Category Archives: Other Stuff

Scratching the Itch

Last night the man in my life asked me if adopting Hope satisfied my need to have a biological child.

It was a heavy question for any number of reasons.

  1. I will forever be wounded by my infertility.
  2. My beau is an adoptee. He shared this with me recently after dating for quite some time. Turned out to be game-changing information for us, and I’d like to thank adoptees for teaching me to act like I got some sense.
  3. Beau is childless.

I was honest, and I said no. It satisfied my desire to be a mom, which was ultimately a stronger pull, and Hope is absolutely my daughter. But did it “replace” my desire for a biological child? No.

I thought so much about this over the last 8 years.

My grief around infertility has changed a lot over the years. Initially it was really messy, as all grief is. I did grieve the imaginary scenario that I’d been cultivating since I was in high school. I would be married in my early 30s to an amazing partner with whom I would have a couple biological children and then look into expanding our family through adoption.

That was my script.

So as I slid into my late 30s, unmarried and suddenly considered infertile, I really grieved the loss of that ideal I had constructed for myself. I remember feeling like it was the last bit of my dream that I lost. Never-mind that my career was going great, I was working on my doctorate, and I was enjoying a really good life. The door definitively closed on my dream, and that was what my grief was about. And sometimes it still hurts acknowledging that, but that’s not where my grief lies now.

I told Beau that my grief has less to do with any imaginary biological child and more to do with how betrayed I felt and feel by my body. We’re conditioned to believe so much of being a woman is about the ability to incubate a new human and have all these warm, nurturing, maternal feelings. Well, not being able to have a child because my body “failed” was and remains hard. I’m like, I’ve always been overweight, but my entire adult life I’ve tried to eat decent and be as active as possible so that I would be able to handle pregnancy like a champ. Instead my body wasn’t even riding the bench. It just sucked when I needed and wanted it most.

My grief wasn’t about having a baby. I was never all jazzed about babies. I just wanted the chance to be a mom. Ultimately it didn’t matter how; it was just that my body was supposed to be able to do this thing that women do. And, well, it couldn’t.

Hope satisfied my desire to parent; that part is the same as what I desired in having a biological child. But in answer to Beau’s question, no it didn’t satisfy my desire to give birth because it was about my body and not the child.

He seemed to understand. I reminded him that grief is a wicked thing. He agreed.

Then I told him about how in 2020 I worked hard to focus on what my body can do rather than what it can’t. While I didn’t commit to doing it because of grief, the reframing definitely helped me resolve some of my grief. Of course the fact that I did get to be mom to Hope is really the story here. I am a mom, which is really what I wanted. I am fortunate to have matched with Hope and be accepted by her. There are times when I really marvel at the fact that I have a version of the family I dreamed about. It didn’t happen as I thought, and the life partner is still missing in action, but I have this family–me, Hope and Yappy.

It’s more than enough.


Ten Things on Wednesday: 3/10/21

  • I went to the gyn this morning to talk about this menopause stuff. She was basically like, “That sucks, and sounds like you are doing all the right things. Good luck. #frustrated
  • We took a short family walk this evening. Hope wants y’all to know that Yappy was super cute.
  • She also wants you to know she choreographed a new dance, and she just announced she was going to dance professionally. This is not true. 😂😂😂
  • Yes, we are jointly authoring this post.
  • The Harry & Meghan interview was lit. So much tea. Sad though tho. Racism is a helluva drug. I think they really thought they could control them. Eff around and found out. And just imagine if Meghan wasn’t so fair skinned? They tripped that Archie would come out looking like his Black grandma! I mean… Trash. #basura After the way they did Diana, you’d think they’d know better, but here we are.
  • Hope is still having nightmares; she says they are so sleep disrupting. I’ve had to wake her out of the terrors a couple of times this week. Yeah, it’s still bad.
  • I made baked beans and sausage last night. You would think it was a high end meal the way your girl Hope crushed it with a side of toast. I’ve put another can of beans on the shopping list.
  • I need to find a language coach for Hope. She wants to start studying Korean again.
  • Hope also wants you to know she’s bought a new alarm clock. Cross your fingers that it works for her (and me)!

