Sunday, May 29, 2022

What To Do When The World Feels Heavy

The world feels heavy right now. 

  • The horrors of Uvalde & Robb Elementary School and the loss of 21 precious people
  • 213 other mass shootings and 10 other mass murders in the US in 2022 alone (as of this writing)
  • + years of Covid & pandemic with cases still going the wrong way
  • Rising gas prices, inflation, the economy, & employment
  • The invasion and War in Ukraine 
  • The battle between autocracy and democracy
  • Continued investigations of the January 6th Insurrection
  • Partisanship at every turn, threatening rights of many
  • Social, racial, gender-based injustice, bias, hate, and control
  • Mental health and suicide rates at record highs
  • The global climate crisis
  • The perils of misinformation, disinformation, and fake news on social media

I could go on, but this certainly is getting depressing really quickly, which we can also add to the list as well.

It leaves many of us wondering "Why?" And "What can I do?" The first question often doesn't have an answer (or it has a complicated one). The latter question often leads initially to feelings of overwhelm or lack of power...but then with energy and anger it can lead us to take action, vote, and make a difference. 

But sometimes it takes a bit to get there.

It's no surprise that binge watching shows and finding escapes from reality inside our television are "a thing." I think that's why people have gravitated (especially during quarantine and beyond) to shows like "Schitt's Creek," "Ted Lasso," "Big Bang Theory,""This Is Us"... or maybe that's just me. But shows with heart, emotion, comedy, connection all tug at our heartstrings. They become treasured friends, and it's heartbreaking when "our" show comes to an end. We come to love the characters, and we learn a little bit about ourselves along the way.

Watching the final 2 episodes of the series "This Is Us" recently, I found myself becoming philosophical. (No spoilers, I promise.) Of course that's the intention of this show with its many timelines, seeing the characters at multiple stages of their lives. Our memories are the lifelines that hold our own timelines together. It makes us reflect a little on our own lives. It weaves in the threads of compassion and gratitude. "Ted Lasso" and his quirky optimism did the same. Valuable life lessons can be gleaned from his locker room pep talks and way of living. In fact, entire articles have been written about it.

In reflecting over the hard things listed above, I certainly feel the sadness and anger that have us living in a world facing these crises. Yet, here on Memorial Day weekend, I am struck by the gift of time this three day weekend--and the fact that time is not ever guaranteed. We see that in the list above. But, it also reminded me of hope. As I was scrolling back in GTG to find my February 9th post on hope, I also passed a few others that give me hope and are listed here:

For hope is verb, and with it, we can all use the gifts we are given to take action and make a difference. To make sure the losses listed above are not in vain. To not let the power of evil override all the good. And there is good out there, my friends. There is. I hope you find some of it for you this Memorial Day weekend... and I hope you feel the power that comes in hope!

Images from and and

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

TED's "Playbook for Protecting the Planet

A good curated list of gems is a beautiful find. It's a definite gravitational pull for me, as evidence from my recent eco and edtech podcast posts.

I happened on another that TED has put together in partnership with General Motors. They call it "A Playbook for Protecting the Planet." That certainly is a playbook we all need! 

As of this writing, there are 6 TED talks in this collection that are tied to nature, biodiversity, building environmental stewardship and fostering climate activism. They're are here, a mere click away!

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Encouragement For the Overwhelmed

This morning before school, while I was doing my daily attempt to keep my body moving on the exercise bike, I was doing my typical scroll through Facebook. I ran across the following post from The Hands Free Revolution FB page, written by Rachel Macy Stafford. The title alone grabbed me. "Overwhelm" is certainly a feeling I had been feeling lately, especially here in the last weeks of school (all teachers will know what that means and feels like) and as I am mentally approaching an upcoming surgery. The surgery is one I know I need and I know it will give me great relief from some pain I'm encountering, but it's scary and overwhelming and worrisome, especially through recovery. 

But this post caused me to take pause and it gave me a new mantra: One leaf at a time. It gave me a chance to really breathe, and take note of my mom's text last night to just keep breathing. Always easy advice for me to give and far easier for me to forget to tell myself. Thank you Rachel Macy Stafford for reminding me (and all of us) during this very busy season. And thank you for inspiring me to take my own "one leaf" photo.


I had to do something excruciatingly difficult last week.

