This tea infuser was one of my Christmas gifts from Dan. It fits inside a coffee mug and after you brew your tea, you flip the lid over and you can rest the infuser on it until it’s time to … Continue reading

Two Thousand Thirteen

On my block, 2013 began with a man standing in the middle of the street, beating a turtle with a stick while his girlfriend and children screamed and cried around him. Happy New Year. Try to top that.

I don’t really do resolutions because I find that my inability to stick to things, coupled with my amazing skill for beating myself up for even the smallest failures makes resolving to do something a losing endeavor. I’ve actually been a little reluctant to look forward at all because 2012 was a pretty great year for me, and 2013 stands to be quite a bit more stressful, unpredictable and probably quite frustrating at times. We’ve got some big changes on the horizon (no, I’m not pregnant).

The only things I’m going to actually resolve to do this year are to keep an open mind, remain optimistic and remember that every year comes to an end and you get a chance to start over again and make the next one better if need be. Whatever 2013 brings, it’s only 365 days and I’m planning on spending pretty much all of today watching football, so let’s go ahead and call it 364. Bring it on. I’m ready.

Although I don’t make resolutions, I do have things that I hope will happen, that I’d like to try to do. Like a list of good thoughts and desires that I will release into the ether and wait for them to return to me in some tangible, recognizable way throughout the year.

-To read lots of fabulous books. I read some really amazing stuff in 2012 and I’d like that trend to continue. I’m pretty set up for a good start with both The Revolution Was Televised and This Is How You Lose Her given to me as Christmas gifts, but if you have any recommendations please send them my way.

-To be productive, but patient in my creative pursuits. This year I will be working on a book with a friend of mine and I’m determined to follow the plan I’ve created and push myself to work hard on this project, but I also recognize that sometimes life gets in the way and I have to be willing to give myself the space to recoup and relax when necessary.

-To run a lot, winter be damned.

-To find a way to spend more time communicating with my sister, because the hardest change in 2013 is going to be not having the three months of living together that I got in 2012. I miss you every day, Lizzy.

-To continue to grow my business. I had an incredible year in 2012 and I want to continue that trend and improve even more. I have some big ideas for how to continue branching out that I’m hoping to implement sometime in the year to come.

-To save up a little each month to put toward a vacation. Probably not the vacation I would like to take, depending on what happens with some of our bigger changes this year, but a vacation all the same. Everyone needs a vacation now and then. I took a bunch of wonderful trips in 2012, so I’m fine only doing one or two small, fairly local weekend sojourns in 2013, but I’m determined to get out of the house and out into nature and venture to places I’ve never been before. I want to eat hoagies and grinders. I want to live Marge. Why won’t you let me live?

-To focus on the positive. Whatever, I’m a dork. A lot of bad shit happened in 2012 and I spent a good portion of the year feeling ragey and irate and honestly, it didn’t seem to make a bit of difference. I’m not going to close my eyes to the kind of dangerous nonsense that makes me jump on my high horse to begin with, but I’m going to try to balance that out a bit more by focusing on and writing about the things I really enjoy or am pleasantly surprised by this year.

Happy New Year, everyone. May 2013 be a year of great success and joy.

Gifts You Should Not Give For Christmas

  1. One of those Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman hideous Open Heart necklaces.
  2. Anything having to do with Pandora bracelets or charm jewelry in general unless the gift recipient is under the age of 11.
  3. Herpes.

Stop Using “Crazy” As A Comfort

A lot has been said these past few days in reaction to the Sandy Hook school shooting. For the most part, I have kept my mouth shut and tried to simply take in what everyone else has to say. I am not expressly qualified to comment on this type of tragedy or the broader political and cultural implications at play. But after several days of reading every article I can get my hands on and listening to passionately (if not always articulately) expressed opinions from both ends of the political spectrum, there is one thing I feel I must say: do not make this a conversation about mental illness in America. Don’t get me wrong, that is a conversation we must have. It’s a conversation that we should have been having for years now. A conversation that we should have every year, every day, really. Discussion of mental health and the treatment of our mentally ill should occur the way discussions of general health occur: openly and often and encompassing all manner of past and current concerns, treatment recommendations and implications for both national and global public health. We should be talking about mental illness in this country, regularly, perpetually. And as part of that broader conversation, we should discuss the point where mental illness and gun control intersect. But we cannot turn Sandy Hook, or Aurora, or Virginia Tech or any of the other many, many mass shootings into conversations about mental illness alone.

The mentally ill are not your boogeymen. You cannot just suddenly care about mental health every time there is a discussion about limiting access to deadly firearms. The number of Americans who suffer from mental illness is fairly staggering, but the majority of them, the vast majority of us, will not commit an act of violence during our lifetimes. The vast majority of mental health sufferers do not harbor violent thoughts. We do not have blood lust. We don’t spend time pondering what it might feel like to shoot another living being. As a group, the mentally ill are not inherently more dangerous than any other group. Certainly not moreso than a group that regularly shouts at the top of their lungs about their right to own objects that can quickly and efficiently kill other people.

So please, let us not wrap ourselves in the comforting notion that crazy people exist and if we simply focus on controlling them, tragedies like this will become sad distant memories instead of regular occurrences. I wholeheartedly agree that we need to have a serious and purposeful discussion about mental health and illness in this nation. I would love that. But you don’t get to use that conversation as way to deflect from the equally important discussion about gun control. Mental health and illness are complex systems. There is no easy measure for predicting violence. There is no surefire sign or signal that we can point to as an individual’s tipping point for violent behavior. “Better care for our mentally ill” is not some simple, quick fix solution that gun enthusiasts are making it out to be. You know what would be easier? Outlawing access to semiautomatic weapons and significantly limiting overall access to guns. Let’s have that discussion. Let’s talk seriously about gun control.

You don’t get to turn mental illness into the bad guy. Not when everyone knows that every bad guy needs a weapon. Yes, people kill people. And guns allow them to do it more quickly and in far greater numbers. So let’s have that conversation. I’m all ears.

Happy Birthday Little Lizzy

Image By Urban Row Photography

Today is my fabulous little sister’s 25th birthday. While I wish I could be with her to celebrate, a surprise trip to Germany feels more like a 30th birthday expense, so this blog post telling you all that she is totally awesome will have to suffice.

I miss you, Liz. I love you and I hope you are having an absolutely fabulous birthday. Welcome to the midpoint of your 20s. It’s all downhill from here. Enjoy!