Only Happy News!

Only Happy News!

I don’t know about you, but for me Mondays are definitely a mixed bag. Some weeks I jump right into the flow and knock things out left and right. Other Mondays feel like a long, miserable trudge up a mountain – in a blizzard, wearing sandals. 

Since for many of us, Mondays often focus on what problems need to be solved in the coming week, I wondered,  “what would  Monday look like if all the news I see first thing in the morning news was happy?” So I’m giving it a try.  Here are the places I’m starting my week:

Reddit isn’t really known for being a positive news outlet but this subreddit has a lot of offer. It is crowd-sourced so there is a huge range of material offered. Very easy to do a quick scroll through to find something that grabs your interest. In keeping with Reddit’s structure, the posts do invite discussion. Probably more positive to skip that!

The new-agey language that describes the site and its readers gave me the impression that it might not be for me (they call their readers Emissaries) but it is one of my favorites so far.  Although it is billed as a “good news” outlet, the site is populated with stories about unbelievably creative thinking and how people are developing wonderful ideas to make the world a better place.

This is actually a real newspaper published in Britain 3 times per year by writer/illustrator Emily Coxhead. The paper ships worldwide and reads a bit like a small magazine. Sunshine in your mailbox and a good way to get away from screens for a bit.  If you can’t wait for the post office to deliver your positivity, there is a very colorful (and happy) Instagram you can check out.

What are your favorite places for positivity?

And now, fly



Shorter Lists, More Curiosity

Shorter Lists, More Curiosity

I’m an (almost obsessive) list person. Perhaps you can relate? Do you have crazy long lists of books you want to read, podcasts to catch up on, replays of webinars that you signed up for but got so busy you missed them? Do you also have insanely long lists of tasks to do, projects to move forward, stuff to remember? 

What lists get the majority of your time and attention? 

My “go juice” is learning things, thinking about new ideas (or old ideas in new ways) and connecting to other people who are interested in exploring and learning. Allowing myself the time to indulge in activities that ignite that curiosity spark is where I find a lot of my motivation. So why am I constantly holding an empty cup?

That’s a question I think we’re all still trying to solve, but all of this did get me thinking about the students that I teach and mentor. Have I taught and encouraged them to seek out the moments that spark their curiosity? To refill their cups with “go juice?” 

By nature of my role in their lives, my work with young people includes a lot of lists. Planning for your future isn’t as simple as an entry in the “to-do” column, but it does require a progression of essential steps and tasks and experiences – especially if the plan is to pursue college – which is a pretty grueling list in itself.  

I think we’re really good at telling kids what to do. When they’re little we help them organize their day with consistent meal and bed times and other simple routines. As they grow we create lists of daily things to do and in school we introduce homework notebooks and calendars. We help our teens with more sophisticated organizational and time management skills (well, hopefully we’re doing this – they need it!) and all along the way we praise them for getting things done.

Do we give equal praise when we see our students or children create space for activities that let them think creatively and curiously? Do we model the joy of following an interest into something that is not on a list?

Anxiety, stress-related illnesses and depression are affecting teens at alarmingly high rates. There are of course many factors that contribute to this growing problem but I do wonder if we a small start could be embedding accountability for taking care of ourselves more consistently and starting at an early age; making sure that every day – or most days- have moments, or experiences for the brain and soul to be curious.  

To be a better teacher and mentor I want to explore this more. Of course I should start with giving a little respect to that other set of lists! 

I would love to hear how you are cultivating curiosity and joy in your life – or what moments you create for your children or students to let their imaginations flow.

And now, fly



Fast Flight Friday – August 30, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – August 30, 2019

Labor Day and Girls?

A lot has changed since that first Labor Day weekend way back in 1894. The technology-driven  workplace, worker and environmental safety, and a global marketplace are just a few. One of the biggest changes? Working women.

It’s a long way from the days when women were restricted from participation in the workforce; with more barriers falling every day. In fact, today nearly half of the workers who drive the American economy are women. Yet in 2019, gender inequality is still a significant challenge to overcome.

I could cite a mountain of statistics to illustrate unequal opportunities and wages, but when I think of our role as teachers, mentors and parents to inspire and empower, my thoughts turn to preparing young women to persevere, pioneer, and change our world (including the equity gap) for the better.

There are a lot of ideas about how to help girls and young women discover and exercise their power, so for this Fast Flight Friday I am excited to introduce you to some truly wonderful places to start the conversation. A few of my favorites:

I hit this website almost once a week for inspiration.  The site bills itself as “The world’s largest collection of books, toys and movies for smart, confident, and courageous girls” It delivers on that account and more with thoughtful blog writing on a broad range of topics – from famous women spies to how to help your daughter express anger appropriately. They regularly feature girl-centric literature with comprehensive reviews and interesting groupings of titles, and it’s hard to  resist collecting them all!

Targets girls (and boys) 10-14 with profiles of exceptional women who have achieved success while overcoming obstacles. The range of women and careers profiled is broad and includes many women of color. Like A Mighty Girl, the site has added sources presented in their blog where they introduce modern and historical women and perspectives. In addition to videos, SheHeroes offers a weekly podcast. This is definitely one to check out.

The idea here is that girls should have access to “diverse and accomplished women role models to learn from their experiences and discover their own path to empowerment.” It’s friendly, well-organized and has an accessible, high quality,YouTube-style presentation. The site also has tools for exploring college majors and preparing for careers and themed activity ideas.  Bookmark? Yes!

This one is STEM specific but the wacky host, Sophie Shrand, really keeps it engaging with her focus on the science that is all around us. Set up in an episode format so viewers can browse and find something that hits their mood. One of the great features is that you can often “experiement along” with easy to find materials and instructions. A favorite, and definitely worth a visit, or two.

Be fearlessly you,



Fast Flight Friday – June 28, 2019

Fast Flight Friday – June 28, 2019

I’m definitely old school when it comes to summer. I think kids should ditch their devices and go outside. But on hot afternoons when the air conditioning beckons, here are a few of my favorite places for productive fun.

Make up a Story

Create and share your own story! Lots of props, scenes and ideas to get started and you can even upload your own photos. Also a great place to find new stories by other young writers. It’s free to use and share your work. Reasonable fees to publish or print.

Do some Science

SCIENCE WITH SOPHIE is a quirky but solid STEM show that targets girls, yet is engaging for all. With a cast of characters (all played by Sophie) viewers can explore the science of some unexpected everyday things.

Goof off with a Good Game

Remember playing “Telephone”? Telestrations adds drawing in the place of whispering but keeps all of the funny reinterpretation. With a fast learning curve this one is a likely winner for family gatherings or a fun afternoon for a group of kids from the neighborhood. It’s a cooperative game so the competition angle is dialed down. It’s appropriate for ages 8 and up and I also love that there is a Spanish language version, and you can also find a racier edition for adults.

Be Fearlessly You,