And because this ordeal also impacted my family, I had to help my kids through it. 
Three Days Before
The Day Of
And Three Days After
Every ounce of energy in my body and soul were swallowed up to tend to this task. 
This morning,
Five Days After the Hardest Day,
I faced All the Stuff That Piled Up while I tended to What Mattered.

Somehow the tasks and demands I’d set aside had grown like out-of-control weeds.

When I grasped just how dense the overgrowth was in front of me today, I couldn’t breathe.

Then, I remembered the leaf. 

The Day After the hardest day, I took a walk and came across this tiny, perfect leaf.

Its vibrant green hue indicated this leaf had fallen far before its time.

“What are you doing here?” I asked, because nature is worthy of loving regard, just like humans.

I looked around—not another leaf in sight.

Just this one,
like it was there for a reason,
like it was trying to tell me something.

I got up close to listen, but my busy brain kept going back to The Difficult Thing.

I decided to take this picture, hoping the message would come eventually.

Today was that day.

As I faced the Unruly Mound of Demands and Deadlines, I heard what I needed to hear: 
“One leaf at a time, dear one.”

That’s what the little green leaf, who fell off a tree before its time, wanted me to know.

It’s like the leaf knew…
I got a girl graduating.
I got a book deadline looming.
I got a hole in my heart that I wasn’t expecting.

"One leaf at a time.”

It’s been months since I’ve heard anything that makes so much sense.

In this particular season, I must take my eyes off the big, scary tree.

I must focus on one leaf
one breath
one step
At a time.

That is how I will make it to the other side

and not miss the beauty along the way.

© Rachel Macy Stafford 2022

Reposted from; Image from my camera.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

EdTech & Innovation Podcasts

With podcasts still on the brain, I figured I was due to give equal time to the other two sides of the triple pursuit of GTG. 

Here are some EdTech & Innovation Podcasts that you will want to be sure to check out. I know I'm going to be doing some deep divers into these lists!

Saturday, May 14, 2022


I'm a major fan of podcasts--especially on big chore days at home or when driving (especially during longer trips). Being an information junkie can do that to you. 

I was recently looking for some new ones to listed to and ran across these curated lists of the latest podcasts in the environmental world! These will definitely keep you busy!

Any good ones you know about--recommend them here! Always looking for the latest listen!

Image created at

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Do Nothing Day

Sometimes you need a "Do Nothing" Day. That's where I was recently at after a particularly full week of work and a whole lot of extracurricular, parental driving. This followed up another full week of germs when deep in our house. [Somehow, maybe 30 years of teaching, I ended up with super immunity and fared better than the rest!] 

As I was contemplating that and my "sit-outside-and-contemplate-stuff-on-a-beautiful-spring-day" mood, I was reminded of this infographic I'd run across around Earth Day on MindShift's Facebook page. It was posted with the following caption: 

"We could never have loved the Earth so well if we had had no childhood in it." –George Elliot #sketchnote via @kwiens62

I found myself on my Do Nothing Day finding a sit spot, reading on my patio, gazing at the clouds, petting the dog, and ultimately writing here. 

Phineas & Ferb definitely said it well:
"No place where we have to we're just going to go with the flow... Slow down, look around you, throw your to do list away... Let's have a Do Nothing Day."

Yes, a Do Nothing Day is the right answer in every way!

Video from; infographic from

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Celebrating All Mothers This Weekend

 Mothers come in all shapes and sizes:

  • Infant-holding new moms and moms-to-be
  • Phone-calling our adult moms when we are grown
  • Grandmoms, Aunts, & Mothers-In-Laws 
  • Sister-Friends, Step-Mothers, Besties and more
  • Father's who are fathers and mothers
  • Memories of our own from when we were little
  • Memories of own when they were aging 
  • Memories of children or mothers we've lost
  • Memories of children we never had
  • Mother Earth, Gaia, Mother Nature
Celebrating all moms this weekend. 

Image created at

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

The Importance of Travel

Over Spring Break, I did a little bit of traveling. It definitely was what I needed to step outside my "same ole, same ole." I got the opportunity to go back to an old familiar place as well as go to a new locale where everything I encountered was new. After two years of pandemic, where many of us have stalled plans to see new sights, I was reminded of the importance of travel. It's a wonderful way to see all the amazing, unique and unusual places on this Earth of ours. It inspired me to create this:

I always get frustrated when these do not upload with the clarity that they should, To see this at Canva, click here: