Link roundup 7/15

First look at the new A Wrinkle in Time trailer.

On the contracting and expanding nature of grief.

A Delaware-sized iceberg broke off of Antarctica.

A teacher’s perspective on name-shaming in classrooms and the potential of underlying racism.

Hug a baby, grow a brain. Why hugging babies and young children may increase brain growth and intelligence.

Great story of people coming together for the greater good: A family got caught in a riptide off of the Florida coast and beachgoers formed a human chain and saved them.

But it’s free! Reflections on my habit of signing up for online trainings.

I have a habit of signing up for free webinars and workshops, ones that claim to be beneficial, boost my mindset, give me tools for my small business, etc. It is likely that these have value in themselves, and I’m sure they benefit many people.

However, I rarely attend these things. The truth is: I feel bogged down by watching videos online. I have to take webinars in small bites. I get restless. Sometimes I can watch things while doing something else, like taking notes or making jewelry, but after a time, I get overwhelmed by the amount of information and the fact I’ve been watching a computer screen for an extended amount of time. The content adds more noise and clutter to my already full e-mail inbox and internet time. It can add to overstimulation and potentially lead to a sensory shutdown.

I also reached a point where self-help resources became less helpful for me. Part of that was burnout: I spent thousands of dollars and over two years on a live-in empowerment program. In the end, I can say that parts of it were worthwhile and beneficial…and other parts were not helpful and even harmful for me. I am now more cautious and skeptical. While I believe it’s helpful to have a good and hopeful attitude, I don’t believe completely in mind over matter. If someone starts talking about manifestation and the law of attraction, I’ll lose interest quickly. It’s not that I don’t think these things aren’t helpful for some people; I just don’t believe that they are helpful for me.

Also, sometimes something that was meant to encourage me doesn’t have the desired effect. I was watching something (as part of the marketing section of my transcript proofreading course) recently about imposter syndrome and how to overcome it. I recognized it in myself and I’ve actually felt more self-conscious since then. I do have tools for overcoming self-doubt; sometimes, I need to find my own way out.

It’s also that I’m not generally the best person to market to. Yes, I’ve clicked on a link, I’ve signed up for a free class, I get on an e-mail list. I’ll get that far; you’ve sold me on the free parts. But at this point, unless you’re selling a set of skills I want to acquire or a Nia training, I probably won’t buy the product or service that you’re trying to sell. It’s also that I sometimes get annoyed at even well-meaning people who are selling their products and services. No wonder I struggle with the idea of marketing and selling my services — I don’t want people to react to me selling something in a similar way. (Note: This is not to say that I’m invulnerable to marketing and that I don’t get the desire to buy things; I do. I just don’t think I’m the best person to target for an actual sale).

Perhaps the obvious lesson here is to stop signing up for online events I won’t attend, for free services that may turn into sales pitches. I can acknowledge that while I’m curious and would appreciate the insights, it’s often more effective for me to find those in another way. Maybe I can find an article by that person or check out their book. Maybe I’ll reach out and connect with someone who has done something similar to what I’m trying to do. I can write down what kind of support I need and brainstorm ideas on how and where to get it. Alternatively, before I sign up for something, I can look more carefully at what’s being offered. I can then make a more considered decision, and, if I like what they’re offering, make an intentional date with myself to watch it.

I recently signed up for a free training that had multiple videos/webinars about how to overcome overwhelm. I was completely overwhelmed and daunted by the amount of videos. So here is my intention for the future: to sign up for things like this with more intention and not all at once, and to pause before I sign up for another thing, no matter how low (or free!) the cost.

Friday link roundup 7/7

An introverted yoga teacher reflects on her experience.

A stage actress who has had parts in the musical wrote a sequel to Fiddler on the Roof.

How did kids from Germany and Cameroon fare on a study on self-control? Read this to find out.

A town in Italy started using silent fireworks to help their animals, who often get distressed by the noise.

About a feminist retirement home in Paris.

How well do you know the shape of each state? From Time: An exercise in drawing the 50 U.S. States.

The public comment period for the national monuments under review by the U.S. Department of the Interior ends on July 10th.  Follow this link to post your comments.


