How are you? No, seriously, how are you? This is a pretty stressful time in the world, and for a lot of people I know, 2018 has unveiled a few ugly tricks in the last couple months. We need a group hug. So let’s HAVE ONE.

Are you on the verge of a massive triumph at work, but you feel weird calling up your friend/partner/parent and being like, “By the way, I am AWESOME”? Then tell us about it. Shout your awesomeness from the online rooftops. Alternatively: Are you stressed out, or do you need to float a theory or quandary past an anonymous audience of Internet friends who are very much on Team You? Or, who are Team You, but also not afraid to tell you their opinions, because Fug Nation is not just true love but also tough love? Okay! Tell us about that, too. (And if you need us to let you vent without comment, well, we can do that. We understand the value of blowing off steam to sympathetic ears.)

Yes, that’s right, it’s time for another afternoon in which we bolster each other — either with a safe space to brag and celebrate our own selves, or a place to reach out a hand and let someone else take it. Fug Nation is great like that.

I’ll start. The beans? Are awesome. They’ve had a lot of adjusting to do this year, capped with one switching schools this past Wednesday so that for the first time ever, they’re not at the same place. Despite obvious pangs of sadness, and my suspicion that they’re both sublimating it a little, both of them have handled all this change like absolute champions — way, way better than I would have expected from nine-year olds (“It’s time for my new adventure to begin!” he crowed, with an actual twinkle in his eye). They’re a very young nine, and have a lot of complicated feelings and struggles, and I’m just really proud of them. And also impressed that they’ve remained completely and totally themselves — goofy and loving and empathetic and fun — even as they hurtle through elementary school and the swirl of influences that come with it. I’m really lucky I get to be their mom, and I’m equally lucky for the wonderful adults in my life who support us so wholly and unselfishly when we need a hand. I am not great at asking for help, because I fall into the trap of thinking that it means I’m quitting on myself and that I should be able to get everything done without asking for favors. But that’s unfair and it’s not true. Every warrior has an army. Help is a blessing, and it’s always okay to ask.

Now it’s your turn! I hug thee, Fug Nation. Come forth and champion yourselves, or get virtually hugged. Or both.