Author Archives: jillsalahub

Three Truths and One Wish

berryharvest1. This summer is going too fast. And it took me so much longer this year to settle in — I was sick, my CSU situation was not working, and I was so depressed. It took some real effort to work with all that, and now that I’m finally sinking into summer, slowing down, savoring it, it’s already almost July!

2. I’m leaving for Oregon on Friday. I always feel such anxiety planning for a trip. I don’t know what to pack, I obsess about what I’ll eat, I’m anxious that I’ll forget something important like a prescription or my bag will get lost or the rental car will break down. I worry about what might happen while I’m gone. I’m not very good at traveling. I’m not very good at leaving the house.

3. I’m working hard at being okay with accomplishing less. I’ve been pushing myself so hard the last few years. That would be okay if I’d been enjoying it more, but instead I can sometimes feel depleted, sad, dissatisfied. As an antidote, I’m lowering the bar and being gentle with myself, continuing with what seems like the work of my life — self-compassion, not smashing myself to bits.

One wish: May we all slow down, sink into this season, and savor it, and may we do so in the company of love.

Something Good (The Longest List Ever)

image by Eric

image by Eric

I know some of you will be sad about this, but there won’t be a Something Good list next week. I’m taking a week off to visit my family in Oregon, which means I’m taking a week off from blogging. I hope that even without my list, something good will find its way to you, kind and gentle reader. If not, this particular list is long enough, it might take two weeks to get through it all. :)

1. I Was A Single Mom With $6 To My Name. Here’s How I Turned My Life Around.

2. Why I Am No Longer A “Vegetarian.”

3. Artist Turns Old Wooden Doors Into Giant Street Art Murals.

4. 7 Reasons Why Life Is Better Without Booze. The author’s website looks pretty great too: “Soberistas.com, a website which brings together a totally non-judgmental community of like-minded people who’ve either kicked the booze or who are looking for help in doing so.”

5. Dear Human: Take Care of Yourself.

6. Awkward Everyday Lives Of Animals By Simpsons Illustrator Liz Climo.

7. Supreme Court Ruling and Christian Outrage.

8. Questions to ask before giving up, (a PDF). Not sure where this originally came from, but thanks to Jessica for sharing.

9. 13 Signs You’re Wasting Life But You Can’t Admit It.

10. Who’s burning black churches? Arsonists hit at least 3 Southern congregations in the last 7 days.

11. Native Children Are Facing A ‘National Emergency.’ Now Congress Is Pushing To Address It.

12. How Your “Someday” List Reveals Who You Really Are And What You Really Want To Do.

13. 10 Mantras to Inspire Your Daily Work.

14. A Former Pro Snowboarder Has Built An Incredible Off Grid Tiny Home.

15. Many in Nation Tired of Explaining Things to Idiots. :)

16. Good stuff from Marc and Angel Hack Life, 7 Little Habits that Stole Your Happiness Yesterday, and 15 Reminders You Need When You Feel Like Giving Up.

17. The rejectionists from Seth Godin.

18. My Cancer Pt. II, Medical Fat Shaming Could Have Killed Me.

19. Salt Soap, a cartoon from Lucy Bellwood.

30. Yoga, Bikinis, Facebook And Fat: How A NC ‘Yogi’ Is Reshaping Body Image Using Social Media.

31. What I Learned at Cement Bluff on Rowdy Kittens.

32. How Knitting Made Me A Better Writer.

33. A bunch of wisdom from Brave Girls Club,

It should be the easiest thing of all, shouldn’t it? But it isn’t easy to be true to yourself. Sometimes it is a very lonely road, and a very bumpy road. There are days when we all want to look around at what everyone else is doing and then just do the same so we can go with that flow and just fit in. At least it wouldn’t feel so lonely. Or would it???

You may have tried to fit in, and tried again, and then still again. You may have even “toned it down” enough for a while that you actually DID fit in, but it made your heart hurt and you just couldn’t betray yourself for very long.

