Stefani's most-fantastical-reads book montage

Crooked Kingdom
Six of Crows
Yellow Brick War
The Wicked Will Rise
Charm & Strange
Their Fractured Light
These Broken Stars
Big Little Lies
I'll Be There
Red Queen

Stefani's favorite books »

Friday, January 20, 2017

My (anti)Inauguration Speech

It's Inauguration Day. A few weeks back I made a self-promise not to post political ideas or beliefs, especially on Facebook and I have since broken that promise several times. I hadn't intended to blog about it at all until my husband made an innocent statement while getting ready this morning. I told him that I was wearing black today to protest Trump's inauguration and he said, "I think that we owe it to him to give him a chance - it's not like we can change anything."


I adore my husband and I know he had no deeper agenda than believing that this man that our government, not our people, elected deserves a fair shot. I think that's a bit idealistic since Trump had the past year to woo America and to win over the different groups who have opposed him. I haven't really seen him make that effort unless belligerent statements count and effort. I know I'm not alone. As of yesterday, somewhere around 60% of Americans are of the same mindset as I am. We're in big trouble and we just elected a bully with horrible manners and questionable morals to be our leader. I've been asked several times on Facebook to defend my beliefs but since I'm almost always on my phone when I check it and am HORRIBLE at typing on my phone, I thought I would respond here - with a full size keyboard.

Why do I refuse to embrace the idea of "giving Trump a chance"?

I am a mom.

I have been charged with raising two tiny humans who are acutely aware of what is going on around them. My job is to raise them to be kind, compassionate, forgiving, and tolerant. We now have a president that I would NEVER allow my children to watch speak (given their ages). I would not tolerate my children to use the kind of comments and behavior that he is admired for. If my children mocked someone with a disability the lesson would be learned and reparations made. If my son made sexist comments about a girl in the way Trump has mocked women, the punishment would be swift and an example would be made. Trump demonstrates the range of behavior that I will not tolerate in my children - and certainly on in my President.

I am a woman.

When the announcement of Trump's victory came in November I awoke for the first time with a snippet of the fear and uncertainty that is commonplace for minorities in our country. I was scared. We elected a man who has made his opinion on women clear many times. I was raped when I was a teenager. It was traumatic and shameful and it took me a long time to be able to look my family in the face and discuss it. Our society already shames women who are victims of sexual assault.
     "Are you sure you said no?"
             "Were you wearing something suggestive?"
                     "Were you drinking?"
Trump has be accused of sexual assault by more than 15 women. I know that allegations have not been proven by my point is this - we have elected a man who is coming into office with multiple women alleging abuse.

I was fortunate that I didn't have to deal with the added pain of a pregnancy as a result of rape. But if I had, I think that, given my age, I would have had an abortion. Becoming a mom has changed my views on abortion dramatically and now I know that I could never terminate a pregnancy. The point here is that is MY belief and MY choice. I would never want to impose that onto someone else. It is covered by the 14th amendment. Cutting funding to organizations such as Planned Parenthood means that women who have limited access to health care will no longer have access to birth control or other women's health services.

I am a Christian.

I am a Christian. I believe in the teaching of Jesus and the Bible. Jesus' teaching promoted agape love, patience, and kindness. He taught that we are to love one another and care for 'least of these'. He was humble, forgiving, compassionate, loving, and patient. How can I support a man that is the literal opposite of all of these things? It's simple for me - I can't. I cannot reconcile the hate that spews from his mouth with the love that we know to be Jesus.

I am so thankful that I know who wins in the end.

I am a teacher.

I teach in rural Eastern Washington. We are an agricultural region that relies on migrant workers in the fields and I am fortunate to teach the children of some of these families. I know that some of the families in our community are here illegally. I also know that if Trump were to deport those living here illegally that families in our community would be ripped apart. I want my students to have every opportunity to better their lives and that means getting an education and having the opportunity to attend college. These families are here - help them acquire legal status. Treat them like humans.

I won't even go into Betsy DeVos in this post... but I have A LOT to say about her as well.

I am a human.

I believe that all people should be free from oppression, poverty, and violence. I watch Trump openly express an "Us versus Them" mentality that automatically pits religion against religion and nationality against nationality. I watch him describe his mighty wall and proclaim how he plans to shut down borders to keep "them" out. What happens after that, to the "them" that are left here? How will they be treated or mistreated?

Donald Trump stands for all the things I stand against.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

There will come a day...

I have spent the last year and a half nursing an injured hip. There have been MONTHS of physical therapy, surgery, crutches, more physical therapy, tears and frustration, and now... suddenly I'm cleared by my surgeon to be a normal, active human again.

It's the day I've been waiting for for almost two years... and yet now that it's here, I'm a little bit scared.

When I finally reached a point where running was challenging but fun and re-energizing, it became something that I built my day around. I got up at 4:50 IN THE MORNING so I could go running. There are so many things about that statement that don't describe me that it still feels funny to write it down. I loved running. I felt good, I felt strong, and for the first time in a really long time - I didn't hate what I saw when I looked in the mirror. I was proud of myself.

Now I'm horrendously out of shape, 15 pounds heavier, unmotivated (because let's be honest, exercise right now HURTS and it SUCKS and I don't like it. At all.), and so intensely scared. What if I can't get back in shape? What if I start running and the pain comes back and this whole mess was a waste of time and effort and insane amounts of money?

I hate how I look and I hate how much that matters to me. If one of my friends or students were to say that they based how they felt about themselves based on what they weighed I would threaten to smack them because I know it's not a fair unit of measure. But somehow that truth doesn't work in my head. I look in the mirror and the only truth I see is what I SEE - not the kind of wife or mother I am, the kind of friend or teacher. It is a fundamental error in reasoning.

So now what?

I start training. I can't call it working out because then I just won't do it - I have no motivation to work out. I HATE working out. But I want that feeling back - I want to go out before sunrise this summer and run the hop fields and watch the sun come up as I'm making my last turns toward home. I want to be able to participate in the See Spot Run 5k in May as my first race post-surgery. But more than anything, I want to look in the mirror and be proud of the person looking back at me. I want that moment where all the pain and the tears become worth it... and to do that, I have to train.

It is going to suck and I'm going to hate it. I'm going to whine and I'm going to want to quit. I'm going to feel like I will NEVER get to cross that finish line... and so I need my people to have my back. Please don't let me quit on myself. Life's too damn short to spend it on the couch.

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