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Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season

Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? A full-on Parrothead? Or maybe you’re someone who never understood the appeal of a man who wore loud shirts, shorts, and performed barefoot in front of thousands of adoring fans?

It doesn’t matter where you land on the Beach Balladeer’s spectrum of fandom, you’ve probably lived through a figurative hurricane season or two in your life, and maybe even been in the path of one or two literal hurricanes. It’s Hurricane Season 2024 from now through the end of October, and again this year, there will be people who will try to reason with hurricane season. Literal hurricanes, yes – and figurative ones, too.

Let’s use this Jimmy Buffett song as a springboard to talk about the very human trait of trying to control things that are completely uncontrollable. When a particularly stubborn person realizes their attempts at control have failed, they often try their hand at bargaining or even digging in their heels, adamantly...

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How to Change How You Feel

This week marks the summer solstice – it actually happens the day after tomorrow. This week also marks the winter solstice, which oddly enough also happens the day after tomorrow.

How can this be? It depends on your vantage point. If you’re in the northern hemisphere, Thursday at 4:50 PM eastern time is the exact time of summer solstice. If you’re in the southern hemisphere, Thursday at 4:50 PM eastern time is the exact time of winter solstice. It is the astronomical beginning of both summer and winter. Your vantage point determines your upcoming weather forecast.

Have you ever thought about how things can feel very different, depending on your vantage point? Merriam-Webster defines vantage point as “a position or standpoint from which something is viewed or considered.” Point of view can be used interchangeably with vantage point – both mean the same thing. Here are some examples of how your vantage point can drastically change how you experience...

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Can You Appreciate the Price of a Broken Heart?

When something hurts so much we say that it breaks our heart – does it really, or does it save it?

Have you ever lost someone you love? And yes, pets count. Can you remember the physicalness of the pain – the pain in your chest, the hollowness of your being? What is that? Why is that? And can we ever “suffer” a loss without suffering?

Probably not, and you probably wouldn’t want to, either.

Professor Yoram Yovell, a researcher on the relationship between emotional and physical pain and expert on the neurobiology of love and emotions, has studied why love and loss hurts so much. Turns out, emotional pain has a strong survival benefit – it alerts us to the fact that something has changed in our lives that we need to pay attention to.

When babies – human or not – are without their mother, they cry a very specific cry. Yes, the cry alerts their mother to return to them, and for the researchers, there was a surprising finding:...

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Better Bodies Equals Bigger Brains

Today is Women’s Golf Day, and whether you’re a golfer or a woman or a woman golfer or none of the foregoing, it’s a great day to talk about sports and how playing your favorite sport contributes to giving you a bigger, better brain and a longer, healthier life.

Human beings were nomadic hunter-gatherers in the early days of human development. It wasn’t until the inventions of things like wheels, levers, and gravity-fed water systems that humans could start setting up permanent living spaces. Even then, life was very active – no one had invented tractors, conveyor belts, or cars to make life easier. For most of our time on this planet, we have been an active species, able to adapt to different climate conditions, different food sources, and different behavioral challenges.

Fast-forward to today, where we can change our climate inside our homes, store food in a specific location in our homes for consumption at will, and actually never go outside if we...

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Can You Believe Your Beliefs?

Have you ever thought about belief? We think of our own beliefs as correct and even judge others based on whether they believe the same way we do or not. Our beliefs feel so real, and so true, that we can’t imagine how others could possibly believe differently.

And yet they do. And they always will. And that’s not just OK, it’s what keeps life interesting.

Today is the 13th anniversary of the end of the world. Well, except for that one small detail – it didn’t actually end 13 years ago. Harold Camping predicted the end of the world would happen in 2011, with the rapture occurring on May 21st and the physical world coming to an end five months later. He was a darling of the media, appearing on any and every news outlet that would have him, and focusing the programming on his Family Radio Network around the mathematical and theological certainty of his predictions. He believed. He believed with such fervor that he torpedoed his own reputation and spent...

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Freedom for Working Moms

This past Sunday was Mother’s Day. It’s a lovely holiday designed to let moms relax for one day of the year while being appreciated and pampered. It’s a day that features flowers, favorite foods, gifts, and maybe even a macaroni necklace designed by a 3-year-old. Can AI ever replace those? (Please don’t answer that!)

What about the other 364 days? Most moms are working moms, not stay-at-home moms, who were the norm when Mother’s Day came into being. Working moms have two careers – their job and their child or children – and neither one can be back-burnered.

So, if one person has two careers, neither of which can be neglected, what lands at the bottom of the to-do list?

  • Self-care.
  • Hobbies.
  • Passion projects.

The very things that feed the soul of the working mom get neglected due to lack of time and energy. During the pandemic shutdown, many or maybe most working moms found a way to better balance their various responsibilities, and some were...

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The Sun, the Moon, the Seasons, and You

During the winter months, those of us who live in the northern hemisphere experienced shrinkage. No, not THAT kind of shrinkage. I’m talking about brain shrinkage. Your cerebellum got smaller through the winter months, and as the longer days take over, the part of your brain that controls fine motor movement is getting bigger again. Meanwhile, subcortical structures in your brain that control motivation, processing of emotions, and decision-making got larger during the winter and are now shrinking in size as the weather gets warmer.

What the heck is going on inside our skulls? Don’t be scared – it’s just your brain reacting to the seasons of the year. It’s been going on inside you since you were born – you just never noticed it because the change happens slowly over a long interval.

Some of the brain changes that are seasonal in nature are more obvious than others:

  1. Seasonal Affected Disorder is a mood change that happens in the winter. It seems...
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Creating More Creativity in Your Life

Today let’s talk about creativity. What it is, why it’s important, and how to create a more creative life for yourself.

First, what the heck is creativity? Merriam-Webster’s definition is “the ability to be creative.” Cambridge Dictionary’s definition goes deeper, making it by far the more creative definition: “the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas.”

Creativity is curiosity unleashed. Creativity is vision in action. Creativity is imagination allowed to take the reins. Creativity is originality on display. Creativity is inventiveness, the first-born child of playfulness.

Creativity is about so much more than writing music, painting a picture, or producing a sculpture. Yes, those are creative pursuits and I’m in awe of those who make our lives better with their imaginative vision and masterful execution of their personal brand of creativity.

  • Creativity is also pulling together a fabulous outfit and wearing it...
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