extinguished

As a longtime professional contract negotiator,

and now-adult daughter of a profoundly impoverished, stigmatized single mom

who died because she feared the costs of U.S. doctor visits,

and newfound public health student,

I’ve been thinking a lot about

the word “deaths.”

A few times daily, I check the L.A. Times for its updates on measurable local COVID-19 impacts. I then check The Guardian for its broader US coverage.

Each time I close these pages, the word “deaths” lingers with me. I’m disturbed by how passive and neutral is the phrasing compared to the reality, which is that Continue reading “extinguished”

there in love

Waiting in line at the bookstore a couple of months ago, I saw copies of Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal.

I’d checked out the audiobook from my local library before, but I’d never listened for more than two or three minutes before falling asleep. I’d later awaken to some random excerpt, think that’s lovely, and then tumble right back to sleep.

Seeing a copy of the book in print in line that day, I thought I might enjoy actually reading it—all the way through, from its beginning to its final word.

Until finishing Being Mortal last week, I’d read three or four pages at a time.

Having spent the years 2016 through 2018 plowing through a couple of non-fiction books a week, I’ve slowed down when reading those books that touch my heart. In a world currently so full of fear and condemnation, I want to touch in frequently with those things—those words, those hearts, those authors, those places—that fill me with the wonder of being deeply, achingly human. Continue reading “there in love”

Matters of my/our health

On Monday, I didn’t feel well. On Tuesday, I felt worse, and so took the day off from work.

While I wasn’t suffering from coronavirus, there was an indirect correlation with it.

Understanding the correlation helped me set myself down a different path.

In my last post, I wrote about healing the enduring psychological consequences of childhood trauma.

I did not write about the ways trauma continues to impact my physical health.

In my first post on this blog, I wrote:

My childhood home was filled with trauma. Specifically, of the ten adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) studied by the CDC and Kaiser Permanente, I experienced eight. As explained at ACES Too High, experiencing even one ACE can adversely impact a person’s lifelong health. People who experience four or more are at massively increased risks of poor health outcomes. 

I didn’t dive into detail about the “poor health outcomes.” But as Aces Too High explains, Continue reading “Matters of my/our health”

A bandana the right direction

On February 28, I was delighted to vote in person for the first time ever. I wrote about that here.

By then, I already had enough information to know this was Not A Good Idea.

The signal just wasn’t on my mind.

About a week before I voted, I was talking with a fellow fan of author Nassim Nicholas Taleb. I asked if she followed him on Twitter. I explained I’d stopped scrolling through his tweets several weeks back, but that he remained my favorite author and tweep. Continue reading “A bandana the right direction”

This new-shaped today

On Saturday,
I ordered something special
for my younger son’s mid-week birthday.

(Since he can’t be with his friends
bodily
this year,
this was one way to
make the day
merrier.)

The special package
was scheduled to reach us
yesterday.

Yesterday came;
the package didn’t;
seems it hasn’t
even
shipped
yet.

My sons,
disappointed,
threw around the word “liars.”

I acknowledged their disappointment,
but explained it’s
(probably)
not really lying.

A month ago,
the shape of
yesterday tended
to give us a good idea
how tomorrow
would be shaped.

We could reasonably say,
“Yesterday, and for thousands
of yesterdays before,
we knew it would take
two days to pull an item,
package it, send it,
and have it reach
its recipient.”

“Today, 
yesterday’s estimates
will often no longer work.
But we haven’t lived long enough
in this new-shaped today
to yet accurately estimate
how long it will actually
take to do this or that,
in this world.

“They’ll learn.
We’ll learn.

“So, are they lying?
I don’t think so.
They just haven’t had
enough time yet to
learn the ropes in
this new-shaped today.

“And, besides:
We’ll still have
cupcakes, and ice
cream.”

For old time’s sake

Yesterday morning, I sat in front of my computer waiting for more bad news to appear in my Twitter feed. Some part of me felt it was critical to remain constantly informed, regardless of my inability to actually do anything with most the news I’m reading.

Out of the blue, it dawned on me: This is not healthy behavior! So I stepped away from the computer with the twin intentions to (1) do something kinder to myself now and (2) check news only intermittently and briefly throughout the day.

But what was there to do?

My eyes landed on a couple of journals on a dining room curio cabinet. Continue reading “For old time’s sake”

Plenty

In about an hour, my kids will wrap up their second week of school-at-home. Their teachers are providing virtual instruction and managing schoolwork, so it’s not really homeschool. It’s just regular(ish) school, from a distance.

The first couple of days last week were challenging for one reason. While my littler one already knew exactly what to do and got to work doing it, my older one had heaps of work to navigate based only on an email or two. Fortunately, he’d found his footing by the end of the week. Continue reading “Plenty”

Today I’ll live today

When I was about ten weeks pregnant with my older son, I started bleeding one day at work. My then manager rushed me to the nearest emergency room, from which I called my now husband, Anthony.

At the time, I was working in California’s Orange County, the county just south of Los Angeles County. Anthony was working on the sitcom The Big Bang Theory much further north, deep into Los Angeles county. His drive to reach me would be long and traffic-heavy, meaning I’d maybe be alone facing what could end up being some devastating news.

I remember calling one of my sisters while I waited, and then another dear friend. I remember sobbing on the phone. I remember Anthony suddenly being there, and the doctor eventually delivering the news: there was a fifty-fifty chance my pregnancy would last the next 24 hours. Continue reading “Today I’ll live today”

Resting & reading

Neither my husband nor I are feeling well. This means we’re prioritizing rest and, as much as possible, relaxation, even more emphatically than we would in less tumultuous times.

Our kids are thrilled. With both parents down, their screen time goes up!

(It’s not unlimited. They’re currently playing Star Wars together. Play and movement are also essential to health!)

For me, downtime means one thing: reading!

Unfortunately, with too many excellent books on hand, I’m not sure where to really dig in. Contenders are: Continue reading “Resting & reading”