Uncategorized

Days Gone By

Close the door on days gone by

Favor lost, too late to try

Betrayal’s ripe, emotions high

Sad that now this means goodbye

 

Force me when you steal the show

To be the roadie, set in tow

I had to serve the final blow

In naked rage, I served it low

 

I regret the way we died

But feel relieved to end the lies

Omission serves its own refrain

When battered hearts become remains

 

I needed time to test your gaze

Waited for your turn of phrase

To tell me you would count me in

As I had counted you, a friend

 

Jealous odor foul in air

The friendship fabric starts to tear

Goodbye to you, and you, and her

We’ll part with echoed awkward words

 

I’ll sate my hunger other ways

Plenty more to fill my plate

But I’m still haunted by the ways I tried

Sacrificed now to days gone by

Boring Adult Things

Talking Shit and Learning Lessons

I really screwed up this week. In a fit of anger, I vented about a friend to a mutual friend of ours (over text, no less). She had opened the door by inquiring about the status of my friendship with this other person, and I exploded. Word-vomited all over the phone. All the anger I had been storing up came out. And I meant every word of it, but the delivery was awful. It was stark and naked and furious. It was full of hurt and stemmed from what I saw as betrayal. My back had been broken from a recent straw and I vented to someone I shouldn’t have.

I never would have thought this mutual friend would immediately share my texts with the person I was upset with. Had I wanted to confront her, I would have done so in a much kinder and thoughtful way. But here my raw feelings were, laid bare and angry, and now I’ve lost several friendships. I have no regrets cutting out the person who had zero concerns sharing my innermost thoughts with someone they would hurt. And I honestly know that the feelings I had that caused such anger were real. They weren’t baseless. And I’m still hurting. But I don’t think of myself as a mean person and I was. So today, I grieve. I grieve for the possibility of ever rekindling a love and trust again for or from the friends I’d had. And I grieve for the kind person I thought I was, which I’m clearly not. Anger gets the best me sometimes. And it’s vile.

It’s been a hard year. That’s where a lot of this came from; this fury. I’ve gone on literally 30 business trips this year and recently returned to have my son clinging to me like a caged monkey, terrified I would leave again and not come back. Politics have taken a serious toll on my mental health, and the election I had invested everything in went the wrong way. I’ve gone through a seriously deep depression, which I had asked for help with from this friend, and she never followed up. B and I have been in an utter panic over childcare because we just don’t have enough resources to cover all the last-minute stuff that seems to happen. Work with my main client has been rough and I’ve been concerned about the future of the company. I’ve been a maid of honor and have been breaking my back (and wallet) to throw two bachelorette parties and a bridal shower (not that I’m upset about it – just another spinning ball). My child is in a very rough stage where he’s impossible to please and even more impossible to keep in one place for more than 30 seconds at a time (if he’s not running through a tunnel screaming joyfully, he’s on the floor rolling around like a worm and throwing a tantrum). I’ve had challenges with extended family. I’ve been taking classes outside of work. I’ve been really upset about my body image.

I felt like for all of the giving my heart had offered her, my friend didn’t know the first thing about me or any of my plights, nor did she care. I don’t know if that’s the reality but it’s certainly how it felt.

I don’t know where I go from here. I can’t say my feelings about the past have changed, so maybe it’s all for the best. I had a really good talk with the friend I hurt about everything, but the nerves are very raw on both sides and I’m not sure if we’ll move forward. I am deeply grateful she, while very hurt, was understanding about why I vented and knows how sorry I am that I brought a mutual person into it.

As human beings, we have some true evil inside of us. A yellow puss that runs through our hearts and backs up until the pressure is relieved. If you have a long-standing issue with someone, I encourage you to address it in a productive way, lest you do what I did and realize what an asshole you are.

Be kind. Be smart. Be suspicious. Be forgiving, and be apologetic. And if you can’t be all of those things, at least choose three.

Boring Adult Things, mom blog

The Village

I’m not someone who asks for favors. When I ask you to help me out, it’s because I’m desperate. Feeling indebted to others is one of the things I despise most about being a human in a world with other humans. I will be the first to jump to your aid, but I much prefer the transactional nature of financial exchanges over asking for charity.

I think that’s where you’ll find the crux, here: I look at favors like charity. Like asking friends for a helping hand makes me weak or dependent. Like I can’t take care of myself or my family.

