Something Good

Image by Eric, a view of Fort Collins from the foothills

1. December Reflections hosted by Susannah Conway, “A gentle and creative way to reflect back on 2022.”

2. An antidote from Seth Godin.

3. Decolonizing Thanksgiving“In 2016, Bioneers made a commitment to decolonize Thanksgiving, by recognizing and sharing the truth of what this holiday means for Native Americans and all Americans. On this page, you can find resources to learn more about what it means to decolonize Thanksgiving, from articles to videos, and curriculum.” In related news, Native foods educator Valerie Segrest on marking Thanksgiving with respect, and Immerse Yourself in the Work of Indigenous Writers With This Anti-Colonial Reading List, and IllumiNative (“Our mission is to build power for Native peoples by amplifying contemporary Native voices, stories, and issues to advance justice, equity, and self-determination”), and Thanksgiving is a Tradition. It’s Also a Lie, and Truthsgiving: The True History of Thanksgiving.

4. Somatics + Embodiment (wtf are they and why do we even care?)(video) From Jes Baker.

5. David Bowie on Creativity and His Advice to Artists“It’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations.”

6. Craft Talk: The Paint Job from Jami Attenberg. I love how Jami’s posts about writing are almost always also applicable to life in general.

7. Creative Living with Jamie Episode 290: Sam Tucker(video)

8. Storytelling and the Art of Tenderness: Olga Tokarczuk’s Magnificent Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech“Tenderness is the most modest form of love. It is the kind of love that does not appear in the scriptures or the gospels, no one swears by it, no one cites it… It appears wherever we take a close and careful look at another being, at something that is not our ‘self.’”

9. Wisdom from Octavia Butler, (by way of Jena Schwartz’s Dispatches from Daily Life): “First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”

10. This Week, Billionaires Made a Strong Case for Abolishing Themselves on The New York Times. “[B]illionaires are not our saviors. They are our mistake.”

11. New Guidelines for Weight Loss Surgery? from Ragen Chastain.

12. Gratitude from Robert Jones, Jr.. “In the midst of despair, I seek out, with intention, the reasons to be grateful.”

13. Supporting Young Farmers of Color Can Help the U.S. Meet Its Climate Goals.

14. The Walking Ghost Phase Of Twitter, And Where The Hell Do We Go From Here from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

15. Holiday Anxiety? 5 Ways To Stress Less And Enjoy The Holidays.

16. We Got Gay Married!! Here Are The Photos!! from Mary Lambert.

17. Some of the Books, Podcasts, and TV Shows I loved in 2022I always find something new in these sorts of lists, something worthy I would have never known about otherwise. In related news, Announcing The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of 2022, and NPR Books We Love 2022, and 100 Notable Books of 2022 on The New York Times. 

18. I Followed a 1920s Cleaning Routine for a Week — And It Was Nearly ImpossibleIn related news: I despise dusting. I know it needs to be done, but it’s just so…dumb.

19. 15 Ways To Deal With A Toxic Family During The HolidaysI’d add, “or any time at all.”

20. How to Comfort a Friend Or Co-worker Going Through a Hard Time.

21. What Are The 7 Types Of Rest? (Plus, The Best One For You).

22. The Simple Little Secret That Will Help You Live a Healthy Life from Courtney Carver on Be More With Less.

23. Machine Embroidered Landscapes by Rachel Wright textile artist / EnglandStunning!

24. Army Veteran Went Into ‘Combat Mode’ to Disarm the Club Q Gunman on The New York Times. “Richard M. Fierro, who served for 15 years in the military, was at the nightclub in Colorado Springs with his family when the gunman opened fire. ‘I just knew I had to take him down,’ he said.” In related news, Those we lost in the Club Q shooting and How to help Colorado’s queer community right now.

25. Synonyms for Belonging from Jena Schwartz.

26. Recipes I want to try: Sheet Pan Thanksgiving, and sour cream and chive fantails, and Wonton Soup, and drop cornbread biscuits, and Lemon Oatmeal Sugar Cookies.

27. In the strawberry fields of Spain, migrants from Africa work in hope of a better life.

28. Why Brussels Sprouts Taste Better Than They Did When You Were A Kid“Your tastebuds don’t deceive you: Brussels sprouts actually taste better than they used to.”

29. 12 Tiny Stories of Gratitude on The New York Times.

30. How to handle an overload of grief“When losses stack up, how are you supposed to manage?”

31. Kindness 101: A lesson in gratitude(video) “As part of our ongoing series, Kindness 101, CBS News correspondent Steve Hartman and his kids are sharing stories built around themes of kindness, character and the people who’ve mastered both. His latest lesson is gratitude.”

32. How did I not know about Wolfenoot?! “A celebration of canines and kindness” and “It is when the Spirit of the Wolf brings and hides small gifts around the house for everyone. People who have, have had, or are kind to dogs get better gifts than anyone else. You eat roast meat (because wolves eat meat) and cake decorated like a full moon.”

33. Zoo camera captures incredible moment mama chimp is reunited with her two-day-old baby“When Kucheza raised his little hand and Mahale realized he was there, everyone felt her joy.”

34. Isobelle Ouzman, Altered Book SculpturesSo gorgeous.

 

Gratitude

1. Flowers. Especially this time of year when my garden is hibernating. One of my not so secret dreams is to turn our garden, front and back, into a tiny flower farm. Places like Floret Flower Farm are so dreamy — fields of flowers covered in bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds. 

2. Good food. The nice thing about cooking a special seasonal meal for just the two of us is we have food for the next three days, don’t have to worry about cooking and get to eat some of our favorite things, like apple pie and stuffing. I made bran muffins with dried raspberries this morning, which are one of Ringo’s favorites. 

3. Four day weekend. In particular, one like this where not only does Eric get to be home from work, but those last four days of his break, there’s NOTHING on our schedule, nothing extra that has to be done.

4. Good content. Books, magazines, TV, films, podcasts, music, comedy, and art. And I’m also grateful for all the makers.

5. Morning walk. It looks so different out there now, full winter.

6. My tiny family, tiny home, tiny life. I am so lucky, so grateful.

Bonus joy: lots of naps, drinking green tea in the morning in the dark while sitting in my practice room, my aunt’s quilts (a long time ago, on a completely different website, I did a tour of my house and all the quilts of hers I have — I need to do that again), watching true crime with Eric, being retired, writing in the morning with a cup of coffee, a warm shower, grapefruit bubbly water, raspberries, apple pie oatmeal (one part oatmeal, one part apple pie), poetry, blankets (in this regard, I may have a problem, kind of like I have with books — there can never be enough!), birds in the feeder, dreaming about Sam, all the things Ringo does that drive me crazy but also mean he’s happy and healthy, walking with Eric and Ringo at City Park, hanging out and making art with Mikalina, texting with my brother, neighbors putting up their Christmas lights and decorations, the hydromassage chair, the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric and Janice, making art with Janice, training with Shelby and the gang (which one day this week included Eric), realizing I’m getting physically stronger, dog rescue, snow tires, a washer and dryer inside my own house, hot water right out of the tap, sunshine, electricity, the internet, clean water, kitchen towels, blank journals, purple highlighters, baby chickens, snail mail, yoga, reading in bed at night while Eric and Ringo sleep.