Monthly Archives: August 2018

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. It’s staying darker later in the morning, which means we are back to getting to see the sunrise again, and seeing more creatures, like foxes and entire families of raccoons. We are still on sort of a goofy route, since Sam can only go two miles in the morning, and then Ringo needs another two or three after that. It makes walking by the river more difficult, limits us more to in town and City Park and lots of loops instead of straight somewhere and back, but hopefully that will start to shift as the season does.

2. I finally set up my new computer. It wasn’t super fun. An extra monitor cable my old computer needed made my new computer partially blind, but it wasn’t obvious until after almost an hour on the phone with someone from tech services. Then I still had to set it up! I was supposed to hook up our new (well, old cause it’s been sitting in a box for over a year) wireless modem, which is going to replace the two boxes we have with one that’s supposed to be better and faster. I’ve been putting it off for so long because with four computers in our house, one that we use to watch TV, along with two smart phones, that’s a lot that could get fugged up if I can’t get it set up right. And after the snafu with my new computer today, I just don’t have it in me to attempt one more thing. It’ll have to wait until tomorrow. The computer I replaced was at least eight years old, and with me quitting my current job to move to something that will take place at least in part online, I needed to have a new one in place. In that case, even though it was hard, it feels like another step towards the future I’ve been planning for so long.

3. Fall is here. Even though we’ve still had daytime temperatures in the 80s, you can feel the shift towards fall. And if you didn’t notice that, you wouldn’t be able to deny the giant pumpkins in our garden and all the grasshoppers flying around.

4. Farmer’s market flowers, which become flowers in my bathroom and on my writing desk. This picture is of her booth — can you see why it’s so hard to choose?

5. My boys. Sam is hanging in there, not much better but not any worse and just as sweet as always, and Ringo is being so grown up now that we’ve gone back to work. I worried he’d be bored, but I’ve been home most of the day, and he only bugged me once — when I was on the phone with Dell and their lunch was half an hour late. He’s been hiking on the weekends with Eric again now that the weather is cooler, so that probably helps.

6. Eric. Last week, there were three nights in a row we had other plans and didn’t get to see each other. Absence really can make the heart grow fonder, cause I was so happy to see him last night and can’t wait for him to get home today.

Bonus joy: swimming lessons, teaching yoga, watermelon, good TV (I’m almost finished with Luther, gonna try Shetland next), good books (reading Sing, Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward), good movies (went to 8th Grade with a friend last week, got kicked out of the theater because we stayed after, had so much to talk about, needed a slumber party after to process it all – puberty and being a girl can be so complicated and confusing!), aqua aerobics, breakfast burritos, my tiny writing class that starts next week, rain, naps, working from home, health insurance, a three day weekend, payday.

 

Three Truths and One Wish

The view from my Eddy Hall office at CSU

1. Truth: What is easy for some is hard for me. Today I’m thinking in particular of how hard it is for me to simply relax into my truth, to give myself what I need without guilt or shame or anxiety or apology. Every choice I make, every hunger or longing, goes through an exhausting process of how it will affect others, what impact it will have, what other people will think about it and thus about me, whether or not I’ve “earned” it. It’s become a practice for me to simply want something and allow myself to have it, to feel ease or even joy, to relax with myself. It should be automatic, but I have to try, make so much effort to just be.

2. Truth: The turn towards fall feels so peaceful to me. You know how much I love summer, the garden with its blooms and fruit and vegetables and bugs and birds. The longer, lazy days, and all the light. However, fall is really my season. Dusk is also my favorite time of day and this season — the changing light, the cooler temperatures, green turning to gold and orange and red — feels similar, comfortable and calm. Like a dog sigh or the first sip of a cool glass of water when you are thirsty, permission to relax, a sense of relief and ease.

3. Truth: I feel myself slowing down. There were lots of things on the to-do list I made at the beginning of summer that haven’t been done yet. I still need to buy new bras and paint the house, and the new computer that was delivered weeks ago is still in a box. And yet, I know that I’ve spent a lot of years prioritizing doing and accomplishing over rest and contemplation, and that hasn’t served me. I’m tired. I long for rest. As difficult as it is, I’m going to give in to it.

One wish: May we honor our hunger, our longings, our need for rest, and may we thus find ourselves restored and open to ease and joy.

Something Good

1. Everything is Alive. “Everything is Alive is an unscripted interview show in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. In each episode, a different thing tells us its life story–and everything it says is true.” This might just be the weirdest podcast I’ve ever listened to.

2. Talking About Privilege — With Catrice M. Jackson on the Dear Sugars podcast. While we are at it, let’s listen to this one too, Trust Your Body — With Hilary Kinavey & Dana Sturtevant.

3. How Afflicted Manipulates Facts, Omits Evidence, and Insinuates Lies to Discredit Chronic Physical Illnesses. I watched this docu-series and thought it was fascinating. I went into it knowing these kinds of illness (chemical sensitivity, Lyme disease, electromagnetic sensitivity, chronic fatigue) are confusing for everyone – those seeking treatment, those attempting to provide it, and everyone else supporting those efforts. How awful to have a chronic condition, how much worse to not be able to find any reliable help for it and to have people not even believe you.

4. Ugh… Buddhist Project Sunshine Phase 3 Final Report. In related news, Buddhist teacher quit Shambhala in ‘protest’ before his own sexual misconduct allegation went public and TarcherPerigee Drops Accused Buddhist Author’s Book, and Against the Stream confirms sexual misconduct by Noah Levine; centers to shut down.

5. Should White People Teach Yoga?

6. Ethan Nichtern – The Road Home – Ep. 2 – Kate Johnson “Ethan sits down with Kate Johnson for a conversation around dharmic social action, compassionate communication and practicing different modalities of mindfulness and meditation.”

7. Why I Don’t Teach Intuitive Eating.

8. Creative is not a noun, a talk from Austin Kleon. Also from Austin, Self-help as oxymoron.

9. Flint Residents Struggle For Affordable, Clean Water, While Nestle Pumps Gallons of It Nearby.

10. 10 common phrases that are actually racist AF.

11. White Woman Who Falsely Accused 2 Black Football Players of Rape Rolls Her Eyes Throughout Sentencing Hearing.

12. After her 11-year-old was handcuffed by police for bouncing a basketball, a Jacksonville mom speaks out. (video)

13. White man, 60, is arrested after urinating on black girl, five, and shouting racial slur in an alley behind her Michigan home. In related news, Prosecutors Say Story of White Man Peeing on 5-Year-Old Black Girl Was Fabricated.

14. Bear Wanders Through Lobby Of Stanley Hotel. (video)

15. A racist white woman just hit a parked car without stopping. (video) “When confronted by the middle eastern driver, she used racism to intimidate him and threaten to call the police.”

16. When toddlers are quiet, too quiet… (video) At least it’s not poop?

17. Valentino Jimenez was put into handcuffs over his bandana at school. (video)

18. Dalmatian deer. (video)

19. Video Shows Black Man Asking Cop Why A Gun’s Pointed At Him, Is Told ‘Because You’re Not White.’

20. Peak Beckery: Brooklyn Woman Steals from Local Black-Owned Bakery, Then Calls Her Actions ‘Harmless.’

21. White Kansas City Security Guard Placed on Leave After Asking Black Bartender to Make a ‘Trayvon Martini.’ In related news, Restaurant Serves Drink Called ‘The Tuskegee Experiment,’ the Evilest, Most Racist Cocktail Ever.

22. The Story Behind Madonna’s Silver Horns At The VMAs.

23. Tomi Lahren’s Angry Fedora Video Sparked Twitter’s New Favorite Meme.

24. Watching Netflix’s Insatiable as an Eating Disorder Survivor Triggered Me.

25. Kansas City Reporter Lisa Benson Says She Was Fired From TV Station for Sharing an Article About White Privilege.

26. This brave man confronted a Nazi politician for his HATEFUL signs… but got arrested for it. (video)

27. Racist White Man Allegedly Stabs Black Man to Death, Then Asks Police for a Ride Home.

28. When a malnourished, crying baby came into the hospital where Officer Celeste Ayala was on guard duty, she offered a helping hand. (video)

29. Officers are accused of racial profiling after stopping a car with two Black men inside for no apparent reason. (video)

30. What I feel like when I take the time to use a hairdryer. (video)

31. A beauty supply owner punched this woman in the mouth after she attempted to walk away from the situation. (video)

32. Dogs helping. (video)

33. Girl gets kicked out of school for her hair style. (video) Her hair is beautiful. These kinds of policies are racist. It’s just that simple.

34. Woman calls cops on couple because their tags are expired. (video)

35. Michigan Police Accused of Tasing Black Man While He Was Holding His 2-Month-Old Son.

36. “Truth isn’t truth”: Rudy Giuliani offers a new explanation of why Trump shouldn’t talk to Mueller.

37. This Man Has Such A “Dim View” Of Female Drivers That He Shoots Them, Police Say. “The 29-year-old called it ‘self defense,’ but Texas authorities say his Facebook posts tell another story.”

38. Husky in “step” motion. (video)

39. Local yoga studio offers sacred space for lost and weary. This is my friend, Jessica. She’s amazing.

40. 7 dorm-friendly microwave meals, PLUS a microwave cleaning hack. (video) I don’t live in a dorm, but these are the kind of meals that would make a good quick lunch in a pinch.

41. Problematic Classics: Four Questions to Ask When Beloved Books Haven’t Aged Well.

42. Here’s House Republicans’ list of all the Trump scandals they’re covering up.

43. Diversity Post Called Threat to White, Christian Men. *sigh*

44. Fuzzy Little Lamb Is Nonstop Chaos. (video) Little but Fierce is one of my favorite pages on Facebook.

45. “My dog makes this face every time I come home”. (video)

Gratitude Friday

1. Eric made me a giant peach galette. Seriously, this picture does not come close to communicating how GIANT this thing is. I’m doing my best, y’all.

2. Fresh pesto and tortellini. It’s what’s for dinner, just about every other night around here because I made so much and it tastes so good and both of us are way too tired to cook.

3. Teaching yoga. Somehow all three of the classes I sub for needed me this week. I’m just so proud of myself for being able to say “yes,” for being able to show up and teach from the truth of whatever arises.

4. Good vet care. We have so many good options – regular care, physical therapy, and specialists. Ringo went to the CSU vet hospital dermatology unit last week, so we went to his regular vet to check in a few days later. He’s been really scared the past year or so, hides under the chair, but since he didn’t need to actually be checked, we just hung out with his vet while she fed him treats. She has three cattle dogs herself, and loves Ringo so much, is so sad he doesn’t love her back, so it made her day when by the end of our visit, he kissed her goodbye.

5. My tiny family. Now that I’m back at work, I don’t get to see them as much. When I do, it’s that much sweeter.


Bonus joy: Hanging out with Mikalina, going to a movie with Eric, good TV (I’m still into BBC shows about broken but brilliant detectives, have been watching Luther this week), good books (I have a whole stack on my kitchen table that are going to be so good), good movies (saw BlacKkKlansman), a cold glass of clean water, clean sheets, having all the laundry done on Friday, working from home, aqua aerobics, swimming lessons (my teacher is so good), sitting in the sauna, cooler weather, how easy it is to just text someone, Pilates, Japanese cucumbers, watermelon, grilled cheese sandwiches, butterflies, grasshoppers, a dog sigh, cuddling, taking a nap.
 

Something Good

1. How to Let Go of 3 Fears that are Holding You Back Every Day from Be More With Less.

2. How Trump Radicalized ICE. In related news, California: man driving wife to hospital to give birth arrested by Ice agents.

