Monthly Archives: December 2018

Something Good

Note: I’m skipping the “People Behaving Badly” segment of this list this week again. There are still bad, awful, horrible things, but as I say good-bye to 2018 and look to the new year, watching the snow we’d hoped to have for Christmas start to fall, I feel like skipping it once more. I’m not denying or ignoring it. I’m not “focusing on the positive.” I’m just leaving it alone for another week, letting it rest for now. Happy New Year, kind and gentle reader!

1. Burning the Old Year a poem from Naomi Shihab Nye.

2. Saying Goodbye to 2018’s Seesaw of Outrage and Numbness. This post includes some really great prompts, “guiding questions to use the image above to reflect on your own social change journey for 2019,” that can help us distinguish the specific roles we play “in pursuit of equity, liberation, inclusion, and justice.”

3. UN panel says the U.S. owes reparations to African-Americans. Similar steps should be taken for indigenous people. We owe so much to so many.

4. Complete Guide to 2019 Artist Grants & Opportunities.

5. Mary Oliver on On Being. “Often quoted, but rarely interviewed, Mary Oliver is one of our greatest and most beloved poets. She’s just released a new volume, Felicity, at the age of 80. And so we’re revisiting the interview she granted us earlier this year on the wisdom of the world, the salvation of poetry, and the life behind her writing.”

6. An Introvert’s Road Map To Mindfully Controlling Stress And Anxiety.

7. What I learned from losing my dog by Jennifer Louden.

8. In 2019: Persist, Persist, Persist, wisdom from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

9. A Daily Journal Ritual to Jump-Start 2019. In related news, 19 Questions that Will Open Your Mind in 2019, and for writers, Writing Inventory, Intentions, and Reminders for the New Year.

10. Thank you for not trying to fix this from Andrea Scher. “Sometimes we are afraid that if we move toward our difficult feelings they will devour us, drag us under and engulf us. What’s more true is that allowing ourselves to have them, while shining a light of loving attention on them (either from ourselves or another) is a very miraculous kind of medicine.”

11. This Is The Kind Of Work That Excites An INFJ Personality. Alternate title, “Why I’m Quitting my CSU Job.”

12. Wisdom from Zen teacher Cheri Huber, “Self-hatred uses self-improvement as self-maintenance.”

13. Authoritarianism Thrives on Demoralization: How to Fight Trump and Stay Psychologically Healthy.

14. What Health at Every Size ISN’T. In related news, Why Eating Disorder Treatment is Failing Us All.

15. This Japanese pub is made out of 100% recycled materials. And it’s gorgeous.

16. This duck’s story is heart-wrenching but his new yellow boots are the cutest thing we’ve ever seen. (video)

17. Abused Wolves And Troubled Teens Find Solace In Each Other.

18. Cloth wrapping, known as furoshiki in Japan and bojagi in Korea, is a traditional and waste-free way of wrapping gifts, packing lunchboxes, and much more. (video)

19. The weight of being fat and black in America is worth more consideration than goes into a cheap joke. “A trio of new books lays bare the struggle of being large, African-American and considered too smart for the authors’ own good.”

20. 50 Times People Found The Most Unexpected Things.

21. Bandersnatch Stole 3 Hours of My Life Last Night, and Will Get Even More of My Time Over the Weekend.

22. Researchers Double Down on Claim Yoga Changes the Expression of Your Genes. “Over the last decade or so, we’ve been hearing that mind-body practices like yoga and meditation may affect our genes. A new review of the research solidifies it.”

23. This Russian artist is creating stunning intricate 3D landscapes with embroidery. (video)

24. This elementary school surprised their ‘superhero’ janitor with an appreciation party — and his reaction will have you ugly crying. (video)

25. Blackness Redefined: The 10 Best Films Of 2018. In related news, The Beautiful Clutter Of Black Film In 2018.

26. Forgiveness Repairs the World from Jack Kornfield.

27. Poet Andrea Gibson on Feeling Everything Everywhere.

28. Grandmothers bring food and comfort to asylum seekers at bus stations.

29. The 28 Most Amazingly Wholesome Things That Happened In 2018.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. With Eric off work, when I go, we all four go together, and that’s the best kind of walk, no matter what time of day.

2. Holiday food. When I think about traditions of celebration, they almost always involve particular kinds of food and gathering together to eat that food. Having leftovers to get you through the days that follow when all you want to do is read, take naps, and cuddle is an extra bonus.

