Summer2016

Time for the obligatory vacation recap and vision-for-the-future post. We spent almost six weeks visiting family in Houston and Baton Rouge! The first part of our trip was just me and the kids at my parents’ house. My dad hadn’t met little M yet and of course neither had my grandmother. We spent a lot of time hanging out and I was so happy to see the kids bond with their grandparents and great-grandmother. We visited our usual favorite spots at the mall along with Space Center Houston.

Summer in the South

My husband came to pick us up and we drove over to Baton Rouge to celebrate Eid with my in-laws. On the way there, we stopped at the Atchafalaya Swamp welcome center to grab some free CC’s and educate ourselves about the swamp. In Baton Rouge we visited the awesomely renovated library and the Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center. It was neat to learn about the different wildlife native to Louisiana and contrast that with what we’ve seen in Maryland.

The steam bath heat kept us at home most days. There was a lot of LEGO-ing, snacking, and swimming. Also we had plenty of screen time. I was so happy to watch the kids play with their cousins. I didn’t grow up with siblings or cousins my age so seeing them all tear around the house in a rowdy game of chase, busting a piñata, or just chattering together, well, it kind of makes my heart burst.

But this summer has been hard, y’all. Personally, I have been dealing with my own health issues- including anxiety, a full-blown fibromyalgia flare up, and other chronic pain. As much fun as we had visiting family and friends, it’s draining.

And then there’s the news.

Every time I look at my phone, it’s another trauma. I know that the heartbreak isn’t anything new. What’s new are video cameras in everyone’s pocket and a microphone on their social media. We are hearing about it. And while it’s difficult to hear and to accept, that’s just the first step we need to take. We have to be better. Change starts with ourselves. It’s easy for me to sit in my air conditioned ivory tower and tell the world what they are doing wrong. But what am I doing?

Here’s my plan for myself and my family as we return home. I wanted to write this post to keep myself accountable of my goals.

  1. Improve and increase acts of worship.
  2. Eat well.
  3. Find a routine that includes exercise, sleep, and self care.
  4. Continue to learn about history, current events, language, and science. Be a lifelong learner.
  5. Improve my design and editing skills for blog and freelance work.
  6. Engage my kids in academic, social, and emotional learning and support their interests.
  7. Speak up about racism and social justice issues as I learn about them. Work to disrupt and dismantle systemic racism.
  8. Consume less. Choose to spend money with local and minority-owned businesses when possible.
  9. Strive to maintain and build friendships and relationships with family.
  10. Be slow and stay in the moment.

No sweat, right?

Thank you for reading. It means so much to me to have your support. I always have these moments of conscience and striving for self improvement after I return from a long trip. It feels like a fresh start.

Do you ever write aspirations for an upcoming season? I’m thinking of sitting down with Z and writing some specific goals for his first semester of “school”. Ha!

 

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