thanks to perseverance and confidence in herself

PhD level unlocked.

I couldn’t be happier or prouder of my sister because she worked hard for this.

I am optimistic about your work. I am optimistic that my successor will quickly realize how important this work is. I urge you to stay the course and keep up your commitment to the work. Make your voices heard and make them relevant to the people that you’re talking to. ~ Sally Jewell, U.S. Interior Secretary

You got this, my dear Dr. Sister!

everything but

The day after I am reminded what a good day Thanksgiving version 2016 was.

Like the old, tired phrase goes, we did have much to be thankful for, and we were, all of us. We were all very thankful here under The Big Top. In everything.

Well, in everything but text and phone conversations in the dark of night, when The Big Top is quiet in sleep. Those were the things that kept me up well past the early morning hours of the day after.

I really should just turn off my phone when I turn off the light.

I’m being vague, I know.

Trust me though, I am thankful that I am here living under The Big Top, living this circus life and loving every one who is a part of it. Everything. Everything in this life I give thanks for.

I really am fortunate.

 

with clarity

Voting today for me was not hard. With clarity and confidence of my heart, my mind and my soul, I entered my polling place and voted.

No second thoughts, voting my conscious or for God, no choosing of the lesser of two evils, no protest or throw-away vote for me. This election I knew what my choices would be; and I made those choices with my son standing beside me.

CRAZY to consider that four years from now HE will be voting!

Yes, for me the choice was an easy one. I understand that it was not so for others. Still, I hope that if you can, that you voted. It’s our right, our privilege and also our duty. IT’s around 4 PM as I write this here in California so I know it’s not too late.

Go!

Vote!

One of my own struggled even this morning still with the decision she must make. I’m still confused, her text said. We discussed this in the days leading up to this morning. But it still was not for me to decide for her. She knew my choice…my choice. I didn’t tell her who to vote for. Instead I told her about the first time her namesake voted.

Before my opportunity to vote in a Presidential election, I shared with bright-eyed enthusiasm my excitement to vote with my Great Grandmother Austa Valentine. She chuckled and told me about her own first time; which was THE FIRST TIME  for American women. History tells me choices and opportunities for women like her were very few. She was a wife, she was a mother. But, thanks to the 19th Amendment, she was a woman who could vote. Her recollection to me was going to the polling place accompanied by her husband. She feared at any moment her husband, the precinct worker or someone else would tell her that this all was a mistake; that there was no ballot for her to mark because there was no right to vote for women, for her. But it never happened. She marked her ballot and placed it in the box and done! She voted! Who did she vote for, I wondered. Ah, your ballot is always a secret, she said to me with a wink. She leaned closer and confided that she voted for Harding, like her husband did…but in years to come, she didn’t always vote for the same candidate as he did.

Austa Valentine will likely always be my favorite.

Vote for her, I told my daughter. Vote for your namesake and her legacy…me, you and your girls.

Yes, I voted with clarity and with confidence today but I also voted with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat thinking of Austa Valentine, my daughters, my grand daughters and the history that we might be making

There never will be equality until women help to make laws and elect lawmakers ~ Susan B. Anthony

surviving with deep roots

Storms make the oak grow deeper roots.

~ George Herbert

As a survivor I know why I have survived and why I thrive. It’s my roots. So many storms weathered through. Too many, much too many when I was at my most vulnerable and defenseless as a child. The fact that I am a alive it’s a miracle!

Yeah, I still sometimes quote Hamilton with no apology whatsoever!

It’s true though. How did I manage to survive and thrive when others have not?

That is not for me to figure out.

No.

Instead I will continue to survive and thrive. I will because I am stubborn. I am loved. I also continue on because I know when I must fight and when I must retreat. I don’t retreat because I am letting you who attack me win. I retreat because I am working on me which means that I win. I win because I know for a fact you (who belligerently raged at me trying to rip open wide horribly scarred wounds in reminding me what a useless, worthless shitbag fuck I am) are apoplectic right now in that I walked away from your very public meltdown directed at me. And while you raged on like a storm, I retreated into words…words that heal, that strengthen and remind me how much stronger and better I am than you. Three thousand-six hundred-fifty eight words, words filed away for now. Filed away with your words that I have boxed up for no other reason than I can. Perhaps someday you might read those words, all directed at you. Perhaps not. It doesn’t matter either way. In all these words I have strength and power in me and over anything and everything you have and continue to try to throw my way.

My roots are deep and I am stronger because of and in spite of you.

triggers

Continuing with our at play in our own backyard Fall Break Daniel I spent the day in San Francisco. We were considering exploring the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art or perhaps the Contemporary Jewish Museum along with a bit of shopping at the new Lego Store but Yom Kippur and Wednesday changed the plans a little. No big deal. San Francisco is a big place with so much to see. Taking Abby’s and her roommate’s advice, we decided to explore Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Odditorium complete with all the kitschy oddities including lasers, lights and mirrors that come with trigger warnings for those with certain physical health conditions.

For us, it triggered perhaps a little vertigo at first but we got through it dancing and dabbing along the way.

Daniel dabbing and laughing because Mom dabbing.

Making our way through the mazes, we were cocooned for but a couple hours from so much going on in the world and it was a good thing.

Soon enough, back out into the light of day, there was the news of the World, the Nation, the Election to contend with. Twenty six more days…or is it perhaps forty six more days?  Regardless, those of us struggling to some degree or another just have to hang in there in the best way for us because the struggle is getting too real right now. Like so many, I’m taking care of me in the best way that I can right now which might include a little writing, a little venting on my ever-patient darling husband and a lot of muting, unfriending and blocking of especially those who are directly responsible for so much of the anxiety and post-traumatic stress that is what I live with.

Perhaps we are connected by family and love but to be brutally honest with you, who blew up my phone in early hours of this morning detailing just how worthless and fucked I am with my higher than thou shit as you describe it in your hate-filled meandering stream of consciousness that kept me awake through the night overwhelmed with anxiety, restlessness and palpitations, I don’t want or need that brand of crazy love in my life. Yes, I know, it’s all in my head just as it has been there for literally decades as I have tried to process terror, fear and pain that no person ever deserves to live through…terror, fear and pain that you were a party to. It is indeed all in my head. But thankfully, in the light of day, I can calm the anxiety and panic and I can block you out…at least for now…and I will because what you tell me is love for me is nothing but. It never was and it never will be.

I know it’s a campaign, but this isn’t about politics. It’s about basic human decency. It’s about right and wrong.  And we simply cannot endure this, or expose our children to this any longer — not for another minute, and let alone for four years. Now is the time for all of us to stand up and say enough is enough. This has got to stop right now.

Because consider this: If all of this is painful to us as grown women, what do you think this is doing to our children? What message are our little girls hearing about who they should look like, how they should act? What lessons are they learning about their value as professionals, as human beings, about their dreams and aspirations? And how is this affecting men and boys in this country? Because I can tell you that the men in my life do not talk about women like this. And I know that my family is not unusual.

~ Michelle Obama, October 13, 2016