In the Deep Mid-Winter

 

Can you believe it's the end of February? Time is passing in such a discombobulated way. Days seem to last weeks as bad news rolls in seemingly with no end, and somehow it still seems improbable that it's almost March. What a weird time we are living in. I think a lot about how it must have felt to be experience the unrest of 1968 or 1931, and I wonder if the collective trauma we feel now is reminiscent of what people felt then as well. There's an energy wafting through the air that I've never felt before. What a unique situation to be in, to see the crumbling of a government you thought would always be steadfast. I should say, unique for us. (And if you don't see that that is exactly what's happening, you need to read some books!) This is nothing that the world hasn't seen over and over again through history. Which is mainly why so many of us are so alarmed. I'm fucking alarmed because I know what comes next! And it ain't good.

For those who are still looking for more newsletters to sign up for that give you daily calls to action and methods of resistance, a la ActionNow, Jessica Valenti has a great one called "This Week in Patriarchy" that she just started and I just started following Resistable, which has info on marches, protests, and other ways to resist.

Instagram has also been a really awesome way to stay informed and learn from women who are wonderful activists and teachers. I find that Instagram is much less daunting than Facebook or Twitter when it comes to staying in the loop, so if that's more your thing, check out Sarah Sophie Flicker, Janet Mock, Carmen Perez, Paola Mendoza, Mikki Kendall, and Dee Poku, to get started! I'm also so grateful for my dear friend Alexa Arnold, whose thoughtful and informative posts have really inspired me to rethink the way we get our food.

I've been thinking a lot about how in order to be able to stay active in the long run I need to pace myself and protect myself from the news at certain times. And I've definitely started getting better at seeking out literature that helps me feel a bit of respite, whether it's online or in print. In regards to my own work, I have been feeling slightly conflicted about not being able to provide that respite here, myself. I know that you might come here searching for a bit of peace yourself, wanting beauty tips or stories about childcare, and I don't blame you. I'm looking for the same. But I can't not acknowledge the world we are living in and what's going on. And please know that I do feel sorry about that! I know I've lost a few readers as a result, and I certainly don't blame anyone for needing to tune out the political.

But after lots of reflection and research, I know I can't just go on as if nothing has changed. I look to my own favorite bloggers, and I have so much more respect for those who aren't going about business as usual, who are keeping the conversation alive and finding ways to infuse activism with their work. I wouldn't feel true to myself if I didn't do the same. This election and resulting political climate rocked me to my core, and when in the past I kept my activism to myself, or at least limited to my Twitter account, it's now become all encompassing. I just hope you'll stick with me as we live through this time, and hopefully feel inspired to get involved in some way, no matter how big or small! I've just gotta keep it real with you all.

I keep thinking about the poor children who were being held in airports or are separated from their parents right now as all this bullshit gets figured out. I can't imagine the terror and the trauma. Most of us know how important our early developmental years are, and when they're imprinted with fear it gets ingrained deep in their DNA. I mean, think of your worst childhood trauma and how it fucked with you. Being bullied, getting injured, fights with parents, it all gets buried so deep in our psyches and affects the choices we make and the way we relate to the world for the rest of our lives. I can't even imagine being a child and having to endure collective trauma on this scale and processing it.

I can't even deal with the recent news affecting trans kids. It boggles my mind that adults would want to take protections away from the most vulnerable among us. I don't understand the logic, it's disgusting. There is no logic, I suppose. It's pure hatefulness. Did you know that almost 50% of trans kids seriously contemplate suicide? That's absolutely horrifying. Why would we make any aspect of their lives more difficult. It's abhorrent. I do want to add, though, that that statistic drops drastically when trans kids have parents who are supportive of them. What more clear way can we know how important it is to love and support our kids no matter what?

It makes me just want to remind everyone to be so, so gentle with their babies. I've definitely been missing my daily baby snuggles now that I am not babysitting anymore. I could really use some if you'd like to send a baby my way! Tenderness is just so important for children to feel and learn. Maybe some time this week you can play for a little longer on the floor with your kid, even if your back is starting to get sore. Or you can listen, really listen, next time they're telling you an inane story. We all need to establish even deeper connections with our children now, and develop and nurture that sense of security and safety that the world at large is lacking.

Nothing has ever brought me as much peace as reading does, even as a small child. So since it's Black History Month, I figured I'd make a list of my favorite children's books about or by Black people! (Yes, I know February is basically over, but that doesn't mean it's not still important to read these!)

Bookworm: Black History Month

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold

A Chair for my Mother by Vera B. Williams

Happy to be Nappy by bell hooks

The Colors of Us by Karen Katz

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Last Stop on Market St. by Matt de la Pena

Trombone Shorty by Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews

Emmanuel's Dream by Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls

A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

March by John Lewis

Harlem's Little Blackbird by Renee Watson

I've read all of these books and absolutely adore them. They're a must-have for every kid's library! It's so important for children of color to see themselves represented in books, and it's just as important that white children read stories about people of color.

Things keeping me happy:

This month's Literary Ladies' Club Book Selection: The Witches. I've been wanting to read this books since it came out and it couldn't be timelier! Thank goodness for good books and the lovely women in my life.

THE CRAZY SHIT THAT WENT DOWN AT THE OSCARS LAST NIGHT I CAN'T EVEN!!! HOLY FUCK THAT WAS AMAZING.

Sneakily listening to Theo make silly voices while he records audio for his work in the bathroom.

Kissing the corners of Maeby's mouth.

Eating blood oranges.

One Love Organic's Gardenia + Tea Antioxidant Body Serum that is making my usually scaly winter skin super soft and making me smell exactly how I've always wanted to smell my whole life. FANCY!

These tulips and the accompanying Valentine's Day candy and perfume gifts from my sweetie! It's such a silly/fake holiday, but it really is uplifting to stick some homemade paper hearts on the wall, eat some chocolate, and tell people you love them.

The trailer for Julie Andrews' new Netflix show for kids. It made me happy cry, because we need kids falling in love with the arts now more than ever before. If you have a kid over 2or 3, maybe they can watch it during their allotted screen time! (And you know how strict I am about screen time for kids!)

My workouts at Pop Physique! Guys, no one hates to exercise more than myself, so I really hate to admit this, but it has really helped with my anxiety and depression. The trick is to find a workout you really love. The gym would only make me more depressed, but these classes are so fun and the vibe is just up my alley so I'm really motivated to go and work hard. I always leave feeling stronger and clear headed, which is the goal these days!

This weather! But also, I'm enjoying it VERYYYYY cautiously. I know March is gonna kick me in the butt, but you know what? I said that about February after our mild January. So who knows, either way our earth is fucked! This tweet summed it up pretty perfectly:

Well, I leave you now with some links for your eyeballs and a little ditty for your hearts. Hope you're well!

A lovely interview with Alana Massey about her new book.

Modern etiquette.

Trump's nightmare.

This breaks my heart.

Troll him, ladies!

This is unequivocally false and rude.

What are we doing to our children of color?

Talking about respites, if you haven't watched Fleabag yet, DO IT. Phoebe Waller-Bridge is my muse.

Love while on the autistic spectrum.

The children of bad memories.

Madewell is really making me regret not picking a profession where I make more money with this and this. How will I get through winter without them? Is it socially acceptable to start a Kickstarter for my shopping needs?

Young people get trans rights.

Just a few of the many reasons good Christian girls need Planned Parenthood.

Moonlight.

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