FRIDAY OPEN THREAD: What Are the Little Things That Keep You Going?

Hello homies, homos, and everyone in between!

I’m not sure about you but its it’s been a rough time for this lesbian and it’s hard to make it through (does the Degrassi theme song play whenever you hear that phrase? I didn’t know there was a rap in the extended version??). With work stress, anniversaries I’d rather not celebrate, and the somehow constant reminder that we are indeed surviving in a cisheteronormative white supremacist capitalistic hellscape got ya boi looking long in the face. So what can we do?

I am crawling out of my depression pit to remind you of this banger of a poem, Praise House: The New Economy by Gabrielle Calvocoressi:

The rosemary bush blooming

its unabashed blue. Also dumplings

filled with steam and soup

so my mouth fills and I bubble

over with laughter. Little things.

People kissing on bicycles.

Being able to walk up the stairs

and run back down.

Joanna’s garden after the long flight

to Tel Aviv. Not being detained

like everyone thought I would.

The man with dreadlocks

and a perfect green shirt walking home

from work. One cold beer

before I drink it and get sick.

How peaches mold into compost in a single day:

orange to gray to darkness into dirt.

Her ankle’s taste. The skin

right under the knob, delicate

as a tomatillo’s shroud. All the animals

that talk to me. That I finally let them

talk to me. The blessing of waking

early enough to watch the fox

bathe itself. The suction of a man’s hands

meeting another’s on the street.

Every single person looking up

to see them. Bros, yes. But lovely

in the golden light with brims swung

to the back. I want shoulders like

they have. Want my waist to taper

to an ass built like the David’s. I admit it:

this body’s not enough for me.

Still I love it. Al B Sure blasting

out a Nissan Sentra’s windows.

Bowties. Ridiculous blues.

My mother’s seizures- specifically

that I don’t have them.

That I can answer Ross’ call

or not because we live Harmonious

and are always talking somehow.

Tapestries with their gluttony of deer.

Fig perfume and also cypress.

Boxer briefs and packing socks

in jockey shorts. Strap ons.

Soft and hard. Welcome in her hand

and in mine as I greet the real me.

The little shop in Provincetown.

And the speckled dog that licks itself

in that fresco of the crucifixion.

Mary Oliver. I love her. I really do.

The baseball she gave me

that says, “Go Sox!” Though, I love

the Orioles. Old Bay on all my shrimp.

And justice. And cities burning

if people need to burn them to get free.

My grandmother gardening

in the late light. Sun Ra. The first time.

Paris, even though I’ve never been

there. Natal plums. Tattoos everlasting:

Clouds. Orion’s belt. Pushing inside her

with both hands holding myself

up. My weight. Her grabbing and saying,

“God.” “Fuck.” The neighbors.

Casablanca. Not knowing anything.

Angels. Mashed potatoes. Good red wine.

I’m keeping this as my always reminder these few days.

Today my prayer house: vodka lemonade while watching my family dance as my cousin sprawls across me, singing through panic attacks, boxer briefs, wearing a dress and remembering how much I still love them, my parents teaching me what they learned in their yoga class smiles easy and full, finally joining the trans channel after pacing back and forth, Queer Eye out of context screenshots, my online communities sending me love and encouragement and listening ears, my therapist’s laugh, doing my work even though usually by this time time of year its it’s nearly impossible due to my depression, watching the most inappropriate shows while laughing with my sister at utter foolishness, a guinea pig nearly falling asleep in my hands while I looked around the store, the belief at this moment my grandma is glad I didn’t try to see her again too soon.

What lives in your praise house?

Of course, you don’t have to talk about that! Let me know what’s been going on, how’s how’s your week, are you loving that Wynonna Earp is finally back? Dish, please!

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A. Tony Jerome

A.Tony is a black nonbinary artist out here to do good and to do gay. They are a 2015 Pink Door Fellow, 2016 Lambda Literary Emerging Writer Fellow, 2020-21 Afro Urban Arts Lit From the Black! Fellow, and have worked with Roots.Wounds.Words., Words Beats & Life, and Winter Tangerine among other places. You can find more of their work on their website and listen to them scream about poetry & other interests on Twitter.

A. has written 47 articles for us.


  1. It has been a VERY hard week for me, harder than the people around me have realized. What’s keeping me going: my giant cat who loves cuddling and licking my face, clementines, immensely supportive friends both queer and not, and the space to be able to cry in the shower. Small blessings: a very short line at the DMV, being pleasantly surprised by a potential new colleague, and ordering a dress in the right size on the first try.

    • I’m glad you’ve got these things and these small blessings!! I hope the coming weeks are much kinder to you <3

      • Also hoping the same, and that all the small perfections multiply and bloom for you.

    • wait. waIT DOCTOR WHO IS GAY??? I had heard really great things about their being a female doctor but ????? I didn’t know about this????? and now it makes more sense why Doctor Who is on my Tumblr dash a lot more lately AHHHHH THIS IS GREAT

      (i hope your financial situation gets better soon)

      • Well, she regenerated from a man to a woman, so that canonically means she has to be at least bi now right??

        Thank you ♥ hoping to take steps to start a resolution to the money thing today.

  2. Honestly, comment awards and upvotes keep me going. Sometimes I feel that people don’t get my humor or just my general thought process, so when I see that…

  3. I’m sure your grandma is glad you didn’t try and see her again too soon.<3
    Thank you for the gratitude reminder!

    I had a cool experience last night. A old woman with long white hair held a flower out to my girlfriend and I as we sat on a park bench. Her had was shaking as she reached out and quickly turned and walked away (I assume she has social anxiety and who knows, she could be gay). I think she must see GF taking pictures in the community garden.

    Also in the praise house is my dogs sleeping faces, girlfriend's sleeping face, understanding co-workers, Nanette (really liked that special), the lesbian internet (I can't imagine it didn't always exist), the park by our apartment, that I did yoga this morning, and much more when I take time to notice!

  4. I just moved and I’m on antibiotics for an infected toe that make my stomach churn and my house is chaos and work is overwhelming and grad school is up in the air and my arthritis is flaring but I have lots of little things that keep me going:
    the lazy, sleepy way of girlfriend my girlfriend turns over in her sleep to wrap her arm around my waist, iced coffee with almond milk and cinnamon, little kids with sticky hands and hair wet from sprinklers, babies wearing sunhats, the way my family dog lays sprawled out on the kitchen floor because it’s the coolest place in the house, my cat’s gentle headbutt when I first wake up in the morning, a perfectly toasted piece of toast (and finding gluten free bread that actually tastes good), hot towels directly from the dryer, snail mail, partially melted icecream eaten next to a fan, stoned underwear dance parties to King Princess with my girlfriend while we laugh our asses off, reconnecting with old friends, planning trips, feeling my body respond to the meds and actually be able to hike in the forest, walking barefoot in the grass

    • yes yes yes!!! these sound so soft, i love them and im so glad you have them!!

      i hope you feel better soon, i hope things get better soon

  5. I am not sure what you mean by Praise house? So, I will just thank & give a shout out to all the people who I speak to frequently. A vodka lemonade(I’ll take it with herbal vodka base plz) does sound nice right now, especially with the weather outside.

    How is everyone’s week going? I am really getting frustrated at tinder as all I keep seeing these days are mostly m/f couples(not polyam but one profile two people) looking for a bi girl to join them, even the f/f couples I saw were all femme4femme(with one saying no non-femmes). I mistakenly swiped yes on an attractive chef forgetting to read her profile only to see she and her husband want a third. Both are religious Jews and was even fine with me being a non-religious Jew. The profile was really something, & asking questions about it just lead to borderline transmisogynistic shit show. Tinder should just have a section for couples looking for a third or another couple so we don’t make this mistake. It’s getting old seeing a cool woman only to see after image 2 it’s all her & a cis dude partner looking for their unicorn. Ugh. That said I am meeting up an out of towner from Tinder tonight for a little dancing, I think.

    I had plans to go hiking and swimming at the beach Sunday. but my computer stopped charging on me last Friday; so, I spent Saturday night getting a new computer(another Surface). Then Sunday afternoon at the MS store getting accidental coverage for it. Side note MS store recycles used, broken, and unwanted electronics, like phones, computers, gaming devices, and the like & gives store credit for it. I was also able to spend an hour in the morning at the beach I was at the previous week. Again I saw my first car, still a bit weird. Was kind of hoping to see the butch(friends ex) I sold the car too. Maybe this Sunday I will be able to take a hike & swim.

    Water was real nice, but filled with kelp and seaweed.

    Thank you for viewing and reading my post. Have a positive weekend!

    • herbal vodka base is something i need to add into my life i’m sure

      they really should just have a separate tinder for couples looking, your right!

      ahh i didn’t know that about MS! i really want a surface and thats making me want one more

      thats a beautiful picture and i hope you have a great weekend!

      • Yeah they really should. Just sent that as a suggestion to Tinder to do that.

        Yeah it’s back to school season & many retailers are having nice sales going on or because a new product may come out for the holiday season in September time frame. I like summer and feel like back to school is starting earlier every year, but then I’m reminded kids start school in August, but what tripped me up was my friend is already seeing Halloween decorations & I am seeing thanksgiving related food.

    • Why isn’t there a separate app altogether for threesomes? It would be a lot more efficient; unicorns would be drawn to it and couples could stop messaging people seeking one-on-one dates.

      • I think there is, but tinder still has a lot of people using & the app is fairly reliable(as in not crashing or having weird interface quirks). Why I suggested to them a separate section, & I think others should too.

  6. Summer is always a hard time for me, I have summer SAD and being in hot weather too much can trigger some trauma responses in my body. This last month has been harder than I expected though, I took a job canvassing door to door for an issue/org I really believe in, but its still being in the heat and having to talk to strangers, two things I hate. I also was supposed to be having top surgery right about now, but my health insurance is catholic affiliated??? even though its public insurance and it has to go through an extra approval process that is really slow, so now it wont happen till probably January. and this week was the 1yr anniversary of saying goodbye to and losing my beloved 18yr kitty soulmate. With all that I’ve really been focusing on the little things, the happy things to get me through this time, things like:
    When I’m canvassing I’ve been finding blackberry bushes almost every night and save a good little bunch of them in my waterbottle, I find cute cats and dogs along my route, I QUIT yesterday and only have one week left!, I can soon get back to my research for grad school, I can also soon make a trip to visit a lot of lovely friends I miss, I’ve been baking for friends a lot lately which makes me happy, friends have been reaching out and being present for me a lot more than I ever could have imagined, I feel so loved by my friends, I found my favorite limited time flavor of ice cream at the store last night (waffle cone swirl Tillamook)!!!

    • im sorry this time of year is so rough for you and poop on your insurance making you wait i hope things turn around and that youre able to get your surgery sooner rather than later

      YES ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT i felt that one in my heart im so happy for you!! im so glad you feel loved <3

    • Sorry to hear about your insurance, hopefully it gets sorted out quickly. I did the door to door(well business to business) summer job about 7 years ago(before I came out), I know how that is. At least you have a week left and hopefully get to meet more cute pets!

    • I feel you on the heat; it is truly appalling where I live! I’ve been making myself tasty chilled spa water for a while now, and it really helps to know when I come home there’ll be something super refreshing.

      Shout out to friends and travel woo!

      • I am a big fan of cucumber mint water – referring to it as spa water makes it feel extra special and restorative, too. :)

        Stay cool, all!

    • thanks y’all! insurance/healthcare is obnoxious! It’s been sorta ?nice? to have such a concrete thing to be upset at, if that makes sense. like it’s out of my control, it’s bullshit, and I can be angry about it without any self guilt or anything.
      Cold water and popsicles are beautiful things and truthfully have such great healing powers!

  7. I am grateful for a friend who trusted me with part of her story that is very important to her. For a chance to watch clouds and giggle with my daughter. For bike rides in gorgeous weather with my husband that were pretty much nonstop flirting. For the link to that has made me smile ever since. For the chance to paint my toenails (a different color for each – all greens and blues this time – haven’t decided what to do with my fingernails yet). For good reading (Ann Leckie & NK Jemisin this time). For being able to take time to write some fiction while I figure out other things in the background of my brain.

    And, of course, for Snaelle, Chandra and Deli TwoTone, because it’s nice not to be the only punning weirdo here. Hope everyone has a good weekend.

    • lovely lovely lovely thank you for sharing!! i hope you have a great weekend!

    • Delighted to be a part of the punning weirdo club, along with Kristana and other punters!

      And watching clouds and giggling in good company is the best ?

  8. I read The Miseducation of Cameron Post and it made my cry and then I read the autostraddle Q&A with the author and that made me cry. But I was kind of good crying and now I am looking forward to the film which I was pleased to find out will be shown at my local arts cinema.

    Also I went to a resin jewellery making course which was great and I saw a friend and her almost three year old was being extra cuddly and affectionate. Oh and there was a young queer woman on the jewellery making and I love encountering LGBT people in spaces that aren’t LGBT.

    And this weekend I am seeing my family.

    • I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST i finally let myself watch the trailer and its already ten times better than i couldve even hoped for i hope you have a great time seeing your family!

  9. Alexis!!! That poem is gorgeous!!! And “Queer Eye out of context screenshots” is the biggest of moods. In a similar vein, the Incorrect Queer Eye Tumblr ( recasts dialogue from other TV shows, and it’s pretty hilarious. This is probably my favorite, originally from “Parks & Rec”:

    Antoni: Can I just say – and this is really important so I need everyone to shut up – I love your hair.
    Tan: Thank you. It’s genetic and unattainable.


      confession: ive only watched three episodes from the first season because i keep crying every ten minutes and i dont think im drinking enough water to bingewatch (like 99% of the reason i even get the references is bc of tumblrs like these)

      im so glad you like that poem it feels like such a small thing that walks in quietly, quaking you know?

