3 Things I am Grateful for Today- Thanksgiving, Women Being Treated lik People, and Cell Phone Angst

by - Tuesday, November 11, 2014

1.Thanksgiving is coming up! Most days, I do my 3 Things to make a practice out of being generally positive. Sometimes, it is probably gratitude; sometimes, it is more just "hey look at this cool thing." For the rest of November, I am going to try to write it explicitly in terms of gratefulness, because I am still trying to figure out what gratitude in action looks like (only ideas so far- paying it forward and taking good care of what I have). I know this holiday won't look like the massive family lovefest of last year, but I couldn't be more excited for it.  I mean, it will still have family, gushing, and carbohydrates, so what else can you ask for?

2.The ability to have and make choices about my own body, pregnant or not- I am so grateful for my tiny-handed OBGYN, my doctor/midwife practice that is equally super cool with drugs and birthing balls, and the great and supportive prenatal care I have had the whole run of this thing. These things can get lost in the mix, but when you look at the ways birth choices, the right to control our own bodies, and even infant mortality rates are split by socioeconomic position and race, it becomes clearer and clearer that I have some privileges denied to many other women.

With the feedback from this election, it only becomes clearer and clearer that women's bodies and abilities to make choices about their own bodies is not going to be respected. I know "pro-life" people feel they are saving "babies" from some sort of flippant tarty slubags, but a few articles, especially this one from the New York Times, have come out this week about how rights are being taken away from women who want to be pregnant or who have tragically lost pregnancies. We have reached this awful cultural moment where not only are women solely defined by their status as mothers (also discussed in the New York Times and exemplified by most of my prego reading material), but their identity as baby vessels actually trumps their status as human beings.

So not only am I grateful to live in a state that still respects my personhood (and thereby my choices in pregnancy, childbirth, and the like), but I am also thankful that I have the means to have most of these choices available to me, especially without judgement. I am not strongly entrenched in any particular camp, but just by being married to someone with great insurance, living in a nice urban area, and being white, I can pick and choose as I like. Why is it this way? How can we do better? If you are really "pro-life," why aren't you focused on getting that mortality rate up and safe medical choices available? If I am pro-choice, why don't I do more for other people's choices (not just fighting political battles through organizations like Planned Parenthood, but also thinking about access and economic position)? I want to turn this gratefulness into action, to try to pay it forward. I am going to think a lot more about this, because the majority of my adult volunteering effort has been directed toward art and education, but I would like to be more involved in organizations like "Every Mother Counts" to try to get better choices to other women. I am thinking about this a lot, so if you have feelings about it, please share your ideas!

3. Replacing our phones! We started the process tonight (it is a long angsty process for one member of this family...) and I am mostly excited that my irresponsibility could again be the #1 impediment to getting a hold of me, as opposed to the fact that my phone now dies with no warning and no convincing to behave otherwise. It says it is charging all the time, and then it dies. And then I have no phone. We are finally up for new phones, so I can't wait to get a new phone I will inevitably hate because it isn't enough like my current jank phone that I semi-secretly love. So I guess I am grateful for the old phone's years of service and the new phone's actually being on. 

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