So my toe is sprained, but probably not broken unless I have a hairline fracture. It's making me walk funny so I was relieved to be able to go to the chiropractor as it's straining the outside of my foot that I injured several years ago. Tomorrow I'm going to get a massage, and I have another therapy appointment so it will be an expensive Tuesday for me, but I have the money and know that the benefits will be there for me when I'm done. 

Today I made an appointment for my oldest to see a pediatric GI specialist at Children's Hospital. We've had good experiences there in the past, so even though I'm nervous about the idea of having her scoped, I'm interested to hear what he's going to say about her non-compliance problems. She's going to have to leave school a bit early, and I feel bad about that since it seems like we've had her miss periodically for appointments that we can't get scheduled after school, but this was the earliest date with the latest time so I went with it. 

I feel better than I did the other day for several reasons. Whenever I forget, or can't take my vitamins, I get into very dark moods. So today I put the bottle out on the counter to remind me to take them. My foot hurt too much to take a long walk, but I went down the street we lived on just to get out of the house and feel some fresher air on my face. Last night's essential oil combination was cypress and lavender, and I'm not a huge cypress fan by itself, but this was nice, sort of herbal and woodsy and fall smelling without the clove and cinnamon I associate with the leaves changing colors.

Last night we hung some pictures and rearranged the furniture in the living room. We have clothes to go to my sister for my nieces and the corner will be cleaner once that's cleared out. I had the girls pack lunches and lay out clothes so the morning went much more smoothly than mornings where people are chasing around trying to find things, or want me to help them with things that they ran out of time to do. It gave me a lot of peace of mind, and the girls seemed less stressed too.

The other day a follower of mine was discussion the Jian Ghomeshi scandal which led to more comments about male privilege. This morning I watched a segment where a talk show host had a man and a woman on opposite sides of the cat calling video that has gone viral. It was produced by a marketing company so that was part of the discussion, but my basic take away was that the man who had authored a book that I will never buy does not understand social graces to the extent that he can wait his turn to speak. 

I almost laughed out loud when he said the problem was parenting, not the quality of parenting, which I agree with, but the quantity, as in too many people are having children. Whether you agree with what he's saying or not, interrupting is rude, and you don't need to be a douche bag mansplaining author to hold your thoughts until there is an appropriate conversational break where what you are saying will be heard. 

There was a great debate about the #Gamergate outrage the other day, I read a really good article about why there isn't a clean resolution for this type of thing, and I consider myself very fortunate to have few hostile interactions with people online. From my point of view, there are just as many women who will try to put others down as there are men, I could name several who have been most unpleasant to me for reasons other than their gender, and I'm sure some of my values and views are not in line with theirs which is still not a reason to be mean to anyone.

Bullies suck, and ignoring them is the best way to handle it in my opinion unless it gets to the point where it needs to be reported to the authorities or other invdividuals who are in a position to discipline the offender. Standing up for yourself acknowledges that they have you riled, and it's difficult to keep your temper and feel safe when people are repeatedly going after you, I'm understating that, but if the comments and threats are mostly hot air, then ignoring the bully robs them of a target. Bullying is effective when victims crack, and that's sad that they can be pushed to that point which is why I'm working on becoming more resilient. 

Another thing that I'm working at is determining when I need to reply to someone else. There are times when I don't know what to say, or how to say it, or something about the exchange feels off to me. I've now learned that sometimes saying nothing is the best thing I can do in these types of situations. It may not even be an exchange where I feel threatened, but exercising my ability to keep my mouth shut can be an effective social strategy for me.

Last night I started reading a collection of Vince Lombardi quotes that made me think about what I'm doing here. I was in the mood to make a clean sweep of everything in my life, but today I read an article at the chiropractor's that reminded me that goals are comprised of tiny steps that are repeated over and over again. The article was on shoulder stability, there are four large muscles that the shoulder uses, and many smaller muscles that complement what those four muscles are doing. 

Without working on those muscles that may seem less important than their larger friends, their strength and ability is critical for a healthy shoulder. A group of women enlisted a personal trainer to help them run a 5k race. By adding a new component on top of the habits that they had formed, the group was able to reach their goal, and that's what I need to remember. No one can take those steps that you've made away from you. Being disciplined in any area is a victory, and overcoming inertia is what I'm aiming for in some areas. 

Yesterday's list made me feel better so today I'm making another one. Today's list is 10 accomplishments that I am proud to look back at:

1. Going to the chiropractor. We've lived here since 1998, I've wanted to go since I first drove past the building, but it took until 2014 for me to walk through those doors. I'm kicking myself now for that wasted time, but at least I didn't let more time go by, and I haven't stopped going despite financial constraints. It helps, I feel better when I go, and this is a way for me to take care of myself in several areas.

2. Starting my own Twitter show. It's called #BehindTheSeams and I'm really proud of myself for taking 140 character slots and turning them into a forum where people are free to share their stories. It doesn't often feel like work, I meet cool people, and I'm in charge of everything so I own it and the success for that goes to me.

3. Finishing a book. I finally finished one, and that's a great feeling. It needs to be rewritten, but I hung in there and actually finished it. I've been writing about these people since 2006, but I usually give up and start something new instead of finishing what I have, but this time, I kept on going. 

