It's Friday, and a Twitter friend of mine broke through the noise today to share his answers to a bunch of questions about himself and how he perceives life. I humbly share my own answers here, to distract myself from heavy subjects.
Explain your Twitter / blog handle. Well, the older I get, the wiser I feel – and the more I'm absolutely certain that I know very, very little.
Who inspires you, and why? The women whose stories I'm telling. They are ordinary, yet extraordinary, and I am humbled to know them. Also, my husband, who gives selflessly, generously, constantly and without hesitation. He's not perfect, but he's as close to perfect as a person gets.
Do you care what others think about you? Yes. I really, really wish I didn't.
What are you most looking forward to? Launching the Compelling Women podcast.
What is one life rule you follow? Be authentic. It's more rewarding and less complicated than the opposite.
What's your dream job? Telling stories that speak to women's souls. If I had the opportunity to travel to amazing places (i.e. Italy, France, Spain or Portugal – even stateside places like Austin, New Orleans, San Francisco or Seattle), that'd be icing on the cake.
Which fictional character do you wish you could meet? Abby Bartlett.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I used to practice being a conductor in my bedroom.
If you were a cartoon character, who would you be? Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog.
What skill would you like to master? Storytelling, obviously. Water color painting is a close second.
In what situation would you feel most out of place? In a crowded room of Wall Street execs. I've been there more times than I can count. I always had a glass of wine in hand.
What artist do you really like, but rarely admit to liking? Good old T-Swift.
What gets you fired up? Selfishness. Injustice. Arrogance. Abuse. Anyone who refuses to self-examine.
What annoys you most about the fandoms you're a part of? I can't possibly choose one thing about T-Swift fans.
What do you do to get rid of stress? I take so many epsom salt bubble baths that I should own stock in Dr. Teal's.
You have to relive one day of your life forever. Which day do you choose? This is so ridiculously hard. I can't choose when we got married, were in Italy or on our honeymoon, because the pups weren't there. I can't choose the day we got engaged, because I was super duper sick. I think the answer is my birthday last year. It was quiet, but perfect from start to finish. The Hubs was there for all of it.
How quickly do you jump to conclusions about people? Recently I think: "not quickly enough."
If you were a doll, what accessories would you be sold with? My wedding and engagement rings, a pair of real gold but fake diamond earrings, Jackie O sunglasses, a pair of leopard ballet flats and a black Italian leather purse.
What have you done in life that gives you the most satisfaction? Being the primary caretaker for our dog as he got sicker the summer we lost him. It was gut-wrenching, but also the most precious and important work I've ever done. He taught me how to love, be selfless and focus on the moment at hand. I really believe he prepared me for the day I eventually become a mother. That was his gift to me in the end.
What would be the worst thing to put in a pinata? Snakes.
What's the biggest waste of money you've seen? I saw far, far too much excess when I worked for Wall Street. But paying not to interact with 'peons' is the most disturbing. This happens in a variety of contexts, none better than the next.
What common misconception do you hate to hear repeated as fact? That all Southerners are backwards and ignorant.
Where is the best place to meet awesome people? I don't have a preference on this one. I've met amazing friends through work, other friends and, yes, the internet.
What food do you crave most? I am borderline obsessed with salted pistachios. For this reason we don't usually keep them around.
What TV series do you keep coming back and re-watching? I have watched The West Wing more times than I can count. For years I didn't have cable or an antenna, and I just watched the series over and over again. (Confession: I usually stop halfway through Season 5.)
Among your friends, what are you best known for? Speaking my mind and being protective.
Who of your friends is most like you? None of them. I can only handle so much of myself.
What was the most traumatizing moment of your life? Being physically manhandled and, in my mind, endangered by a very rich, even more powerful man (October 2014).
What's the best lesson you've learned from a work of fiction? "If a guy is a good neighbor, if he puts in a day, if every once in a while he laughs, if every once in a while he thinks about somebody else and, above all else, if he can find his way to compassion and tolerance, then he's my brother. And I don't give a damn if he didn't get past finger painting. What I can't stomach are people who are out to convince people that the educated are soft and privileged. ... Especially when we know that education can be the silver bullet: for crime, poverty, unemployment, drugs, hatred."
What's something you'll never do again? Work in government affairs.
Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. If you are a person who watches the news or has a social media account or simply exists in a world where you interact with a variety of other humans, you already know this. It’s one of the saddest, most inspiring days each year, in that we mourn the loss of his wisdom and example while remembering his words and actions. From quotes about hope to reminders that injustice anywhere threatens justice everywhere, his words tell us to rise in the face of adversity. To stand up for what we believe in. The 50th anniversary of his death in April will bring all of that emotion to the surface again.
He would’ve been 89 years old this year.
But today, as I think about the setbacks over the past year and look for hope in unlikely places, I’m thinking about the Saints. For those of you who don’t watch or follow NFL football, it’s playoff season. Yesterday, the Saints played the Minnesota Vikings, in Minnesota. It is the site of the upcoming Super Bowl, and their hometown team is in contention. It was a rowdy crowd.
Going into halftime, the Saints were down 17-0. This is a crazy deficit, even for the best teams in the league, but by the 4th quarter, the Saints had come back and were in the lead, 21-20. Then Minnesota scored, making the score 23-21. There was less than a minute left on the clock, and the Saints had only one timeout left. But they answered Minnesota’s score, making it a 24-23 game. There were only 10 seconds left on the clock. They could practically taste victory. All they had to do was stop the Vikings in their tracks. If they did, they’d be off to a championship game and only one game away from a Super Bowl.
But it wasn’t meant to be. In the last play of the game, the quarterback for the Vikings made a crazy, Hail Mary pass, and his wide receiver caught it. It’ll be the Vikings that head to that championship instead, the Vikings who’ll be only one game away from playing the Super Bowl in their own dome.
It was a heartbreaking, crushing defeat. The Saints had overcome so much in so little time. Individuals with mountains more sports experience than I will parse this game and that last play (already dubbed “The Minnesota Miracle”) for years to come. The Saints players will be sad for weeks, even months on end, then realize it was a hell of an experience.
What interests me, though, are Saints fans. They didn’t share the on-the-ground, out-of-body experience. They shared only in the defeat. But a video made the rounds this morning, of Saints fans lining up at 1:30am to greet the heartbroken team after their almost victory. They created posters, held balloon banners and screamed so loudly you’d have thought it was a victorious team they were thanking for the ride. But it wasn’t. It was a losing team, who desperately needed a morale boost. And Saints fans rose to the occasion.
Here’s hoping we mourn the loss of the greats today while remembering that hope springs eternal.
We belong to each other. Let’s take care of each other.
You’ve heard me say this before (so much that you're probably exhausted of it), but for the purposes of this blog post, it’s worth repeating: I quit my job in July of 2016. I quit it for more reasons than I can enumerate here, but mostly because it was leading me farther and farther away from who I wanted to be as a person. I quit even though I was scared about what came next, and had a lot of money and time invested.
I have never once regretted this decision.
Less than 90 days later, I got married to my husband. Our relationship is the opposite of my old career: in it, I have never felt MORE like myself. But this goes beyond me feeling loved for who I am; I also feel free to become who I want to become. This, in turn, makes me feel whole — fully ‘at home’. The inevitable bad days feel like opportunities for us to learn and grow.
I’m so, so proud of us.
Then suddenly, in October of 2016, all went quiet. There was no toxic job to occupy my time. There was no wedding to plan. There was, however, a husband who’d recently pursued his own dreams, who wanted me to spend the next few years (kid-free) setting up my next 30. There was space to do ANYTHING I WANTED. But having the freedom to pursue my dreams didn’t mean I had direction. I was lost. What did I want my legacy to be? Devoted wife and co-head of our family, yes. Those are easy. Beyond that, though, I knew next to nothing.
What WAS my life’s purpose? Did I even have a ‘calling’?
I started asking myself these questions in earnest in the spring of 2013, but for three years, life intervened. In the fall of 2016, I began rereading the old books I’d bought on the subject, and buying new ones that I thought might inspire. I started paying attention to what I paid attention to, noticing what doors opened and identifying what about me other people gravitated to. I hung up post-it notes in the office of all the things I felt drawn to. I stared at them for weeks on end. After reading them so many times that I could recite them — coffee, a better world, food, peace, women, travel, love and stories — I figured it out while drinking coffee with my husband one morning: my life’s purpose is to be a matriarch, a refuge for other women.
