Monthly Archives: July 2019

Something Good

Kind and gentle reader: In a few days, I’m flying to Oregon to visit family for a few days. Since I won’t be online much and flying home on Monday, there won’t be a Something Good list next week. Don’t forgot, there are 390 of them at this point, so you could always look back through the archives and see if there’s anything you missed, make/do something good of your own, make your own list to share, or take the week off (that’s my favorite option).

1. A Call to Serve | EP7: The Sacred and Liberatory Power of Rest with Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry. “Tune in to hear Tricia, the Nap Bishop herself, share with Andréa about the Nap Ministry and the journey that brought her to it. If you’ve never come across this work, prepare yourself for some blessings.”

2. 6 Ideas For Introverts To Slow Down And Enjoy Life More.

3. How To Cultivate Meaning In Your Work And Life As An INFJ.

4. Hannah Gadsby: There is life after trauma.

5. Take me back to the south of France on SF Girl. All the beds! This place looks like nap heaven.

6. Good stuff from Zen Habits: The Ridiculously Awesome Practice of Surrendering and The Most Neglected & Powerful Act of Self-Care.

7. Weekend Read: Racism is Killing Black Americans from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

8. These are AOC’s greatest hits. (video) “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez quickly became one of the most exciting and divisive names in politics, offering a progressive alternative to Trump’s America.”

9. Do Good Recklessly. It’s my new mantra.

10. This father in ICE detention lost his 13-year-old daughter to suicide. (video)

11. Listen: Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, Natalie Hemby Are The Highwomen.

12. Chants of “welcome home” broke out as Rep. Ilhan Omar returned to Minnesota. (video)

13. Democrats Issue Warnings Against Viral Russia-Based Face-Morphing App. In related news, Viral App FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People’s Faces And Names.

14. Rape Case Judge Resigns Over ‘Good Family’ Remark; State Orders Training on The New York Times.

15. Effort to force Trump impeachment vote fails in House of Representatives.

16. WHO Declares Ebola Outbreak In Congo An International Health Emergency.

17. With ‘Molly of Denali,’ PBS Raises Its Bar for Inclusion on The New York Times. “Dozens of Alaska Native writers and advisers were recruited to help create the children’s series, one of the first to have a Native American lead.”

18. 7 Rules to Live By with Billy Porter. (video)

19. A blindfolded reveal so great, dad jumps for joy. (video) My favorite thing is that at first, Dad was just as excited about his kid getting a new truck.

20. ICE attempted to bring a Tennessee man into custody. His neighbors formed a human chain. We can help each other. We can resist.

21. Plus-Size Adventurers You Should Follow. “Diversify your Instagram feed with plus-size ultrarunners, kayakers, and other bold outdoorspeople who want you to love getting out there too.”

22. Dietitians Unplugged Podcast: Episode 62 – A Buddhist Framework for Eating Recovery with Jenna Hollenstein.

23. A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD – Official Trailer (HD) with Tom Hanks. (video) Is it just me or does Tom Hank’s Mr. Rogers seem like he could be Forrest Gump’s older brother?

24. This week in People Behaving Badly: Children Face Foster Care Over School Meal Debt, District Warns on The New York Times, and 16,000 Readers Shared Their Experiences of Being Told to ‘Go Back.’ Here Are Some of Their Stories. on The New York Times, and Trump Seizes On Soggy Paper Straws As Campaign Issue: ‘Make Straws Great Again’, and Judge orders Jeffrey Epstein to remain in jail, says he’s ‘concerned for new victims’, and Video Captures Intense Moments 2 ICE Agents Take Echo Park Mom Into Custody.

Gratitude Friday

1. 50% off all perennials at Fort Collins Nursery. We got there right when they opened and I got almost everything I wanted. I even went back a few hours later because I wanted more daisies. It’s supposed to be 100 degrees out today, so they are sitting next to the house in the shade, still in their pots. The next three days are supposed to rain and be in the low 80s, so tomorrow the real work begins.

2. Little by little, I’m making a dent in my summer to-do list. Just little things, every once in a while. The even better news is I decided to bump a lot of it to the fall, give myself a few more months of not having to do ALL THE THINGS. Some family stuff is going on behind the scenes that is stressing me out, so I’m giving myself more space, more grace, and a slower pace.

3. Eric gave the dogs a bath today. I was later that expected coming home from the grocery store because I stopped for more plants, so he used the extra time and took advantage of the warm day to give me clean dogs.

4. Good food. Pan fried burritos and sweet potato tamales with homemade pinto beans, fresh peaches and cherries, our first cucumber from the garden.