If every funky little daisy in the flower garden spray painted herself red so she could hang out with the roses, the world wouldn’t have any variety at all, and what a sad sad sad life for that sunshiny, spunky free-spirited daisy. She was born to be a daisy, after all.

And guess what? the other flowers want her to be a daisy, too. Daisies are WONDERFUL. Be courageous enough to boldly live your own truth. You are so very very very spectacular. Just BE YOU.

And,

One of the worst mistakes we can ever make is to wait and wait and wait for there to be the “right amount” or the “right people” or the “right person” or the “right circumstances” to start living the life that is calling to us. No matter where we are or what we have, there is always a way to get headed in the right direction…and to just begin.

So, dear friend, begin today. Begin with something big or begin with something small, but begin. Begin with one step. And then just take another and another and another and another. If you are waiting for the perfect time to start, the perfect time is now. If you think the time has passed and it’s too late, it is not. Begin today. We really just have to decide that we are going to make something happen, and somehow we will be able to pull together what we need to do it.

As the old Chinese proverb goes, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago — the second best time is today.” Do what you can with what you have right now, today. Begin.

And,

If you’ve felt that you have to do more to “earn” help or comfort or blessings….if you’ve struggled through to prove that you can do it on your own and run yourself into the ground before you ask for help…if you are so busy with your head down, plowing through and suffering…that you simply fail to notice things that would ease your pain that are right in front of you…

…then it’s time, sweet friend, to look around and see what is there to make things better. Notice beauty, good books, music, helpful people, generous offers and random acts of grace. When something shows up, open yourself up to it. You don’t have to earn it, you don’t have to do anything to “deserve” it. Simply noticing it, welcoming it, and saying thank you is enough…

You are worthy of comfort, blessings and help.

34. Good stuff from SF Girl by Bay, homestead seattle and one very fine site: de dujes.

35. Questions for Diet Companies from Dances with Fat.

36. Thoughts Become Things from Rachel Cole.

37. Fat Girl Job Clarification. Also from Brittany Gibbons, “Once I learned to like my body, I cared more about what I put into it.”

38. Good stuff on Christina Rosalie’s blog, Like magic, and To the coast, and Summer is here.

39. ‘The Condition of Black Life Is One of Mourning.’

40. Jon Stewart doesn’t give a damn anymore: Why the “Daily Show” host has never been more watchable.

41. After Charleston, how a Buddhist outlook can help.

42. A Professor Crowdsources a Syllabus on the Charleston Shootings.

43. Maya Rudolph Parodies Rachel Dolezal on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

44. A Day in the Life of a Modern Poet from Maya Stein.

45. Dear Sugar, Episode 14: How Do We Forgive Our Fathers?

46. the day after the longest day of the year from Amanda Palmer.

47. Please Stop Being a Good White Person (TM).

48. This is my house from The Bloggess.

49. Dispatch From Charleston: The Cost Of White Comfort.

50. Here’s Kalief Browder’s Heartbreaking Research Paper On Solitary Confinement.

51. After a Stillbirth, a Silent Delivery Room.

52. How Victoria’s Secret Swimsuits Look On Everyday Women.

53. See How The Most Celebrated Female Bodies In Classic Paintings Would Look With A Photoshop Slimdown.

54. Yes, you’re a racist… and a traitor.

55. I choose to be fat.

56. Addictions to Powerlessness and Becoming Swanlike from Rachael Maddox.

57. Good stuff from The Queso,, Confederate Flags and the South, and Summer Reading Recommendations from an Award-Winning Author and Storyteller, Katherine Center.

58. The Black Feminist’s Guide to the Racist Sh*t That Too Many White Feminists Say.

59. ‘Gone with the Wind’ should go the way of the Confederate flag.

60. Wisdom from Tulku Thondup,

Loving-kindness is the essence and nature of the whole world and of every being. To see and experience this is to realize who we are. We can all observe that, if someone is in a quiet, undisturbed place—for example, in nature—he or she will become more peaceful. The more peaceful that person becomes, the more joyful, wise, and helpful they will be to others. That is a clue that our human nature in its normal, undisturbed state is not violent or harmful, but loving.