3. After Facebook posts threaten 12-year-old transgender girl, Oklahoma school district cancels classes. In related news, Transgender Girl, 12, Is Violently Threatened After Facebook Post by Classmate’s Parent from The New York Times, and Parents Group Threatens Trans Girl, Causing The School To Cancel Classes, and Pre-Teen Transgender Girl Receives Public Threats By Oklahoma Parents.

4. Ways of Being a Writer. Spoiler alert: there’s not just one way.

5. Why Many Introverts Love Reading (and Shouldn’t Stop, According to Science).

6. 5 thoughts on self-help from Austin Kleon.

7. Yes, Your Toddler is Gaslighting You. *tee-hee*

8. A 6-Year-Old Student Wasn’t Allowed to Attend School Because of His Locs. Here’s the video his dad took.

9. Georgia Police Use Taser on 87-Year-Old Grandmother With Dementia. In related news, Video Shows Cop Restrain, Handcuff 10-Year-Old With Special Needs.

10. Arguments with bae. (video) One of the funniest things I’ve seen in a long time.

11. Why Do You Need the N-word Tape? on The New York Times. In related news, Most Americans think Trump is failing the middle class, and A reporter confronted Sarah Sanders about Trump’s habit of insulting black people on Twitter.

12. This man claimed he was being “treated like a black person,” after resisting police. (video)

13. New York governor Cuomo in hot water for saying America ‘was never that great.’

14. Mount Whitney Has Turned Into an Overcrowded Catastrophe.

15. A former city councilman is fed up with people he says are on his property, but they say they’re just hiking on trails clearly marked by the city. (video) In related news, ‘Parking Patrol Paula’ Calls Cops On Black Man Getting Into His Own Car, Flees When Police Arrive.

16. Let’s Start the Year By Girl Shaming, a Houston School Decides.

17. When Feminism Is White Supremacy in Heels. “From tone policing to whitesplaining, the liberal white women’s feminism is more toxic than they realize, explains Rachel Cargle.” Bottom line: If the approach to this issue were nice, polite, comfortable, and friendly, nothing would happen, nothing would ever change. White women NEED to be made uncomfortable or they won’t act.

18. Weight stigma is worse for your health than being at a higher weight.

19. Why is the far right dominated by men?

20. Hundreds Of Newspapers Denounce Trump’s Attacks On Media In Coordinated Editorials.

21. Hate in the White House – June. “The following is a timeline of instances of extremism in the Trump administration in June.”

22. FCC Shuts Down Liberty Radio, Alex Jones’ Pirate Flagship Radio Station.

23. What Really Happened In Charlottesville.

24. Chris Cuomo Nails Why Trump Supporters Defend Everything He Does.

25. Mormon Blogger Challenges People To Have White Babies In Order To Combat ‘Black Ghetto Culture.’

26. How to Explain High Sensitivity to People Who Don’t ‘Get’ It.

27. Protesters Swarm Aloha Poke Co.’s Corporate HQ in Chicago After Bullying Native Hawaiians.

28. “Gift Shop Gabby” Tells Group Of Black Girls They’re ‘Not Welcome’ In The Store, Gets Suspended.

29. With Her New Foundation, Taraji P. Henson Wants To Change The Stigma Of Black Mental Health.

30. Black Cops Are Just as Likely as White Cops to Kill Black Suspects. “New research suggests a culture of bias is a bigger problem than individual racist officers.”

31. Parkland students have been meeting face to face with NRA members on their nationwide tour for gun reform — and they’re finding common ground.

