Jill (Conquering Cognitions)
Outdoor Enthusiast | Animal Lover | Mom to Five | Psychologist Turned Writer
9/11 - An Emergency Call for America
It was the second Tuesday in September — a day marked on my calendar for months. Every second Tuesday of the month, I took my 18-month-old son to the Randolph Air Force Base Child Development Center (CDC) for four fabulous hours of free childcare, a benefit for military parents who had a spouse overseas. My husband was away on a one-year tour in Korea.
It Was an Unseasonably Cold Day for a Funeral
I drove by his house today. For years I pulled into that driveway to pick him up for school. He usually ran a little late, and I can picture him running out the front door with his backpack hanging open, and his arms full of books.
The Growing Space Between Us
The event I had anticipated all summer arrived — college freshman move-in day. The car was so tightly packed that it took three of us pushing and tugging to get the pillow into the last potential space between the two duffle bags. With the final item secured, our family high-fived as we closed the trunk, proud of fitting all the essential dorm items into one car.
The Incredible Life of an Ordinary Person
My friends are crazy over-achievers. One recently hiked the 2,000+ mile Appalachian Trail, from Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. It was a trip that he carefully planned for over a year to mark his transition from military soldier to civilian life — a grueling trek and an impressive accomplishment.
The PERMA Model of Well-Being
In my mid-twenties, I moved to Washington D.C. for an internship at a large medical center, a position that I desperately wanted and was thrilled to receive. I was excited about the hospital, the training opportunities, and the chance to live in D.C. for a year with a real paycheck.
A Simple Technique to Immediately Interrupt Anxiety
Anxiety is like a stomach bug — it comes on strong at the most inopportune times. One such time for me occurred during my pre-doctoral internship. I was on a three-month rotation with the neuropsychology service — a training requirement for graduation, but not my chosen subspeciality. I was assigned to observe a procedure in which a patient received direct electrical stimulation to his brain.
A Seed of Kindness Can Grow in the Harshest Conditions
Kindness grows in the most unexpected places. Years ago, while working in a behavioral health clinic, I was assigned a patient that I will call Sam. He was a challenging guy who didn’t want to attend therapy, so in the beginning, he often canceled or no-showed our appointments.
The Science of Profanity
I have never needed a swear jar nor had my mouth washed out with soap. For most of my life, if a swear word slipped out, it was an accident, and I would immediately cover my mouth in embarrassment. For some reason, profanity doesn’t sound right coming from me. It’s like when a dog talks or a three-year-old says pontificate — people stop and stare.
A Spark of Joy to Help Provide Motivation
I enjoy running, and I once ran a marathon. Yes, just once! A friend and I trained for the run months in advance, following a recommended training schedule that “guaranteed” success. The morning of the race, I felt energized and confident. My shoes were double knotted, the iPod was fully charged, and I had two energy gel packs. I was ready.