Friday link roundup 12/29

Since 2017 is ending, I wanted to post some best-of lists I’ve rounded up .

From NPR: 50 best music albums of 2017.

From Feministing: favorite feminist writings on the internet from 2017. Favorite feminist films. Favorite feminist books.

From Harper’s Bazaar: Best moments for women in 2017.

Best movie posters of 2017.

Top science and tech stories from 2017. Top business stories.

Barack Obama posted good news stories from 2017 on Twitter.

From the L.A. Times: top undercovered news stories from 2017.

Looking ahead to the New Year:

14 ways to make journaling one of the best things you do in 2018.

A list of must-see movies in 2018.

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Link roundup 12/22

A dad writes a letter to a school asking them about their gendered field trips, asking them to explain why they’re living in 1968.

What this writer learned after taking a homeless mother grocery shopping.

Bustle summed up the pros and cons of the just-signed tax bill. CBS News lists the top six ways that the tax bill will affect average Americans.

How the sun illuminates Spanish Mission churches on the Winter Solstice.

Pie Therapy 101: a baking class designed for people with anxiety, depression, issues with addiction, and more.

Not a stranger to myself — responding to a note from someone I used to know.

Don’t be a stranger, she writes.

I find myself thinking
how can I be anything but?
I was somewhat of a stranger to myself when I knew her,
in the midst of a getting-to-know-self dance. Getting closer, but always a
few steps behind.

Now I generally keep up but my
self keeps me on my toes.

On a person-to-person basis,
Not being a stranger implies visits,
intimate and casual conversations
some form of connection
we may or may not have.

It’s always a risk,
but to you, stranger/acquaintance/community sister,
it could be like facing a flame of my past, my past beliefs
or like facing the awkward silences of the I-used-to-know-yous,
and who are you now?

She writes that she hopes to see me soon.

I’m not sure what to say to that.

I am thinking of the dream, a few nights back, of people from that community yelling at me, of the nagging feeling that stayed with me most of the day.  I am thinking of well-meant phrases that came across as antagonistic that day with her in the garden. I am also thinking that this matters, but less and less.

I am thinking of the feeling of wholeness and happiness that lingers with me longer as time goes by. Of standing with myself, of being in partnership, of doing art, of finding ways to sustain my livelihood.

I am thinking of dancing.

Don’t be a stranger, she writes.

Maybe that time — time for not-stranger-ness —  has passed. Perhaps it has not. I feel distant from that-which-was. I am not sure of what will be.

I put the letter down. At face value, the mailing is a year-end letter from a nonprofit organization asking for money. Her note is scrawled across the top, turning the letter into a more personal appeal.

letter fragment

It does appeal to the part of me that wanted — and wants to be part of something. But I remind myself that I am part of something, of some things: my own life, my marriage, my friendships, my Nia communities, large and small.

And I think of what it means to belong, not merely fit in. And how at some points in my life, I felt like I belonged and fit in, but often confused the two. While I’m still at odds with myself sometimes, in feeling “not enough,” I feel more like I belong. I belong, most of all, to myself. I’m not sure I want to fit in, at least not in the way I once did.

I don’t know how much thought she put into writing this short note. Clearly, I have put some thought into how I am reacting and responding to it.

Friday link roundup 12/1

Family honors a grandmother’s memory by displaying all her quilts at her funeral.

This video might be a little corny. However, I laughed and I think it’s cute. It also includes a meaningful message about gratitude and gifts for the season.

The books that make up the Christmas book tree in the White House library. Well, there is consistency in color, if not subject material.

A sensory friendly Santa! The 30-minute visits include an opportunity for kids to sit with Santa as well as participate in arts and crafts activities in a low-key environment.

Participate in Susannah Conway’s December Reflections, a creative way to go through December through taking (sharing optional) a picture each day. There’s a Facebook group to go with it, so you get to see what other people from all over the world have come up with.

It’s December 1st! A variety of creative advent calendars.

Friday link roundup 11/24

Last week, I was visiting my hometown, and for the first time in quite a while, I missed posting my roundup of links altogether. I know I’ve fallen into posting it anywhere between Friday and Sunday lately. Maybe it’s time for a change, but for now, I’m going to take it week by week. More updates coming soon.

This woman created a hospice for homeless senior dogs.

“This is actually happening. The so-called “revelations” about endemic male sexual aggression in Hollywood, in the media, in politics, in the tech world, and in communities large and small have not stopped, despite every conceivable effort to dismiss, discredit, shame, and belittle the survivors coming forward to demand a different world. The most uncomfortable revelation is the fact that none of this, really, was that revelatory.”             — From a post by Laurie Penny from several weeks ago. I think it’s worth reading. Go here for the full post.

On hitting a high note — an extremely high one — at the Metropolitan Opera.

Is there such a thing as too much gratitude? The author of this article weighs in.

The real history of Black Friday.

Temporally dislocated

Maybe I have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). With the time change, the late afternoon/early evening darkness hits me hard.

Maybe I am, as my husband puts it, “temporally dislocated.”  And maybe it’s both.

In other words, the time change affects my sense of time, which in turn affects my sense of myself. When and how I am located in my day is thrown off.

This past week, I’ve been feeling changeable, erratic, somewhat temperamental. Like having this intense desire to stay in, go into a semi-hibernation. Like wanting company, then later fiercely wanting to be alone; wanting to be held, then wanting more space. This isn’t a new experience after a time change; I’m simply more aware of it. I know I’ll adjust within a week or two, but in the meantime, I feel like my sense of order has been disrupted.

And then I walk outside and breathe in the air, and the relief is almost immediate. This may change after 20 minutes of running errands, and I may again intensely want to be in my quiet home space again. However, it does remind me that it’s important to step outside and feel the sunlight on my skin. It helps me actively locate myself in that part of the day. It allows me to just be there in that moment.

Friday link roundup 11/10

An open letter to Brené Brown: On using the term “obesity” and shame.

From the New York Times: A 10-year-old girl addresses what she sees in the classroom, and she wants more girls to raise their hands.

Video: Contestants in the Miss Peru pageant cite statistics on violence against women instead of their body measurements.

From Jezebel: This is what a news cycle that holds sexual predators accountable looks like.

The history of Veterans Day.