Standouts and Game Changers of 2018!

Another year is in the books, and you know we LOOOOOOOVE a good round-up of favorites! We’ve got beauty we can’t stop reaching for, life changing products, and things that just make life better. And away! We! Go!


LanoLips 101 Ointment Multipurpose Superbalm

Pamela gifted this to me last year, and as winter tries to turn me into dust, this stuff is a lifesaver. I put it on my lips every night before bed, and it’s still a little bit there in the morning! It’s also great for those dry spots that show up around your nose, or cuticles, or basically anywhere. I hope to never be without it!

Fenty Beauty Stunna Lip Paint in Uncuffed

I know Lyn has gotten us all to buy something Fenty over the past year or so, and with good reason: this shit is bananas. I picked up the shade Uncuffed during one of the V.I.B. events late last year, and it is PERFECTION. The shade is the absolute perfect rosy mauve, which is my go-to shade for “I don’t want to look dead but I don’t want hot pink lips today” every day wear. The formula is truly weightless, and while it’s not 100% transfer-proof, it’s pretty locked in, and it fades without getting clumpy or flaky. I reach for this almost every day, and it lasts through coffee and lunch and life.

Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Retractable Brow Pencil

While I love the Kat Von D Brow Struck Dimension powder and think it’s seriously a stand out this year in the world of brow products, I find myself reaching for this $4 pencil nearly every day. It applies soooo quickly and easily and lasts all day. KVD comes out to play if I’m being fancy, but this guy is my ride or die right now.

Saalt Menstrual Cup

Early in the year, I was maybe 85% thinking about making the switch to menstrual cups; when Pamela told me she was switching, it was enough to make me take the plunge. After trying an ok, but not quite right cup the first go around, I found the Saalt cup on Amazon and it is my glass slipper. I like the Saalt because it is a softer silicone, made for “”active women. It’s totally comfortable, and haven’t had any leak issues despite deadlifting, working on my feet, dancing, sleeping… whatever. Plus, it just feels… well, less gross overall!! They last for years, so a bonus is that it feels great to not be throwing/flushing so much (including dolla bills) away. I also like that the company is owned by women who give back to women who may not have access to period care. I am seriously mad I got all the way to my 40’s before realizing cups are the way to go BTW- once you get past the learning curve (and yeah, it for sure takes a cycle or three to get the hang of it), my period is no longer such a pain in the ass. Well, obviously it still is a little, but for sure way less of one.

Apple AirPods

I have gone through about 17000 variations of arm bands, pockets, bluetooth devices, and fanny packs trying to listen to music or podcasts at the gym. My husband finally convinced me to YOLO and buy a pair of AirPods, and they are PURE WIZARDRY. I don’t even know why I resisted for so long. I haven’t ever liked the earbuds that come with Apple products, but somehow these feel mostly invisible in my ears, and yeah, they don’t fall out! I use them everywhere, too- not just the gym. Washing dishes? AirPods. Cleaning my office? AirPods. Grocery shopping? AirPods. The charge lasts forever- did you know they charge right in the case?? I probably charge them once a week or so, but I’ve never even come close to draining them. If I had any complaints, it’s that I wish they would get just a tiny bit louder, but it’s probably better for my health if they don’t. 😉

Spindrift Sparkling Water

For whatever reason, I, along with the hipsters, can’t get enough of sparkling water lately. BUT HAVE YOU TRIED SPINDRIFT?? It is sparkling water with real juice squeezed in!! Not a lot- just like, if you squeezed a lemon wedge into your drink. It’s enough, though, to make it crazy good. Like, CRAZY good. Does it add a few calories? Sure, but the worst offender (grapefruit) only has 15 calories per can. I haven’t gotten my hands on every flavor yet (so far I’ve only found it at Target and Costco), but the blackberry and grapefruit are worth having in your fridge AT ALL TIMES.


Drunk Elephant, everything: Okay–maybe not EVERYTHING–but a lot. This girl ain’t loyal when it comes to skin care products and I’m notorious for bouncing around and trying lots of things to see what’s magic. Well–I think Drunk Elephant might be it! My top favorite is the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum. It is pricey, but a little goes a long way and the results are immediate. It’s crazy to me how incredibly different my skin feels in the morning after using it at night. I also find the Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream is luxuriously divine. Wanna give them a shot and see what you think? The minis pack The Littles™ is a great introduction to the line.