61. How I Quit My Job and Became a Writer.

62. A black man walks into Silicon Valley and tries to get a job…

63. Chapter 23: Forever And Ever.

64. The 30 Day Journal Project, shared in Jen Louden’s post, How Journaling Can Change Your Life or Strait-Jacket Your Creativity.

65. 10 Things to Look Forward to on the Other Side of Busyness from Be More With Less.

66. trigger warning: we are human on lists and letters.

67. money talks with alison luterman.

68. In Her Room: Susannah Conway.

69. Transforming White Fragility Into Courageous Imperfection.

70. What to Do When Your Heart Doesn’t Know What it Wants.

71. Something as simple as smiling can help curb racial bias, study suggests.

72. Why I’m Walking Away From A Profession I Love: Losing Faith, Burning Out & Moving On.

73. No Need for Words.

74. Wisdom from singer Madjo, “In order to create, you first have to exit the darkness. Seize those first notes and let them run wild. Accept that you won’t master them right away.”

75. You are a grown up. Do what you want.

76. Episode 21 | Interview with Elizabeth Gilbert, shared on Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list.

77. Wisdom from George Bernard Shaw, “People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.”

78. Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging.

79. In which I share 4 reasons why I am NOT against same-sex marriage, an older post that’s still relevant.

80. Interview Someone You Love About Life, Questions from Brendon Burchard.

81. 10 Examples of Straight Privilege.

82. Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person…

83. President Obama Delivers Eulogy at Charleston Shooting Funeral of Clementa Pinckney. You can read the full transcript here.

84. Wisdom from Gavin Newsom,

The unsung heroes are the millions and millions of people across this country that engaged in conversations. And many of those one-on-one conversations made people think twice about their original positions. At the end of the day it was nothing more than the aggregation of those conversations and the courage of people to stand up to even their parents, to say, “No Dad, you’re wrong on this—it’s wrong to deny Uncle Bob the ability to get married; it’s your brother. How dare you subjugate him to second-class status?” It was literally those conversations that changed public opinion, gave politicians more courage, and brought us to where we are today.

85. What Happened To The 9-Year-Old Smoking In Mary Ellen Mark’s Photo?

86. I once led an ex-gay ministry. Here’s why I now support people in gay marriages.

87. An interesting conversation: Here Come the Hippies: Oglala Lakota Tell Rainbow Family to Behave in Sacred Black Hills, and Letter to the Editor: Rainbow Family Member Responds to Readers of Indian Country Today

88. Need A Wall Built? Why Settle For Boring Bricks When You Could Have This!

89. ‘Yoga for Larger Bodies’ Animated Documentary is a Wonderful Story of Healing and Connection.

90. A 30-Second Guide to How the Gay Marriage Ruling Affects You.

91. Ten Days in June.

92. The Toxic Attraction Between an Empath & a Narcissist. Been there, done that.

93. A blessing from Ronna Detrick, “Sometimes hanging on by even a thread to the tenderest and tiniest inkling of your own value, beauty, and worth changes everything. Don’t let go.”

94. Legislated morality, civil rights, and the Christian response to marriage equality.

95. Andres’ Bone Marrow Transplant.

96. Online Is IRL from Terrible Minds.

97. Award-Winning Short Animation About A Lost Soul Meeting Death.

98. Tig, the documentary. I cannot wait to see it!

99. Amy Winehouse Documentary Lets Nobody Off the Hook. Another documentary I can’t wait to see.

100. Creative Portraits Of Artist’s Hands Exploring Different Art Forms.

101. Ease and Routine on Allowing Myself.

102. Miniature Hand Thrown Pottery by Jon Alameda.

103. Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche’s message to Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Day of Rest: on Being an Ally

rainbowinternet
On Friday, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. My friend Steven, an 8th grade English teacher in my community who I first met while we were both in graduate school for the first time, (after receiving an M.A. in English Literature, he went back and earned an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership), posted this on Facebook,