The Fire

So, this weekend a condo down the hall from ours caught fire.

Yappy and I were sitting on the couch; we’d already been on our morning walk. I was thinking about groceries and planning a nap. I got my first vaccine on Friday, and the only side effect I had was fatigue.

Saturday mornings are notorious for smoke alarms going off around the building. The toaster burnt some toast. Someone’s bacon is extra crispy. Someone’s kid somehow got syrup on the bottom of the oven. I typically tune them out, unless they are accompanied by the building fire bell.

So when I heard a neighbor’s smoke alarm go off, I thought “Oh breakfast is starting.” Yappy had already gone and sat by the door as the alarm was going off.

Then the big bell started.

I cracked open the door, and the hall was full of smoke.

I quickly closed the door, got Yappy on his leash, woke Hope up and rushed her to get dressed and down 8 flights of steps we went. We sat in the car for a little while and watched as fire and EMS showed up. One of my best friends lives in the building next door, so my little family was able to shelter there and watch from the window.

My mind raced.

Would the fire spread? Would the fire door save our place? Ugh, there’s going to be smoke damage. Please Holy Homeboy keep that fire contained. Oh shit the elevators will prob be out for a while. I’m glad I have my purse; I can get us a place to stay. I can get us some clothes. OMG, do I call my parents? I’ll text them. My coat smells like smoke. Yappy’s coat smells like smoke. How bad will the smoke damage be if we smell like this when there’s only about 4 ft between our front door and the fire escape we went down? I need to get on the Target App and put an air purifier in my cart for pick up later. I need to do it now before my neighbors buy them all. Dammit, we could lose pictures and papers. The papers are in a fire box…on the 8th mfing floor. Why did I buy a condo again? WTF was dude cooking?

And on and on. My friend put on a movie while Yappy cuddled up with me and Hope watched the drama from the window. I kept asking if she was ok, and she kept saying she was. I was worried, but she seemed genuinely ok.

The reality was that while the fire gutted that condo and a few others sustained major damage, we just have a funky smoke smell. I left the patio doors open for a few hours and hit everything with the heavy duty Frebreeze and things seem ok. The housekeepers come tomorrow and I suspect that everything will seem just a little brighter once they rid of us the fine layer of smoke/ash that I’m sure is coating everything.

It was scary though, and I found myself thinking about all kinds of things all at once and what I was going to do to take care of Hope and Yappy.

Hope says she was really fine and that she knew that somehow we would be ok. I’m glad that she trusts me so deeply. I was scared as poop, but she’s right, somehow we would’ve been ok.

I took a Monday evening bath *with a face mask* to celebrate that and still having our home.


One Pandemic Year

One year ago, today, I was buzzing around a local hotel with other colleagues making sure that the next to the last day of our annual conference went smoothly. I remember being tired, but excited because Hope was on a bus headed home for spring break. I was looking forward to seeing her when I got home and maybe ordering takeout.

Little did I know that that was really *it* for us, in terms of going out and living free. I had taken a few days off from work to spend with her before she headed back to her small liberal arts college. I ended up working from home full time later that week, while we just assumed that she would be heading back to school in a couple of weeks when this COVID stuff all blew over.

Three weeks later we were packing up her dorm room masked and gloved up.

A week later I had COVID, assuredly contracted during our brief trip to pack up her things.

We’ve both been home ever since.

Hope did have a couple of summer jobs, but quit, in part, because classes resumed remotely in September.

We’d been managing to hold it together until then, but early fall presented an escalation in our struggle. Honestly, things just went totally left in August and it’s been a daily struggle ever since.

