Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘True’ Category

Reading Wild

picmonkey-collage

“The best way to save coffee is to save what’s wild.” From Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi

Reading is the main way through which ideas and action are loosed for me. Many of the books I’ve read this year have revealed truths long buried in my soul and have reminded me of why I do some of the things that I do.

In 2017, I am going to set my goal to read 100 books (a goal that I have not met in the last few years, but we’re going to ignore that. Hope springs eternal). In addition to books I enjoy with my book clubs and books I read just for fun, I am going to read more of the following:

  1. Books like A Man Called Ove that remind me that love is meant to be wild and scandalously extravagant and helpful and generous.
  2. Books like Bread, Wine, Chocolate that help me focus on the why (fighting oppressive food systems that leave people in poverty and destroy biodiversity) behind the what (loving coffee and food and talking about it a lot) of my passions.
  3. Books like Between the World and Me that continue my education on justice issues.

I also want to continue to read my daily news, except I want to read with more intention of finding quality (i.e., well-researched, well-written, lacking in tactics such as clickbait that give the impression that they are more fluff than substance, etc.) information to share with others.

Do you set reading goals? If so, what are your goals for 2017?

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

photo-16

This is my favorite running shirt. I approve of anything that is simultaneously a Firefly fandom squee and a notification that I aim to kick ass.

As my one word for 2016, true has been brutal. Part of this brutality is that I thought it would be easy.

I’ll just pause a moment for everyone who knew better to stop laughing.

It hasn’t all been terrible. I have fine-tuned my life significantly to form it into something that is truer to who I am. That part has been invigorating. In some ways, I am significantly more at home in my life than I was a year ago.

All this change has been uncomfortable, however. I have discovered the sharp edges of certain aspects of myself that were only hazy forms in the back of my mind before, and they’re not all pretty. Some are upsetting. I’m not as honest with myself as I would have liked to think I was. Admitting that things are true about me that I desperately want not to be true is disheartening. And the process of deciding what to do with these realizations has been excruciating. It’s not finished, but I wish it were.

I’ve been reading through The Road Back to You for the last couple of months, and I wish I’d read it at the beginning of the year. I’m a One. I am a perfectionist and pretty hard on myself. True is the calling of the Ones – for our principles to 1) be high and right and 2) be congruent with our behavior/life/outcomes. The cognitive dissonance often created by this pursuit (as, alas, we are not perfect) is very stressful to us.

Stress is anger-making (although we prefer to call it “frustration”). It’s no wonder, therefore, that Ones are part of the Anger Triad (or as a friend affectionately calls it, the Chaos Trio). Rather than feeling the guilt I would have expected when I read this, I felt relief. It offered an explanation for my anger rather than the condemnation I’m used to receiving for it. It also confirmed my choice for my one word for 2017 – wild.

This coming year, I’m going to embrace the wild.

Wild is a natural progression from the last few years of beauty and fun and true. Wild encompasses them all and sets them free. That is exactly the kind of year I’d like to have. That is exactly the kind of year I insist on having, despite whatever effort the world might have to squelch it.

Wild abandon – I want to learn to hold resources, such as money and time, more loosely. I don’t want to treat them irresponsibly or in a way that is destructive, but  I could stand to regard them less fearfully. I want to develop a practice of derailment. Half of what stresses me out when the news is especially terrible is how it derails my whole life. I even toyed momentarily with the notion of not reading so much news, but then I promptly dismissed said notion, because I know I’d be doing so in order to hide, thus thwarting my ability to be informed about how to pursue justice. So instead I want to embrace the derailment. To thrive within it. To stop worrying so much about it. And to definitely stop apologizing for it.

Wild survival – Wild things are obsessed with staying alive. They are acutely aware of dangers and how to avoid them. I want to pay closer attention to my survival instinct. I want to resist laziness and continue pursuing my health goals that I set last March. I want to take care of myself emotionally instead of ignoring warning signs until they become so tangible that they become a detriment to my well-being and productivity.

Wild liberation – My word for the year could just as easily be “free.” With all that threatens to oppress in this world, I want to be a force pushing in the opposite direction. I imagine this upcoming year will present many opportunities to do so.

This is just the beginning, but I am excited (and also terrified…three parts excited to one part terrified isn’t a bad ratio) to see what this year of wild brings.

Read Full Post »

My 2016 Year in Review

photo-4-6

A year of moving, fandom, and wine.

Many things have been written (videoed, spoken, sung, interpretively danced) about how rough 2016 has been. Many of those things have been written here. So I’ll not rehash those. We have enough to worry about coming up.