On such a momentous day as today, I’d like to give heartfelt gratitude to all the straight allies out there. Statistically, 1 in 10 human beings are BORN gay or transsexual. Ten percent of this country has fought a long, grueling, even dangerous and deadly fight to have equal rights under the law. Yet more than 65% of the nation was in favor of marriage equality before today. That’s a lot of straight people raising the banner for love, hope, and decency. There’s a lot of joy in the gay community today . . . but we can never forget our straight friends who became family when our own families struggled, who shut down a gay joke in the workplace, who taught their children that love is not relegated to specific gender, who marched in parades, who voted for pro-marriage equality candidates, who took a stand, however small, to ensure that all of us are equal under the law. I appreciate you. Today is your celebration, too. Thank you, allies. Thank you.

I was so touched by what Steven wrote. After seeing a few other similar posts, including one from author Patti Digh in which she said, “Today, let’s agree to continue the work. Black churches are being burned, transgender men and women are being killed, and so many more acts of hatred driven by ignorance that has become fear. Let’s all do what we can, where we are, every day,” I started thinking about what it means to be an ally.

Allies are people who recognize the unearned privilege they receive from society’s patterns of injustice and take responsibility for changing these patterns. Allies include men who work to end sexism, white people who work to end racism, heterosexual people who work to end heterosexism, able-bodied people who work to end ableism, and so on. ~Anne Bishop, Becoming An Ally

When we consider all that needs to change, all the things that have gone wrong, it can feel overwhelming. What do we do? Where do we even begin? I would like to suggest three things we can easily do to start to shift the tide: educate ourselves, practice compassion, and love harder.

To ground ourselves in the present moment of any issue, we can educate ourselves. Specifically, we can learn the history of a situation and get up to date with current events. Approach the situation with a beginner’s mind, assume that whatever you think you know, you don’t know. Even if you have a lived experience of the situation, take a closer look at the big picture, read and research, ask questions, attend lectures and rallys, etc. For example, there’s a really great project started by Chad Williams, Associate Professor of African and Afro-American Studies at Brandeis University, called #charlestonsyllabus. It is

…a list of readings that educators can use to broach conversations in the classroom about the horrendous events that unfolded in Charleston, South Carolina on the evening of June 17, 2015. These readings provide valuable information about the history of racial violence in this country and contextualize the history of race relations in South Carolina and the United States in general. They also offer insights on race, racial identities, global white supremacy and black resistance.

In the face of any problem, of any kind of suffering or conflict, it is important to practice compassion. This doesn’t mean idiot compassion, being nice for the sake of being nice, or accepting aggression. True compassion is more like how Brendon Burchard describes “humanity,”

…seeing others and saying, “I wish you joy, love, health and abundance.” Not just to those you like or agree with. Every. Single. Person.

To be compassionate, we have to be willing to be with the pain of another. Susan Piver says, “Compassion is rooted in seeing others as similar to ourselves, in removing any and all ideas that there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’ There is only us.” She goes on to say,

True compassion is a profound skill, one that has much more in common with fierceness than softness. Compassion arises when you allow someone else’s pain into your own heart without a personal agenda. This is what so many of us are terrified of doing, and understandably so. To view our “enemy” as part of the human family rather than a scourge to be obliterated means we have to take on their pain as our own and most of us are already full up on that score. Nonetheless, we must do it anyway. It requires fearlessness and and a sense of genuine power, and is not, as a few characterized it, some kind of lefty do-good politically correct emasculating bullshit.

My Facebook friend Mathew posted something similar,

The worst thing is when people try to relate to another persons trauma even when they both know that they have no idea what the experience is truly like. Just say it like it is… “I have no idea what it feels like, or how you are feeling BUT thank you for telling me and I’m here for you.” That is vulnerability and honesty at its very core.

