A White Suburban Housewife Takes Action

The world is infected and anxious and grieving and angry and burning. So much is wrong right now, it’s hard to know where to begin to try to help move any of the myriad needles that are so far askew.

I am a 39-year-old, white, stay-at-home mom who lives in a middle-upper class suburb of New York City. I am largely ignorant of systemic racism and I want to change that. I am tired of feeling shame around my ignorance and guilt around my inaction. I have chosen to look the other way, to scroll past too many headlines too many times. I want to do better, I want to be better, I want to be braver. 

I want to be part of the change, not just reap the benefits of a more just and peaceful country and world. I want to work for what so obviously and urgently must happen.

I am not going to do this perfectly. But I am going to do my best to educate myself and my children, to engage in difficult conversations when they arise, to add my voice to movements and my name to petitions, to donate money to organizations on the front lines of this fight against racial injustice.

I want to be an effective ally. Here is where I’m going to start. 

What I’m reading:

Organizations I’m Supporting:

Actions I’m Taking:

In My Podcast Queue:

  • Unlocking Us: Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to Be an Antiracist
  • Pod Save the People
  • Parenting Forward: Five Pandemic Parenting Lessons with Cindy Wang Brandt
  • Ten Percent Happier: Parenting in a Pandemic and An Uncomfortable (But Meaningful) Conversation About Race
  • 1619 (NY Times podcast)

In My Netflix Queue:

  • 13th
  • 13th: A Conversation With Oprah Winfrey and Ava DuVernay
  • Hello, Privilege. It’s Me, Chelsea.

700 Days of Alcohol Freedom (On Day 80 of Quarantine)

It has been 700 days since I was a person who drinks alcohol, by which I mean a person who was internally tortured on a daily basis by an ever-increasing reliance on and ever-increasing consumption of alcohol.

I almost chose to let this milestone pass by without calling attention to it. I almost kept it to myself. Almost took it for granted. Because there is so much terrible stuff happening in the world right now. Because I too often do take my sobriety for granted these days. Because I cried a lot this afternoon and I’ve gained a lot of weight during quarantine and I didn’t want to look as exhausted and fat and broken as I feel in my Day 700 selfie. Because I am overwhelmed by how much the world has changed since I started my alcohol-free life and I feel unequipped to capture all I am feeling in words.

I haven’t written much lately. I feel like I’ve lost my voice in the avalanche of overwhelm and chaos and grief and unknown. But I am writing now, and I am going to write every day for the next 100 days. Even if it’s just a few sentences in my journal. I hope this will help me find some steady footing during these strange, sad, scary, socially distanced days.

Because right now, on Day 700, I feel more tempted to drink than I have felt in the last 23 months. Writing has always been a comforting outlet for me, and I need that right now. So I am going to make writing time for myself.

Someday, we will look back and these months we are living through right now will be a blur. We still have a long road ahead, though. So, for now, it is my hope that by Day 800, I feel more calm, more content, more at peace, more positive. Because that is the energy that I want to be putting into this gutted, burning world right now. I need to find it so I can give it.