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August 23rd, 2015:

Day 84/90 – Doing My Own Thing

Day 84 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I did my own thing today – whatever the spirit moved me to do.

Sorry I don't have a photo from today's protest. Evo & I did the Topless Protest in 2013. I felt really pretty that day too. (Photo by Sheila Dee, used with permission.)

Sorry I don’t have a photo from today’s protest. Evo & I did the Topless Protest in 2013. I felt really pretty that day too. (Photo by Sheila Dee, used with permission.)

Often my weekends are used to catch up on errands, chores, and rest. Many times, I feel like I’m doing the things I “have to do” rather than the things I “get to do.” Today felt like a “get to do” type of day, even though the activities were mostly similar to other weeks.

One of the things that made today special was the Topless Protest. This is an annual international event to bring awareness to the fact that men and women are treated on equally under the decency laws. This is true in Arizona – men can be legally topless in public but women are required to cover their areolas at all times (unless they’re breastfeeding). At the Topless Protest, men and women are often shirtless but cover their areolas to show that the law should be the same for all people. As a person who believes in gender equality, I believe the law should be changed so that there is one rule for all people.

I felt really pretty at this event. I wore green shorts and a pair of dark silver star-shaped pasties. I also wore contacts, make up, and put glitter in my hair. Meeting other people at the protest was fun, but the actual march was so delayed that I had to invoke the Law of Two Feet and bail.

So off I went with the rest of my day – running errands, doing laundry, writing blog posts, and doing some prep cooking for the week. Nothing was extraordinary, but because I was doing whatever I felt like doing in the moment, I felt happy.

In case you missed it: Day 83 of the 90 Days of Awesome – I love documentaries.

Day 83/90 – I Love Documentaries

Day 83 of the 90 Days of Awesome is in the bank! What made today awesome? I watched two awesome documentaries!

Movie Night! by ginnerobot from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

Movie Night! by ginnerobot from Flickr (Creative Commons License)

I love movies that are based on real events and documentaries. In the last year, I have spent a lot of time checking out movies from the library, and more recently I’ve been checking out mainly documentaries. I’ve learned that when it comes to fictional books and movies, I rarely remember what I read and see because my brain knows they’re not real, so it is difficult to convince it to retain any of the information as useful. So I can read or watch a work of fiction and enjoyed it, but I will barely remember it.

I find real life and stories about real people much more engaging. This weekend was no different. I watched to documentaries in between doing chores around the house:

  • Dark Girls (2011): An investigation into people’s views about dark-skinned women in America – in Caucasian and non-Caucasian communities. I had no idea that being a lighter skinned was such a preferred characteristic, or that there was such a thing as the “paper bag test.” It was shocking to learn that this issue is not limited to the U.S.; skin lightening products are popular throughout the world, including third world countries.
  • Out in the Silence (2009): After Joe Wilson legally married his partner in Washington, D.C., he ran a marriage announcement in his hometown paper in Oil City, PA. This led to a documentary featuring the lives of several LGBT people in this small city and the views of heterosexual Christians who opposed homosexuality same-sex marriage.

Documentaries show real people, in their real lives, sharing their real feelings and experiences. It’s raw. They provide a glimpse into someone else’s world. I also like that documentaries tend to be shorter than feature films. I can often get through two-four documentaries in a lazy weekend, which is great because there are so many documentary films that I want to see.

In case you missed it: Day 82 of the 90 Days of Awesome – A moment of grace in the sea of sadness following the announcement of Atticus’ passing.

Day 82/90 – Moment of Grace

I can’t say that Day 82 of the 90 Days of Awesome was awesome. The Phoenix community woke to the devastating news that our friends’ child passed away from cancer earlier that morning.

Krys and Atticus

Krys and Atticus

We had all been following Atticus’ story since he was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at 13 months old last October. The family kept us in the loop about his progress and setbacks. It was heartbreaking to learn that his cancer started to grow even while he was on chemo. Throughout this entire process, it was a joy to see the photos of Atticus smiling and the videos of him roaming the halls of the hospital. He brought happiness everywhere he went. This family has so much of love for their children and their community – and we love them all back. It seemed so unfair that these wonderful people and this innocent delightful child had to endure so much.

Facebook was flooded with messages of love and sadness as we all learned about Atticus’ death. A lot of people said things like, “I’m going to go watch the sunrise and cry.” I knew I wasn’t suitable for human consumption, but I still had work to do; so I went to the office, closed my door, and told my receptionist that I wouldn’t be taking any phone calls that day. Instead, I focused on my client’s work that was fairly straight-forward – responding to emails and closing files on completed projects – while dabbing the tears that periodically trickled from my eyes.

There was a moment of the grace among the sadness – I appreciated how lucky we all work to be part of this loving community, so none of us, especially this family, didn’t have to suffer alone. Whether we live in Phoenix or are part of this family of friends that is scattered across the world, there were loving words and virtual and actual hugs for all. I am sad that Atticus is gone (but never forgotten), and that this family is in pain, but I am also grateful to be part of a community of so many wonderful people. Knowing the depth of our collective pain reminds me that we are also capable of this magnitude of collective joy.

In case you missed it: Day 81 of the 90 Days of Awesome – Sometimes the highlight of the day is not being hurt when you step on your dog’s rawhide bone.