Jan. 31st, 2017

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I'm thinking a lot about my grandparents. I mean, I've been thinking a lot about them for the last 6 months, and the last 2 years, and the last 15 years and and and... So that's not all that different from normal. But these days I'm thinking a lot about how they lived through some really awful periods in history, and made it through, and kept their focus on their home and their community. They read the news (I mean, grandpa worked for the Times, he often read it before anyone but the writers themselves), and thought about the state of the world. But they also stayed grounded and centered in the things they could do right in front of them -- kindness and charity and hospitality and raising their family and taking care of the neighbors. It probably helped that they were people of deep faith, who could trust that God had a plan. I don't have that comfort. And I do see all the ways that it was at least in part their areas of privilege that allowed them to just go about their lives even when the world was chaotic.

I don't want to just keep my head down, but I also don't want to flit from action to action without anything grounding me in my particular life, eventually burning myself up or out. I think the balance, for me, is somewhere between that focus on immediate community and that call-to-action save-the-whole-world attitude that I absorbed from some combination of my parents and my high school friends and my free school colleagues.

Some of the ways I'm folding my attention back into my life are:

* reading -- trying to make it through 50 books this year, because I've certainly freed up enough time by leaving the school, and it's good to have something to focus on other than the news

* my garden (more on this next week when I start buying seeds)

* crafting (painting the hallway, making jewelry)

* music -- trying to get the singalong started back up, picking the banjo and bass up again.

What rich little details of your life are you focusing on, these days?


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