154// It Gives Me Hope

Work was as exhausting as ever. Nothing big or bad happened. No one bothered me or expected too much. No one was unfriendly or inconsiderate. I was just tired and longing for the days when I spent all my time doing whatever I wanted rather than what I had too. Still, it’s nice to see people I have missed and to know I have been missed too. It’s nice to have people ask after me, after my wife and my loved ones, and for me to hear that though I work for such a large district very few of us have been impacted by the coronavirus.

I made sure to take some time to put my headphones in and escape the best I could when I needed too. I’m encouraged by hearing so many of my favorite podcasters and commentators express support for the protests happening all over the country. I’m happy to hear so many make the distinction between the protestors and the looters and to call out the police wherever they incite the very violence they condemn. I’m hearing more of that talk creep into major news network reporting and I can feel this time that something significant is very different. It gives me hope.

Around midday I received news I would be teaching my first CPR and First Aid classes next week. I’m extremely anxious, it’s been a few months since I took my instructor class and I’m afraid I have forgotten everything they taught me, but I’m doing my best to breathe and to trust in my skills. Luckily I get to watch two on my counterparts teach for their first time before I do and can learn from their mistakes before I make the same.

This evening is my first “No TV Tuesday”. It isn’t strictly “no TV” since I still watch a show with my wife over dinner, but since then I’ve been in the creativity room. I haven’t been particularly productive but that wasn’t the goal tonight anyway. I only meant to make sure I could turn it off and commit to keeping it off all night. I spent some time sharing journal posts I hadn’t finished and drafting a few pieces I plan to write and in the coming weeks but social media got in the way of any more than that. I think next week I’ll need to put both my phone and brower into “focus mode”.

And now, as twilight drops and the cool breezes are begining to blow through the open windows I’m off to find a more comfortable place to try do some reading and not watch another episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender before bed. I downloaded two new ebooks I found for free today: Who Do You Serve, Who Do You Protect? from Haymarket Books and The End of Policing by Alex S. Vitale at Verso books.

Stay safe everyone.

153// On Edge

This Monday is turning out to be a rather quiet one. I think the tension on the news and around the city has trickled down into through our everyday routine and leaked between the individual relationships. We’re all on edge. It’s as if each of us is carrying a great weight or as if we full of emotion and trying to avoid exploding so we are avoiding one another.

This morning my wife brought up the idea of us joining the protests. I want to very much but, if I’m honest, I’m afraid. The rubber bullets, the tear gas (and my wife’s asthma), the police brutality, the fact that we are both women, the coronavirus, it all makes me want to stay inside where it’s safe but there are so many who are never safe and who need us to use our privilege, to speak up, and to show support. I think we’ll get there in the next few days.

For now, we’ve decided to pick some bail funds and charities to send donations to. If I can’t offer my time and presence I at the very least should offer my money.

Off subject, my results came back from the antibody test I did last week. I tested negative, but they stress that the test can be inaccurate. I weirdly feel disappointed. I had hoped for the best-case scenario: having been an asymptomatic carrier with possible immunity now. My wife is looking to do a test too, and it turns out the same company is offering testing to the general public nearby and as soon as my own insurance company offers the test I will take it again. Even if it offers me no peace of mind, it contributes to the public health data analysis.

152// Only Choices

This morning is an emotional one. Nothing seems to be going right and everything is hurting my feelings. I so worked up and so down I just want to go back to bed for a while and try again in a few hours when I’m calmer, stronger. That isn’t an option though. There are no do overs, only choices, and though I can’t always choose how I feel, I can choose to do things I know will make me feel better.

The to-do list is long, but that’s okay. I always feel better after knocking out a few chores and projects. I have no hopes for any writing getting done and I think it best I not set myself up for failure and disappointment by putting those expectations on myself.

Today just breathing and being a good partner to my wife will have to be enough.

I’m somewhat worried to return to work tomorrow. The news cycle has been overwhelming these past few days and my anxiety and anger is at a level where the wrong word from a coworker on the subject could push me to explode. I’m an opinionated person and I work with other opinionated people and we as a group are from varied and widespread along the socioeconomic levels and points along the political spectrum.

I’m of the philosophy that if you force me to listen to your opinion, you will have to listen to mine. I can turn any discussion into a debate and more often than not I am more informed and more passionate than my opponent. People don’t like to engage with me on these kinds of issues and that is just fine with me. I have better places to expend my energy, anyway.

Currently // May 2020: Getting Used To Life Again

“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day
When it’s cold outside I’ve got the month of May

— The Tempations, My Girl

This May, much like the April and March before it, was both too short and too long, far too empty and far, far too full. There has been good news in the fight against coronavirus and the world has begun to reopen and life to return to some version of normalcy we can recognize but there is still so much uncertainty and fear. There is still the lingering chance that the numbers of infections and deaths will begin to rise again and we will have to shut ourselves off and away from one another once again.

As the good news of few new cases and deaths were just brightening our spirits, the world found other ways to to fall apart. Protests over not opening fast enough gave us all pause. Displays and deaths due to racism peppered social media streams. Cities all over the country marched peacefully for change during the day, and by night they burned with rage.

The world is a scary place right now and the more they try to push us out the more we want to stay in and the more they push us to the breaking point the closer we all get to boiling over. I’m not sure now how any of this will end and there is a large part of me that predicts it won’t anytime soon, if ever. The coronavirus isn’t going anywhere and racism is so deeply imbedded in our culture I can hardly imagine what life in this country would look like without it.

As for me, I like many others have learned that sometimes the best we can do is allow those who can fight to fight and those who can’t to do their duty and stay out of the way. I spent much of the month waiting. The shifting return to work schedule made it hard to plan projects and after two months of isolation and anxiety I was too emotionally exhausted to write. All I could do, all I felt I should do, was rest.

And now I have gone back into the world and the days and weeks have picked up a rhythm I can follow. I work four hours a day, Monday through Friday. I come home and eat lunch with my wife, clean, and sometimes cook. I watch my shows. I write. I sleep. I try to get used to life again.

As I move into June, I’d like to hold on to a little of that time I spent in quarantine and take what I learned about myself and about what I can still do and take more of an active role in the life that I am building. I want to have more time for myself and not what happens to be left over after work. I want to have more time because I gave less of it over to work. This has been the biggest lesson from all of this the value of my time and what I can do, and what I don’t have to do with it. From now on so much more is going to be up to me.

But before I learn to take back and protect my time, here is what I am currently:

Writing an essay a week. I know I’ve been talking about this project for a long, long while now, but I finally feel ready to commit. I’m actually not ready at all and this is probably the worst time to start any project but one thing I’ve learned these past few years is there is never going to be a right time especially with anxiety and procrastination so readily available to get in the way.

Making better choices. Being cooped up in the house day in and day out made it hard to practice good self-care habits but now that I am returning to some form of a schedule I am finding it easier, and more important than ever, to be mindful of the choices I am making. Now I’m picking healthier food alternatives. I’m going to bed on time. I’m exercising every day. I’m reminding myself that a habit is more than a task you don’t have to think about, it’s one you don’t want to think about. So, stop thinking and just do.

Planning my days and weeks. I’ve been keeping a text-based to-do list and logbook in google docs for a couple of months now but I’ve only just recently gotten to a point where I am updating and reviewing it on a daily basis consistently. I’ve added comments to each date where I track things like weight, meals, steps, mood, and what I’m listening to, learning, and reading. I track the weather, the moon cycle, and the day of the year too.

Reading Femme Fatale by Guy de Maupassant and There Is No Outside: Covid-19 Dispatches, a collection of essays published by n+1 magazine. I’ve been slow to make progress toward my yearly reading goal and am sitting 2 books behind as of this writing, but I’m hoping to get ahead again in June with more time scheduled for writing and an easier way of carrying them with me.