Urban Decay, Born to Run eyeshadow palette: I’m really unclear why this palette didn’t get much love when it came out. The layout is great–especially if you generally dislike the long, skinny shadow structure of the Naked palettes–this one is in squares and the rows act like little mini palettes. The color range is very unique and offers a lot of new looks. I also like that the palette itself is thin, but sturdy and it has a huge mirror so it’s great for travel. Definitely a good deal with 21 shadows and a lot of room to play.

Marc Jacobs Beauty, Enamored Hydrating Lip Gloss Stick: I tried one of these in Sugar, Sugar and then went HAM and bought a bunch. I’m crazy for these in so many ways. They are a gloss–but a stick and not goopy or sticky or messy. I think even you would like them, Jess! They give the perfect amount of reflection to make your lips look full and fab. And layered over pencils gives them even more versatility. Definitely worth the price.

Norman Kamli, Kamali Kulture Go Crew Neck Dress: This is the greatest, easiest dress of all time. I know that sounds crazy and like a huge over-exaggeration, but it’s not. It’s an instant classic LBD. It’s100% flattering, super soft, simple to pack, no wrinkle, forgiving, like pajamas but classy, any occasion dress. Put Vans on and it’s casual. Throw a necklace on and heels and it’s dressy. Grab boots and it’s somewhere in the middle. With tights–it’s perfect for winter. No tights–it’s a spring/fall/cool summer day dream. If I could wear it every day, I would. I honestly might order another one to have a back up, I love it that much.

photo courtesy of

Apple, AirPods: Jess and I were going to do a joint review of these magical wonders, but never got around to it. (aah, life.) I agree with everything she said. I also bought them because Michael Boggs told me to–in fact–Team Boggs drove me to the Apple store and went with me to get them. I keep them in my pocket and use them constantly. They are super convenient so you can just pop them on and go. I walk a lot and always have them on, even if I’m just going a few blocks. They are also the only way I’ll talk on the phone anymore. I will legit tell someone I’ll call them back so I can grab them, if they aren’t immediately available. You don’t have to yell when talking and you can hear perfectly. Unlike Jess, I have had them die on me, but I’m also spacey about charging them. Which is silly because they charge super fast. I think it’s less than an hour to bring them back to full capacity. The only downsides are the volume isn’t super loud which Jess mentioned–I guess it’s good because it makes it so you can still be aware of your surroundings when walking with them–but on some podcasts I feel like I’d like a little more juice. When you wear them on an airplane, you have to keep your Bluetooth on to have them paired with your phone, so you can’t go into full “airplane” mode. And I do feel a little self-conscious wearing them because they are kinda douchey looking and I lose the effect of traditional headphones that say “I can’t hear you so don’t talk to me.” But aside from those few things, I can’t say enough about what a game changer they were for me this year. Bonus–I’ve had them for six months and haven’t lost them, which is huge!

(and side note: yes to fenty beauty too! and there are 10 new mattemoiselle plush matte lipsticks–thicc being my favorite!)

Schitt’s Creek: Another shout-out to Jess–she called this one and was ON ME  (and you) to watch it–and she was so right. I haven’t been this excited about a show in a long time. And it’s coming back on January 16th so you have time to get caught up before the new season comes out, if you didn’t take her advice the first time around to check it out. I’m the worst at binge-watching and we blew through this faster than any series ever. Also–my closet goals = David Rose and Dan Levy is a great IG follow, if you’re not already on it.


Milwaukee Bucks: YOU GUYS!!!! We have the best team in the entire NBA!!!! Seriously!!! We are #1 right now!!! I told you not to sleep on the Bucks two years ago and I’m telling you again–get on it!!! #fearthedeer

HAPPY NEW YEAR, everyone! We love you all so much and are excited for new products, adventures and all the everything and nothings life invariably throws at us. We’d love to hear what rocked your world in 2018 or things you’d like us to check up on for you in upcoming posts. 

Because if 2018 taught us anything–life can be much too much sometimes (and also that it’s okay to declare “it’s my turn to take a selfish!”)–and 2019 could be more of the same.

So let’s do 2019 better–together.

You are heard.

Last weekend, I had the honor of standing up in my cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony and it was so good to see so many family members and have it not be associated with a funeral–which seems to be our go-to reunion occasion of late. And Cousin Heather was beautiful and so happy. It was a day filled with joy and a feeling of peace.

photo courtesy of Tymber Wenninger

But it also served as a day of reflection for me.

Cousin Heather was my first friend and like a sister to me. As I’m the oldest of three girls, she was the one I modeled myself after.

And it wasn’t a stretch to think of us as sisters. We do look similar and people often confused us as sisters–when I was younger–and even at the wedding.

It was no less thrilling today as it was over thirty years ago.

I wanted to be her. I wanted to be as beautiful as her, as talented as her, as funny as her, as smart as her. My life was playing catch up to a someone who couldn’t have been a better standard bearer. She’s kind, thoughtful and curious. And she never seemed to mind having to spend time with me, even when I was small. And I had to be annoying. Grown-up Lyn can be a lot. I can’t imagine what it was like to deal with me as a kid.

So as far as role models go, I had one of the best.

During the reception, I had a lovely conversation with her youngest daughter. We talked about how gifted her mom is as an artist. She said she wished she had skills like her. I said I did, too.

I remember coloring with her at her kitchen table–and even though she’s a few years older than me–her drawing was the difference of comparing a child with a master. It was discouraging. But she told me I didn’t have to draw to be an artist. She said I would find my own thing.

She was right. And I shared the same advice to her daughter.

One Saturday morning at our Aunt Mary’s house–the usual Saturday hangout growing up–I told her that I wished I had freckles like her. She explained how she put pickle juice on her face to try and get rid of them. To bleach them out.

It was the first time I was ever aware that something I found magical about someone’s appearance could be the thing they disliked most. It was just as confusing then as it is now.

She also gave me the greatest birthday gift I ever received. A 45 of Rick Springfield’s Affair of the Heart and two Star Wars figures: Princess Leia and Yoda. She said I could add the record to my growing collection, and now I would have toys I could bring with me so I could be included when the boy cousins were doing their movie recreations on Saturday mornings. It was perfect.

Through my late elementary school and early middle school years, she helped me navigate tough times. I’m not sure she even knows how much her words mattered to me then and how I’ve held on to them still as a guide to seek safety and strive for success. But I do.

We haven’t reminisced about those times. She maybe doesn’t even remember. Standing in the sun on Saturday, I was reminded that it’s often in moments that are fleeting for you, when you are making an impact on someone else. Without trying. Without noticing. Without effort. Just by being you and being present and connecting.

She and I lost touch for a number of years. I was going through high school and college, while she was married and had her children.

We reconnected as adults. Peers. No longer a young kid idolizing her older cousin. She could lean on me during her tough times, just as I had–and would–lean on her.

We share ideas and talk about the world and encourage each other’s projects. It’s a relationship that means a lot to me. And standing behind her at her wedding helped me understand that it also means a lot to her.

Today is a difficult day for many women. It’s a reminder of memories hidden away. It’s a trigger for emotions we have spent our lives silencing. And it’s confirmation that things are still not equal for us. We are not inherently given spaces of safety and success, we have to seek them out and create them for ourselves.

Some will find comfort sharing their stories. Some will need quiet. All will need acknowledgement that we are not alone.

I’m choosing to use today to think about the women–whether through grand gestures or small moments–that have made an impact on my life.  There are many.

My Cousin Heather is one of those women. And you are, too. Just by taking your time to read these musings makes me feel heard.

And sometimes that’s all you need. A moment. You give me that.

Know that today I hear you, I see you, and I acknowledge you. Do the same for other women in your life. Especially today.

Cousin Heather and me


Halo Beauty–did it change my life?

If you’re not familiar with Halo Beauty, you’re probably not familiar with Tati Westbrook, the YouTuber/beauty influencer/glam guru who developed this supplement designed to give you amazing hair/skin/nails.


I go in waves with watching YouTube videos where I’ll watch a ton and then go a few months without watching any. But when I do watch them, Tati is definitely one of my favorites.

Her sheer quantity of uploads is impressive. Girl puts in the work! And you can tell she is very thoughtful in the type of videos she posts with a large range of topics although all are makeup/skin care focused. I appreciate her point-of-view and her clear knowledge and passion for products–which I totally feel! I can tell she believes in miracles–and so do I.

And she’s not 22, which I appreciate.

So when she announced her launch of a supplement, it rocked the influencer beauty world in a very non-story story kind of way.

I’ll let her explain how she came to create the product:

And if you have an hour to kill and want to immerse yourself in some silly YouTuber drama, you can click here.

But regardless of all that noise, I decided to give the supplement a try (as you know if you follow us on our Instagram page.)

And I just finished my first month on it.

Here’s what I think in a simple pro/con list:

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Let’s Try “Lifestyle” Ice Creams!

Have you noticed something going on?? Something in the freezer section of the grocery store?? So many “ice creams” are now trying to be all “hey! Hey! I’m totes healthy! You can eat the whole pint and it won’t blow your calorie budget for the day AND you can get some protein! Do it! Dooooo iiiiiitttt!! Ice cream for health!!”

I mean, it sounds good, but also a little bit like a clown trying to lure me into a van with candy. Are they worth the hype? I caught about 700* people buying Halo Top the last time I was at the grocery store, so maybe there’s something to it. Let’s try a bunch and find out!


Halo Top was invented because the founder was hypoglycemic and wanted a delicious dessert that wouldn’t spike his insulin, which is a valid reason to make such a thing. Somewhere along the line, fitness influencers and Crossfitters adopted it (22 grams of protein in a pint! #gainz) and it has become crazy popular. I mean, have you seen how much freezer real estate it gets at the store?? They even sell it at Walgreens!

My husband has some dietary reasons to avoid huge amounts of sugar as well, so it seems like there’s always a pint or two of Halo Top in our freezer- this one was easy to check off the list! I will agree that it is a pretty good ice cream replica, and a bonus is that it comes in a billion flavors, and even a few non-dairy alternatives, so there’s something for everyone. BUT it is sweetened with stevia, and I hate stevia. Like, haaaaaate it. For one, I really don’t like how it tastes, but even if I could get past that, if I eat stevia, it’s basically like I’ve eaten 100 very explosive bees all armed with tiny steak knives. So I get really mad when a thing says “no artificial sweeteners!!!” and then I dig deep into the ingredient list and fucking stevia is lurking around. NO THANK YOU.

So this whole stevia thing has my list narrowed down to lifestyle ice creams that also don’t have stevia, which is…. a shorter list.


“Fit Frozen Desserts!” “Lactose Free!” “Gluten Free!” “Fat Free!” “GMO Free!” are things listed all over the package for this guy. It should also include “Flavor Free!”. I tried Cookie Shake, and it was sad. Not terrible, per se- it was, chocolate-ish? But so boring that eating the whole pint wasn’t even appealing. You know it’s good when you forget it’s even in the freezer- I never finished eating it beyond the first half inch down.

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I Feel It All

My birthday was almost a month ago. As hard as I try to convince myself that my birthday—and similarly, New Year’s Eve—is just a day on the calendar, it always serves as a source of anxiety. They are days of introspection. That can quickly turn into periods of melancholy and ennui. Not that I’m not checking in on my “self”—probably more than I should—but those dates serve as reminders that time is continuing whether I’m ready or not.

Aging is not something I’ve ever done particularly gracefully. I distinctly remember walking to the mailbox on my 10th birthday to check for cards and sobbing once I got there at the realization I would never be a single digit again. I would have to live to 100 to be special. A concern that still nags at me.

But what does that even mean? To be special? I guess it’s like porn. You know it when you see it.

I see it often in others, I just struggle to see it in myself sometimes.

Perhaps to my determent, what it meant to me at 10 versus what it means now at 43 hasn’t really changed. I think it’s about being relevant. A feeling that if I was gone, I would be remembered. And not just remembered for something I did, but something I was doing and something I could’ve still done.