3. Naps and reading books. These are two of my favorite things, no matter what time of year, it’s just that during this season I’m more likely to do them more often and with WAY less resistance, (i.e. it can often be hard for me to relax into the joy of it because I can’t stop thinking about all the other things I could be doing).

4. Sweet Sam. Just like our first dog, Obi, Sam really is the best dog to hang out with when all you want to do is rest and relax and be lazy or when you are sick and just need comfort and love. When I go and get in bed during the day and he knows we are going to take a nap, it makes him super happy.

5. Ringo Blue. One of his favorite things on a walk is to find lost, abandoned things, pick them up and carry them home – socks, gloves, toys, baby things, water bottles, balls, sticks. Our front porch looks like the Isle of Misfit Toys. He’s also very very very handsome.

6. Eric. He’s my favorite.

Ringo helping open Christmas presents while Sam naps.

“Is that one for me, Dad?”

Bonus joy: sitting in the dark with just the lights of our Christmas tree, all the great presents and cards, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna with Eric, good TV (we’ve been watching a few series with Monty Don, a master gardener from England, and it has both of us excited about working on our garden next season), good books (I just finished The Miniaturist, in fact spent one whole day in my pjs reading because I couldn’t put it down), taking some time off from just about everything, anything citrus.

 

Something Good

Merry everything, happy always.

I meant to make this list yesterday, on its regular day, but after I got done cooking, I sat down on the couch and started watching Love Actually and forgot. I knew you’d understand, kind and gentle reader. And P.S., in honor of the season I’m skipping the “this week in People Behaving Badly” portion of the list, even though they (we) are still at it. May this be a time of trying harder to do better.

1. 2-year-old has an adorable reaction to getting a banana for Christmas. (video) May we all feel this way about what we get today.

2. Macro photos of snowflakes show impossibly perfect designs.

3. Good wishes from Lama Rod Owens, “May we all experience a sense of home today no matter where we are at or who we are with.”

4. This guy got “Morissetted” by his wife for a month. Was not amused. (video) I on the other hand am thoroughly amused.

5. A thread about how you can be firm in your boundaries but still be kind in your approach.

6. Master Teacher Maty Ezraty on the State of Yoga Right Now. I’m glad this is a conversation some of us are having. In related news, Setu Yoga Has a Plan to Make Yoga Less Skinny and White.

7. When a puppy is all you want for Christmas. (video) My second thought watching this video was how terrifying all the squealing and screaming and crying must be for these dogs! In related news, A dad surprised his daughter with a dog she had been caring for at an animal shelter!

8. 10 Reasons Not to Focus on Weight in the New Year. In related news, 12 Reasons To Ditch The Diet Mentality.

9. The end of the Hurricane Harvey story from Karen Walrond on Chookooloonks, on what she learned from losing almost everything in the storm.

10. If you are a white woman, download these two things and make reading them and doing the work your New Year’s Resolution: Me And White Supremacy – The Workbook and Dear White Women.

11. People affected by dwarfism often have a hard time finding clothes to fit them. “A new fashion label in Berlin provides an elegant solution – at eye level.” (video)

12. 50 Times People Experienced Pareidolia In The Most Unexpected Places.

13. This Travel Influencer Created A Platform To Encourage More Black Men To See The World.

14. 50 Amazing Photos That Won The Prestigious Siena International Photo Awards.

15. Scientists Find A Brain Circuit That Could Explain Seasonal Depression. Even though I have it and know it’s real, it’s nice to have some “proof” that it’s not just “all in my head.”

16. Philadelphia Teen Honored With Prestigious Carnegie Medal For Heroically Rescuing His Nephew. I long for a time when such deeds would be just what it means to be human, not heroic.

17. How Do I Write About My Life Without Alienating Everyone in It? from The New York Times. “Tell the truth, but aim for mercy.”

18. This college student is giving people hope by cleaning their homes. (video)

19. Chair yoga flow. (video)

20. Yard Worker Mows Lawns and Gives Christmas Gifts to the Needy. (video)

21. “God gave me my mother’s arms”, says Miriam’s five-year-old son. (video)

22. Have a Very Buddhist Christmas. “Joy, giving, family, and peace—people of all faiths can celebrate these values of the holiday season. Seven Buddhists offer their take on yuletide dharma.”

23. 31 Days of Devotion from Adreanna Limbach, “a FREE online series that brings daily meditation + contemplative practices right into your inbox, 7 days a week for the entire month of January.”

24. Dedicate, 30 Days of Free Yoga with Adriene. If 30 days feels like too much, try this December | Wholeness (10 days of yoga with Anna Guest-Jelley of Curvy Yoga) or Gift of Relaxation – 33 Min Feel Good Yoga, also with Adriene.

25. A Simple Practice for Stressful Holidays.

26. These 21 Things Stress Out Highly Sensitive People The Most. Seriously, if you ever wonder why I am how I am, just read this list. And if you are still confused, read this If You’re An INFJ, You’ll Relate To These 12 Problems.

27. My boyfriend Roman makes a gingerbread man. (video)

Gratitude Friday

1. We finally got a Christmas tree. So far, it only has lights on it, but that’s my favorite part anyway. Also, we waited so long and bought one so late, we got it for $20 off.

2. I was on retreat last week. That’s why I didn’t post this list. It was a bit of a surprise. I hadn’t planned on going this year. I even emailed and told Susan I wasn’t going to make it. She asked if I’d like to come as a program assistant if enough people signed up, and I said yes, but hadn’t heard anything. Then I got an email on Monday asking if I still wanted to come, (the retreat started on Wednesday!) and I said yes. It’s Susan Piver’s Fearlessly Creative Writing and Meditation retreat she does every year at Shambhala Mountain Center. I’ve been the last three years at least and loved it, so I was happy to not actually miss it this time. And being a program assistant gave me a whole other perspective that was very interesting.

3. Apple pie. Eric uses a recipe that calls for apple cider and maple syryp as the sweeteners and it is delicious.

4. Eric.  I commented on the white lights our neighbors wrapped around their tree, about how much l liked them, and the next day when I came home, there were white twinkle lights on two of our trees. As my friend Justine says, I married a good one.

5. My other two boys, Sam and Ringo. They got baths today, because even though Christmas is next week and this is Colorado, it’s sunny and 60 here today and it’s probably been about six months since they had their last bath.

Bonus joy: time off from work, the awareness that when I go back to work I will only have one semester left (!), texting with my brother, wrapping Christmas presents, sitting in the living room when it’s dark out with nothing but the lights on the tree, cookies baked and delivered by our neighbors, writing with Mikalina and Chloe’, “Christmas yoga” at Red Sage Vets, sleeping in, staying up late reading, good books (I just finished All the Names They Used for God, and it was SO good), an appointment for a massage tomorrow, computer glasses, puppies.

 

Something Good

1. A Christmas Movie a Day, movie recommendations on Tumblr.

2. 5 Things I Wish Extroverts Understood About Me As An Introvert And INFJ.

3. hello december, a sweet little movie welcoming the season.

4. Weirdly, I want to try this recipe for mushroom tacos.

5. 55 Cult-Favorite Products On Amazon That Are Worthy Of Their 5-Star Ratings. Worth a look if you are struggling with gift ideas.

6. My boyfriend Roman helps his mom decorate for Christmas. (video) Seriously, I love him so much.

7. Why Is Losing A Pet Especially Hard For Introverts And Highly Sensitive People? In related news, Why We Need to Take Pet Loss Seriously.

8. Body acceptance leaders you should be following on social media, an older post from Melissa Toler that’s worth revisiting.

9. This artist replaces white men with Black women in classic works of art, and they are gorgeous. (video)

10. Most Plus-Size Women Can’t Afford Goop’s New Collection. Here’s Why.

11. Barack Obama Receives Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award At NYC Gala.

12. ‘Sesame Street’ characters are helping refugee kids cope with trauma thanks to a $100 million investment from the LEGO Foundation. (video)

13. This street was caked in a giant choco-pancake after 2,000 pounds of liquid chocolate overflowed from a factory. (video)

14. A district attorney dropped all charges against the mother whose baby was ripped from her arms by police. (video) In related news, They Grabbed Her Baby and Arrested Her. Now Jazmine Headley Is Speaking Out on The New York Times.

15. Federal Court Rules Cops Can’t Arrest You for Secretly Filming Them.

16. James Alex Fields Jr. Sentenced To Life In Prison For Murder Of Heather Heyer.

17. How to Support Cyntoia Brown. “Sentenced to life in prison at 16 for killing her would-be rapist, Brown is not eligible for parole until she is 67.” In related news, Black Lives Matter Asks Public to Help Demand Clemency for Cyntoia Brown.

18. These 28 Brilliant Books by Black Authors Are the Standouts in What Was a Stellar Year in Black Literature.

19. Lyft is offering $2.50 rides to grocery stores for people living in ‘food deserts’.

20 This week in People Behaving Badly People of color should be allowed to naturally be themselves without backlash – to be clear, the person making this video IS NOT behaving badly, but rather what happened to her was bad behavior (video), and Hoodlums Face Hate Crime Charges For Calling Black Woman A ‘N****r,’ Attacking Her Car At Walmart, and Conservative Christian group launches campaign against “Buddhist meditation” in public schools, and Woman Inj‌ur‌e‌s Subway Passengers During R‌aci‌st Ram‌pag‌e in NYC, and White Florida Students Made Racist Threats Against Their Black Teacher And Now They’re Facing Hate Crime Charges, and 7-Year-Old Migrant Girl Dies Of Dehydration And Shock In U.S. Border Patrol Custody, and The Other Half (in which the author tries to justify her romantic relationship with a white supremacist), and Cops Called On Tennessee Nurse While On The Job Inside A Patient’s Home, and Police just attacked a black woman holding her baby because she sat on the ground after getting tired of waiting in the long line at the social services office to get daycare vouchers (video), and Priest Pulled From Funerals After Repeatedly Citing Teenager’s Suicide in ‘Pastoral Disaster’ on The New York Times.

Something Good

Geese over the Poudre River, image by Eric

1. When a Boyfriend Joins the Marriage on The New York Times. “They agreed she could have sex on the side as long as he didn’t have to know about it. Then she fell in love.” I am so happy about this! The writer is my dear friend Sherry, and when this piece first got accepted for publication she was so excited but then there was some question whether or not it was going to actually happen, for the same reason all writers who write about our own experience often run into – our stories aren’t always just OUR stories, but rather other people are involved. And in this case, as so often also happens, love found a way.

2. Good stuff from Susannah Conway: Unravel Your Year and Find Your Word.

3. Good stuff from Seth Godin: Everyone’s got their thing and Seeing what’s right in front you.

4. People We Meet, a short film written and directed by Keith Powell. He also did a really great web series, Keith Broke His Leg.

5. How to Get Good at Dealing With Massive Change on Zen Habits.

6. An Edwardian English Kitchen. We aren’t going to really have the funding to do a full kitchen remodel or refinish our hardwood floors in the rest of the house, so might just paint the cabinets in the kitchen and do something less to the floors. I love the color of these cabinets and the floors remind me that the hardwoods in the rest of our house don’t need to be redone to look “fancy” but rather rustic is perfectly fine.

7. Adapting – Pilot. “This is the (mostly) true story of an advertising copywriter and his life coach wife who, after dealing with infertility and breast cancer, begin the emotional, difficult and surprisingly ridiculous journey of adopting a baby. It’s a journey that will test their wills, their love, and their ability to make sarcastic comments to each other without being heard by other people.” (video)

8. INFJ: 6 Therapist Tips To Express Your Emotions (When You Don’t Want To Rock The Boat).

9. 10 Leading Thinkers Choose Their Favorite Buddhist Films.

10. How Personal Grief Connects Us to Shared Compassion. “Laura Johnson’s eight-month-old cat died as the California wildfires destroyed nearby homes. She reflects on how her deeply personal loss opened her heart to society’s shared humanity.”

11. Michelle Obama: By the Book on The New York Times. In related news, Michelle Obama’s Take On ‘Lean In’? ‘That &#%! Doesn’t Work.’

12. TRUTH: A Year-Long Exploration of Personal Values The Back Story.

13. Xicanisma shares what it’s like to run their platform. “Xicanisma sat down with us and shared what it’s like to run a platform that fights the patriarchy and other forms of oppression.”

14. 4 year old Lyla decided she wanted to ride the big roller coaster, and immediately regretted it in the most hilarious way possible. (video)

15. Kitty says “Don’t touch my presents!” (video).

16. Adorable toddler with spina bifida warms hearts with video showing him celebrating his first steps. (video)

17. Watch this video to the end. It’s the best. (video)

18. Kate artist can’t walk or raise her arms and she needs a ventilator to breathe, but she’s always had a passion for art. (video).

19. Hannah Gadsby meets Roxane Gay: ‘Trolls get incensed by a woman daring to think she’s funny. I’m very funny.’ In related news, Hannah Gadsby Calls Out Hollywood’s ‘Good Men’ for Their Hot Takes on Misogyny.

20. Victoria Hanna left her Orthodox Jewish community to rap and defy gender norms. (video)

21. 50 Of The Most Incredible Photos Of The National Geographic Photo Contest Of 2018.

22. 30 Hilarious Memes That Will Make Every Introvert Laugh Out Loud.

