7 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues

Cherub garden statue looking forlorned, sitting in a snowy woods

Winter has always been my least favorite season.  I do not enjoy being cold, and the short days and darkness really get to me.  I tend to want to hibernate in the winter — I stay inside, sleep more, exercise less, feel less motivated, and don’t make as much of an effort to socialize.  While a seasonal change of pace isn’t inherently bad, all of these things can lead to a general feeling of blah-ness.  Over the past few weeks, the cold, gray weather has set in here, so I thought it would be a good time to talk about the ways in which I try to make winter a little more bearable.   Read more

November is COPD Awareness Month

A photo of the author’s father
My dad, Dennis, who lost his life to COPD.

COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  COPD is an umbrella term that encompasses both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.  It’s the disease that led to my father’s death this summer and that made him struggle to breathe for years.  According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, COPD is the third leading cause of death in the United States, killing more than 135,000 Americans each year.  More than 15 million Americans have been diagnosed with COPD, and many more are likely unaware that they have the disease.

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Feeding Ourselves: Thoughts on Cooking and Convenience

Drawing of a bowl a fruit and a pear and orange on a table

I came across this article yesterday that reported the findings of a study showing that “[o]nly 10% of consumers now love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it.”  The 10% number surprised me, as many people in my social circle cook most of their meals and seem to enjoy making their own food.  I’ll admit that I tend to fall into the lukewarm category, though it’s more accurate to say that my desire to cook ebbs and flows.

I know that cooking my own meals is generally healthier and more cost-effective than eating at restaurants.  Cooking can be a lot more satisfying, too.  I don’t live in a big city with an endless number of restaurants, and sometimes I’m just not that excited about my options for eating out.  On occasions when I want a specific dish, my chances of satisfying the craving are sometimes better if I make the dish myself rather than trying to find the precise offering at a local restaurant.  I also imagine that for families with kids and hectic schedules, eating at home is probably easier than going to a restaurant.

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The Bar Exam: Perspective and Self-Care

A stack of law books

Across the United States, recent law school graduates have begun studying for the bar exam, a two-day (sometimes three-day) test offered during the last week of July and also in February).  Each state gives its own version of the exam, which usually includes a day of tricky multiple choice questions and a day consisting of some combination of essay questions, short answer questions, and a closed-universe performance test.  Intensive test-prep courses usually begin in late May, and many test-takers study full-time and then some.

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