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On July 5, 2017, I drank my last drink. It was a crisp glass of Sauvignon Blanc, so similar to the hundreds (thousands?) that came before it. It was that familiar, satisfying blend of tart and refreshing, a hint of sweetness with strong notes of grapefruit. I drank it fitfully, slowly, knowing I was saying goodbye.

Ending my relationship with alcohol came gradually at first and then all at once. For years, I wondered how to summon the energy and desire to quit drinking. I read the books. …


What are you doing on Friday, January 20 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EST?

There won’t be much on TV. Nothing of any substance, anyway. I wouldn’t suggest listening to the radio nor looking at social media for those two hours. Not if you want to keep your breakfast down.

So, what to do? What’s a good distraction?

You could talk a walk. You could read a book (endorsed by our outgoing President). You could listen to the musical “Hamilton” — always a fine way to escape whatever has you down. You could pluck your eyebrows (I’m overdue myself) or clean your room (ditto). …


The rains started midday.

It was a Monday in mid-August, a normal work day — meetings and mini-crises averted. I thought little about the pounding rain outside as I sat through another conference call.

At 6 p.m, just before my commute home, my husband called me to tell me the highway was shut down.

It was completely underwater.

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Driving down back roads in Detroit. My commute usually took 30 minutes. This night, it took almost 90.

I’ve lived in Michigan nearly my entire life, and in metro Detroit for more than a decade. I can’t recall another time the highway shut down due to flooding.

I started plotting alternative routes, and headed out on the back roads of Detroit, the parks and gas stations, the abandoned houses and vacant storefronts barely visible through the falling rain. The windshield wipers flew at top speed, over-matched by the deluge. The water covered the curbs, making it hard to know where the road began and ended, where the yellow lines were. …


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Let me start with a confession.

I haven’t spent much time thinking about leadership. I’m in my mid-30s, and work for a private foundation doing communications. But for nine years before this, I worked in journalism, where the term leadership is almost a dirty word. Leadership implies you’re the man. And journalism is all, damn the man! (Save the Empire!)

During my newspaper days, I had lots of passionate conversations about the craft and the industry with my ink-stained colleagues. But I can’t remember one conversation about leadership. (Except a few about ways we perceived various leaders of being insipid, incompetent or downright corrupt.) It’s not that journalists can’t be leaders; they can, and some are. Leaders are needed in any setting. …

About

Krista Jahnke

Writer. Michigander. Mother. Sober.

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