The last week or so, I’ve sought connection online where I’m not apt to find it.

Then I load this interface, so familiar to me for almost a decade and the starting point to so many beautiful connections, and I remember: Oh, yeah! This is where I can find genuine connection outside my home.

I have a meeting in fifteen minutes, so I can’t write much.

What I can tell you, in fifteen minutes, is about all the books I’m reading while (relatively) confined to my home.

With my six-year-old, I’m reading the Desmond Cole Ghost Patrol series.

My whole family’s loved Desmond Cole since we first met him (and narrator Andres Miedoso!) more than two years ago, but we’re all feeling special affection for him now. No matter how concerning the world outside these books’ pages, Desmond and Andres always find the best in the ghouls that seem to be after them.

With my ten-year-old, I’m continuing to read Star Wars novels. We’ve finished Phasma, and are now deep into sequel Black Rock Spire.

Part of me is concerned what will follow Black Rock Spire. The rest of me remembers that the Los Angeles Public Library has dozens of Star Wars ebooks, and knows we’ll be able to find (more than) one we’ll both want to read.

When I’m reading by and for myself, I’m mostly reading public health books.

I read my first public health book last March, after a confluence of circumstances led me to buy a book by an author in the public health field. As I read that book, I thought, So this is why my brother-in-law tells me I should pursue public health! This really is right up my alley!

I then went through a brief flirtation with pursuing a career in social work. I leaned that way until earlier this year, when coronavirus got me pulling out the books I’d set aside while reading social work.

Sometimes, I think I lost time when wandering down social work reading trails.

More by the day, though, I’m so grateful I read up on social work, and especially that I read the works of Brené Brown. Thanks to Brown, I know shame is never an effective tool for encouraging positive change; it can only ever destroy.

I know what shame feels like in me, and some of the signs that those around me are feeling it.

In other words, I learned lessons that will be invaluable for my successfully practicing in the field of public health. For taking steps that might play a role in more people having the opportunity to live healthfully.

Shame can never be a part of that.

So, yesterday, I read.

Today, I’m reading.

Tomorrow, I’ll read.

Every day, I’ll be thankful for all the words with which all these authors across so many different types of books have gifted me the world.

I may be homebound, but with these words, I am not, at all,
bound only to my home.

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