came around to realize that for a good life on earth, they had to go.
Have you ever been in a situation that you felt it difficult to escape, but also impossible to endure?
Life sometimes puts difficult decisions in our path. Sometimes, our difficulty in making a decision involves, as was the case in the movie, self imposed limitations.
We grow up in a certain household, with certain beliefs engrained in us. As we mature, we start to see that what we were told was, if not false, not realistic for our own purposes.
That may be why some parents encourage their kids to stay close to home. For if they venture out, they may discover other ways of life and adopt, if not embrace, them. They may even discover that they are not who their parents think they are.
Maturity brings a sense of self. One has to find that, and do what one needs to do to fulfill it.
If one endures hardship, he or she must find ways to eliminate it, or, at least, put a limit on what he or she has to endure. Some hardships may have good outcomes in the end, and one has to have the grit to take them on.
Your difficulties may not be as obvious as the ones faced by the women in the movie.
And, often, one may not have a way to avoid hardship befalling them. But, one always can find a way to eliminate, or at least mitigate, that hardship eventually.
It starts with discarding self-imposed restrictions that make very little sense as they relate to the hardship.
Then, one has to dream of what life could be. Once that dream is in place, figure out what you must do to achieve that dream.
Yes, it may involve taking drastic action – doing something you thought you would never do. You may be surprised that, once you take drastic action, it wasn’t hard to do as you thought. The women’s decision to leave in the movie was hard for them, but once they decided to go, they knew it was right for them.
In short, know who you are and remain true to yourself. Eliminate self-doubt and self-imposed restrictions on achieving what is right for you. If where you live is incompatible with life and safety, decide whether moving or fighting obstacles others impose on you is better for you. If moving seems a hard choice, try it and see how hard, or better, it will be.
Don’t let others claim power over you.


#baseball #RoboticUmpires #umpires #BaseballSeason #pitchers #catchers
Baseball season is coming.
They are trying to see whether robotic umpires can call balls and strikes, and how smoothly that would work.
Reports say that they will be tried in the minor leagues (Triple A) this season.
One might think that robo umps will be better than human ones. After all, human umpires can get it wrong.
Folks believe the robo umps will always get it right. (One might add that they have to be working properly).
Players are objecting to the robo umps because Major League catchers have become adept at framing pitches that are borderline, thereby converting what might be a ball to a strike.
The reports say the robo umps will not be fooled by even the best pitch-framers, and it seems some, if not many, players don’t like that.
Umpiring a baseball game has been a classic human, and fallible, science. The plays happen so quickly that it’s possible the umpire might not have a complete view of them all the time. So, they make calls to the best of their ability. And, yes, they don’t always get them right.
Calling pitches behind the plate can be a matter of human interpretation. When one watches a baseball game on TV, he or she often sees a square (or rectangle), invisible to those on the field but visible to the TV audience, over the plate. Theoretically, the pitcher’s job is to get the ball inside that square for a strike, unless he purposely throws it out of the strike zone to see whether a batter will chase it. But, inevitably, pitches inside the square might be called balls, and those outside the square might be called strikes, because the umpire’s “square” is in his imagination.
In decades past, pitchers got to know how each umpire interprets the strike zone. That gives a pitcher a better idea where to locate his pitches when that umpire was working behind the plate. Some umps had a “high” strike zone. Others had a “wide” strike zone etc.
Some Major League umpires, mostly in the National League, had wider strike zones. Thereby, some pitchers can do better in that league than in the American League because they may be “given” pitches that are an inch or two off the zone. That makes them better pitchers than they would be with a narrower zone.
As mentioned above, catchers began to hone the skill of framing pitches. If the pitcher throws the ball an inch or two off the plate, a catcher could not just catch it, but slide his mitt over an inch or two as he catches it. That might make the umpire call the pitch that was not quite a strike in the pitcher’s favor..
The robo umpires will electronically watch only the flight of a pitch, not where it ends up in the catcher’s glove.
In short, no one likes to see machines replace humans, especially when fans enjoy every aspect of the game.
Some fans actually love watching players, managers etc., argue with umpires, or, at least, give the umpires the stink-eye after an unfavorable call.
On the other hand, fans of the game may not like to see players (humans) manipulate the game to make it look like “cheating,” unless, of course, one’s favorite team is doing it.
Technology has helped a lot of sports get things right. Instant replay, or other electronic reviews, are common in many sports, and calls on the field, or court, get overturned by them. (Some resent the delays of the game this causes).
As a fan, one should let the baseball authorities know how they feel about technological innovation.
Getting things right all the time can take a lot of debate out of a fan. Sometimes, debates are the fun part of fandom.


#CollegeEducation #education #colleges #EducationDecisions
Does one get a college education simply to get a good job? Or, does one get a college education to expand his or her mind, and learn to think critically?
It appears most students today view a college education in practical terms: what’s the (employment) payoff at the end?
But, should they?
Maureen Downey, education columnist for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, explored this topic in her May 10, 2022 column.
Downey quotes from the book “The Real World of College: What Higher Education Is and What It Can Be,” by Wendy Fischman and Howard Gardner of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The authors accuse college of “mission sprawl” and abandoning their main purpose, which they describe as enabling students to analyze, reflect, connect and communicate on the critical questions they will encounter in their lives and in the world, Downey writes.
“You go on a college tour and you hear about 100 different things,” Downey quotes Gardner. But what they don’t hear enough, in the authors’ minds, is how colleges develop the mind, Downey writes.
“If students don’t leave college better thinkers, writers and communicators, the colleges fail their core mission, Downey attributes to the authors.
Let’s break down what a college education is, and should be.
First, let’s establish that no college education is wasted, if the student vigorously pursues his or her studies, regardless of what his or her major is.
But, if a student, or his or her family, is paying dearly for that education, the student and family can reasonably expect a payoff at the end. Usually, that’s defined as a good job and career launch for the student. Worse yet, if the student incurs thousands of dollars in debt for that education, he or she had better have a good income to pay it back.
Today’s political environment might describe what the Harvard authors say the colleges’ mission should be as “indoctrination” of a certain political position. Or, as Downey calls it, “political correctness and free speech.”
A college education today also involves fun, new friendships, sports and other entertainment that can help mold a young person’s life.
This begs the question: why can’t a college education accomplish both the academic and practical goals students may have?
Certainly, some students’ studies can focus on critical thinking. Others can focus on the practical skills and knowledge that will help them launch the careers they want.
It boils down to choices. A student first must figure out what he or she wants to do after college. That requires him or her to take a certain batch of core courses toward that end. But in every semester schedule, there are usually electives that a student can choose to take that may have nothing to do with his or her major, but are of personal interest.
The smart student will choose those electives to help him or her develop his or her mind and make him or her a more well rounded, or well grounded, person.
Remember, too, that a college education isn’t for everyone. So, students and parents must determine whether the prospective college student is suited to college and ready for college (academically and financially).
The choices the student makes if he or she goes to college will determine how he or she uses his or her degree after graduation, and what kind of person he or she becomes.


#jobs #JobMarket #employment #employees #employers
Despite talk of recession, layoffs among tech companies and others, the job market is still hot.
In fact, a remarkable 517,000 jobs were created in January 2023, according to reports.
“Employers are having to work harder – in some markets – to attract talent.”
So says Sarah Johnston, founder of Briefcase Coach, as quoted in an article by Andrew Seaman, senior editor for Job Search & Careers at LinkedIn News.
“You are seeing shorter job applications, more recruiter outreach and in some cases compensating candidates to interview,” the article quotes Johnston.
Still, she says in the article, applicants have to put their best foot forward.
Sure, jobs are plentiful at most levels. Walmart plans to hire 50,000 associates. Dell plans to hire 5,000 workers, Raytheon needs 3,750 more employees and Wells Fargo says it hires thousands of entry-level people each year, the article says.
In other words, yes, employers need workers. But they are still particular about whom they hire.
Therefore, as a prospective employee, you can perhaps be more confident, but you still have to impress.
Employers need more bodies, but they also need dependable bodies.
There are many stories floating around about workers reporting for work one day, then not showing up – in some cases, ever again.
In previous times, employers would leave a position open until they find just the right person. Some likely still do that, but many may be a bit more flexible in today’s market.
But, if you, as a prospective employee, find a place you’d like to work, show your prospective boss that you have what it takes, that he or she can count on you to be there day in and day out and put forth a good image for the company.
As employers, it’s best not to overpromise and under-deliver to attract workers. If workers find that what you told them doesn’t match the reality, they likely will not stay long.
As employees, know that job descriptions change. Sometimes, things you were promised when you were hired can be altered. The job you thought you were taking can turn into something a bit different. Don’t let that bother you, if you like where you work. You may have to roll with the changes, because, to stay competitive, companies have to evolve – often quickly.
If you have to leave an employer, do so with as much notice as possible. Be aware, also, that employers may not offer you the same courtesy. You could show up one day, and immediately be shown the door. But, as an employee, you have to be a good person. You may need that employer to give you a reference someday.
Yes, there are laws and company policies in which previous employers can verify your employment, but that’s all. It’s best to have the best relationship you can have with any employer, so that he or she can personally recommend you.
In short, the job market is great for most people looking for work. But, as a potential employee, you still have to be at your best to land a good job.
You have to strive to not only be a good employee, but a better person.


#GreatWealthTransfer #BabyBoomers #wealth #inheritances #EstatePlanning
A few generations back, the parents of Baby Boomers turned, or were about to turn, huge amounts in inheritance to their children or other heirs.
Those parents had built usually modest homes for relatively modest prices, though they didn’t think so at the time. Much of that homebuilding was thanks in large part to the federal GI bill that was passed as veterans came home from World War II to start families and new lives.
Those modest homes increased in value many times over during that generation’s lifetime.
That gave the children of that generation a big chunk of wealth to inherit.
And, many of them did – big time.
Now, the Baby Boom generation has a bunch of wealth to pass on to its children – the GenXers and Millennials.
Wes Moss, who writes a Money Matters column for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and has a similar weekly program on WSB radio in Atlanta, calls this “The Great Wealth Transfer.”
He discussed it in his column published April 24. 2022.
Moss writes that between $30 trillion and $68 trillion in wealth will be passed down from Baby Boomers.
To put that in perspective, the U.S. GDP (gross domestic product) for 2021 was $22 trillion, Moss writes.
When you take the 136 million people who are GenXers or Millennials, and you use the $30 trillion figure, that would mean each of those folks – statistically speaking — would get $220,000, Moss writes. We know that not everyone will inherit that much individually, and some will inherit much more.
Think you don’t have that kind of money in your family? Moss sites a person with a great aunt who died. The great nephew didn’t realize how much money she had. She was able to give all her great nephews and great nieces a nice chunk of change.
In other words, there could be that kind of money somewhere in your family, and you may not know it until a death occurs.
For Baby Boomers, this lesson brings about the need for proper estate planning. Yes, you may have more than what you think you have. How it gets distributed upon your death, or even before, should not be left to chance – or probate court. It would be worth the investment to draw out an estate plan, such as a will or living trust, to make sure the money goes where, or to whom, you want, when you want.
If you are a GenXer or Millennial, talk to your parents and other family members about how THEY want their estates distributed. Make sure that, if you believe you may have something coming to you, that your interest is protected.
Of course, if there are no heirs or your family members have not shown themselves worthy of inheritance, having an estate plan is even more crucial, so that your money goes where you want.
If you are transferring your wealth, get an adviser you trust to tell you how, when and to whom to give your assets – according to your wishes. Keep in mind that you should do all YOU want to do while alive with your assets. Don’t think about your heirs first. Think of you first.
Remember, too, that how, when and to whom you give will likely have tax consequences. Know those consequences, and what could happen if a mistake is made, well ahead of time.
It’s certainly great to reward loyal, loving family members or other heirs with your wealth. But if you think about you first, and plan carefully, all concerned should be, if not happy, assured that the distribution was done as you wanted it to be done.


#PoliceOfficers #GoodPeople #jobs #hiring #students #Memphis #TyreNichols
The tragic death of Tyre Nichols in Memphis, Tenn., raises lots of questions about policing, but also about hiring.
How did the officers involved in Nichols’ death get hired as cops in the first place?
Today’s job market is such that in many fields – technology overhired during pandemic and many of those firms are now cutting staff – there are more jobs than people. A record 517,000 jobs were created in January 2023, producing the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.
In the past, a student graduating high school who wanted to be a police officer had a slim chance of getting into the academy. It was very competitive.
Today, departments have staff shortages all over the country. Are those departments lowering their standards to fill their vacancies?
These questions require some thought about how we got here. First, policing, even with strong public support, is a difficult job. It requires people to put their lives on the line every day, not knowing whether they’ll finish their shifts and get home in one piece.
It requires great physical stamina. Many young people today are not in terribly good physical shape, shrinking the pool of the best recruits.
Are departments lowering their physical requirements just to fill vacancies? Is an out-of-shape cop better than no cop at all? Is the prospect of whipping a recruit into good physical shape too daunting? Would you kill that recruit in training before he or she gets into shape?
Another issue in hiring for police departments is public support. Often, the communities most in need of police provide minimal public support for law enforcement. Even if you are a good cop, or potentially a good cop, are you able to withstand a community that, more often than not, thinks ill of you?
Lastly, police in many places, although they receive great benefits, may not be paid well. Are you, as a recruit, willing to work all kinds of shifts, and put up with lots of abuse, for what you will receive in compensation? Do you have to have some other reason to want to be a cop? Is that reason to help the community – or not?
The reasons for raising these questions is that we don’t just need police officers. We need GOOD police officers.
A diverse police force is a great goal to achieve, but, first and foremost, we need good people who treat others, regardless of how they themselves are treated or what these people may have done, with respect and dignity. They must know the difference between self-defense and aggression.
All people get angry at some point. But, people who are constantly angry, regardless of what they are angry about, may not make good police officers.
The next question to raise: are good people hard to find?
The rhetorical answer may be yes and no. But, the actual answer may involve deeper questions about how children are raised, educated and cared for.
Parents don’t just need to raise good children. They need to raise good adults.
Educators don’t just need to produce academically good students. They also need to show students how to behave in a diverse world, how to interact with people who may or may not be like them and how their actions – good or bad – will have consequences.
If we produce good adults through good homes, schools, churches etc., we will have better police officers. We will also have better people in other professions.
It may be the hardest job we have as a community, or as a world.


#StudentAchievement #MeritCommendations #schools #education #competition
Thomas Jefferson High School in Fairfax County, Va., favors student “equity.”
As a result, TJHS and other secondary schools in that county chose not to promptly disclose that students had won Merit Commendation awards from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.
There were 230 affected students in total, who did not get the news in time to include it on college applications.
Why? Most of the commended students were Asian-American. Other non-commended students’ feelings might be hurt.
Washington Post columnist George Will discussed the Fairfax case in a column that was also published Jan. 22, 2023, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
In other school districts, some books are being banned and certain historical facts are not being properly taught, or even disclosed, because the majority white students might feel ashamed to be white.
The first instance is a matter of competition. There are some winners. Others should not feel like losers, but, to put it bluntly, they didn’t make the grade.
It may not make them any less smart, but they didn’t make it. As Will points out, do school track meets not declare winners because it might make the other competitors feel bad?
Students will learn, either in school or outside, that they will have to compete for things, such as jobs, college admissions etc. They may not always win. They may as well learn that lesson sooner rather than later.
It’s tough to see “equity” in not telling students that they won something legitimately. Most of the winners’ schoolmates are likely to congratulate them, even if they may be disappointed that they didn’t win themselves.
The second instance is a matter of deprivation of learning. Students should know about the behavior of their forebears, even if it may not have been pleasant, or commendable.
Rather than make them feel bad that they are white (and privileged), it might make them think about how they treat others. It might make them more empathetic to schoolmates whose upbringing may have been filled with discrimination and lack of privilege.
In either instance, schools should do the right thing, regardless of how it might make some children feel. Most children are resilient. They will get over temporary feelings. Schools do a disservice depriving students of information that they deserve to know.
Another lesson here is that if Asian-American students do so well on Merit tests, find out why that is. Perhaps their parents and their culture make educational achievement a top priority. There is certainly nothing wrong with that.
There could be an argument here that book education by itself doesn’t always create the best people. The A students often end up working for the C students, as the adage goes.
It is also argued that certain cultures put too much pressure on students at too young an age.
More likely, the students put the pressure on themselves, since parents can’t MAKE them succeed.
Make no mistake. History has shown cavernous opportunity and achievement gaps among students of certain races and backgrounds. If we want to correct those, we should find ways to close the gaps by helping the underachievers, without depriving achievers of their rewards.
We can also learn that the U.S. is a multicultural society that includes people of many races, backgrounds and circumstances. In that milieu, students, sooner or later, will learn that not everyone is like them. They will either adapt to that, or try to disrupt that in some fashion.
Such disruptions will help no one and hurt many. Do you really want your child to become that sort of disrupter?


#insurance #HomeRepairInsurance #CarRepairInsurance #IDTheftInsurance

In the history of insurance, policies covered driving, home ownership, health and life. 

Now, we have insurance for home appliances, car repairs and identity theft. 

In ads for home-appliance and car-repair coverage, the actors talk about how much money they saved. Yet, there is no mention of the coverages’ costs. 