32. The TSA has repeatedly questioned a Muslim journalist about her religion and her opinion writing criticizing government policies. (video)

33. The man who allegedly set the massive California wildfire has a history of spreading right-wing conspiracy theories. (video)

34. New video shows a white Pennsylvania father threatening and attacking his black neighbor for the crime of talking to his white daughter. (video)

35. The days leading up to the second Unite The Right rally were full of unknowns but one thing was certain: black organizers would be ready to protect each other and their city at all costs from white supremacists. (video) In related news, Counter-protesters fighting back against racism and hatred far outnumbered white nationalists at the 2nd Unite the Right rally. (video)

36. Man who shot father in Florida ‘stand your ground’ killing charged with manslaughter.

37. Breaking Hate: What a Former White Supremacist Says Will End Racism May Suprise You.

38. North Carolina Mom, Pregnant with Twins, Accused of Hiding Items Under Her Shirt at Local Staples.

39. How LeBron James’ new public school really is the first of its kind.

40. Bears are just big forest puppies! (video) This reminds me WAY too much of my Ringo.

Gratitude Friday (on Saturday)

1. Our garden, and the gardens that supplement our garden. We are finally getting tomatoes, and the cucumbers keep coming. I bought basil at the farmer’s market to make pesto because I waited too long to pick ours and the plants are already dying off. I also got some fingerling potatoes and carrots for roasting, as well as a watermelon and more peaches.

2. Flowers from the Farmer’s Market. They make me so happy, especially when there are leftovers from the week before that I can put on my writing desk.

3. Swimming. As I move further from the panic of having my face in the water, out of the shadow of the fear of drowning into something that looks more like actual swimming, I can feel my body starting to learn and get comfortable, and I feel myself trusting my body in a whole new way.

4. I quit my job! I know I already told you that, but I keep remembering and it cheers me up, especially in those moments where I’m at work and it feels overwhelming — I get to remind myself that every day is the last day (for example, August 15 was the last August 15 I’ll ever work there). Even though people I work with are sad I’ll be leaving, they have all been so happy for me, so supportive.

5. My tiny family. My favorite.

Bonus joy: Clean sheets, clearing space, grilled cheese sandwiches, long naps, good books, good TV and movies, a long list of really good podcasts I can’t wait to listen to, rain, our whole house fan, the compost pile, twinkle lights, people who are huggers, sitting in the sauna with Eric, a big glass of cold clean water, grasshoppers, a hummingbird feeding in my flowerbed, pulled pork breakfast burritos from Mainline at the Farmer’s Market, how happy Sam is riding in the car, how sweet Ringo is with little kids who really really want to pet him, seeing our neighbor’s sweet old dog out for a walk.

 

I quit!

I quit my CSU job today. No kidding, I quit my job. Well, technically I gave nine months’ notice, will finish this academic year (my 19th at CSU!) before I’m gone for good.

It is such a relief to finally get to tell you! I’ve been hinting at it, but wasn’t able to say anything here until I made it official. And today, my first day back after summer vacation, I made it official. I had already told my boss when I left for summer break that I was going to spend my time away considering what I might do next, how I wanted to spend the next 10 or 15 years, so she wasn’t surprised.

It’s been clear to me for a long time that it was time for something else. In fact, I never planned to stay at CSU in the first place. I meant to get my graduate degree and move on, but since we settled here, bought a house, and what else I might do besides the vague “be a writer” wasn’t clear, I stayed.

My plan is to focus more on writing and teaching. I’ll be blogging more, working on finishing at least one of the books I’ve been working on for years, and being more serious about sending things out for publication. I’ll be teaching, both in person and online – yoga, writing, and meditation. I already have a plan for some online classes, “Cultivating Practice” and “Wabi-Sabi for Writers” will be two of the first, as well as teaching some regular group writing practice courses. I’m going to continue to teach in person locally, as well as offering private online and in person meditation instruction.

My other intention is to focus even more on social justice action. I’m not sure exactly what this will look like, but one thing I want to offer is yoga for bigger bodies, which doesn’t even exist where I live. The other ways this might manifest is simply by having more time to do more work with local initiatives and issues.

I want to add one important note: I’m only able to do this because my husband has a job he loves that pays well enough that I don’t have to keep my salary and benefits. This opportunity is all about privilege. I’m aware of mine, grateful for it, and intend to use it to ease suffering, in myself and in the world.