For me, it’s become more a question of am I getting better? Am I doing enough? Why can’t I do more?

It’s an internal challenge. A constant game of chicken I’m playing with—or against—myself. While I’m a competitive person, it’s always been more of a battle with myself than against other. It’s more of a game of solitaire than poker, if you will. But the rules aren’t clear and the end isn’t defined.

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What products did I pack for my trip?

So here’s the situation. I just got back from a wonderful trip to Spain that was divided into three parts: a few days in Barcelona, a 60+ mile hike on the Camino de Santiago and then a few days along the Costa Brava. Those are three very different vacations. And I had to pack for all them in a bag I could carry on my back during the hike portion of the trip. (technically, I could’ve put the non-hike stuff in a locker at the airport, but that would really be too convenient, and probably too smart for me. And yea—clearly it was.)

As we have established, I’m a pro at packing light. So keeping the weigh down was not a problem for me. I was able to pack everything I needed in a bag that weighed less than 15 pounds.

got a new pack for the trip off a packing light story.  it was okay. really designed for boys though.

This was seriously a source of pride for me. But did I pack right? Especially when it came to my skin care/makeup game. Let’s review!

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What’s the deal with the Nurse Jamie beauty roller and her weird bear pillow?

I was scrolling through my YouTube feed last night and randomly came across this video by Jenna Dewan Tatum which is funny because I don’t remember subscribing to her channel or ever watching any of her videos.

But what caught my eye was the Nurse Jamie, UpLift Facial Massaging Beauty Roller that she’s using in the cover image.

In the long list of products I’ve purchased because of YouTubers, this one makes my list.

I’ve had it for well over a year, but for some reason, I’ve never mentioned it before today.

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My rookie mistakes and other advice when clothes shopping in Europe–or the mall

I just got back on Sunday from a week-long trip to Copenhagen to visit one of my besties.

I’ve been to Denmark a lot–I think this was my 8th trip!–I really love my friend, and CPH.

And after that first trip in 2003, I’ve found shopping in Copenhagen really changed my thinking about clothes, opened up my fashion palette and expanded my personal style to be more adventurous with shapes and silhouettes.

It really feels like shopping in the future. You tend to see a lot of trends before they break in the US.

My love of jumpsuits happened with my first purchase of a fantastic grey strapless number in 2010 that is still one of the favorite things I own.

my first night out with erin in my jumpsuit from the future, 2010

But as experienced as I feel I am at shopping when visiting Erin–I still make rookie mistakes–and have a thing or two to learn.

So if you have an upcoming European adventure or an Epic work trip, here are some ways you can learn from my mistakes and find the best pieces to maximize your European–or any–shopping experience!

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Transitioning To Fall…. Kind Of.

Happy first day of autumn!! Ssshhh, never mind that it’s 90 degrees out. Here are some things that I am currently into (or hope to be into!) now that…. nevermind, I haven’t even thought about a sweater or cooking chili in a crock pot or hot apple cider or putting real socks on yet. Here are just some random things!

Later, Bronzer
While I am forever grateful to Lyn for turning me on to the Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer (it’s seriously the best!!), once Labor Day came and went, I haven’t picked it up. I didn’t even make a conscious choice about it- it’s like, once I saw yellow school buses back on the street, bronzer time came to a halt. Instead, I’ve been favoring a romantic, mauve-y blush. I really love Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty, which you can get for free as your birthday present this year as a Sephora Beauty Insider! These blushes last forever, so any time you can snag one free or in a discovery set, do it. Anyway, this shade is a perfect soft rose without being too dreary or vampy. Aces.

I absolutely adore Kristen Bell. Did you guys see her singing to a group of nursing home residents and calling bingo when they all got stuck in the same hotel during hurricane Irma?? It was the best. I missed this show last fall when it originally aired, but recently caught up via Netflix, and it is SO GREAT. My husband just watched it too- he also found it laugh out loud funny- and he was all “why are we the only people in the whole world watching this?? It is the best!” I agree. The basic premise is that Eleanor (Kristen Bell) wakes up to learn that she is dead and in the afterlife, but not to worry, she is in “the good place”. She quickly realizes that there has been a clerical error and she doesn’t actually belong there (because she’s kind of a jerk), and hilarity ensues as she tries to fake her way through it. Ted Danson and the other supporting actors are top notch, the laughs are rapid fire, and it is forking hilarious. Why is this an almost fall thing? Because season 2 just started, and it is brilliant!
Back to Matte
Similarly, I have started gravitating back toward matte lips. Why does this happen during the season of dry lips?? No one knows. But it does. I recently picked up a lipstick from the Sephora Matte Rouge Collection in the shade No Superstar, which is a gorgeous rose-nude that flirts with being greige, but not enough to make you look dead. I find the formula to be a little drying, but it’s not terrible, especially if you prep your lips first with a little buff and chapstick. One weird thing though- it smells like grape bubble gum. The scent goes away pretty quickly, but dang, it is WEIRD.
Practical Vans
Lolololol- all Vans are practical! But I needed some legit comfy actual sneakers for work and for walks on these (ahem, soon to be) crisp mornings. I used to be faithful to Nikes for when I have to be on my feet all day, but my last pair (the Flyknit Free) made me angry- sure, they were super soft and light, but they were so flexible that I would just slide around in them. Someone at Vans must have heard my laments, because they came to the rescue and released these super rad Ultrarange sneaks! They weigh nothing (I thought the box was empty), they have the right level of squish with the right amount of structure, and they look like cool skate shoes while being sneaky practical and go with everything. Oh! They are also made out of a really light mesh, which is nice. I think these will be a good vacation pick if there’s going to be a lot of walking.
Pretty soon, I will be in full fall mode- I’m dying for jeans and jackets and boots and spooky nights and crunchy leaves and having scary movies on nonstop. But until then, these things will ease me in while still hanging on to summer, a little bit. Maybe.
What are you transitioning into as the season shifts? Are you watching anything good right now? I bought all of these things with my own money but I did happen to buy those Vans while Dick’s Sporting Goods was having a random $20 off shoes sale so obviously they were meant to be!


After the November election, I bought an online subscription to the Washington “Democracy Dies in Darkness” Post. The app is easy to use and I routinely start my morning scrolling through the headlines, if admittedly, not taking the time to actually read the articles. I have this anxiety about what has happened while I was sleeping so a quick flip through the top stories gives me a general briefing for the start of my day.

With today’s headlines, I can tell my current mood of despair, sadness and confusion will not be lifted easily. Along with the anticipated deconstructions of our President’s alarming, though not unexpected, response to Charlottesville, I found these signs of the times:

  • “Factory workers are quitting, many would rather find other jobs”
  • “Why your pet is fat, hint: every nutrition tip you’ve heard is probably wrong”
  • “Volcanoes under melting ice, climate change could trigger eruptions in Antarctica”
  • “ESPN apologizes for player ‘auction'”
  • “There’s plague in Arizona, authorities warn of fleas that can infect people and pets
  • “Don’t want nude pics from strangers? Change this iPhone setting.”
  • “What do you do if your child sides with neo-Nazis?
  • “Trump reverses climate-change order, construction projects will no longer need to consider flood risk”
  • “More than 18,000 died on US roadways in the first six months of 2017”
  • “A Swiss hotel singles out Jews” “asking ‘Jewish guests’ to shower before using the swimming pool.

Good morning to you.

Well, it turns out that people are leaving factory work because the unemployment rate is low and people are betting they can find better, less physically taxing jobs in the market now which is somewhat optimistic, pets don’t need a grain-free diet and it’s a marketing ploy (my industry can be jerks), and traffic deaths are actually down from a year ago.

But the rest of it? It’s just as the headlines make them sound. Bleak. A massive flea outbreak seem to be the least of our concerns.

To top it off, last night I went and saw the not very good, but still thought-provoking movie, “An Inconvenient Sequel”–the Al Gore follow-up to the 2006 Oscar winner, “An Inconvenient Truth.” I learned that of course it’s raining more, all the melting ice cap water is evaporating–and what goes up, must come down–in the form of rain. And lots of it.

