Adjusting, remembering.

It’s been almost two weeks since the wedding.
Less than two weeks since I moved.
Mere days since we returned from our honeymoon.

Part of me wants to put life on pause for a minute, so I can savor these experiences properly.

Another part of me craves the mundane, a rhythm to my life that is not based on a future event, to settle in and be. Settling in may take awhile. Right now, I can take deep breaths and do activities that feed my body and spirit.

In the meantime, I want to remember:

Presence is a gift
our gift
I will, I do
Blue sky above,
clouds building
My hair up, braided and pinned, tendrils kissing my face;
the look in his eyes, the feel of the handfasting cords against my wrist,
my hand clasped in his
community and blessings all around
Celebrating us,

The way the light touches the canyon walls,
bathes the field,
lengthens distances;
Watching the moon rise over the Watchman, a hair’s breadth from full;
Finding a hidden trail and climbing over boulders in the creek,
seeing our reflections in pools and the sky rise far above
When we stop to gaze at the rocks in awe,
the calm energy of this preserved place holds me.
I look at him – long-time lover and partner, now husband – and smile.

Friday link roundup 10/21

Why I wear what I want and so should you. An argument against wearing what is promoted as “flattering.”

19 Beautiful Bookstores in the U.S.

A barber in Michigan gives kids a discount on their haircuts if they read to him. The widespread responses to this NPR story, and how this might encourage others to follow this barber’s example to promote reading.

An introvert’s advice on how to respond to acquaintances who ask intrusive questions: ask them about their own lives.

On creating (and hiring) more diversity in the technology field, and what people in Seattle are doing to promote change.

In late 2015 in Saudi Arabia, a royal decree granted women the right to participate in local elections. A documentary records the experiences of Saudi women voting for the first time.

“Try to be present” and applied wedding advice

One of the most common phrases of advice before my wedding was along the lines of, “Just enjoy it and try to be present.”

First, I want to say that this is well-meant, good advice. However, it’s harder to take this advice to mind and heart when planning and executing a wedding. There is so much going on, and it’s challenging to enjoy the process. Also, the midst of all this busyness, I am often managing my sensory experiences and making sure that I am taking care of myself so overstimulation won’t overshadow my overall experiences and outlook. I do have skills that help me be more present, and I use them often, and I still struggle when juggling multiple tasks and stimuli.

The question that came up for me after hearing this advice is: How? How can I be present amidst that much stress? How can I enjoy it when there’s so much going on at once?

Another piece of advice I received provides a possible answer:

“Do your best that day to just be there – remember these are people that know and love you, and it’s especially okay to be you in front of them.”

In the end, this reminder helped me stay present. I was there to join my love, to be with loved ones who came specifically for this occasion. If something didn’t go according to plan, it wouldn’t matter – people were coming to be with us, not for an exact or perfect occasion.

At the ceremony, as I stood there in the circle, looking into my love’s eyes, feeling the love of all those around me, I felt safe, present, and alive.

Friday link roundup 10/14

In Arizona, drive-thru restaurant Salad and Go provides a quick and easy alternative to traditional fast food.

Ever heard someone say, “I’m being so OCD” or something along those lines? This article describes the real experiences of people living with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Women respond to men who told them to smile.

On October 13, Bob Dylan won the Nobel Prize in literature. This page from The Guardian includes responses from various sources on this momentous occasion.

From Upworthy: A dad reflects on Donald Trump’s comments in a letter to his young sons, and makes powerful points about men and masculinity.

An obituary to the Great Barrier Reef has gone viral on social media channels. Scientists protest the article’s message and argue that while it is damaged and dying, it is not dead, and there could still be hope.

A post-wedding moment: sharing gratitude with a friend.

After our formal goodbye at the reception, as my love and I were at my car preparing to leave, my friend approached me. She gave me a hug, expressing gratitude for being there, and for our friendship. We first met in our DBT group in October 2014, where we started at the same time. She shared with me about a moment before we knew each other:

“The first day of group, I sat in my car, not sure if I wanted to – or could – go in. And then I saw you get out of your car, and I thought, ‘If she can do it, so can I.'”

“I’m so glad you did,” I said.

“Me, too,” she replied.

Double rainbow on my wedding day.


Picture of double rainbow that my husband took.

I’ll share more details at a later point; for now, I’ll begin with this:

It started to sprinkle just as we were finishing up our wedding reception. It was raining as we drove across the city to the bed and breakfast, where we were staying the night.

As we were approaching the B&B, we saw a vivid rainbow, and another faintly above it. The clearer one seemed to expand in the sky across the valley, across the greater part of the city.

It was the beautiful ending to a wonderful event. It was also a beautiful beginning to the next chapter in our lives. I turned my love – my new husband – and smiled.

Friday link roundup 10/7

Moving, redecorating or rearranging? 8 ways to help make your your home feel like a sanctuary.

How often do you think of your feet? 4 Steps to Happy, Healthy Feet.

On the U.S. and maternity leave (and lack thereof).

In Poland, which already has strict restrictions on abortion, a proposal to ban all abortions (including in case of rape and incest) will be dismissed due to protests against the ban across the country.

The peace deal in Colombia was put to a vote, and despite the anticipation of it being passed, 50.2% of Colombians voted against it, resulting in a defeat.

Wednesday, October 5 was World Teacher’s Day. The United Nations estimates that the world needs 69 million new teachers by 2030.

On the psychology of victim-blaming.

Hurricane Matthew has devastated Haiti and other areas of the Caribbean and is approaching Florida. Live updates here.