I'm strong-arming my way back into my old routines and getting into the Christmas spirit. Wrapping presents with Ben while we watched It's A Wonderful Life helped. Putting these links together felt right. Slow steps into an ever-changing world, folks. Here's some good reads from the past month or so.
Read this very beautiful blessing which expands from the literal meaning of "healer of the Earth" onward. I'd think "healer of the city" is a noble goal.
Now read this very hilarious take on the self-help articles that I consume like candy and often leave me with a shame hangover. I can get behind this advice. "Dance because you’re drunk at a big dance party with your friends and Michael Jackson is playing, not because ‘no one is watching.’ Everyone is watching. We’re at a fucking party. That’s how parties work."
Sketch comedy is having a moment in my heart right now. I absolutely adore Key and Peele, and The Kroll Show is endlessly quotable, which means I can text Ben insane lines in the middle of the day and we can spar back and forth until someone laughs out loud at work. The Kroll Show is ending after this season, so I need to find a new way to connect with my husband.
Important information about WHAT THAT EMOJI MEANS!
I'm a little disappointed in myself that I wasn't more proactive about putting together a gift guide or two- I always look forward to them! Here is a little book guide from the lovely gal behind Smart, Pretty, and Awkward. I'm looking for Amy Poehler's book under the tree.
Molly's blog Hey Eleanor, a record of attempting scary things, is fun and fresh. Her latest undertaking? Quitting beer. Really interesting read about evaluating your relationship with alcohol when you're not an alcoholic. "So if I typically don't like being buzzed and I don't want to use alcohol as a coping mechanism, and overdoing it makes me feel like crap physically and mentally, why am I even drinking at all?"
Am I super late to this party? I saw this video completely by chance and adore it- I think Mary Lambert is gorgeous and this song might be my new anthem. I looked her up and this article gave me a little more info- I like this chick.
The NaNoWriMo blog posted some tips about how to beat the post-November blues, and I was relieved that I'm not the only one struggling. I'm going to steal the idea of writing a favorite passage somewhere and putting it up for inspiration.
Getting pumped to pick a new calendar? ME TOO! These are free.
A powerful teacher friend of mine wrote about the discussions in her high school classroom in the days following the grand jury verdicts regarding the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The discussion was thoughtful and connected to relevant texts and I hope my kids learn from teachers like her. "I told them that none of us were present during the incidents and so no one really knows. I then had a student with a very concerned tone of voice ask me, 'Why does this keep happening?'"
On a related note, another educator I love shared this article about what white children need to know about race. It's wordy and important and should probably be printed out and read with a highlighter and pen to take notes. I care so much about how gender equality is handled in my home and in my classroom, and I want racial equality to be as important a conversation, but I have no idea how to start.
Mara Glatzel is holding a retreat on the winter solstice- it's online and reasonably priced and it helps you work through your intentions for the coming year. She specifically promises "no bullshit resolutions," which I like.
I did whip up a tiny wishlist of things I would love to have. I left off books because my book list is as long as my arm right now, but these pretties are quite intriguing. The tea towels would remind me of my Grandma, and I'm especially on the hunt for a good bag that can be everything from a plane carry on to a work bag. Here are the details: phone case, sweater, tea towels, backpack.
That's what I've got right now. What do you want for Christmas? Any recommendations for picture books about children who aren't white? Let me know what you're loving. I'm loving you.
(image credit here, text added by me)