Hi friends! The past couple of weeks I have been doing some of the things that have been on my to-do list for far too long and it feels really good. They are definitely things I have been avoiding, like buying a new mattress and doing some student loan paperwork. It also meant sitting down and looking at what subscriptions we have that we aren’t using and I can end. Honestly, I don’t need HBO until season 2 of Our Flag Means Death is available. I’ve been trying to cook a large bean dish on Sundays which means we have dinner for Sunday - Wednesday ready. I love not having to make decisions. This week’s beans involve pesto so I dusted off the recipe my family has used for decades and it’s brought a lot of joy.
It’s a resource week so let’s get to it!
As of July 16th (tomorrow if you’re reading this Friday 7/15), The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is now: 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. It is now a number as easy to dial and remember as 911. “When people call, text, or chat 988, they will be connected to trained counselors that are part of the existing National Suicide Prevention Lifeline network. These trained counselors will listen, understand how their problems are affecting them, provide support, and connect them to resources if necessary.” You can read more about it here.
I do not want to link directly to the New York Times article so I will instead link to this researcher’s short Twitter thread (which then links to the article, if you want it). As usual, click through to read the whole thing:
My coauthors and I find that people consistently underestimate how much their friends and acquaintances would appreciate being reached out to (e.g., simply to say hi and check-in). This underestimation was especially high in contexts in which reaching out was unexpected.— Peggy Liu (@peggyjliu) July 11, 2022
I’ve known this for decades and it’s the driving force behind my snail mail obsession. But hey, having it researched and documented is totally cool!
I have mentioned this book a couple of times but I wanted to give it a proper write-up in a resource issue of this newsletter.
KC Davis is a therapist who has a really popular TikTok account, @DomesticBlisters. A lot of her content is about cleaning. I’m not talking about vacuuming your mattress every night or labeling everything you own or organizing all your belongings in Roy G Biv order. I’m talking about the chores, or as Davis calls them, the care tasks, that seem like they’re simple for other people but when you have depression, ADHD, physical disabilities, chronic pain, trauma, lack of support etc. even the thought of doing these things can be overwhelming and fill you with deep shame when you can’t bring yourself to do them. It could be folding laundry, doing laundry at all, changing your sheets, brushing your teeth, washing dishes, or something else. If you are a person who does all of these things regularly and without issue, then this book is probably not for you. But if you, like me, have ever sat on your kitchen floor and cried at the prospect of doing a mountain of dishes, then I think you will get something out of this book.
The center of this book is this: You do not work for your home; your home works for you. KC Davis offers a helpful perspective on ways to make your home work for you. This book isn’t all tips and tricks (though honestly, why do baby onesies need to be folded?). The author wants to help put a stop to the shame that builds up over care tasks and not having the capacity to do them. She tells readers over and over that we are not bad people if we have a messy home. We still deserve things like love and rest and fun even if the laundry isn’t done.
This book is big on self-compassion and practicality. It stresses the importance of care tasks as kindnesses to yourself, sometimes your present self, sometimes your future self, like how washing the coffee pot tonight is a kindness to your morning self so you have a clean pot to make coffee in. If you’re into different tidying methods or cleaning shortcuts, there are definitely some of those offered in this book as well. You can buy this book directly through my Bookshop.
NASA has released the first images taken using the James Webb telescope and holy shit. When I was a child, I wanted to be an astrophysicist and these photos remind me of how deeply I loved space. Absolutely stunning. Read the article here and view the photos here. Breathtaking.
That’s it for this week! You can shop any books I’ve mentioned in this newsletter at my affiliate shop, The Infophile’s Bookshop, and support independent bookstores. If you want to send me some snail mail, you can find me at P.O. Box 21481, Oakland, CA 94620-1481. If you are a subscriber and would like for me to send you some happy mail, feel free to give me your address.
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