sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-06-23 03:00 pm

(no subject)

The deed is done. I filed for bankruptcy, and my court hearing is on August 4 at 9am.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-06-22 11:13 am

(no subject)

This has been a tough week. There were the brain shennanigans that colored the early part of the week. Then yesterday I had to do bankruptcy counseling online, a process that asked me to painstakingly enter all my credit card debt, loans, and expenses (which took 45 minutes), and then go over it all again with a credit counselor in online chat (an hour). (This is the . . . third time I've provided this information to someone? Ugh.) This produced a certificate which I sent to my lawyer and allows him to file, so tomorrow I drive an hour to his office to sign off on everything. I don't know what this means in practical terms and it's making me anxious - and that's on top of the regular anxiety I feel around money at all times. Wow, am I tired.

Then, this morning, my company announced a position that I would be really good at, and which would be a promotion, and I'm trying to figure out whether I apply or not. The biggest downside would be the lack of flexibility I would have with my hours if I got it, and I'm not sure that's negotiable. I think that's contributing to my overall state of mind - it's a great opportunity, but I'm really not sure that I can do it and have PTSD at the same time. (I feel like Josh Lyman. Where's my Leo McGarry?)

It's also hot, and my house doesn't have central air, which makes doing the tidying, cleaning, and laundry that would make my house feel like a refuge very hard to accomplish. Yikes-a-mighty, I need a brain transplant. Or lacking that, the equivalent of a caffeine jolt to the brain - something that makes it feel energized and sharp. Right now it's very sluggish. Poor brain. Needs a vacation.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-06-21 11:52 am

Compassion on the Inside

After feeling jetlagged all weekend, I went to work on Monday, did a ferocious amount of cleaning out my inbox, and decided it was time to adult and make appointments for all the medical stuff I needed to get checked. So I made appointments with my therapist, psychiatrist, dentist, dermatologist, primary care physician, and eye doctor. And promptly crashed into depression right afterwards.

I went to therapy yesterday and said, this is so weird – I know the moment it hit, but I can’t figure out why it would hit like this. What’s this about? So we did EMDR because on the surface none of it was adding up.

Here’s what I figured out.Read more... )
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-06-19 07:57 am

(no subject)

This song has been on my mind all morning: the stirring answer to the question "do you know who you are?"; the support of the ancestors who have gone before us; the idea of being part of a chorus of voices, even if we cannot see everyone else who surrounds us. Take a few moments to watch and listen, maybe.

sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-06-17 02:07 pm

Justice on the inside.

Yesterday, I attended a workshop led by [Dr. Shakti Butler] a social justice educator and filmmaker who is absolutely luminous. She’s one of those people who is so spiritually grounded that you want to just stand around and drink in their presence, as if you’re perpetually thirsty (and I think I am, on some level). I learned so much from her, and considering Trump and Cosby and the verdict in the Philando Castile case, I wanted to share some of what she said.

”More.” )
sheafrotherdon: (Wonder Woman)
2017-06-10 07:32 am

(no subject)

This morning I am savoring the open windows around my house - the bird song and the far away drone of someone cutting grass. I've been waking up very early recently because the sun shines directly through my front bedroom window and onto my face at about 5.45am, so I get these magical hours first thing when the world is still cool and quiet and I can sit and just be. So precious.

This has been a good week. I had a lovely sit down with my boss's boss where I felt deeply valued, and we made a date for another meeting to talk about better disability support at my place of work. I wrote a grant application, and research and wrote a conference presentation, made handouts, met with some junior colleagues, and tided up my office (omg the dust). And I've been able to come home early every day and do whatever pleases me - sometimes some more work, sometimes some reading, sometime some hanging out online.

I'm going to a week-long conference tomorrow with one of my best friends. It's going to be one of those conferences where you learn so much and are challenged so deeply that by 5pm you're ready to drop, but it's also going to be so, so good to be there. And I'm ready. I've been ready since Thursday, bag all packed save for toiletries. It's been a while since I've been out of town and I can't wait. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder, and I'm looking forward to new vistas and new restaurants and new places to walk.

Today - some yoga, a final planning meeting with my friend, and maybe a touch of fic writing. I have an idea for a moment between Antiope and her girlfriend, and who doesn't want to spend their time thinking about Amazons?

Saw the trailer for Black Panther and omg I am so ready. I cannot wait to see this movie. I was annoyed by the mere presence of white people in the teaser, but since it seems like they're gearing up to tell a whole story about imperialism and resistance, and the white folks are likely to be on the wrong side of that, I can handle watching every white person get their asses handed to them by the Dora Milaje. (Future me is already anticipating owning Wonder Woman and Black Panther at some point and switching happily back and forth between these depictions of warrior women. Happy sigh.) Just please, god, no white superheroes. No Bucky, no Steve, no Tony, no one. I just want it to be about Wakanda.

Watched Hidden Figures last night and enjoyed it immensely. I loved seeing the women with so much agency, so vital, so uncompromising. And it blew my mind all over again to think we were sending men into space when we were still using mechanical typewriters and landlines. Or when computers took up whole rooms to do calculations I'm pretty sure my laptop can do now. It even made me want to learn more math. What? (My high school math teacher surely just passed out.)

If you're interested in women and the early years of the space race, check out The Mercury 13 about the women who were also trained for space flight.

Happy weekend all. Lin-Manuel Miranda is headed back to the US as I type, proving it's going to be a wonderful day. :)
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-06-05 03:53 pm

Wonder Woman

I went to see Wonder Woman this afternoon with my friend and my niece, and we had a fantastic time drinking it all in.

Spoilery things under the cut! )
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-28 10:36 am

(no subject)

Yesterday I experienced the first real "transition" day from the unending busyness of the last few weeks at work to the more unstructured time I'll get for the next three months. I'll have plenty to do this summer, but the rhythm will be different - more long periods to do things, less short, sharp pivots to tend to 17 things one after each other. I'm looking forward to that so much!

But I do struggle with the transition. Yesterday I kept having to ask myself "what should I do now?" and answers did not come easily. But I took a walk, and I did a little yoga practice, and I read the beginning of a book by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama about joy. I also spent a lot of time on the internet spinning between facebook, twitter, and tumblr, and I'm hoping not to do that so much today. But every time, this time of year, I have to relearn what it is to do something because of internal impulse instead of external pressure. It takes practice. So today I think I'll be practicing by cleaning up my back porch and yard. This is especially important since people are coming over to enjoy both this week.

Last night I went out to a friend's farm and enjoyed dinner with her, her husband, and another friend of ours. It was such a lovely night - the food was excellent, the company was irreverent, and the farm is really gorgeous. My friend's husband and I bonded over having learned to drive a tractor before a car, and I thrilled to get up close and personal with all the farm equipment, which was all so impossibly large that I felt like a Lilliputian. I got to hang out with their dog, and drive home under a beautiful clear sky, and it was just a wonderful moment out of time. Yay!

I hope Sunday brings you joy!
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-27 07:11 am

(no subject)

Yesterday, somewhere out there in the vastness that is the internet, I published something about my experience with sexual assault. (I'm not linking because the piece contains some references that could make it fairly easy to identify 'real' me, and I don't want to cross the streams.)

The comments. Oh my god, the comments - the victim-blaming, responsibility-shirking, rape-culturey comments.

I shouldn't have read them (first rule of the internet!) but I did, and I am aghast by them.

Which made me come here to thank all of you. Because in this corner of the web you have been such a profoundly supportive, wonderful set of people. You have never blamed me for anything, nor suggested I'm "doing it wrong," and I hadn't - before today - really considered how amazing that is. I know I couldn't have made it through these last few years without the opportunity to tell my story on my blog, and to rejoice in things with you, answer questions you've posed, listen to the wisdom you've offered, and bear witness to our collective struggles. You are incredible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-24 07:16 am

For anyone who needs it today

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting --
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

~ Mary Oliver
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-23 07:20 am

(no subject)

I wrote a little ficlet on Sunday, a Poe/Finn story about them getting together (because that never gets old). I wrote Poe as asexual - mostly because there is a pervasive stereotype of him in fandom as some kind of "Latin lover" which I wanted to undermine. And I wrote Finn as someone figuring out what this new world is in the Resistance and what he likes and doesn't like and wants to try.

I got a comment on the story yesterday from someone who didn't like the story and who said "This just seemed like a way of expressing your wish for Poe to be asexual in some angsty way." Which is fascinating. There is no angst in the story - Poe's not apologetic about being asexual, and Finn doesn't press him to be. They just figure things out.

But doesn't it say volumes that the mere presence of asexuality in a story makes someone talk about angst? As if being asexual means you are automatically tortured about it?

Let me say I am a very happy asexual person :D. Like Poe, I don't feel I have anything to apologize for, nor do I feel I'm missing out on anything. I'm so content. And it's a shame that people can't wrap their heads around such a thing.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-21 01:24 pm

A ficlet

A wee ficlet!

Pretty Simple at AO3. Poe/Finn. ~600 words.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-20 07:10 pm

(no subject)

Daaaaaang. It's me. (I mean, not literally, lest anyone think I have a cool gig as a writer on the side. But she nails it.)
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-20 08:01 am

(no subject)

I've been doing this on my RL FB page and it's been lovely, so I'm going to try it here:

What's something fabulous that happened this week?

It can be large or small! For example, I had a latte yesterday that was flat-out perfect. It was so delicious and brought me joy. What about you?
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-19 08:33 am

(no subject)

I had a mammogram yesterday, and I fought with myself all day about going. I really didn't want to do it, just wanted to cancel and be done, but that's playing fast and loose with my health, so I went. It wasn't my first mammogram, and the tech was lovely and kind, but the whole thing still, I'm realizing, set me on edge. I feel gross today, sort of messed up, and it's not hard to see the connection between a total stranger handling me intimately with how I feel.


It's been a pretty good week here. We got incredibly hot weather at the beginning of the week which made everyone miserable - we need a few more days in the 70s to ease us into dealing with high 80s - but today it is raining and the high will be 55 and I can wear jeans and it will be glorious. Work has been fine - I've cleared my desk of everything but responding to reports, which means I have cleared out a serious backlog of everything else I could possibly do that isn't a report. I've been working on a couple of really fun projects, and had a lot of meaningful conversations with people this week, so I've felt good about what I do for a living. And there are only two more weeks of crunch time this season before I get a much more flexible schedule for the summer, and that is fabulous.

I'm going to be traveling a lot for business this summer. I'm headed to Syracuse for a conference in mid June, and a lightning fast trip to Boston at the end of that month. Minneapolis in July, Virginia in August, Minneapolis in August. I am such a homebody, so the fact that I even agreed to all this travel is a sign that the things on the other of the plane rides are awesome. Hopefully they'll all turn out to be fun!

The rain is so soothing this morning. My gosh, it'd be a great day to spend in bed with tea and a book. Alas . . .
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-14 09:48 am

Grrrrr. Argh.

I went for a walk this morning before it got too hot, and enjoyed my neighborhood in the quiet while everyone else was in bed or making breakfast. I let my thoughts go where they wanted, and when something bubbled up that needed my attention, I let it. And I spent a good part of the walk wrestling with the resentment I feel because it’s Mother’s Day.

Part of that is tied up in my own relationship with my mother. That part’s easy to see and easy to be gentle with myself about.

But part of it is tied up with the fact that I want a day where I’m recognized for the nurturing I do, which is not a particularly pleasant thing to realize (I feel vaguely like a toddler stamping her foot). But then I quickly realized it’s not really about that. It’s about family.

I have no family in the United States. And while I certainly have a network of friends who love me and support me and are my ‘found family’ in a sense, I don’t have the fallback of family in the way those friends do. There is no default for me on big, family holidays. There is no assumption of us owing time to one another. There’s nowhere for me to be on Mother’s Day – no one for me to honor, no honoring done.

I wish, so much, for an experience of family similar to the ones my close friends have, all of whom have siblings and parents and aunts and uncles and cousins and nieces and nephews galore. I want to be part of a web that pulls me in on family holidays, rather than being on my own. My wish to be recognized is really a wish to be included.

(Maybe this is something I can articulate to my friends – I’m still letting that idea roll around in my mind, where it wars with the idea that I’m being too demanding – and maybe it’s not.)

Aie. Anyway. To those of you who also struggle today, for whatever reason – yearning to be a mother; being a mother who has lost a child; being a daughter who has lost a mother; being someone whose mother was distant or hurtful or abusive; being someone who never had a stable maternal figure in their life; so many other possibilities – I’m sending you so much love today. ♥

eta: Here's Anne Lamott on the complexities of Mother's Day - a really beautiful, thoughtful post.
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-07 10:00 am

(no subject)

Yesterday morning I went to see Gifted, and oh, my heart. I'll say this - the plot is contrived (neither the central conflict nor resolution make a lot of sense) and some of the dialogue is clunky, but it manages to be a very sweet movie none-the-less. Chris Evans does a beautiful job of playing a father who loves his child to pieces but also wishes he had a little more time to himself, and who is also just so palpably sad throughout the whole thing that you want to bundle him up and take him home. (Luckily Octavia Spencer is there to a) own every scene she's in and b) hold his big old dirty hand when he needs it.)

But, as is a regular feature of me going to the movies, I ended up crying not just over the central storyline, but over random other realizations about my life. There's a scene (and I'm not giving anything away here) where Chris is at a bar playing a drinking game with a woman who asks him a probing question, and he looks at her for a long moment, eyes literally twinkling, and I realized . . . no one has ever looked at me that way in my whole life. And I promptly burst into tears because of about a thousand things - that bare fact; the fact that there are so few Chris Evans' in the world; the fact that there are a hundred layers of . . . hmmm, how to thread this needle. I got a glimpse, in that moment, of someone else's life. It's not mine, and I don't think it will ever be mine because of so many variables - some changeable, some not - and I love this life I have. But I imagined a different life for just a moment and it looked pretty good, too.

(And please don't tell me some version of 'you can do it!' about dating - that is absolutely not where I'm at, and not even really the point.)

Anyway, the day ended with me sitting up until 11.30 with friends on their front porch - doggedly sitting out there with blankets, because it cooled off a lot, but by god, we were determined to be outside under the lights they'd strung up before there were a lot of bugs around. We drank some good wine and chatted the evening away and it was lovely. May there be more nights like it before we hit the part of the year where doing something like that is impossible without a head-to-toe rinse in Deet.

I don't know what I want to do with my Sunday yet, which is sort of delicious. I know what I *ought* to do, but eh, I'm going with my gut today. And my gut says . . . more tea. So that's where I'm going to begin :D

Happy day, everyone!
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-06 04:23 pm

(no subject)

So, one of my very dear friends, who is charming and accomplished and wicked smart, was also John Barrowman's prom date back in the day.

She's John's guest at the Minneapolis Wizard Con today, and she's a little bamboozled by the fact that two hours ago she was mowing her lawn, and now she's just shaken Peter Capaldi's hand.

But the best part (for me) is that John just introduced her as his prom date at his panel and everyone cheered for her.

(She'd like you to know that James Marsters is shorter than she anticipated, but more handsome than expected.)

If anyone finds footage of this panel on the interwebs, do drop me a comment and point me in the right direction. Apparently he just did a riff on her mother finding him drunk in church . . .
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
2017-05-04 07:25 am

(no subject)

This week has been a doozy, mainly down to an all-hands meeting on Monday where someone I considered a friend chose not to support a project I've been working on for four years, and denounced it in the most cutting and lengthy fashion in front of everyone. Others then piled on. It was very upsetting.

That's the short version. The more important thing is that I spent time talking to Jan about it yesterday, because it's upset me so much, and had such an impact on the way I think about work. I've lost my motivation, I struggle to get up in a morning, I have trouble concentrating when I'm in the office, etc.

She suggested two things. First, that when people give you new information about who they are you believe them. That's not judgmental, it's just a very dispassionate assessment of the situation. "I did not know that about you before. Now I do. I'm going to believe you when you show me that's part of you." We get to redraw boundaries as a consequence. Second, she suggested I think of this like a break up. It's hard to end relationships - any relationship - but if I think of it like a break up, I can simply recognize we're not good for each other any more, and act in recognition of that fact. Like in a break up, it should be a clean break - none of this 'we can still be friends' business (because it never works). And like a break up, I should expect that I'm going to feel sad and bruised about all of this for a while.

It hasn't magically healed things to think that way, but that framing is so, so helpful to me. We did EMDR on the whole situation, too, and I realized that the people involved have been showing me who they are for a while, but I've been making excuses for them. That's behavior in myself that I want to change - that mindset has gotten me into trouble in the past - so it's to the good to be doing this.

And then today is the day when my employer cancels everything as a surprise and we all get the day off. It could not be better timed! I have a whole day stretching out ahead of me with nothing in it yet, and I can cook and bake and clean and make art and see friends, and oh, what a lovely thing. Just two more weeks and my spring crunch time is over and I can settle into the easier days of summer.

. . . and Bonnie Tyler's 'holding out for a hero' just started playing in my head. New anthem?