President Obama gave the eulogy at the funeral for South Carolina State Senator Clementa Pinckney. Towards the end, before he sang Amazing Grace (!!!), he talked about basic goodness and having an open heart, saying,

That’s what I felt this week — an open heart. That more than any particular policy or analysis is what’s called upon right now, I think. It’s what a friend of mine, the writer Marilyn Robinson, calls “that reservoir of goodness beyond and of another kind, that we are able to do each other in the ordinary cause of things.” That reservoir of goodness. If we can find that grace, anything is possible. If we can tap that grace, everything can change.

Finally, to be a good ally, a good human, we have to love harder. This is my theory: if every human had one person in their life they loved, truly loved not just tolerated, who was “different,” any of the types of people we classify in that way, if every human had just one human like that in their life they really really loved they would never ever want anything less than all the things, all the happiness, everything for them. So, if you are against some measure of the human population because of who they are (religion, race, sexuality, etc.), it’s because you aren’t loving hard enough. Pick someone, anyone, and love them as hard as you can.

So to be an ally, we must educate ourselves, practice compassion, and love harder. That ought to keep us busy for a while, a good kind of busy.

Gratitude Friday

frontgarden

1. Our garden. With all the rain, it’s growing in really well. We’ve been getting a handful of strawberries every day, and tons of kale and lettuce. It makes me so much happier to look out the front window and see the jungle of my garden rather than a boring lawn.

2. Summer vacation. This year, it’s taken some real wrangling on my part to keep it from turning into a season of being on call at work, not really on vacation but stuck in some awful limbo, but with the help of a wise, good-hearted boss, I think I’m finally getting there, truly on vacation.

wherenextbrother3. Eric hiking with the dogs. I appreciate the time alone, they have a great time gone, and Eric brings back lots of good pictures and two tired happy dogs.

enjoytheview
4. A play date with Chloe’ and Pancho. The best part was when Sam came out and started to play with the puppy.

pancho

Mr. Pancho

5. Asking for what I wanted and getting it. I’m glad I asked, and glad there was a yes. It felt like a double victory.

anotherberrypie

Bonus Joy: Strawberry pie, Couch to 5K, a bit of extra pay to make up for the extra work, TV, clean sheets, some new clothes, my new running shoes, yoga, Daily Dharma Gathering, Pema Chodron, clean water, fresh fruit, a dinner date with Eric, podcasts, the way Sam pushes his head under my hand when he wants petted, the way Ringo barks to announce himself when he’s getting into trouble (it’s like he’s saying, “look at what I’m doing!”), bird song, leafcutter bees, a partner who shares the chores.

Something Good

thefarm1. The problem with holding a grudge, and Plenty more, and Abandoning perfection from Seth Godin.

2. Wisdom from Brave Girls Club:

It’s time to stop waiting. It’s time to become who you want to become and do what you want to do and learn what you want to learn and rest when you want to rest and take little pieces of time and do terrific things with them that are beautiful and personal and unique and true.

And,

We all have a proverbial basket of things that are in need of mending, all of us do! We have relationships, sweaters, cabinet doors, hearts, dreams, windows………..thing after thing in need of some attention and time.

Sometimes we get paralyzed by the amount of things in that basket, so we just start walking past it, pretending that it’s not there…but still feeling something deeply gnawing at us, and preventing us from feeling total peace.

Don’t be afraid to look in your basket, beautiful friend…..just start picking up one piece of mending and work on it a little….then another tomorrow. This can be real, physical things like sewing a button back on your favorite coat, to much bigger things…like sending a nice card to someone you’ve had a falling-out with but would love to patch things up with.

Don’t let your basket of mending steal any more of your joy or peace. Take an honest look at it today and then take a deep breath and make a plan to start mending things…..a little at time, and then let it go and be o.k. with it all.

And

What would a leap of faith look like?

That thing that’s been lingering on your mind, burning in your heart…..that scary beautiful thing that you can’t get out of your whole soul because it wants to be heard and acted upon……..guess what lovely? It’s not going to go away.

It’s not going to go away because it’s your deepest wisdom and authenticity…trying to get you on exactly the right track. It is your truth.

