Do you ever forget how to enjoy life? I don’t mean sinking into a full depression where nothing holds the same joy. I’m referring more to when responsibilities and relationships and work and bills and politics and injustice take over most of your brain power, and you forget to make time for things that suddenly feel a bit trivial.
I wasn’t even sure what I was thinking or how to articulate it, but then Twitter came through for me. A write for The Establishment, Ijeoma Oluo posted a piece today that targets a lot of what I’m feeling. If you’re not familiar with her, Google her, she’s got a lot of great things to say.
Her piece today is called, “What I’m Doing To Get My Black Ass Ready For The Next 4 Years.” I read it and so much of it resonated with me. In it was a call to action, and a reminder for self-love. Seeking out community as well as allies is essential.
In case you don’t understand, the worry of the next four years is almost entirely about Trump. In just the two weeks since he was elected, the ugly underbelly of America has shown it’s ass. A lot of people aren’t sure how to respond.
Here’s what I’ve personally been doing:
- Putting my money where my mouth is. I make monthly contributions to Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood. I also have donated money on different fundraising sites to help different causes such as Get Rodricus Crawford Home! and Baton Rouge Legal Defense Fund. And I’ve taken out a subscription for Mother Jones, independent news outlets will likely be our only hope in the coming years.
- Adding my name to the roll. I’ve signed a number of online petitions, and I’ve made a number of phone calls to elected officials to make sure they know at least one additional person cares about what bills and policies they support.
- Reaffirming for myself what’s most important. I have to be in a position to protect and support those I care about. Making sure my priorities are in order a useful bit of self-care so I won’t have to make hard choices later.
- Maintaining my health and wellness. Continuing to try and live healthy and happy will keep my body and mind fortified for what’s coming. And I signed up for more volunteer work, it benefits me just like it benefits others.
When Trump is sworn in, will the sky fall? Maybe not for all of us, but definitely for some of us. In just the month of November, he’s both promised to indict Clinton and backed off from that. He’s promised to build the wall between USA and Mexico and later spent a lot of time talking about everything but. He’s completely full of crap in almost every way possible. The only thing he’s been clear on is his business interests and his need for constant praise.
Trump settled the Trump University lawsuit for $25 million and has an upcoming rape trial. A lot of that is too hard to even process for most people still in election shock. This is all just what’s happening now, while the executive branch is still in transition. No one knows what policy positions he’ll actually land on for anything.
We must remain vigilant because there is no telling what he will do.
I have a lot going on in my personal life, so focusing on both the big and small pictures will be hard for me. Worrying about myself and those closest with me will not always line up with worrying about the world around me. But I’m not going to stop trying to do both.
I have found a volunteer opportunity! I’m going to work with a Boys & Girls Club in Manhattan doing tutoring for high school students. It’s a pretty low time commitment and they’ll work with my not-my-choice flexible schedule.
I’m just happy that I’ll be back volunteering again. I’ve missed doing something for people I don’t know. Living in New York can turn you into a self-involved navel gazer for sure. Taking a step outside of the bubble that makes up life can be healthy. In my case, it’s super healthy.
I went for orientation last week, and we start the week after next I believe. These NYC kids are tough, but the kids in the program are there because they signed up, so fingers crossed they actually want to be there and want the help being offered.
Other than getting back into volunteering, there’s still yoga, there’s still work, there’s still supporting my husband’s career. And there’s still lots of family stuff.
My mother and mother-in-law will be here on Wednesday. They’re coming in town for my husband’s recital. All the graduating students have to have a recital, and I’m excited to see what he’s chosen for his part of it. He’s in the middle of midterms now, so we’re on the final downhill slope. In just a handful of weeks, he’ll have his Master’s Degree and never have to be a student again if he doesn’t want to.
I’m so jealous. I’d love to be done with school. Instead I’m ramping up to finally complete an application to get my MBA. I’m kinda glad I waited because I was so sure I wanted to get an MBA with a focus on healthcare. But now, staying in the same industry isn’t so appealing. Getting a less specialized degree seems wise.
Leaving my company for different job isn’t the best idea because of the salary, benefits, and job duties. Not many companies can compare for my current education level and work experience. Getting a Master’s would change a lot in terms of what jobs are available to me.