Watching Mrs. America on Hulu, a miniseries following of the struggle to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in the 70’s, Homecoming on Amazon, a psychological thriller series, and Insecure on HBO, a comedy-drama series written by Issa Rae. I’m currently binge-watching Showtime’s Homeland, a spy thriller I love to hate and Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, arguably the best animated series ever written.

Learning nothing. I was taking The Science of Well-Being from Yale University, but I’ve been too busy, too tired, and too full of excuses to finish it. I made it through all the videos of Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader by Wesleyan University, but I have yet to finish the writing assignments. Some of these will be the first posted in my essay a week project. As I scale back on TV and social media time I hope to get back to these courses and more.

Anticipating the summer. The season, despite the oppressive heat and violent storms, is my favorite of the year by far. I’m disappointed that this year there will be so little of it to enjoy. Then again, even a low-key and abbreviated summer is better than no summer at all. The world is opening back up more and more and though I’m not quite ready to do all the things available, I’m ready to try to do some things, slowly and safely.

Reflecting on what the quarantine has taught me. The pandemic was and continues to be a devastating tragedy, but that doesn’t mean nothing good came of it. We learned that if we are bold, cooperative, and committed anything and everything can change. I’ve learned what is important to me and how I had been denying myself peace and personal fulfillment in the name of productivity that turned out not to worth very much to me after all. There is a lot I learned about myself these past few months and a lot I’d like to hold on to even as we return to normalcy we can recognize.

Fearing what the near future holds. The world feels like it’s in free fall and no one anywhere can provide answers or even a plan for how we will make it through these next few months with our health and humanity intact. With the possibility of Covid cases surging, economic devastation and sweeping budget short falls, partisan politcs and protests and riots erupting all of the country it’s hard to see a way through it all, to feel safe or secure, and to know how to help or at least how not to hurt. We’re all afraid and we are all in this together, no matter what side you are on. We’ll have to find a way to the other side together too.

Hating the police. I saw a post on Twitter lamenting the lumping in of all cops under the same categorization and pleaded with other to understand not all cops were brutish, power hungry, or cruel. Someone replied with something like “you’re right, not all cops are bad, some are just complacent.” The indifferent are now as culpable as the cruel and the blood shows equally on both hands. There is so much grief and anger that it can no longer be controlled or constructively targeted.

Loving the support I see from the media, politicians, and even some police officers for the BlackLivesMatter protesters. Now feels like the right time to make a change in the world. We’ve got as close to a blank slate to rewrite our laws and reaffirm our commitment to true justice and equality. We have already remade the world in profound ways let’s be bold and imaginative. Lets spread love and support even as we spread anger and grief and see what beautiful and righteous connections and changes we can make.

Needing everybody to use their critical thinking skills when reading the news these days. Cultivate a habit of reading more deeply, looking for context clues, and asking yourself, “what is missing”?. Who’s story is being told and who’s isn’t? What is deliberately big emphasized and deemphasized? What is the history.of this issue? What change needs to be made? Who is asking for a change, and who is answering or denying that call? Read past the headline. Read more than one story, one platform, one side before you form and opinion and choose a side.

Hoping something big happens soon in the name of good and justice. We’ve had so much bad, and difficult, and painful. We’ve had so much that turned us indifferent, angry, hateful, or sad. It’s long passed time for a little love and happiness. I know it’s unlikely. Perhaps that isn’t how love works. Perhaps it’s in all the little acts that don’t make the news and words that don’t trigger opinion pieces. The good is out there. Talk about it more. Share it more. Spread it more. We need it more than ever.


So, yeah, all in all, May was a chance to reflect and to return. These last few months have been so empty and so lonely and finally we can return not just to each other but to nature too and in that return we can reflect on what we learned while the world paused and, more than anything, May gave us the chance to choose. As June approaches we can choose what our new normal will be and what we will value when we finally rebuild.

