I’ve decided I’m no longer going to play parent to people who I have no responsibility for. Too many people want me to do the work and then hand over all the rewards to them after. They feel entitled to the respect and privilege I have earned by association.

This, I’m sorry to say, a problem I’ve encountered particularly from straight, white, cisgender men. They’ll get nothing more from me in 2020.

This is my own small resistance. My way of occupying my space, both the space I am entitled too by birthright and the space I have craved for myself with work, and pain, and passion. This is my way of setting up boundaries and expectations, and of making sure I am seen for my contribution rather than overlooked by others doing less.

I love to help. I am a team player. I want us all to succeed, but not to my mental, physical, or professional detriment. I don’t think that is asking for too much. It shouldn’t be, anyway.


I was meant to be at work today but a lack of sleep over the last few nights and two days of stomach pain and headaches have kept me in bed. I was up early though. The sound and sickening smell of dog vomit hitting the carpet had me cleaning and rushing around before 5 AM. It’s my fault though. Last night I accidently left a large bone with her while I went out for dinner with friends. Normally only gets half of a treat like that at a time but in my absence she ate the whole thing. It’s going to be a long day for both of us.

Now the plan for today is to write and to stay out of my wife’s way. She planned a very productive day for herself but my presence can be a distraction for her. We tend to fall into our cozy bubble and forget expectations, obligations, and plans when we are together. It’s a good and bad thing. As much as I’d love to pull her in now and pursued her to forget that to-do list and that feeling of accomplishment she’s chasing but I know that sometimes love means leaving the one you love alone so they can go live that part of their life that exists outside of you.

So, now I’m in the “creativity room” feeling quite directionless. I can’t write so I’m making lists instead which I hope will be useful for the next time I can’t write. I’m watching Crash Course Psychology videos picking out useful phrases, writing them on scrap pieces of paper, and word associating whatever I write down. It feels like I’m doing something but I’m scared I’m really not. I suppose it depends the truth depends on what I do with the lists and notes next.

Most of the time they collect into piles on my desk that get purged yearly. Most end up as nothing but trash because I lose the context that sparked them. I suppose if I went back tomorrow and followed up I could actually make something out of them instead.

Time is moving blissfully slow tonight while my wife and I share plates of leftover crab and sausage, sip the last of the wine we’ll have for a while, and watch episodes of Modern Love on Amazon in a sweet re-celebration of New Year’s day.

The house is nice and clean and after her errands she brought home night lights to put throughout the house for me now that I’m up so often in the middle of the night and so early in the mornings. All that good food, this home, her, our new shared last names, the new year, and the shot of amaretto I had after dinner, all of it is swirling around in my head and filling me with the most exquisite happiness.

P.S. The dog is doing much better. She only threw up twice today and for the most part only on her own blankets and bed. This isn’t even out of the norm for her. She’s always had a rather sensitive stomach, like me. She’s had plenty of water and I’m sure by morning she’ll be back to her old self.

061 // A Peaceful Moment

I can see the snow starting to fall from our big living room window and all my ladies are sleeping around me. My girlfriend is stretched out to left on the couch, the dog is at my feet and the cat is snoring in her tower to the right. The TV is quiet, my girlfriend having nodded off before she could choose a movie, and for the moment, life is peaceful.

I hope for the same peace tomorrow when there will be more snow and nothing calling us up and out of the house. I wish I could have it every day forever, but soon there will be work and a lot of work and family obligations to get in the way. That’s why I mark these moments when I can. I hold them in my heart and pull them out on whenever I’m overwhelmed or anxious.

This kind of peace, I have to remind myself, does exist and I will always be able to find it again.

These entries are inspired by Thord D. Hedengren

060 // The Privilege of Problems

It was all downhill from my morning coffee.

I don’t want to fill this place with more complaints and curmudgeonry so I’ll simply say that I’m grateful for the problems I do have because they are proof of my privilege. I’m grateful to have a job and the respect and consideration of my coworkers. I’m happy to have a home that needs cleaning, friends and family to be obligated to, and a relationship that requires time, patience, compromise, and understanding.

I’m grateful for my problems, and for Fridays, that revitalizing light at the end of the tunnel I need to push on toward the weekend.

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

059 // Simply Unfair

The weather may not be sapping my energy today, but other people certainly are. I feel let down and taken advantage of. I feel unimportant and at the same time, I feel like everything is being put on me.

I don’t want to complain though. I can’t control other people. I can talk to them, sure, but I may have to accept that some things are simply unfair and focus on what I have to do rather than what others are not doing.

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

058 // Tired of the Season

I struggled to match yesterday’s enthusiasm but there was still measurable progress made. The week has already gotten away from me though and I’m not sure I’m going to meet those writing goals I set for myself but it isn’t from lack of trying so I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

I couldn’t resist watching Micheal Cohen testify before the House Oversight Committee today. Part of me wishes I had skipped it and done more writing or reading instead, but another part felt that this was too important a political event to miss. I was a wild ride and not a moment of it felt like a waste.

I’m especially tired tonight for no good reason at all. Sure, I didn’t get the best sleep last night, but not the worst either. I didn’t spend the day working too hard, physically or mentally, and there was plenty of coffee to drink and I even took a nap mid-afternoon.

Still, I came home feeling drained and disoriented. I couldn’t hold a thought in my head and I kept forgetting what it was I wanted to do next. All I wanted, more than food, more than my TV shows, more than even a shower, was to go straight to bed.

I blame the weather. I blame the frigid temperatures and the depressing fog that hung around the city all day. I blame the threat of over the coming weekend and the way winter has exhausted me these last few weeks. I’m simply tired of the season. I can’t take much more.

But, tomorrow is the last day of February and there are just 21 days left until Spring now. I think I’ll make it though it will be hard.

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren

057 // Small but Measurable

I took today for myself and when I did I promised not to waste it. I did all the things I wanted to do until each little goal was met, and then I did no more.

I did one day’s worth of Spanish lessons and didn’t concern myself with being top of the leaderboard. I watched one day’s worth of videos for Social Norms, Social Change I and I didn’t try to complete the whole week at once. I read exactly 50 pages of One Hundred Years of Solitude so there would be time left for writing, and worked on a draft of my next “Currently” post without the pressure of trying to make it perfect right away.

I’m practicing chipping away at things. I’m doing less of each thing per day so that I can accomplish more in the long term. I’m not rushing, or pressuring myself, or feeling guilty and because of that, there is no reason to be afraid, to be overwhelmed, or to procrastinate.

Today wasn’t perfect but I learned that it helps to use a timer and to schedule my time on social media. It helps to set a clear goal for each task and to decide before you begin exactly when you will stop. It helps to turn on some music and to have a plan for when you get distracted, stuck, or tired.

I feel good tonight, and proud. I wanted to keep the momentum going so, I turned off the TV early and made time for a short walk, a long shower, and one more chapter before bed.

I look forward to some small but measurable progress tomorrow.

These entries are inspired by the journal posts of Thord D. Hedengren