All month long I have read articles and heard news stories about women, past and present. Their accomplishments, their struggles, their everyday lives. I enjoyed it immensely. It buoyed me up and I felt like women were starting to matter more to the world. It felt like I mattered a little more to the world. It was half way through the month when I realized the noticeably increased interest wasn't due to a new social awakening; it was Women's History Month.
I felt a bit deflated by that realization. It was much more uplifting to think the increased volume of content about women was because consumers and creators were more interested in telling those stories. It was much less inspiring to realize it was largely due to a government declaration that we pay special attention to women from the 1st through the 31st.
I didn't actually know March was women's history month. Apparently it has been since the late 1980's. That means for most of my life women's history month has been a thing. Maybe someone mentioned it to me at some point, but we certainly didn't celebrate it in school, and it wasn't recognized in any way by my employers. I can't actually remember hearing anything about it in the news or other media until this year. It never even occur to me to Google it. And that's sad.
I am fem-presenting and often identify myself as a woman, although I didn't identify as a feminist until my thirties. When I was a kid and the only gender choices available were boy or girl, I identified as a girl-who-hates-dresses. Someone told me that meant I was a tomboy, so I ran with that for a while. Sometime later I stopped hating dresses, but I kept hating pink, so I decided that meant I was a not-girly-girl.
I was some other kind of girl. And girls grow into women. So that is what I became.
I was certainly enculturated to be a woman. I have gone to great lengths to avoid taking up space in the world. I have seen it as my duty to facilitate the comfort of the people around me, especially when those people are men. And I have done the lion's share of emotional processing in many of my relationships with man-identifying humans.
But what does it actually mean to be a woman? What is a woman? For much of history, woman has meant a particular kind of property. Today, according to Google a woman is "an adult female human being." Logically accurate, much more neutral on ownership, and also not very useful.
Ultimately, a woman is a made up idea, just like many concepts in our modern society. When I think about what makes me a woman, it's hard to put my finger on. When I examine all my tendencies and preferences, none of what makes me me has anything to do with my being or not being a woman. When it comes down to it, I am a woman because of my cultural upbringing.
I feel like a woman because I have shared experience with other women. I have suffered a woman's hardships and I have realized a woman's accomplishments. There are things I have seen and felt in my life that only another woman can understand. The world has treated me like a woman, and I have treated myself like a woman. I have lived a woman's life.
In my early adulthood, I didn't think my being a girl or woman mattered very much. I did not spend time pondering the meaning of being a woman or consider gender identity beyond how it related to sexuality. I thought of myself as just a person. One of a zillion humans roaming the earth. It wasn't until I began training in martial arts that I started to see being a woman was an integral part of my identity.
My first martial arts teacher did an excellent job teaching in a gender-neutral manner. He taught everyone in the dojo the same curriculum in more or less the same way, adding nuance for individual student's needs or comprehension. He is quite adept at seeing exactly where a student is along the path to mastery and offering that student exactly the next piece they need to move forward in that training journey.
For the first few years I felt like one of many humans at the dojo, and that felt great. I didn't ever think about being a woman because I could punch and kick and throw and grapple just like everyone else. It mattered more that I am a small-sized human, so my teacher gave me tips and techniques to be successful against larger opponents. But once I had all the basics, it started to become clear that training as a woman was very different than training as a man.
One day as an intermediate student, my teacher pulled me aside along with the other two women in class that day. We were doing street drills on the ground, so simulating the worst case scenario of being on the ground with an attacker on top. He asked us why we were not using what I will call the techniques of last resort: biting, pinching, grabbing our attacker's balls.
I explained that when I used those techniques, my training partner would freak out and just squash me even more so I could never be successful in the drill. He said I would have to know that was coming and get out of the way. In other words, I would have to keep myself safe. Just like I already had to do in the world outside the dojo, although I did not make that connection at the time because I had not yet acknowledged the totality of my experience as a woman in the world.
On that day, my teacher gave us all permission to use the techniques of last resort, so off we went to bite and pinch and claw our way out of bad martial situations. It seemed like good advice at the time, and in one sense it was. It worked. In the world that exists today, I need to assert myself and maintain my boundaries and be prepared for inevitable blowback.
But that method of accommodation only serves to keep me safe from moment to moment. It does not cultivate a safer world for us all to live in because it does nothing to address the underlying problem. All the responsibility for my safety during class was in my hands, which does not ask my training partners to check their egos and allow me the space to learn without worrying about getting hurt.
I did not make the connection until years later that I was having a very different experience in class than my often larger and mostly male training partners. I was constantly working two skills at once. Not only did I need to do the drill set by our instructor, I needed to accommodate for my (male) partner's ego or lack of control.
As an advanced student, my training became even more personal. I had to work through some significant internal and emotional daemons to advance from green sash to brown, and from brown to black. Part of that was reckoning with my identity as a woman. I realized I had not initially considered my womanness as relevant because I didn't think being a woman gave me any added value.
I had swallowed the world's toxically low opinions about women and accepted them as true without even being aware of what burden I was carrying. It was an incredibly painful realization. And incredibly healing once I processed through it. As poet Audre Lorde put it: women are powerful and dangerous. I am powerful and dangerous.
My experience as a woman is important to recognize because it has shaped who I have become. I am a woman. And I am also so much more. I am a fighter, a teacher, a dancer, an organizer, an accountant, an artist, a cook, a volunteer, a gardener, a philosopher, a friend, a lover, a sibling, a child, a human.
All those other identities feel much more relevant in describing who I am as an individual. And they are much more useful in discerning whether I might be a compatible friend, a good fit for a project, or have useful advice on a particular topic. Being a woman only explains part of my existence, some of my experience, and does not determine my worth or ability.
It turns out that has been true for all of human existence. Women were also hunters in ancient nomadic tribes, despite the myth of man-the-hunter that has been accepted since at least the 1960’s. And that makes perfect sense. I know many people who are adept survivalists. Some of them are men, some are women, and some are nonbinary. And none of them are skilled at living in nature because of their gender.
Using gender to decide how a long-dead person participated in their ancient society has resulted in scientists and historians drawing many faulty conclusions about humans of the past. Which, in turn, leads us to draw faulty conclusions about our contemporary fellow humans.
Gender is an experience. And it informs much of the rest of our experience. It can be a useful shortcut, but too often it's applied when it is the least relevant factor in a situation or circumstance. I am a woman. But you don’t know what that means to me unless I tell you because I am also a complete human being. We are all complete human beings. Let's work harder to see the fullness of ourselves and each other.
Information and Inspiration
Sometimes I need a change. I have changed many things about myself and my surroundings over the three and a half decades I've been on this planet. When I was a kid, I rearranged my shared bedroom furniture regularly, reconfiguring the beds, dressers, and desks to create a new and exciting environment. As an adult, I periodically reorganize our closets and drawers, or reconfigure the shed when I suddenly see a way for things to fit better or to be more easily accessible.
This week, my partner (and co-worker) and I spent a couple hours discussing how we can rearrange our office now that we've spent a year working in it. We are both in the middle of major projects that can't be halted just yet to allow for several days of office special upheaval, but it was refreshing all the same to talk it through, take measurements, and sketch out a plan.
One of the things I most appreciate about rearranging physical spaces is the opportunity to assess what is working well about the current set-up and what potential differences could make it even better. What could serve a need or a function more completely or more efficiently or more beautifully? Each space has a purpose (or many) and I appreciate the exercise in realizing the fullest potential of that purpose.
I get a similar kind of joy and satisfaction from examining my own internal spaces. It is important to me to recognize all the parts of myself, shine a light on them from time to time and ask "how is this currently serving me?" This week I had the opportunity to review my connection to a very large slice of my personality pie: the Harry Potter book series.
I have loved these books since I was first introduced to them in my late teens. I was already living on my own, outside my parents’ home, but my younger sister was reading it and she recommended it ecstatically. I was taking a trip back east so with an eye-roll, I picked up the first book to "just check it out" on the long flight. I devoured it on the first leg of my journey.
When the plane touched down for my lay-over, I was so eager to know what happened next that I sprinted from my gate across the entire San Francisco airport to the only bookstore behind security to buy books 2 and 3. I made it back to my gate just in time for boarding and voraciously read for the rest of the flight. Unfortunately, book 4 had not yet come out so I was stymied in my attempt to discover whether good would ultimately triumph over evil until several years and three books later.
Each time the next book approached release, I re-read the series up to that point so I would be ready to dive right in to the newest installment. My investment never rose to the level of full-on fandom mania – I did not dress-up to camp-out with other fans in line for a midnight release – although I did dutifully put in my pre-order and excitedly pick up my copy a day or two later.
I also have never identified with the snobbery some fans (of anything) exude for loving it before it was cool or for winning the most trivia competitions. I clearly showed up after the party had already started and I am not so cool. My devotion is quieter and more personal. I just love the story and the world and the way all the details of each character's arc are woven together across the volumes into a beautiful tapestry about family and revolution and humanness.
I have gotten many things from the Harry Potter series, including a clear sense that the world is not divided into Good People and Death Eaters. Humans are complex, many faceted, and ever-changing. Harry Potter has inspired me to be more open-minded and inclusive, to consider the wholeness of other human beings as well as my own humanity, and to fight against the status quo of institutional and societal systems.
Which is why I was so shocked a year ago to learn that the author has so little compassion for trans folks, and was actively using her platform to speak out against trans rights. At the time, I was unspeakably disappointed that the human who crafted those 7 tombs of humanity could be so unable to see how she was diminishing the humanity of others. It came up again this week when a friend made a post declaring no better time than now to ditch the series forever.
The post itself was not all that salacious, it was the comments that got me thinking. Specifically, it was the way some commenters were so heavily invested in the idea that because the author is refusing to see her problematic behavior we must also abandon her creation without further consideration. Last year I appreciated all the other celebrities connected with the Harry Potter world denouncing JK Rowling's anti-trans pronouncements because I wanted the art itself to avoid becoming tainted by her ignorance and fear of her fellow human beings.
I won't pretend the Harry Potter series is without problems or limitations. There are really no alter-abled characters (other than Mad Eye Moody) and very few characters of color, for instance. But not every piece of art is going to consider all the things I want to be included for consideration, especially when the whole of the world consistently and deliberately fails to take those perspectives into account. That is why I also seek out other art and other artists.
There are so many authors of color and trans authors writing about fantastical places and human exploration and journeys. So many fascinating tales about other worlds, futuristic technology, and interplanetary exploration. Harry Potter is just one series written from one viewpoint... a very white and privileged viewpoint. A viewpoint that has gotten more than its share of time in the spotlight right up to and including the present moment in modern society. There are many fantasy series out there and Harry Potter certainly should not be a standard by which any others are measured.
And lifting those other artists and their stories up does not require tearing Harry Potter down. Their value and the importance of their contribution to the world stands alone. It has nothing to do with whether any other series exists. It also does not serve to move humanity forward to automatically dismiss the writing because the writer is acting like a dreadful human being. But the revenue from the books, movies, and merchandise does financially support the author, and the notoriety provides her with a vast sphere of influence.
I want to acknowledge the hurt and harm JK Rowling has caused and continues to cause some of my fellow humans. I want to support efforts to push back against her problematic anti-trans views, ideally in a way that encourages her to grow and learn and change her impact on the world. I also want to continue to read and enjoy a fantasy series that has had a profound and positive impact on my life. And I don't think any of those things are in conflict. I can do them all.
I love Harry Potter and I do not want to provide financial support to JK Rowling at this time. So I have to express my Harry Potter appreciation in ways that do not generate support for JK Rowling. Fortunately for me, I already own all the books (and the audio books). So I will not buy another Harry Potter book or movie or audiobook, and I will not go to Harry Potter World or attend an official fandom event if the proceeds will find their way back to JK Rowling. And I will talk about why I cannot support the author any time I want to publicly support the books.
Creating change is not just about doing different things. It’s also about doing things differently. If I respond to the dehumanizing of some people by dehumanizing the dehumanizers, than I have only perpetuated the very thing I am working against. There are a lot of things about our world that need to change. I want to change them in a way that sets our future selves up with a chance to avoid baking the same damn problematic cake out of differently flavored ingredients
Information and Inspiration
Hello Violence, my old friend
My martial arts training has included some deep reflections on violence. In the beginning I had my full attention on the physical moves. Learning to punch and kick without hurting myself and getting acquainted with where my limbs were in time and space required all my focus. Once I was oriented to my own body and building on the basics, I began to consider more than just the mechanics.
Generally, martial arts aims to develop the mind, body, and spirit. It is about many things: strength, agility, coordination, creativity, confidence, self-defense, respect, community, and fun. Some of these things involve violence, so some of martial arts training is working with violence.
Through my martial arts journey, I have developed an intimate relationship with violence. In my life and in my training I have witnessed it, I have received it, and I have used it. I do not fear or revere violence. I see it as a tool that is neither inherently right nor inherently wrong. When considering violence, context is everything. And like many powers, it can be used either for good or for evil.
So what is violence? And who decides? Why are some kinds of violence okay while others are abhorrent?
