This is 40 – Part 2

This is the moment of truth. Well, it’s part 2 in what will probably be 4 moments of truth, but it’s time to take a look at this 40 week project. If you haven’t read part 1, you can find it here. It’s time for me to go back over my list and share what I actually accomplished, what I didn’t and why it even matters. I’ve copied my original list below. You’ll see a check mark next to the items that I completed. You’ll see some items crossed out and replaced by other items that I deemed more interesting or important. You’ll also find items that I just didn’t get to with either a justification for not doing it, an explanation that I actually didn’t and couldn’t be bothered to write about it or a plan for doing it in the near future. Find out how I fared below.

To Do BEFORE July 18, 2017

  1. Start a blog. Because writing gives me perspective. √
  2. Run a 10K √
  3. Learn to cook treasured family recipes. And share them with my family. √
  4. Put down my phone. I’m way too attached. It’s a problem.√ Note: I definitely spent some time on this one and I’ll be honest, I still need to work on this. Which is why it’s highlighted in red. 
  5. Put down the remote and read a book already! √ If I could give this half a check mark I would. I started and did not finish a few really great books. And I still watch too much TV. But I did listen to several great books on Audible. So I consider that a win.
  6. Camp in the winter. √
  7. Stop saying I’m sorry for no reason. I never actually wrote about this one but once it was on my list it became something I thought about a lot more. I was aware every time I apologized for something that needed no apology. This was also the case with #9 below. I consider this a half-win. I haven’t conquered my misplaced apologies or my propensity for interrupting, but I’m far more aware of it now.
  8. Stop interrupting. Sometimes I can’t stop myself.
  9. Share our Christmas stocking tradition with everyone. √
  10. Try yoga. I’ve been told I have the flexibility of an 80 year old woman. √ No thank you yoga. NO THANK YOU.
  11. Create Christmas memories with my family. √
  12. Don’t complain about anything for an entire week. Ha! I tried to do this twice and failed. And I don’t really care. It’s not like I’m a massive a-hole that complains constantly. Moving on!
  13. Start the 52 Hike Challenge. √ Well, I certainly did start this challenge, but I will most certainly not finish it. I was diagnosed with tendinitis in my foot and my doctor advised a break from running and hiking, my two favorite forms of exercise. It’s forced me to try new things in fitness and while I still work in a hike or run with some frequency, I try to do workouts that don’t cause burning pain in my foot because burning pain.
  14. Lose another 20 pounds. Stop driving myself crazy and change my focus to being healthy and strong over being skinny. √ You know this has been a huge focus of my personal goals probably because it’s such an ongoing battle for most women. I am happy to report that I am slowly working my way to total body acceptance and love. I’m not there yet but I’m owning it. I workout a lot and I workout hard. I’ve lost some more LB’s but I will probably never have that magazine image body. I mean, I know I won’t. It’s literally physically impossible for me to look like that. I have a massive abdominal scar, cellulite on my thighs and I’m like 6 inches taller than most women. But I’ve worked hard to look the way I do and I feel really good about that. And I will wear whatever the hell I want. 
  15. Do something I’ve been dreading. √ 
  16. Try Zumba. I’m not coordinated. This should be interesting. Try Orangetheory Fitness. √ See # 13 and #14. Orangetheory is MY JAM. I am stronger than I’ve ever been and every workout is a challenge. It feels like an accomplishment to leave that place drenched in sweat and panting. 
  17. Do something that makes my eyes roll. Sometimes being judge-y keeps me from doing awesome things. √
  18. Get a good night’s sleep. √ Still needs work, but what mom isn’t perpetually exhausted?
  19. Date my husband. √ I’m doing way better at this one! In large part due to our move to a new neighborhood. See #32.
  20. Be present and engaged with Little C. I’m going to need some rules for this one. √ You win some, you lose some. This is much like # 7 and # 8 where just having it on my list helps me be more aware because I have an intention. Some days I feel like super mom. Some days I feel like getting in my car and driving far away to a hotel and sleeping for 3 days because I can’t take another meltdown. I’m going to go ahead and assume that’s normal.
  21. Take Little C to the snow. √
  22. Cook more from my vast collection of cookbooks. Try a meal kit delivery service because ain’t nobody got time for that. √
  23. Make plans more often with my girlfriends. Find a mentor. I haven’t really found a mentor yet, but I have found an accountability buddy/bully. More on that in part 4 of this series!
  24. Go TV & non-essential phone use free for 1 week. FAIL! FAIL! FAIL! Needs to be revisited.
  25. Try meditation. At least once a day for a week. See what happens. √ Meh. 
  26. Take a leap of faith. √ Quit my job! (And then be forced out my house and assume fetal position).
  27. Visit a national park I haven’t been to before. √
  28. Update my wardrobe with a few quality pieces instead of throwing clearance items in my cart while on a Target run. Try Stitch Fix. √
  29. Go for a walk on the beach by myself. I have no idea why this one was so hard for me to make time for. It’s not like I don’t make time for myself, but I don’t make a lot of intentional, reflective time for myself. Must revisit.
  30. Don’t spend any money on non-essentials for an entire month. Stick to my budget. √ Getting booted out of your house is enough to make anyone dial it back on the Target runs.
  31. Start a babysitting swap. Because babysitters cost a lot of dollars. √ This might be the crowning achievement of my 40 Reasons list. And it wouldn’t have happened had we not been forced to move. We have some good friends who live just a few blocks from our new place. They also have boys and kids get along like GANGBUSTERS! Or LEGOBUSTERS! We have worked out a regular kid swapping situation that has changed our life. We can now go on dates and not feel like it has to be the BEST DATE EVER because who the hell knows when we will do this again. It’s pretty amazing. I hope we don’t find a way to ruin it.
  32. Learn Snapchat. I don’t even know why this was on my list. I don’t need to waste more time on social media. I already figured out how to do that with Insta Stories. Moving on.
  33. Join a book club. I was close on this one. My cousin invited me to hers. I bought the book. I read two chapters. Then I slapped myself because I was moving in a few days and really did not have the time. I’d like to revisit at some point, but I’m realizing I can’t do everything. At this point, I naturally choose family, fitness, friends, food, fun, fodka, ya know things that start with an f for my free time and reading does not start with an f.
  34. Do a mud run. I have not done this yet, but I’m planning on doing the Spartan Race in January. I’m terrified.
  35. Try stand-up paddle boarding. √ I’m going to check this off because my dear husband reserved spots for us at an REI paddleboarding class in a few weeks! Woohoo!
  36. Run a 5K at a 9 minute mile pace. This one I threw in the towel on. See #13. I’m good with it though. My priorities have shifted.
  37. Start the Six Pack of Peaks ChallengeThis one is on pause also because of #13. Although I really, really still want to do it. My goal is to summit Mount Whitney some day and these peaks would be a great training run. 
  38. Teach Little C to swim. √ Our little munchkin is slowly learning to swim on his own in our community pool. And now he refuses to wear a floatie because they are for babies. Sigh. He starts lessons soon, right after he turns 4 because anyone under 4 has to wear not 1, but 2 swim diapers. And since he won’t even wear a floatie because HE IS A BIG KID, you can imagine how jamming him into 2 swim diapers would go. I don’t need a round house kick to the face, thank you very much.
  39. Take a kickass trip for my 40th birthday. √ I’ll be blogging about my birthday trip down to the karaoke, hot chicken and whiskey in an upcoming post. 
  40. Create a community. √ This is the one I’m most proud of. I have definitely found a community who wants to get after their goals, support each other and cheer each other on, and for that, I thank you all so much. 