      • I cry about every 10 minutes while watching too, with the exception of the episode with Skyler the trans guy, when I cried through the whole thing. Queer Eye! An emotional roller coaster!

  10. I could use something in my praise house right now.

    So, my wife is a veterinarian. She works for Banfield Pet Hospital, which is a corporate chain of vet clinics, usually operating in the back of PetsMarts. They have a notorious reputation for overworking and burning out their vets.

    Three years ago she took a job at Banfield right out of veterinary school- we knew that they had a reputation, but the money and benefits were good, the Chief of Staff (her boss) at the time was a really nice person and a good mentor, and it was in her home state, and therefore able to fulfill her scholarship contract obligations (which had allowed her to get an in-state tuition rate even though she was technically going to vet school out of state, but which required her to work in her home state for four years after finishing vet school).

    Fast forward to a few months ago. In the intervening time, the good Chief of Staff was transferred to another hospital, as was the following two Chiefs of Staff. In the process, the number of cases she was expected to take- and the hours she was working- steadily crept upward. Pressure was on to boost productivity and average payment per client, and she usually was seeing at least 25 pets a day, or more, and regularly not getting home until 8:30PM or later (despite the fact her workday nominally ended at 7PM).

    This, combined with PTSD from some traumatic incidents that occurred during her last year of veterinary school (on a related note, fuck the College of Veterinary Medicine at Washington State University), and an increasingly toxic and back-stabbing-filled work environment, steadily took a toll on her mental health. She considered quitting multiple times, but between Banfield’s poor reputation and non-compete clause, and the fact that, as a PhD student, I only make marginally above poverty wages, meant she’s been scared to do so for fear that we’ll end up destitute.

    A month ago, after having to euthanize an 8 week old puppy with parvovirus, she broke. She came home that night, late as usual, and said she couldn’t take another day working there, and that she wanted me to leave the apartment so she could kill herself.

    I am thankful for two things: the fact that she didn’t know the dosing requirements for euthanasia solution for humans (she told me that’s what stopped her from injecting it into herself earlier that day), and the fact that I tackled her before she made it to the knife drawer. Had either of those not been the case, it’s possible she’d be dead right now.

    I was eventually able to calm her down enough that I could call a crisis hotline, and, at their recommendation and with her consent, she was admitted into a psychiatric crisis center. She spent the next five days there. That, and the intensive outpatient therapy she had in the weeks after her hospitalization (and still on-going) helped tremendously- particularly in terms of learning to set boundaries and not letting her practice manager or the desk clerk load her with more cases than she felt comfortable taking.

    Now, her practice manager knew why she was hospitalized, as did the next higher-up in her chain of supervision. Despite that, after a brief reprieve, her hours and caseload began to creep up again, her attempts at setting boundaries being frequently eroded. I even messaged her practice manager over social media that this was beginning to have a detrimental effect on her mental health, and I was worried that she’d end up in the hospital again. She thanked me for bringing it to her attention, said she’d look into it…and then preceded to block me so I couldn’t message her again in the future.

    Last night, she didn’t get home until 9:30PM, the second time in a week. She barely said a word and didn’t even bother to eat dinner, instead going straight to bed.

    As she turned off the light in the bedroom, she told me that she resented the fact I hadn’t let her die when she had the chance. As of her lunch break this afternoon, she hasn’t improved much. I’m planning on keeping her company after hours to make sure she doesn’t try to kill herself at the clinic. Additionally, due to the way her insurance works, it looks like we can’t afford for her to be hospitalized again if she *does* take a turn for the worse.

    In conclusion, fuck Banfield.

    • Jesus, I’m so sorry. What would you like in your praise house? Please if there’s anything any of us can do, please let us know.

      • Thanks, I appreciate. I think right now what would help the most is just plain simple reassurance. Also, you can’t go wrong with music, really.

    • That’s awful and I don’t know what else to say, but I hope you get through it.

      There have to be better ways to get out of this situation than dying.

    • Holy cow, honey. I don’t feel qualified to offer any advice since I have no special insight that ten seconds of googling “free suicide prevention hotline” and your own common sense won’t already give you. But you sound heartbroken and stressed and scared and angry – no wonder – so I wanted to at least let you know you were heard.

      My heart goes out to you both. I hope your girlfriend will allow herself to hear all the loving and supportive things you are saying to her. If Banfield is chewing her up and spitting her out, that says lots about them but nothing at all bad about her. It says nothing but good about her that not having time to care for animals as compassionately and thoroughly as she wants to is hard on her.

