Author Archives: jillsalahub

Three Truths and One Wish

Maybe the last berry of the season

Maybe the last berry of the season

1. Truth: “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down.” Depending on your age and cultural experience, you might not recognize that quote. It’s from a song written by Paul Williams for the Carpenters. As I was sitting here at my desk, wondering where to start this post, I looked out the window at the gray sky, and this line popped into my head. It’s true, seems to capture the discomfort I sometimes feel pretty accurately (the weather and work).

2. Truth: I need to take my power back. And yet, that isn’t entirely the truth because I don’t think I ever held my power to begin with — or rather it was so long ago that my own potential and strength and truth was internal, centered in me, that I can’t even remember it, barely got a chance to experience it before I gave it away. All I know is that it’s a shift that has to happen, even if it means burning it all down and starting over.

3. Truth: Step One is not worrying what anyone else thinks about it. If being myself, wanting what I want, doing what is the right and truest thing makes you uncomfortable or confused, too bad. I just can’t worry about that anymore.

One Wish: May we connect to our core truth and power, and be brave enough to let it lead us. May we have the confidence to show up, with confidence as Susan Piver describes it, “the willingness to be as ridiculous, luminous, intelligent, and kind as you really are, without embarrassment.”

Something Good

From our walk yesterday morning

From our walk yesterday morning

1. I don’t have it all figured out. Actually, I’m dealing with depression.

I don’t know the answer, but I want us all to be happy, healthy, and honest. I want to create a space where we can be real with each other. Knowing I’m not alone has been one of my greatest reliefs. There is nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing wrong with you. Just like we take care of our bodies, we also need to take care of our minds.

2. An artist’s peaceful retreat on SF Girl by Bay. So dreamy. And, apparently I’m on trend, for the first time ever, on trend: jewel tones.

3. Transactions with Beauty. Karen Walrond shared this link on her weekly links round up, this was a good week, saying “I’ve become mesmerized by this beautiful new blog. I suspect you will, too.”

4. On Being interview with Mary Karr — Astonished by the Human Comedy.

5. 7 Qualities of a Conscious, Loving Relationship from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

6. 5 Ways to Disrupt Racism. “This short film from VideoRev offers five practical ways you can help combat racism and be an ally in times when people are under attack.”

7. Six Things Narcissists Say. Blergh.

8. Preview of an episode of NATURE, “My Congo.” Omg, so sweet and heartbreaking all at the same time.

9. Woman Packs Lunch for Son’s Friend. “This woman packed two lunches each morning: one for her son, the second for a child in need.”

10. How a Hashtag Defined a Movement. “The founders of #BlackLivesMatter on how it all began.”

11. Is Your Halloween Costume Racist?

12. Donald Trump, the Worst of America.

13. How I Promise You One of the Most Meaningful Days of Your Life. Such a great project. This is what rehabilitation looks like.

14. The 2016 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I’m late to share this, but who cares when you start — you are reading!

15. When Healthy Isn’t an Option: How I Learned to Love My Chronically Ill Body.

16. These teachers came prepared to talk about challenges they face in their classrooms, but they WEREN’T prepared for what we had planned next…

17. Mary Oliver Issues A Full-Throated Spiritual Autobiography In ‘Upstream.’

18. Charles Shaw Lives In Abandoned High School After Transforming It Into His Family’s Home. So cool.

19. Looking into Laziness by Pema Chödrön on Lion’s Roar.

20. Recipe I want to try: apple and cheddar scones.

21. More Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

Embarking on the spiritual journey is like getting into a very small boat and setting out on the ocean to search for unknown lands. With wholehearted practice comes inspiration, but sooner or later we will also encounter fear. For all we know, when we get to the horizon, we are going to drop off the edge of the world. Like all explorers, we are drawn to discover what’s waiting out there without knowing yet if we have the courage to face it.

22. Feminism Should Come With a Warning Label. “This shit is hard.”

23. A Gentle Reminder That Jesus Was A Brown Middle Eastern Refugee Who Would Not Have Voted For Trump. “Jesus was a lot of things. He was not a conservative.”

24. Who the fuck am I to think that I could write a book?

25. Drunk History Covered The Stonewall Riots More Accurately Than A Whole Movie About It.

26. Aimee Mann – “Can’t You Tell?” A song she wrote from the perspective of Trump. “Isn’t anyone going to stop me?”

27. 10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings.

28. Wisdom from Seth Godin, Beating yourself up. Such good advice.

29. 10 Simple Reasons it’s Time to Let Go from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

30. The United State of Women.

Gratitude Friday


1. Fall color. I think we are heading into the last few weeks of it, with our first real freeze and the garden officially done. I was so ready for summer to be over, but I’m so not ready for the long, dark season just yet.

2. The last of the garden. The last watermelon, the last strawberries, the last of the tomatoes and the basil. Maybe if I plant some bulbs this weekend I’ll feel better? Every year I mean to and then forget, but this seems to be the weekend to do it.


3. Play. Ringo got to meet a new friend last week when she came over for a play date, and after she left, Sam came out and they played some more. After a rough summer, Sam and Ringo now play multiple times a day, and it’s just so good to see it. AND, bonus — we have a play date scheduled this weekend with some of our favorites.

mela postplaydate

4. Hiking season. This is the best time of the year in Colorado to hike, although I don’t always go with, (since the boys go 6-10 miles, and run at least some of it, and I can’t keep up with that, and I’m not gonna lie, I love the long mornings at home alone). I appreciate how happy it makes Eric and the boys, and all the good pictures he takes and lets me steal to use on my blog.

image by Eric

image by Eric

5. Work from home Friday. I am so lucky to have a job where I can do this. I skip yoga and sleep in, wear comfy clothes (sometimes a clean pair of pjs), maybe take a nap with the dogs, get the laundry done, and don’t have to drive anywhere if I don’t want to, don’t even have to leave the house.

Bonus joy: Wild Writing, clean sheets, San Pellegrino Soda, tomato gratin with rice, a good therapist, massage, good books, my Kindle, soaking in the tub, how Sam sneaks in bed with us in the early morning, how much Ringo loves sleeping in his crate, how much both dogs love lounging in the backyard in the sun, when something makes Eric laugh really hard (we are rewatching The IT Crowd, so it’s happening a lot lately), teaching yoga, a new yoga mat, walking the dogs under a full moon, sleeping in, going to bed early, TWO people I adore stopping by my work office just to share a hug, feeling good about a piece I wrote for work even though I’m not sure anyone else even read it.

Something Good


1. #Redrawthebalance. “When a real-life firefighter, surgeon, and fighter pilot drop in on a classroom, these kids have their assumptions turned around.”

2. “This isn’t about politics, it’s about basic human decency.” “Michelle Obama took to the campaign trail to call out the Republican nominee for President of the United States on his disgusting behavior.” Such a great speech from an amazing woman. In related news, Physically Attacked by Donald Trump – a PEOPLE Writer’s Own Harrowing Story, which reminds me of what Maya Angelou said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” In other related news, Grab Her — “We are done.” And, It’s Not Okay, and The Thing All Women Do That You Don’t Know About, and 6 Steps To Calming Yourself From Incessant Attacks Until The Election.

3. Penguin Bloom: how a scruffy magpie saved a family. I follow this Instagram account but didn’t know the whole story. Postscript: they recently rescued two more babies who fell 100 feet out of their nest.

4. Black Women Physicians Are Coming Together to Defy Stereotypes with #WhatADoctorLooksLike. In related news, Discrimination 30,000 Feet Above and Plane Crew Nearly Lets Passenger Die Because They Couldn’t Believe A Black Woman Was A Doctor.

5. The Italian cycling champion who used his hero status to save Jews during WW2.

6. Famed Ringling circus elephants arrive in Florida for retirement. Yay!

7. Students expelled after Facebook group calls for ‘execution’ of Jews, black people. This happened in Boulder, Colorado, “an ultra-liberal city known for its ‘hippy culture’ and tolerance.”

8. I’ve Experienced Fat Shaming And Thin Shaming And I Can Tell You Which Is Worse.

9. Excuse me. Having a puppy meltdown. From Meghan Tonjes. Welcome to my life: Every. Damn. Day.

10. Recipes I want to try: spinach and chickpeas and Slow Cooker Hasselback Apple Pork Loin.

11. Meet Emilia and her otter half, Olivia. “The 5-month-old otters are receiving treatment from our Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital veterinarians.” So cute!