Similarly, we don’t have family that lives close to us. Our nearest immediate family members are a 2 hour drive away, which is nice when Brandon and I need to get out for a full night or have backup care for business trips. But in case of an emergency, our options are limited. Paid sitters aren’t available last-minute much of the time. Sometimes, shit happens.

I was stuck on the tarmac the other night on a flight that wasn’t taking off. I was more than three hours delayed when I realized I wouldn’t make it back in time for Brandon to make it to his final hockey game of the season. He is the goalie, so if he doesn’t play, the team doesn’t play – especially if he drops out last minute. He of course wouldn’t have left Cameron alone while I was flying back, but we were in a real jam because he had to get out the door.

Enter The Village. Through gritted teeth, I texted 2 of my friends and Brandon texted another set to see if someone would mind coming over on a Thursday night to sit at our house while Cam slept and I worked to get home. Brandon even offered to take him to someone else’s house so as not to inconvenience anyone too much.

The friends he texted, friends we have had for years, refused due to “an early morning,” as though we had asked them out for drinks rather than reaching out in an emergency. I have never been so floored that one of the only favors we’ve ever asked of them was rejected so soundly when we were really in between a rock and a hard place.

One of the people I texted was at work (nurses–the nerve, huh?!) and the other was someone I had been MIA from for a couple months. I had been thinking about her recently and how I hadn’t been the greatest friend because I was traveling so much I hadn’t checked in. I felt terrible asking her for a favor, particularly in light of all that, but she was instantly at our house while her husband stayed with their kiddo. “That’s what moms do,” she said. “We’re a village!”

It’s moments like this that remind you how much friendship truly means, and what a blessing it is to have a village. Moms, particularly those without family close by, sometimes end up in jams. I remember my parents asking our neighbors to watch me in the middle of the night when my brother was born. You pick the kids up at school when someone is stuck. In the case of our nanny share, the host family’s moms were more than happy to watch Cam for an extra couple hours while Brandon was stuck in some horrendous traffic back from Nashville. It’s just what you do. I would do the same in a heartbeat for any of them.

This experience also reminded me how important it is to cultivate relationships with the people that matter to you, and to distance yourself from those who don’t share your values. I am so grateful to have a community of loved ones–my chosen family–and I’m making it a pledge this year to not take them for granted. And maybe to get a little less freaky about asking for favors. But I’ll still never want to.

Boring Adult Things, mom blog

Who wants to be ordinary in a crazy mixed-up world?

Let’s do a quick recap of where things stand, as I sit about halfway past 31 (WHEN DID THAT HAPPEN?) and actively working on the rest of the items on my list. I realize as I made this, I was being pretty ambitious. But I think it’s possible.

In other news, the fam is good and business is chugging along nicely. Here are some of the latest pics from life – can you believe my baby is almost 2?

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Yeah, I friggin’ saw Obama and yeah, he friggin’ waved at me!img_2351img_2430img_2494img_2538img_2458img_2561

Kathleen’s bachelorette party in Vegas!

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TRAVEL A LOT

40. Machu Picchu. Duh.

39. Go to Australia.

38. Go to Africa.

37. Complete Handstands Across America. (To date, I’ve hit GA, SC, NC, TN, PA, WV, VA, FL, AZ, NY, NJ, CT, AL, CO, IL, and WY.)

I’ve added Nevada – check it out! I need to get MD because we went there and I forgot to take a pic. We have family up there.

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36. Take Cameron to a place that’s non-English-speaking.

We will be going to Mexico City and Oaxaca as a family in March!

35. Take my mom on a vacation.

MAKE SOME MONEY

34. Increase my income by 10% at least one year.

I doubled my income this year.

33. Attend at least 5 networking events each year.

I think I’m on track with this. It’s amazing how small and incestuous my industry is!

32. Take a continuing education course in a related field.

I’m knocking this out for sure. And I’m learning a ton.

 

BE A GOOD MOM

31. Help Cameron with his homework. Even when I don’t understand it.

30. Log at least one solid moment where I go, “My kid made the choice to do the RIGHT thing.”

29. Tell Cameron EVERY SINGLE DAY that I love him.

 

BE A GOOD WIFE

28. Show Brandon at least once a month how much I really appreciate him – even when he’s driving me COMPLETELY INSANE for whatever reason.

I think I’ve been pretty decent at this one!

27. Have a date night alone with Brandon at least once a month.

We haven’t been great about this but we’re working on it!

 

DISCONNECT

26. Give up Facebook (or whatever the hot thing of the moment is) for a SOLID month.

I already did this, but I’m taking another couple months off for the holidays, and it’s been LOVELY.

25. Go on at least 10 family outings completely without my phone.

24. Turn off the TV for a month. Before 30, I struggled to do this for a week. Let’s up the game.

 

STAY HEALTHY

23. Run another 15k.

22. Take fitness classes at least once a week for 6 months – jazzercise, dance, Zumba, kickboxing, yoga… whatever.

Um yeah, probably need to get on this.

21. Go a month without alcohol.

This one too.

20. Go a month without bread.

 

BE ADVENTUROUS

19. Participate in a big cultural event (like I wanted to before 30 :).

18. Run for a public office.

17. Learn another new skill (welding, embroidery, calligraphy, etc).

 

CHILL OUT

16. Do absolutely nothing for a full weekend.

15. Write in a journal every day for a month.

14. Read a few more classic books.

13. Go on vacation somewhere that’s purely relaxing, not necessarily an “adventure” destination, just to enjoy it.

 

BE A GOOD FRIEND

13. Send care packages to 10 friends for no good reason.

12. Check in more often on friends who are going through crappy times.

Really trying my best to do this. I probably need to get better, though.

 

PROTECT MY INVESTMENTS

11. Get my retirement savings to $500k by age 40.

On track for this, at least early on. We added about $40k this year.

10. Diversify my investments – BitCoin? International real estate? Etc?

We have some solid cash in crypto, and I don’t love how it’s doing, but we’re in it for the long haul. Also hoping to move into real estate in the next couple years.

9. Keep 6 months worth of savings in the bank “just in case.”

I don’t know that we’ve hit this (other than if you count our savings for a basement renovation and our retirement, which I don’t), but we have maybe 3 solid months right now.

8. Keep, and stick to, a freakin’ budget for 6 months (to start).

7. Start a trust fund for Cam, and keep his college money saving.

6. Get smarter about investing – take a class in stock trading or similar.

5. Donate $10k to charity/a good cause.

We’re at $1k at this point to the Stacey Abrams campaign, plus a variety of different charity donations, but we probably need to up this.

 

WOAH, BUDDY

4. Flip/renovate a house.

3. Own chickens.

2. Move internationally for a period of time.

1. This one is my secret. But I expect to reveal it next year.

Uncategorized

Stolen

I’ve been extremely busy the last few months, splitting my time between work, traveling 2-3 days a week, momming, and being a super active volunteer for the Stacey Abrams for Governor campaign.

I canvassed (phone and in person), donated a ton of money, went to event after event, cheered her on at the debate, even rapped on MARTA. I met Stacey, heard John Lewis speak, high-fived Will Ferrell, and Obama even waved at me. So those things were pretty cool.

I also made an amazing friend, Brit, who runs Millennials for Abrams and is an absolute POWERHOUSE of a woman. I cannot wait to see where she takes things. As no indirect part of her efforts, young voters came out at 4x what they did in previous elections. 400%+ in Georgia. That’s freaking amazing.

But I can’t begin to even explain what we were fighting against. With the Secretary of State running his own campaign, you hear about suppression but it’s hard to contextualize without seeing it for yourself.

I saw it for myself.

I volunteered as a nonpartisan poll watcher at Booker T. Washington High School in Fulton County and I watched, slack-jawed, as 76 people–roughly 8% of the total voters–were forced to vote provisionally. 8 people were turned away to other precincts because the location had been begging for additional provisional materials that didn’t arrive until an hour and a half after they had run out. Every single person who voted provisionally was a person of color – almost all were Spelman students. This was happening all over the state, primarily for people of color and students.

The students and the poll workers did nothing wrong. The students were registered but simply had been purged, or never put, on the voter rolls. After the election, we have heard of thousands of provisional ballots going missing.

The machine numbers at Booker did not match the list of machines the county provided. One machine broke during someone’s voting process. A check-in machine was not functional during the first 2 hours of voting, when 40 people had lined up starting at 6:30am to get in the doors right away.

It was egregious. It was downright wrong. It was most certainly intentional and illegal. And it was all in the name of the guy running the election cheating to win.

I’ve heard a lot since he claimed victory (that is actually still out for debate as provisional ballots come in more and more every day). “Suck it up, buttercup” is a line touted by the Right, as is the idea that somehow we are cheating by wanting to count every vote (“He won fair and square!”). This is downright bullshit.

Seeing it all happen in front of my eyes–and also witnessing the total lack of surprise from everyone involved–was eye-opening, to say the least. My initial reaction was, “That’s just not fair!” Well, welcome to the world of everyone without privilege. Welcome to the world of every person of color. “It’s not fair!” Well, of course it’s not. It never is.

I wrote a little song to get my feelings about the situation out. It’s been years since I’ve written anything… it requires just the right mood and passion. But last week, I felt that passion. I felt that anger. I felt that fury and sense of injustice. And I can only continue to keep fighting so this never happens again.

 

Riptide

Don’t give me reasons

For how you played the better game

It’s all just treason

When the candle lights the flame, baby

Fuck you and judge you

And give me reason to care

 

CHORUS

You fucking monster

Won’t let you haunt her

With your slow-cracking smile
You play the games of a child

I won’t let you win this time

As we wind down the ride

Riptide

 

Don’t stand there stupid

Pretending like the crowd can’t see

You wrote the ballot

And then declared your victory, baby

Stay clean, we’re making

A case to show you who we are

CHORUS

 

Catch me on the other side

Milquetoast baby, rip this tide

I will take it all in stride

‘Cause you’ll find

We’re gonna fuck you up this time

We’re gonna catch you in the riptide

 

CHORUS

Uncategorized

Tantrums, Trials, and Trying To Live Without Bread

There are seven distinct, expanding tendrils of my life right now that are getting progressively more difficult to regulate:

Motherhood, work, marriage, politics, other responsibilities, money, and myself.

The balance, as everyone knows, is a myth. You are always failing at at least one of these, if not all.

Lately, I’ve been failing myself the most. I’m eating badly, not exercising, sick, and exhausted. I’m away from Cameron so much with work travel that I feel total mom guilt taking any time away from him outside of that. I gave up bread for a month (check-mark on my list!) and thought I might die.

I Eat Bread Every Single Day GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Other responsibilities are piling up as well. I’m hosting a wedding shower this coming weekend (and expecting a few quite judgy guests), a bachelorette party two weekends from then, going on a work trip in between, another work trip/combo family birthday weekend trip for a friend the following weekend, and then finally escaping with my family to North Carolina for a few days in November. The travel has been absolutely nuts lately and every time we all leave, we’ve got to worry about how our pets will be cared for, getting everyone paid, getting work under control, and making sure invoices go out on time.

I am also the sole accountant for Brandon and me, so every Friday is invoicing day. If we don’t send invoices, we don’t get paid. I have some continuing education classes I’m taking online, constant treading water, saving for home renovations, and so much more.

And then there are the tantrums. Oh my God, the tantrums. The fury, anger, spitting, crying, emotional outbursts from someone who cannot seem to regulate himself. The entitlement I’ve witnessed recently is out of control. We are clearly doing something wrong.

Also, my toddler is throwing tantrums.

BOOM.

No, but seriously, my kid has turned into a monster the last couple of weeks. His tantrums have become frequent and epic. Tonight, there were no less than six meltdowns, one because he pointed to something on the table, I did not know what he was pointing at, and it destroyed his entire world.

Most of the time, I’m pretty cool about tantrums, but it’s getting really waring lately, particularly being sick and exhausted from everything else. Cam is awesome but he definitely knows how to be a little butt.

Just ready for things to slow down… why do I do this to myself?

Boring Adult Things

Our Family Technology Plan

There is little that gives me more fear than the ways in which the world will change to make being a decent, contributing, empathetic person more difficult. As a parent, it’s weird how your perspective changes – not only are you concerned for the planet, yourself, your loved ones, and their kids – you have a direct stake in the ways the world is changing under our feet, and you fear for the future of your offspring.

I am privileged beyond belief not to have to worry about my son in many ways: he is a smart, upper-middle-class white boy living in America. My challenge will come in ensuring he knows, acknowledges, and appreciates this – and uses this to better the world around him.

