June marks the beginning of pride season here in Michigan. I am lucky to enjoy a generally welcoming atmosphere in my small city. I see rainbow colored dresses in shop windows, pride flags hanging in stores and on residential homes, and we even had a “Pride Night” with lot of fun activities for everyone in the bustling downtown area.
These festivities went off without incident, unlike a few other Pride events. Some of these other events have been disrupted or canceled completely due to organized threats from right-wing and/or religious groups. It’s all been rather alarming to read about and I’m grateful to live in a community that is more tolerant.
Some religious leaders here in the USA asked the congregation to check out LGBTQ+ materials from the public library to keep the materials out of the hands of the public. It’s a silly strategy as it just drives demand for the materials. Education, discussion, and tolerance are always more effective than tactics like this.
So with that, here are some of my favorite recommendations for LGBTQ+ reading:
This blog has gone silent for a while now, but I’m back on it! Here’s what happened while I was away:
Along with many others across the U.S., my family had some relocation happen in 2021. My mom sold her house on the other side of the country and moved closer to her grandkids. It’s GREAT to have her so much closer and we have all been involved in getting her moved and settled into her new home.
In an incredible stroke of luck, I actually managed to connect with another really amazing human being. Details to follow, but just know that I’m super happy and we’re settling in together.
Work continues to be a challenge as staff leave for other opportunities, technologies evolve for doing out work, processes change, policies adapt to circumstances, and patrons need more help navigating this tumultuous period. It’s rewarding for sure, but also exhausting.
Taking time for disconnecting and enjoying the many lovely parts of my home state has eased some of the stress from all this change. I’ve traveled around the state, enjoying the company of my new human. I’ve been a bit of a tour guide and it’s been a lot of fun.
We’re doing what we can to help our community heal by bringing live outdoor music concerts back responsibly. Today, I had the pleasure of attending a recording session of our first concert.
This first week’s concert was recorded so we can ease out public back into a sense of normal. The recording will be published on YouTube and Facebook later for viewing.
Next week, we’re going to do our concert outside on the lawn with spaces marked out for social distancing. We’re hoping it’s a success since we’re also arranging for a grab and go style food truck to be there.
It’s rewarding offering some of these services to the community. These concerts are a regular feature of summer here and it’s something I think we all need right now.
Are you doing anything to help people feel more hopeful amid this pandemic?
It’s a busy and exciting time as we bring staff back and get ready for opening to the public again with new service offerings and programs. It’s not without its issues, but I’m feeling like we weathered this part of the storm pretty well.
I’ve gotten really good at moderating video calls and explaining to people how to mute and unmute themselves on their various devices. While this was not the most pleasant way to do it, our lockdown experience helped us reprioritize and reorient ourselves to a different form of service.
The whole work-from-home situation has been a mixed blessing. I find that I’m probably working MORE hours, but I also have a more flexible workload, so I can take breaks more frequently. That’s really make it easier for me to focus on a task, push through it, and then know I can go take a break and pay attention to my health for a while before diving into another project.
These are exciting times. I am choosing to see this period as an opportunity for growth and experimentation rather than keeping a negative perspective on everything. I’m even getting to help the League of Women Voters do voter education work so we have an better informed group of voters for the coming elections. Truly exciting times!
I joke with people who are stuck at home during this time that as an introvert, I’ve been training for this my entire life, but it’s starting to get much tougher for me as the isolation gets longer.
In an attempt to to lift my spirits, I decided to document positive things I saw when outside for exercise. Here a few from around my neighborhood.
This helped for a little bit. The sunshine we got a peek of lately also bolstered my usual optimism, but it wasn’t too long before things started sliding back downhill. Then I got a notice that a package was being delivered, but it was coming from Ohio; I couldn’t recall ordering anything from Ohio. It turned out to be a care package from some friends.
This act of kindness really made my day. What a great idea! I decided to pay it forward and do something like this for another friend.
Here are some things I’ve found helpful for dealing with the isolation:
Video/audio calls with family
Regular check-ins with friends
Online collaborative gaming with coworkers and friends
Reading and listening to podcasts
Using resources to help (like a 3D printer)
I am learning new recipes and improving my #husbandmaterial rating 😎
Talking out loud to my cat. Sounds silly, but she’s a decent listener.
I’m learning a lot about video conferencing technology and doing my research on the virus from reputable sources. I’m also attending video conferences for work which were surprisingly helpful and left me feeling more connected and focused.
I’ll keep this up as long as it takes. One person’s actions can make a difference in containing the spread of this virus. Stay at home, stay safe, and stay connected. We’ll get through this.