Lessons Learned in April

Lessons Learned in AprilA few other blogger friends do reflective posts about what they learned during a month, and well, it looked like fun!  So I decided to do a blog post, too.   This is usually how I get into trouble–something looks like fun and so I join in and wish that I hadn’t.  Like the time my mom’s cousin invited me to join her in a 5K fun run (she was in her late 60s).  Or the time I first hiked from rim to river and back up in one day at Grand Canyon National Park.

But, let’s go back to what I learned this April.

1.  Authors are real people, too.  One of my favorite YA authors, who I ‘met’ through twitter and Facebook, sent autographed copies of her newest book to eight of my students.  Now that’s real!  These weren’t advanced reader copies, either, these were the real deal that won’t show up in stores until May 13.  Melanie Dickerson rocks!

Holbrook Indian School Street Team

2.  I can change.  During times of great stress in the past, my fallback comfort has always involved chocolate.  Copious amounts of chocolate.  Let me amend that–God has always been my fallback comfort–but lets get real–chocolate always helps.

During a time of great stress that started in February, I chose to exercise instead of eat.  I’ve never done this before (therefore, I’ve always struggled with my weight–during Pedro’s bout with cancer, we exchanged weights: I shot up to 190 and he withered away to 135).  I had purchased a Fitbit Charge HR in late January, and for the first time I focused on physical activity to make me feel better instead of food.  I continued to eat healthfully, but I’d go for a walk when I felt overwhelmed, or pound out forty minutes on the stationary bike and get my heart rate up to what some would consider unsafe levels for an old lady (if one goes by the strict 220-age formula 😉 ).  I lost ten pounds in April.  It feels good to know I am in better shape than I’ve been in years and that I can actually change!

3.  Prayer warriors make a difference.  One day I’ll be able to write about all that has happened during this really stressful year.  But for now, suffice it to say, I’ve seen the power of prayer manifested in myriad ways this April.  This should not surprise me.  After all, Pedro’s journey through cancer taught me this years ago.  Now I’ve relearned the lesson.

4.  I love physical challenges.  Rim to Rim anyone?  I went on an amazing hike with nine of my students and another faculty member on the last day of our outdoor school at Grand Canyon National Park.  We only hiked from the south rim to the Colorado River and back in one day (it took me eight hours–see number 2 above), but I’m ready for a bigger challenge–hiking from the south rim to the north rim. In October.  With some students, of course.  Great incentive to keep in shape!

At the bottom of the canyon

If you’ve ever wondered what the Grand Canyon looks like down at the bottom–now you know!

5. Birds and people have a lot in common. Female hummingbird’s legs swell to twice their normal size in the spring before they lay their eggs.  That’s not the only thing we have in common.  Some birds mate for life.  Some don’t.  Some birds encourage each other (such as geese during migration), some just like to scold. Basically, I’m just a bird nerd.

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

If you want to join the reflection and fun by sharing what you’ve learned in April, hop on over to Emily Freeman’s blog, Chatting at the Sky.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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