On the cover of his book, Nonviolent Communication, Dr. Marshall Rosenberg defines violence as "acting in ways that result in hurt or harm." This is clear and concise, and it works well in the context of choosing language to find common ground in communication with another person. I would broaden that to define violence more neutrally as a means of destruction or sudden and severe disruption.
Violence is happening constantly in the natural world. Waves crash violently into the sea. Winds whip through treetops, violently tossing branches asunder. Rocks tumble violently down the side of a mountain during an avalanche. Animals hunt and violently kill prey for food. This kind of violence might be disturbing to watch or frightening to live through, but it isn't mean or evil. It just is.
I think what makes that kind of violence generally tolerable is the lack of malicious intent. The tree doesn't set out to teach that car a lesson when it caves the roof in during a windstorm. The river doesn't kidnap an unskilled swimmer when the current rushes that person downstream. Volcanos don't erupt out of anger at the village it blankets in lava.
A similar lens can be applied to some kinds of human-perpetrated violence. Using dynamite to create space for a tunnel in the side of a mountain is incredibly violent. And it is an effective tool for that job. Just as using violence to defend myself from a violent attacker is totally appropriate. In both cases, planning, practice, and precision are critical to ensure a safe and effective outcome.
Less benign types of human violence can also take many forms. Verbal, physical, emotional, even institutional. It can be initiated with hurtful intent, or start out benign and result in harm. This week's controversy over Sharon Osborne's "Karen moment" on The View is a prime example. I watched co-host Sheryl Underwood compassionately set up a tough question about the racist actions of Piers Morgan with what I will call pre-de-escalation. Then I watched Sharon erupt with defensiveness.
Sharon raised her voice in passion, but she did not scream or throw things or put her hands on anyone else. Although, what she did was equally violent. She used her social position as a well-meaning white woman to discredit and dismiss a Black woman. A person who was also her co-host and someone she called a friend. Sharon steamrolled Sheryl instead of gracefully accepting the invitation for honest self-inquiry and seizing the opportunity to consider her own internalized racism.
This kind of violence is just as harmful as loud or raucous actions, if not more so. Because it is not as overt it is often dismissed as misunderstanding or labeled no big deal. But it is insidious precisely because it often flies under the radar. That constant hum of low-level abuse becomes normalized and builds into something untenable for the receiver. Just like the constant hum of misogyny I experience in my daily life as a female-presenting human. We refer to this kind of violence as microaggressions.
In the early 1900's, women responded to microaggressions by using their hatpins as weapons against unwanted and unsolicited touch. The practice was effective, so it caught on. Women defending their body autonomy from predatory men made the news across the country, and these women were initially celebrated as heroes. Then the men responded with what I will call the violence of imbalanced power.
Women could not vote yet, so the men used their power of legislation to regulate the length of the hatpin. Instead of solving the problem of predatory behavior plaguing women, the predators cried victim just as countless oppressors do when their ability to abuse with impunity begins to erode. Because of the imbalance of legislative power, the very perpetrators of the violence took away the (very effective) means used to mitigate the effects of that violence without providing any alternative to being a victim.
I have not seen this kind of unjust power wielding widely labeled as violence, but that’s what it is. Just like blaming any victim for assault or trauma they experience. Just like denying poor people access to wealth-building resources because they do not already possess capital. Just like depriving anyone of their right to exist in public spaces because of who they are. Unfortunately, this very thing happened this week in an elementary school in Austin, Texas.
A teacher read a book called Call Me Max aloud in class. It’s about a transgender boy explaining his identity and sharing his experience at school. It’s a very sweet telling of a seldom discussed experience. Some parents wrote to the school to complain, and the school district’s reaction was appalling. An email was sent to all parents stating it was inappropriate to have read a book specifically written for grade-school-age children to fourth graders.
According to the District's chief learning officer “Counselors were made available to support students, and the school administration worked with families to provide an explanation and reassurances.” The mere mention of a transgender student was catastrophic. What about the trans students undoubtedly experiencing the trauma of merely existing in a community that clearly wishes they didn’t exist?
I know violence; we've met. I am intimately familiar with some kinds of violence, and merely acquainted with others. Because I have spent time getting to know and understand violence in various forms, I recognize it in the world. I respect its power and I see its influence.
Violence is not always a bad thing, but it always has consequences. It destroys and disrupts. It advances the cause of justice and it facilitates oppression. We must be aware of how we are thinking and acting violently as individuals, and we must recognize how we are weaving violence into our societal norms and institutions. I want us all to be using this power for good and not evil.