Hope experienced a series of traumas related to some decisions that 19-year-olds can be prone to making. Honestly, I made some of the same decisions, as did many other 19-year-olds I knew at the time. It’s just a wickedly unfair world that some of us pay dearly for those choices, while others get skate away trauma-free.

I had to really remind myself to meet Hope where she was and remember what that season of my life was like to be as empathetic as the moment required. It’s easy when you have nearly 30 years more life experience to forget what it was like and how easy it was to do something that didn’t seem like it might have lasting repercussions.

There were definitely days when I failed miserably at meeting the moment, and other days when I nailed it. I’m hoping that Hope shows me the grace I don’t deserve as the years pass.

The hits just kept coming through the fall and into the new year. This kinda lost pandemic year totally wreaked havoc on both of our mental health statuses. The loss of control, the lost freedom, the inability to have the usual levels of family and friend support has been so challenging.

I see a lot of loss ground for Hope in some ways; I see a lot of lost ground for me as well.

My own career soared during this time, but it came a huge cost. In the weeks following the murder of George Floyd, my job and voice was in high demand. There was little time for my own processing of grief and anger. It was mostly a lot of work.

And then after a month or so, a lot of anger and frustration about how folks chose to engage me, how little my own humanity seemed to matter, how much was just constantly demanded of me. I really had to start working on creating boundaries in ways I didn’t have or want to before.

Ten months later, I still trying to create boundaries with almost virtual electronic/barbed wire fencing. I do this in the face of receiving recognition for the work I do within a largely homogenous profession. The wear and tear on me this last year…whew.

Add on how I seem to be sliding into menopause…and I just feel…tired, cranky and crazy.

It’s all hard to describe, but it’s just perpetually feeling off. I’ve got some cream and I’ve upped my self-care game, but I’m headed to the doc this week to just talk about what I can and should be doing during this time to cling to my sanity and to not kill anyone.

This year has been hard.

But it hasn’t all been bad.

Hope and I are probably closer than we’ve ever been. Our parent/child relationship is evolving to a parent/young adult relationship. The biggest difference is knowing that being of legal age means I just have to let a few things go and focus on leaning into the years of trust we’ve built.

Our conversations are different. The gaps in knowledge around life skills are more apparent. My pushing and pulling is not seen through entirely negative eyes; she can tell me how she sees things. We are closer, and I’m hoping that whenever the next new normal lands that we’ll maintain this level of emotional connection. It’s nice.

I have also finally, genuinely moved to a place of acceptance regarding my body. This last decade of my life has featured a number of body betrayals that were just layered on to two previous decades of body image problems. I exercise every day. I try to eat reasonably healthy. I do not deny myself foods that I enjoy. I ride my bike. I walk a lot. I do videos and I invested in work-from-home equipment that would help me maintain some healthy habits.

I wrote some time ago that I really shifted my thinking to what my body can do and how to maintain and expand its capacity rather than focusing on how it looks. Honestly, regarding my body, the last 4-5 months or so have been the most liberating of my life.

I still fight negative thoughts, but they are fewer and far between.

Most of all, Hope sees me being less critical and that means a lot as well. She’s a beautiful girl, and she struggles to establish healthy eating and exercise habits. The best I can do is model them for her.

In total, it’s been a rough year. I don’t know when the pandemic will be “over.” I got my first vaccine a few days ago and I’m excited that I will be able to see my parents for the first time in nearly a year in a matter of weeks.

It will be a while before Hope is eligible for the vaccine. Because she’s unemployed and not in school this semester (much less hardly leaves the house), she’s very low risk and will be at the bottom of the list for the vaccine unless something changes. I’m hopeful that this year brings some better energy to both of us. I hope that we can get back to some version of our old normal at some point this year