    • I’m sorry… It must be so hard to watch.
      Can she quit? Nothing that might happen if she quits is worth her life. It will give her time to search for another job.
      It sucks so much that health insurance is attached to jobs in the U.S. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

    • Wow, I just hope everything works out for the positive. There is no state, local, or something that one can give a complain that she’s being overworked? Maybe they are violating her contract in a way that could let her get out of it?

    • This is absolutely horrifying. Is there any way she can get out of this job? Is there anything concrete we can do?

      If it helps at all, the job sounds like absolute abusive bullshit. Fuck them and all their nonsense.

      What does a non-compete clause mean? Does that mean she can’t change jobs to a different vet office? Honestly, with everything you’re describing, it seems like at this point it wouldn’t be a bad idea to quit if she can get a different job with medical benefits, like office work or something. Even if she loves her career, it seems like some time spent out of disaster mode will more helpful than anything else. (Sorry if I’m making dumb suggestions, just trying to think of alternatives….) I hope you two are able to get through it.

      Also, lastly: could Medicaid cover her requirements? I avoided going on it for years, but it was actually amazing to get essentially free care.

    • This is horrific and I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

      Practically, I’m sure there’s a number of us here who would be happy to do our best with crowdfunding for medical bills of wanted/needed. You do have people who care here, and we do want to help. Also if you need support at any time, feel free to DM me.

      I really really hope you can both find a good way forward. Much strength and love to you.

    • I so, so sorry. My heart goes out to both of you. I hope there are other people in your lives who you can both draw on for support.

      I also just want to say, I am hearing so much love, care, and kindness for her in what you wrote. Even though she may not be able to see or appreciate it right now, that doesn’t make the love you’ve shown any less of a gift to her.

      You mentioned you find music helpful? Here’s a song I really like:

    • Hey, Tessa! This sounds hellacious. My spouse is also a veterinarian, and when I mentioned this story to them, they really, really wanted to chime in and say that this situation is very, very real!

      Now, a note from the spouse, meant to be helpful and fact-filled! Take what you need, leave what you don’t, but, fair-warning, the spouse “supports” by problem-solving:
      1) Veterinarians are 2-4 times more likely to try to commit suicide than the average population, and despite this known fact, there are no mental health resources targeted specifically to/at them and few changes in the industry to address and support the mental health strain created by such a challenging job and, frequently, abusive workplaces.
      2) My spouse would recommend finding a good lawyer and a new job because this kind of abusive situation, complete with implied threats and bullying to maintain “the contract” is frequent in first-job-outta-vet-school situations. Non-competes are generally only enforceable within a reasonable geographic area and will only apply to the type of animals your wife is treating, so a regulatory job or a clinical job that’s not in small animal medicine wouldn’t be competing with Banfield. Thus, even if Banfield did sue, they’d lose. Also, a judge is only going to enforce a non-compete clause, regardless of animal type treated, that’s reasonable, so think of the non-compete clause as something along the lines of within your city and/or anywhere within an hour’s drive, (ie, not all of Arizona).
      3) Clinical medicine is emotionally hard. The combination of dealing with low-income clients, high production pressures, and a non-supportive work environment makes it very untenable. When a person has worked so long to achieve this professional dream, it can be extremely difficult to realize how untenable and unreasonable a situation is, especially if you don’t have any comparison, have financial stress, are emotionally drained and vulnerable, and/or have the angry buzz of a scarcity narrative going in the back of your head. In other words, this experience is real, and you’re not alone or doing anything wrong! It’s a shameful, dirty secret in the industry that no one’s talking about.
      4) If your wife’s willing to do public health or mixed animal work, my spouse recommends looking at the Arizona food animal shortage areas that qualify for the Veterinary Medical Loan Repayment Program:
      (Also, I [Letitia] am a grant-writer who’s written successful applications for this program, and I’d be willing to help you out if the two of you decide it’s something you’d like to pursue.)
      The application period for 2018 is closed, but most of the time the same postings will be resubmitted for the following year, so you’d have some time to research and prepare.
      5) Lastly, if you need more options for counseling, there’s sliding-scale, no insurace required, distance therapy available through Pride Counseling (LGBTQ+ community focused):

      From both of us to both of you, we’re here if you need us.

    • definitely valid sometimes my praise house escapes me and copious amounts of vodka become the answer

      hope your weekend is good to you

  11. Came out to my mom and she was like cool.
    Yesterday was my birthday. Today I did some awesome shit in NY.
    I missed the north and my jersey homestate. I really dislike living in Charlotte (well next to Charlotte, but close enough). But I graduated and I am excited for my prospects. <3
    Life got so much fucking better, but I am still working on HOW to live my life the way I want it.

    • I’m glad life got so much better and congrats on coming out and haPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!! I hope you get closer to the how for your life every day

    • You’ll be working on the ‘HOW’ for the rest of your adventure here on the earth, enjoy the ride! Nobody knows what’s going on, the older you get, the more true it becomes. Be well.

  12. Here is a good poem for other people who like poems, “Sleeping With Women” (it’s by a man, but it’s a better read as a woman):

    I am grateful that things are coming together with a number of projects, maybe with a job, for my partner, my garden and for my cat friends; need to try to stay positive even though this week has been hard, lots of good things are around the corner. And going to see L7 next week with an old friend!

    • good luck with your projects (i hope you get the job!!) and i hope you have fun with your friend!!

  13. I’m PUMPED for the return of Wynonna Earp! I couldn’t watch the early release so today is THE DAY!

    Also Taylor Swift released some adorable Meredith and Olivia merch on her online store, so buying is necessary.

  14. Cheerios, skittles, butter on sale and puppy dog tails; that’s what my small praise house is made off.

      • You ever notice when dogs are taken on a walk can have like this proud wag to their tails? It’s a small thing but it’s like sunshine to a flower.
        Kitty tails when lining up for a jump is dorkily precious too.

  15. Most of my days and weeks tend to be the same, nothing interesting happens but recently I entered a book giveaway and Wednesday got an e-mail saying I won so that’s pretty cool.

  16. Perfectly ripe, juicy peaches from my peach tree for eating and sharing with friends.

  17. My Moms, my daughter, music, beer, [serisly, good beer keeps hope alive] and pizza. And you wonderful folk at A-strad.

  18. I’m struggling a bit, being a million years pregnant and anxious about how hard the next few months will be. My spouse and kid are both going though very rude phases and my dog is dying, and I’m struggling to stay even keeled. But there’s a chance I’ll have a really wonderful birth at home, maybe things will be better this time. Such a reflective, liminal time. I’ve been careful to stay connected and this is one of the amazing things about going through this difficult experience. It can galvanize your community, bring people together, push you to be better.

    I’m appreciating these friendships, which feel so supportive and wonderful right now. Snuggles with my v rude child during calm times. The care I’ve received as a homebirth midwife patient, which I think the American medical system at large could learn a lot from. Meeting out out of pocket max for the year. Listening to Queery. The countdown to getting back on my bike. A big one that I don’t want to lose sight of, is that I have kids, I’m going to have two. It’s so easy to get consumed by misery when there’s so much discomfort and I’m facing down a body process that comes with the possibility of being extremely traumatic. Also I feel like I was at a crossroads last year and I gave up a lot of dreams for the second child. But I also desperately wanted this child, and they will be here for me to hold and care for and raise within a day? Week? A few weeks?

    • What a time filled to the brim for you ~~

      I hope this tipping point will tip you gently into the next chapter, and that it will be filled with care and beauty. That everything that may feel hard and uncomfortable now will become freer and easier.
      All the best to you.

      • Thank you so much. And you too. I read what you wrote below and I’m hoping all is well. 18 years is so many years/memories/seasons.

    • Juno! I had been thinking of you and wondering if the baby was here yet. Stay strong bc you are already. I have struggled with the giving things up too – I think as queers we go without so much that others take for granted that it’s hard to give up more.

      But the things you have, those things are beautiful. I hope you have an amazing birth experience.

      • Thank you! Yes, with the homebirth I could go REALLY late since they don’t have a specific time they medically induce. But I’m full term now. All is well so far. Hope all is well with your family and kidlets!

    • Wow that is a lot indeed, I’m with Snaelle, I really hope the next chapter is filled with care and beauty, I hope everything gets lighter and softer soon

  19. Things (some little, some not) that keep me going: The small patch of wildflowers I passed yesterday. Friends who remind me to stay hydrated and respect me as I am. My body, because it might be in pain all the time, but it sure does keep breathing and digesting and keeping me alive and stuff. Therapy. Pictures of my family’s puppies. Pictures of any puppies. Music. Buffering the Vampire Slayer. My bed and my blankets. Painting.

    • I’m allergic to so much sometimes I feel like I have a disability (because I have to take all these precautions and certain places have to be cleaned up before I go because my allergies are so bad), but my sister said today “at least your not allergic to the sun” and I was like damn that’s real talk right there. Real real talk. Cause she is so right. I’m grateful for that

  20. Thank you Alexis ~ for sharing and bringing out beauty for us all yet again.

    That poem! Such a softsneakpulsing throbgrab of a poem! I love it.

    This month has been…the most tumultuous rollercoaster of my life so far. A breakup of an 18 year relationship/ marriage and a re~visioning of who I am. I was standing on a rocky shore trying to balance and realized what I needed was to swim free, not keep myself carefully carefully barely moving not to break anything.

    So…now I’ve broken free. And the freedom is beautiful, but the breaking is true too.

    And what is in my praise house is knowing I am brave enough, even when… seeing potential in a drop of rain or sun~dry pebble. The thought of space. Sitting by a lake. The taste of honey. A million shared absurdities with friends, and dogs whose eyes spell hope and cats whose toes hold magic beans. Songs. Music as it courses through my veins. Writing as words slip through and past…and I laugh to see how they’re there, they’re there, I’m there and somehow here as well. And look somehow they’ve formed a bridge between us.

    Wishing you wonder in the weeks to come Alexis ~ ~ wonder that takes you past the hearthardthings and out into and through your beautiful self.

    • Well done on ending the relationship, it must have been very hard but now you can move forward and work out what you want your life to look like.

      I had a long term relationship that ended a few years ago. I have been much happier being single.

    • Snaelle. You are so brave. Wishing you all the strength to get through the breaking part.

      • Thank you @iarrannme … I listened to this song sitting at the airport feeling the desolation of my imperfections, and it helped to hear ~~~ “forget your perfect offering ~ there is a crack in everything ~ that’s how the light gets in”

        It did help, it really did – and I can remember that tears show I have oceans inside.

        • @Snaelle – Those were exactly the lines I had in mind – glad they helped. Sia’s “Unstoppable,” “Never Give Up” and “Alive” are also on my need-some-encouragement playlist, but I think Anthem is best if part of your downness is needing to forgive your own moments of imperfection. What I needed to hear in the midst of my first long relationship’s end was: it is ok to be kind to yourself in this moment and not have it all figured out yet. Episodes of failure do not define you as a failure. Keep breathing. :)

    • I love your words!! softsneakingpulse and throbgrab make me wanna go write some more!

      I’m so glad you’ve broken free, you deserve it. Thank you for your wishes, wishing you good and light too <3

  21. Music. Drinking coffee. Walking home after a night out. My friends being in love. Those moments when I’m talking about policy issues with my colleagues and it feels like maybe together we can help make this fucked up system a little bit better. Positive queer representation. Drinking good beer with my best friend at one of our favourite pubs. Green tea. Soft blankets. Her smiling.

    This was a really good thing for me to do, thanks :)

  22. When I was in the depths of depression, I started keeping a jar where I’d put little scraps of paper, each with a thing that happened that reminded me there was good stuff out there. That was I could literally see the good piling up. Going through it later, I was surprised at the mix of things I noted. Mainly interactions with friends and neighbors, but other things as well. A few examples:
    – champagne, nachos, & a view of the river
    – teens helping woman pick up greeting cards that had blown into the street
    – variations on “Airplane” with Lucy [small child in my life]
    – the angel woman who gave me her Mrs. Green’s tote bag when I dropped (& broke) the bottle of wine from the farmer’s market because I was being petulant [with my then-girlfriend-now-wife]
    – free tea @ Karen’s reading
    – Flor, the check-out woman @ Whole Foods, who stopped to smell a sprig of cilantro that fell off the bunch

  23. This week has been rough, this whole month has been hard. My job is burning me out at an accelerating rate and I’m discovering new and interesting ways that compassion fatigue is Very Real and it makes me feel like a bad person, and last week I got rejected for the first job I’ve truly *wanted* in years. So this is really good timing is what I’m saying, thank you!

    In my praise house right now: My cat running to greet me when I get home, free Shakespeare in the Common, my best friend (who is also my roommate!) noticing how tense I am and just being there for me even when she’s going through her own shit, being able to walk home on nice days and admire the architecture in old school Boston, my favorite podcasts keeping me sane and also motivating me to clean my living space (shout out to the McElroy Family of Products and Buffering the Vampire Slayer in particular!), looking forward to playing DnD with friends tonight.

    And a story: the other day one of our summer interns, who is French, asked me where I was from because I don’t have a local accent. She told me she’d thought maybe south Jersey, my dad is from there but it’s so specific and no one has ever guessed that before. Turns out she was an exchange student near his hometown, I was just tickled by her perceptiveness and the possibility that I’ve picked up speech patterns that most people (myself included) don’t notice. Also one of my clients gave me some of those weirdly awesome gooey-centered strawberry grandma candies that I haven’t had in years and it genuinely cheered me up!

    • Compassion fatigue is so real! Give yourself permission to need some recharging, it’s ok. You’re normal. And if a little voice in your head tries to make you feel guilty for it, tell it you will do far more good if you can keep going for the long haul than if you deny yourself what you need and consequently flame out early.

      Then tell yourself someone who can put “Dr.” on her name said that chocolate is good for compassion fatigue.