12. You need to read what this woman has to say. It will better your life. from Yes Yes Marsha.

13. This portable robot can print your documents at any time. Cool.

14. This farm grows 50,000 lbs of fruits and vegetables – on top of a building.

15. This 10-year-old boy donated his hair to create wigs for young cancer patients.

16. Do What You Love For A Living Before You DIE!! from KevOn Stage.

17. this cup is already broken. A beautiful meditation on death, or rather: life.

18. Unhappy At Work: Why Midlife Makes Us Cranky. Seriously, y’all — I’m having a mid-life crisis.

19. You can rest.

20. Why I’m Voting for Trump, an interesting collection of the various whys.

21. The well of goodwill, great advice from Jamie Greenwood.

22. A Method for Dealing with Feeling Stressed & Overwhelmed from Zen Habits.

23. Amy Goodman Is Facing Prison for Reporting on the Dakota Access Pipeline. That Should Scare Us All. What the fuckity fuck?!

24. Rescue dogs see their new four acre enclosure for the first time.

25. #wearemanystoriesproject with Sas Petherick. She posted to Instagram, starting this hastag with a post that made me say a “hell yes,”

Do you ever get readers block? I read A LOT of fiction and self-help (blergh, I know) and 99% of the authors are white. Most are women, most are just like me. And it just feels samey and dull as shit. I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and I’m embarking on a mission to read 100 books by humans not like me. I’m starting with Julia Ostuka’s The Buddha in the Attic – it’s about Japanese brides who immigrated to the US in the 1920s. It’s a prose poem and it’s made me cry twice. Unlike anything I’ve ever read before. This is going to be fun!

26. Cool art: Watercolor Cherry Blossom Animals and Floral Anatomy Embroideries.

Day of Rest


When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks, and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.
Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”

The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,”
they say, “and you, too, have come
into the world to do this, to go easy,
to be filled with light, and to shine.”

~ Mary Oliver



I love vintage pillowcases. I’m afraid to buy them at a thrift store now because of the recent bed bug scares, (probably not even a real thing I should worry about, but it’s made me cautious anyway). I have a few sets I’ve had for at least a decade. I love the patterns, the colors, the nostalgia, but the best thing is how soft they are, a soft that’s only possible after years and years and years of washing and sleep.

Eight years ago when the vet called to tell me Obi had lymphoma, that the lump wasn’t just cancer but a kind that was incurable, I was home alone with the dogs, waiting for Eric to get home from a work meeting. I ignored his phone call when he was done telling me he was on his way home because I didn’t want to share that information with him over the phone and then have him driving an hour on the highway in rush hour traffic, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to lie, hide it from him if I answered. I needed him to be focused, safe. I needed him to make it home to me in one piece so that I could tell him and then fall apart.

While I was waiting, I took out my sewing kit and started some mending. The hem of one of my vintage pillowcases had started to come unstitched. My hands and my mind needed something to do, something else to focus on. I needed a distraction so I wouldn’t spend more time on the internet, reading anymore about this thing that I couldn’t fix.

The trauma of that hasn’t really left me, along with many other traumas large and small. They still live in my body. Sometimes they are silent, heavy and stuck like dead things. Other times they are triggered and rise up, ripping through me like something sharp and hot, not just alive but murderous.

In an effort to release them, I’m starting EMDR work with my therapist. She told me at the start of our last session that she’s moving out of state by the end of the year, and gave me the option to wait and start with someone else, but I feel like there’s no reason to put this off any longer. She warned me that it can bring up a lot of stuff, be unsettling, but I told her that I feel like I’m in a place where something is going to break anyway, come unhinged, regardless of how or who starts it, and it might as well be under supervision, with support, and now.

Step one of the process is getting a general sense of the various traumas we’ll be working with. We started with my history of sexual trauma. We talked for our whole hour. She filled up an entire sheet of paper with her notes, front and back, and I wasn’t even done. No wonder what Trump said all those years ago and continues to say and justify has me so upset.

This morning as I was putting clean sheets on the bed, I noticed that the pillowcase I mended that day eight years ago has come unstitched again. Something about that seems right, perfectly timed.