My father’s work often meant trips to Washington, DC, and we occasionally went with him. I have many fond memories of exploring the National Mall, the National Air and Space Museum, and the Natural History Museum with my dad. We went up the Washington Monument at night. Those trips are part of a connection I feel with him about space-related things. I was in sixth grade when Halley’s Comet made a close pass in 1986; we woke up at 3am multiple times on his work days to hang out in dark fields with amateur astronomers and their telescopes to see the comet.
Category Archives: personal
Leaving the hibernation den
I promised myself that the first day I would work only a half-day in-person. Even that was a lot. The office lights were excruciatingly bright and the considerate, everyday noise of people in the office overwhelmed my sensory system. I retreated to my office “den” where I used desk lamps instead of the overhead lights and kept my door cracked or closed.
Discomforts started setting in by around day three. Sensations which I had long ago adapted to and learned to manage subconsciously were now very consciously noticed new sensations. I felt really overstimulated and mentally exhausted. And cranky and impatient.
Reflections and intentions: Being in community
I am entering into this new calendar year with more self-compassionate approaches to reflection and intention setting. What did I learn about myself for this year? What did I do for myself this year? What values do I continue to uphold and want to focus on for next year?
I want to be a turtle grandma
The turtle grandmas are shepherds, protectors, and keepers of space for the nestlings. They do pastoral work, watching over the nests and being present before, during, and after the turtles hatch. They facilitate the flow of nature.
I’m making everyday decisions with harsh critics watching over my shoulder. I act as if I have to have The One final outcome imagined with detail. What if making that one tiny decision IS the decision? The question: do I want to get these toes fixed now? Notice the question is not, will I get these toes fixed now, and who will do it, how, how will it feel, when, what if…, who will take care of.., and then what about…? Just the simple question, do I want to get these toes fixed now? The answer: yes, I want to get my toes fixed now.
This is fine
I am today years old in realizing the extraordinary self-doubt I feel in my capability to discern “this is fine” from “this is not fine.” I don’t believe myself to be a reliable narrator.
My dislocated toes: A thorough update
I’m inviting friends to help me tend to my fears about pain, loneliness, and urgent need as best I can. I get to have new experiences of care from and with my friends. I get to expand my self-knowledge about what feels good to me. I get to learn more about the people in my community and what they like to do.
I am the snapping turtle
That late-summer evening in 2019, in cutting a snapping turtle free from lake weeds, I started the process of setting myself free from codependency and internalized oppressive mindsets.
I participated in these conference wanderings as a temporarily physically disabled person. I acknowledge many layers of privilege of my social position. Also, I hope that, through my social position, I can raise awareness about ways we can do meetings that are more accommodating and inclusive. Knowing that I was experiencing pain and tiredness in ways most others weren’t, I had to learn to self-advocate to make my life manageable to attend these events. I told my friends in advance what to expect from me and what help they could offer. And I offered myself opportunities for more rest, more solitude, a place to sit, ice, more time between locations, and quiet protected time to talk one-on-one.