What is it that is holding you back? Would it be so bad just to take that first step? Would it be so bad to stop and really honor yourself and at least listen to that longing?

This is where the fork in the road just might lead to the place you’ve been praying to be.

Get quiet, dear friend…….listen closely….then be brave when you know exactly what to do next.

Live THAT ONE PRECIOUS LIFE OF YOURS….really really live it.

It is time.

3. Own our history. Change the story. from Brene’ Brown.

4. The Best & Less-than-Best Motivations for Learning from Zen Habits.

5. 9 Simple Yoga Poses To Help With Back Pain.

6. Magical Thinking, Yoga, And Internal Inquiry.

7. Good stuff on Brain Pickings: Pool: A Tender Illustrated Celebration of Quiet Curiosity and How We Find Our Kindred Spirits, and How to Own Your Story: Vivian Gornick on the Art of Personal Narrative and the Power of Textured Storytelling, and The Subterranean River of Emotion: Cheryl Strayed on Writing, the Art of Living with Opposing Truths, and the Three Ancient Motifs in All Great Storytelling.

8. Finding the Wisdom in Your Worrying & Whining from Jen Louden.

9. Online “Success” And “Failure” Don’t Look The Way You Think. (Thanks for sharing, Laura).

10. Is Your Purpose Frivolous? from Laura Simms.

11. Good stuff from Rowdy Kittens Happy Links list: On Working, A Lot and Paying Off a Mortgage in Seven Years.

12. The Truth Does Not Change According to Our Ability to Stomach It: A Southerner’s Perspective on the Confederate Flag.

13. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: To be a teacher and remain a student and Jenny Diski’s End Notes.

14. Shared on Susannah’s Something for the Weekend list: this amazing designer and The Beautiful Wooden Dome House In A Forest.

15. Every Day, I Draw One Animal Letter A Day To Teach My Son The Alphabet.

16. Good stuff from {Peacefulinks #9} Useful Resources Handpicked and Handcurated for You This Week from Peaceful Triumphs: Leadership With Simon Sinek: Serving Those Who Serve Others, and Quitting as a Productivity Tactic, and How Meditation Saved My Business.

17. ‘I Identify As Black,’ Rachel Dolezal Says In TV Interview.

18. 5th grade boys Synchronized Air Swimming Talent Show Skit W A Porter Elementary. So cute.

19. A Photo Essay: Orr Lake & Beyond on Rowdy Kittens.

20. SLIP | @PhillipChbeeb & Renee Kester | @ElliotMossMusic. Everything about this is so beautiful.

21. The Buddhists Who Are Speaking Out. “Buddhists in countries around the world are speaking out in an effort to rescue and protect tens of thousands of displaced people – many of them risking death in overcrowded boats – in Southeast Asia. TIME magazine this month called them ‘The nowhere people.'”

22. Latin proverb, “If there is no wind, row.”

23. Sara Seinberg on movement, the fallacy of willpower, and seeing the body as an opportunity.

24. Willpower: The Big Bullshit Hoagie from Sara Seinberg.

25. Scott Carver’s Bucket List Fund, on GoFundMe.

26. Hunter Treschl’s fundraising page on GoFundMe. Hunter says,

I’ve lost my arm obviously, so I have two options: I can try to live my life the way I was and make an effort to do that even though I don’t have an arm, or I can just let this be completely debilitating and bring my life down and ruin it. Out of those two, there’s really only one that I would actually choose and that’s to try to fight and live a normal life with the cards I’ve been dealt.

27. Rachel Dolezal Syndrome, (thanks for sharing, Patti).

28. The First Time I Was Called “Fat.”

29. Ricky & Doris: An Unconventional Friendship in New York City. With Puppets!

30. say something from Chookooloonks.