My personal year has been pretty productive despite the challenges and heartbreaks of the world.

My major resolutions all fell under the umbrella of my word for the year – true. I’m going to talk a little more about that next week as I tie it into my word for 2017, but true was quite motivating. And really hard. I also made a list of twenty specific things I wanted to accomplish, only six of which I completed, but two of them were pretty big things, so it seems like I did more. True to character, I bit off more than I could chew, but I still ended up farther than I was a year ago. Progress, not perfectionism. I should make that my mantra.

This year’s accomplishments include:

  1. Finding a new job and new place to live that are more in line with who I am, what I need, and what I’m good at
  2. Starting a newsletter (second letter comes out tomorrow – subscribe here to get it!) and using the social media accounts I enjoy in a better way
  3. Throwing my Hemingway party, which was a smashing success
  4. Finish (most of) a 5K
  5. Read a lot of books I loved

Things I would have liked to accomplish but didn’t include:

  1. Reading a lot more books
  2. Getting something I’ve written published
  3. Regular piano playing and regular dancing (other than in my living room, of course, where the dancing was indeed rampant)

I feel pretty good about my year, especially given how much the world in general sucked.

How did your year go?

Read Full Post »

On Patience and Waiting

photo-15

First prayer of Advent – “Please don’t let this holy candle burn my house down.”

“For the greatest, most profound, tenderest things in the world, we must wait.”

 My immediate reaction to reading Bonhoeffer’s words on the second day’s devotional in God is in the Manger was “Ick,” followed closely by the hashtags #badatadvent and #waitingcanbiteme on Instagram.

 It’s going to be an interesting Advent this year.

 It’s not that I disagree. Almost every moment of my life’s experience corroborates the truth of that statement.

 But that doesn’t mean I always like it.

 I used to think that waiting takes a lot of patience, but that’s not really true. Everything I’ve ever had to wait for, everything I’m still waiting for, seems to take as long as it takes, whether I’m patient about it or not. My level of patience seems to have very little impact on the timeline of things coming to pass.

 The tidy Sunday School answer here is that, as long as waiting is going to take its dear, sweet time, I might as well be pleasant about it. If I can choose happy, after all, shouldn’t I? This is probably good advice for many things. Things like a budget that is less tight, a husband that is less imaginary – things I could live well (dare I even say happily?) without. Being impatient about such things never did me any favors anyway.

 But there are some justices so vital to a world that’s any kind of suitable place to live that they deserve some impatience. There are some prayers that I have to pray a little wild to keep from going a lot crazy. The best things – the true things – can’t be forced. But neither should they be awaited with a sugarcoated demeanor. It is improper to have a good attitude about injustice.

 Sometimes hope is a fire, and there are things worth getting downright feral over.

 I am not okay with praying every week, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” and not seeing it happen. I will not let go, dear God, until it does. You can’t say I’m not persistent.

 Fortunately, the God who listed patience as a fruit of the Spirit is the same God who gave us the “how long, Oh Lord?!” psalms as examples of how to pray. God is not afraid of the wild. In fact, sometimes I think God waits for it. To see if the church wants liberty and justice for all badly enough to get uncomfortable and say harsh things and get riled up about it. To see if we actually give a damn.

 I wonder what would happen if we did – if we called down heaven like we expected it to show up this very day and refused to wait for it. Or if we did the justice for which we cry out.

Would we have to be patient? Or would heaven come?

Read Full Post »

Social Media, Part 2

photo (5)

I was really excited to get 51 likes. 

Yesterday, I talked about the social media that don’t work for me. Today, I want to talk about my favorites. Most of them are works in progress, but I don’t mind, because I love them. Working on them doesn’t seem like work.

Facebook – my author page: https://www.facebook.com/suzanneterrywriter/

I want to be better at this page. That is my main social media goal for the year. This is where you can find all my blog posts and where I post links to articles, blog posts, recipes – basically anything that has anything to do with something I’ve blogged or care about. This is also where you will be able to get book recommendations (I’m wanting to start weekly posts about the books I’m reading) and updates on how my current work in progress is coming (spoiler alert – slowly). If I ever get it together and have a newsletter, this is the first place you will see that.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/_coffeesnob_/

I love Instagram. I am not a fan of their new feed algorithm that makes the pictures show up in random order, but I like everything else. Instagram is the whole reason I got a smartphone. For those who like a more personal, human touch to social media, Instagram is where I am more personal. This is where you are most likely to see what is going on with me on a day-by-day basis. I post about the favorite book I’m currently reading, and I often post pictures of dinner and coffee. You should also be prepared for multiple pictures of the pretty, pretty floors in my new apartment, because we are in love.

