This morning, the dogs woke me at butt o’clock, A.K.A. 4:20AM. I bundled up and took them for a long, slippery walk. It was crisp, dark and slightly foggy. I was moved to take photos because it was just so beautiful outside. I was grateful to my pups who forced me to be out and about in the quiet, without any cars or cares. After I snapped the photos, I put my camera away so I could be fully present for my walk. I tried to extend my freedom from thought or worry about anything in my day to day life. My brain, body and spirit are continuously seeking a breather no matter how brief it may be. Continue reading “Single Working Mom Seeks Understudy”
And mindful reflection.
And eyes that see.
And ears that hear.
And the willingness to work through what I cannot see or hear,
or maybe ever.
Grateful for all that has led me here, right now.
Grateful for you and others on my path who may have caused wounds,
And grateful for my voice and for yours.
This is my heart.
And this is my art.
And we all have stuff with which to make art.
It’s always been you, John.
Most people know that yesterday was the 38th anniversary of John Lennon’s assassination. If you know anything about me, you are aware that I am much more than just a lifelong fan of John Lennon and his music. I hoped to lose my virginity to John Lennon. Obviously, that didn’t work out as he was assassinated in 1980, but had he lived longer…. Continue reading “Loving John After My Break Up with Peter”
ESCAPE ROUTE: Make it less private.
Ask for help.
Tell the truth. Continue reading “Directions on Escaping Your Private Hell”
The original letter I wrote to Juliette four years ago can be found here – “For Juliette: A Love Letter You’ll Hate (For Now)”. I write my daughters fairly often, but this one stands out and serves as a sort of unspoken grading tool for how I am doing as a mother. I give myself a “C” grade as a mother, but the important lesson here is that I don’t accept my own “C” grade. I trust the trustworthy people in my life instead. Continue reading “A Love Letter Redux to Juliette”
So, I’ve been on social media today and everyone sounds super duper grateful. I’m pretty grateful today too, but not all Thanksgiving holidays have been filled with me skipping to my lou.
I just thought it important to tell anyone who feels like crap today, that I have felt like crap on Thanksgiving too. 1997 was a hideous Thanksgiving and the following year was one of my favorite Thanksgivings, ever.
The peer pressure can feel daunting. You might be thinking, “I can’t possibly show how crappy I feel right now.” Just don’t let anyone should on you or your authentic feelings. Don’t should on yourself either.
Your shit show of a day will pass. This, I promise.
And now, I am going to go to my Parent’s home with my daughters. There’s a good chance our dog will poop on my bed while we’re away.
I think we may all smell like skunk, due to the fact that our dog was skunked on the day before yesterday and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.
Still, just for today, I am pretty lighthearted and appreciative for having a roof over our head, food to eat and love to give.
My receiving of love could use a little work, but I’m grateful I see that in myself today.
Who knows what tomorrow will bring. One thing I am fairly certain of, is that I’ll still sort of smell like skunk.
I wish you a meaningful Thanksgiving. If you feel awful and ungrateful, I so appreciate your authenticity. You are perfectly imperfect in this very moment.
Me too, P.U.
One week from today, on November 27th, scores of nonprofits and other fund-seekers will bombard each of us with #GivingTuesday solicitations. I love the idea of the entire world participating in philanthropy, I’ve just questioned the implementation of the annual event. For me, it typically undercuts all that’s really beautiful about philanthropy – The building of relationships, the matchmaking between donor prospect and mission and the “what’s in it for me,” and of course, long range thoughtful planning regarding organizational sustainability.
I have been pretty cranky about the implementation of #GivingTuesday, since its launch in 2012. If you’re interested, feel free to revel in a few curmudgeonly #GivingTuesday articles:
Still, each year since the launch of #GivingTuesday, I have had to either create campaigns or at the very least, raise funds for them.
There’s no question that my most “favorite” #GivingTuesday concept is something that looks very different from the barrage of campaigns hitting us left and right. I like a campaign where an entire staff gives of themselves out in the community, as a literal, external-facing depiction of philanthropic behavior. I also like to focus on giving education about a nonprofit’s mission and vision and even adding a day of volunteerism where it’s tracked via social media streams throughout the day.
No matter how #GivingTuesday is marketed or pitched, I always have to find the love in a campaign or I won’t be able to succeed.
This year, I moaned and groaned quietly, about collaborating on mapping a #GivingTuesday campaign for ORT America. Then, I made an intentional decision to take a fresh approach. I started thinking about all of the Tuesdays that have passed since ORT’s founding in 1880. While my math isn’t great, I figured out that ORT has been GIVING access to education, thus changing lives, AROUND THE WORLD, for a minimum of 7200 Tuesdays.
The least I could do was learn everything I possibly could about the micro:bit. Our organizational goal is to get as many micro:bits into the hands of ORT students, so they can easily learn to code, think creatively and have a ton of fun diving into STEM education. (science, technology, education and math.) FYI, ORT is a global leader in STEM education, so to state I have buy-in to the mission and vision of ORT’s Global Education Network is a no brainer. I’m passionate as hell about it.
Raising funds for the micro:bit was a fantastic choice, because they aren’t particularly expensive, but their impact on each student (and teacher) is immense. I am grateful to my staff partners for choosing the micro:bit. It has been easy to embrace.
Basically, kids find the micro:bit easy, fun and almost immediately understand that all kids can code. Right there, I see these kids succeeding and that’s all I need to know.
I am also a super fan of ORT America’s new branding. #GivingTuesday is a good place to educate the public on ORT’s global impact and strengthen our public organizational face.
So this year, I am far less cranky about #GivingTuesday, but have also made a choice to implement this year’s campaign differently than we have in previous years. We aren’t going to bombard you on November 27th as we have other simultaneous fundraising ventures AND, we just don’t want to bombard you. We’d prefer to gracefully shepherd you into ORT.
I do ask you to consider how the micro:bit can change kids lives and their upcoming trajectories. How will this one hand-held computer impact their career path? Who will they be in the world?
Sure, maybe I think and feel too deeply and I take my job far too seriously. This is something I have tried to change but have been unsuccessful.
When I think about or meet ORT students, I see with clarity that there’s hope and optimism in our future leaders. This one thought, makes any day, even #GivingTuesday, more than a worthwhile investment.
If you want to get micro:bits in the hands of ORT students around the world, please support Team ORT Chicago!
Of course I appreciate every “bit” that comes into ORT and a micro:bit makes a macro impact.
You do too.