31. Charleston Church Shooting on The Daily Show.

32. The Perils of Father’s Day by Christine Mason Miller.

33. How to Figure out what’s Important When You Have too Much to Do from Be More With Less.

34. America is ready: Same-sex couples show how long they’ve been waiting for the freedom to marry.

35. Harriet Tubman Set to Be Honored with Face on $10 Bill.

36. The Roar Sessions: Patti Digh.

37. Dreamy Modern Loft Oasis : Portland. Too bad Pearl time doesn’t come with the rental.

38. Your mission: use your gifts, wisdom from Britt Bravo.

39. How I Reactivated My Creative Bone.

40. Fat Classics: Dieting, health, and the hijacking of Hippocrates by Helen Morales.

41. In A Relationship With A Highly Sensitive Person? Here’s What You Need To Know.

42. Wisdom from U Pandita, “In Buddhist practice, we work to expand the range of life experiences in which we are free.”

43. Why Our Culture Is Obsessed With Thinness.

44. Existing in the pause from Neil Gaiman.

Day of Rest: Father’s Day

dadonthefarmI live 1200 miles away from my immediate family. We don’t talk on the phone that much because none of us really like it. My mom and I email back and forth, and I text and Facebook with my brother. My parents read my blog, keep up with me that way. I visit them in Oregon once a year.

To see it listed like that seems like we don’t have much of a connection. And yet, my family is part of every day of my life. My mom and I always joke because we are having this ongoing conversation with each other, but a lot of what we say is in our heads and we can’t remember which of the things we actually told each other. I might not talk to my dad directly very often, and yet he’s always there.

He’s there every time I write or publish something. My dad’s faith and encouragement is the one thing, besides my own drive, that kept me at it, kept me believing. When I finally finish the book I’m writing, it will be because of him as much as me.

He’s there every time I have to stick up for myself. He always told me to never let anyone tell me how to live my life, that it didn’t matter what anyone else thought about it. He gave me permission to love what I love, and the strength to stand up to people who are jerks.

He’s there when I’m getting shit done. When things get tough and I handle it, I learned that from him. Because of him, I can take care of myself.

He’s there every time I doubt myself. He’s always told me I could do and be anything I wanted. And he didn’t say it in that lovey dovey fake way a lot of people might. He really means it. He’s pretty skeptical of most things, but I think he actually believes it. His faith is an antidote to my doubt.

He’s there every time I struggle. By example, he showed me how to do hard things. It feels like it’s partly in my DNA and partly by watching him that I learned to never give up, to keep showing up and trying until I figured it out.

He’s there every time I’m sad. I watched him struggle with his own sadness, and it helped me to face my own. Sure, some of his example was how not to do things, but even in that way he helped me. I have this memory of being pretty young and waking up crying in the middle of the night. I’d probably had a bad dream, but I couldn’t stop crying. My dad sat in the dark next to my bed, rubbing my back and saying, “it’s okay, you’re okay.” Eventually, I fell back asleep, pretty sure that what he’d said is true. Because of him, I know it’s normal to be sad, and that it doesn’t mean your only option is to give up.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love and miss you, and will see you soon. In the meantime, I’m going to get back to work on my book.

Gratitude Friday

elkhorn021. Moving my body. Hiking with Eric and the dogs, long walks, running (yes, you heard that right, I’m doing the “couch to 5k” thing to jump start myself), yoga, stretching.

2. A family who loves me, misses me, wants to see and spend time with me.

3. Neflix and Hulu. My recent favorites were Moone Boy, the new season of Orange is the New Black, and Hector and the Search for Happiness.

gardenkale4. Good Food. Salad made with kale from our garden, soft sweet bran muffins, strawberries, watermelon, corn on the cob, BBQ.

peony045. Peonies. It’s almost the end of the season and I’m going to miss them.

couching05Bonus joy: couching, sweet Sam and silly Ringo, crickets, bird song, new running shoes, the Couch to 5K app on my phone, podcasts, Pema Chödrön, Daily Dharma Gathering (which is FREE this week), Open Heart Project, Shambhala Mountain Center, summer vacation, BBQ, being able to help, being able to rest and heal, Eric, my friends, quiet.