Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me. Take a look at all the things captivating me lately.
Hate has no home here. It’s not fun to talk about and it would be easy to push it to the back of your mind and go about your life. Sometimes that’s necessary for sanity’s sake. But racism and hate are very present in our country and it’s not something that will be fixed overnight or maybe even in our lifetime. Just ask Holocaust survivors who are seeing the happenings unfold today.
I think it starts with humbling ourselves, realizing what we think we know and understand isn’t all correct, and being open to listening and learning. We also can’t sit back and say, “well, I marched a few months ago, isn’t that enough?” The beauty of life is that we are always evolving and improving. Sometimes it’s not pretty going through growth spurts and awkward teen years trying to figure out how to move forward. But it’s worth it to keep trying and discovering what we can become.
Here are some articles that are worth a read. I’m thinking about you and your heart as we move forward together.
- Because This is Important by A Beautiful Mess
- How to Love Your Friends of Color Well by Preemptive Love Coalition
- We are living through a battle for the soul of this nation by Joe Biden
- To my friends who are sick of politics by Motherwise
Houston and the Gulf Coast was hit hard by Hurricane Harvey, and recovery efforts are in full force. The recovery will take months and maybe years as families and businesses heal their homes and hearts. Please consider donating to the American Red Cross and food banks in the area. Money is better than physical items. Here’s a list of places to donate. Here’s another great list. I’m so thankful for the people in the area who are physically helping with rescue and recovery and fundraising.
Trying Something New
I tried bouldering this month! Yowza! My upper body (fingers, forearms, upper back) was sore for days. You’re supposed to use your legs a lot but on my first visit, it was hard figuring out how to do that when you need to grip the rocks. It was definitely fun trying it out and I’m looking forward to doing it again. Have you tried it before?
Mari Andrew is one of my favorite illustrators out there. You should follow her on Instagram for insightful posts like this one.
A variation on a recent theme because I keep seeing this around me: the quick reaction "You're strong," "You're so inspiring" to the announcement of a personal bummer. • Going through misfortune doesn't automatically make you strong. Being in a wheelchair doesn't make you instantly inspiring. This kind of immediate reaction to bad luck is patronizing at best, and doesn't give room to feel disappointed, scared, or like a total mess. I know the intentions are so good, which is why I'm talking about the possible effect. • I like being told I'm strong for other reasons though! Like, being persistent in growing out a pixie cut. Sitting through a horror movie. "Putting myself out there." Dating an artist. You know, make me work for it.
Craft Breweries Revitalizing Neighborhoods
This is an interesting article about craft breweries and its effect on the cities where they’re located. The number of breweries has grown from 27 to 4,225 from 1985 to 2015 (30 years). WHAT!?! Not only are they creating symbiotic relationships with businesses around them, but they are making areas cool, to describe it lightly. I’ll ‘cheers’ to that!
Here Comes the State Fair of Texas
There has been no shortage of pride in the State Fair of Texas on my blog, and the season is coming around again! Every year, there’s a contest for fried food to be awarded Best Taste and Most Creative. Check out some of this year’s finalists. I believe all of the 10 finalists will be available to try at the fair, which runs September 29 through October 22 in Dallas.
This incredible and in-depth piece about what has happened in Mosul, Iraq by the New York Times is worth a read.
Changing Up the School Lunch
Many kids eat plenty of unhealthy foods, from quick instant fixes to any meal that is not enough vegetables. I’m so excited about this new program in Austin schools and the people behind it that will make lunches healthier. It’s enriching for kids to try different foods because it can spark their creativity and interest not to mention healthier eating habits. This program means the “harmful seven;” which includes high-fructose corn syrup, trans fat and hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors, artificial preservatives and bleached flour; will not be allowed! Kids getting excited about salad? That would be awesome!
Ahhhh Game of Thrones has been so intense this season! Have you been nervously watching also? I’m also chugging along with Parenthood and started season five this week. I also watched Lion (on Netflix) and Moonlight (on Amazon). What are you watching these days?
The new Taylor Swift single and music video for the single was released this month along with news that her next album will be out in November. If you follow pop culture and Taylor news at all, you might know it is DRAMA. Is the media adding fuel to the flame for the drama? (Yes because ratings.) Are fans and spectators fanning the flames for the media? (Yes because humans love watching drama.) Where is the line between letting the haters hate and standing up for yourself? Do you ignore it and hope it goes away or do you call the haters out? We’re all acutely on the defense these days; we get so worked up about snide remarks and every little incorrect sentence. (ie. Facebook comments are breeding grounds for hate.) Even a comment of “who cares?” will get an angry response about why you should care. It’s GREAT that people are becoming enlightened to who they want to be and what they want to stand for, but can we go back to picking our battles and not reflexively tearing each other down? Too naïve or agree?
In this article, I read this line: “In the 50 years since I first met Don, I have never, ever heard a bad word said about Donny Baylor.” One of my co-workers who I don’t see on a daily basis ALWAYS greets me with a big smile and “Hello, Anita!” whenever we do see each other. These two examples got me thinking about how I would describe people and how I would want to be described. More importantly, I know how those two examples make me feel – that I want to be a person that brightens up someone else’s day every chance I get. I want to be known for more than being nice or good at what I do. I want to slow down and make time for genuine connection for humanity’s sake. Shouldn’t that be something we aspire to?
[GoT Finale Spoiler Alert!] We’re all a work in progress. Remember Theon’s big transformation in the GoT finale? He’s done a lot of awful things, some in the recent past. But every moment is the opportunity to do something different to become the person you want to be. The ultimate flipped switch was a long time coming for Theon and the final episode showed a clear example of this season’s theme. We are better than we were yesterday, better than the people that came before us. We work towards better every day with strong people around us.
What’s captivating you lately?