teaching racism

A friend was over today and while our kids played together, we chatted as moms do. Friend said that her young daughter had come home from school one day and told her that she had a crush on a boy. The mom then said to me that this boy was “black”. She didn’t say the word black, but rather mouthed it to me silently, as if being black were this awful, horrible condition that is not to be spoken of out loud.

I looked at her and said, “oh…is that an issue”? To which she replied that yes it was. To which I retorted, “because that’s not an issue for me”. The Screen Shot 2015-05-23 at 11.53.58 PMconversation continued, but the subject was changed to crushes in general rather than the color of said crushes’ skin.

I was really unsettled by this exchange. Granted, our kids are too young to even have crushes or be thinking about such things, but that’s not the point I want to make here. This child has no idea that she “shouldn’t” have a crush on someone of another race. But she will be taught that this is wrong and unacceptable. It has perpetuation of racism written all over it.

I would have liked to have probed the mom for her reasoning behind this viewpoint but I didn’t push it. Her daughter sees this boy the way we should see everyone. As equals. Not as less than. Not as someone she shouldn’t like and admire based on the amount of skin pigment they happened to be born with.

Kids aren’t born racist, they are taught it by their parents.

today is friday and here’s some stuff

CUBICLE NATION: The following was written a couple of days ago and I was in a mood…since then I’ve had two good days as a resident of Cubicle Nation in which I have been given some new projects and have had lovely interactions with coworkers. So there you have it. I’m moody and many times restless. Like you didn’t know that.

Sometimes I come back from lunch and see my office mates still staring at their computer screens and taping away at keyboards and I think to myself, “Ugh, y’all are STILL doing this? Are you happy doing this? Are you ok sitting at those desks staring at numbers and documents and emails and just…all of it?” And maybe they are and in that case, peace out. But sometimes it boggles my mind that I can come back and they are still there, because it feels like an eternity to me. Like an alternate gray fabric walled universe and we’ve all been stuck in it for ten million lifetimes. Then, when I’m getting antsy (er) around 3:30/4:00pm and they are STILL sitting there with the same faces, doing the same thing I think “don’t ya’ll want to get up outta here and go home? Or run screaming naked down the hallway? Maybe jump up and down on the elevator to shake things up? Am I the only one who feels stifled and tedious and bored to ever-lovin’ death?” Maybe I am. So usually I just leave them in their zombie states and get outta dodge. Cubicle Nation y’all. It’s not always bad but it sucked extra much today.

Sooooo, what have we missed in that regard? That grant that was giving me hives? Successfully submitted with high praise and thanks from my superiors, with the promise of more of that kind of hot mess to come my way soon. Um, thanks?

1/2 MARATHON: I walked-jogged my third half marathon on Mother’s Day weekend with my usual lame time of 3+ hours. One day I will break that streak, I vow it. I was happy to wog it “with” my sister-in-law though, as it was her first ½ and she killed it with a time of 1:56! WHAT??!! Yes. I can only dream of being that fast and I’m super proud of her but let’s be honest, I’m also super jealous. She deserves that time though, with all the training and dedication that she put into preparing. I, on the other hand, totally put in the training and dedication required to get a 3+ hour time and that made all the difference. Ha. I’ll try another in October and I will get a sub-3 if it kills me.

WRECKS: Mother’s Day was a bit tainted because I decided it would be a good idea to have somewhat of a major wreck on the interstate on the way home from the race. Airbags, paramedics, traffic jams, the whole nine yards. My car was totaled but luckily, my body suffered only minor scratches and bruises, and a tiny burn. Wear your seat belts folks. They will save your face. The wreck also wrecked my Dad’s Christmas present since we had to miss the Prairie Home Companion show I’d bought us tickets for that night. Womp womp. That made me just as sad as the stupid accident. I’ve just now got through all the insurance/rental car/police report paperwork and am in full car shopping mode. That’s stressing me out a bit because it’s a huge purchase that we weren’t expecting and there are like, a lot of options. But I’ve settled on a hybrid of either the Prius or the Civic persuasion. Gas mileage is a thing and a hybrid is in my future.

DANCE: It’s the height of dance season and kiddo had recital pictures taken the other day with a million other sequin covered girls and their hairspray wielding mothers. It was chaos and I question why I continue in this particular vein of crazy. But the kid enjoys it, is quite good at it, and let’s face it, she’s about as adorable as you can get in a fluorescent yellow tutu and matching tights and Madonna-esque fingerless gloves. She has a performance tonight and the big annual recital in a couple of weeks. After that I will have three ridiculously unwearable except for Halloween, but delightful costumes for sale or Goodwill.

POOL: The pool is finally in! The landscaping however, is not. We have a beautiful blue oasis in the middle of a big ol’ dirt and rock pile. Kind of ruins the ambiance, but really who’s complaining about ambiance at this point? The pretty yard will come later. The Accountant and kiddo have been swimming a lot but it’s still a bit too chilly for my bones yet. It is lovely to sit out there and nap or read or what have you though. The kid has built on her very basic swimming skills in the short span of about two weeks and is getting better and braver. This mommy however, has not. Maybe someday I will conquer that fear. Until then I’ll just look cute on my floatie, thank you very much. I’m excited to have lots of friends and family over this summer for all the grilling and pool time we can handle! Party time at The Compound!