Ten Things on Wednesday: 3/3/2021

  • This is one of my busiest times of year and this year is no different. It’s Wednesday and I’m tired. Good news is that unlike in “normal times,” I don’t have to work this weekend.
  • In my weekly efforts to step up my self-care game, I ordered a fancy bath pillow today. I also received an order I made from an Black woman-owned CBD shop in Oregon. I ordered a new face mask, and several bath bombs. Confession: my love of bath bombs might be getting out of control. I think I’ve got handmade ones from at least two companies and some commercial ones from 3 different companies. I love them, especially the fizzy ones. Anyway, I later this month I’m planning a candle binge.
  • Hope is hanging in there. It remains hard to get her up and functional sometimes. I’m still creating midweek errands for her to run so that she has to get up, put on real clothes, fluff her hair and get some fresh air. I’m doing a lot of crocheting for family and friends, and so I maker her got to the post office.
  • The night terrors continue; though they do not seem as persistent as they were a few weeks ago. There was a particularly bad one last week, but since then, there’s only been one other super dramatic ones. The others she seems to be gaining the ability to navigate better.
  • I’m thinking of enrolling us in foreign language classes. Lord knows I don’t need anything else to do, but I miss learning just for learning’s sake and not for work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my work learning, but I could use something else for balance. Hope has a knack for language and is back on watching Asian movies and soaps. I asked if she would be interested and she said yes; whether that turns into something remains to be seen.
  • I get my first vaccine dose on Friday. I am excited! It’s like one step closer to some sense of normalcy. When I got the email to schedule I could not click the link fast enough! Yes, yes, yes! My mom is hoping I get the new Johnson and Johnson one so that I”d be one and done. That would be awesome, but I’m just happy to have an appointment and to be pushing forward.
  • Hope and I still haven’t found a show to watch together. Our interests are so different. When we’re picking something completely new, I try to pick things neither of us would bother watching on our own. I’ve gotten on some interesting shows thanks to the SO, but nothing that I think Hope would appreciate yet. We do spend time together in the evening. We watch something on network, show each other dumb stuff on our phones, talk and cuddle Yappy.
  • Hope and I had an rough moment last week when she missed her therapy appointment. Slept right through it. That’a after I got her up and hour early and got something to eat. When I got the text from AbsurdlyHotTherapist that she missed the appointment and I was going to have to pony up full cost, I practically flew to Hope’s room. She wasn’t particularly remorseful, blamed her phone alarm clock that she always sleeps though and then brushed it off. I had to really break it down to her that missing two appointments really cuts into the household budget (technically it’s more than we would spend if we did Ubereats every week for 2+ months); prevents other folks who really need Dr. O from getting an appointment and is some BS when she insists on not taking responsibility when she knows that she sleeps through an alarm on her phone. I’ve bought her at least 3 alarm clocks over the years–don’t ask where they are or what happened. I told her she needed to come up with a sure thing solution because this is a problem. I”m recommending that she do a dry run tonight to make sure her solution works. We’ll see.
  • Hope and I have also been having more grown woman talks lately. It’s been interesting to her her view of the world, and forcing back a snark because I too thought I knew the world at 19. It is sad to be lonely, to have chosen someone unworthy of you, to be caught in a pandemic with your mom, and to think you’ll never find love. I get it kid, and I wish I could definitively say that dating wasn’t a raging dumpster fire, but well, it is what it is. I do marvel that I seem to have created the sex positive household I dreamed about. Hope is knowledgeable, able to handle her business, and can make informed decisions. Of course no one said they’d be great decisions, she’s 19 after all. But I know I made the right move because she will legit ask me anything. I’d rather have a moment with my own discomfort than for her not to consider me a safe person to talk to. #winning.
  • I really live for the weekends. Lazy days, luxurious bath and weekend food. We get pizza or takeout and/or graze on the weekends. There are so few things that give us a sense of freedom. I thin I”m getting good of ritualizing the weekends. I think that’s a good thing.
  • I also really missing my commuting time in the car. I listened to what I want, even if it was nothing. I enjoyed the the bright distinction between work and homes, and I appreciated the hour it took to create that space for me. Yep, Ive finally sunk to missing traffic.

