Weekend Diversions 8.12.16

Deep breath. Every time I take a break from writing here, I am overcome with anxiety about returning. I know this is a common theme in my writing, and I apologize for the redundancy. But I am still always awed at how quickly I can fall out of practice and then confidence with writing.

Writing is one of the most difficult things I do, but also the most rewarding. I forget, though, about the rewards when I am mired in fear that I will have nothing good to say. That it will be too hard to find words, that my ideas are asinine, that I have lost my ability to articulate thoughts. And then comes the excuse of not enough time, that I would write, if only I didn’t have to (fill in the blank with absolutely anything, from eat breakfast to wash dishes to call my mom to work). Everything becomes an excuse when I allow anxiety to take over.

And somehow, no matter how many strategies I try, worksheets I fill out, solutions I write about in my journal, I have yet to find a way to make writing, here or anywhere, stick. I do write in my many notebooks daily, but those are private thoughts and are often left unfinished. My notebook writing does not feel legitimate because it has no purpose. I guess that begs the follow-up question: does writing here have a purpose? Somehow, sharing my thoughts with the world, however small my readership, does feel more like “real” writing, because it has the chance to connect with someone.

My favorite writing to read is honest, raw, authentic and makes me feel less alone in my crazy head. My hope is that my words will have a similar influence.

Admitting I want my words to reach others, to have an impact, leaves me feeling vulnerable. Will you, reader, judge me harshly for this hubris? Will you laugh at my overly-large intentions?

Because I do not know if my words have worth outside of my own head. This doubt is what has kept me from writing consistently in public. The fear that I am silly, and my desire to connect through my words is foolish.

I do not know how to dismantle this fear, other than to continue showing up here to write as often as I can manage. Because I can’t grow if I do not do the work.

I recently listened to an interview with Olympian Kate Grace in which she talks about her struggles with commitment to running and how she rededicated herself to the sport. I often think of running and writing as linked in my life, with running often taking priority even though writing is provides equal (sometimes more) fulfillment. Kate’s words resonated and reminded me that if I want to write, if I want to see how far writing can take me, I must show up. I might not succeed once I am here, but I cannot make any progress if I stay away from my computer.

My graduate school program begins in less than a month, and I know I will have to be extra vigilant to ensure that writing for pleasure is not subsumed beneath class and stress. I enjoy having this outlet and I hope it will provide a good counterbalance to the demands of academia. This space provides me with a freedom of expression I have not felt in other places. Once I begin typing, my anxiety about writing diminishes. I am relaxed here. I do not want to my excuses to take this away from me.

As a way to failsafe my writing, I am going to schedule time here on my calendar. I am going to make my words a priority. I really hope that this sticks.

And now, for a bit of weekend reading.

  1. Simone Biles: “I’m not the next Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt, I’m the first Simone Biles.” This woman is my new hero. I am awed by her ability to propel herself multiple feet into the air, do somersaults, and land with grace (among other superhuman feats). I am even more impressed, though, by her poise. Throughout her competitions, she has forced the media to focus on the sport. And she demands equal treatment for her accomplishments. She is an athlete in her own right, and she is amazing.
  2. A closer look at Simone Manuel, Olympic Medalist, History Maker:Simone Manuel made history last night with her tied win in the 100m freestyle. She is the first African-American woman to win an individual medal in Olympic swimming. I missed her full race because I was at work and NBC is very proprietary with the footage (only the last few seconds are available for free online without a cable subscription). But I am overjoyed that she was able to create this historic moment out of years of dedication to swimming. Like all Olympic athletes, she performed at an unfathomable level. She is open about the historic nature of her accomplishment, and hopes her performance inspires more diversity in the sport.
  3. Olympic sprinter Morgan Mitchell on being a vegan, tattoos and her dreams of designing: A quick profile of Australian sprinter Morgan Mitchell, who credits her vegan diet with gains in fitness and speed. She will compete in the 400m trials on August 13, and will move on from there.
  4. Lauren Fleshman: From retiring to rewiring: Not an Olympic runner, but a world champion and multiple-record holder, Lauren Fleshman has made the decision, after years of battling a foot injury, to retire. In this piece she explains, with eloquence, what the change means for her in her daily life, and how she has made peace with giving up on her dream of competing again at an elite level. Lauren is a beautiful writer, and her perspective on running and balance is always wonderful to read. The New York Times also ran a profile of Lauren at her retirement, which is worth a look as well.

That’s it for today. Have a wonderful weekend, and I hope to be here again soon!

 

 

Advertisements

Weekend Diversions 7.8.2016

Every time I have an articulate thought about how to make sense of all the shootings and violence and public hatred in America right now, it disappears into confusion. I have written my response over and over again in my head, but nothing feels right. I almost had a panic attack when I opened my computer to write this post, because I feel compelled to say something, but everything feels inadequate. I am filled with grief, and also with shame to know that I will probably never feel the same fear that minorities feel when they walk out their doors into public spaces. I rode my bike home from work last night, an hour-long commute along mostly empty streets, with varying degrees of lighting. I worried a bit about being raped or assaulted. I usually do when I am alone at night in deserted areas. I wondered, then, if this is the same fear that black and brown people carry with them, always. And then I wondered if it was presumptuous of me to even make that comparison. I am white. I live in a homogeneous suburb. I work in a job that is segregated (white people in the front of the restaurant; everyone else in the back; bussers are the one exception to the color barrier). Am I complicit in this mess? Do I have a right to call out for a new structure, considering the parameters of my life?

I am living in confusion right now. The news doesn’t help; I just feel more sadness, more shame. I do not understand hating someone so intensely you feel compelled to shoot them. I do not understand why police use guns as the first line of defense. Police, as supposed arbiters of peace and justice on a community scale should also be masters at mindfulness. Their job is not to kill innocent people, and in this country everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Routine traffic stops are not high stress situations. They should not be treated as such; nor should civilians live in fear that they will be shot to death for a missing taillight; for selling CDs or loose cigarettes; for walking down the street; for looking too suspicious; for having a reaction time slower than a police officer would like.

Centuries of oppression, systemic racism, unconscious and conscious bias all contribute to these horrendous killings, as does a lack of officer training.

I do not know how to reconcile my white identity with the events in the news. I do not know the correct response, or the correct next steps. I will continue to shine light in my own very small corner of the world as I figure out how to live with integrity.

Below are a few responses to the current tragedies, much more articulate than my own.

  1. Death in Black and White: All of the reasons being white feels very complicated, as outlined by a black man who knows our culture of oppression is at the root of this current crisis. It was an uncomfortable read at times, as I do not like being lumped in with the perpetrators of violence. Still, discomfort is necessary to create change, and I hope this will provide some inspiration for me as I move forward.
  2. This is what white people can do to support #BlackLivesMatter: A list of ways to work from within whiteness to create change and lend support to a truly progressive movement.
  3. Deafening Silence: White silence and Alton Sterling: A indictment to white people to end the silence about race and to call for justice. Whenever a white person chooses to remain silent about racial violence, the author contends, permission for continued violence is granted. I agree. Anglo privilege has created this mess, it is our duty to call for cultural restructuring.
  4. 30+ Resources to help white Americans learn about race and racism: Finally, a thorough list of resources to better understand the history and culture of racism in America. I haven’t begun to read through these yet, but they are high on my list of articles read over the coming weeks. As passionate as I feel about equality, I know I have a lot left to learn and to implement in my life.

 

Finally, because I need some happy diversions in order to process the violence, here is a lovely profile of vegan strongman Patrik Baboumian for CNN’s series on environmental activists. And an interesting history of modern eyeglasses.

Have a good and safe weekend, everyone.

 

 

Weekend Diversions 7.1.2016

I submitted an essay this week (about my body image and running and many of the challenges I have faced post-injury) to a magazine. Sharing myself like that made me feel vulnerable and unstable. Even though I know the readers will be strangers, I still worry about judgement and being thought unworthy. I worry that the concerns in my essay will be construed as whiny and irrelevant to a cultural discussion of body image. I worry the readers will laugh at me for being so critical of myself. I worry I will be told I don’t deserve to criticize myself, because I am ablebodied and fit. Submitting this essay was hard. But also liberating because my story is no longer pent up inside myself. I have kept my body-hatred as much of a secret as possible for most of my life. Sharing in this way marks a huge progression in my journey toward self-acceptance. So, I am proud of myself even as I worry about how I will be perceived.

To celebrate my successful submission, here are a few things I have been reading this week. Enjoy!

  1. Strawberry rhubarb crumble bars I have a fridge full of strawberries as well as some rhubarb leftover from recent CSA pickup. I made these bars last year when strawberries and rhubarb were in season and I was impressed with how easy they were to make (and then eat!). They are this weekend’s baking project.
  2. Can you get over an addiction? Or are addicts doomed to live a life of degeneracy if they do not repent and succumb to a higher power?
  3. All U.S. medical school training is now animal-free! Until I read this announcement, I did not realize medical training has required extensive animal testing (often using dogs as the experimental model -after they are injected with various drugs and substances the dogs are killed by the doctors for dissection). After years of lobbying and legal efforts led by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine, Johns Hopkins University and University of Tennessee (the last two holdouts) have removed animal testing from their curricula.  Current technology makes using live models for anatomy unnecessary and, therefore, unethical.  Advanced medical training still includes animal testing, as does veterinary training, but with concerted efforts from PCRM and animal advocacy groups, this practice will hopefully become an anachronism.
  4. Why I don’t give toothpaste advice A funny (and short) lesson about taking nutrition advice from someone who is not qualified to give such advice. As Dr. Davis points out in his rant, dentists know a lot about dentition and oral health, but do not usually immerse themselves in nutrition research. As such, in his professional opinion, dentists should stick to recommending toothpaste and not specific diets (especially when the diets they are promoting have no scientific validation).

Have a lovely long weekend! I will be working for most of it, but I do have off on Monday (4th of July), which I plan to spend working in the garden with my boyfriend.

 

Weekend Diversions 5.6.2016

I know my weekend posts can focus on some fairly heavy political things (mental health, the state of our food system, housing) and I have a feeling that might be exhausting to read. I know I definitely have days when I just can’t fathom even listening to the news or reading news articles. I want, instead, to consume information that is compelling but does not leave me feeling frustrated and powerless. This week, I am definitely in need of some easy, unplugged reading. As I mentioned earlier this week, I led my first SMART Recovery meeting on Tuesday and that was a fulfilling experience, it also took a lot of emotional energy. I have been trying to be kind to myself and reenergize through running, yoga, writing, and reading. 

Here are a two pieces I found especially interesting and fun to get through! 

How to treat prediabetes with diet: Type two diabetes is a lifestyle disease, caused by inadequate nutrition. The medical establishment often doesn’t take the time to educate patients on the implications of dietary choices and the simplicity with which certain diseases can be prevented or reversed. Doctors themselves often don’t have the knowledge to treat their patients with anything other than medicine (a much more expensive and harmful alternative to dietary modification). Dr. Gregor gives a good overview in this article for ways in which prediabetes can be cured with basic lifestyle modifications such as the inclusion of more whole grains in the diet. He also links to myriad additional articles and resources for non-pharmaceutical treatments. I can lose a lot of time going through all of his videos and articles; so much good information!

Making an informed transition to veganism: I like Gena Hamshaw, nutritionist and soon-to-be Registered Dietician, because of her measured approach to nutrition and a vegan lifestyle. She promotes a balanced (vegan) diet, and does not demonize fat as do some other nutrition experts. She also writes openly about her former eating disorder, which I appreciate, and her style is non-restrictive. As someone who has struggled with eating, I find her approach freeing. Reading her blog over the past few years has made my own transition to veganism easier, and her words are a constant reminder to keep balance in my diet. 

I especially enjoyed this post of hers because it highlights an often-overlooked aspect of veganism: the possibility of nutrient deficiency without a mindful approach to eating. 

 Like the woman Gena writes about, I suffered a debilitating vitamin D deficiency that was discovered approximately one year after I became vegan.  I have since learned that many Americans (vegan, vegetarian, omnivore) have low levels of this nutrient because it is not found naturally in food and sunscreen, clothing, and indoor-centric lifestyles mean we don’t always have the opportunity to synthesize it from the sun. 

It is possible (and probable) to thrive on a vegan diet but the change in eating won’t work if animal products are simply cut out and new plant-based foods are not incorporated. As with any healthful approach to eating, veganism takes some thought and planning. When done right, it forms the foundation for an energetic life. 

Have a lovely weekend! 

Weekend Diversions 4.29.16

Hello! I spent the past hour planting lettuce seeds for the garden, so I am in an especially good mood. I was feeling a bit flat when I woke up, and a good yoga session was only moderately helpful in lifting my spirits. Gardening -touching the dirt, making a safe and warm place for the seeds, fantasizing about produce-laden meals to come -transported me instantly into a happier place. I love thinking about all the life within each seed, the potential to grow from a hard fragment of nothing (lettuce seeds are especially small) into vibrant and hardy plants. Watching the seeds progress through their life cycle puts me into a state of wonderment. I find it unbelievable that something without a central nervous system can react so acutely to its surroundings. (And yes, I have read the research that says plants have feelings, secrete human hormones, fear the sound of a caterpillar munching -this synchronicity with the world only makes plants more fascinating. Bean plants, as Michael Pollan shows in this video reach for poles many feet away from them, and can achieve their mark using some sort of sensory mechanism. How do they do it? Nature is miraculous.)  So now I’m all happy about nature and wish it were a tad warmer here in Chicago so I could frolic in the garden and admire the kale, spinach, peas, garlic, Asian greens, beets, and kohlrabi that are already growing strong. Perhaps when I am done with this I will put on my jacket and inspect them all.

For the reading:

The food industrial complex: An economic analysis of why people eat more processed foods than fruits and vegetables. Basically, the government subsidizes large companies that produce products used primarily as animal feed or the base for processed food (corn, soy, rice). These crops are relatively easy and cheap to grow, and government assistance makes them even less expensive. This means that food made with these crops are also less expensive than their time-intensive, unsubsidized, healthier counterparts. The food lobbies for these crops also have much more political power than, say, organizations that protect broccoli or Brussels sprouts. Big agriculture is enmeshed in the American economy, influencing dietary guidelines and advertisements. This unmitigated influence is part of why we are facing epidemic proportions of obesity, diabetes, heart disease. Although it once may have seemed economically prudent to help out farmers growing cheap crops to feed the American people, this expense is outdated, however. Now, giving massive amounts of money to farming conglomerates is increasing the costs of healthcare and hurting our country’s bottom line. This article paints a clear picture of the economic and health related implications of continuing agricultural subsidies.

The uncomfortable truth about tipping, explained with stick figures: As a longtime waitress (and as someone who has definitely walked away from a haircut or manicure or bell hop unsure if my tip was adequate), I was excited to read about tipping guidelines across multiple industries. This article confirmed my suspicion that most people tip a set amount, unrelated to the degree or quality of service received. This is why I can be given a similar percentage tip from two adults having a quiet dinner who leave their table as clean as can be expected after a meal of barbecue and pizza, and from a family with four children who color on the table, break crayons, drop mac and cheese all over the floor, spill drinks, make experiments in their water cups (children routinely pour barbecue sauce, parmesan  cheese, salt, etc. into their beverages), and run around the dining room as if possessed. That it takes two or three times longer to clean up the mess from a family like this is only rarely reflected in my tips (or those of my co-workers).

Rant aside, this is a quite well-researched article about tipping habits (from customers) and tipping expectations (from workers). The author, Tim Urban, also has put together a nice chart showing how much you should tip from different people, and notes as to when a bigger tip might be appropriate (see scenario above for an example). Urban also goes into profiling of customers (who tips the best and worst). I found it sort of accurate to my life, but really my experience has shown that people can be surprisingly generous, even if they are from a category that is a stereotypically known to tip poorly. I have been given good tips by teenagers and horrible tips by groups of men; as well as the reverse. My policy is to treat everyone well, so that I can rest assured that a bad tip is not a reflection on my service.

The article is a little bit long to, but a lot of the space is taken up with illustrations, and Urban’s sense of humor makes it a quick read. Also I am sure I will be referencing his chart on tipping guidelines next time I am in an ambiguous situation.

When should kids start learning about sex and consent?: By refraining to talk about sex to children, many of the experts interviewed in this article believe, sex becomes a taboo that is often either avoided or misused. And, delaying sex education until middle or high school only compounds the problem. Kids are given a bunch of information (some of which they may know, some of which may be new), explained with varying degrees of thoroughness, and then sent back to their lives. Sexuality is not part of the greater education structure; it is set off, and minimized. This results in confusion and negative conceptions of sex; the minute sexual education many students receive does not promote healthy sexuality.

I especially like the closing statement, which quotes the stances of sexuality educators Elizabeth Schroeder and Evan Goldfarb:

“I think we should teach [sexuality] the way we teach every other topic in school,” says Schroeder. “Start basic. Build that scaffolding in a way that is age and developmentally appropriate.” Both Schroeder and Goldfarb give as an example the way schools approach math education. “My son is learning algebra now in the eighth grade,” says Schroeder, “but it’s not the first time he’s getting math. It’s antithetical that we wouldn’t do the same with sexuality.”

Sexuality is a part of life, and crucial in many ways to achieving healthy adulthood. It is an almost universally necessary skill and yet it is shoved under the rug of society. I am heartened to know that there are people advocating for greater education and understanding.

This post is a bit longer than I was anticipating, so I am going to cut it off here and save my other reads for another day. Take care, have a wonderful weekend! (And, if you are able, spend some time enjoying the outdoors.)

 

Weekend Diversions 4.22.16

It has been about eight weeks since I began running after an equally long period of rest and rehabilitation for my sacral stress fracture. I am going very slow and keeping my mileage low (three or four miles four times a week). It is hard to be so far behind where I think my fitness should be, based on past experience, but I try to set aside time on each run for gratitude that my body is growing strong again. Those two months without running in the middle of the winter were incredibly hard for me. I rely on running for a daily boost of happiness, especially in the middle of the cold darkness of winter. Writing here was an enormous help, though. This blog gave me the space to work through many of the challenges I faced as I learned how to rest. I still am figuring out how to maintain balance with running. Now that the initial thrill of returning to my sport is over (in those first few days even five minutes of running was exhilarating), I feel the pull to run longer, run harder. I have started going through the notebook I kept during my injury to remind myself why balance is important. I do not want to reinjure myself and I also want running to become just one of many activities I do to maintain happiness. Yoga, hiking, biking -all practices which brought me joy when running was impossible. I do not want these newfound passions to be subsumed by running. Day by day right now.

I have signed up to run an Earth Day 10K this Sunday at the Morton Arboretum. This will be the longest I have gone since returning to running. I am excited to take part in the race experience, although I have to constantly remind myself it will be more like a long run with lots of other people than a typical-for-me race. I want to enjoy the process of sharing a run with strangers and am going to do my best not to become caught up in my competitive drive.

And now, for the weekly reading.

Banana bread muffin tops: These are the most delicious snacks. I haven’t made them in a while, but I think I will make time to bake a batch for a post-race treat on Sunday.  My one warning: sometimes the dough doesn’t make it from the bowl to the baking tray; my pesky mouth has a habit of getting in the way. Super tasty. Super easy. Highly recommend.

How runners get high: Part of the allure of running is the high that comes after a few miles on the roads or trails. The high can make long runs feel like nothing, and can create a powerful feeling of flow between mind and body. This high, I suspect, is part of the reason I have found running so difficult to moderate: I like the feeling of total bliss that comes after a long run or a hard workout. A study published last fall in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences indicates that this high might not come from endorphins, as commonly believed, by from endocannabinoids (related to the substance released by marijuana). Endocannabinoids are smaller than endorphins, and more easily attach to brain receptors. After a run, mice with blocked endorphin receptors were relaxed, while those with blocked endocannabinoid receptors remained in an anxious state. It makes me wonder if other forms of exercise have a similar effect on the brain, or if the high is isolated in running.

The anatomy of a heroin relapse: Speaking of highs. This is a beautifully written essay by Tony O’Neill about the unintended consequences of trauma and addiction. Ten years into sobriety, the author and his daughter were hit by a car as they crossed the street. The horror of almost losing his young daughter was an unprecedented emotional stress and, without thinking, he slipped back into old patterns. O’Neill spares the reader the graphic details of his relapse but does delve into the psychological pain he felt and why this led him back to heroin. Content aside, it is a powerful piece of writing. Worth reading for anyone interested in addiction or personal essays.

Moby on veganism: On a brighter note, here is an excellent interview in Food & Wine with Moby. The musician has been vegan since 1987, long before the word was popular. He talks about the evolution of vegan food and animal activism over the past three decades, and expresses his belief that predominant veganism is the inevitable movement of dietary patterns worldwide. I especially enjoy his description of the mental shift that took place for him after becoming vegetarian three years before cutting out all animal products: he likens it to a chiropractic adjustment for his mind. His whole worldview shifted and expanded in ways he could not have previously imagined. I felt a similar shift when I became vegan just over two years ago. Becoming more conscious about my food made me more compassionate toward all creatures. I am more forgiving, more open in my line of thought. I spend more time considering the connection between myself and the natural world, and this makes me more mindful about the consumer choices I make and also about how I treat people. We are all here to live; it is not my job to posit one life (human or non) over any other.

