Week 23: Reality

Wondrous, really, when you stop to think about it

“Actually, can I take a quick shower?” I called down to my mom after laying out the baby’s pajamas, rinsing the pacifiers, adjusting the blinds. “Of course,” she said. “We’re fine.”

I stepped into the shower. I would be so quick, I told myself. I would be so, so quick. I washed my face. I poured shampoo into my palm. I paused. Why was I being so quick again? The work emails and Slack notifications certainly weren’t going anywhere. My child was fine. We didn’t need to start her dinner for another 40 minutes. My mother was fine. She could come and get me if some freak emergency called for it.

My baby and my mother were fine, happy, together, downstairs.

I remembered the sign with the Thich Nhat Hanh quote that used to hang above the sink at my old office, reminding us not to ditch our dishes there:

The fact that I am standing there and washing these bowls is a wondrous reality.*

Two weeks ago, one of our relatives buried both her mother and her son in the space of five days.

The fact that my mother and my baby are fine, happy, together, downstairs is a wondrous reality.


  • The Reality episode of Still Processing helped me to remember just how bonkers these times we live in are. But in a good, rueful “you are not imagining the levels of bonkerocity, and you are not alone” kind of way, not just, like, gratuitously piling on to the bonkersness. (NYT - but if you’re dealing with the paywall, you can find the podcast on most podcast apps)

  • Sign the form to support the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. (via National Domestic Workers Alliance, following Stacey Abrams’ SOTU response)

  • Are you signed up to be a bone marrow donor? Liyna is a friend of a friend. (NBC News)

  • Another friend of a friend: Here is a sweet baby who could use immediate cash support if you are able to help. (Facebook)

  • The Limits of Home Cooking (Pacific Standard)

  • If I send shorter link lists in the coming weeks, it’s because I’m trying to rein in my mindless consumption. I’m trying to pause and ask myself if I really want to read this thing, scroll this feed, listen to this podcast…eat this snack. (Usually I do eat the snack.) I set a loose February resolution (Austin Kleon) to cut back on my phone usage, especially social media; I’m playing with the grayscale settings on my phone (link via Lifehacker; idea from Lis and Kate) and the Screen Time app (Wired).


Registration is open on Eventbrite for the Envisioning Equity conference! We will have a full website soon.

Today I was texting with one of the three co-founders. I thanked her for delegating and letting go of tasks that she doesn’t need to handle on her own — both because I like to feel ownership over my tasks and because I need people to set that example for me. She replied:

Every time we let go, the team surpasses anything we could imagine.

I’ll leave you with that.

Until next week!

*(I searched online for this quote and of course found tons of variations. Here is a sweet reflection about it that was written by a 16-year-old in Japan!)

Photos are mine this week, both shot on 35mm: Garfield Conservatory, January 2018; dish try at Por Que No in Portland, OR, August 2010.

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