Four Surprising Reasons that Make Birding a Sport

My History with Sport Last week, I wrote about how birding can stave off Alzheimer’s disease and keep a person feeling young (ish). I also made the bold claim that birding is one of the biggest sports in the United States. In this edition of Self-Care Sunday, I’ll explain what qualifies birding as a sport (stop giggling). First, let me explain my relationship with exercise and sport. I may have run a half-marathon and a marathon last year, but let…

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The Perfect Prescription for Tired

What Wears Me Out Tired creeps into my bones. Projects. Meetings. Frustrating reports that I have to do and re-do because the manual doesn’t give clear instructions. Grading papers. More meetings. Preparing for classes, but always just one step ahead of the students. Did I mention meetings? People wear me out. Cold, dry days and freezing, dark nights march across the calendar. An occasional stunning sunrise breaks the monotony. Pink and gold fluffy sunsets yield no rain, though. The lawn…

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The Importance of Speaking Well of Your Children

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual—the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Before You Bike, Do a Skills Check

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Why is the World So Full of Violence?

Why is the World So Full of Violence? The second month of 2018 has only reached its halfway mark, and already five schools have come under attack. Gun-wielding people bent on violence and destruction steal the innocence of children and communities. Why? I confess that as a teacher who works with traumatized children, I often wonder if when this could happen to me. They say that hurt people hurt people. And traumatized people traumatize people. I wonder what I would…

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Have You Ever Regretted Taking a Trail?

Hitting the Wall at Eight Thousand Feet “I think I’m going to barf! I need to lay down.” “Seriously?” Sarah slowed to a stop and looked back at me. “Shouldn’t have eaten those cherry-flavored licorice vines,” I muttered as I dropped my camera pack to the ground. “My throat is killing me. I need water.” “I have about a teaspoon left,” Sarah said as she handed me her water bottle. “You can have it. I feel fine.” “Thanks.” I sank…

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The Incredible Responsibility of Privilege

Camping on the School Lawn? “Mr. Ojeda gave me permission to camp on the school lawn over home leave,” one of my students declared earlier today. “Ha!” I responded. “I don’t think so.” The sentiment behind the fib catches my breath tonight as I ride down the road, our RV trailing behind us, to enjoy a few days of camping in a warmer climate. My student wanted to stay on campus rather than go home for four days. I grew…

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The True Meaning of Surrender

Feeling Like Jonah Now I know how Jonah felt. When the dean of students sent out a pleading email asking for all female employees to gather at the girls’ dorm, I shuddered. She needed our help to eradicate an invasion of…lice. I’ve lived through three personal lice invasions when our girls were still in elementary school. They brought it home twice, and I brought it home once. I got it from students at the public school I worked at when…

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Let Light Transform You From Bleh to Beautiful

I love hummingbirds—small, speedy, colorful and difficult-to-photograph birds that measure from 2.75 inches to 5.5 inches in length. These measuring-spoon sized avian acrobats act like California Condors when defending their territory from foreign invasion (i.e., other birds approaching ‘its’ feeder). I feel tired just watching a hummingbird. Their hearts can beat up to 1260 times per minutes (a cardiologist’s nightmare). They excel in foreign acquisitions (they build expandable nests out of insect and spider silk). A hummingbird can consume up…

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