One of my favorite things about living in Vermont is that it never gets too hot here. Here I am on this first day of July and it is barely 70 degrees Fahrenheit out there. It is nice and cool.
I just got back from a morning walk, poured myself a cup of freshly brewed coffee, and started writing to you from my small studio.
What a historical month June has been. Black Lives Matter, an increased number of people dying and getting sick, and a few disappointments in my personal life.
Here are a few notes from my journal outlined in my usual format:
Black Lives Matter:
Growing up in Turkey, I did not know any black people. The closest dark-skinned people I knew were either Kurds or Arabs. I don’t ever remember them being treated poorly because of their skin color.
Then I moved to the US. It was so difficult for me to make any sense of it. The harsh reality of discrimination against black people hit home after I married my husband. I still remember the first time how horrible I felt when I witnessed how poorly he was treated because of his skin color.
What happened to George Floyd and many others have to stop and it starts at home. Since it all broke down at the beginning of June, Dwight and I have been talking about this every day and I have been thinking long and hard in understanding my role in this and how I can be a part of the positive change.
I believe the conversation has to continue. We need to educate ourselves and listen to and support each other to make the change happen.
Here are a few links that I read and watched that affected me to my core:
- Movie: Just Mercy – The real-life story of a falsely accused black man’s journey from death row to freedom.
- Social Media: This video by Trevor Noah
- TED Talk: The Narrative of Racial Difference by Baratunde Thurston
- Podcast: Oprah’s Interview with Ray Hinton
- Emmanuel Acho’s – Uncomfortable Conversations with a black man series
- Instagram – You can find more articles, books, people, and shares in my Black Lives Matter highlights.
What is working?
- A New Look For Foolproof Living: My developer Christina and I have been working on a new look for the blog for over six months now and we are so close to launching it. I cannot even begin to tell you how much work goes into a new site launch and I am beyond thrilled to share it with you.
- Going 100% paperless: I finally did it. As of this morning, I am 30-days paper-free. I manage everything in an amazing free online tool called Notion. Being the die-hard fan of pen and paper for all my life, I never thought that I could do it. However, thanks to the ease of use of Notion I have been paperless for over 30 days now.
If you are interested in learning more about Notion, this course and this video are very helpful.
- Having an incredible social network: As you’ll read below in the what’s not working section, we got some not-so-favorable news this month. While I am mature enough to know that the universe has a plan for me and that I have to be patient for that plan to unfold, I am incredibly grateful to have a group of close friends and family to get support when life takes a different turn.
This article on resilience on traumatic times resonated with me so much. Towards the end of the article, it says that the people who are more resilient are those who rely on their social network to get through hard times. And I did just that. I reached out and asked for help and they were right there for me with open arms.
What is not working?
- Weight gain: Like many people, I ate my way through the pandemic, and the scale shows. All my summer clothes are tighter, even the ones that used to be on the looser side.
Please tell me that I am not alone.
It feels terrible because I usually work on my holiday content during the summer months. It is so hard for me to cut back on eating when I am supposed to work on all kinds of Thanksgiving & Christmas sides, cookies, and cakes.
- YouTube videos taking forever: I love creating videos for Youtube but editing them takes forever. I am working on a more efficient system, but even that is taking a lot of time.
- Waiting is over: If you read the FPL lately I published last month, you’ll remember me mentioning that we have been waiting on some news (too personal to share here). Well, the wait is over. Sadly, we didn’t get the answer we were hoping for. Now we are back to square one.
I am not happy but I also know that when one door closes another one opens. The sad thing is that it sucks so much right now.
What have I been cooking?
One of the reasons why I wanted to redo the design of Foolproof Living is to showcase some of the older recipes I shared and bring them out of the dark corners of the web. For that reason, I have been constantly retesting and reshooting some of the old recipes.
Additionally, with the weather warming up I am all about quick and easy meals like big meal-worthy salads like this Sesame Chicken Salad with the most delicious Asian Sesame Ginger Dressing and Sesame Seared Tuna Salad.
I have also been baking a lot, mostly as a preparation for all the fall baking coming up. Now that we can easily find flour and yeast I am slowly but surely working on more easy bread recipes to publish.
Favorite books, shows, and movies from June 2020:
Book: The Light Between Us & Signs *- Laura Lynn Jackson:
If you don’t know, Laura Lynn Jackson is a medium. She can connect with dead people. In both of these books, she talks about how she does what she does with examples from the lives of people she touched. I read these books to find answers to how I can connect with my deceased mom who I miss dearly.
I found her stories to be very convincing, but I am not sure if it would be easy for me to apply her strategies to connect with my mother in the way she is able to connect with the dead. There is a lot of inner work I need to do to get there, but after reading these two books I know for sure that my mother is with me at all times.
Just because I can’t see her doesn’t mean that she is not here.
* Affiliate links
Show: Ramy on Hulu:
The story of a Muslim family living in New Jersey told in an entertaining (sometimes really funny) yet eye-opening way. Everything revolves around the son of the family, Ramy, who is trying to figure out where he fits in the society with his beliefs, upbringing, and the realities of living in the US as a Muslim.
The reality of discrimination towards minorities combined with Ramy’s immaturities and the friends he surrounded himself with makes a compelling experience filled with a few really good LOL moments.
To be honest, the story was not new to me, but in the midst of Black Live Matters conversations, it was good to watch a similar story in my journey of listening, learning, and understanding.
I am currently obsessed with learning ways to be more productive and manage my time in a better way with things that I enjoy doing. Believe me, this is a necessary skill when you are working by yourself from home.
Here are a few classes & free Youtube videos I have learned a lot in the last 30 days:
Skillshare – Ali Abdaal’s Productivity Masterclass #1: Ali’s class is all about how to produce more in an efficient way with the most amount of enjoyment. His less than 2 hours class leaves you with actionable steps to help you as you plan your day, long term projects, and life in general.
Thomas Frank Videos on YouTube: If you are like me, interested in living a more productive and disciplined life, I cannot recommend watching this channel. His videos are packed with information, tools, and actionable steps you can apply in your daily life in a rather short amount of time. The best part of it is that it is free and available 24/7.
My favorite quote of the month:
“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”Anne Lamott
With all the productivity work I am doing, I am also working on taking time to just be and recharge. Things will happen in life and the only thing we can do is to continue to work on ourselves.
Until next month…