“We are what we repeatedly do. Greatness then, is not an act, but a habit” ―  Will Durant This quote was a mantra of sorts for me starting in 2018. I created many routines for myself and from those routines I was able to accomplish a lot personally and professionally. The pandemic has thrown a massive wrench into those habits and since then the feeling of being 'on track' has not existed. Routines, regardless if they are enjoyable, are a foundation of our mental health.  The best example of a routine that I had no idea mattered to me so much until the world stop was listening to music for my 30 minute commute to work. Missing my morning workout at the gym was a big thing that changed and my mind focused on that. Then I realized I was super grouchy in the mornings then it dawned on that I was missing that block of time where I would just listen to music to transition into or out of work. So I now make it a habit to listen to music on my stereo before work to get me pumped up.


My mind in the Spring of 2020 was too loud for me to handle. Fall of 2020 my life was too busy for my thoughts to be processed. Now, I think I have forgotten how to process. I just wanted to explain my lack of blog posts as of late.  Now that I am less busy and my mind has recovered slightly I plan to focus on three things: mindfulness, nutrition, and physical exercise.  Uncertainty is exhausting. Exhausting. Not just a tired exhaustion it is every type of exhaustion layered on top of one another. Your body hurts from the tension that you hold, your mind hurts from trying to figure out what might happen and how it might impact you, and you are emotionally exhausted because there is never an off moment. Part of me just wants decisions to made so I can react to it... negatively or positively. It is the uncertainty part of it that makes it hard to cope. This is what makes a pandemic different from any other crisis I've experienced. It is a roller coaster of uncertainty and progress. 


I am going to admit something to the world that hopefully might help someone. I am currently suffering from some really bad anxiety. It comes in waves and mostly hits me around 8 o'clock, the time where I close out my day, and switch over to more quiet time activities.  Sometimes my thoughts are directed toward worry about my students, my friends, and my family. Sometimes my fear is directed towards myself as my brain tricks me into thinking I am sick when I am not. There are times that these thoughts have triggered panic attacks and then other times where I can feel my anxiety impact my body. In the form of muscle aches, headaches, racing heart, upset stomach, and a feeling of pressure in my chest. Sadly... some of these symptoms overlap with Covid-19 symptoms and then the anxiety increases even more.  I am currently trying to break this cycle and manage it since dealing with the biological impacts of stress or anxiety thoughts are not fun. Nor are they sustainable. My l

Democracy: Principles, Beliefs, and Walls

I have spoken on many occasions about being the youngest in my family who love to debate. Most of my life I sat there listening as I watched the adults and my older cousins provide evidence, commentary, questions and grapple with complex issues. I watched and took it in as I saw some people get frustrated and others enjoy the frustration they were causing. I also saw how even as the political conversation got heated it was quickly reconciled and no one, at least, seemed to take it all that personally. No one doubted the intentions and good will of the other despite having contrasting views on complex political issues. As I grew more confident I brought my own opinions to the table. Especially after 9/11 and the beginnings of the Iraq War. It impacted my generation and there were people I knew who were talking about joining the military. I became obsessed, because I was worried. I scoured sources and did research as I tried to figure out my own political identity. I found that I was

2019 was the year of...

I think it is important to take the end of the year to reflect on the good, the triumphant, the difficult, and the failures. Years really do not mean anything if you think about how arbitrary it all is, but it is the only way to document history and even our own personal history to see our growth. Whether it was a good year, a bad year, or somewhere in between growth happened. You changed. I started this thing after reading a book about naming the chapter of our lives, because if you notice years do have themes and they are never the same. I wouldn't have known that if I didn't take the time at the end of the year to search for the right word. Here is my life so far.  1987-2001  CHILDHOOD 2001-2005  ADOLESCENCE  2005 the year of  DOUBT 2006 the year of  LOSS 2007 the year of the  HOPE 2008 the year of  ABANDON  2009 the year of  UNKNOWN 2010 the year of  RISK 2011 the year of  LEARNING  2012 the year of  PAYING DUES  2013 the year of  ISOLATION  2014 the year

Control? What is it good for? Regulating, That's What

The need for control was a conversation piece with my friends and I over the weekend. My mind has been thinking about it more and more since then, because I was intrigued by the idea that I was given more percentage points for a need for control than my other friends. Most people perceive me as a rather even-keel individual who only has a handful of things she would die on the hill for. So it sparked a curiosity in me to explore it a little more.  I think, all of us, have a need for control out of pure survival. Even zen buddhism lies in the principal that we have mastered our emotions and regulated ourselves so much that we are able to overcome desire or need. This takes a level of self-control that is hard to accomplish let alone maintain. So we all have areas of healthy control and unhealthy control.  There are a few areas where the need to control tends to manifest.  Control OVER others  Control OVER themselves  Control OVER their environment.  People with true co

Dark and Light: Reminders for Balance

The truth is that no matter how much we grow as human-beings we can easily get derailed by the reminders of our past vulnerabilities.  Restless Energy  I have written extensively about my experiences at school. The feeling of being judged by teachers, peers, and systems. Some of those judgements came from a toxic self-image perceiving others as judgmental  and some of it was legit judgement. These feelings led me to feel like I needed to prove something to the people around me. In my youth, this feeling was portrayed by a demeanor of wanting to seem like I was over-confident and did not care about the things that the people around me cared about. As a young adult, it manifested in obsessive perfectionism about grades. Even today as thirty-something sometimes I get a case of imposter syndrome. This irrational fear that I am pretending really well and eventually people are going to figure out that I am just a resource kid who really does not deserve the things that I have earned. Ov