It took another few months to realize I’d already been filling this role. Since I left my job, I’ve spent hundreds of hours counseling female friends — offering love, support, assistance. These women have gotten unglamorous DUIs, and finally decided to deal with the issues that led them there; been fired from jobs they hated but needed to provide for young children; had mini-breakdowns in other countries due to illnesses and infections; been beaten and almost killed by deadbeat husbands; reached a breaking point, because they’re 26 years old and responsible for the care of a dying father who never really fit that description; needed help with scholarship applications; had to confront cheating husbands; lost themselves while taking care of 4 small children; lost beloved parents; felt a lack of enthusiasm towards their ministries; and the list goes on and on.
I started to imagine myself The Wise Old Woman in a Disney movie: not the perfect looking princess, but the honest and empathic guide who helps said princess on her journey, who’s willing to help really anybody who makes the trek up to the snow-covered cottage at the top of the hill. I don’t offer advice unsolicited, in other words, and I’m not sure I help all the time. Sometimes I’m sure I learn more than they do. But I always try — sharing both my experiences and those of other women with this self-selected tribe. I make cups of tea, loan books, send little gifts, regularly check in.
It is the holiest work I’ve ever done.
Yet the calling isn’t just to be a matriarch; it’s to be a matriarch AND storyteller. These two things go hand-in-hand. Storytelling is an art, and one I’ve far from mastered, but I’ve devoted myself to the pursuit of getting better because this is the way to expand the tribe, make a bigger impact. Supporting women one-on-one is fulfilling, but not a full-time job. Some days I take 4 phone calls; some times I don’t get a call for a week. So, I started this blog, to share the occasional lesson learned or thought process. I share poetry and snippets of encouragement on Instagram, and I engage with the world about much less consequential things via Twitter. I’m working hard on my first book.
But my labor of love has been and will continue to be the Compelling Women podcast. The idea for it came to me on our honeymoon, and I ran it by the Hubs. He loved it. (It’s so simple!) This led to me spending a full 90 days obsessing over the name. Then I commissioned a logo, and lined up interviewees. I secured theme music. I sat down with those women, and listened to them tell their stories. I hired an editor / producer, who is himself a teller of stories. I invested money from my few gigs doing resume writing and event planning, which got this off the ground financially. I reached out regularly to the women, to introduce them to each other and explain that delays are the result of physical limitations, not a lack of passion.
On Friday, I sent my producer the first interview and the accompanying narration. I sent requested format and edits, too. We’ll tweak from there. The hope is that it will be published on February 1st. My publishing timeline has shifted (it’s starting three months later than planned, and episodes won’t be released every two weeks, but once a month), though this was arbitrary to begin with. A wiser me would’ve given myself more time and less pressure at the outset, but I’m a work in progress. What matters is that soon anyone will be able to hear the stories of these ordinary yet extraordinary women. I don’t imagine the podcast will garner a big audience, but that’s okay: I never intended to be famous. I intended to reach a few more women.
It’s important to note that the thing I’ve felt most ashamed of in my life — my authenticity — has led me to this place, and it’s a central requirement for fulfilling my life’s purpose. That’s because women don’t and won’t seek comfort or assistance from someone who isn’t authentic. In order to support them, I have to have their best interests in mind. They have to know I'm genuine.
I’m doing what I’m meant to do. Finally. I think that’s cause for celebration.
Here’s hoping you enjoy listening to these stories as much as I did. It’s been the most humbling and rewarding experience of my life.
Christmas 2007 was a special, fragile time for our immediate family. My brother and sister-in-law were engaged, scheduled to be married in less than a year. My youngest brother, now 14, was barely 4. My grandfather, the patriarch and soul of our family, would not last until the wedding in October. We went to church together on Christmas Eve, as we always did, because when your father is a minister, the choice is simple and made for you.
I suppose it’s worth mentioning that I remember the events from that day as if they occurred on the same day in the same year, but it’s possible this Christmas memory is a compilation. We always went to my dad’s church on Christmas Eve; we always went together. Sometimes my sister-in-law’s parents joined us, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes Pop was in town, sometimes he wasn’t. Matthew was so little for so long; who can say 10 years later if he was 4 or 5?
But I believe it was Christmas 2007, and what I remember, I remember as clear as a bell. My father, the music minister, got up to sing "Sweet Little Jesus Boy," a beautiful Christmas carol written in the style of an African-American spiritual. In my memory Sandra, the pianist, accompanied him minimally. I sat in between Pop and Matthew – my mom seated on the other side of Pop, Frank seated on the other of Matthew.