4. Starting my own company. I don't make much money running Saberfeet, but it is still a totally cool thing that I'm happy to call my own. It's great fun to be able to offer a service that no one else does to athletes, I've helped a lot of people, and I know that if I keep investing it and myself, it will go further than I ever dreamed. It's super simple, and I can teach others how to do what I do which is also a great feeling. 

5. Sticking with a therapist that I don't always like. There's two women that I could see. One I really like, and the other one I sometimes dread seeing. But she's effective, and she's helped me see things and get past some things so I keep going back. She gives me a great deal, and that's another thing I'm super thankful for because I don't know where I'd be at today without her.

6. My laundry area. A couple months ago I was down in the basement cleaning, and that led to a transformation of my laundry area. I bought a sorting station that has three bags for whites, lights, and darks, there's a bin for the laundry to fall into, a table for larger things that don't fit into the bin or the laundry bags, and I have a table with baskets beneath it and a metal rack beside that where folded clothes can go. Ironing goes into a soft sided container, I have bins for things we are getting rid of, and two wastebaskets, one for trash that can't be recycled, and one for items like dryer lint that can. It didn't cost much to put this together, and I'm working towards hanging more of our clothes to dry, but at least the systems are in place, and the efficiency is glorious. 

7. Paying off my credit card. This would have gone on top of my list had I thought of it sooner. Back in January I had $9,000 worth of debt, and by July it was gone. I still have credit cards, but I don't carry them, and I almost never use my debit card which is another accomplishment that I'm excited about. I make an effort to keep my money in my community so sometimes I pay a bit extra for something, but that makes me feel better about how I think about money and where it goes once it leaves my hand.

8. My compost pile. This may not seem like anything major, but for me it is huge. I really want a garden, I'm trying to buy as few processed food items as I can, and I know this will be a lot of work, and a ways down the road, but I want dwarf orchard trees and grape vines and the ability to walk outside and check our own land for what we can harvest that day. We would save an incredible amount of money just by putting in a small garden so this is a high priority for me right now.

9. Cutting back on the number of new clothes we buy and replacing our clothes with more sustainable choices. I'm still not a big garage sale person, but I'm getting better at making the thrift store our first choice when we need an item. With the exception of things like socks and underwear, the girls wear thrift store clothes and so do I. We're also wearing more wool, cotton, silk, linen, and bamboo as alternatives to sythetic fabrics and fibers that won't break down as quickly and stink when we wash them.

10. Using baking soda, vinegar, and essential oils to clean. I've found I don't need the products I used to buy, and I value having cleaner air to breathe. We tore up the carpeting in the bedrooms, eventually we would like all of it gone, but we can't afford to replace the flooring in our living room and TV room so those are carpeted, for now. We use soap nuts in the washer, and sometimes I run jeans through the washer without anything and can't really tell the difference so I may stop using those in the future.

Feeling good after talking to someone I'm going to interview, but still very tired after lack of sleep last night.

Take care,

Jess 

Requiem mass for the departed homeless, Nov 3 2014.

 

An iron bell tolled 67 times.

65 times for people we had names for, either full names, or partial names. Or in one case, a street name. Her name was "Hellraiser".

Twice it tolled for people whose identities were known, but the church was not allowed to announce their names because they died of tuberculoisis.

In Atlanta, Georgia,

in 2014.

Tuberculosis.

The youngest was 18. The oldest was in his late 70s.

 

The richest part of Atlanta with a food bank and homeless shelter? Absolutely. For every mega-mansion on West Paces Ferry Road: for an example of what one looks like, watch the segment of Zombieland for the house in which Bill Murray is supposed to live: it was filmed on West Paces Ferry Road (and it isn't the largest or nicest place there) - there are some elderly in Cathedral Towers, thankfully able to stay in their rent-controlled apartments thanks to them being church property and run exactly as a place where seniors could still afford to live.

The rememberance of 67 people, and the impact their lives had on those in attendance: that was sobering. Second thing that caught me in the throat was the same thing that usually does: homeless men lining up to use the washrooms, because for once, for blessed once, they could go #2 with complete privacy. Something that many of us won't do in a public space outside our homes even though enclosed in a stall out of, well, gosh, prudishness at doing something that private in semi-public: is something many people have to do in literal public day in and day out. We champion that water is a basic human right but heavily police how the homeless bathe in and drink it. And to some: never mind the dinner, the survival/care packages, the ministry, the fellowship and the funeral for their dead friends... for some of them, the highlight of the evening was the ability to use a restroom in private.

 

The third was that within the list of banners that entered the church tonight - one of them was for the Atlanta CHILDREN'S shelter. I have heard a lot of conservatives deride the poor and homeless as shiftless people who have made poor life choices, and there's a part of me that seriously, SERIOUSLY wonders how homeless children, likely not to succeed in school for a want of a safe and secure place to do homework, let alone concentrate in school on an empty stomach - fit into that narrative.

It's something to be said that tomorrow two people are going to ask for my vote. One of them was a man who sent thousands of jobs overseas and personally profited heavily from it, but yet wants to run the public sector - arguing that as one of those sacred "businessmen" he knows what's best for us, you know, one of those "job creators". I explicitly fast-tracked my right to vote in my new state, just so I could act on the feelings I knew I was going to have tonight. The other entered the governor's mansion millions in debt and is now worth a considerable amount, having sold his junkyard at considerable profit to a corporation that owes this state $74 million the state for some reason has been encouraged not to collect. That's money that could help some people here, and judging by the company the corporations keep and how they treat them, they could afford it.

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