      • Thank you! This is one of those things that I know is true for other people but have a hard time accepting for myself. It helps to hear it from someone else. I’m gonna get myself some chocolate :)

    • Hey, I’m so sorry about the rejection, that’s tough

      I’m glad the poem/thread was able to help a bit! and the grandma candies are the best!!

      I hope things turn around for you soon !

  24. Life has been pretty much trash for me lately. I have a lot to be thankful for, but it’s hard to even see that when I feel so lost in a fog.

    That said, I’m forever grateful for my amazing friends, the comfort of losing myself in a good book, my really great makeup collection, and the fact that I finally have the day off work so I can sit around in a nightgown and crochet while watching Greta Garbo movies.

    Boo hoo tragic femme lyfe. It’ll get better though <3 i'm scrappy.

    • I’m glad you know it’ll get better but please don’t discount how you feel now! You’re allowed to boo hoo, boo hoo-ing is important and good and you’re allowed to do that! I hope life gets much better soon but I’m glad you have these good things too

  25. Um I notice lotta y’all having a shit time of it so I’m sharing this song it helps me chill when I want to smash and scream

    A Warm Place- Trent Reznor (trust me it is chill not like his usual work at all)

    Think spiritual or emotional warmth, not temperature.

  26. Sorry I’m late to the party. I had surgery on Thursday (a tonsillectomy), and the recovery can be pretty brutal. Thankfully, mine doesn’t seem to be as bad as I’ve heard others have had. After 3 days of basically clear liquids (broth & apple juice), I had scrambled eggs for dinner tonight. Putting protein in my body was a magical feeling. My fever broke, and I ate a real food item. B’H”. I’m still out of work for 2 weeks, so please send movie/tv recommendations.

    • Was gunna rec Leverage (4 seasons of modern day robin hoods) but I don’t think it’s on Netflix anymore. One Day At A Time is tho and Rita Moreno is a main cast member.

      Lilo and Stitch is my personal movie of choice when I’m unwell but your mileage my vary from mine. Desert Hearts is a lesbian movie with happy ending and a historical first in some other way I can’t remember at the moment.
      The Birdcage is fun, it also has a happy ending and stars Nathan Lane.

    • I second One Day at a Time! Also The Good Place if you haven’t watched yet.

      (This might just be me, but the Lord of the Rings movies are my comfort movies, especially the two towers between a great battle scene and a hopeful ending. YMMV but this might be a good time for comfort shows/films too!)

    • Feel better soon!

      My movie/TV recommendations are, off the top of my head,: Steven Universe, Adventure Time, Queer Eye, Bob’s Burgers, Claws, Malcolm in the Middle

      I’m glad you got to eat and your fever broke!!

  27. Well, the thing I learned this week was the Degrassi theme has an extended version. ?

    I’ve found that the best way to not dwell on the shit is through keeping my mind occupied but there are times where if I don’t do things in a certain order, I just don’t do them altogether due in part to a tendency to procrastinate.

    When I make it work, my time as of late is spent: job hunting, self teaching, resistance exercise, skating, playing instruments, reading. Rinse and repeat.

    • ahh you skate?? that’s so cool! in my mind, my first grade self is proud of me being a great skater, but like present me understands that gravity is also lowkey terrifying when combined with speed

      Good luck with job hunting and cool! what instruments do you play?

      • I mean on a skateboard but when there’s enough ice, I skate on that too without the fancy elaborate jumps because I’m not cool and/or masochistic like that. XD

        I play guitar, bass, drums and other percussion, piano but will not call myself a pianist because I’m not as involved with it as others……

        Thanks for wishing me luck with the job hunt (almost rhyme!!). Here’s hoping we can all pull through our problems but I am NOT going to think of the Degrassi song. XD

  28. That poem is gorgeous, and such a perfect inspiration for a thread! As with many others I very much need this right now, as I’ve been feeling super despairing about ever being able to achieve my dreams because the low wage capitalist economy is real and I feel so trapped by my inability to save money for anything really (and I don’t even have student loans???How do you wonderful angels do it???). And my gf and I have both been having health issues the last few months, which is exhausting.

    BUT my praise house holds the giant sunflower that is currently blooming in my side yard, the multitude of silly shapes my cats take, soft kisses from my gf, picking blueberries on a not so hot day, running through the mister at my plant nursery job, and giggling while sharing a whole bananas foster cake with queer friends.

    • hello same!! i don’t even have student loans and i am forreal struggling and ready to abolish this shitty system just so no one has loans or struggles like this

      i hope you and your gf can get relief for your health issues soon and your praise house feels like its full of just the right amount of sunlight kissing your face, thank you for sharing !

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