Orlando

Well, we made it to Friday after a hell of a week. Every time I have started writing this post in my head, I have emotionally exhausted myself and tried to put the thoughts aside. I’m an emotional, sensitive person, but I try to keep this space positive. However, it is ultimately my space, and since I process things best by writing, I’m going to write what I want when I want. Just like I did after Aurora. And Virginia. And now Orlando.

This isn’t about me, but I don’t think it’s out of the ordinary to relate to some tragedies more than others. Newtown. Boston. Charleston. San Bernardino. These all hurt, but some hit closer to home for some people than others. That’s Orlando for me. I grew up three hours away and have many happy memories there. It’s a city of joy and escape for millions. And now all I can think of is the terror.

And the victims. The names, the faces, so many sound and look familiar because they were part of one of my communities, the greater Latinx community. This was a hate crime on multiple levels. But what all the victims had in common — Latinx, black or white, LGBTQIA or ally — is that they had gone out for a night of dancing and fun and the freedom to be themselves. How could there be so much anger and hate over love?

That is something I don’t understand, and I don’t want to understand.

Here is what I understand: I am heartbroken. I am tired. I am angry.

I am heartbroken for what the victims, the survivors and their loved ones have lost. Their lives will never be the same. I am heartbroken that a place of safety and acceptance was exploited.

I am tired of seeing these stories in the news, only for them to fade the headlines within days. I am tired of people staying silent.

I am angry with politicians who send their “thoughts and prayers” instead of springing into action. I am angry with politicians who actively work to limit the rights of LGBTQ people, as well as other minorities. I am angry that people continue to perpetuate hate, instead of fighting for love and equality.

Enough has been enough has been enough.

I hope that there will finally be some action, instead of empty words. I am tired of waiting. I hope other people out there are also tired of waiting. I’m passionate, but I don’t want to tell you what to think. That’s not my place. But if you’re also passionate about these issues, do your research. Get involved. If we and our elected officials don’t do anything about this, it sends the message that we’re ultimately okay with this. And guess what? I’m not. I am tired of this. This is not what I want my country to look like. But I truly think it’s the realist in me that believes love always overcomes hate.

Arya was featured in the Philly PAWS 2016 Calendar for June, Pride Month.
Arya was featured in the Philly PAWS 2016 Calendar for June, Pride Month.

~ Sarah

Resolution Check-In

Well, it’s April now. I guess this whole 2016 thing is actually happening?

Since we’re somehow a quarter through the year, I thought I’d check in with myself (and you guys, I guess) and see how I was doing on my resolutions. And it’s pretty hit or miss.

2016 Resolutions | Shades of Sarah

♦ Eat more veggies: Well, I at least (usually) have frozen broccoli on hand, so that’s a start. The hardest part about this is that I have the taste buds of an elementary school kid, and just do not like vegetables. I do what I can with broccoli and zucchini but meh. Why can’t fruit just cover all the nutrients I need?

♦ Save $30/month: Check! In some personal news, I started a new job earlier this year and while I’m still adjusting, I am much happier! I also finally have direct deposit, which makes meeting my savings goals a lot easier since I’m not tempted to keep extra money in my checking account. Direct deposit is such a game changer.

♦ Evaluate my shopping habits: I’ll touch on this a bit more in my March shopping budget (post coming next week!), but this is a work in progress for sure (it’s a vague goal for a reason).  The local Big Brothers/Big Sisters did pick up some donations from me this morning, and it’s increasingly obvious that I have enough stuff. I just don’t know if it’s stuff I really enjoy enough.

♦ Less lunch breaks at the computer: This is a big fat fail. That new job? My office is closer to home, but I’m no longer in Center City, which is super walkable. Maybe now that it’s warming up I’ll be more motivated to at least step outside and walk around the block.

♦ Volunteer at least once a month: So far so good! I walk dogs at my local PAWS, which is the same rescue where we adopted Arya, our second pittie, from.

♦ Read a book a month: Still don’t have a library card. I did read The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up in January because I’m a cliche.

Anyone else even thinking about their resolutions anymore?

~ Sarah

If I Won The Lottery

Okay, fine, I didn’t win the Powerball jackpot — if I did, I would’ve disappeared from social media and holed up with a lawyer somewhere. Instead, here I am…blogging about what I would’ve done if I had won. (Seriously, Universe, I would’ve settled for like a $100 million.)

♦Pay off all my student loans. And Nick’s student loans. And maybe my brother’s, if he was nice.
♦Pay off our cars.
♦Buy nice apartments in all of my favorite cities (Miami, New York, Philadelphia…)
♦New furniture (especially giant mattresses) and wood flooring everywhere.
♦Actually buy something from Everlane.
♦Travel…pretty much everywhere. First up would have to be London, Cuba or Thailand.
♦Donate to some of my favorite organizations.
♦Hire a personal trainer and nutritionist so I could indulge in my favorite meals the rest of the time.
♦Try to convince Nick that we need a third dog since we can afford an on-call dogsitter.
♦Save some (ugh, boring) and share some (yay!).

Anyone else still have big lottery dreams?

~ Sarah