But what about you? Have you stepped out of quarantine and back into the world. We’re you ever able to step out at all? How much summer have you been able to enjoy? Have you protested in your city? Have you stayed safe and sane? Has your humanity survived this time for fear and divisiveness?

Let me know in the comments.


The inspiration for these posts comes from Andrea at Create.Share.Love

Photo by Mickey Dziwulski on Unsplash

151// Celebration

It was a late start this morning, but after a long week of early exercise and hours spent at work, I felt like I deserved to sleep in a little. I almost wish I hadn’t though since the garage was that much hotter when I went to do my regular workout. I’m glad I still did it though. Breaking the chain would be devastating to my motivation right now.

This afternoon is my little brother-in-law’s graduation celebration. It’s going to be a small affair. Just my wife and I, her mom and dad, and her brother. We’ve got gifts, and cake, and hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. I feel so bad for him, and all 2020 graduates this year. It’s bad enough to miss something like a birthday but to have your once in a lifetime accomplishment and recognition pretty much cancelled and the celebration greatly reduced is so sad. We did our best, but I know it isn’t the same at all.


The celebration is over now and I’m back home and I just received a notification on my phone that there is a curfew in place for the city of Denver. I had thought that though there was destruction and clashes with the police downtown last night that it was minor. I had even laughed it off earlier this morning, but now I’m growing anxious. I’m safe. My loved ones are safe, but my community isn’t.

I’m afraid of the escalation. I’m afraid of what will happen to these protestors. I’m afraid they will be suppressed and silenced by the very police force and government they are decrying. I’m afraid nothing will change and people will go on dying and living in fear forever. I’m afraid in my fear I will do nothing.

150// I Hope

The end of the week is here and I couldn’t be more relieved. I need a break from it all. I need a break from the who rest of the world.

The news is a lot today. I feel tense and useless. I feel a fear that encompasses the whole world and an anger that I don’t know where or how to direct. I am profoundly sad and though I don;t quite feel I deserve to use the term, there is something like grief trying to burst from my chest.

It’s strange to be of mixed race in times like these. To contend with your own privilege, your alienation from two communities, the hate you have for half of who you are and the hate you feel radiating down from half your history. I don’t know where my place is in all of this. I’ve never really known.

I do know how I feel and where I’d like to be but I’m not sure I’m welcome and maybe that is me being to sensitive, insecure, and self-centered. Maybe you aren’t given or offered a place. You have to find it. You have to make it.

I am one of the lucky ones though. My mother, my white mother, text me early this morning in full outrage over the murder of George Floyd and the heinous tweets from the president. I know she is afraid too. I know everyone is.

I thought about going to protest today or tonight, but I’m already seeing reports of tear gas so thick it’s hard to breathe downtown. I hope all the protesters stay safe. I hope that justice is served and that this time the world wakes up and make some long overdue changes. I hope, I hope, I hope…

149// Easier and Easier

Every day gets a little better. The morning workout started a little late, but it got done and though everything was pushed back, I still beat my coworkers in after all.

Work is easier and easier and I’m getting more and more used to the new way of doing things and my new role in the district. It feels good, but to be honest I miss the quarantine days of doing nothing at all. There is so much time and energy I’ve had to give up again. I’ve not been able to find a balance between what I want to give away and what I want to keep, but in time I hope a schedule, a norm, a rhythm will fall into place.

I miss writing though. I wish I had done more of it over the last few months, but all the uncertainty of the world got in the way. I’d like to learn to channel those emotions rather than let them bury me. I’d like to learn not to question and regret every choice too.


The evening was hard. I fell asleep after work again and when I woke up I was crunched for time to finish the cleaning and cook dinner. There was no time for a walk and just about everything that could go wrong did. By the time I sat down to eat I was sore and feeling very sour. Nothing is right, and nothing can be made right. I’m angry and I’m tired and I don’t know how to stop feeling this way.

This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way in recent weeks and it feels like it’s growing more and more frequent.