Hello, friend! How are you? What have you been up to as of late? A lot has happened since I last checked in and this work-in-progress log-of-life post is now outdated. Oh well! It has been a hectic month with health, work, and family, but I do have good news.
Recent testing has evidenced that I have chronic inflammatory response syndrome (CIRS), which explains every symptom I’ve experienced over the past six years. Basically, I’m part of the 24% of the population with a generic susceptibility to biotoxins released by mold; my valley fever infection six year ago turned on that gene, instigating a persistent inflammatory cytokine response; the water damage in our home has perpetuated that extreme immune response. If we remediate the damage at the source (again), use binders to remove the biotoxins from my body, and then follow a specific dietary protocol, I should be in much better shape in no time. While I’m tempted to feel frustrated that this is was missed by dozens of specialists over the years, I’m overwhelmed with excitement and gratitude that we’re hopefully making progress.
What are your plans for the week ahead? I’ve been reading, sewing, and just relaxing. Phoenix has been climbing into the 120s and I’m over it. I mean, I’ve been over since my first childhood step onto a sun-steeped sidewalk, but I’m ready for November.
I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are wonderful and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.
- Food for thought: “Make improvements, not excuses. Seek respect, not attention.” – Roy T. Bennett
- From the archives: The Infection That Never Went Away. I’ve been thinking a lot of about my health history this last month. It’s heartbreaking to see how distraught I’ve been at different points in time. I’m wondering if I’m less upset about things do to the structural brain abnormalities in the amygdala forebrain.
- On Male Inmates in Women’s Prisons: If Congress passes the Equality Act, California’s dangerous policy would go nationwide. Per commenter Beeswax, “The fact that these women are particularly marginalized due to economic and racial disenfranchisement is only an issue if we’re seeking a reason to protect these women from male predators. But that’s no longer the concern of lawmakers. By making “gender” synonymous with “sex,” the poison pill in the middle of the Equality Act is that it marginalizes ALL women.” Identify as you wish and I’ll support you, but I can’t stand behind placing someone in physical danger for the sake of identify politics.
- Writing books is not really a good idea. According to The Novelleist, only 268 books sold more than 100,000 copies last year—that’s only 0.01% of books. For comparison, 2.6 million books sold less than 1,000 copies last year (96%). Is fiction writing officially dead? Or are options like Wattpad, Patreon, Substack, and Amazon Vella viable?
- Inside the facetune epidemic. It seems Gen Z is obsessed with altering their photos before positing online. Some spend hours each day editing photos to create a flawless hourglass figure, angular jawline, plump lips and more. Seeing these perfect-looking images of themselves and their peers is leading many young people to pursue plastic surgery. I am grateful that I did not grow up with facetune and social media, and I’m grateful I don’t have any young people in my life facing this.
- Words that don’t translate: This website has over 500 of them in more than 70 languages. So much fun to browse. Fellow word nerds, enjoy! My new favorites: 1) Donaldkacsázás, a Hungarian word translated as “Donald ducking” or wandering around one’s house with a shirt but no trousers, and 2) Kummerspeck, translated in German to “sorrow bacon,” referring to weight you gain because you’re unhappy.
- Stop trying to raise successful kids: Even for people who don’t have kids, this is a great read with a lot of thought-provoking observations on the type of role models adults can/should be. “Today, parents and teachers are rightly investing more time and energy in nurturing confidence and leadership in girls. Unfortunately, there isn’t the same momentum around developing generosity and helpfulness in boys. The result is less attention to caring across the board. Kids, with their sensitive antennae, pick up on all this. They see their peers being celebrated primarily for the grades they get and the goals they score, not for the generosity they show. They see adults marking their achievements without paying as much attention to their character.”
- The Internet of Landlords Makes Renters of Us All: I like the analogy used in this essay: digital platforms are the new landlords and users are the new tenants, constantly at the mercy of those who own and control more and more things around us. “All of this raises the question of who really has ownership in our economy? Who claims the lion’s share of value generated by productive work and captured from essential infrastructure? Increasingly, the answer is not people, but platforms. Not users, but landlords.”
- How to help your kids be responsible digital citizens: A good, practical piece for parents who are unsure how to introduce their kids to the online world in a thoughtful, responsible way. “Zhu Scott’s kids agree to point #7 which reads, ‘I understand that my behaviour on my phone can impact my future reputation – even in ways that I am not able to predict or see.’ She hammered this point home by showing her kids photos of themselves in diapers from a decade ago. ‘They were like, “Oh gross, that’s really embarrassing,”’ she said.”
- A question worth asking: “What feeds your energy and what depletes it?” Understanding what affects your energy levels brings you a step closer to wholeness in your personal and professional life. Asking this question has helped my find balance in my work, home, relationships, and hobbies. Constantly asking this question has helped me refine my habits, environment, and vision for the future.
asdsa: This Is How To Make Emotionally Intelligent Friendships from Eric Baker on Bakadesuyo.
You may forget but
let me tell you
this: someone in
some future time
will think of us.
“Find a partner who is ready to build with you. It is not about finding perfection in another person, it is about realizing when you come across an undeniable connection that nourishes your being and matches the type of support you are looking for. Getting lost in the idea of perfection is a hindrance. Being with someone who is committed to going through the ups and downs of life together is truly priceless. When two people embrace their imperfections and commit to growing into better versions of themselves, it will naturally enhance the happiness they share in the relationship.”
– Yung Pueblo
The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn. – Alvin Toffler
How to help your kids be responsible digital citizens: A good, practical piece for parents who are unsure how to introduce their kids to the online world in a thoughtful, responsible way. “Zhu Scott’s kids agree to point #7 which reads, ‘I understand that my behaviour on my phone can impact my future reputation – even in ways that I am not able to predict or see.’ She hammered this point home by showing her kids photos of themselves in diapers from a decade ago. ‘They were like, “Oh gross, that’s really embarrassing,”’ she said.”
Best life hack that I’ve learned over the past year? Chocolate milk seems to be slightly more effective at helping me to wake up in the morning than coffee. Granted, I still prefer coffee because I like how it tastes. But apparently there’s science behind why that works.
That is fascinating!! I would have never guess… I’m not a fan or coffee or chocolate milk (I know, I know…) but I’m curious enough to dig into the science on that one…
I’m happy to hear that you might have turned a corner with your illness and doctor-related valleys.
Men in women’s prison… yea… doesn’t sound fun.
Knowing what zaps, and even more so what replenishes my energy has definitely helped me a lot, too!
Happy 4th of July weekend!
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