January 18, 2019

Hello friends! Have you been working on any creative projects lately? David gave me a cross stitch kit for Christmas, so I’m in the honeymoon stage of a new craft.  We’ve all been there right? You know, counting down the minutes till you get off work and can snuggle by a window to sew, seeing tiny uniform stitches in your dreams. I would love to hear in the comments about what projects have been preoccupying you, or what you dream about creating this winter!

  1. How to Help Your Pets, Dr. Burstyn the Helpful Vancouver Vet. This is a playlist of sweet and informative YouTube videos on all kinds of cat- and dog-related topics, from how to pick up a cat to how to approach a dog you don’t know, and tips on giving pills or brushing your pet’s teeth. It’s a helpful, well-produced resource and also a really relaxing watch!
  2. 21 Emotional Wedding Moments That Moved the Photographer to Tears, HuffPost. I’ll just say it. I love weddings and I love LOVE. My favorite photo in this list is #8, which looks like it could be from a movie. Swoon.
  3. The Case of Caroline Calloway and Her Creativity Workshop Tour, Pajiba. Alright, this one is just juice, plain and simple. Good old American influencer gossip. I followed this story as a Twitter thread that has evolved to this (slightly confusing) story by Kayleigh Donaldson. I know there’s a lot of detail here about a shady, scammy series of workshops, but this whole scandal actually has me thinking about over-commitment. I think a lot of people my age are interested in making face-to-face connections but have no idea how to go about event planning, or approach it with the wrong intentions (profit, exploiting young-career creative talent). I don’t relate to much in Calloway’s shifting narrative, but I can relate to the urge to create “something” that is meaningful and brings people together. This is a cautionary tale with many morals, and even though I’d never treat people the way Calloway does, part of Donaldson’s final critique does convict me: “Calloway’s main problem is that she doesn’t want to be an artist or a storyteller or a writer: she wants to have made art, to have told stories, to have been a writer, to have taught, and so on. But that requires work, research, planning, sacrifice, and an acute understanding that not everything you do will be successful or worthy of celebration.” This piece makes me want to put my head down and focus on the work!
  4. Whenever We Talk About Burnout Culture, Include Disabled Folk, Healthline. This is an excellent follow up to the burnout post from last week. The articles that have come out this week have filled out our picture of burnout beyond academic “knowledge workers” to include working class people, people of color, and disabled people. Something that rubbed me the wrong way about Petersen’s piece was the dismissal of self-care (as only an industry, a trend, a scheme to make you spend money). “Disabled people have developed ways of coping. We call this accommodations or coping strategies or, sometimes, self-care. However, rather than be informed by disabled experiences, Peterson actively dismisses modern self-care. […] I’ll admit, self-care can be exhausting. Yet it’s more than just the commodified version Peterson describes. The self-care Peterson writes about is the watered-down version that abled people, particularly corporations, have created out of disability culture. Self-care for executive dysfunction is really twofold: 1) Make accommodations for yourself (such as reminders, simplifying tasks, asking for help) so you can hopefully complete the most necessary tasks. 2) Stop expecting yourself to do all of the things, or calling yourself “lazy” if you can’t.” This is a valuable perspective.
  5. Our Favorite Fat-Positive Reads, NYPL. This round-up made me hit the library holds list! Some of these titles are familiar to me (The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things was formative), but others I’m excited to check out. I can’t recommend Shrill enough!

PS – Did you see the new banner? My friend and graphic designer Charlotte Wood (website to come) created a logo for the Friday5 that I am just in love with. Something about seeing yourself represented in a logo is very powerful. Have a great weekend.

Friday5 logo - profile of girl and dog looking to the left

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