Since that was a monster list, I’m going to share how I feel about my list and what’s on my next list in part 3 of this series. And yes, there is a next list. Stay tuned!

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The 3rd Trimester List

 

It’s the Fiiiinaaaaallll Countdown! I’m already into the final trimester of this 40-week project to gestate an adult woman. As a reminder, I am not pregnant, I just like really confusing analogies.

Confession time. I’ve fallen a scooch behind on my to do list and now I have to cram. Classic Emily. I’m going to be doubling up some weeks in order to get through my list on time and I’m okay with that because as far as I’m concerned, this project has been a raging success.

If you look at my original to do list here, you will see all of the items I still need to complete in bold.

The list below is my plan for the duration of the project and you’ll see makeup assignments listed in italics. Things I could use outside help with are highlighted in an irritating shade of lime green so you know just how much I need your help.

Stick with me guys, I got this!

Week 27 – April 11 – 17 – Stop interrupting. Sometimes I can’t stop myself.

Week 28 – April 18 – 24 – Stop saying I’m sorry for no reason.

Makeup work: 

Week 20 – Cook more from my vast collection of cookbooks.  Try a meal kit delivery service because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Week 27 – Stop interrupting. Sometimes I can’t stop myself.

Week 29 – April 25 – May 1 – Go for a walk on the beach by myself.

Week 30 – May 2 – 8 – Don’t spend any money on non-essentials for an entire month. Stick to my budget.

Makeup Work: Week 22 – Go TV & non-essential phone use free for 1 week.

Week 31 – May 9 – 15 – FREEBIE

Makeup Work: Week 23 – Try meditation. At least once a day for a week. See what happens.

Week 32 – May 16 – 22 – Start a babysitting swap. Because babysitters cost a lot of dollars. Anyone? Anyone want to do this?

Week 33 – May 23 – 29 – Learn Snapchat.

Makeup Work: Week 11 – Don’t complain about anything for an entire week.

Week 34 – May 30 – June 5 – Join a book club. Who wants me? Any takers in San Diego County?

Week 35 – June 6 – 12 – Do a mud run. Planning to do the Marine Corps Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. WHO IS COMING WITH ME?!

Makeup Work: Week 21 – Make plans more often with my girlfriends. Find a mentor. Anyone know any female bloggers, writers, or entrepreneurs that they want to connect 

Week 36 – June 13 – 19 – Try stand-up paddle boarding.

Makeup Work: Week 5 – Put down the remote and read a book already!

Week 37 – June 20 – 26 – Run a 5K at a 9 minute mile pace.

Week 38 – June 27 – July 3 – Start the Six Pack of Peaks Challenge.

Week 39 – July 4 – 10 – Teach Little C to swim.

Week 40 – July 11 – 17 – Create a community.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Week 19 – Be more present and engaged with my kiddo

We all beat ourselves up from time to time. Whether it’s about how much we ate or what we didn’t get done or how much money we spent, there are a million little ways to make yourself feel like a pile of steaming garbage. But I think most of us can move on from those little hiccups and realize that they aren’t failures, but just a normal part of being human.

All that goes out the window when it comes to being a mom.

The inadequacy we feel, the guilt, the shame, the what-in-the-actual-f@#k-am-I-doing, literally knows no bounds. Being a mom sometimes feels like swimming in an ocean with no bottom and trying not to get sucked into the current. And there’s not just one current, there are a million currents pulling you in different directions. And sometimes it’s hard to know which one will suck you under and which one will carry you back to a place where your feet touch the ground. And sometimes you do know and you choose the one that sucks you under because you are just so damn tired.  Fine! Just have 4 bananas for dinner. I GIVE UP!

I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of mom I want to be and how I want to parent lately…now that I’m three and a half years in and clearly should have thought about this sooner. But really I’ve been thinking about it because my little person requires very, very different things of me than he did a year ago or even six months ago. And I’m beginning to understand that just when I have it figured out, he has moved on to the next mystery phase. It’s like solving a freaking puzzle that rearranges itself entirely 5 minutes after you solve it. And throws the pieces at you. And then eats one just to spite you.

The ocean of mom guilt that I’ve been swimming in for some time now is the feeling that I need to be more present and engaged with my kid. I feel like I spend so much time trying to distract him so I can get work done and chores checked off my list and do something for my damn self and I can’t do any of it without getting smacked in the face with a big salty wave that says “YOU SHOULD BE MORE PRESENT!”

Every time I sit down to play with my kid, within a few minutes, my eyes are darting around the house noticing all the messes and my brain starts running through the list of all the things I should be doing. And I’ll be honest, sometimes I just don’t want to play Legos. No that’s a lie, almost all the time I don’t want to play Legos. I would rather do any other kind of play with my kid than Legos. It was fun at first but GO AWAY LEGOS!

It’s a horrible cycle of feeling inadequate then trying to be a better mom, whatever the hell that means, and then trying to juggle it all and feeling inadequate again. It’s like I take out a measuring stick and use it to compare myself to other moms and then beat myself with it. I only have 1 child! I should be able to manage this better. I work from home. I should be able to get more done around the house! I should be this, I should be that, I should, I should, I should!!! I’m at that place where I feel like I’m doing 300 things at once and I’m doing all of them poorly. That is an incredibly defeating feeling. It’s like I need to step off the hamster wheel I’m on and break the entire wheel to unburden myself of all these things I feel like I have to do.

And there ARE things I can unburden myself from doing. Recently, I asked my dear husband to take over laundry. I just needed to get rid of some of the household chores from my list. And he was willing to do it and didn’t complain. I asked him over the phone on his way home from work. I probably hadn’t showered and it was 5:00 and dinner wasn’t going to be ready and I was still working. I cried uncontrollably after I hung up because I felt so guilty. And I was totally shocked by my own reaction. Why did I feel so guilty that I couldn’t do everything? Why do I think it’s my job to do EVERYTHING? I’ll spare you the long-winded sidebar about the messages women receive and the expectations that society puts on us. The short answer is that it’s because I’m a woman and a mom. I must do everything and be everything to everyone and if not then I’m a failure. Phew. Saying it out loud is the first step because that’s when you realize that you are letting something define you that is completely and utterly ridiculous and impossible. And it’s a big fat lie.

So this exercise of trying to be more engaged with my kiddo unearthed some really complicated feelings and opened my eyes to a few hard truths. It’s time to let go of unrealistic expectations of myself and ask for help more. It’s time to decide what’s really important to me and do those things first. There are a lot of things that just don’t matter that take up my time. It’s time to stop multi-tasking and just focus on one FREAKING thing at a time. It’s time to find ways to play with my kid that doesn’t involve Legos and there is nothing wrong with that! It’s time for my son to see a mom and dad that have an equitable share in the family responsibilities.* He needs to see what real life looks like and that there is time for play and there is time for work. It’s time to do what works for me instead of what I think I should be doing.

It’s time to lower my expectations of myself to something a little more realistic. Trying to do all of the things does not make me a super mom. Trying to do the important things just might. But I’m not trying to be super mom anymore. I’m just trying to be a good human.

To all the moms out there, trying to do it all, some days doing it with grace and others doing it with the composure of a junkyard dog that hasn’t been fed in a week, give yourself a break and a hug. There’s only one of you. You’re awesome. Call me. Let’s go get wine. Or ice cream. Or coffee. Or take naps somewhere.

Notes:

*For the record, my husband is not allergic to having an equitable share of responsibilities, I just have a hard time delegating and letting go.

I’m so so so far behind on posting because see above. I’ve got a little catch up to do on the following list, which you can see has been edited ever so slightly.

Week 20 – February 21 – 27 – Cook more from my vast collection of cookbooks.  Try a meal kit delivery service because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Week 21 – February 28 – March 6 – Make plans more often with my girlfriends. Find a mentor. (Working on it! If you are a boss babe and you want a mentee, you know where to find me.)

Week 22 – March 7 – 13 – Go TV & non-essential phone use free for 1 week. (Yikes. I might have to overlap this with week 25)

Week 23 – March 14 – 20 – Try meditation. At least once a day for a week. See what happens. (I’m a day late but I’m starting it ASAP!)

Week 24 – March 21 – 27 – FREEBIE (TBD)

Week 25 – March 28 – April 3 – Visit a national park I haven’t been to before. (We’re off to Pinnacles National Park this week!)

Week 26 – April 4 – 10 – Update my wardrobe with a few quality pieces instead of throwing clearance items in my cart while on a Target run. (I’ve been trying out Stitch Fix – report coming soon!)

 

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Week 18 – How to date your husband…no seriously how? Can someone tell me?

I’ve been married for almost 14 years, since I was a young idiot who had zero clue what marriage actually meant. Our first decade of marriage was largely child-free. I won’t say it was easier B.K. (before kiddo) because I don’t think that’s quite true. Sure, we had all the time in the world to enjoy each other’s company and our date nights were unencumbered by the fiscal and scheduling challenges of securing a babysitter. But we also had all the time in the world to think about ourselves and what we were or were not getting from each other. I’ll admit, I generated a lot more of this than my husband. Okay, I generated most of it. But having only each other to worry about puts a lot more focus on the highs and lows of a normal relationship. When you have the life sucked out of you by a preschooler, you aren’t consumed as much by what’s working and what isn’t because as long as everyone is fed, clothed and their butt is wiped, everything is working, am I right?

It’s a lesson I wish I could teach my B.K. self. I want to yell at her and say “Just enjoy what you have! Soon you won’t even remember the last time you had a real conversation!”

I put “date my husband” on my list because as I began to create a list of things that I wanted more of in my life, I realized that QT with my husband was severely lacking. Our quality time together happens after the kiddo has gone to bed and it usually includes exciting things like: getting stuff ready for tomorrow, putting the kiddo back to bed twice, and finally sinking into the couch to watch an hour of TV before going to bed. We usually sneak in a couple of hand squeezes without words while we watch TV just to let the other one know “I love you but I’m too tired to speak”.

I’d love to live in a world where my bank account says “Girl! Get a babysitter! You two could use some time together!

But my bank account is more like…hmm…that’s gonna be a no.

If babysitters and money grew on trees, there would be no issue. We’d be out on a date night every other week. But alas, they do not and we are at home on the couch trying to stay awake for more than one episode of Homeland.

I decided that with the limitations of schedule and money that I could get creative with date nights in. I came up with a genius date night for Valentine’s Day that I knew would be a home run. Once our sweet little angel went to bed, I had a blind bourbon tasting complete with a semi-homemade (thanks Trader Joe’s!) pairing menu to surprise my husband. I imagined that we would sit around a candlelit table sipping on bourbon and catching up on a week’s worth of conversation.

What actually happened is that my son was sent home from daycare early with a fever and a double ear infection and we sipped bourbon and snacked on our dinner while taking turns cuddling him and trying to put him back to bed. We enjoyed our last round of bourbon as he drifted off to sleep which we took as a cue to both nod off on the couch mid-conversation. Total home run.

Here’s what I learned from this date night face plant.

  1. Take advantage of the quiet moments when they present themselves. There are plenty of nights when our little one is snoozing and we choose TV over conversation.
  2. Planning can be tricky when you have unpredictable circumstances named Calvin. Have some ideas on deck for date night in to take advantage of those windows of time.
  3. Even if things don’t go as planned, the effort still matters to the person on the receiving end.
  4. Get a babysitter. Even if it’s not as often as I’d like, it’s important. This reminds me…start a babysitting swap is on my list…

If any of you have great ideas for how to do date night in or how to make date night out more attainable, please send help!

 

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I’m getting political. Take it or leave it.

I’ve always been political. I’ve always had a set of core beliefs that guide my opinions and actions. My friends and family know where I stand, but we’ve never talked about it with any regularity. I never saw the point of trying to change people’s minds, both in real life or on Facebook, the ground zero of political bickering, rants, and rage. There never seemed like much point to discussing it. I knew who agreed with me and who didn’t and to each his own, right?

I also embraced a mentality of respectful disagreement. There are people I love that have very different views than me and I can separate their differing and often opposing beliefs from their hearts and souls. Even after the election, when things went so much differently that I had hoped for, I wrote this post about trying to understand one another and finding ways to bridge the divide with compassion and respect.

I still believe in compassion and respect, but less than a week into the presidency of Voldemort Donald Trump, I am done keeping my opinions to myself. I know, some of you that know me probably look like this right now…

And you’re probably thinking, excuse me? Have you been keeping your opinions to yourself? Is this what keeping your opinions to yourself looks like? And to you I say yes, actually, for as much as I have to say on the subject, I’ve been pretty damn quiet about it. And I’ll tell you why I haven’t said 80% of what I want to say. Because people get mad. And they get offended. And they don’t like you anymore when you’re political. And they wish you would go back to posting pictures of your kid or your dinner. But you know what? That ship has sailed. That ship sailed away so fast in the night that I woke up looking exactly like Kevin Hart. Well, not exactly. Well, not at all really because he is a short black man and I am a tall white woman but my face was definitely doing that.

I’m about to get real political because I’m alarmed by what is happening in the White House right now. This isn’t about who voted for Trump and this isn’t a debate about the people who chose him and why. This is about the fact that there is something very wrong with Donald Trump. I think most of us have known this for quite some time, including some of the people who voted for him and made excuses for or totally ignored his childish, arrogant, and downright disgusting behavior.

Again, this isn’t about how or why he is in the Oval Office, it’s about the fact that he is there, something is very wrong with him, and that he’s systematically dismantling democracy as we know it.

IT’S BEEN 6 DAYS!

It’s taken him 6 days to get the ball rolling on his campaign promises of dismantling Obamacare, building a border wall, limiting Muslim entry into the US, limiting reproductive rights for women, defunding vital and valuable social, arts & humanities, and environmental programs, and the list goes on and on. This may be great news to some of you. It’s not to me. And while all of those things are very troubling and threatening to the fundamental principles of a free and enlightened society, it’s not even what concerns me the most.

What sets the alarm bells off for me is that our president is issuing orders to silence government agencies from tweeting because it makes him look bad, that his press secretary is straight up lying to the press about trivial things like inauguration attendance, that he routinely depicts the media as dishonest while routinely rearranging actual facts to his liking, and that he doesn’t have the self control to stay above the fray and even pretend to be presidential. This prioritizing of his own image over actual issues is troubling and displays a fundamental disregard for democracy and free speech. It is unpatriotic. It is un-American. It is unconstitutional. And I haven’t even touched the ethics issues and lack of transparency when it comes to his business dealings and tax returns. We’ve elected a cartoon villain for president.

What is equally troubling is that, despite clear evidence that our president likely has a personality disorder and does not have the temperament or discipline to lead our country, the people surrounding him, who helped get him there, are willing to gamble on a loose cannon in the White House and sell out the American people because it’s their chance to grab a piece of the power.

Our country, our democracy, and our rights are not in good hands, PEOPLE!

If you’re not alarmed by what is happening right now and you don’t think that the principles that our founding fathers built this nation on are being chipped away by a narcissist and his team of flying monkeys, then you need to check your alarm bells.

I’m not writing this post because I think I am going to change anyone’s mind. I am writing this post because I am not going to sit idly and quietly by while our democracy falls apart because I don’t want to offend anyone. I am writing this post so that other people who are troubled feel motivated to act, to speak out, and to crush this bullshit presidency before we are no longer a democracy.

I am going to shout it from the rooftops every chance I get and then annoy you even more by continuing to post pictures of my kid and my dinner. I just wanted to give you fair warning. If you leave and never read another word I write, that’s okay. I don’t want you to go because, ultimately, this is not a blog about politics. This is a blog about me living my life without apology and without regret. This is a blog intended to create a community of people who share the same struggles and triumphs. This is a blog about living intentionally and purposefully and embracing the journey with pride. In this moment, right now, this matters a whole hell of a lot to me, so it has earned a place on this blog. I will be sharing some of the steps I’m taking to fight for what I believe in. If it’s not your cup of tea, I understand, because I once hated tea. It just turns out that once I actually gave it a shot, I loved it.

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The Second Trimester List Shakeup

I’ve officially entered the second trimester of this project to birth an adult woman. In 26 weeks, I will turn 40 and I intend to do it feeling absolutely fantastic about where I’ve come from, where I’m at at, and where I’m going. If you have a “normal” pregnancy, the second trimester is supposed to be the best. You’re not nauseous anymore, you have more energy, and you have that pregnancy glow. Whatever the hell that means. I don’t know what a normal pregnancy feels like because mine sucked big time, but I think I’m having better luck with my fake pregnancy.

I feel really good about this project. I can see where some of the small changes I’ve made have translated into better habits and more intentional behavior. I’ve found myself putting into practice some of the items on my list without even having to devote an entire week to them. I think the simple act of writing them down has made them stick in the front of my mind. I’ve also learned A LOT about goal setting and how much these little, tiny changes impact the big picture goal. When I first made this list, I considered what made sense for my life as it existed in that moment. I thought about what was realistic to accomplish with my schedule and my obligations, which is, I think, a very practical approach to fulfilling a goal. In the last 13 weeks though, I’m seeing things that I didn’t see before. What once looked like limitations or obstacles now look like a minor problem to be solved, a challenge to be completed.

My list is evolving and my dreams are getting bigger. I’ve had some things tucked away in my heart that I wanted so much, but they seemed too big and too scary to go after. But this is the second trimester and I’m not nauseous anymore and I have way more energy to do this thing. I’ve outlined my list below for the next 13 weeks. Don’t be fooled by some of the ordinary titles, there are some sleepers and some plot-twists lurking within. I can’t wait to share them with you over the coming months. I’ve also edited some of my existing items to fit better with current goals. And what I’d really, really like to know, is what goals you guys have that you’re going to knock out this year. Share them with me!

The Second Trimester List

Week 14 – January 10 – 16 – Do something I’ve been dreading.

Week 15 – January 17 – 23 – Try Zumba. I’m not coordinated. This should be interesting. Try Orangetheory Fitness.

Week 16 – January 24 – 30 – Do something that makes my eyes roll. Sometimes being judge-y keeps me from doing awesome things.

Week 17 – January 31 – February 6 – Don’t spend any money on non-essentials for an entire month. Stick to my budget.

Week 18 – February 7 – 13 – Date my husband.

Week 19 – February 14 – 20 – Be present and engaged with Little C. I’m going to need some rules for this one. Plus take Little C to the snow.

Week 20 – February 21 – 27 – Cook more from my vast collection of cookbooks.

Week 21 – February 28 – March 6 – Make plans more often with my girlfriends. Find a mentor.

Week 22 – March 7 – 13 – Go TV & non-essential phone use free for 1 week.

Week 23 – March 14 – 20 – Try meditation. At least once a day for a week. See what happens.

Week 24 – March 21 – 27 – FREEBIE

Week 25 – March 28 – April 3 – Visit a national park I haven’t been to before.

Week 26 – April 4 – 10 – Update my wardrobe with a few quality pieces instead of throwing clearance items in my cart while on a Target run.

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Finished is better than perfect.

I’m a little behind right now on blog posts. And pretty much life in general. I’ve sat down a few times this week to write an update on kicking off the 52 Hike Challenge and then I remember I also need to write about my new focus on being #strongnotskinny. And then I remember I haven’t written a proper update on my #31days31workouts challenge. And then I curl up in the fetal position to cry and have trouble getting into the fetal position and I realize I didn’t write a proper recap of my yoga endeavor. And then I wish I hadn’t already watched the Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix because I would rather be in Stars Hollow than at my desk.

I don’t have a time machine to go back and write those posts when I was supposed to write them and I don’t have a secret stash of extra hours hidden in my closest. If I did, you can bet I would use them to catch up on sleep or watch all five seasons of The Wire for a third time and not for writing these posts.

But who cares if this isn’t perfect? I’m not striving for perfection, I’m striving to finish, and last time I checked, I’m doing that damn thing. So I’m going to flip this post on its head and do something I didn’t plan. It’s a brand new year and I’m one third of the way through this 40-week project and I’m going to do the blog equivalent of a sitcom clip show and recap where I’ve been and what’s next. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves how far we’ve come so we can see the progress we’ve made and say to ourselves “Wow. You’re kind of amazing!”

Without further ado, cue the wavy screen effects and let’s jump back in time, shall we?

The First Trimester

The first trimester of my 40-week gestation of an adult me began with…

Week 1 – October 11 – 17 – Start a blog. Because writing gives me perspective.

I’d been saying I was going to start a blog for a looooooong time. I still remember the sick feeling I had in my stomach when I posted the link to my blog on Facebook and invited friends to like it.

All I could think was “What am I doing? No one will read this! This is stupid. I’m stupid.” Then I slapped myself and said “You’re amazing and this is a good idea. Now get your shit together and let’s do this.” 

Week 2 – October 18 – 24 – Run a 10k.

 

 

This week gifted me one of my favorite pictures of myself ever.

 

 

 

 

 

Week 3 – October 25 – 31 – Learn to cook treasured family recipes. And share them with my family.

lemon meringue pie

 

 

This week I learned a lot of stuff about my mom through making pie. I also learned that pie is really hard and I’m cool just having a cheese plate for dessert. But mostly, there were some really beautiful life lessons.

 

 

Week 4 – November 1 – 7 – Put down the remote and read a book already!

 

This week turned into ‘Put down my phone. I’m way too attached. It’s a problem.‘ because it needed to. You can read my original post about my issues with being phone addicted here. If you’re wondering how I’m doing, I will tell you. I’m doing better. A little better. I am not on the phone as much as I used to be and I’m much more present for my husband and kiddo. But I did start browsing on it at night before bed. Oof. Just writing this down makes me want to recommit to the no bed phone use again. But progress!

 

 

Week 5 – November 8 – 14 – FREEBIE.

This week ended up being the previous week’s displaced ‘Put down the remote and read a book already!‘ I read MOST OF Daring Greatly by Brene Brown. It’s a fantastic book and I still haven’t finished it. I completely blame the election, which I haven’t spoken of since this post. I really can’t even give it too much energy because I’m still shocked that we, and by we I mean Russia, elected a president that cares so little for actual information and facts and truth and so much for retaliatory tweets and bullying. I can’t even muster a joke about it.

Week 6 – November 15 – 21 – Cook more from my vast collection of cookbooks.

This week turned out to be ‘Lose another 20 pounds. Stop driving myself crazy and change my focus to being healthy and strong over being skinny.‘ I needed to refocus my energy on this with the holidays coming. As an aside, I have been cooking a ton from my cookbooks since I started this blog, I  just haven’t taken the time to photograph anything.

Week 7 – November 22 – 28 – Camp in the winter.

 

This week brought a Thanksgiving camping trip and some early morning snuggle time in the tent. It also brought on an accidental 10 mile hike with a 3 year old, but man, the views were worth it!

 

 

 

 

Week 8 – November 29 – December 5 – Share our Christmas stocking tradition.

 

The most rewarding thing to check off my list so far. After this post, I had a really beautiful, overwhelming response to Charlie’s stocking. I mentioned having the beginnings of an idea to grow the tradition in this post and I will be sharing it with you in the near future!

 

 

 

Week 9 – December 6 – 12 – Try yoga. I’ve been told I have the flexibility of an 80 year old woman.

I started the 31 days 31 workouts challenge this month and I thought this would be a good time to try yoga. I made a commitment to go to one class each week for the entire month. The outcome? I feel slightly better about yoga than I did when I started the challenge. Actually, what’s a little more than slightly? A smidge? A hair? It’s still more than that, but it’s not a lot better. Yoga is really uncomfortable. You’re basically supposed to hold really awkward positions that start to hurt and you’re supposed to focus on your breathing instead of the fact that your foot is totally cramping and you might fall over and fart at the same time. Despite all this, I ALWAYS left class feeling peaceful and restored. There was just that middle part when I was stabby and hateful. Basically, I might do it again, but I just don’t know if I’m a yoga person.

In this post about yoga, I mentioned that tea is not my cup of tea. (Tee hee…tea hee!!) Some of you let me know that you VERY STRONGLY DISAGREE. Well, for all you teabaggers out there (tea hee), you will be happy to know that I may have converted. My sister-in-law, who either doesn’t read my blog or does and hates me, sent me this really pretty ceramic tea cup with an infuser. She also sent some loose White Chocolate Peppermint Rooibos Tea from Teavana that smelled like angel kisses and baby snuggles. I decided to give it a try and it’s replaced my morning cold brew four out of the last seven days. I’m actually going to buy more tea today and try out different flavors. What is happening to me? Is it because I did yoga? Why am I enjoying tea? Am I going to start drinking scotch next?!

Week 10 – December 13 – 19 – Put down my phone. I’m way too attached. It’s a problem.

Since I already worked on the phone issue with moderate success and I’ve shuffled around a bunch of weeks, I took a FREEBIE here. I decided to make this week about creating Christmas memories with my family. In theory, it was a lovely idea. The one thing I didn’t factor in was that my family includes a three year old that recently yelled at me for cooking bacon too loud. In the end, our Christmas memories included a lot of watching videos of people building Legos but even more great times with family, friends and ugly sweaters.

 

Week 11 – December 20 – 26 – Don’t complain about anything for an entire week.

I was too busy to complain and too busy to remember not to complain. I have no idea what happened.

Week 12 – December 27 – January 2 – Start the 52 Hike Challenge.

This week I totally rocked. I finished 31 straight days of working out for my #31days31workouts challenge on the last day of 2016 with my first hike of the 52 Hike Challenge. I followed that up the next day by kicking off 2017 with my second hike of 52. If you couldn’t tell, I like a challenge because it gives me a goal to work toward and makes me accountable. I never in a million years thought I’d be one of those annoying people who posts about their workouts on social media, but it works for me and so I do it.

I first did the 31 day challenge last year, December 2015, at a point when I really needed it. About 4 months earlier I had started to get physically active again after a period of health issues and difficult pregnancies that left me unable to exercise. I had weight to lose and I had a lot of work to do to get my fitness back. Around December, my commitment was starting to waver and my weight loss had plateaued and I was in danger of losing the ground that I had gained.

My dear friend invited me to the do the challenge with her and it terrified me. I knew in my gut that I needed to do it. I knew it would keep me on track. I agreed but I didn’t think I’d be able to finish it. The first week felt like I had been working out every day for a year and that it would never end. I got a really bad cold and still muscled my way through. It was all so public that I didn’t want to give up. I couldn’t fail. And I didn’t!

It changed me in a way that I can’t totally explain. It made me realize that I was capable of things I didn’t even know that I was capable of yet. It made me realize that I could not make excuses anymore. I may not always finish everything I start but I own when I choose to give up. That challenge helped give birth to 40 Reasons because it made me know that I could do anything I wanted to do as long as I made the choice to do it.

That challenge led to another one in the summer and then another one to close out 2016. It has grown to include more of my friends and acquaintances and a lot of people I wouldn’t know until they jumped in on the challenge. I have been so inspired watching everyone that participated.

There’s the friend from college that doesn’t work out on Sundays for religious reasons so she made up the missed workouts by doubling up on several days.

There’s the friend that despite holidays, very cold weather, and a trip to Mexico, showed up every day to do a challenging workout and even got her family involved.

There’s the friend who emailed me quietly to tell me that she wasn’t posting on social media but 10 of her friends were doing the challenge together and holding each other accountable.

And there are the people that started the challenge and didn’t finish or didn’t workout every day but still tried it and that is a badass thing to attempt in December. Literally the busiest month of the year. You guys all rock and I can’t wait to see what challenges you take on next.

Week 13 – January 3 – 9 – Lose another 20 pounds. Stop driving myself crazy and change my focus to being healthy and strong over being skinny.

I’ve kicked this off with a whole lot of food prep and an ongoing commitment to fitness. Stay tuned for the next post to learn what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and how much I already want to give up but won’t.

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Here, let me shove some Christmas memories down your throat

christmas memories

I had a freebie week this week and I decided that I was going to focus on creating Christmas memories with my family. It’s been a rough couple of weeks here in the Davis household with our 3-year old Grinch. We’ve been dealing with tantrums and general naughtiness which can really suck the Christmas cheer out of a room. I figured if I planned some fun holiday activities for him to enjoy, it would coax my sweet little snuggle bear out of hiding.

[Cue the sound of the universe laughing at a mom who thinks she can control her kid’s emotions.]

Personally, it’s been easier this year to keep my sanity through the madness of Christmas planning, shopping, baking, wrapping, cleaning, mailing, cooking, and merrymaking because we’ve had Charlie’s stocking  at the front of our minds. Even with everything on my to do list [phone book sized list lands on desk with a thud] I’ve had a sense of peace and contentment because giving makes me feel that way. My little munchkin though is in sensory overload with presents, lights, and Christmas cookies and can’t keep his shit together.

I want to create Christmas memories for him and I want him to share the joy and excitement I have for the season, but you can’t really force something like that. Especially when someone is angry with you for giving them milk in a blue cup instead of a red one. He’s also obsessed with Legos and watching You Tube videos of people building Legos and it’s basically the only thing he wants to do right now. In the past week I’ve offered trips to look at beautiful holiday light displays, an afternoon of baking Christmas cookies and treats, a date with friends to watch a parade of boats decked out with Christmas lights on the San Diego Bay, and an assortment of Christmas movies to watch together as a family.

His response every time: I just want to play Legos. Or I just really NEED to watch Lego Police Station with the guy building it.

My response every time: Don’t you want to make yummy Christmas cookies with Mommy? You can eat as many cookies as you like! Don’t you want to watch Polar Express with Mommy and Daddy? You can have Christmas cookies!!! [growing more desperate and high-pitched] Don’t you want to go see the Christmas lights with your friends? You can have 6,000 cookies!!!! Take the cookies and love me!!!!

I am cringing writing that. I’ve been in full blown bribe and threat mode probably since we started potty training last month and I just dragged it right into the holiday season like Santa’s bag of toys. I believe it’s reached its apex. My kid is looking at me like cookies, shmookies, you’re just going to dangle one in front of my face again in an hour. I’m experiencing that part of parenting where I know I’m doing everything wrong and I have to hit the reset button.

I realized about halfway through the week as I tried to shove another Christmas memory down his throat that I was doing this waaaaaay more for me than I was for him. I was feeling like such a “good mom” planning activities and being patient and rolling with it when he rejected my idea for the 532nd time, but the reality is all he wants is for me to sit down and play Legos with him and watch those damn Brick Builder videos on You Tube. So ya know what? That’s what I’m going to do. 2016 will forever be known as the Christmas when I watched the construction of Lego Prison Island to the sound of some really bad Dubstep more than four dozen times. And just like that, a holiday memory is born.

What’s up next

Week 11 – December 20 – 26 – Don’t complain about anything for an entire week. I’m going to be focusing on kindness and compassion, having patience and being cheerful. I’m also going to barf out every complaint I can think of in the next 24 hours because, oh my goodness, this is not going to be easy.

Week 12 – December 27 – January 2 – Start the 52 Hike ChallengeI am going to sign up for this on New Year’s Eve – I hope some of you will join me!

Week 13 – January 3 – 9 – Lose another 20 pounds. Stop driving myself crazy and change my focus to being healthy and strong over being skinny. I’ve technically already been working on this but I have big plans for January in terms of fitness and I’m guessing I’m not alone in this.

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Week 8 – Our Christmas Tradition – Charlie’s Stocking

I knew when I decided to take on this 40 week project that Charlie’s stocking would be on my list. I assigned it to week 8 because, well, it’s December and the stockings have been hung by the cookbook collection with care. We don’t have a fireplace.

Why it’s on my list

Before I explain Charlie’s stocking, I’ll tell you that I feel like some years I’ve really nailed this tradition and others I’ve sort of mailed it in. I put it on my list because I want it to be the focus of our holiday season, rather than the frenzied schedule of shopping, wrapping, and rushing around like a lunatic. All of those things are still going to happen, but now, especially as my little guy is really getting into Christmas, I want him to see that being kind and serving others is one of the best things we do during the holidays and all year long.

The story behind this tradition begins long before where I’m going to start it. That part of the story would take pages and pages to write and maybe someday I’ll be able to turn the valve and let those words flow out but that day is not today. So this story will start abruptly and it won’t be the whole story and I will be sad writing it and you will be sad reading it, but don’t worry, there are a lot of beautiful things coming.

We have a three-year old named Calvin. He has a big brother named Charlie. Charlie died a year and 10 days before Calvin was born. He was born too soon. He was due in November but born in July. He weighed just shy of two pounds. He fought heroically for his life. He gave us two months to know him and love him and drink in every drop of him. And then he left us.Charlie Bug

He left us behind with our hearts broken wide open. And the thing about having your heart broken that way is that you just hurt so much. And everything is so raw. And you crave compassion and kindness in a way you didn’t before because it’s all you can tolerate. It’s the only thing that starts to mend the breaks and begins to fill in the gaping hole you feel in your chest.

In the weeks after Charlie’s death, I really struggled with the should have been’s and the supposed to’s. Important days came and went: the baby shower that wasn’t, Charlie’s due date, his first Thanksgiving, and all I could think was that he should be with us and it just hurt so very much. We were trying really hard to find the joy in things but it was really, really hard. I knew that we had to find a way to make Christmas joyful.

Before he passed away, my mom had planned to make a stocking for him. I knew she had already bought the fabric so I called to tell her that I wanted to go forward with a stocking for Charlie. I needed him to be represented at Christmas. I needed to feel like he was with us.

I wondered if it would make people uncomfortable to see his stocking hanging in our home, a glaring reminder of our loss. Death is a tough thing to talk about it with people who are grieving.  But I wanted to talk about Charlie. It made me feel connected to him and I couldn’t bear to pretend like he never existed. And that was really the crux of it for me. I was struggling to make sense of how short and difficult his life was and how he never got to experience any of the things I had wished for him. I didn’t want him to fade away into a distant memory for us because he never really got a chance to be here and make his mark on the world.

My husband and I managed our grief by doing things “because of Charlie” and we started calling them “BOC’s”. We wanted to do things because of him that we wouldn’t have done otherwise. We wanted to be kinder and more compassionate. We wanted to pursue our dreams and build a life that would make him proud. We wanted to parent in a way that would show him how much he taught us and how much we loved him. And really, 40 Reasons is just an extension of our BOC’s.

We decided that for every day in December, both of us would do one kind thing for someone else and then we would write it on a piece of paper and slip it in his stocking. We wanted to open his stocking on Christmas morning and read all the lovely things that had happened because of Charlie. We shared the idea with our friends and family and asked them to do one thing for Charlie and send it to us if they were so inclined. That year on Christmas morning, Mike and I sat in our living room reading scraps of paper and postcards and letters and Christmas cards from all over the country through our tears. We found a way to make Charlie feel present in our home; a home he never got to come home to.

What I want to get from it

We’ve carried on the tradition each year although we haven’t been as diligent about doing it daily. We still get cards from a few people here and there that remember our tradition and it means the absolute world to us. The best thing is that Christmas feels like Charlie is closer to us. We get to remember him with joy and recall all the good that he has done in this world even though he is gone. This year, I decided to bring back the daily notes. I want Calvin to see what a gift is is to do nice things for other people. We talk about Charlie a lot to him. He doesn’t quite understand where he is but he knows he’s a part of our family and that he has a brother. I want his brother to represent love and kindness for him, just like he does for us.

I’ll share with you on Christmas what we find in Charlie’s stocking. If you want to participate in Charlie’s stocking, you know we’d love to hear from you. If you have a loved one that you want to honor, message me and tell me about them and I will send you something for their stocking. Holiday hugs to you all!

What’s up next

Week 9 – December 6 – 12 – Try yoga. I’ve been told I have the flexibility of an 80 year old woman. Perfect timing with my 31 Days 31 Workouts challenge!

Week 10 – December 13 – 19 – FREEBIE! Is eat cookies and take naps for a week straight a viable option?

Week 11 – December 20 – 26 – Don’t complain about anything for an entire week. I already see some potential complaint triggers happening due to Christmas stress but I think this is a perfect time to take a deep breath and shut my face.

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The 5 Stages of Election Grief

There have only been a few days in my almost 4 decades where my life changed dramatically in the space of 24 hours. And none of them have been in a “I won the lottery!” way. And yesterday was one of those days. You may be thinking “It was an election. Get a grip. Did your life really change so dramatically?” Let me explain. But first get a glass of wine or some hot cocoa or some weed, because apparently that’s legal now…this is going to get messy.

Yesterday, I woke up filled with the kind of glee reserved for Christmas morning and tropical vacations. I bopped around the house getting my three year old ready for daycare. His tantrums didn’t even put a dent in my mood because I KNEW what was going to happen today. I dropped my snotty, screaming little lovebug off at daycare and headed to the lake nearby for a quick run before heading home to work. I listened to a #nastywoman playlist that I made myself. #beyonce

As I ran, I thought about how, as a girl watching election coverage in 1984, I was confused by Geraldine Ferraro because I couldn’t understand what she was doing there. I was 7 years old and just starting to wonder why no women were president. I wondered if women weren’t president because they weren’t smart enough. I wondered if they weren’t natural leaders. I wondered if they didn’t have the temperament. I concluded, as a 7-year-old child, that women weren’t suited for the role. I concluded that women weren’t as strong as men. It never occurred to me that something was wrong with the system. It never occurred to me that I lived in a world that treated its boys as more valuable than its girls. I don’t remember if I ever asked my parents. I just know that in my young mind I understood that it just wasn’t a job for someone like me. It wasn’t a job for a girl.

As I ran, I teared up thinking about how my small boy would grow up in a world where his first two presidents were not people who looked just like him. A man of color and a woman. I knew there would be plenty more white men after them and I loved that he would get to see all sorts of people as leaders. I felt like the world was changing and that the American dream that we talk about was actually becoming a reality. I was proud.

Fast forward twenty-four hours.

This morning I woke up heavy with the weight of grief and loss. I don’t use those words lightly. I’ve experienced acutely painful loss and grief and I felt them in me this morning, familiar companions that I hoped I would never see again. I felt shocked. I felt numb. And I cried unexpectedly. I felt shocked because like so many others I did not see this coming. I felt numb because despair is paralyzing. And I cried because I was hurt that so many of my fellow countrymen and women chose a leader that stood on a platform devoid of compassion and loaded with divisiveness, anger, blatant misogyny, and racism. This was not my president. I wondered if this was even my country.

As I dropped off my unusually cheerful child (thanks universe!) at daycare this morning, I walked in just as another parent was getting ready to walk out. The teacher at reception called out to him to “have a great day!” and he looked up, caught off guard. His face reflected the same shock and hurt that I felt and he just said “I’ll try but I don’t know if I can” as he looked back and forth between the two of us. My eyes welled with tears and I nodded because I couldn’t speak. He is black. His wife is white. They have two children under age 4. I would be willing to bet that he is wondering if this is his country anymore either.

After I navigated my way through the stages of denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, I went over and over in my head how and why and why and why and whyyyyy did this happen? Here is what I came away with. This is not the time for blame. The country has grown so divided to the point that we have fractured. And not just the little hairline cracks that heal without a cast. We are femur-snapped-in-half-sticking-out-of-your-thigh-we-might-have-to-amputate broken. And we aren’t just broken in two. This is not a clean break. We also broke a hip, 3 fingers, and shattered one of our arms. We need some serious healing and it ain’t gonna happen overnight. We have two very distinct groups on the right that want different things. We have a very similar situation happening on the left. It’s not to say we all want totally different things. In fact, I believe that you could take any two of those groups in any combination and find a Venn diagram of overlapping interest and common goals. But we have done absolutely nothing in the past several years to try to identify where we want the same things. We have made ourselves more divided through rhetoric, through left or right-skewing media, and through our inability to see past our own ideas and truths.

The bottom line is that this country is made up of all different kinds of people and that the majority of them are good people. I do not believe that all of the people who chose a leader that is the human version of a toxic dumpster fire are racist or sexist. I know actual good people who voted for a walking circus peanut and they did it because they feel that they aren’t being heard and they want change. And they aren’t being heard because we are all shouting at each other and no one is listening. I believe that a lot of us want the same things. I also believe that in order to move forward we all have to be willing to compromise because being 100% absolute in our stance has gotten us where we are. Which is that we are about to have our leg amputated and we have a slithering orange Muppet as our president-elect. No disrespect to the Muppets. You know I love you guys.

I don’t know where to go from here and I’m legitimately fearful of the damage that a Twitter bully in a baggy suit with an animal pelt on his head will do in the White House. But I do know this. I am going to try to understand the people around me. And I’m going to try to respect their opinions. I want to be able to have a civil, productive dialogue with people I don’t agree with. We’ve come to a point where all we do is trade insults and share memes mocking each other’s beliefs and delete “friends” and even family from Facebook because we don’t like what they have to say. Nobody ever changed someone’s mind by sharing memes like this.

trump-vs-corn-who-wore-it-better-meme

If we want to have a voice in this country, if we want to have our message heard, we need to listen and we need to stop shouting. I am not suggesting we downplay our opinions and give up on our beliefs. I’m suggesting that we have to go about this with compassion and understanding and kindness and love. We are all humans here. Even that walking bag of dirty diapers with several accusations of sexual assault and an upcoming trial date for fraud. But seriously. When I said my life changed dramatically in 24 hours, I meant it. Not just because this talking Cheeto with a tuft of corn silk could make actual policy changes that impact me and the people I love. But because I realize that I have not been listening. I have friends that supported Bernie that were very hurt when Hillary secured the nomination. I shrugged it off because I thought, well that’s what the people want. Clearly it wasn’t enough of the people. I know a lot of conservatives who are horrified by Trump and felt like they faced an impossible decision between Trump and Clinton. I shrugged it off because, to me, Clinton was, is, and forever will be, a far superior choice to that butternut squash in a power tie. #imwithher #nastywoman

But the point is I shrugged off the opinions of people I care about and respect because I was just happy to get what I wanted. We’re not going to get anywhere stepping on each other’s heads, even if we want to do it just to see what the hell is going on with that hair and if it’s actually attached to his head with velcro. I’m changed because I am going to work on advancing my ideas, my truths, and my causes with compassion. I have to acknowledge that there are opinions that matter outside of my tribe. Because shit just got real, real quick. This is how I cope with grief and loss. I turn to action and find purpose. Mine is going to be to build bridges in my community and in my circles, to find common ground together, and to do it with love, kindness, and compassion. This one hurts and there are some tough days ahead, but we can’t afford to lose our shit and waste energy pointing fingers. We have to do the work to make real change at the ground level or we run the risk of continuing to isolate each other and creating an even bigger orange monster. I hope you’ll join me.

Note: I am aware of the hypocrisy of peppering this post about compassion and understanding with childish digs about that talking candied yam with a reality show, but it’s a process people.

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