Instagram reminds me of the yearly photo albums I used to put together.

I love Instagram challenges. It’s like going to a theme party where I can engage exactly as much as I desire. Most of the people I follow are actors, writers, artists, culinary professionals, dancers, runners, and friends, so it’s basically all my favorite things in one place.

Ello: https://ello.co/coffeesnob

Ello is beautiful. I love the simplicity and all that white space.

I blog pictures of coffee here, and before the end of the year, you’ll be seeing some microfiction and poetry paired with those pictures. It’s the start of a new project that I’ve been planning for a while.

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/coffeesnob318/

Pinterest is my favorite place on the Internet. I have almost a hundred boards. They’re a mix of coffee and words and spunk and cute animals and entertainment.

And food. I have so many food boards, and I use them all. I use them in meal planning, and I use them when I need to take something for a potluck. Any time I’m in a food rut, I run straight to Pinterest.

Each of my writing projects has its own board. You can tell when I’m getting excited about a project, because I will add tons of pins to its board.

I also pin all my favorite blog posts and articles that I read so that when I need to refer back to them, I have them in one organized place.

I used to call Pinterest my happy place, but it’s so much more than that. It makes me happy because it’s the place online (with the exception of this blog) where I am most myself.  I do not apologize for liking the things I like anywhere, but I especially embrace them on Pinterest. I do not abide foolishness in comments. If one is going to disagree, one is welcome to support one’s argument well, or one is welcome to unfollow. Those are the choices.

 

What are your favorite social media spots?

 

Read Full Post »

Social Media (Part 1)

bowl-of-coffee

Required for the perusal of social media. 

Now that I finally got around to discussing the social media where I’m able to be true to who I am (which I’ve been promising to do since January), it got long. So you get it in two parts this week. Today I’ll discuss where not to find me; tomorrow, I’ll rave about the ones I love.

[Disclaimer: Some of you who are prone to reading between the lines and fretting that posts are about you – relax. Even if everything I say below about things I dislike (and thus don’t personally want to be) steps on your toes, that doesn’t mean I think you should stop doing them. It means I’m a curmudgeonly old woman who barely tolerates the Internet at all, even though I recognize that as a Gen-Xer that makes me a traitor to my generation, as the creation of the Internet is one of our crowning glories. My apologies to the Microserfs who came before me (and to Douglas Coupland for stealing his term). But seriously – if I follow you, it’s because I generally like what you’re doing. If I click like, I mean it. Don’t fret.]

It will come as zero surprise to anyone that I’m not naturally great at social media. It seems that you have to spend a lot of time there to gain a following. It also seems that you have to not be easily annoyed, and that’s not my strength. The level of repetition needed to establish a platform/have an audience/build my brand *retches* looks like nagging to me. It looks like nagging when others do it, and it feels like nagging when I do it.

[I see you fretting. Stop it.]

So if I don’t have a clear plan, my social media presence is reduced to liking and hearting and *hugs* all around. I have accepted that as the norm on some of them *eyes Facebook* because 1) I can’t/won’t be everywhere all the time, 2) some of them are more annoying to me than others, so the less time I spend there, the better my blood pressure will be, and 3) I prefer using different media for different reasons. In the same way that I prefer different geographical places to look different (i.e., have their own personalities), I prefer my different virtual spaces to look different.

Ergo, the plan.

The purpose of these posts is two-fold. First, I want to let you, dear readers, know where you can find me and what you can expect when you find me there. Second, I want to put in writing what I plan to do so that when I am feeling overwhelmed (probably because I’m trying to do what others are doing and that feels exactly like the train wreck it is), I can come back here and look at it and see that it’s not so big and scary after all. The following is a list of places you can find me online and why you may want to find me there.

So…on to where not to find me. I mean, find me there if you want. But don’t expect a lot.

Facebook:

UGH. I often rue the day I got peer-pressured into joining Facebook, because I can’t seem to quit it, and most days, I desperately want to. It helps me keep up with birthdays and events, gives me an organized space for managing groups and event invitations, and helps me keep up with a select few friends, bloggers, artists, activists, and writers who curate their Facebook pages well. And that’s basically all you’ll hear from me there. I scroll through my feed when I’m bored and click the like button a lot which makes it show up in the feeds of people who are following me (sorry-not-sorry), so that’s a nice feature that makes it look like I’m on Facebook constantly, but I really only spend about 10-15 minutes a day there until I’m tired of it. My wall is a collection of other people finding things they think I’ll like (mostly coffee, food, and kittens) and posting it on my wall or tagging me in it. I find the rest of it click-baity and junky.