The song “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” was first written and recorded in 1934, and for those of us who take our cues from the Christian tradition, its lyrics are haunting. But the first verse my dad sang went fine:
Sweet little Jesus Boy
They made You be born in a manguh
Sweet little Holy chil'
Didn't know who You wus
Didn't know You'd come to save us Lawd
To take our sins away
Our eyes wus bline
We couldn't see
We didn't know who You wus
But at a line in verse two – “De worl' treat You mean Lawd, treat me mean too” – he got choked up, and couldn’t continue. He wept openly in front of the congregation he felt called to serve. I sobbed right along with him, and when I looked at my mother and sister-in-law, learned they were sobbing, too. It was a Mebane family mess, full of ugly crying and beautiful, vulnerable hearts. I wasn’t sure my dad would recover, because once you start crying mid-song, it’s hard to. I know this from experience.
That’s when a man in the back row spoke up.
“That’s all right, Frank. That’s all right. Go on.”
A man I don’t recall, who I might have never met, gave my dad permission to feel the emotions behind the words he sang. I have no idea if they were friends, or if they feuded, as ministers and congregants sometimes do. I honestly don’t care. Because what matters is that, in that moment, one man saw another in his vulnerability and said to him, publicly, loudly: “I see you. I empathize with you. We’ll wait for you.” And somehow, miraculously, my dad finished singing the song.
I’m grateful to Robert MacGinsey for writing such a beautiful song. I’m grateful that my dad sang it during that Christmas Eve service. I’m grateful that neither my incredibly active 4-year-old brother nor my frail 85-year-old grandfather burned down the church during the candlelight service that followed. But mostly I’m grateful to that man who saw the pain of another, touched it and said, “I am here.”
I think of this story every Christmas season, but I thought of it this particular morning because I had a brief back-and-forth on Twitter with one of the mothers of the Sandy Hook victims. Her son survived; her daughter did not. At the time of the shooting, her six-year-old daughter was only slightly older than that 2007 memory of Matthew, and her family has spent the last five years putting itself back together.
But yesterday, on the 5th anniversary, she was just a grieving mother honoring the brief life of her daughter, and if you can believe it, praising God. A picture of her gorgeous, missed child was posted, alongside these words: “I love the Lord. He heard my cry, and pitied every groan. Long as I live, and troubles rise, I’ll hasten to His throne.” Lots and lots of people commented. Some read her words and questioned how she could possibly retain faith. Some read them and felt called to action.
Me? I said nothing, but I understood both reactions. It’s hard to know what this family and others went through and NOT feel abandoned or filled with righteous rage. My primary response, though, is to remember the phrase of “Sweet Little Jesus Boy” that my dad couldn’t get through – “De worl' treat You mean Lawd, treat me mean too” – and, consequently, to follow the example of the man who spoke up from the back of the room.
I see your pain, Nelba Marquez-Greene, and for the rest of my life, I’ll do my best to empathize. I’m standing right here, alongside you.
It’s Saturday, it’s snowing, plans are canceled — so I’m holed up in our upstairs guest room, going through my shoes and clothes.
I have been a clothes and shoes horse for my entire life. I love all things fashion, and had some jobs that required dressing to the nines during my first decade here in DC. I collected clothes and shoes like they were going out of style (and some of them were). I was the person known for having 90 pairs of shoes — so many that they wouldn’t fit in my old apartment, which meant storing them in my office.
I left my last traditional job and embarked on a creative career 17 months ago. It was...weird. The part I missed most? Dressing up to go to work. I missed primping, looking my best, making a cup of coffee to go and listening to podcasts en route to the office. I no longer do any of those things: I spend relatively little time primping, I rarely look my best, my husband makes me coffee now and I listen to podcasts while cleaning the house. It’s a far cry from my days of taking the Acela to NYC and spending a week in an office that shares an address with Bergdorf Goodman.
The past year I’ve asked myself the hard questions and become the opposite of superficial. I no longer collect clothes and shoes as a status symbol; I buy next to nothing, and care about status none at all. It’s been a wonderful experience.
But fashion — being drawn toward beauty and design, wanting to feel good about my appearance — is still a part of who I am as a woman, and as a creative. This year I want to feel good about that part of my identity without obsessing over shopping. I want to invest in pieces that matter (i.e. my back, hip and pelvis injuries make 5” heels unhealthy and unappealing; I no longer have a need to wear fancy sheath dresses). I want to have fewer things, and I want all of them to bring me joy. The Holiday Council requires us to identify one Theme, three Goals and five Ways of Being. One of my Ways of Being = free to indulge on occasion. Not to overspend, not to collect and not just clothes. But the pendulum has swung too far in the opposite direction.
So, since I haven’t yet fully gone through my clothes, shoes and purses (which still need to be downsized but are slightly different for me — not an obsession), I did that this morning. I focused on the hard work, with Marie Kondo as my guide. I discarded things that didn’t spark joy. I examined the anxiety I feel about getting rid of specific items. I decided what I want to keep, instead of what I need to get rid of. Etc, etc, etc.
The result? I let go of 17 pairs of shoes, 14 dresses, 1 cape, 4 sweaters (2 are cashmere), 4 blouses, 2 blazers, 1 pair of jeans and 3 pairs of pants. A lot — and I mean a LOT — of it was expensive. I mention all of this because I finally figured out why I’ve been so hesitant to get rid of this, besides feeling like I’m losing some kind of invisible status: I’ve wasted so, so much money on all of this. And I LOVE none of it. I have no idea whether I ever did, or if it was just family tradition (my parents are the worst when it comes to this spending pattern) or momentary infatuation. But Imagine if I’d spent that money taking my dream trip to Italy, which I didn’t do until my husband paid for us to go last year. Imagine if I’d given even a fraction of it to charity. Imagine if I’d spent it letting myself leave my soul sucking job and start a creative career years sooner.
I’ll find some nice women to take the barely worn designer stuff or the things that still have tags on them. The rest will go to Goodwill. I will enter 2018 a new me: no longer wedded to my expensive work clothes, finally ready to be myself.
Here's hoping you end the year having let go of the things that weigh you down, too.
One year, six months and four days ago, I submitted my letter of resignation. The job had been far from what I imagined it would be, but almost every job is. I left not because it was unfulfilling, but because it was a toxic environment. I no longer wanted the career, much less the paycheck.
I’d started at the job 20 months prior. Along the way, horrific things had happened: my boss had slept a lot, during the day and at his desk; the suborganization I worked for sank further into disrepair and debt, which made me scared they’d eliminate my position; the broader organization experienced firings left and right; a board member called his subordinate a vulgar name on a team strategy call; that subordinate yelled at and thoroughly embarrassed me in a meeting I coordinated; I got questions from multiple board members about my boss’ fundraising inaction; I reported some of these things to human resources, with the hope that systemic changes would be made; my boss’ boss learned of this report and threatened me in a meeting he’d never turn over notes about; I felt continually more hopeless. Three days before I left, my boss’ boss publicly humiliated me in an all staff meeting, giving all of my coworkers the impression that I’d been terminated. In reality, I’d given over seven weeks of notice, to give them time to figure out transition – especially with regard to the budget.
They never did. Two months after I left, my former boss sent me repeated emails asking for my help making sense of the budget. There was no indication that he recognized I had no obligation to them, or that I’d given more than 3x the customary amount of notice. There was no offer of payment. I knew I had no moral obligation to help them, and that doing so would be psychologically destructive. I asked my now husband if I had a legal obligation to save their asses, still scared of being retaliated against. He laughed. “No. You owe them nothing. You did too much. They didn’t take this seriously when you turned in your letter of resignation, or in the weeks that followed it. You don’t owe them shit.” So, I pretended I never got them. It wasn’t my problem they were desperate.
Less than five months after I left, both my former boss and his boss were fired. These were the same men who’d respectively left me to flounder and retaliated against me again and again. And as soon as they were fired, people asked me: “Aren’t you just thrilled that [boss] and [boss’ boss] got fired? Don’t you feel so good?” It was a deeply disturbing question. No, I wasn’t happy that men with families to feed suddenly had no income -- much less thrilled. What's more, the organization suffered. I suffered: I’d been damaged professionally, and lost both time and money as a result of it. Them getting fired was karma in action, sure, but it didn’t make me whole. In fact, no one cared if I was whole. No one sent me a thank you note that said, “We realize in hindsight that you were right. Can we pay you for it? Can we in some other way compensate for it? Can we meet you in person to tell you what a wonderful job you did trying to take care of a fledgling organization? It’s a shame we didn’t listen to you then. We were wrong. You leaving taught us how much you’d been doing, and we cleaned house. Will you please give us a chance to fix this?” So, no, I didn't feel vindicated, either.
