The Most Impossible Task: Saying I’m Not OK

If you struggle with depression like I do, and if you haven’t yet read M. Molly Backes’ viral twitter string about the Impossible Task, I highly recommend it as something to help put words to a common symptom of this insidious disease. 

Depression commercials always talk about sadness but they never mention that sneaky symptom that everyone with depression knows all too well: the Impossible Task. (Other sneaky symptoms they don’t mention are numbness, anxiety, and inexplicable rage—just FYI for folks trying to figure this crap out. Depression comes in disguise, folks. It rarely announces itself via sadness.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )  ...  read more

On Doing Way Too Much and Not Nearly Enough: What October 2020 Feels Like

I drive four mornings each week up the winding roads of Parrett Mountain, past alpaca farms and vineyards and into the Douglas Fir forests as I climb. It’s a slow drive by necessity; there are steep drop-offs and no guard rails or shoulders to offer forgiveness if you stray.

It always feels peaceful to me, that drive: the forced slowing of my typical pace, the tiered ruffles of the fir branches like a designer got carried away layering petticoats, the falcons that circle overhead, and the deer that dive down the canyons.  ...  read more

And Now Oregon Is on Fire: The COVID Diaries

Dear Diary,

When I started my COVID Diaries, I thought it would be for a while. A season. An interesting few weeks, maybe? I thought our national response would be different. I thought, even if we didn’t eradicate it within our borders, we’d control it.

I did not think I’d be sitting here, almost exactly 6 months later, writing about wildfires sweeping the West, including the fire that’s about 3 miles from our own little house in Oregon while the pandemic rages on, as well. ...  read more

Bearing Witness

Before we begin, please imagine me face down on the couch, head smooshed into the grubby cushions, cereal shrapnel and muddy dog prints decorating my periphery. That is where I metaphorically am. I am not sitting upright at my desk typing. I am using telepathy from my frazzled, stuttering brain. Nothing is happening in a linear fashion around here. No thing. It’s all illusion and mirrors. I am stuck on the couch now, and here I shall remain for all eternity because getting up would require energy and I don’t know what that is anymore. ...  read more

Why I’m Not Saying “I’m Picking the Lesser of Two Evils” This Presidential Election — And Why You Shouldn’t, Either

Here we go! We’re off to the races.

Joe Biden is the Democratic presidential candidate and Kamala Harris is his pick for V.P. 

Neither was my top choice.

Both are imperfect.

Both are also solid candidates.

And I’ll spend the next weeks leading up to the election giving Joe Biden and Kamala Harris my robust, wholehearted support.

One thing I won’t be saying is “I’m picking the lesser of two evils.” ...  read more

11 August 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Here are the four things we’re doing with our kids for school this year:

1. Trying not to stress the eff out.

2. Remembering there is no such thing as “getting behind” because a) “on track” is a manufactured and ever-changing target based on an imaginary student’s potential for “success” in an outdated world, and b) EVERY student is currently affected by this crisis. ...  read more

10 August 2020 — The COVID Diaries: Staying Sane in a Time That’s Not

Dear Diary,

I have come to this conclusion: if we are not helping our neighbors now, we will never help our neighbors. 

If we’re not loving them now, we never will love them.

If we’re not actively looking for ways to make systems more equitable and just, we never will look for ways to do it.

If we’re embedded in and committed to complacency and selfish ambition, this is where we shall remain. ...  read more