Hospitals face ad blitz over Chick-fil-A: Last year, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine launched a campaign to remove unhealthy food from hospital cafeterias. Hospitals are supposed to be places of health and wellness, and it is absurd that the food served does not always support this mission. Not only does including fast food as an option send a confusing message to patients and their families who may be at the hospital for diseases related to obesity, heart disease, diabetes (all of which are exacerbated by fast food) but creates an unhealthy food environment for doctors and nurses who (due to overbooked work schedules that do not leave much time for meal prep) may not have any other easy food options themselves. I hope the PCRM continues their efforts to spread good nutrition to hospitals around the country.

That’s it for this week. Have a happy Earth Day! And a wonderful weekend.

 

Weekend Diversions 4.15.16

The past few days have been filled with constantly changing plans, all out of my control, which has left me a bundle of stress. Some good things have come out of this uncertainty, however: I rediscovered my love for spontaneous solo dance parties, to the horror of my cat whose chiding looks tell me that now she has proof she is the superior being (but they are so good at relieving my anxiety and making me laugh instead of pulling out my hair); and, I had unexpected time this morning to catch up on reading and write this post.

  1. Almond and chickpea bread with dried fruit: I’ve had a bag of chickpea flour in burning a hole in my refrigerator for a while, purchased to make chickpea tofu. My attempt at the tofu fell far short of the delicious dish prepared for me while on vacation in Seattle by my friend, a chef at Hotel Albatros (side note, if you are in Seattle, the food there is amazing and most of it can be made vegan, or not, depending on your preferences). Although I do plan on trying to make the tofu again, I have also been searching for another, less experimental, way to use up some of the flour. This bread was a perfect way to do just that: it comes together like any breakfast bread, with the added bonus of being dense and not too sweet. Even my boyfriend, whose main criticism of my baked goods is that they are too dense, enjoyed it. I can also say it is amazing toasted and topped with almond butter.
  2. The problem with satisfied patients: This article in The Atlantic came out last year, but the problem it brings to light is still relevant. Hospitals make more money from Medicade reimbursements (a large percentage of their revenues) when patients report higher levels of satisfaction. But satisfaction does not always mean better care. A patient who dislikes the bland food they are served after heart surgery might report lower satisfaction, even though the care they receive supports their recovery best. In fact, the article shows, hospitals with high ratings also often have higher levels of mortality, readmission, and complications. A satisfied patient, therefore, is not always a well patient. The workaround from hospitals is not more nurses, more patient interaction, or an increased focus on patient care, but the inclusion of scripts nurses must recite to convince the patients they are receiving the best care possible, whether or not that is actually true. My boyfriend works in a hospital and he is constantly frustrated that efficiency and maximum productivity are prioritized over patient care.
  3. A portrait of an artist as a young mom: I am not yet a mother, and have no immediate plans to become one but it is a vague part of my goals for the future. As a writer, I have often thought about how motherhood will impact my creativity. Even without children I struggle to find time to write, between life and relationships and working and caring for my cats. I also use these obligations as excuses for not writing: I would love to write but I have to care for a sick friend, take my cat to the vet, clean my kitchen, go to the grocery store, relax after going to the grocery store, etc. Much as the author of this article has filled her days with the details of parenting (PTA meetings, birthday parties, dance classes). Her priorities shifted, or she thought they should and so allowed them to, and writing was not high on the list. I think that’s okay, at least for a while. But it feels unbalanced for me. I actually think I might go crazy (as do some of the women in the article) if I do not write.  I have tried it before, and I always feel lost and frustrated away from my craft. I am a firm believer in putting oneself first; I cannot be good to anyone (especially, I suspect, a child) if I am not good to myself. Maybe this will make me a horrible parent. I vacillated, when reading this, between nodding in agreement and being annoyed at the whiny nature of the authors complaints. I do not know if she has approached writing and motherhood from the wrong angle, if she over-exaggerated for the sake of literary appeal, or her experience is valid and the inevitable result of being creative and having young children. If any of you readers have children, how do you find time to write and care for them as well? I am curious to hear alternate perspectives on this .
  4. When women outlive their ovaries: A fascinating look at how women’s bodies have been subjugated by big pharma. The article focuses on advertisements from the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s that portray women as listless, anxious, annoying. Women are not excited to be housewives and, therefore, must be medicated into submission. None of this is news to me, but I have an obsession with old advertisements for and about women because I think they provide the best glimpse into popular conceptions of womanhood. I will certainly be reading the book, Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health, from which this article was excerpted.

Thank you as always for reading! Let me know what articles have piqued your interest (or fury) this past week in the comments below. Have a lovely weekend, take a walk, enjoy the weather.