By Amy Shearn
1. Your Reputation Precedes You
Sometimes the answer to the question, “Who am I in this world anyway?” comes in an email. And sometimes that email comes when you aren’t looking for a new job, but it just so happens that an acquaintance sends along a listing for something that suits you perfectly, you’re (almost) entirely qualified for and you could very likely get and enjoy. It doesn’t mean you have to take it as a sign to upend your professional life, but it does mean that you’ve staked out a certain claim in a certain corner of the world.
2. Your Existential Dread Is Really Just About the Dentist
We all have those moments of dread that come unbidden, mid-granola-bite, seemingly out of nowhere. But what is that internal shudder really about? If you can pinpoint your moments of dread to specific instigators — the upcoming doctor’s appointment you just remembered, the community board meeting you really want to skip, the ominous back-to-school commercial on a cheery summer day — then it is a small, fixable dread indeed.
3. The Passports Are Within Reach
I don’t mean that you’re necessarily using your passport this week to go to Bora Bora. Or even that you’ll use it before it expires. The important thing is simply that you have it, and you know where it is. Just in case.
4. Your Husband Leaves You a Crossed-Wires Voice Mail of Love
When you call your spouse or best friend and you go to voice mail because the person you were calling was calling you at that exact same moment — well, that’s a mighty deep connection with a person you love, and a sure sign you’re doing something right.
5. You Clear Your Own Unmetaphorical Clog
Hey, we’re all about telling you to ask for help when you really need it. Still, untangling a knotty problem has its own unique pleasures. There are few everyday experiences as triumphant as realizing you don’t actually need to call the plumber (and pay for his kid’s summer camp in the process); and that, with the right tools and a few YouTube videos, you can actually figure out how to unclog the sink drain. And then, like any good plumber, you get to do a happy dance there in the kitchen, because for that moment you are invincible, and you can solve your own problems. Even the especially sticky ones.
6. The Hostas Will Not Undo You
This is perhaps the ultimate goal in our weird, modern lives: to not be burnt out. Shouldn’t there be a term for that? What’s the opposite of burnt out — sparkling, maybe? Or just — normal? As in, when a neighbor asks you to water her plants for a few weeks, you agree without blinking because you truly don’t mind. Your days are balanced enough that doing someone a favor doesn’t feel like an impossible imposition, like you will have to reshuffle seven things to make space for one more. You have enough life-sparkle left to bring a sick friend a lasagna, or listen to your partner practice his presentation. Without sighing.
7. You Are Susceptible To Sparrow Joy
Every now and then, a small something will fill you with completely unreasonable excitement. A flock of sparrows all lifting from a gutter at once. A perfect hunk of sea glass. Hearing your favorite song leak out of someone’s convertible. In the wrong state of mind, these are just things that happen. But in the right state of mind, these are giddiness-inducing wonders.
8. You Have Good Peer Pressure
You’ve put yourself in a good place when you admire your peers — your coworkers are smart, your neighbors live the way you want to live. Even better if you actually feel happy for their successes — she totally deserved that promotion! The renovation across the street turned out great! — rather than seething with jealous rage, which isn’t quite as nourishing for the soul.
9. You Care, Deeply, About The Neighborhood Bird-Watching Tour You Started On A Whim
You’ve been setting up a neighborhood bird-watching tour, and your husband makes some offhand comment about it that cuts you to the quick. This might not feel like an “Everything is on track in this beautiful life of mine!” kind of moment, but it can be. Not only does it show you care about the things you are doing (and are doing the things you care about), but after the initial sting, the criticism can make you think about the project in a new way, or give you an idea of how to make it even better. Maybe he grumbled about how early you’ve called for people to meet, and maybe (I know, this is going to sound crazy) he’s right, and maybe others will feel the same way; and maybe, just maybe, this is your chance to make it better for everyone involved. Because if it’s worth it, you want to make it better. And if you make it better, it will be worth it.
10. Synchronicity Is More Than A Police Album
You know that kind of coincidence that feels like much more than just a coincidence? That, in fact, feels like some degree of magic? I have a friend who calls this her religion, and I know what she means. It’s that moment when the novel you’re reading for book group offers up some perfectly timed nugget of insight that proves eerily relevant to an exchange from a recent PTA meeting; that you realize, with a pleasant brain-tingle, dovetails with something the professor said in your night-school class. Then a friend sends you a link to a TED talk that completes the circuit in your brain, and everything in the world seems to be showing its seams, revealing itself to be all connected. And there is no feeling like that to make you suspect that everything is just as it should be.
If it hasn’t already, climate change will impact everyone soon regardless of who they are, where they live or how much money they have. The physical and health consequences will be especially severe for children, the elderly, people with lower incomes, and people who work outdoors in industries like agricultural and construction.
American Latinos will be among the most strongly affected. We have a personal as well as a collective national stake in limiting climate change. It’s time for us to take the lead.
Since I was first elected to Congress in 2002, I’ve worked to protect the Southern Arizona communities I represent from excessive pollution. I’ve also worked to protect the Grand Canyon and our many other ecological and historical treasures. Protecting people and the great outdoors are two sides of the same coin, and each benefits the other. I’ve introduced legislation to clean up our public lands and put young people to work at the same time; to allow our public schools to upgrade their facilities to make them more energy efficient and lower their electricity bills; and to give our community college students workforce training and education in sustainable energy industries, just to name a few.
We need these kinds of approaches because climate change is intensifying extreme weather events that threaten communities across the country. Last year Arizonans endured record-breaking heat in 11 counties, surpassing thirty-five separate extreme heat records. A total of 64 large wildfires put Arizonans’ homes and health at risk. We all saw the devastation and tragic deaths caused by the recent Yarnell Fire. Today our neighbors in Colorado are working to recover from historic floods.
This is not random chance. There are well understood scientific reasons for these catastrophes. We have the power to reduce their impact, and we should use it.
The President has proposed a plan to fight climate change by controlling carbon emissions from the nation’s largest sources. You’ve heard it before, and it’s still true: Investments in renewable energy will create jobs and help make us energy independent. Latinos are strongly in favor of this plan. According to a poll by Latino Decisions, 86% of Latinos support the President taking action to limit carbon pollution.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, close to 50 percent of all Hispanic Americans live in counties that frequently violate the legal limit for ground-level ozone, which most of us call smog. That means millions of Latinos are at risk of worsening asthma, bronchitis and even death. The time for Latinos to get involved and take leadership roles in this fight is now.
That’s why I’m proud to host a panel at this year’s Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) public policy conference to highlight the importance of engaging Latinos. Latino leaders are becoming some of the nation’s most influential and important champions for a cleaner environment. They join a long line of environmental justice grassroots advocates who fought against incinerators, landfills, and other toxic industrial uses in their neighborhoods. As a community, we have a personal responsibility to ensure that climate change and renewable energy policies move forward to protect the health of our children and future generations.
I know it can be hard to feel encouraged or inspired when Congress looks dysfunctional. But when we think back on the many other great causes that succeeded throughout American history, we remember that none of them started on a straight, smooth-paved road. Civil rights faced much greater dysfunction – and violence – than clean air advocates face today. We can do this. We owe it to ourselves and to the future of our great country.
Not all families can afford the colorful gowns and other niceties for such parties, though. So for each of the past five years, Nicaragua’s Association of Mothers and Fathers of Children with Cancer and Leukemia has put on a quinceanera for girls from poor, rural families – teens who have the added burden of dealing with cancer. This year’s party feted 37 girls between ages 14 and 16 on Saturday night at a hotel in Nicaragua’s capital, Managua.
Donors, taking the role of “padrinos,” or godparents, paid for the girls’ dresses and shoes, the floral arrangements, cakes and other refreshments. Each padrino also paid for medicine for three or four of the girls.
Nicaragua’s Military Academy sent cadets to be the girls’ escorts and dance partners.
Yamileth Barrera, a 16-year-old from San Jose de Bocay, 150 miles (240 kilometers) north of Managua, said she really enjoyed being with the other girls and wasn’t kept from dancing by the wheelchair she uses because of bone cancer.
“I am happy because only once in a life do you celebrate your 15th year,” she said.
PARIS, Sept 24 (Reuters) – Customers braving the rush at Paris’s newest cafe to order their coffees and croissants, are now able to enjoy them in the company of a dozen resident cats.
The “Cafe des Chats” in the heart of the capital’s chic Marais district is home to a dozen felines who weave in between the tables or curl up on armchairs as diners tuck in.
The establishment is aimed at Parisians unable to keep pets in cramped city-centre apartments and though the idea may seem eccentric, cafe manager Margaux Gandelon says the potential health benefits of “purr therapy” are real.
“Purring produces vibrations which relieve arthritis and rheumatism, which lower your blood pressure and your heartbeat,” Gandelon said.
This month’s opening weekend saw queues snaking along the pavement and bookings taken from now until November. Some 300 potential customers had to be turned away.
Gandelon says animal welfare is paramount and customers are prohibited from subjecting the cats to undue stress. She is prepared to evict any customers who fail to play by the rules although she admits she is more lenient with the animal residents: “Cats are cats,” she said.
The animals themselves are abandoned and stray cats adopted from pet rescue centres. Among them is Habby who suffers from feline dwarfism with a stunted tail and unusually short paws.
Despite two years spent with foster families the sweet-tempered tabby was never adopted but has now settled down to cafe life.
Visiting the cafe out of curiosity, business student Florian Laboureau described it as a “great concept”, but admitted he is more of a dog person. (Reporting by Johnny Cotton; Editing by Mark John and Alison Williams)
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