So, one has no way of knowing how valuable that coverage is. 

In advertising parlance, the ads are not trying to sell you the value, they are only trying to get you to call, or go online, for more information. 

The ads make one wonder whether explicitly detailing the cost AND benefits would make the products economically not viable. 

Insurance is a tricky business. Insurers have to constantly balance profit and losses. 

Why do insurance stocks go up AFTER natural, or even man-made disasters? Investors figure the companies have already calculated the losses, but they now have the excuse to raise premiums for everybody.

Health insurance is a somewhat different animal. When it was first created, health insurance was only designed to cover catastrophic illness or injury. As companies tried to lure employees, or, perhaps, avoid giving raises and instead compensating with benefits, health insurance evolved into covering day-to-day medical treatments, prescription drugs etc. 

When at one time a primary care physician could charge, say, $10 for a visit, those visits now costs hundreds. Certainly, medical staff salaries and other costs have risen, but having insurance to pay for those things likely contributed to rising costs.

Later, some employers decided to self-insure their employees’ health, thus paying care providers directly and avoiding insurance company profits. 

Now, health care costs have risen to the point that fewer employers are offering it as a benefit. And, trying to get individual health insurance has become cost-prohibitive for many folks. 

So, innovators – mostly for non-profit organizations – invented health–sharing networks, a non-insurance product that allows people to contribute regular share payments based on their personal situations, and get some or all of their health care bills paid. These networks usually don’t take a cut of those payments for themselves, and the good ones also negotiate individual health-care bills to reduce them.

Talking about the latest insurance products, one has to wonder how much one has to pay to cover auto, home or appliance repairs.

To use round numbers, if you pay $50 per month for the coverage, that’s $600 a year. Most major car repairs are well into four figures, so it could be economical for the policy holder. One covered repair could be more than the premium. 

But if you have no car repairs in that year, you’ve spent $600 and gotten nothing back. If you go years without a major car repair, you’ve paid premiums with no return. 

One has to wonder whether a person who cannot afford an expensive car, home or appliance repair can afford paying premiums with no return. 

It’s admirable that innovators are creating products that attempt to make one’s financial life better. But, before buying one of these products, it’s best to do some math to see whether it will be worth it in the long run. 



#ComfortZones #ChangingComfortZones #FindingComfortZones #CreatingComfortZones

To borrow from a Regions Bank TV ad, one does not get out of his or her comfort zone, he or she changes comfort zones.

Comfort zones are not always comfortable.

You may have a job that earns you a paycheck, and that you can do relatively easily.

But, it’s not necessarily getting you where you want to be in life.

Therefore, to get what you want, you may have to change comfort zones.

In this labor market, there are certainly available options for job changes.

So, what should you change to? It may depend on your education, experience and other things about you that employers may like.

It also may depend on how willing you may be to do something that perhaps you had never thought about doing.

Once you’ve decided on your new comfort zone, then you have to show your new employer that you are more than capable of doing the job.

That may not just entail doing the job correctly or smartly. It may involve doing it with enthusiasm.

Certainly, it may be difficult to be enthusiastic about some jobs. But, if they are rewarding enough in terms of pay and perks, you may need to use those rewards to ignite your enthusiasm.

If neither the job nor the rewards are stellar, you may have to consider doing something else.

Being happy at work has been an elusive goal for many. For some, the job is a means to an end. For others, the job could be simply a dead end.

Still, for others, a job may enable a person to do something outside of work that gives him or her joy. Perhaps one works for a living, but lives for children, family, hobbies etc. The work enables the other.

For some others, the work is the pleasure. It’s been said that if it were not “work,” they would not pay you. But those who love their jobs certainly want to get paid, but still love their work.

So, what, in work and life, gives you comfort, or makes you want to get up in the morning?

Are you not feeling either pleasure or comfort in your life? Such feelings don’t always come naturally, or serendipitously.

Sometimes, YOU have to look for them. In some cases, you can find them among your existing activities. In other cases, you have to find new activities to give you those feelings.

It’s OK to talk to friends or family – or a professional in more severe cases – to find out what may be missing in your life.

Often, the people you know best can either make you see the good things already in front of you, or spur you to find something different, or better.

So, if your comfort zone needs changing, it’s OK to change it. But, before doing so, figure out what you want from life. That will guide you toward either a comfort-zone change, or finding the comfort in your current zone.

There’s no need to slog in a fog when you can have fun in the sun.