Facebook is where it seems the general population likes to vomit their opinions, whether their opinion is based on anything factual or not. It is the place where people who don’t seem to understand how research works claim they’ve done their research (which, unless they actually conducted the study by gathering raw data and analyzing it, no, they did not, because that’s what doing research entails). What they probably mean is that they have read some of the research –most likely just the part of the research that supports their opinion – and are trying to pass themselves off as an expert which they wouldn’t need to do if they were experts because their credentials would speak for themselves. The only reason I can fathom for even bothering to mention that they’ve done the reading (without, by the way, posting any links to the reading in order to give credit where credit is due; ergo, they are also moderately plagiarizing) is to silence the opposition by falsely trumping it with their fake expertise that they have done nothing to earn.

Which I don’t like. Obviously. /endrant

The thing I like most about not quitting Facebook is that having an account lets me have a page (coming to a post near you tomorrow).

Twitter: https://twitter.com/coffeesnob318

One hundred forty characters is not enough for anything but “Hey, look at this!” or succinctly stated fluffy witticisms, and that’s precisely how I use it. I follow a ton of people, and sometimes it overwhelms me. I’ll read my list, scroll back to the top, and Twitter is like, “You have 520 new posts.” *flails* I don’t want to stop following them, though, because on days when I don’t have time to read the real news, I can get the gist by scrolling through my Twitter feed, because the people I follow are well-informed. That’s helpful.

Twitter meet-ups/parties/whatever-they’re-called are what I imagine Hell must be like. I have tried them a few times, and it just ruined my whole night. You pretty much have to buy me shoes and many wines to get me to consider it, and I can almost guarantee I will still back out at the last minute. I am not even sorry (and I’m keeping the shoes).

Tumblr: http://coffeesnob318.tumblr.com/

If I were still active in fandom, I would freakin’ live on Tumblr. I’m bitter that Tumblr wasn’t around when I was still keeping up with Smallville on a weekly basis. That would have been awesome.

I don’t know how I’m going to use it in the future. Maybe I’ll continue to forget about it. Maybe I’ll just continue to pin Tumblr posts on Pinterest and call it a day.

Other:

I don’t have an account on Snapchat (I’m a information hoarder – that it goes away freaks me out). I have a LinkedIn account, but I don’t use it except to add people who have added me and to say nice things about them. I don’t Periscope, because I have no desire at this point in my life to record videos of myself.

What social media don’t work for you?

Read Full Post »

My whole life is in boxes right now. Even though I have a clear plan that’s all mapped out, I’ve reached the point where the newness has worn off and the awareness that it’s hard work has kicked in.

It’s easy to get lost in boxes.

So today, I’m linking up with Marvia Davidson to talk about values, as a reminder that most of what I value can’t fit in a box (although some of it can. Carefully. If you pack it well and don’t let anyone else carry it).

1. I value relationships. People have rallied around me to help by taking things I no longer need, listening to me rant when things fall through, and offering advice when I have uncharacteristic bouts of indecision. They also let me feed them, which is one of my favorite things to do.

2. I value knowledge. I’m tired of snap judgment. I actually got a freelance tip to write clickbait articles, a tip I promptly disregarded, as this is not something I would ever be interested in doing. It seems that the more information we have available to us, the less likely we are to take it in. I want to remember to take it in.

3. I value loyalty. It’s easy to throw someone else under the bus to make yourself look innocent. It’s harder but ultimately more rewarding to take responsibility for the part you played and let the rest speak for itself.

4. I value fairness. The world’s injustice is often seen as such a given that people don’t expect themselves or others to do anything to fight it. Life may be unfair, but that doesn’t mean I have to be. I think this is the most important reason to speak truth. Of all the hills there are to die on, fairness and justice are probably my hill of choice.

5. I value legacy. So much of who I am and what I value comes from where, how, and by whom I was taught. Legacy doesn’t have to be familial, although for me a large part of it is. Many of my greatest loves were born on a farm in west Texas. I see it in pictures and wrap it in quilts. I learn who I am from those who paved the way. I unlearn some things to make choices more in line with who I hope I’m becoming.

What do you value?

wearerealtalk-mdavidson

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: