Couch and Kitchen Vegetables

I don’t exactly know what got into me this weekend. So many things I oughta/coulda been doing. Another business trip this week, this one including a presentation. So it might have been smart to be working on my slide-deck, or at least doing laundry and packing. Nope.

(Well, the laundry is in the dryer now, so that’s some small progress, I guess.)

The weekend is also a good time to be a bit more ambitious in my daily actions for the “Pleasure Project” (a.k.a. my RUHCUS). Another soak in the tub, a pedicure, or even the nice feeling of clearing all the uglies out of one of my dresser drawers. But nope.

My entire weekend agenda is pretty much summed up in three verbs: nap, read, watch TV. (1)

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First Amendment Protection

Since our extra-successful weekend errand running finished up so quickly, I decided to use some of that time watching movies, as well as the reading I’ve already mentioned enjoying. And, with last holiday weekend signaling the end of May, I decided to start my film selections by taking a quick look at the HBO list to see what movies are about to drop off of rotation, in case I wanted to see any of them before I lose my chance. (You may recall that’s how I started doing film reviews on here in the first place.)

There was only one movie that jumped out at me form the “departing May 31st” list, but it was a film well worth seeing: Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

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Unapologetically Real

So, Sherri, how’s that RUHCUS thing going, four days in?

Well, Dear Reader, I am experiencing some of the bumpiness that occurs when the best of intentions collide with the realness of life.

I don’t think I’m alone if having that kind of work-based karmic payback that emerges after a 3-day weekend, when you realize that however much you enjoyed that extra day off, you’re now trying to do 5 full days of work in 4.(1) So between the office re-entry and the side gig(2), my Tuesday and Wednesday have not exactly been flush with time for self-pampering.

So I’ve had some real-world, real-time opportunities to practice living in my skin, and to find moments of sensory enjoyment even on the tilty-est of full-tilt days.

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Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper

This was a slight deviation from my post-pre-diabetes-diagnosis plan to focus on reading only those challenge books that were already in my possession. When I made that course correction, I’d forgotten that right at the start of 2019 I’d put my name on the waiting list for the library’s e-book copy of this title.

So, when my name finally reached the top of the list a couple weeks ago, I decided just to roll with destiny and give myself the pleasure of reading this. (A bird in the hand and all that…)

I’d already had Cooper’s memoir/social analysis on my reading wish list since mid-2018, on the basis of the good press and positive reviews the work was getting. In complete candor, for all that I went into my 2019 planning with the supposed goal of drawing primarily from my own library, this was a title I wanted to shoehorn onto my 2019 list, come hell or high water.

Lucky for me, it wasn’t all that hard to find a place for Cooper’s book. Between the callout to the New York Public Library staff picks and the invocation of celebrity recommendations, I was golden.(1)

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Raising a RUHCUS

So last night, I mentioned that I was embarking on a project that was inspired by Sonya Renee Taylor’s body of work.(1) Me and some of my fellow Sister Goddesses(2) from Mastery are embarking on a RUHCUS—a structure Sonya created for a 30-day Radically Unapologetic Healing Challenge 4 Us.

Obviously, you’ll get a better explanation of a RUHCUS over on TBINAA, including how-to guides you can download. But the Sherri-level summary of the process is this: you choose some place of woundedness that you want to give attention. Maybe it’s a specific area of body shame, or old trauma, or emotional pain. Whatever it is, you choose to spend 30 days actively addressing this area of hurt every day. You also promise to do this in community, sharing your experiences, insights, and observations along the way.

Now, it feels a little scary to be so vulnerable and honest with people, but one thing that has been so meaningful to see during my first two weekends of Mastery is the healing, transformational impact of us bearing witness to one another. And so, even though it feels like an edge for shy/isolationist little old me, I absolutely get why the RUHCUS structure is built around being in community, and I am on board to push my edges in this valuable way.

So here we go.

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The Body is Not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor

We had one main project for the holiday weekend, but we were able to wrap it up so quickly yesterday that I’ve had some extra-luxurious reading time on my Saturday and Sunday. Which means that after a long dry spell, I’ve finished yet another book—this one, the latest choice from my fat activist/HAES/body love reading list.

Sonya Renee Taylor and her radical self-love/liberationist platform, The Body is Not an Apology, has been on my radar for some years now. I think it was my friend Alice who first brought Sonya into my awareness. Even if I’m misremembering this detail, I am going to stand by this poetic retelling for the rest of my days. There is something so just and sacred and fitting in a poet of Alice’s caliber bringing me to learn about a poet of Sonya’s caliber.

So as soon as Sonya’s book was released last year, I bought myself a copy. And then I let it sit on my bookshelves with all the other body love/goddess power books I’ve been ignoring in my quest to be super smart and fulfill all these reading challenges.

My decision to abandon reading challenge perfection in 2019 to make more room for actively self-nurturing titles put Sonya’s book back on the priority list, and then a guest teacher call with Sonya as part of the Mastery curriculum put this at the very top of that list.

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Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

Golly! It has been a year and a day since I last posted here.

Well, I suppose that’s a bit hyperbolic(1): it’s been closer to two weeks. Still, that’s a long darn time to be inactive, especially when compared to the rest of 2019.

What can I say? Travel kicked my ass, the weekend workshop kicked my ass(2), re-entry kicked my ass. I have been seriously crawling into bed as early as I can every evening since I got home. Tonight is the first night I feel remotely awake enough at 20:15 to put hands to keyboard.

At least I did have some time to finish one of my challenge books during these days away from JALC: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

This book also continues my unintentional tour of Man Booker prize books—although Cloud Atlas was only a finalist for the prize, as compared to the two prizewinners (Wolf Hall and Luminaries) I read earlier this year. Still kind of funny, how I keep choosing books for other reasons and still keep tripping over this particular group of prize-winners.

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