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Sadness, roses, and oranges

This personal blog trends positive. When things get tough, one of my strongest mechanisms for coping has been to constantly remind myself of the best parts about my life. As a result, I don’t avoid painful topics here in some attempt to rewrite history, but because I want to cling to and celebrate the good, and wish to privately work through the bad or complicated. I’ve been faced with that in a very real way lately.

Last month at work I was told my position was being eliminated. My last day was October 15th. On October 17th we learned about another complication with the pregnancy, this one will require close monitoring from December through delivery in (hopefully) January. Independently, these things are difficult to cope with, but surmountable. Together, they’ve been a private catastrophe.

On the broader national stage, the Supreme Court nomination earlier this month hit home hard as we continue to see the women in our society attacked and marginalized for the benefit of the careers of men. This week I have been beside myself with heartache over the latest attempts by the administration to strip my trans sisters and brothers of their identity through measures that put their livelihoods and lives at risk once again. Just yesterday a mass murder a synagogue here in Pennsylvania left me sad, scared, and reeling, but not altogether surprised. While I’ve never been the type to be fearful day to day, and I’m still not, it’s been clear for some time that my family wouldn’t be entirely safe in this political climate for long.

Am I OK? Not really. But the earth keeps turning and there’s only one direction to go in. I’m doing what I can to handle it, even on days that it isn’t easy. I started seeing a therapist to talk through some of it so I can work on a healthy path forward without medication that could impact the pregnancy. I stop and admire the roses in my garden and then pull myself together to prepare for the series conferences I’ve been participating in this season. I chat with companies about roles that may be a good fit, and keep doing job interviews. I remind myself that the only way to get through this is to make sure I don’t let hopelessness and sadness cripple me from taking the steps I need to in order to continue to build my career and forge a life for our family. Oh, and I’ll vote on November 6th.

Friends certainly help, but been faced with a weakening of a couple key relationships in my life this year as my life starts to change. Instead, I’ve made more of an effort to have meals with a few friends local to me in the bay area who I haven’t had a chance to catch up with in some time. Most of that of it is my typical hermit lifestyle that causes most of my social interactions to happen while traveling and at conferences. It has come to my attention over the past year that I’ve made a mistake in this regard, and as tempting as it always is to bury myself in work and tech, the cliché of people being what really matter does have truth to it. That doesn’t mean that I’ve actually managed to make the required changes to build new meaningful relationships, but recognizing it is the first step, right?

A beautiful morning at Lake Merritt with friend and fellow Partimus Director, Grant

Otherwise, my travel schedule has been busy, and I’ve been trying to be strategic about what MJ and I tackle each weekend when I’m in town. As I count down the time between now and welcoming our new child, there isn’t much time and there’s a lot to be done. I finally signed up for all the classes in December we need to take to prepare, since we have no idea how to keep an infant alive. We still haven’t bought anything, so quickly coming up on my agenda is putting together a list of things we’ll need, researching the dizzying assortment of options, and finally ordering things.

And I’ve had a bit of unrelated fun too. After months of pining over beers I couldn’t have whenever we go out, I realized that non-alcoholic beer exists, and finally asked the internet what my best options are. I found two domestic microbreweries that only make non-alcoholic beers! The first I tried was from WellBeing Brewing outside of St. Louis, their golden wheat hit my beer-craving spot. The second comes from just south of me, Surreal Brewing, which makes a red IPA! Now, since I love hops and am often indulging in the most ridiculous hoppy beer I can find, it was a bit mild for me, but it was still good and an effective way for me to get my hops fix, even if it’s just a little one. So far I’ve also tried the Kaliber made by Guinness. Looking forward to continuing my NA adventure when I return home, though I’ve even been taking these slowly because there is the potential for trace amounts of alcohol in them.

Then, there’s the oranges! My neighbor has an orange tree and a lime tree that she’s always encouraging me to take fruit from, especially now that I’m pregnant. The limes have been a delightful addition to my sparkling water addiction. I’ve used the piles of oranges to make orange juice lately, after all, what else would one do with piles of oranges? I’ve been deeply satisfied with my fresh morning orange juice.

After my last day at work last week I also took time to do a lot of the things that one tends to delay when they’re working full time. The car finally made it into the shop. I had a few doctor appointments. We met with the Cantor at our synagogue to discuss a few things regarding Jewish traditions and the naming of our son. I’m a little disappointed in myself that all of this landed in the “delayed” category, self-care and regular life stuff really shouldn’t take a back seat.

This week I’ve spent some time at the Philadelphia townhouse between All Things Open in Raleigh and LISA in Nashville, the latter of which I leave for today. I’m not here for long, but it certainly was nice to be able to crash here for a few days instead of paying for a hotel somewhere on the east coast, or flying all the way back to the west coast. While I’ve been here I’ve had a couple lunches with a friend, and was able to do a dinner with family. Plus we had an annual sprinkler-related inspection due next week to take care of. I also got to debug the garage door opener, which still needs to be fixed properly, but at least I know what the issue is now. I was definitely far too excited to be able to finally pick up some back-ordered sheets we had shipped to my sister-in-law, our sheet situation is now sorted between the master bedroom and guest room! The last “big” thing here this week was extracting some chairs from the garage and cleaning them off after years in storage. They were a lot dirtier than I expected from looking at them, but they’re in much better shape now.

After Nashville, I’ll be in San Francisco for five days before my final conference of the year, SeaGL. I’ll be giving the opening keynote there, and in spite of knowing about the conference for several years, this will be the first time I am actually able to attend. The schedule looks fantastic and I’ve enjoyed following along as they’ve released diversity statistics and details about how they went about the call for proposals and selection process. I’m really looking forward to it.