23. OMG, his little accent though! (video)

24. Rumpus Original Poetry: When I Die, I Hope They Talk About Me by Camille Dungy.

25. Jersey City poet laureate is 24-year-old poetry slam champion.

26. A Black Orthodox Rabbi Explains How He Navigates Both Racism And Anti-Semitism.

27. This Holiday Season, Resist The Unbearable Whiteness Of Wellness. “Without connection, care and community, self-care is simply narcissism. And, without engagement in real, political efforts to change the racial and economic status quo, the ideology of self-care amounts to a radical reinvestment in the individual, in neoliberal capitalism, and in regimes of whiteness that reinforce the mythology of the primacy of the individual. Wellness without a radical, collective politics doesn’t offer resistance to regimes of power, but rather, a way to remain in them.” In related news, Self-Care Won’t Save Us, and Gwyneth Paltrow Takes Credit For Yoga Boom. Twitter Bent Out Of Shape – I’ve been willing to roll my eyes and move on most of the time with her, but this makes me feel stabby.

28. This company in Ghana is building roads out of plastic waste. (video)

29. 26 Children’s Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism & Resistance.

30. Fuck Lena Dunham And The White Feminist Horse She Rode In On. “White women lie. We been knew this. White women lie to protect white men and themselves, and white women lie to bring direct harm to people of color. This kind of harm is the one source of power that white women have, and they exert it as much as possible, from calling the cops on Black children and adults minding their own business, to actively supporting racist and misogynistic policies that sometimes end up hurting them too. Dunham’s support of Miller is not shocking within the context of American history. White women will continue to lie to protect white men and their crimes against women of color.”

31. 23 Insanely Cool Products Selling Like Crazy (Under $50).

32. No More “We Can’t Find Any Black Female Writers”: Here Are 62 Scribes in One Photo.

33. The Last Curious Man. “The enormous life of Anthony Bourdain, according to those who knew him best.”

34. Soothing Watercolor Paintings by Cindy Lane. (video) “Cindy Lane Art is a watercolor painter and illustrator who uses her talents to recreate the beauty of nature. She focuses on the sky and the sea, capturing the intense colors and textures of our swirling galaxy and majestic marine life.”

35. These are the cutest thieves EVER. (video)

36. White Lies, “Ijeoma Oluo On Privilege, Power, And Race.”

37. Tiniest Puppy Loves His Pack Of Pit Bulls. (video)

38. Photographer Captures Extremely Rare White Baby Reindeer While Hiking In Norway.

39. Glennon Doyle Is Trying To Wake Up White Women. Is It Working?

40. In this week’s edition of People Behaving Badly: Homophobic Man Punches Woman After She Receives A Kiss From Another Woman On New York Subway, and California Teacher Cuts Off Student’s Hair While Singing The National Anthem, and Bulldozers to soon plow through National Butterfly Center for Trump’s border wall, and Apparently, the New York Times Really Misses White Supremacy, and White Woman Causes Scene At Target After Minding Two Black Women’s Business, Accusing Them Of Loudly Discussing Sex, and This man was tased and body slammed — and it turns out that he was innocent (video).

Gratitude Friday

1. I have around 22 weeks of work left at CSU. I had a conversation yesterday with someone about taking over a particular project, filled them in on the history of the situation, and something about that made leaving my job at CSU feel real. The closer the end gets, the more and more certain I feel that this was the right thing to do, that the only hope of me staying had passed almost a decade ago.

2. Practice. It is the thing that keeps me going.

When dog therapy and yoga use the same space

Sam, “helping” me meditate

3. Winter food. Don’t get me wrong, I miss my summer garden, but in this cold, dark time of year citrus and things like apple pie and chicken pot pie sustain me.

Apple pie oatmeal. One part oatmeal, one part apple pie, all smushed together

4. Christmas cactus season. Which we actually need to call something else, since they start blooming around Thanksgiving.

5. My three boys. They are my favorite.

There’s a heating vet under our kitchen sink where Ringo likes to hang out when it’s cold

“Can we haz some lunch?”

Bonus joy: good books (finished Children of Blood and Bone and started Heart Berries), good TV (finished Inside Jokes and started season two of Ms. Maisel), good music (the Furns have a new album out), good movies (Eric and I finally saw A Star is Born and even he cried a little at one point), snow, our new mattress holds heat so well we haven’t even had to put the winter blanket on, teaching yoga, aqua aerobics, clean water, heat, electricity, my “new” car, my “new” bathroom, slippers, a soft thick purple bathrobe, being able to ask for what I want, being here for Eric’s birthday (for the past five years, I was away on retreat), getting the laundry done on Friday.