11- Do not fear anything that is frightening.
I sat in the dark last night, listening to my 8 and 10 year olds fall asleep. I sang our usual songs and then I silently cried for those parents still waiting for news about their 8 and 10 year olds. More tears fell this morning after I hugged my girls and watched them walk into school. I struggle to find words. All that comes to mind as I hear news unfold is “Lord, have mercy.” This morning, as I rode the subway home from drop-off, a verse came to mind. The second half of 1 Peter 3:6 says “Do not fear anything that is frightening.” @jackiehillperry talked about this verse sometime last fall and it has stuck with me ever since. It is a comfort as it doesn’t pretend that things aren’t scary. There are actually frightening things out there and I don’t have to pretend there aren’t. But I’m not to fear. I’m constantly amazed how many times the Bible commands to not fear. I need to hear it all the time. I have to remind myself constantly why and how I am not to fear. There is hope.
10- You can do hard things.
It may seem silly to many people, but biking around NYC has not come easily to me. It can be terrifying. NYC isn’t exactly a bike-friendly city. It barely tolerates bikes. (And I don’t take getting yelled at well.🙈) But I have gradually learned in these last 8 years that I can do it, especially the last 2 as it became a necessity. And the more I have to bike, the easier it becomes. “Have to” probably being a bit exaggerated to some, but when choosing between subway or bike, it becomes a “have to” for me. I can do hard things. And I’m proud of myself for it too.
8- Ask for help.
It’s OK to ask for what you need, like yesterday when I was staring down the day and knew I needed some extra help – like Mark handling ordering delivery to take dinner off my plate. Or, to put it on my plate for me. Really helped, and he was happy to know exactly what I needed.
6- Exercise even when you don’t want to.
I always feel better, stronger, more energetic, even when I absolutely don’t feel like moving. I’ve been doing Pilates the last couple months and am surprised how much I appreciate it.
5- Read hard books.
I’m a fiction lover at heart. But over the last few years I have challenged myself to read a lot more difficult, non-fiction books about people, history, racism, Christianity, and more. It’s been a really good push for me and I know I have grown a lot in my understanding of things and hopefully my empathy and wisdom too.
Don’t just read things that make you comfortable or fit your version of things. Read broadly. It’s such a gift to have books and literacy. Use it wisely.
Books in this stack include: Caste by Isabel Wilkerson, On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Richard Delgado & Jean Stefancic, and Unsettling Truths by Mark Charles & Soong-Chan Rah
4- Make the art you like.
I don’t know why this is so hard, but I have to remind myself often.
3- Do not use a kneaded eraser for 10+ years.
Should have figured out the smudging sooner, but I do get attached to favorite materials. Can’t remember exactly when I bought this one. Oops.
1- Never try on new clothes at night.