My Valentines

Long weekends are super precious. Despite having no commute, I’m exhausted on Friday afternoons. Saturdays and Sundays seem to go buy in the blink of an eye, and then it just starts again.

This year, of course, Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day fell back to back; hallelujah.

I worked on a couple of crochet projects. Enjoyed my long, luxurious afternoon bath. Hope and I finished the final season of True Blood. Yappy got lots of snuggles ,and I made him a new sweater. I cooked chicken and waffles for Valentine’s dinner. I spent the evening with my own significant someone, who might actually get a blog name after all. Things haven’t felt so…psuedo-normal in a while.

Hope has been having repetitive nightmares for weeks now. She sometimes wakes up sobbing and terrified. It’s been a challenge. For whatever reason, she enjoyed a brief respite of no bad dreams. (Lots of potential reasons for the dreams; we’re working through it with the mental health folks.) The dreams are so damn persistent; I’m hoping this short break foretells that things are about to get back to normal. In any case I’m glad she got a break. My big girl Valentine.

Yappy turned 6 last fall, and promptly assumed the personality of a grouchy old man. He wants to dictate the direction and length of every walk. If he senses water dripping from anywhere above him, the situation is untenable. He’s very demanding about how I place the blanket on him and even how I lift the covers to let him snuggle with me in bed. He’s been working on training me to get it right for years now. This weekend Yappy allowed me to repeatedly try on his sweater as I was making it and after his first walk in his new sweater, we came in, I unhooked his leash and he bee lined it to Hope’s room. He’s been so good about making sure Hope gets lots of his attention. He switches back and forth between us when couch cuddling now. One of my favorite things is to see the two of them playing or snuggled up asleep together. It’s really just the cutest, purest thing. A girl and her dog. (He still chooses me at night if I’m not at my someone’s house). My fuzzy Valentine.

And yeah, I’ve got a special someone. At first I didn’t really see it going anywhere. Now I see some possibilities. He shared something about himself this weekend that really made me go, “Ohhhhh, ok, now a lot of things make sense. Ok, I see what I’m working with here.” I also realized how much it must’ve taken to share with me. I don’t take it lightly. So, while we exchanged small gifts for Valentine’s Day. The sharing was really the thing. My low-key Valentine.

Oh, and I discovered a cold brew tap in a box that I can order online. You just open the tap, sit it in the fridge and get your sip on. The way I love cold brew? Looking forward to coffee for tomorrow.

Also, folks who recommended progesterone cream….good looking out. Finally onboard and hoping to level out a bit soon!

Hope everyone had a marvelous weekend.


Ten Things on Wednesday: 2/3/2021

  1. I’m a day late. What can I say? It’s been a hella busy week and while I started the draft yesterday (Wednesday), sleep proved more important that blogging. Sue me. LOL.
  2. Tuesday was my birthday. I worked. I ordered in, and I got a huge same day order from Target. It was a good day. Is it petty that I had to order in for Hope and tell her no she’s couldn’t get a milkshake because it was MY birthday? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
  3. I’m feeling so much more stabilized now. I’ve had some reflection time, and while I’m still feeling legit fragile with all that’s going on, I’m realizing that my hormone levels are starting to swing like a trapeze. That’s a problem. I’m still looking to take some time away, but it feels less urgent now. I do need to go get some bloodwork done to see where my “levels” are. This is happening a few years younger than it did for my mom, so I’m like yo, what’s happening here? This aging thing is something.
  4. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about parenting these days. I continue to learn so much on this journey with Hope. The pandemic changed both of our lives so radically that it still feels like we are trying to figure out how to live together. And even though I know Hope can be a remarkable young woman, she can also be a little devil in PJs. I hereby confess to occasionally allowing her to sleep the whole day away just so I can pretend to be alone. I’m a hardcore extrovert, but everyone needs alone time sometimes. Lately when I retire to my room around 8:30, Hope wants to come with. Um, no thank you. I’m about to do my yoga, sip this wine, read the paper on my phone and turn this light out in an hour. SHHHHHH!
  5. I’m so frigging over this gotdern pandemic. Put the stupid mask on and stay home. I mean if we could get everything in the universe to sit on our collective asses down for a good 3 weeks, we would have this thing licked, but noooo! I’m really, really over it. And even though I have greatly improved my work from home set up, I’m resentful about having to make space because so many folks won’t stay the eff at home.
  6. I’m about to make a hiring decision between to candidates. I honest to goddess do not know with of these two candidates I will pick. They are really different, but the same: confident and hungry for career building work experience. I don’t there’s a bad decision to be made here which is an enviable place to be in. Still I have feelings.
  7. Back to parenting. Anyone else’s kids regularly send them tik toks to watch? Hope sends me the weirdest, darkest, random mess on a regular basis. I don’t bother feigning interest in that ish. I’m guessing she wants to be interesting and stylish, and that she wants more connection. I never complain about the rando videos, but they do make me wonder if this is the stuff she shares, what in the world is she watching the rest of the time??
  8. Yappy is having serious issues with dreaming at the moment. In the evenings he snores, baby barks and sleep runs. Just once I’d love to peek into his dream and see what he sees. It’s kind of adorable.
  9. I’m thinking of getting a new coffee maker. I kinda want something fancy even though counter space is at a premium. I just have a regular Mr. Coffee at the moment, but I’m thinking about something more sophisticated since I don’t really get coffee out anymore. Suggestions? I noted that Instapot has a new coffee maker that takes Kcups and Nespresso pods. I like the idea, but it’s not what I had in mind. Hit me with your best coffee maker recommendations.
  10. At what point does one stop giving their children money to buy the birthday/Christmas/etc gift, while also telling them what to get? Now, admittedly at Christmas, Hope took my request and upgraded it to the amazing bamboo bathtub caddy. She tells me that the waffle iron I requested (and low key paid for) will arrive today, but seriously…how long do we go through these theatrics?


Ten Things on Wednesday: 1/20/21

  1. Today I breathed. It’s not that I think Biden/Harris will solve all the problems, but I certainly don’t think they will cause as many as we’ve seen during the last administration.
  2. Watching VP Kamala Harris take the oath of office with Justice Sonia Sotomayor with my daughter this morning was…amazing. #RepresentationMatters
  3. I can’t really describe the relief I felt watching the Troll in Chief and Troll Barbie take flight and disappearing.
  4. My only sadness is that I couldn’t take Hope down to the mall to watch it in person. Don’t get me wrong: inaugurations are cold (it flurried here this morning) and usually crowded, but the energy is amazing. It’s actually very cool and super patriotic.
  5. Did y’all see Michelle Obama and that guy she’s married to? (I love him too.) My gawd that woman is gorgeous. The hair, the outfit, the lashes…the gorgeous former president. I live!!!
  6. I really needed today. It’s like a bright spot in a dark time for me. The pomp and circumstance! The lofty, aspirational charge of it all. The hope. I needed it really badly.
  7. Things around here are still precarious. I’m still fighting burnout. I’m still trying to prop Hope up in the midst of new traumas.
  8. I think I’m going to tackle my front closet and my bedroom closet. They are both a disastrous mess. I was always taught that your closets are a reflection of your life, and well, those 2 closets are a disastrous mess. I’ve been consciously avoiding them for months. I know that tackling them will help.
  9. I also need to do some purging. Things feel really cluttered around here. So, stuff has to go. Of course I’m also still shopping for a new low profile treadmill; so part of my motivation is to make room for new ish.
  10. I’ve been really trying to be more introspective right now. I’m honestly feeling a bit lost. Motivation is low. I slap on a functional face on workdays and feel like collapsing after 5pm. I really have not experienced these feelings in a very long time. I don’t like it, but I’m fighting through.

In the Days After

So, a week in and I swear I’m ready to already write 2021 off.

Unless you live under a rock, you are aware that the US Capitol was overrun this week in a coup attempt.

Sigh.

Many moons ago, I worked on Capitol Hill in the House of Representatives. I was there for a little over a year as an intern, working for a member from a district similar to the one I grew up in. I primarily worked on tobacco and education policy. It was a plumb gig, as the special assistant to the president of my university recommended me for the position. It was only supposed to be for a semester, and it lasted a year.

I also interned on the Hill for a House Committee chair during my second year of college.

I went on to be an association lobbyist for nearly a decade, spending many days on Capitol Hill meeting with staff and Members on topics in my portfolio.

There is a certain mystique to the Capitol complex. There are tons of tunnels connecting all the buildings. Hidden doorways and chambers, a little subway on the Senate side. There almost always a bustle of people coming and going. Security is always tight; you had to go through metal detectors long before 9/11. There were places where you lowered your voice, more out of reverence than anything. It’s a special place; its representative government live and in real time.

There were lots of things I hated about working on the Hill, but I never forgot how fortunate I was to have been able to work there—It’s a place where careers are made. I often thought of the enslaved people who helped to build the complex and what their spirits must think about me being in that space. It gives me chills.

So, to see people literally climbing the walls of the Capitol building was really emotional. I have friends and colleagues who work there. My current beau works there. To see the space desecrated in ways that really were unthinkable was hard personally, but as an American—yo, WTF.

The news didn’t report how some of these folks urinated outside of offices. There are only a few pictures of the largely Black and brown custodial staff who had to clean up the horrendous mess folks left. They didn’t talk a much about how security rushed to save Members of congress, while staffers where left trying to barricade themselves in offices under siege. I saw staffers tweeting at their bosses in hopes of checking to see if everyone was ok.

And then of course there’s how easy it was for the Capitol to be overrun. Last summer, most of downtown was boarded up because of fear of possible damage to property. My office building has pretty much been boarded up since June given all the protests that have taken place. During the summer tanks and other military vehicles were all over downtown DC. It reminded me a lot of what it was like in the city right after 9/11.

But not this week. The National Guard didn’t get called up until well into the afternoon. Images show that insurgents were treated with patience and kindness throughout the afternoon. There’s lot of video and audio of these terrorists threatening and harming police—so I’m guessing all that Blue Lives Matter stuff is out the window. There is literally no explanation other than giving emotional White folks the benefit of the doubt that wasn’t afforded to protestors who just want law enforcement to stop extrajudicial killings of Black and brown folks. If you know DC, you know this is true.

Even the arrests in the aftermath—what around 20 people? And I’m supposed to feel some kind of way about that? Do you know how many hundreds, and nationally thousands, of people who were arrested during BLM protests last summer? In protests about extending oil pipelines through reservations and sovereign Native property a few years ago? The juxtaposition is hard to swallow.

I watched coverage of what was happening with Hope, who concluded that if this came with adulthood, she didn’t want it. I wonder how all of this will shape her ideals about democracy and participating in it.

Lots has already happened since the coup attempt, and I’m hopeful that this country will get it’s ish together, but Wednesday was a hard day to endure since then.

In the meantime I’m still going to be hunkered down right here until at least after the inauguration.


2020 Reflections

Each year I do a vision board. I have it blown up and I keep it framed in my bedroom so that I see it daily and am reminded that there are things to do.

My 2020 board included things like evolving my parenting now that Hope is in college, chasing some adventure, self acceptance, health and as always love.

How does the meme go?

How it started…It was to be a year of great promise.

How it ended…It was a year of survival.

COVID-19 pretty much took a wrecking ball to the year.

Hope is currently not enrolled in school, and I’m back to daily, active parenting. Just when she was becoming more social and connected, everything was cut off. It all made her really vulnerable, and just like that trouble found her. It’s been really hard dealing with the fallout of the summer’s drama. The pandemic made it just that much worse—there are so few outlets for having any sort of social connection.

Adventure? Well, going to the grocery store became an adventure. Going anywhere became an adventure. I feel like my world just closed in this year. In January I was counting down days to a trip to Israel in March, but instability in the region made my travel buddy want to cancel. We rebooked and planned a trip to Costa Rica, but then COVID hit and our trip got postponed to November. November came, along with a surge in cases, and Costa Rica was cancelled. In July Hope and I took a day trip to see my parents. That was a highlight for the year.

My vision board has hiking and relearning how to swim on it, meanwhile the pool never even opened. Adventure finally came about two months ago when I decided that we would start visiting local farms in the area. It was fun, and I have a lot of jam in my pantry now. It was wonderful having fresh pressed cider and fresh picked collard greens. I will likely sign up for a CSA in 2021 so that I can be sure to keep the goodness coming.

While I’m grateful that I found small ways of creating adventure, I’m sad that my world shrank in so many ways.

I have had a lot of time to think about what I like and dislike about myself. I’ve also had a lot of time to remember that Hope watches and learns from me. I have been able to make a lot of progress on self-acceptance. Listen, I’m not saying I’m “there,” but I’ve at least switched my thinking from focusing on my looks and size, to focus on what my body can do and what I need to do to make sure it is able to keep doing those things. I lost about 20lbs this year, most of it in January-March, but have largely kept it off. I walk every day. I’ve managed to increase my daily steps substantially. I cook more.

But I also still make a cake every 4-5 days; I still eat too much sugar, I still haven’t mastered hydration and my coping mechanism when it comes to consumption is still…an issue. 😊

I’ve been fortunate that I didn’t take a financial hit this year. I’m grateful for that. It’s meant that I’ve been able to keep debt low and afford some things that have made quarantining more comfortable—more streaming subscriptions, a new electronic standing desk, and some other odds and ends. I’m now contemplating some updates to the kitchen and my bathroom. I mean, if I’m going to be hold up here indefinitely, I probably should make it pretty and comfortable.

The flip side is that this has been one of the most challenging years of my career. The emotional toll is heavy. Dealing with rampant White supremacy in the midst of a pandemic is draining. The murder of George Floyd will be with me for a long time. The fall out has changed the way I think about the work I do, the pleasantries that I’m sometimes forced to engage in, the patience that I’m nearly always in short supply of. And watching some folks just fade back into racial oblivion is…toxic, yet to be expected during the best of times.

It’s been hard.

And love? One of the great loves of my life passed away in January, Elihu. I miss him every day. I wonder what I could’ve done to change the course of our relationship, even though I know my ending it was the right thing to do at the time. The loss of E came on the heels of losing another one of my great loves just the year before. Dating this year was trash. I am seeing someone, but I know it’s not a great fit for me, so I also know it has an expiration date. What can I say pandemics…#shrug. I’m hopeful that maybe I’ll make a meaningful connection in 2021—not meaningful like the Match commercial with Satan and 2020, but meaningful nonetheless.

But I suppose there are some bright spots.

  • I survived my own bout with COVID early in the year.
  • Hope had two jobs for a while and was really good at them.
  • Yappy is much more affectionate with Hope, even if he is primarily still very attached to me.
  • I managed it all without completely falling apart.
  • I deepened some of my friendships.
  • I did a lot of writing and creating, though not in this space.
  • I found another level to my voice regarding diversity at work.

I’m also super conscious of the fact that lots of folks would trade places with me in a minute during this crapshoot of a year. Hope and I are fine. I would give my left foot to hug my mom and dad, see my sisters and snuggle my niece and nephews, but I guess I’ll settle for waving on camera. In the grand scheme of things Hope and I are very fortunate to be comfortable. Our families have not suffered any losses. We are able to afford what we need and largely what we want. We have each other and Yappy.

We’re ok.

I have no idea what my vision board will look like for 2021; right now I just want a giant picture of OUTSIDE, but I’m guessing I should be more specific.


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