Feeling Myself: National Abortion Access Bowl-a-Thon

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Hello! If you love fighting the good fight for women’s rights, specifically for their right to make their own decisions about what to do with their bodies, then read on! If not, read on anyway, and please do so with a kind heart and an open mind.

While this blog has never been an outlet to voice my political and personal opinions about serious matters such as abortion access, I feel compelled to do so now (more on that later). As a feminist and a woman, I firmly fall on the pro-choice side of this debate.  I believe that all women should have the respect and trust of society to make decisions that are the best for themselves and their loved ones, including the legal right to safely and legally terminate an unwanted pregnancy.  Abortion access is a medical necessity, and legally restricting this procedure takes control of a woman’s body away from her, and places it into the hands of the lawmakers (read: politicians who, for the most part, are older white men).  In short, it is nothing short of critical for us as a generation to ensure that our women have access to abortion if they so choose, for no one should be able to decide what happens to a woman’s body except for HER.

Why am I ranting about a women’s health/feminist issue? Well…

A single click on Facebook recently got me back in touch with Tiffany T, a bad ass career woman and activist whom I met wayyyyy back in freshman year of college (go Butterfield dorm!).  Tiffany works at the National Network of Abortion Funds, and is currently involved with their annual Bowl-a-Thon for abortion access.  Here’s what she has to say about her work and this important fund raiser:

Hi! I’m the Member Support Coordinator, so I provide support to our members (abortion funds!) to have strong, sustainable, and effective organizations. I’ve participated in the Bowl-a-Thon every year since 2013, and I’ve already beat my personal best this year! There are over 2000 people raising money for the fund; some are raising money for our national work, like I am, but most people are raising money for their local abortion funds. We’re trying to raise $800,000 in total, and the average donation is under $40. So it really shows how powerful we can be when we get every day people aware of an issue.

 When I ‘liked’ a link she’d posted about the event, she sent me a personal message thanking me for the love and giving me more information about how to donate to the cause.  Needless to say, this is an issue I care deeply about, and I happily donated my own hard-earned money.  For anyone interested in learning more about the Bowl-a-Thon, or for anyone who would like to make a donation, visit Tiffany’s page here.

Again, I know this is a “hot button” topic, and I am fully aware that not everyone out there will have the same opinions as I do.  That being said, I am open to any discussion at all on this topic, as long as it’s respectful, kind, open-minded, and positive (myself included).

Book Talk: All the Light We Cannot See

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To say that I devoured this book would be a gross understatement.  Recommended to me by a friend, I dove in not really knowing what to expect, and did not come up for air until I was a good 100 pages in.  All the Light We Cannot See spins the tale of a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy whose paths cross against the backdrop of a shredded, World War II Europe.

Marie-Laure and her father live in Paris, where he works as the key-master at the Museum of Natural History.  After losing her vision at the age of six, Marie-Laure learns how to navigate through the city by studying an intricate and exact model built for her by her father.  As the Nazis begins to roll in and disrupt their quiet and happy life, father and daughter flee to coastal French city of Saint-Malo to stay with their reclusive uncle, Etienne, and his rebellious housekeeper.  Despite their relocation, they are hardly safe, as Marie Laure’s father carries with him what may be the museum’s most valuable and precious stone, that is rumored to curse those who carry it.

Werner and his younger sister, Jutta, grow up in an orphanage close by to the mines that claimed their father’s life.  After miraculously repairing an old radio, Werner becomes obsessed with the care and keeping of the machines.  His intelligence and talent land him a spot in the vicious academy for Hitler Youth.  After an early graduation, Werner’s instinct for radios earns him an assignment tracking resistant parties.  The knowledge of human suffering brought about by his intelligence begins to weigh on Werner, throughout the war, until he sees Marie-Laure make her way down a street in Saint-Malo.

This book will rip your heart out only to heal it, and leaves you wanting to begin again after you’ve read the final page.  Honestly, I probably would have done just that if I didn’t need to return my copy to the library!

Have you read All the Light We Cannot See? What else are you reading? Drop me a line…I could talk books ANYTIME!

Hello, March

cannot believe that we’re already in the third month of 2016.  February treated me really well; T and I celebrated our third Valentine’s Day, I made it to the salon for a much-needed new hair style, and I managed to squeeze in a weekend in Brooklyn to visit with some of my dearest friends (more on that trip in an upcoming post!)  As far as my daily meditation goal however, I fell short.  I found that many of my mornings escaped me before I had the chance to dedicate five or so minutes to meditation, and by the time I got home later in the day, I had completely forgotten to meditate at all.  Despite this, I do think that mediation is a valuable skill, and I haven’t given up on it.  On the days that I did remember to pause and ruminate, I felt much more relaxed and focused throughout the day, which is incredibly helpful when you have a full schedule.  While I will no longer be focusing on finding a pocket of time for it every day, I will continue to incorporate it into my life every now and again.

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Even though I did not achieve my February goal, I’m feeling excited and motivated to tackle my March goal: to start a daily gratitude journal.  Each night, I will make it a point to choose at least one positive aspect of that day that I am appreciative of.   I’ve read so often that expressing gratitude and thanks daily does wonders for the soul, and I’m excited to give it a try myself.  I have so, so much to be thankful for, and I hope that reminding myself of those things daily will help me de-stress, refocus on appreciating the little things, and improve my overall daily mood.  Here goes nothing!

2016

Hello, hello!  I know I’m a few days late, but I am so excited that 2016 is here!  2015 was so good to me: I moved into a new apartment with T (a big first for both of us), started graduate school, witnessed one of my best friends get married, and got to go on amazing end-of-the-year trip to Florida.  I am so grateful for everything last year brought me, and look forward to see what this year will bring.






I know I’ve mentioned this a few times, but I am a huge, huge fan of fresh starts in the name of improving oneself.  What better time to start than New Years??  While this is the season of making sweeping resolutions (which, not to be a downer, few people end up sticking to anyway), I want to try something a bit different this year.  Instead of creating a list of huge resolutions that I know I probably won’t feel motivated to see through come February, I will be choosing 12 “habits” that I either want to work into my everyday routine OR cut down on.  The idea is, if I focus on one goal for a shorter period of time, I will (hopefully) be more likely to see it through and actually adopt it or remove it from my everyday life.  Wish me luck!

First up is my January goal: getting my body back on track.  More specifically, I will use this month to refocus on eating a nourishing plant-based diet, and exercising five days a week.  While I can’t say I don’t hope to lose some weight in the process, for once this is not my central goal.  Over the holidays, I completely let myself go, and now I am feeling it…in the worst way.  After a few weeks of over-indulging on creamy, cheesy, and buttery treats (vegan fail), not exercising, and not sleeping enough, it’s safe to say that my body is NOT happy with me.  This January, I want to take advantage of my somewhat roomier schedule to get myself back into the good habits that make me feel amazing.  This month will be all about loving my body and providing it with everything that it needs: wholesome healthy food, rigorous exercise, and sleep.  So much sleep.

I’m happy to report that so far I’ve been doing well!  You guys…I managed to say no to cheese…while we were still in Orlando…at a Mexican restaurant.  I’m determined.

What is everyone resolving to this year? I’d love to hear- until next time!