You know why no one ever sent that letter and, more importantly, why no one ever will? Because, in general, people refuse to self-examine. Self-examining is hard, even painful. In this instance, self-examination at the highest levels of these organizations (big and small) would have required admitting that these men had no accountability for years. It would have required examining strategies and leadership that were ineffective at best, counterproductive at worst. It would have required a deep dive into stupid spending trends. It would have led to a cost-benefit analysis no one wanted. By firing these men, this painful undertaking was avoided. Which means these men were fired at the wrong time and for the wrong reasons.
I mention this because Matt Lauer was fired today. #SomewhereAnnCurry trended after that, essentially suggesting that Ann Curry was celebrating or feeling vindicated. But, if she’s anything like me, I’m guessing she isn’t. Matt Lauer was fired because he was a liability in this day and age, not because he was awful to her. The damage done to her can never be undone. The desperation she felt was disregarded. The devastation she felt was ignored. They chose him over her. She wasn’t the reason they got rid of him. Her career hasn’t been restored. If they’d attempted to see things from her perspective, things might have been different for her and the other women Matt Lauer worked with. But they didn’t. They chose the man and money over her. The short-term outcome was that Matt Lauer was emboldened; the long-term damage was to the women he worked with and, just as importantly, to the organization.
Ann Curry and I don’t celebrate. We still grieve. Okay? The men who wronged us getting fired makes very little difference. The problems are much more systemic.
Last year I decided to embark on a new holiday tradition. If you are friends with me on Facebook or follow me on Instagram, you already know that this is Stratejoy's annual Holiday Council. In its own words, Stratejoy (pronounced as if the word 'strategy' ended in -joy) is "a positive corner of the internet – with real conversations about dreams, struggles, celebrations and transitions – that is both powerful and useful." It's based on the goal of "practicing joy in a messy world." The Holiday Council is a 3-week long program that makes New Year's Resolutions seem like the temporary and empty gesture that they are. It's a wonderful way to close out the year: releasing last year's slime, embracing the possibility of the year ahead.
During HoCo 2016 I believe I declared my word for the year either WONDER or REJUVENATE. I honestly can't remember. Last year was a time of serious transition in my personal and professional life (i.e., I got married and quit my decade-long career), and I struggled with setting intentions for the year ahead. That's probably part of the reason that I don't remember the word I chose. But the real reason I don't remember is because so much heavy shit* has happened this year. The Hubs spent January - May focusing on finishing his LL.M., and January - August on his post-active duty job search (which is far from standard). I dealt with my back injury from March - October, with the abscess in July, with the car accident injury in October & November, with thyroid issues for the entire year and with relatively minor afflictions (allergies to muscle relaxers and beta blockers + their nasty effects) here and there. There were also awful things that I can't mention, for legal or professional reasons. (Yes. Ugh.)
I mention all of this because, if you asked me to describe my year as it was vs. how I intended it to be, I'd laugh hysterically. In reality, my year was HEAVY. Even dark. I've felt exhausted and bombarded and burdened and spent. Without joy, without respite, without hope. Feeling as if this barrage of struggle would.not.end. Today I woke up and said, "No more! I am setting my intention for the year ahead, and it is LIGHT. That thing that is luminous in the face of darkness. That thing that is airy and spacious, not suffocating and small."
Today I'm addressing Christmas cards and thumbing through catalogs in search of gifts. I'm drinking coffee and reading my new favorite book, Vacationland by John Hodgman. I'm checking in with friends, and doing laundry in anticipation of hosting both company and a holiday party next week. I'm snuggling with my furry snuggle bear, and watching The Good Place. I'll probably take a nap. I may take a class about learning to draw. All of this = heaven.
But tonight is when the real light begins. Tonight is when the Hubs and I decorate for Christmas. We'll eat yummy Thanksgiving leftovers, drink spiked hot chocolate, put up the decorations we brought to this marriage separately, and put up the ones we purchased together. Then we'll watch Elf.
My new year starts now. I'm not waiting for January 1st. January is cold and dull and dreary. Christmastime is magic: literally luminous, and so spacious it feels okay to pray for Peace on Earth.
* Just a reminder that this blog uses curse words sparingly but without hesitation.