TRIP: My work focus has been off, as you may have gathered from that first paragraph. I’m blaming most of that on pre-vacation brain. In a couple of weeks hubs and I are off to Austin, TX with some dear friends for a few days (adults only, kid is staying home with appropriate supervision, of course), and then dear friends are staying with us for a few more days after that! I am SO excited to explore a city I’ve never been to and then to show friends the good stuff that Nashville has to offer and basically, just chill out completely. So, yeah, vacation brain.

YOGA: I did this cool thing with a friend last night where 1,000 people do a group yoga class in an NFL football stadium for an hour. It was pretty epic. As was the friend I went with. One day when we’re old and in the nursing home we’ll be sitting in our wheelchairs in the lobby and reminiscing about that time someone stuck their toe in my eye at Titans stadium during shavasana. That happened.

THE END

fig newtons

It’s late and I should be in bed but I’m up stress eating fig newtons instead. This does not bode well for my weigh-in tomorrow morning. Whatever. I’ve logged over 8 miles of wogging and 10 miles of biking the past three days so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Current worry: Kiddo got in some trouble today at her after-school program. The   situation has been dealt with but the details of such make me worry in general. She’s a great kid but growing up is hard in general and navigating appropriate friendships, boundaries, physical changes, etc. is around the bend and I can see it coming bright as day. I was much less stressed before I had a child and I won’t pretend to not be envious of those without such specific stresses. And that’s just a fact jack.

So that’s the biggie for tonight. Anyway.

And I just read an article on all the evil ingredients in fig newtons. According to it, I’m going to die in my sleep tonight. Stupid internet.

yo yo, etc

Good news. I got a killer haircut and color today. Also, I’m back to my normal level of crazy vs. bedridden crazy. The darkness ran its course and is in the background until next time. That’s just the nature of it. My entire body is sore though and I feel stiff and creaky. I think mostly from doing a lot of walking at work in inappropriate footwear, and I guess the rest is just from being almost 40 or something. In other medical related news, I’m on a new asthma medication that I take daily instead of just relying on my inhaler, which I was borderline abusing. So far it’s working great. I’m well on my way to pill boxes labeled with days of the week and gallon ziploc bags full of meds. Womp womp.

Speaking of work, this grant that’s due first part of May will be the death of me. I’m learning a lot though. Mostly that I don’t like project management of grants, ha. Its going ok overall with some general frustrations over my emails not being read and feeling out of my element. But its keeping me busy and that’s a plus. The other big aspect of my job I truly like, however. I’m coordinating a weekly workshop and am in charge of all aspects. A bit stressful but such a high when all goes well and I’m finding my groove.

I totally bailed on a 5k today. Kid wasn’t feeling good last night and that got me off kilter, but to be honest, the main reason was that I just didn’t want to get out of bed this morning. I do what I want ya see. I did make up for it later this afternoon and got in a 4 mile wog. I’m freaking out a bit because I have a 1/2 marathon in a month. I just want to do it in 3 hours and I’ll be happy with that. Tomorrow we bike. Monday we wog. Tuesday we weigh and hope to hit the 10 lbs lost mark. But now we sleep.

stars

Screen Shot 2015-04-06 at 7.49.28 PMThe only reason I got out of bed this morning was to get my kid to school and then pick her up again this afternoon. Then I collapsed back under the blankets and willed my bed to swallow me whole.

While meditation, yoga, therapy, and medication have dramatically decreased the frequency of the “episodes” I have, there are some days when even those things are powerless against my anxiety and depression. On those days I am broken and the only thing I can do is wait it out and hope the cycle passes quickly.

When I fall, I fall hard but at least its usually onto a soft mattress and comfy blankets.

Tomorrow will be better.

meditation thoughts

LOVEMy personal meditation practice has thus far been one of ebbs and flows; in a definite ebb the past few weeks. One of my “recharging” strategies is a monthly meditation class at the yoga studio that I like so much. Meditation with a group vs meditation alone is such a different experience. Both are beneficial and I love them in equal measure. Yesterday I joined the small class for an hour of guided meditation/movement and this morning I sat alone for seven minutes. Each method is a win in spite of the vast difference in duration and format.

I find that when I haven’t meditated for several days, coming back to it is a welcome homecoming but my mind is much more active and jumpy than if I stick with it for longer stretches. That’s normal I suppose and I am a believer that meditation takes practice to reap optimal benefits, even though the irony is that there is no wrong or right way to do it. It is about finding what works best for you; sitting in the traditional cross-legged position or legs outstretched, seated in a chair, standing up, laying down, or a walking meditation. You really can be mindful wherever you are and in whatever you are doing.

During yesterday’s class my mind was a whirl, my feet kept falling asleep, and my back ached. And yet, I came away refreshed and in a better mental state than when I had entered the doors of the studio an hour earlier. I received further confirmation that I was practicing in the right place for me when our teacher read from a book of one of my favorite meditation practitioners, Tara Brach, and reminded us that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Your mind will wander and thoughts will come and go. Meditation is a process of coming back to yourself, over and over again.

You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes a day, unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour. ~Zen Proverb