Joy and… Hope?

We made it to January 20th.

Like many, I am starting to feel a bit of a lift. Hope. A shift. Even… a bit of joy?

This morning, I changed my necklace. See, I can’t wear rings. I don’t wear “statement jewelry”. I don’t have a tattoo (long story, but I really can’t get one for health reasons…). I don’t wear statement shirts. I drink out of a plain white mug. You get the picture, I imagine.

But the one item of jewelry/clothing that I do tend to make a bit of a personal statement with is my necklace. I have many gathered over the years. A few gifts, but more of them are gifts-to-self, purchased for a specific reason and with a specific meaning in mind.

The necklace I put on today is a lovely reproduction of the Norwegian rune Wunjo. Why?


That’s why. Joy. Hope. Harmony. Fellowship. Kindred. (I don’t know about Perfection… we’re a long, long, long way from that…)

I haven’t worn this necklace in a long time. A very long time. I don’t know if I have worn it at all the last four years, but if I have, it’s been for a short period of time. More often, I have worn my Tree of Life necklace, or one that I purchased for myself last year when I was going through a really difficult time. That one symbolizes independence and strength to me.

But this necklace? This represents hope to me. And today, I feel the flutters of hope as I count down to noon Eastern time. We’re nowhere close to healing this country, to righting the centuries-long history of injustice, racism, misogyny, and so many other hideous not-quite-so-hidden aspects of who we are.

But I like to think that we are one small step closer… that is what I believe, today.


It’s been almost two weeks since the insurrection attempt at the US Capitol. I haven’t written about it, shared all the thoughts that have been swirling in my brain for nearly two weeks now. I’ve been frozen, paralyzed and stuck between being terrified, horrified, disgusted, despairing, and wanting to believe that things have to get better.

I’ve been caught in the never-ending spiral of the news – anxiously monitoring the live updates for further threats to our democracy, further evidence that the psychopath in the White House will stop at nothing to take our country down with him.

And I feel a deep sense of shame that I’ve been unable to communicate just how I feel about what happened. Instead, I’ve found solace in others’ much more eloquent – and timely – denunciations of the riots and aftermath. I’ve stepped back in a way that I don’t often do, taken cover, in a way. I haven’t written much else here, because it feels disingenuous with all of this so front of mind for me.

So I just want to make clear that I am, indeed horrified, terrified, appalled, and unbelievably anxious at what happened and the equally hideous aftermath. That’s probably all I can – and will – share about this, at least until after Wednesday. I am keeping my eyes on 12:01 pm EST (11:01 am here in the Midwest) and desperately hoping that the inauguration actually occurs. Until it does, I will likely remain in my frozen and incoherent state.

I have found some comfort in poetry and other writings in the last few days… Of course, today, Martin Luther King, Jr’s eloquent writings are front of mind for many of us. The full text of Letter from a Birmingham Jail is on my TBR, but in the meantime, this excerpt spoke to me this morning:

“Like a boil that can never be cured as long as it is covered up but must be opened with all its pus-flowing ugliness to the natural medicines of air and light, injustice must likewise be exposed, with all of the tension its exposing create, to the light of human conscience and the air of national opinion before it can be cured.”

I want to do my part to expose injustice. I want to find my voice. Until then…

Work in progress

I feel like I should put an image of a construction sign here or something. No, I’m not referring to the blog, but referring to myself…

I like to think that I’ve made great strides with my personal development… with becoming the person I want to be in my professional and personal lives. But then, I have a setback of some sort – a setback, it must be noted, that really only exists in my mind – that reminds me that I am not there yet.

I am definitely a work in progress. I will always be one. I guess the question is, am I moving towards something better – a better version of me? – or am I moving in circles and not forward? Many times I feel like it’s the latter… I feel as though I’m making progress, and then the “setback” reminds me that I’m really only moving in circles.

This sounds really dramatic, I know, but it’s not related to a major life issue or change. It’s mostly related to the idea of cutting myself some slack and (to use an overused phrase these days…) “giving myself grace”.

I tend to be really hard on myself. I think a lot of us have this tendency. I have things I want to do, to achieve, and I tend to think that it’s all or nothing. That if I’m not always going 100% full speed ahead, then it’s not worth it. And yet… I also know that I need breaks to achieve what I am aiming for. Trust me, I hear it from enough people, I see it on enough inspirational Instagram feeds…

And yet… actually taking that break, giving myself some grace, seems to be something that I really struggle with. So while I think that I’ve made those great strides in my personal development, well, many times I’m reminded that I haven’t moved that far down the path yet. Hence the setbacks, and the feeling like I’m moving in circles.

But any movement forward – even in tiny increments – is something, right? And if I stop trying, I’ll certainly never get anywhere. So I’ll keep working on myself – on (sigh) giving myself that grace. I know that I’m not going to succeed anytime soon, but maybe I can make some incremental progress down that path. And eventually – I hope – I will get there.

Path In The Woods Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures