Author Archives: jillsalahub

Something Good


1. Mabel Magazine No. 5 – Living in the Now, “writing and art and musings from this time we’re all living in, this time outside of anything we’ve ever known before—and the stories and artwork that speak to this are, well, quite extraordinarily true and real. We’re taking pre-orders through 11/30, pre-ordering will get you a copy of Mabel plus a few lovely surprises.” This issue is LOADED with so much good stuff. Added bonus: I have a piece in it.

2. ‘Slow Down,’ ‘Don’t Quit’: Advice From 7 Women Who Overcame Their Pandemic Struggles.

3. Steampunk Busts Sculpted from Resin and Repurposed Objects Evoke Futuristic Relics.

4. ‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Sends Chess Set Sales Soaring on The New York Times. “The Netflix show about a chess prodigy has reignited interest in the game and fueled demand for sets, accessories and timers.”

5. Artist Helps Soothe Anxious Minds With Adorably Supportive Cat Comics.

6. New (to me) music: Gracie and Rachel – Sidelines (Official Video). I listened to their whole new album, Hello Weakness, You Make Me Strong, this morning and LOVED it.

7. Here’s how the U.S. government plans to distribute the first Covid-19 vaccines on The New York Times. In related news, Immunity to the Coronavirus May Last Years, New Data Hint on The New York Times, and The Vaccines Will Probably Work. Making Them Fast Will Be the Hard Part on The New York Times, and Rachel Maddow urges people to “recalibrate” their lives after revealing her partner’s COVID-19 diagnosis.

8. Is This Where We Are, America? by Roxane Gay on The New York Times. “Some people oppose student loan forgiveness because they want others to suffer, too.”

9. 15 Signs Your Partner Is Gaslighting You, According to a Relationship Expert. “Gaslighting is a form of manipulation meant to leave you feeling insecure and questioning your sanity. Here’s how to spot it.” Pro Tip: watching the outgoing administration for the past four years has been a masterclass on gaslighting.

10. Ten Thousand Books, a nonprofit organization. “We value diversity in our schools and in our community. Ten Thousand Books aims to add diverse experiences and voices to school classrooms in Minnesota and beyond. Books are powerful tools we can use to teach lessons of empathy and identity. We want students to read about as many different types of people with as many unique voices as possible. As well, we want ALL students to see themselves represented in books in their schools.”

11. Blinking hell: how to keep tired eyes healthy during a pandemic.

12. It’s Not “Just” Anxiety. When you live with an anxiety disorder — it’s not “just” anxiety.

13. The Best of Brevity: A Roundtable Discussion on Flash Nonfiction. “In celebration of this release, I brought together three of my fellow Best of Brevity essayists…for a conversation. We talked about the glories and limits of the flash form, and about our experiences working with editors who don’t share our backgrounds.”

14. Joy Harjo will serve a rare third term as U.S. poet laureate.

15. Be the Priority of Your Own Life (starting now) from Courtney Carver on Be More With Less.

16. Calm in the Midst of Chaos on Lion’s Roar. “Sharon Salzberg on the power of equanimity.”

17. The Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture. I’ve shared this before, but it’s worth a revisit.

18. Wisdom from George Saunders: “So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it: What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.”

19. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön: “Whatever you are doing, take the attitude of wanting it directly or indirectly to benefit others. Take the attitude of wanting it to increase your experience of kinship with your fellow beings.”

20. Meditation: Be Kind to Yourself on Lion’s Roar. “A three-step contemplation to give yourself the compassion you need (and deserve).”

21. The comedy of survival from Austin Kleon.

22. A year-long observation reveals the secret life of a tree and its animal visitors.

Gratitude Friday

More specifically, this week’s list is “things keeping me from giving up during a global pandemic.”

1. Morning walks. It seems like the morning light is lingering longer than in year’s past, and even though I’m not leaving later than usual, we still get to see the sunrise and I can turn off my headlamp before we get home. On a walk early in the week, I thought I saw a bald eagle but it was far enough away I thought it could also be an osprey. Then later in the week, a large bird took flight over my head and I assumed at first it was a heron but quickly realized it was a bald eagle, which means the one earlier in the week probably was too.

2. Ringo and I are a year older. I’m so glad that we are both still here, healthy and together. He’s the only dog we’ve had that we knew his real, actual birthday, and it’s the day after mine so very easy to remember. Even though a pandemic birthday is unusual, a little weird, not celebrated in the same way I usually might, I got so much love. I’m so grateful.

3. Comfort food and flowers in the bathroom and gummy supplements. Eric made me a pineapple upside down cake, nostalgic and yummy. He also brought home flowers for the bathroom and they smell so good. I also appreciate that all the supplements I take come in gummy form, as I hate taking pills.

4. Practice. Meditation, yoga, writing, and dog.

5. Good content. I watched the final season of Schitt’s Creek and the farewell special. I was late to the party, didn’t start watching until season four but quickly caught up, fell in love, cried and laughed. I’ve always loved Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy’s movies but wasn’t sure how that’d play in a TV series. It was smart, funny, weird, and so so sweet. Just what this moment needed. Also, if you are feeling lonely, pick a podcast and become a regular listener. After a bit, it’s weirdly like hanging out with your friends.

6. My tiny family. Eric is working from home full-time again. COVID-19 numbers are rising in Colorado, as they are everywhere, and they closed his physical campus again. He has next week off for Thanksgiving break and hopefully he’ll get to relax and rest — he’s been working so hard, (his skill set includes online education and active learning so he’s in high demand). Ringo has his own “work day” routine that has been entertaining both Eric and I: after a walk, he makes a bed out of pillows on the “big couch,” then moves to Sam’s couch where there’s a patch of sun most days, and then lands in his chair. At close to 10 am, he goes outside for his “morning break” — seriously, he’s on such a fixed schedule about it, it’s like he is wearing a watch. He spends the rest of the morning moving inside and out, barking at stuff, keeping an eye on his territory.

Bonus joy: Eric got me a bird feeder and I’m so excited to put it up (I don’t worry about becoming a “crazy” cat lady, but I do suspect I’ll be wearing pajamas covered in dog fur filling my collection of bird feeders and baths), sitting in the sauna with Eric, getting in the pool, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, Wild Writing, birthday love, texting with my mom and brother, eye drops, pizza, clementines, sharing a Clif bar with Ringo, my HappyLight, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.