How a seagull earned sour cream and onion chips

Self-care is so much easier said than done

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Look, I know I should not have fed the seagull sour cream and onion potato chips.

Doing so was probably reinforcing bad habits.

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My seagull hero was definitely behaving badly that day on the shores of Lake Michigan.

She patrolled around us, chasing off the birds trying to get in on her chip game.

They ruffled her feathers and bugged her bird brain.

Her tiny head popped back, and a rage flew out of her beak the few times a thief got lucky.

Was that a bark?


The seagull had every right to be ticked.

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They were wrong. She was wronged. Those were her chips.

We laughed and laughed and gave the gull a backstory.

Maybe she was a mob boss. Maybe she was a mom. Maybe she was a mom mob boss.

Watching the fierce gull on guard as the waves crashed to shore as people sunned was the most relaxed I have felt in a long time.

Relaxation is becoming a foreign concept.

There has been reason for joy — there always is — but it's been hard to relax in Dayton lately. While it is easy to say take care of yourself, it has been tough to actually take care of ourselves.

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Fifteen tornadoes, a mass shooting and the drama and trauma before and after will do that to people.

“Self-care” is what people call taking care of one’s self these days.

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The term is too hip for this square, and I am no good at the concept despite the many charts and graphs that explain how it works.

Eat well. Read a good book. Be mindful. Set boundaries. Seek support. Stay at home. Sleep.

Stillness …


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Too much to do? Too much to think about?

Self-care seems selfish.

Being “selfish” is evidently exactly what I needed.

Everybody does.

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Throwing potato chip crumbs at a seagull and watching waves roll to the other end of nowhere felt really good.

My teeth were unclenched as I laughed at my new spirit animal.

Sour cream and onion potato chips are not recommended bird food.

Look, I should not have fed her. But chips are what she wanted and giving them to her is what I needed.

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