Just Life,  Knitting

TGIF | Mid-March.

Hello friends, and TGIF. It’s been a sad, weird, stormy, somewhat productive, and at times, even joyful week in our house. Like all of you, I was devastated to learn about the mass shootings that took place in Atlanta Tuesday night. At times, Georgia can be the best of us … and at other times, the worst. In the north/northeastern suburbs where I live, the AAPI community is huge. I left my neighborhood for the first time this morning (Holly had a grooming appointment) and was sad/glad to see flags at City Hall and at the lake flying at half staff. I listened to Pantsuit Politics latest episode (it dropped this morning – link) on my way to/from her appointment and – as always – their conversation helped. I especially appreciated Sarah’s comments about looking at these hate crimes through an intersectionality lens (like how we address them is not as “easy” as gun control or “hate crime” laws), and Beth’s about figuring out what is my work to do. It’s at lot and my heart and my body feel the weight.

A few weeks back, Carolyn recommended I read Julian, a contemplative biography (amazon link). I was surprised my library had a copy available almost immediately and I’ve been savoring it. I had the opportunity to recommend it as a sleeper to my Friday morning prayer group after reading a few pages from it for our meditation this morning. These past few days I’ve been coming back to these words: “She could understand why the Holy Ghost had counseled her not to pray for anyone in particular, but only for the well-being of all. Praying and worrying for each in particular could become a painful burden…” and that also reminded me about Tonglen (link), a breath prayer practice I learned from Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart. Breathe in pain. breathe out healing. breathe in hate. breathe out love. breathe in fear. breathe out compassion. I’m not sure that’s what Pema’s practice actually intended, but it’s been helpful and I’m sharing it in case it might be helpful for you, too.

and in that spirit of healing, love, and compassion, I have a short TGIF post to share.

Thinking about … post-vaccination like a Lazy Genius. or at least to start. The first principle of being a Lazy Genius is to name what matters. the second is to start small. My mom gets her second vaccine next week and I get mine April 16th. When we talked this week I told her to pencil in lunch on May 4. It will likely be take-out. it will likely include wine. and we will most definitely be sitting at a table together (maybe even inside)!

Grateful for … a new leadership team for Women’s Ministry at my church. I’ve been on this leadership team for most of the last ten years, and I’ve led/co-led for the last four. I am beyond delighted to be stepping away (well, maybe in June?). The annual Women’s Service was this past Sunday and it was such a joy to sit and watch … as a member of the congregation.

Inspired by … Tuesday’s Pantsuit Politics episode (link) … their interview with Dr. Karla Vermeulen was for sure thought-provoking. And I’m planning to take this last bit, from Courtney Martin, to my sister’s tomorrow. We’re having a commemoration gathering on her porch with my mom and my sister-in-law. We last gathered in person on March 14, 2020 (that was the last in-person gathering I had with anyone outside our bubble … which does not include them).
“Who are you now?
Or let me put this more variably. What small corner of your home or neighborhood have you learned to see a new this year?
What person have you fallen in love with?
If you could only pick one emotion to symbolize the majority of your state of being this year, what would it be?
What grief has threatened to sweep you away?
How have you stayed here?
What have you learned about your relationship to risk?
What have you learned about your relationship to limitations?
What have you learned about America’s fragility and strength?
How will you feed the institutions that keep us safe, honest, together?
What small weird project has given your life meaning this year?
How have you asked for help?
What do you need to never forget?”

(nearly) Finished… Noten!

Marc and I are getting our first vaccines at 6pm today. I am nervous-excited about what that means and what the next months will hold for us and for our family. I am also beyond grateful after listening to the main portion of today’s Pantsuit Politics podcast for how much science and engineering it took took to get us here. I was back home on the treadmill when I listened to the end; and I was close to tears sitting with (walking with) all the incredible passion, imagination, perseverance, and execution that went into getting us here … and all those shots in arms.

Wishing y’all the best weekend available!

13 Comments

  • Kat

    I got my first vaccine on Monday and I can’t believe what a weight of worry I have been carrying prior to that. It lifts my heart to see so many friends sharing they have gotten vaccinated… worries off my list!

    I am not a listener of Pantsuit Politics… but the AAIP hate has been painfully visible to me for some time now ( I have a niece who is from China… and I worry for her and her children. She shared that even in her “safe neighborhood” she was not…apparently education does not mean you can’t be have racist beliefs)

    Good luck with your shots and have a great weekend!

  • Bonny

    We got our first shots on March 10th, and it was an emotional time. I was very glad, relieved, and grateful, but I was also saddened by the way that we got them. It was a quirky happenstance through a friend of a friend, and I kept thinking “what about people that aren’t lucky enough to have those connections?” I know/hope everyone who wants the vaccine will get a chance eventually, but I don’t think healthcare should depend on luck.