5. My tiny family. I’ll be in Oregon for a few days next week and I’m already missing them.

Bonus joy: good movies and music (watched a documentary about The Avett Brothers yesterday that was really good), seeing Toy Story 4 with Eric at the fancy theater, clean sheets, a cold shower on a hot day, aqua aerobics, sitting in the sauna, teaching yoga, San Pelligrino orange sparkling water, napping.

Three Truths and One Wish

A friend messaged me yesterday to tell me she was quitting her job. She knew I would sympathize with her decision, and I do. I messaged her back and shared some of the things I’d learned so far, and realized I wanted to share them with you too.

1. Truth: I was more burnt out than I expected. I’ve shared this here already, but it’s a big one and worth sharing again. For the past four or five years, I’ve pushed myself so hard. My work at CSU kept getting more and more overwhelming, and it took a lot of energy to push back against that, to try and keep healthy boundaries. I also wanted more for myself, knew I had more to offer, and I tried to do that “on the side.” I got certified as a 500 hour yoga teacher and a meditation instructor, took lots of classes, did a lot of writing and some teaching. I raised a really difficult puppy into a slightly less difficult dog, and worked with the other to heal an injury while also managing my own chronic pain. Etc. There wasn’t the option to slow down or stop, so I just kept going until I collapsed. I’d take just enough time to recover and then I was right back at it. This summer, when I left my job for good and allowed myself to stop, I realized I was in full on burnout and it was going to take some time before I had the energy to start anything new. Every day has been focused on moving in ways that feel good and getting a lot of rest, along with letting myself feel what I feel about where I find myself right now.

2. Truth: Quitting CSU was like a breakup, but with a “thing” rather than a person. And let me tell you, that’s weird. When I feel angry about some of the things that happened in that relationship, or even when I miss it, there’s no real object to attach that to, no specific place or single person to direct it toward. It can feel really confusing.

3. Truth: There was no immediate sense of relief or freedom from quitting, being done. Maybe in part it’s because I have thought about it and planned for it for such a long time. Maybe it’s because anything you’ve imagined for so long can’t possibly live up to the fantasy. Maybe it’s because when you’ve waited for something for so long when it finally happens it doesn’t feel real. Maybe it’s a simple as I’ve had summers off for the past nine years, so it won’t be until school starts again in the fall but this time I don’t go back that it finally and fully sinks in.

One wish: That when we find ourselves burnt out, we allow ourselves the time and care it takes to heal, to restore and renew. That we honor what we need and pace ourselves, having patience with the process and being gentle with ourselves.

Something Good

Image by Eric

1. Good stuff from Austin Kleon’s weekly newsletter: History: Ellis Haizlip and Soul! and Watch Season 1 of Soul! streaming online.

2. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: How Meditation Works (In My Life, Anyway), and Commentary: Admiring & Admonishing the Dalai Lama, and How to Practice Shamatha Meditation.

3. Are You Ready To Consider That Capitalism Is The Real Problem? “Before you say no, take a moment to really ask yourself whether it’s the system that’s best suited to build our future society.”

4. 550,000 Acres on Fire in Alaska in Latest Sign of the Climate Crisis.

5. The body positivity movement is not for slim bodies already accepted by society.

6. Oregon tackles the veterinary suicide crisis, starting with the stigma.

7. Pose star Billy Porter: Wearing a dress is a ‘political act’.

8. Why we should abolish ICE — and the DEA too. “The failed drug war and Trump’s war on immigrants share many features. To change course, we need to change institutions.”

9. Wisdom from Hillary McBride, “Therapy is not about becoming, it’s about unbecoming all the things that you thought you had to be to be loved.”

10. ‘It’s our responsibility to make this world a better place’ — Listen to Megan Rapinoe’s powerful speech from the USWNT victory parade. (video) In related news, VIDEO! Rachel Maddow Casually Asks Megan Rapinoe to Run for President, and ‘Pay them girls what they worth.’ — Snoop Dogg is joining the chorus of calls for equal pay in U.S. soccer (video). Snoop Dog says so. That’s all I need.

11. Wombat has the zoomies. (video) I think my Ringo Blue might be part Wombat.

12. These 21 Things Stress Out Highly Sensitive People the Most.

13. Gorillas make up “little food songs” while they eat: Listen to them here.

14. This week in People Behaving Badly: ‘They Are Free To Leave’: Trump Accuses Congresswomen Of Hating America, and Trump Tells Congresswomen to ‘Go Back’ to the Countries They Came From on The New York Times, and The Ten Stages of Genocide (red alert: we seem to be on stage 7), and Trump says he’s not concerned about being racist because “many people agree” with him, and Trump Says Racist Nonsense Because He Means It and Because He Knows He Can Win on It, and Killing of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, African American Museum Founder, Stuns Baton Rouge on The New York Times, and Neo-Nazi James Fields Gets 2nd Life Sentence For Charlottesville Attack, and Watch: White Security Guard Pulls Gun on Black Cop in Full Uniform Because the Black Cop Had a Gun, and ICE agents were caught on film asking passengers at a bus station if they’re U.S. citizens (video), and Thousands In Danger As ICE Raids Scheduled To Begin On Sunday, and Watch this emotional exchange between AOC and a mother who lost her daughter in ICE custody (video), and U.S. Appeals Court Rules Trump Violated First Amendment By Blocking Twitter Followers, and ICE Is Dangerously Inaccurate on The New York Times, and This cop was arrested after a year-long investigation revealed he repeatedly planted drugs during traffic stops — he now faces felony charges (video), and ‘Shaken To My Core’: Testimony Describes Conditions For Detained Migrants, and AOC says she witnessed a ‘manufactured crisis’ at border detention camps (video), and U.S. Prosecutors File New Charges, Including Child Pornography, Against R. Kelly on The New York Times, and High schoolers who wore masks during homophobic graffiti spree identified by auto-connect wi-fi, and Colorado man shot to death in dispute with armed couple angry about fireworks, and Trump’s Fourth of July event and weekend protests bankrupted D.C. security fund, mayor says, and An Arizona Teenager Was Fatally Stabbed. The Suspect Blames Rap Music. on The New York Times, and ICE Just Quietly Opened Three New Detention Centers, Flouting Congress’ Limits, and Florida principal defended meager Holocaust curriculum because ‘not everyone believes the Holocaust happened’ (The Holocaust IS NOT an opinion or a belief, it’s a FACT), and 83 Environmental Rules Being Rolled Back Under Trump on The New York Times, and Judge Gets Threats After Saying Teenager in Rape Case Was From ‘Good Family’ on The New York Times.

Gratitude Friday

1. Weirdly, I didn’t take many pictures this week. The one above is something Eric posted a few weeks ago from one of his morning walks with the dogs. I’m choosing to spin this lack of pictures as “I was so into living my life, I forgot to document it, and that’s a good thing.”

2. Good friends. I got to hang out with my three best ones today. I wrote with Mikalina and Chloe’ this morning, then had lunch with Carrie. These are all people I know I could call if I were in trouble and they’d be right there, and I feel so very lucky for that.

3. Long afternoon naps. Yesterday Eric thought I was back in my office working on something, only to find me at the end of a nap. It was almost time for dinner, and he said, “kind of late for a nap isn’t it?” Yeah, right — like that’s even a thing.

4. They offered someone my old job and they accepted. There’s no going back now!

5. My tiny family. Being home more reminds me how sweet Sam is — I love how he wants to be wherever I am. It also reminds Ringo that even though he is the most in love with his dad, I’m pretty good too. I just feel lucky that as much as Ringo loves his dad, his dad loves me.

Bonus joy: Good books (I’m really enjoying Comedy Sex God by Pete Holmes), good podcasts, good TV, good movies, good music, teaching yoga, aqua aerobics, the fitness class I’m taking with Eric, Pilates, Orange San Pelligrino sparkling water, peach tart and pizza that Eric made on the grill on a day it was too hot to turn on the oven, a/c, going to bed early to read myself to sleep, going to the movies and eating popcorn with Eric, morning walks.

Something Good

1. Why Megan Rapinoe’s brother, Brian, is her greatest heartbreak, and hope.

2. Best Practices for Bodhisattvas on Lion’s Roar. “Traditional Buddhist vows can seem pretty hardcore, but they’re really just maps for a good human life. Zen teacher Josh Bartok translates them into values we can all relate to.”

3. Why INFJs Should Start A Blog. Guess I made the right choice all those years ago. 🙂 In related news, 6 Reasons Why Introverts Make The Best Writers.

4. You Don’t Need to Clear the Decks to Focus on Important Work on Zen Habits.

5. People Celebrate Halle Bailey’s Role In Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ With Gorgeous Fan Art. In related news, Fans Overflow The Internet With Fan Art After Disney Announces The New Ariel.

6. Jack Kornfield – Heart Wisdom – Ep. 95 – Poetry in Dharma with Alison Luterman.

7. The 50 Best Memoirs of the Past 50 Years. “The New York Times’s book critics select the most outstanding memoirs published since 1969.”

8. DHS Inspector General Finds ‘Dangerous Overcrowding’ In Border Patrol Facilities. In related news, Hungry, Scared and Sick: Inside the Migrant Detention Center in Clint, Tex. on the New York Times, and Migrant Caregivers Separated From Children At Border, Sent Back to Mexico, and Border Patrol leadership reportedly knew about derogatory Facebook group for years, and Joaquin Castro smuggled a camera into Border Patrol station — the detainees wanted pictures to be shared, and Ocasio-Cortez details ‘horrifying’ conditions at migrant detention facility.

9. ‘The greatest threat to mankind is the cowardice of the Democratic Party’: Ocasio-Cortez spokesperson.

10. Middle school teacher secretly ran white supremacist podcast. (video)

11. What if instead of well-kept grass, we used our time and resources to fill our lawns with fruits and vegetables? (video) In related news, After 6-Year Battle, Florida Couple Wins The Right To Plant Veggies In Front Yard.

12. George Takei to publish graphic novel on his childhood in US internment camp.

13. 7 Subtle Signs Your Trauma Response is to ‘Fawn.’

14. How to Deconstruct Racism, One Headline at a Time, a TED Talk. “Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of … eating, walking or generally ‘living while black.’ In this profound, thought-provoking and often hilarious talk, he reveals the power of language to change stories of trauma into stories of healing — while challenging us all to level up.”

15. Good Influences: Ragen Chastain, Founder of Fit Fatties.

16. The Trump campaign wants you to believe these stock footage models are MAGA supporters. (video)

17. Restoring Forests Could Help Put a Brake on Global Warming, Study Finds on the New York Times. In related news, Tree planting ‘has mind-blowing potential’ to tackle climate crisis.

18. Donald Trump’s “Inoffensive” War on Reality.

19. Helping Kelly Heal on GoFundMe.

20. She was told she would never be a serious dancer. Her answer? A spot in Katy Perry’s music video. (video)

21. Book Cover of the Award-Winning Book The Poet X Plagiarized.

22. Today, I Joined the Resistance by Theodora Goss.

23. Trump’s controversial “Salute to America” July Fourth event, explained.

24. Manslaughter Charge Dropped Against Alabama Woman Who Was Shot While Pregnant on the New York Times.

25. An interview with Jenna Hollenstein about Intuitive Eating. (video)

26. The Link Between Verbal Abuse and Anxiety That No One Talks about.

27. Disabled And Here Free Stock Photos. In related news, Representation Matters, “The best high-resolution, royalty-free stock image collection focusing on inclusion and diversity.”

28. Angry Cockatoo Tears Down Anti-Bird Spikes And Throws Them To The Ground. This is what resistance looks like.

Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

1. Forgetting what day of the week it is. I talked to my mom yesterday and she mentioned she’d looked for my Friday post and hadn’t seen it. I told her I’d forgotten it was Friday, thinking I’d do the post later in the day. Then I took a nap and when I got up, I went to see The Last Black Man in San Francisco with a friend, came home and went to bed — totally forgetting to write this post!

2. Morning walks. When Eric was gone, I did ALL the walking, and was pretty happy I could do it and still feel good. Out of all the things I do to move, walking dogs is my favorite but it also unfortunately makes my knees hurt. Even so, I’m never giving it up.

3. Being “on vacation”…permanently. This is just my life now, and I couldn’t be happier. Eventually I’ll be more rested and have more to offer, but for now, I’m okay with just this.

4. Eric is back. While he was gone, I was so happy to be able to text and video chat with him. He came home a day late after a flight cancellation, but he brought me tarts!

Some of the selfies we sent each other while he was gone:

5. My tiny family. I’m glad to have them all back together again.

Bonus joy: the big hailstorm last night missing our house (although I’m sad for all the people it hit and hurt), good TV (watched Gentleman Jack and Chernobyl on HBO), good movies (saw Yesterday with Eric, at the end of which most of the audience clapped), the Lyric Cinema and Cafe, long naps for no reason other than I want to, aqua aerobics, Pilates, sitting in the sauna with Eric, teaching yoga, finally getting my insurance claim for the MRI I got processed and approved, the cool and quiet after a storm, hanging out with Mikalina, meditation and morning pages before I check my phone, good books (Bearing the Body by my teacher Ehud Havazelet, who sadly passed away a few years ago, and Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad by Austin Kleon), a massage.