With all this heaviness on my mind, it feels slightly disingenuous–and possibly tone deaf?–to post my much delayed and highly anticipated “Ipsy vs. Birchbox” post that was scheduled for today.

At the same time, though all of this is on my mind. I’m still not sure what to say. And even less sure of what to do.

I was at a meeting up in Northern Wisconsin on Monday and a client–who I view as a friend–made an impassioned plea that at our next meeting, we are going to be the one committee that stops talking about an issue that’s on multiple organizations’ agendas, and actually make some kind of decision and movement on it.

Yes!!! I wanted to jump out of my seat and do cartwheels! I like discussion as much as the next person but I want action!

And yet–here I am with the news all around me and I am at a loss of what to do about it. Completely inaction. It seems like so many plates are spinning around me and all of them are slowing down at the same time and I’m just looking at them while they crash around me.

And that’s just thinking about national issues, not the personal ones that feel much more immediate and have my attention. I find those plates first and rarely go back to the others.

Because I can. I will be the first to admit that I don’t HAVE to do anything about all the headlines I read. I am in a position of privilege, so I can just go day-to-day and allow it to be someone else’s fight to take up. Of course, it will eventually become my problem–what happened in Charlottesville could happen anywhere–my hometown, and yours. But no one is waiting for Lyn Pilch to save the day. So I could just hang tight.

Or I can do the minimum, jump on social media and share all the posts and memes and midnight musings on how I will fight the power (not unlike what I’m doing now–though a post would be shorter…) but right now that feels a bit hollow to me. And confusing. I’d like to say I can do it, and will do it, or would do it, but right now I don’t know how to do it. But perhaps just seeing that I care and I’m paying attention will show some support to friends who are finding their very existence marginalized again in new and terrifying ways. But it also might make me feel like I did something when really–I just added my hand to the huddle before the break: “Go Team!”–and then sat back down on the bench.

Instead, I feel like just admitting–I’m in!–but I don’t know what that means. I don’t know what rally to attend. I don’t know what that thing is I can do that will feel like I’m not just having a discussion, but taking action.

And truth be told, I am incredibly cynical after the Act 10 protests that seemed to accomplish nothing but divide our state even more. I thought showing up en masse would demand attention. It would get family and friends who voted for the Governor to see how passionately opposed we were to the dismantling of this crucial institution and at least listen to why we so vehemently disagreed. And it didn’t. It made people just yell at each other, if they talked at all.

I am a positive person. My job is to go to communities and find all the great things about them and why people would want to take their hard earned money and time to visit those locations. Sometimes, I’ve been one of the only people in a room full of locals–in a place I’m unfamiliar with–to believe we could find something positive about that place. And we always do. I like finding the silver lining in situations. I have been called naive, and delusional, and too nice. And I’ve been okay with this.

But now I’m struggling. And maybe you’re struggling, too.

I don’t want to just go to a rally and listen to people talk. I don’t want to march around the Capitol. I don’t want to do the things I’ve done in the past and found no change at the other end.

A couple years ago, I saw Diane Nash speak on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day about how the lunch counter sit-ins were planned and the philosophy used to make social action happen. It drove home all the reasons our Act 10 protests accomplished so little even though so many people were engaged and energized. I recall back to that talk and I keeping wanting Diane Nash to walk in and tell me what to do now.

I want a leader. I want someone to tell me what to do. I want a goal. I want a plan. I want something to hang on to, something tangible.

More and more, I’m starting to feel like that leader is me. And that leader is you. But we won’t be doing that work from behind our computers. We are going to go somewhere and not march in circles, but find purposeful steps that make change.

Diane Nash worked with Martin Luther King Jr. from 1961–1965. In reading more on Nash after that speech, this one quote has stuck with me “I never considered Dr. King my leader. I always considered myself at his side and I considered him at my side. I was going to do what the spirit told me to do. So If I had a leader, that was my leader.”

I don’t know where to set my feet right now, but maybe you do. And if you do–I’m in.

But if you’re struggling like me, perhaps we can listen to the spirit together and uncover the path to action.

I’m optimistic we can find it.

So…makeup? We will get to that tomorrow.