Coming home

When my dad died in February, I lost all sense of home. I was half-orphaned — a gaping, black hole in my life and my being. Home has been tricky for a while. Long ago, it was my childhood house on a cul-de-sac; the place I did my homework and laundry, where I slept and ate and spent time with family and friends. Then, it was a city—Fort Collins for six years, Denver for seven. At age 31, I moved overseas and became an expat. Home took on layers; it was not just locations, but

Do less. Be more.

Last Friday, I made a decision to do something new. Something risky. Something audacious. I’ve always loved being outdoors and have backpacked many times in my life. But on that weekend, I decided to go solo for the very first time. After a quick search on the internet and a visit to my local REI, I was ready to go. (Side note: I’d always wanted to do this, but have never quite had the gumption or the courage to go for it.) In the course of those three days in the wilderness,

Lessons from my expat life: Say NO

It’s ok to be a party-pooper. For reals. After several months of saying yes to, legit, everything in my first expat experience in Seoul, I had to learn the next big lesson: saying no. (A lesson I continue to work on refining in my life four years later.) Upon arriving in a new country and home, it’s of the utmost importance to start making connections, exploring, trying new foods, places, and experiences. And the way you do that is by saying yes. Yes, yes, YES! It’s a totally

Teachers—One mindset shift guaranteed to decrease stress and increase joy

Seriously?! I just clearly laid out the directions. They’re on the board. We did a comprehension check. We’re five minutes into work time and they’re giggling and pointing at their computer screens. WTF?! Why aren’t they doing what I said? I remember in my first few years of teaching, having a constant stream of frustration sprinkled with swear words running through my head from bell to bell. The source: students in my classroom not following my directions or doing what I had