Instead of standing still, not making any one decision, I need to choose a path. All standing still has got me is three years in the exact same spot I was in when we first moved here. That is a waste of time, and I’m kinda over it. And with my husband wrapping up his degree, it seems like the perfect time to finally move forward.
People usually have introspective moments on their birthday or New Year’s or whatever. I’m having this moment because my grandfather died one year ago today. He turned 90 on October 30, 2015. One can say many things about that man, but I’m thinking about how he squeezed so much life out of 90 years.
I wonder if there are things he wanted to do that he never got a chance to. I bet that list for him was shorter than it was for most people. If I had to pick one of his traits to emulate, I’d like to it be that one. Gonna squeeze more and more out of life, like a particularly juicy citrus fruit.
I love that pleasant surprise when your lemonade (made with fresh lemons) or your margarita (made with fresh limes) or you mimosa (made with fresh oranges or blood oranges) uses less fruit than average. You get a workout from really squeezing the fruit, you feel like the world gave you a little bit extra that day. And I swear it makes your beverage that much better.
I should probably buy some oranges. My mother and mother-in-law love mimosas. Plus it’s cold and flu season and I ride the subway to and from work.
So, if you asked me on pretty much any given day, I’d swear that blogging was important to me. I think about it a lot. I’ve been working on the Grey’s Anatomy post, updating it for years. And I read so many blogs. So. Many. Blogs.
But I think actions speak louder than words. And my actions show I’ve posted nothing new here on my blog in months. So what do my actions say? They say blogging just isn’t a priority for me. I’d like it to be though.
Hell, I wish I could make time to blog every day. And those blog posts would be adorable and funny, but also intimate and deep, making the blogosphere flock to my every word. I’d turn that popularity into a platform for equality of the live-and-let-live vein. Then ABC would call, and of course, I’d happily appear on the next season of Dancing with the Stars.
But, none of that is likely to happen because I can’t manage more than 20 posts a year…
What it really comes down to is that sometimes stuff happens in life that I just don’t want to write about. Sometimes those things are major and take up all my brain, but it just doesn’t feel publicly discussable. So when that happens, instead of posting cat videos or posting about the other, less-super-important things in life, I just kinda disappear.
Never my intent, but what the hell is intent worth when the end result is the same?
I’m sitting next to my husband Chris, and he’s super shocked that I’m blogging. His exact words were, “holy shit! You still blog?!”
I think that says it all.
So after the most rambling introduction I could come up with, what am I to talk about?
I could talk about my grandfather dying. I could allude to work frustrations, avoiding HIPAA violations to tell funny co-worker stories. I could talk about Chris’s career in music and our crazy New York friends. I could talk about my friends who aren’t in New York and all the wonderful drama in their lives. I could talk about my obsession with TV. I could talk about finally having a fully livable, completely unpacked house (for the first time since Chris and I have lived together!).
Eh, I should probably figure out what this blog is going to be about these days. Having a focus is key. How else am I going to end up on Dancing with the Stars?
I could to about being a shopaholic in denial. I could talk about how domestic I am (three course meal, anyone?). I could talk about how painting my nails is totally my therapy, but it’s the one thing in life I never seem to get better at with more practice. I could talk about my hair (dreadlocks) or my tattoos (I’m up to 6 now). I could talk about my cats; they really have way too much personality. I could talk about my family and my fabulously retired parents.
Maybe I’ll talk about all of that. A lot of how I talk to my friends is just telling stories of things I think are interesting or things that matter to me. I don’t if you can tell that I’m just typing all of this as I’m thinking it, but I’ve decided just now that I’m going to treat this blog going forward as a way to tell my stories.
If something happens that I’d tell one of my friends in a story (assuming it doesn’t violate anyone else’s privacy), I’ll tell it here. Hopefully with pictures or memes to illustrate, because who wants just words?
And now for your viewing pleasure, a picture of my latest tattoo:
This is holly & mistletoe, tied together artistically. It’s designed to match the ivy tattoo on my arm.
I love my tattoo guy. His name is BJ Storms and he works at Code of Conduct in Chicago. He can take my crazy clip art ideas and make something wonderful and artistic from it.
Now let’s all cross our fingers that I post literally anything else between now and the end of the year.