Friday, February 17, 2017

2/17/17

I’m going to try to put all that is swirling around in my head in this post. I don’t even know if I can, but I’m going to try. I think this day, February 17th, 2017 may be the new normal. This kind of scares me, but I don’t know.

So here we go.

I’ve been sick in one way or another since November. NOVEMBER. I think I’m finally through it all. Being sick has reminded me of how much I appreciate medical science and how I have zero desire to every get in a time machine and live in the past. There is the fact that racism is SO much worse in the past but the medical thing is also important.

This sickness that I’ve had has varied. We are talking about head cold to mild congestion, to pneumonia, sinus infection, and general gross. It’s just all over the map. This has meant that I haven’t really worked out since November, which keeps my crazy at bay, so I’m really looking forward to getting that going again. I should register for a 5K and give myself a goal.

Fatherhood is alright (I just said that out load in a really high pitch voice as if it was a question). My boy is wonderful. He woke me up at 4:40 this morning. Climbed into my bed next to me and gently stroked my hair, and yanked really hard on my earring once or twice. Super-cute.

Oh, I got a story.

I’m not a perfect parent, but one thing I do well is get dinner on the table and most of the time it’s home cooked and nutritious. And a lot of the time, Ollie doesn’t eat a lot of dinner. We’ve learned to not always fight that fight, we did a little last night and he did actually eat dinner.

We went to the hardware store after dinner. He loves Home Depot. Ollie goes to the refrigerator section and opens each fridge and says “oh, awww.” It’s super cute. We get home, Ollie asks for a snack and then declares to Diana, “we didn’t have dinner.”

I can’t even.

SIGH.

Buffy got groomed earlier this week. She’s lovely after getting groomed (she’s always beautiful, but less stinky post-grooming). If I call the groomer and let them take the lead on the conversation, they will try to make an appointment and then ask for the name of my dog. This process sometimes means they don’t have a time in their schedule to see her. However, if I call up and immediately say “My dog is Buffy, the Sheltie, can you groom her?” they will immediately find a time for her, pretty much whenever we need it done. I understand, Buffy IS an amazing dog, I just which some of that preferential treatment transferred to me.

So let’s talk politics. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t on my mind. It’s tough, because I want a break from all of it. But then I think of all the people, my friends who are Persian, Muslim, Gay, immigrants, women . . . human. There are so many people who have legitimate fears, not for others, but for themselves with the 45th in office, who cannot take a break from the very real trauma that this is occurring. If they don’t get a break, well neither do I.

I have more respect than ever before for journalists. It’s a marathon that they are running, every day. On little sleep they are makings choices of what to cover, how prioritize the news and putting very complex things together in ways and is acting as one of the important checks in our government right now. If I had to make a list of heroes for 2017, like I did for 2016, it would have full with reporters. The other half would have a lot of comedians. They are proving to be an important branch of our government, just like journalist.

It’s hard to not get angry and frustrated all of the time, but like President Obama, kept reminding us, we need to stay focused. That’s the biggest. What do I focus on? I got my wife, my boy, my dog, my house and my job. Somewhere in that list, I need to find time to focus on myself. I actively try in every facet of my life to be a feminist and to be anti-racist. I can do that with the people in my life, but it’s so hard to know how to push that energy outside my circle and whether it will really benefit anyone or really help anything.

There are people far smarter then me doing the work that needs to be done to make sense out of what is going on with the 45th and somehow within all of this, get us to a better place. Things will probably get worse before they get better and that’s scary, but no one said that optimism was easy.

I remember hearing in a lecture in college that a book is a mirror. You see what you want to see. The author only has so much power. The reader’s interpretation is what brings it to life in and this interplay that transforms the authors words into something that can be feel very different than what the author intended.

The 45th is like a book. People see different things in his words and his actions. The reactions, the feelings people have are often more about themselves than what the 45th is saying. The extremism, the immaturity, and the lack of tact he speaks with only makes this mirror, this reflections of our own ideas about what it means to be American that much more clear.

What are those who refuse to see what’s wrong with him, refusing to see about themselves? What does it mean to refuse to listen? What does it mean to refuse to see yourself in the mirror?

What do I see in the 45th that reflects who I am? I see my own bias. I see my privilege and I see the conflict between prejudicial and misogynistic thoughts and feelings that exist within myself despite my best efforts. I see my failures to step up to be truly anti-racist and feminist in the past and I see the potential for harm in thoughtless expressions of my insecurities.

I also see the best in myself. I see the progress in my growth as a leader. A leader who is not afraid to apologize, who is willing to do the hard work to get buy in and actively validates the opinions of those who do not agree with me. I see in his flaws, the man the flaws I have worked pass and potential for growth in myself.

That’s today. Let’s see about tomorrow.

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