Yeah…what to do with my squash does seem like a small problem now.
So what have I been up to? Well, at first it was just the usual the semester has started and the little bits of time I have for myself are gone. And it was worse than usual, because turns out that having a full time job and three kids is not the same as having a full time job and two kids, however easy the job and all the kids may be.
My baby turned one year old. See how little anyone cares about you, third child? No fanfare, no pausing to reflect, no lengthy observations about the joys and challenges of parenting… (But still cake, and it was really good, and she ate the fuck out of it.)
Halloween happened, with fabulous costumes. Bun Bun wanted to be a white wolf, and her wolf head came out pretty awesome if I do say it myself. Bunter was the softest, sweetest strawberry on earth for the brief time she wore her costume. Bunlet helpfully just wanted to wear his costume from last year and be a “worker”. Seize the means of production while you’re at it, little one.
And then around 26% of my fellow country people* did something that I still struggle to understand. And I had to take on another full time, unpaid job, giving a shit and trying to make things better.
Here’s a telling figure, since you know how I love data…
It’s exhausting, the feeling small and the feeling futile and the feeling powerless, and the knowing that those feelings sap the will to TRY, and that you have to try anyway. I have tried in ways that range from marching on our nation’s capital to picking up trash on my walk to work.
At some point I realized that going from zero (maybe even negative 10?) in the political activism/ civic engagement department to…well, not 60 or anything, maybe 35? is hugely transformative. And that like other large personal transformations, such as becoming a parent, it’s going to be very slow and there will be guilt and despair. But maybe some happy moments.
I have been pushing myself very hard this year, doing things that really scare me. A lot more travel, a lot more leaving my house, a lot more talking to people. 2017 has been a year of adventure and personal growth and shit. It turned my toes purple.
*I keep reading statistics like “53% of white women voted for Trump”. No. Such conversations must start with the reality that only half of us (well, 55%) fucking voted at all. So that’s appalling, but the silver lining is that it reduces the proportion of the people who are unfathomably different from me to something I can wrap my head around, approximately 26%. And by the way, if you’re one of those people, I believe you had a good reason for doing that, because I believe in empathy. So I just ask that you exercise your empathetic capacity and believe that I have good reasons for being upset.