Information and Inspiration
It's okay to leave some behind
This week I attended a virtual panel discussion about what it looks like to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in the workplace. It was a fantastic line-up of smart and capable humans who gave surprisingly real answers to some deep and important questions. During the closing Q&A portion, someone from the audience asked: "what do you do in an environment unfriendly to DE&I efforts?"
The panelists did a nice job making suggestions for building relationships and creating a coalition of allies. One panelist also pointed out that a more equitable and inclusive workplace ultimately has to involve everyone. So it's important to allow for everyone's process, even if it would be convenient and ideal for all humans to wake up tomorrow wholly liberated from all the toxic baggage we've been carrying around most of our lives.
One thing nobody said was: at some point we may have to leave some organizations or individuals behind. We can build relationships and form coalitions and offer all the olive branches. We can make information accessible, call people in, and identify growth opportunities through judgement-free feedback. But if an organization is refusing to participate in the work, or if a person is refusing to come to the table, then it stops being our responsibility to make sure they are not left behind.
Companies who don't want to become more inclusive, or who make no effort to address diversity, equity, and belonging within the workforce are going to get left behind. Individuals who cling to the way we relate to each other now and refuse to acknowledge the value of historically undervalued swaths of humanity are going to be left behind.
Institutions that blindly cling to the status quo are not going to make it. The Republican party is currently at this very crossroads, with a growing faction insisting on a departure from the win-by-any-means-no-matter-the-cost philosophy. If the rest of the party doesn't catch up, they are going to be left behind.
And that's okay.
The world is constantly evolving because it is made up of humans who are constantly evolving. Each of us is learning and growing all the time, shedding old narratives and picking up new ones as we go. The me of today is not the same person I was decades ago, years ago, months ago, last week even. I have become the me of this moment by incorporating all my past experiences and by leaving some things (and some people and some organizations) behind.
Some particular evolutions have been gaining greater traction in recent years. The US electorate is more diverse than ever, so politicians must increasingly consider a more varied American experience as they make their appeal to voters. The concept of belonging has been added to the mainstream discussions about DE&I. More institutions are recognizing women's contributions to the world more often. Queerness is normalizing, and more folks are publicly legitimized in their identity anywhere along the gender spectrum.
At the same time, tolerance is waning for some of the "old ways" to see and be in the world. Sometimes this expresses positively through things like restorative justice initiatives and public institutions updating policies and practices. Other times it manifest in not-as-healthy or not-as-liberating ways, like the current iteration of callout and cancel culture, which has amounted to elaborate public shaming.
On its face, the idea of regular folks calling out the problematic behavior of people who are well-known and in positions of power is good. When the community decides certain actions are contrary to community values (and therefore unacceptable) and publicly identifies those behaviors as intolerable, that reinforces the idea that community values cannot be subverted merely by an accumulation of power. That helps the community protect vulnerable community members.
On the other hand, when public admonishment of behavior turns into a public shaming and dismissal devoid of acknowledgment that the perpetrator is a complete human being, it starts to become something far less beneficial to humanity.
It's certainly less effort to use one moment in someone else's lifetime as an automatic disqualifier from being a decent or redeemable person. But while that shortcut might save me time or energy, it also separates me from my own humanity. By simply dismissing someone, I do not have to ask what brought them to this time and place or examine how they arrived here with that particular outlook or attitude. I do not have to see them as a potential reflection of parts of my own internal world. I am excused from examining how I have held similarly problematic beliefs or how I have acted-out problematic narratives in my own life.
In his book, You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney discusses the Consistency Bias, which is the official academic descriptor for the human tendency to think that how we feel today is the way we have always felt. It is so easy to forget what it was like to not know the things you currently understand. I devote significant energy and effort to examining my own beliefs and biases, and to consciously participating in my personal evolutionary journey. And yet, when I am not paying deliberate attention, I am still just as apt as everyone else to judge someone harshly for holding problematic beliefs I also once held.
I say all of this not because problematic behavior should never be called out in public. In fact, I would love to live in a world where all the dirty laundry is out in public so victims could receive community support in healing and perpetrators could receive community support in rehabilitation and repair. But we don't live in that world. And the callout and cancel culture we are currently cultivating is not making the world a safer or healthier place.
It is a significant ask of any person to become a different version of themselves. Even when that evolution is healthy and liberating. Even when it is necessary for survival. We come to be who we are by surviving the world up to the present moment. We craft stories to explain ourselves and the world around us, and those narratives kept us safe. It is a terrifying prospect to shed that armor. To do so, I have to be willing to leave some of my old self behind.
It is vital that we all courageously look inside ourselves to the fullness of our own humanity so that we can seek and see and celebrate the humanity in everyone else. I want to call folks in instead of calling them out, like Professor Loretta J. Ross encourages. And I recognize that it is not my responsibility to make sure they accept the invitation. It's okay to leave some things behind on the way to the next iteration of being human together.
Information and Inspiration
Catching up is keeping up
It’s easier to keep up than to catch-up.
I have no idea where I first heard that phrase. It could have been in high school or from a coach or at a first job. Wherever it came from, it stuck and I lived by it. Now it's one of those deep-seeded beliefs that feels like one of the unwavering truths of the universe. Like the sky is blue, puppies are cute, and a full night of sleep is important. This week, however, I began to appreciate catching-up in a whole new way.
For some things, that phrase rings clear and true. It's much less daunting for me to spend 20 minutes on a week's worth of household bookkeeping than it is to dedicate an entire afternoon to the mammoth task of several months accumulation. I also feel less stressed about my work email when there is only one or two days of correspondence waiting expectantly in my inbox, rather than the weeks of build-up after vacation or illness. And it's most convenient to be able to find an important document when I'm up to date on filing.
On the other hand, there is also a great deal of satisfaction in catching up on things. I recently decided to brush-up my German vocabulary by texting back and forth in German with a friend. Unsurprisingly, I have forgotten a great many words and my spelling is atrocious. My German would not be nearly so rusty if I had been diligently keeping up with it all these years, but now that I’m catching up it has added a really delightful layer to an already lovely friendship.
There is also something to be said for those times when a person is unable to keep up. Over this last year of Covid (plus everything else 2020 threw at us) I felt like I was trying frantically just to keep up the whole time. It felt like bobbing in an ocean of happenings, trying to keep my head above the surface of the water. Then, as the new year approached, all that keeping up finally caught up with me. And I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I could not keep a regular sleep schedule. I could not accomplish the things on my calendar. I could not face my unrelenting inbox. I was exhausted and there continued to be calamity and incident. So I got behind. I was behind on house chores, behind on projects, behind on grocery shopping, behind on phone calls, and my email inbox was as unsummitable as Mt Everest.
It felt terrible. I felt terrible. It was like I had a weight I couldn’t set down and also couldn’t really get a grip on so it flopped about irritatingly, throwing my entire balance off and getting in my way whenever I tried to reach for anything else. It was maddening and defeating. I was constantly distracted and some days I couldn't settle to anything.
Until I switched to catch-up mode.
While I was still desperately clinging to keeping up, I was entirely focused on what I wasn't getting to, the projects I wasn't getting done, the neglected work I was turning into a burden for my future self. As soon as I recognized that all I was was behind, I suddenly remembered I was not actually a failure at everything. I was just behind, and I know what to do when I'm behind: catch-up.
That perspective shift also allowed me to see that I was keeping up with some things, just not all the things. I was still feeding myself and doing the laundry, still making it to Zoom meetings and attending online workouts, still starting and ending my day with qigong. I remembered that it’s impossible to keep up with absolutely everything in life, work, and the world. And that reminded me of another unwavering universal truth I believe in:
One thing at a time and it all gets done.
I know exactly where I first heard that one. I was sitting in my boss's office, overwhelmed by the state of my inventory and feeling behind on everything. As we reviewed my cases, I shared my actions to-date and my planned next steps. We looked at my calendar and scheduled things. Finally my boss said, "You know how you're going to get out from under this pile of cases? One at a time."
So that's how I caught up this week. One email at a time, one project at a time, one chore at a time, until it all got done. A lesson that feels just as applicable to other areas of my life, notably my continuing work for racial and social justice. That is certainly something I felt very behind on once I realized I should have been paying attention to it my whole life. I’m a few decades in to my life, so I've been working to catch up the last few years.
As a society, we're behind on a lot of things, including racial and social justice. A lot of people need housing and food. A lot of people need education and healthcare. A lot of people need their humanity recognized and their experience honored. The planet needs a reprieve from all the destructive ways we humans live our lives. It's a lot, but we can catch up. One thing at a time, until it all gets done.
Information and Inspiration
Jaydra is a human in-process, working to make the world a better place. Sharing thoughts, feelings, and observations about the human experience.