Three positive bits

Dear President Trump,

I’m not sure whether it’s the time of the year (December is a tough month for crappy trauma anniversaries) or because I’ve not been sleeping well (which could be related to the first possibility), but I had another close-to-tears episode today.

It was the end of a long day and my boss wanted to show me something he thought was really cool. Today was the day he got the hard copy of the American Journal of Psychiatry that has a paper we published in it, which for us is a very big deal. After a little bit of “yay us!” talk he told me to scan the author list of the article just before ours. The third name is Christine Blasey, PhD. It was kind of embarrassing, but I immediately teared up. My first take was to worry whether she’s still able to work, but my boss said that this edition’s podcast talking about our article and hers indicated that she was integrally involved in the revisions to the paper. Then I was teary for an entirely different set of reasons – even though recent reports say she hasn’t been able to return to teaching or to living in her home because of death threats and harassment, she’s clearly still contributing strong science. She’s really a hero on so many levels.

The other two things to tell you about from the day are much, much smaller but are in keeping with this lovely positive development in Dr. Blasey’s professional life. The first was a car-thing. I was stopped at a red light behind a kind of beat up old BMW and noticed that hanging from what must be a very sturdy magnet near the right rear bumper was a light pink metal heart. It just dangled there in a rather unassuming, but exceedingly odd sort of way. It made me smile. The second was a dog-walk-thing. In the window of a house I’ve probably walked past 500 times (give or take) I noticed for the first time tonight a series of wooden letters that spell “scatter joy”. It took me a second to understand what I was seeing because the letters are facing into the house and I read backwards only about as well as some people we both know read forwards. Of course the letters might be brand new and I haven’t been missing them all this time, but whenever they arrived, I’m glad they are there. We need as much joy scattered around as we can get.

May we be safe to live our lives and do our work.
May we scatter joy freely.
May we be healthy, strong, and resilient.
May more of us wear our hearts on our outsides.

Tracy Simpson

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