CULTURE, FEATURE STORY

How are you doing?

How are you doing? Last week, I had planned to share new content, but after last Wednesday’s horrific mob attack on Capitol Hill, I decided it was best to reschedule my posts for a later date.

It was difficult staying focused last week. Did you feel this way, too? I normally don’t share political posts on my site, but I feel like this situation goes beyond politics. So the last few days, I took some time to think about recent events so I could share a few thoughts with you on it.

The mob attack was upsetting, to say the least. I had first learned of the events after finishing some blog work in Downtown Detroit. On Wednesday morning, I checked my Twitter and learned of the Trump rally in Washington, D.C. But once it was time for me to get to work, I didn’t check my phone again until a few hours later.

When I was finally able to check my phone, I saw I had several Associated Press (AP) news alerts ALL about the mob attack at the capitol. Afterward, from Wednesday evening through most of Thursday, I was glued to the AP app and Twitter to keep up with the latest breaking news. 

I was shocked Trump supporters were so bold to breach security and get inside of the building. What didn’t shock me, though, was the way it was handled. Just as President-Elect Joe Biden wrote on this Instagram post:

“No one can tell me that if it had been a group of Black Lives Matter protestors yesterday that they wouldn’t have been treated very differently than the mob that stormed the Capitol. We all know that’s true — and it’s unacceptable.”

President-Elect Joe Biden

Over on my Instagram account, I shared these thoughts: I can’t help but think of numerous times we’ve been dismissed or SILENCED even. Or the excuses made to try and justify certain behaviors…but us? Yeah. Don’t let it be us because it’s always a different tune.”

I usually take time to plan my posts and the content I write, but at that moment, I was feeling great frustration and sadness. It reminded me of the numerous times last year when my 20-year-old would say to me, “I just want to live, Mom.” And each time, I’d think to myself– why does my son have to feel or think like this? It’s not right. My son shouldn’t have to feel or think that his life is invaluable because of the color of his skin. Nobody’s child should ever have to feel as Elijah does. 

And people say things like, “It’s 2020. Things are different now. Things are better.” But things aren’t better. Has our country made positive changes over the years? Yes, absolutely. However, we still have a lot of work to do, and I hope 2021 will be the year our country begins to focus on healing and focus on making more positive changes. 

“There [is] no relational healing without honesty, and no authentic reconciliation without repentance and truth.”

Bernice King

FINDING HEALING AND UNITY

Earlier today, the Biden Inauguration Committee announced the theme for the 2021 Inauguration: America United. In a tweet, the announcement reads:

“At a time of unprecedented crisis & deep divisions, America United reflects the start of a new journey to restore the soul of America, bring the country together, and create a path to a brighter future.” 

Despite everything, I am still hopeful for brighter days. Our nation needs great healing during this time and I hope current and new leaders will step up and do what is right. And we as citizens have to make sure we use our voices to speak up and hold our leaders accountable.

We also need to be willing to do the work, too. I do believe in the power of prayer, but we have to also put our prayers into action by contributing to our communities more– volunteer and spread love and positivity. I’m still learning how I can do my part. What ideas do you have or is there something you’re currently doing?

Photo of me holding Zaya (then 3 weeks old) in August 2020 at the Dequindre Cut in Detroit.

ONE DAY AT A TIME

This week I am going to focus on my mental health and connecting with my family and loved ones. I still plan on checking news updates, but I am going to do my best to not stay glued to the news and social media.

I’m doing my best to keep our routines intact. Yesterday, we spent time together as a family and ordered take out from Bangkok 96 in Detroit (so good by the way!). Today, I took some time to meditate and reflect. Then the kids and I got started with our weekly homeschool lessons

I also took some time to write in my journal. Journaling always helps me clear my mind and work through my feelings. Later in the day, I checked out a new book from the library. I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Black history and various social justice issues.

Things are still tough with the pandemic and the tense political climate, but we are doing our best to take it one day at a time. We are focusing on things we can control, like our daily routines, and we are remembering to take time for rest. 

Here are a few ways you can cope during this time:

  • Continue daily exercise or go for a short walk.
  • Meditate and/or pray.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Listen to an encouraging audiobook or podcast.
  • Connect with family or a good friend on the phone or on Zoom.
  • Speak with a therapist or trusted professional.

The new blog and social media posts I will share this month will be uplifting. My hope is to bring you joy and encourage you as we get through this and find healing together. I hope you are doing well and find moments of joy in each day. Take good care of yourself and your loved ones. 

And to anyone who is hurting because of the mob attack at the U.S. Capitol, my heart and prayers are with you. I am truly sorry if you are hurting or have experienced the loss of a loved one.

Love and Peace– Jennifer xoxo 


HELPFUL NUMBERS IF YOU ARE IN NEED

If you or someone you know is having a tough time and needs someone to talk to, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (800) 273 TALK (8255). You can also text HOME to 741741 and it will connect you with a counselor. 

A few other helpful numbers I found are: 

  • Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 at (800) 985-5990 
  • Michigan “Warmline” 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753) Open 7 days a week from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.
  • Trans Lifeline 877-565-8860
  • Trevor Project 866-488-7386 

You can also get additional resources at the Stay Well Michigan site here. There is information for older adults, families, frontline workers, and educators. I also found virtual support, phone numbers, and texting options on the Stay Well Michigan page.

If there is a contact number or other information you know, please let me know and I will add it to this list.

Feature image courtesy of Nathan Fertig at Mackinac Island.

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3 thoughts on “How are you doing?

  1. Yes, it was shocking to see the insurrection on the Capital building and all that it entailed. I refused to stay glued to the television or posts because I striving to do a better job of protecting my peace. I’m glad that you are in a better mental space. I also agree that we have to not only pray but instead be active positively in our community. Thanks for sharing Jennifer.

    1. Thank you, Kangie. I hope there will be more positive community involvement throughout the country. I think that this is a very important step to healing our nation and working toward positive change. xo

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