Reflections on a hometown visit and creating home

Returning to my hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, for 10 days in May was wonderful. I got to see friends, take several Nia classes (plus take a weekend training!), and appreciate the beauty of the landscape.

mountains and rivers

The Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande.

After seven months away, it felt like both a long and short time away. Also, I had things scheduled like a vision therapy follow-up appointment and a session with my occupational therapist, so at moments it almost felt like a chapter out of my life last year.

Being there reminded me how much of a life I built there. When I first moved back, my main goal was to get stable and regain my mental health. I wasn’t expecting to create something that I would be reluctant to leave.

But I realize that creating a life, forming connections, and creating a sense of community for myself was important. Dialectical Behavioral Therapy talks about a “life worth living.” For me, that includes feeling comfortable, at home, and connected. It grew to include Nia, which helped me gradually find my way back to joy. As the months went by, I felt more capable, more alive, more me. All of this was and is important.

During my days there and when I returned to Las Vegas, I felt somewhat unsettled, as though my desires and attention were split between the two places.  I wanted to be here and there. I really like the life I am creating with my love here. I miss people there. I’m gradually meeting and getting to know people here. The landscape here, with deserts and mountains, reminds me somewhat of New Mexico. I appreciate both types of desert beauty.

Las Vegas sunset

Las Vegas, Nevada, late May

While part of me felt distressed by feeling split, I realize that this feeling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that I am building a home here in Las Vegas while still having a strong sense of home in Albuquerque. It means that I can return there and connect with people and stay in touch. It means that I am learning to create and maintain a life for myself wherever I am.

Friday link roundup 6/30

Three big myths about the life of Helen Keller.

An app that identifies plants when you take a picture. This might have come in handy during a hike earlier this week…

In this article, feminist and journalist Jessica Valenti writes about her — specifically, her young daughter’s — experience with the health care system and how the current bill in the Senate might harm children who have health issues.

Fun video: A dog walks onstage at an outdoor orchestral performance in Turkey.

This article speaks about the need for acceptance of people with autism, not just awareness.

Friday link roundup 6/23

Swimwear pieces that can be worn as tops or bottoms — a versatile bikini that can be worn in many styles.

A list of best (and sometimes very interesting!) ice cream flavors served in ice cream shops across the United States.

Dollar stores are cheap and convenient, and sometimes it’s worth it to get something there…and at other times, not so much. Here are some recommendations on what to buy at dollar stores.

It’s been a hot week in the United States this week — it even made it to 120 degrees Fahrenheit where I live. The amount of heat waves may continue to rise. According to this National Geographic article, a study indicates that up to 75 percent of people could regularly face deadly heatwaves by 2100 unless carbon emissions plummet.

An accessible water park for people with disabilities just opened in San Antonio, Texas.

On making leadership accessible for chronically ill activists.

Some Swedish kindergartens are trying a gender neutral approach in their classrooms. 

Bosnian students protest against ethnically segregated schools.

Lessons and observations from my first summer in Las Vegas.

Here’s what I’m finding out during my first summer living in Las Vegas, Nevada(during the latest heat wave, and with the high temperatures in general):

1. In some places, people mostly stay inside in the winter. Other places, they mostly stay inside in the summer.

2. With how dry it is, the “feels like” on the forecast is often at least 4-9 degrees cooler than the actual temperature, e.g. 109 degrees feels like 104.

3. With all the hot air and occasional breeze, sometimes walking outside is like walking through (or into?) a giant hair dryer.

4. It’s still possible to get up early and take walks. It warms up quickly, so it’s best to get out as soon as possible in the morning. My first thought yesterday morning: It will be nice to get out for a short walk this morning while the temperatures are under 100 (it was 89).

5.  If I bring my water bottle with me when I’m out running errands (which is good to do to stay hydrated), I need to put it in my purse and take it with me wherever I go. Even leaving it in the car for a few minutes will heat it up.

6.  Wearing skirts and dresses helps keep me cool(er).

7. Having a pool at our apartment complex is a huge plus.

8. Apparently, outdoor Hot Yoga is a thing. As in outside in the summer heat.  I’m not really interested, but I really hope they wear sunscreen.

9.  Low 100s feel better than 110+ (which it is now during this heat wave).

10. I am gradually acclimating. I wouldn’t want to stay out for long, and the heat wears on me. But it’s starting to feel less oppressive.