    Good luck with your shots. Our second shots are scheduled for April 7th, and two weeks after that I’m making an appt. for a haircut. It looks like I’ve been cutting my own hair for a year (which I have)! Also, great sweater!

  • Jane

    The sweater looks so pretty. I am going to pull up this episode of Pantsuit Politics. It sounds very thoughtful. I am off and on with podcast listening. Best of luck with your vaccine. We had mildly sore arms with our first vaccine. I am expecting more of a reaction to the second but will be ever so grateful to feel miserable. It’s a priviledge. The daffodils are a welcome ray of sunshine.

  • Carolyn

    I thought of you this week when Julian of Norwich popped up somewhere (was it in RR’s mailing? Can’t remember now–my brain has been mush lately–but I’m pretty sure I saw it in a space we both frequent). Anyway, go glad you could get it to easily and that it has resonated. I have to say, it fills my heart when Buddhism and Christianity cross paths, as they so often do. I wanted to ask this in a recent post where you mentioned it, but I felt a little shy because it seemed like something I should know: by sleeper, do you mean a bedtime book? (That’s when I read Julian, as a matter of fact–but I’m not 100% sure that’s what you meant by it.) Happy weekending to you 🙂

  • Juliann

    Happy to see you getting your vaccine (on IG) and to know you will be having a meal with your mom so very soon! I haven’t even begun to think about what I will do after we are fully vaccinated but I am sure it will involve a meal with our daughters! Enjoy wearing your beautiful sweater.

  • Sarah

    My heart has been heavy this week, what with the hate and death in your neck of the woods and what happened in my office this week — and then the ever-present stress of a pandemic that is still raging. I am so thankful for what I have but also feel somewhat powerless to help those who are without. I’m sure working the food drive tomorrow will help a bit, but perhaps I need to do some of those prayer breaths.

    I am encouraged, though, by so many friends getting vaccinated! And PA is about two weeks ahead of schedule in vaccinating teachers and school staff. I’m just waiting for the state to open eligibility to more people (we’re still at 65 and up, though they just expanded to 50 and up with specific medical conditions). And my parents will be coming home next weekend!

  • Honore´

    Thoughtful, jam packed post…thanks for the connection to Pantsuit Politics; I always have intended to listen but sill in the “gettin’ roun’ to it” stage …Do enjoy your “bubble gathering wiht your mom, sister, sister-in law and the new sweater is quite nice! Congrats!
    Cheers~

  • kym

    Living with a pharmatceutical scientist – and being friends with several Pfizer folks working on the manufacturing end of the vaccine right now here in Kalamazoo. . . I know first hand what a miracle these vaccines truly are! It’s pretty amazing what science has accomplished in a very, very short time! I had my first vaccine last Tuesday, and Tom gets his this morning. It’s a game changer, for sure! XO

  • Karen

    I am so glad you are getting the vaccine! I am fully vaccinated but my husband can’t get any shot right now (not eligible) so my life is basically the same. boo.

  • Vicki

    Like Bonny, I received my first vaccine through connections, though not technically eligible, and so did Kate. I can’t imagine what a logistical nightmare it is to roll out something of this scale in phases, but I also can’t imagine refusing an opportunity to get a jab, no matter the circumstances. I had some pretty awful side effects (mostly extreme fatigue), but I’m looking forward to Jab #2!! Rusty gets his second this week!

  • Alexa

    As always, your post is so full of interesting things to ponder/reflections of your own. I loved Courtney Martin’s questions at the end of Pantsuit Politics (which I’m now a regular listener of, thanks to you) and thought I really must answer these for myself … So pleased you have your vaccine. (We have to wait 12 weeks inbetween doses here, so I won’t get mine second one till May.). I’m very pleased and grateful to have it, but it hasn’t given me a sense of release; there are too manty variants popping on with questions as to their susceptibility to the current vaccines. I think we could be socially distancing and mask wearing for months (even a few years) to come. And I hope I’m wrong. May your get-together wih your family be full of enjoyment and happy moments!

  • Katie @ The Cozy Burrow

    I hope your vaccination went well – I’m so glad you’re making small and tentative plans for your post-vaccination life.

    I’ve added the Julian of Norwich to my TBR – thank you! I’m currently reading New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton as my early morning/contemplative reading. It looks like Julian of Norwich might be a natural transition when I make my way through this one!

    I was thinking of you last week when the news broke in GA. It’s frightening and hard to bear. I’m glad you found a bit of comfort from Sarah and Beth. I STILL haven’t listened to their podcast!!