Coming to the end of Black History Month

We are at the end of Black History month here in the USA.  Last February I did a specific task and posted about the missions of the charities I supported each week, but given that the audience for my blog is so small, I wasn’t really helping anyone by mentioning them. So this year I kept quiet about what I was doing, and I tried to boost things like black voices about topics important to their communities, Black Panther, Ruby Bridges’ birthday, Black cowboys here in Houston, etc.  I also passed along a resource I am going to post here as well, because it’s comprehensive and such an amazing aggregation of educational text:

Black History Month Library on Google Drive

I’m leaving this here so not only can I come back to it again and again, but I can repost it every year, and remember to share it repeatedly.

Enough from me. More tomorrow, as March starts to track its muddy feet on the carpet.

Goodbye 2015

Two tiny tree ornaments showing Bugs & Sylvester on our tree in christmas hats

A tiny Bugs & Sylvester on our tree

I really love holidays that feature thresholds: equinoxes, Halloween, and especially New Year’s Eve*.  For New Year’s, people are encouraged to take the opportunity to look both backwards and forwards, and to make conscious decisions about what you want the coming span of time to be like.

Looking backwards, I can see the ups and downs our family went through. We lost a beloved animal family member and gained a beloved animal family member. We had a horrific move-out from a ‘luxury’ apartment where nothing worked, but the transition to a smaller, more economical apartment (where we have control of the thermostat and everything works) has been terrific. We’re both still struggling with chronic pain for varying reasons, but we’ve been getting healthier because of Kizu’s boundless energy.

We are also grateful because both our families had major health issues last year, but are all doing much better this year. *big thumbs up*

In general, I can look back on this year and be happy with the progress we made, while honoring the struggle it took to get to the good points.

We miss you, Theo. We love you, our amazing family and friends. To all others, I wish for you the best of everything for this next go round the Sun.

*Since I am neither Jewish nor Chinese, the big New Year’s transition that I choose is in January. I want to mention this because I don’t see the same posts about New Year’s from my Jewish or Chinese friends during their holidays, and I’m aware of my Western-normative internet experience.

The Experience Of Beautiful Beings Changing Your Life

Welcome to the post in which I squee over beloved members of my life like I’m a fangirl.

(Actually, that’s kind of awesome – being a fangirl over people in my own life.)

((side note to my selves: take this on as a mantra.))

I have some of the most amazing beings in my life, both human and animal.

I have incredible artistic/scientific friends who are able to be supportive and encouraging and just the best possible persons I need in varying and sundry situations.

I have generous parents and in-laws who have been incredible through the ups and downs of life.

I have a spouse who is… well, ye gods, I keep falling more in love with him every day. He adds his strength to mine, teaches me to be brave, loves my dreams, ideals, and ambitions, is not threatened by my successes, loves our mutual animal companions, is gentle and loving with me, is…

Okay I’ll shut up about him now.

And I once had a dog who changed my life into something glorious.

I know, I know… it’s both precious and specious to talk about an animal changing your life. I do think it’s worth noticing that the *experience* of that precious, specious thing is a really…

Well, it’s like you look back and you realize that you’ve been on this little love-and-squee vacation for however long you’re looking back.

If that makes sense.

I’ve spent the past couple of months thinking about how my life unfolded with Amelia, and comparing it to how my life unfolded with Jon, and it’s truly remarkable to see how certain kinds of love, all on their lonesomes, can inspire great sea changes in you. And like living by the sea, you’re so busy looking at all the little rhythmic moments that comprise them that you don’t realize until you look back on old shorelines…

and holy crap the shore has been resculpted into a thing of splendor.

With Jon it’s a lot easier to see, because we’ve been checking in with each other on how we’re changing in subtle ways. Not for us Lillian Hellmann’s quote “People change and forget to tell each other.”

But a dog? A dog can’t talk back. All I ever had as proof of her ever-adapting love was how she overcame those obstacles and continued to learn how to express joy and make me – then us – laugh.

It’s that hindsight that hits you all at once.

I hope I never take it for granted.