Saturday, March 28, 2009
In a transition it's important to hold hands tighter, to keep each other safe.
I am feeling very uplifted by people on my team. I worked for many years alone. To be part of a great team is truly astonishing. To have so much love and concern for each other. To have people ask me to take on new responsibilities and trust me - even when i screwed up - again - has been very healing.
photo by gregg.jenkinson
Friday, March 20, 2009
Prepared a bag of clothes for goodwill today and delivered them. Mostly I felt ok about this.... Sometimes I need to keep things for a long time to make sure I am really finished with them. With ADHD I love to start projects but have difficulty understanding when things are finished.
My purple and black suit was from the mid 80s when I was a young mom serving as president of our town's board of health. I wore it to a Massachusetts Department of Public Health hearing on sulfur dioxide additives in food, which was covered by all 3 local affiliate channels - NBC, ABC, and CBS. I knew as I was speaking the exact sound bite that would be the 20 second news segment, and was thrilled that this made all 3 networks.
We tend to romanticize the good old days, and I look back fondly at this moment when I theoretically had it all together. And professionally that is probably a high point, not equaled again until my work in Russia and then again at Firedoglake during the election. But this fuzzy memory glosses over other things going on in my life, everything was not golden.
I closed myself off from people and did not have the friend/colleague network that is such a vital part of my life now. I faced challenges with my intelligent and willful children and my brilliant but emotionally distant husband. It was difficult for me to ask for the help and support that I needed professionally and personally. Slow learner!
So decades later I very reluctantly add this gorgeous suit to the pile of clothes to give to charity, where they will find greater use than filling up closet space here. But this was a hard one. That moment where I spoke at the hearing which was then televised, as both a public health professional and as a person who was affected by sulfite, was truly a high point. A representative from the FDA was there, and shortly after there were federal changes in sulfite regulation. Sometimes you hit it just right. I like to think that project selection is one of my great strengths. My projects don't always make me happy, but at the end of my life I will be able to tell God I did the best I could, truly. And that is not so easy, from whom much is given, much is expected.
In giving away this suit, I honor that moment while making room for what new things are coming in my life.
photo - not me - taken by andrew feinberg
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
Looking for what awaits me in the future.
So many changes. I wake often at 3am worrying about the economy. I can protect my family but there will be many who suffer from decisions made by those in power.
yet another Kevin Dooley masterpiece
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Taken from a letter to a friend who lost someone to despair:
Thank you for sharing this and I am so sorry for your loss.
It is a useful reminder to consider people in our lives who face cascading losses. Even folks who have coped well most of their lives have trouble with multiple losses in a short time.
Depression is the silent killer. People withdraw and don’t say where it hurts. People with depression learn only slowly that it’s better to cry early and loudly, even when that is embarrassing, than to let things get too far.
Unlike a generation ago many people are not engaged in a religious community that would feel responsible for taking care of people in trouble. So many are alone, and we have not yet developed new ways of keeping people integrated in the community.
I think there will be people newly facing reduced economic circumstances that fall into depression, who will be in danger. Folks who thought they had sufficient savings, sufficient plans for retirement. The devastation of the Bush years will bring many good people down. Reach out to your older friends and neighbors.
photo by judepics