But one thing we all have to work through with kids of this generation – at least those who live in first world countries – is the role technology will play in their lives. I am an older part of the last generation to remember a world before the Internet as a mainstream tool. Someone who still vaguely remembers using a house phone. Someone who remembers the birth of social media, and the trajectory it took in replacing chatrooms, forums, and instant messengers. A world in which a selfie was a unique concept (and I have an old DeviantArt page with plenty of them, circa 2002 – they are considered antiquities now).

My child will not have the grounding I did. He will not be raised in a world where there is a stark difference between then and now. He will see little reason to learn how to physically write – much less learn cursive (although, I have to say, I never saw the point of cursive, either). He may not ever see a reason to learn how to drive. Those are just the facts. But the implications are that he will be far more connected to the outside world than I ever could have been, and at a frighteningly young age. He will no doubt encounter porn well before puberty. He will be begging for a cell phone at 8, or younger. He will be expected to participate in social media at what I would consider an obscenely young age – and he will be exposed to whatever his network chooses to put out there. I will have limited control over that. (Obviously, monitoring is vital and parental restrictions are a given, but kids can get around ANYTHING and that’s just a fact we have to face.)

He will witness the heinous nature of how people treat each other behind the anonymity of the Internet. He will encounter trolls, predators, bullies, and all kinds of racism, misogyny, prejudice, hatred, violence, drugs, sex, and disgust well before I’m even likely to be aware he’s seen anything. And his small, developing brain will be working all of that into his perspective on the world. This will be the case for all our children.

We cannot shut this down. We cannot raise our children in caves, allowing them out only to fetch water for the family and collect firewood for the hearth. There are times I briefly consider this idea, knowing that living as an Amish family may be the only way to protect my kid from becoming either an asshole or suicidal, or both. But needless to say, that’s pretty extreme. And frankly, not realistic. Even the Amish have Rumspringa.

I struggle often with how we will introduce technology into Cameron’s life. Especially since Brandon and I both work in tech–in advertising, no less–and know intimately how data is used to follow and target the unsuspecting. We can’t be hypocrites, attached to our cell phones and laptops and denying him the right to ever see a screen. But it is nonetheless our responsibility as parents to guide him in the direction we feel is appropriate for his age.

So with that said, I’ve put together a family manifesto for the use of technology in our lives. Maybe it’ll help you create your own for your family.

 

  • Technology should be an aid – not a crutch. Is the technology bettering your life or hindering it? Are we watching a movie together or are we each zoning out and staring into the abyss of our own devices?

 

  • Meal time is family time. No screens, ever, when we are eating together at the table. Including the parents.

 

  • No TV before age 2. We are not perfect about this, but I would venture to say the amount of collective television programming Cam has watched in his 18 months totals about 12 hours. And about half of that was dedicated, “special treat” family time – The Princess Diaries one night and Elf at Christmas. He watched Finding Nemo on a plane trip and has seen a few episodes of Mr. Rogers. He has no idea what the characters are on t-shirts and is usually perfectly happy to entertain himself with his toys and books. It’s also been really refreshing to know that the things he’s learning aren’t coming from a screen – they are coming from books, interactions with other kids, time at his nanny share, from us, or from the world around him. We never have to wonder if he’s been exposed to something weird, because we control what he takes in. It’s not so much a control thing, though, as it is a dependence thing. We didn’t want our kid to be dependent on a screen for entertainment or babysitting. So he adapted to entertain himself without one. Has it been a huge pain in the ass to never (well, almost never) have the TV on when he’s around? Sure. But has it made our family dynamic a million times better than it would have been? You bet. And it’s made Brandon and me more productive, more voracious readers, and more interested in music. Plus, Cam appreciates a good podcast nowadays.

 

  • No cell phone before 10. No smart phone before 12. I would like this to be 14 but realistically, I think I’m going to get beaten into submission. In my mind, there is no reason whatsoever that a pre-teen needs a smart phone. In an emergency, a cell phone is necessary because pay phones don’t exist anymore. But connecting to SnapChat? Bite me. There is zero reason for this. And Cam will be a master manipulator but despite what he’ll think at the time, I’m no dummy, either.

 

  • Mom and Dad’s phones are for pictures and videos of family. I don’t feel right keeping Cam away from phone screens like they’re some sort of prized possession he’s not allowed to touch. It’s only going to make him more curious. But he’s also not going to watch YouTube or play Candy Crush on our phones. When he plays with my phone, it’s while he’s sitting with me – not in the car, not unsupervised. We Skype with family or we look at pictures and videos I’ve taken of him – that’s pretty much it. Maybe we’ll look up a picture of a tiger or truck (“CRUCK!!!”) here and there. But for all he needs to know for now, that’s all I do with my phone. And that’s totally fine. There are real books and games that offer much more exciting entertainment than blinking lights.

 

  • Technology should be used to grow the imagination – not supplement it. A fire truck that goes “woo woo.” A learning table that reminds you of the colors you’re pressing. A little keyboard to play that sounds like a piano. Those things are helpful – they encourage retention and brain development. Watching a video of kids playing with a soccer ball, though, is not developing anything. It’s a boredom distraction. You know what’s also a boredom distraction that actually teaches something? Kicking a ball.

 

  • Be the change you wish to see. This is a fundamental tenet we try to teach Cameron in multiple aspects of our lives. We encourage him to chat with our homeless neighbors, be kind to animals; we go to marches with him. We volunteer, we run phone banks for candidates we support. This must extend to our relationship with technology as well. This one is the hardest for me. I love TV. LOVE TV. It is my way of decompressing. But I can live without TV. And I can put my cell phone away. I make a huge effort to put my cell phone to the side when I’m with Cameron, or when we’re all out to eat. I don’t have the TV on around him, and I’m certainly not watching a screen he can’t see (although sometimes I do listen to podcasts :). In the car, we either listen to music together or we chat. Sometimes he has a book in the back. We don’t have tablets and he doesn’t have something for the car. Has it been a huge pain to give up TV during the daytime hours? Of course. But it’s forced me to find other things to do. And there was a period of about a month when we couldn’t find our living room remote, and we all hardly noticed. It’s amazing what a small change can do once you commit to it.

 

I’m not a saint. I still watch a lot of TV – but it’s after Cam goes to bed. I still play Candy Crush and check Facebook a million times a day. But when it’s family time, it’s family time. We bond, we shop together, go to sporting events, go to the aquarium or on a scavenger hunt. We are a trio that genuinely enjoys being around each other and I hope to stay that way. I’m hoping that starting early and introducing screens slowly, in a way that means they don’t feel tethered to Cameron but that he feels comfortable around them. We want to create a healthy relationship with technology. We will screw up a million times. But this is our family’s plan for how we hope to try.

Uncategorized

Always Sacrificing Something

So I’ve accomplished another goal on the list: as of this month, I’ve exceeded last year’s income by at least 10% so far. It has been a whirlwind and I’m as shocked as I am grateful, but I am bone tired.

It’s hard to walk away from opportunities when you work for yourself. You never know when your next paycheck is coming. I keep getting asked for more, more, more of myself and there are limited amounts to give. I fee like a lazy mom, an absent wife, and a mediocre worker because I am burning the candle from both ends, working 60 hours a week. The travel is uncontrollable. I need a break.

I am going on vacation with my mom and sis in a week, so I’m hoping that’s a good detox. Right now, I’m just trying to figure out what to do. I don’t have the answers. And you expect it to get so much easier as you get older – it just gets harder. We may grow all the time, but I don’t think we ever fully grow up.

Boring Adult Things, Lists

Social Media Detox

I expected that giving up Facebook for a month would be difficult. We hear so much about social media addiction and the constant need to be connected to our networks and phones. I have not been immune: mainly out of a sort of obsessive-compulsive habit, I was opening Facebook probably dozens of times a day. I don’t know what I thought I was missing, but just that quick flip calmed me – particularly in this age of near-constant changes in politics that feel life-changing at a moment’s notice.

I deactivated my Facebook and Instagram accounts the evening of 3/6 and removed the apps from my phone. I realized a few days in that I couldn’t fully deactivate Facebook without causing myself a bunch of grief with work and connected logins, so I allowed the platform to reopen my account (when I needed to check some numbers in an ad platform) but I never signed back in. I have to say – I haven’t missed it much at all.

The time I was spending flipping open that damn app icon is now devoted to reading, give or take, half an hour a day. I’m able to really focus and enjoy TV shows I’m watching rather than half-listening while scrolling through an endless feed of photos I’m not in and don’t honestly care about.

I miss the status updates from some of my groups – one woman in particular is going through a rough time in her family and I want to know how that’s unfolding and how she’s holding up. We’re only Facebook friends so when I cut out Facebook, I cut out her and everyone in that group.

I’m also slightly annoyed about random events – trying to figure out if it’s half priced wine night at some restaurant I like, or if trivia is still happening even though it’s snowing. Things like that. Facebook serves as the primary resource for that kind of information and I feel a little blind without it. But you know what? It hasn’t impacted my life all that much. And if it did, I would pick up a phone and actually (gasp!) call someone.

We went to a caboose cabin in Asheville, NC and hit Greenville, SC for business on the way up. I took pictures but forgot about looking to see if people had Liked them, because I didn’t post them. I enjoyed my time with my kid and husband. We saw goats and bison and chickens, we ate at my favorite childhood restaurant (J Arthur’s in Maggie Valley), and we cooked hot dogs and s’mores around the campfire. We went to a Brazilian steakhouse, hit the breweries, and had fun at Cameron’s 1-year photo shoot with our friend Cami.

And we didn’t need to announce all of that in real time to my social network because frankly – nobody else cares that much!

I’m about halfway through this social media detox and I may just continue for a while. I thought this would be an insanely hard transition but it’s actually just been a breath of fresh air. If Trump does something so insane our lives are in danger, we’re probably all screwed anyway. And if he doesn’t, I’ll just hope I hear through a longer grapevine about his impending impeachment.

So I hope all of you guys are doing well. I hope you’re still loving being vegan, getting lots of baby giggles, enjoying the single life, bitching about the latest political outrage (I stand in solidarity with you and have not stopped my offline activism!), crafting, cooking, singing, photographing, running, and traveling. I still love you. But I don’t miss your online profile. And I’m willing to bet you don’t miss mine.

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Books I’m reading with all my extra time!

*Janesville – REALLY well-written. Empathy-inspiring. Although not as much as…

*How To Kill a City – holy CRAP have we been awful to People of Color in this country. A study of Gentrification 101 in some of America’s key cities. (Detroit will BLOW YOUR MIND.)

*What Happened by Hillary Clinton – it took a long time to dry my liberal snowflake tears and open this book again. But I’m in the home stretch. It’s okay. It’s infuriating. It’s a little pandering. But it has one of the best quotes I’ve seen that sums up all of the books above:

“There’s been so much said and written about the economic hardships and declining life expectancy of the working class whites who embraced Donald Trump. But why should they be more angry and resentful than the millions of blacks and Latinos who are poorer, die younger, and have to contend every day with entrenched discrimination?

…After studying the French Revolution, (de Tocqueville) wrote that revolts tend to start not in the places where conditions are worst, but in places where the expectations are most unmet. So if you’ve been raised to believe your life will unfold a certain way – say, with a steady union job that doesn’t require a college degree but does provide a middle-class income, with traditional gender roles intact and everyone speaking English – and then things don’t work out the way you expected, that’s when you get angry. It’s about loss. It’s about the sense that the future is going to be harder than the past.”

*And I mean, of course I read Fire and Fury… which was fascinating, but really, it’s more like a 20/20 exposé than a real book.

Lists

15k, Over and Out

I knocked out the 15k on Saturday. About mile 2, I had the sinking feeling I’d made a terrible mistake. Another girl jogged up next to me and asked, “What’s your strategy?” I looked at her like she had two heads. My first thought was, “My strategy is not to die.” I more kindly answered, “Walk when I’m tired. Run downhill.” Apparently, that was her strategy, too. Call be a dum-dum but I didn’t know people went into these things with strategies.

It was hilly. Very hilly. Which was nice on the down-slope but murder going up. And as much as I love running to podcasts because they’re long-form entertainment, I realized I can run more predictably to music. I also hurt a lot more than last time… chafing, soreness, the works. But it was overall a good pain – it reminded me I worked hard, that as I approach 31 and am post pregnancy, I’m still doing good things for my body, and that I knocked the first big task off my latest bucket list.

And get this… after the last 15k I ran a few years ago, I said, “That’s it.” I had no plan to do another one, much less anything more strenuous. But after this one… I think I can train for a half marathon. I really think I can. And I just might.

So EAT THAT!

Also… I’m giving up social media for the next 30 days.

So maybe that will leave me more time for training.

WHAT AM I DOING TO MYSELF?

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