Saturday Shares: A New Weekly Series!

Hey readers!

One of my favorite things to do is to share resources/tips/tools with those in my community, my network, and yep, my blog. So with that, I am kicking off a weekly series with five things I found informative, all focused on my core values of Sustainability, Equity, Creativity, Simplicity and Discovery. From products to how-to's to articles to ways we can make a difference, there's so much out there we can share, and I want to continue this as a longtime blogger. I hope you enjoy!

Now, for this week, here are some things I'd love to share with you...

  • Sustainability While we all know intellectually about the value of eco-friendly materials, how often are we really treating our clothing purchases as seriously as we do with that of our food? Are we actually scanning the "ingredients" and understanding where they come from and their impact on the planet? Learn about The Fabrics With the Worst Environmental Impact and slow your roll when you are looking at upgrading your wardrobe, so you can better walk the eco-talk. As we prepare for winter, my bike commuting husband (18 miles roundtrip) mentioned needing a warmer pair of thermals and, using the aforementioned guide, it was definitely not easy to find something that met the three requirements: functional, affordable and sustainable! Ultimately I found him a bamboo/merino pair but it still had 30% poly woven into it (grrr...). And don't get me started on finding eco-friendly jeans for the curvy gals like moi...!

  • Equity "From the plunder and incarceration of black and brown bodies within the current criminal justice system, to the death, injury, and disenfranchisement of disproportionately women of color who are barred from accessing birth control and safe abortion care; from families separated and ravaged by the Trump administration’s immigration policy, to survivors of sexual assault unable to receive support and justice, most human rights issues are inextricably bound to identity. They are also inextricably bound to economic justice." - Kylie Cheung, from her 2018 article in Feministing that clearly rings true to this day, calling out the behavior of both Trump and Sanders during the primaries. As for me, I never had any interest in Bernie Sanders. To me, Sanders was always just another angry old white mansplainer who thinks he's more of a feminist than the women who lead the movement (examples of his hypocrisy: referring to Hillary Clinton as a "Democratic whore", his rape article saying how women fantasize about being gang-raped, his followers saying HRC was 'too old' even though she was years younger than Sanders, and his overall demeanor towards women who don't worship him), and one who is both utterly clueless about the Black community AND as AfroPunk described, has a team of "Bernie supporters, and the often-aggressive ways in which they interact with anyone who questions Bernie’s stances or methods, especially white progressives who take issues with Black progressives." Sound like a certain Republican we know? Exactly. I live in Oregon, and the vast number of choices they started out with had completely been eliminated by the time our primary rolled around in May. And don't get me started on the fact that we don't have ranked-choice voting to ensure the winner actually has the majority...

  • Creativity My husband and I have been talking for a long time about how to best utilize our huge pasture. We are not horse owners, despite my inner 10 year old girl begging for one (until a horse learns to feed and water itself while we're on weekend getaways, it's not a realistic option), and so we've been contemplating different ways to nourish this area of our property in ways that honors the earth and hopefully, the community at large. And with the latter, I've been delving into the idea of starting a community garden with the space, and how the logistics of that might work. It would have to involve rainwater harvesting, creating work spaces, collecting fees, overseeing work parties, and of course having folks come onto our property (and much more) but it could work. In year one, we simply mowed it (exhausting). In year two, we mowed a perimeter path so we could take walks, and let the pasture grow it's beautiful clover, alfalfa, asters, lupine, thistles, dandelions and more, all which made the most insanely tasty honey I've ever had. How to do both? Worth some planning and plotting this winter!

  • Simplicity The pandemic has definitely encouraged the simplification of many things in my life, both due to financial belt-tightening as well as the nature of shutdowns that has eliminated a lot of options we once had. Being that we are both introverts at heart yet with extrovert jobs that work directly with the public, we have always gotten our "fill" in our day jobs and treasured the quiet of our sanctuary. So when we'd watch the late night talk shows and various news stories talking about social media and video conferencing "fatigue", we were a bit perplexed. Why? We haven't had Facebook since 2011. I had Twitter for work in 2012 and hated it so much I closed it. A couple years ago I tried Instagram and didn't care for it as it seemed more about narcissism than anything else, and when i found out it was owned by Facebook, I immediately closed my account. As far as video conferencing software, even working in recruiting it was not something I ever chose to use, as I found it very disingenuous, where people (including myself) often felt like they were in front of the class, or had to 'perform' for the person they were talking to...or stared at themselves in the little box in the corner. Essentially, I couldn't get the real person and didn't think it was appropriate to see the face of my candidate in the initial phone screen, as my focus was on skills, not what they looked like. The old fashioned phone worked just fine. As far as friends and family, it reminded me of when my husband and I were falling in love while living halfway around the world from each other. We'd get on Google Hangout, smile and make goo-goo eyes at each other...then turn off the video and just talk. So with the pandemic, it really didn't give us any great sense of urgency to suddenly act like circus ponies in front of the camera or desperately try to show off our lives to others in a group setting. None of those things replace being able to hug each other. My girlfriends and I have exchanged snail mail gifts - one knitted me the softest blanket! That's real friendship in my eyes. Anyhow, I did notice that I was getting pulled deeper into discussions on Nextdoor, which is a double-edged sword of a platform. Originally we joined for the typical things - selling/donating something, or asking for recommendations - but eventually we noticed that users making racist, sexist, xenophobic, and/or misinformation posts were not being blocked by the moderators, even though the site claimed to be aggressively fighting all of the above. As we don't use Facebook/Insta or Twitter products for the same reasons (all avenues for hate to be spread since leadership at those companies take no responsibility and operate with total hypocrisy), I decided to close that account as well and I've not missed the gossip and snarkiness one bit! Beyond living in a way that aligns with your beliefs and not using platforms that operate unethically, there is a peace that comes to living life in person. 14 Ways that Freeing Myself from Social Media Improved My Life is a great article that talks about one person's experience. I urge you to check it out. You will NOT die if you don't have FB or Tweet or post a picture of yourself on Insta, and honestly? You'll learn more about who your real friends are, what real life interactions are like, and if you're lucky, you'll get to see the beauty of the world that is right in front of you.

  • Discovery I was transfixed by The Subtle Power of Changing Your Identity from Zen Habits. When you've gone through life-changing trauma and need to figure out a way to start that next chapter, reinvent yourself or your life (or both), not even a therapist might be able to help you figure out what that looks like. 2020 didn't just bring a pandemic in our lives, but also the decision to allow the primary part of my business to dissolve, a foray into new career paths, and the loss of our dream to finally become parents after 5.5 years of roadblocks arising in ways few have experienced to this extent. This is the time of year when we bundle up and often have more time to consider where we are in this life and where we want to be. With the pandemic, the reality of not knowing throws a strange curveball into the planning, and so all we can do is take a deep breath and focus on what we DO know. Exhale...

“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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