Racism is Just a Red Herring

Michael Brown’s death at the hands of a white law enforcement officer in the small town of Ferguson, Missouri got me thinking. The United States has a long and well-documented history with racism (depending on the history books you read anyway – there are some which suggests that the slaves were paid). Black Americans have long suffered at the hands of white law enforcement. Michael Brown’s death is (possibly) just the most recent. Do not misunderstand me – I am NOT in any way trying to minimize what happened. This is an issue that needs to be investigated for a number of reasons: Whether the officer should be tried for murder, use of force by police generally, and what constitutes a justifiable basis for the use of lethal force, etc.

But at the end of the day, it’s really not about racism. You read that right. It’s not about racism.

And it’s not about homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, xenophobia, ethnocentrism, nationalism, or anyone else we “fear” or hate.

Eradicating racism won’t suddenly bring about world peace. If everyone in the world suddenly decided Christianity or Judaism or Islam were where it’s at, people would still fight. If everyone came around to realize that sexuality is just one element of who a person is and doesn’t actually say anything about the kind of person anyone is… you know where I’m going with this.

I had the realization just this weekend (and I’m a little disappointed in myself for not seeing it sooner) that the real issue is the “us vs. them” mentality that is so pervasive. Our natural inclination to divide the world into ourselves with people like us (based on whatever criteria we choose) against everyone who doesn’t fit into the little circle we’ve created. Race is an easy one because it’s so obvious. You just take a look at your face in the mirror and look around you as you go about your day. Religion, sexuality, and ethnic origin are harder, but that doesn’t stop people from making assumptions based on stereotypes and limited exposure/experience.

It’s important to note that the little circles are of our own making. We create them. They have meaning only because we give them meaning.

The thing that amuses me the most is the assumption that if someone shares A characteristic with us, that characteristics B, C, and D will follow. But they don’t always. I took a class in law school called Race and the Law. For a portion of the course we were divided into smaller groups to make discussion easier. I was grouped with other black students. When the professor walked by our group she said something to the effect of, “Now you all can discuss affirmative action without having to argue over the need for it.” She just assumed that because I’m black that I support affirmative action. The thing is, I don’t.

I don’t know why we create these dichotomies. To make ourselves feel more comfortable? And if so, more comfortable with what? To try to understand ourselves? Attempting to define ourselves by the qualities of others strips us of our individuality. When we do it, it means that our definition of our self is limited by who we meet. If we don’t see it, we can’t be it. Are we so fulfilled in life that we think we can get by not understanding probably more than half of the rest of the world or more? Do we do it to distance ourselves from others so that we don’t feel saddened when bad things happen? Does that make it some kind of self-preservation? Do we do it to feel more self-important?

Do we need to figure out the why? Can we find our way to a solution without getting to the root of why? I don’t even come close to having an answer for that.

What’s obvious is that focusing on differences will always yield results. We’re all special snowflakes. There are literally billions of ways to come up with an us vs. them. Perhaps by focusing on what we have in common, recognizing that those commonalities are far more important than what divides us, can lead us to a better place. At the end of the day, we’re all seeking the same things – love, acceptance, and validation of who we are. We don’t need an us vs. them for that.


Perhaps a little psychotic

I can already tell I’m going to have trouble devoting time to writing. Some of it has been that I’m still adjusting to the time difference and occasionally been waking up only in time to check some email and then start working… at 4pm. We forced ourselves to get up yesterday in the morning just to see if we could make ourselves get onto some kind of more “normal” schedule and I had a manicure/pedicure today at 11am to continue that. Well, it’s 1:45am and I am still WIDE awake.

Some of it is that Mr. Lyndsy’s off work for 10 days and I love hanging out with him more than anything else. We play video games, watch TV shows on DVD, and watch movies or sporting events. We both love shopping, even grocery shopping, so we do that together too.

But I also know that I am just not great at committing myself to writing… unless there’s a community deadline. Like National Novel Writing Month. Do you see where this is going?

I love the pressure of 50,000 words in a month. And it’s in November! Where there is Thanksgiving and Black Friday shopping! And I did it while I was working full-time. Surely I can do it now.

If I were a writer who planned this wouldn’t be so easy. But, I’m not. I’ve tried that. It failed miserably.When I tried to plan, even the main ending of a story, the story went somewhere else. I don’t have kids, so this could be way off, but the way I see my stories is how I think parents see their kids, or at least the way I think my mom saw me. You have this idea how the story how your kid is supposed to grow up, but inevitably, the kid figures himself or herself out, and does what he or she wants to do because it’s what he or she is interested in. It may not be anything you’ve ever conceived. So, rather than try to sculpt this into something, I’m going to let the pottery make itself.

The good part about this plan is that since I’m not counting on a publisher to like me, I don’t have to worry about my book being any one way or another. I won’t publish it if it’s total shit, but at the same time, before it can be published it has to be written.

Beginning August 1st, I will write 50,000 words per month. For those of you who aren’t crazy enough to have tried National Novel Writing Month, this means an average of 1,667 words per day. Wish me luck. Or, if you want to be really helpful, leave some story ideas below!


What Dream May Come

I don’t know if it’s the jet lag or just that I go to bed exhausted, but my sleep and dreams have been seriously weird. Two nights ago it was that I was pregnant, and someone else had to tell me that I was. It all came about because we were celebrating a friend’s wedding (who got married in real life quite a few years ago) and she was pregnant and starting to show. Someone looked at me and said, “Well, you’re pregnant too,” and I was like, “Huh, what? No, I’m not.” They dragged me to a doctor they knew who performed some kind of needle test to tell me I was, in fact, pregnant. I still didn’t believe it, so my friends dragged me to a gas station store and made me take a box pregnancy test. It had like 5 different colors on it and a plus/minus sign thing. I claimed the test was broken when it turned up two plus signs. It went on like that, with me continuing to deny and making up reasons why the test wasn’t valid. I got nothing.

This morning I woke up (at least I think I really woke up), opened my eyes, saw Mr. Lyndsy, and just about screamed. Apparently I’m still not used to sleeping with Mr. Lyndsy. It may be that most of the time he’s usually at work before I wake up. This won’t always be the case, but right now, as I try to adjust to this new timezone, it will be. Or that was just part of a dream. I’m a little freaked out that I’m having trouble differentiating fantasy and reality.

After that, I went for a run. I was pretty proud of myself because running is most definitely not my thing. And I was in nice bright neon colors so everyone would be able to see me and not run into me with their cars or bikes. I even managed a portion uphill. I ran by some people I knew so I waved to them and kept on running.

I was completely worn out by the time I got back. Of course, it was only when I got back that I realized I’d been dreaming the entire time. Something should have struck me as odd pretty quickly. One, I live in a REALLY flat part of the world right now. Two, I was running outside in shorts which is completely not okay here since my super sexy knees were showing. Three, I ran by people I know who live in Florida and Washington and have never been as close as they were in my dream. Oh, and four, I WAS RUNNING. I can barely walk right now, let alone try to add speed.

The best part was that in the dream, I went around telling people how wild it was that I had the dream and how ridiculous it was that I didn’t  realize it until I got back from the run! I was even thinking about posting it on Facebook and what I would say.

After that, Mr. Lyndsy came in to kiss my goodbye before leaving for work. One of the few things I require of him is that every morning, before he leaves, he has to give me a kiss, even if I’m asleep. Well, this morning I was stuck in some dream/reality netherworld, and it wasn’t him giving me a kiss, but my mother. Let’s not tell him about that.

I’d been getting a little better about waking up earlier, but that’s all gone to hell in a hand basket now. I was tired well before I went to sleep last night. Maybe if I had gone to sleep when my body was zonking out on me instead of continuing to play Lego Batman with Mr. Lyndsy, I wouldn’t have been so out of this morning.

I’ve always been interested in dream interpretation, but honestly, I’ve got nothing on the dreams I’ve had recently. In search of an answer, I turned to the Google. Pregnancy dreams are usually about giving birth to some kind of creativity. So, based on the dream, I have something creative percolating inside, but I need other people to tell me it’s there?

Running when not being chased is apparently a good thing. When running alone, it indicates motivation to reach your goals and eventual success. Perhaps this makes sense since I have recently been outlining my goals? The two dreams taken together mean that I’ll have success in the creative goals I’ve outlined?

Anyone have thoughts?


Becoming Super Lyndsy, Part III: Professional

One of the main reasons behind moving to Qatar (besides getting to be with Mr. Lyndsy all the time) was that I would have pretty much an entire workday to pursue my own professional goals and hobbies. My job is based in Florida, which is 7 or 8 hours behind the time here., and I only do it part-time. I have from when I wake up until 3pm or 4 pm to work on whatever I feel like. And what I feel like is writing. A lot.

My first focus is a new project I’m working on with a couple friends. It’s still in the developmental stages so I won’t say much about it here except that it is going to be awesome. If you enjoy writing and you have an opinion, you should write for us! I’ll be laying out more details about asterisk* in the future, so stay tuned.

I also want to spend more time writing here. I miss blogging and when I don’t do it, something is wrong with my life. Now that I have more time, I want to write more. I also want to engage more with the people who read it. I find people fascinating and I would rather spend time talking to people than doing pretty much anything else. I went through a really introspective period and I feel like I lost some of my funny along the way. It’s coming back, slowly, and I want to share.

Another major goal is to write, edit, and self-publish a novel. I’ve written several over the last few years during National Novel Writing Month. I really enjoy the pressure of writing so many words in such a short period of time. However, I don’t have a lot of interest in editing those stories. I would rather start fresh with something new. Trouble is, I don’t know that I have a story or characters running around in my head right now. I’m a discovery writer, which means that I don’t do a much planning before I write. The words just jump out of my head through my fingers. Things have still been pretty hectic for me so I’m hoping that once my life calms down and I slow down, new ideas will swim their way back into my brain.

I started a project last summer called Living Through Love. Unfortunately when work got crazy and my health took a dive, I didn’t have the energy for both. Obviously the job that paid me so I could live took priority. But I feel it’s really important that I get that idea out there and really flesh it out for people, so I am definitely going to get back into it. It just feels right to do it.

I created a schedule for my days to make sure all of this stuff can get done, but naturally I left it in Florida when I moved. Recreating it won’t be a problem, I just have to do it. It would also be nice if the jet lag would leave me the hell alone so I can actually wake up during morning hours.

At any rate, I hope you’ll keep reading this blog. Despite what it may seem, coming up with posts takes a little while, so I hope I’m at least somewhat entertaining. If not, just send me nasty emails and comments and tell me to get it together.

(That was a joke.)

(Sort of.)

Becoming Super Lyndsy, Part II: Personal/Family

I’ve been married all of about three weeks so it’s not really surprising that things are still amazing. Mr. Lyndsy is really more than I ever could have expected in a life partner. He’s kind, sweet, and we are just happy being together. From the beginning it’s been about the simple things – playing video games together, watching TV, and just relaxing. We love going to bed together and waking up next to each other (well, sort of, he’s usually out of bed and at work before I’m even thinking about being conscious).

I want to keep it this way. I’ve heard that the longer you’re married and the more kids you add into the mix, the harder things get. We won’t always agree on things. Sharing space with someone usually creates issues as well. The short of it is that things won’t always be as easy as they are right now.

We’re both committed to this relationship for life. We’re fortunate that we didn’t meet until we were a little older (not that 32 is old by any means, but it’s a bit later than a lot of people who get married). We’ve each had relationships that, in retrospect, were terrible ideas. We’ve each had significant periods of time that allowed us to really evaluate who we are and what we’re looking for in a partner. We appreciate very much how lucky we are to have found each other and we were apart long enough to cherish that we are together now.

One of my goals is to make sure, every day, that Mr. Lyndsy knows how much I appreciate having him in my life. All we want is for the other to be happy. He is extremely supportive of my goals, whether they’re related to health or work. He encourages me to pursue my dreams and does what he can to help me reach them. Words can’t express how much I appreciate having him in my life.

Mr. Lyndsy works during the day and I work during the evenings. Because I’m home during the day, I want to be the one to do the vast majority of the cooking. His job affords me the ability to only work part-time. It’s not that I’m just laying around – I’m treating the day as a workday of sorts for my various projects, but I’m still at home. I have time during the day to prep the meals and challenge myself in the kitchen a little. One of the things I hated about working more than full-time as a lawyer is that I didn’t have the time or energy to try anything new. Now that I have the luxury of having more time, I want to contribute to our family by cooking healthy and interesting meals. We just bought a KitchenAid mixer and I ordered most of the attachments they sell. I’m looking forward to playing around with those, making my own pasta and ice cream.

I’m also going to try some new activities with Mr. Lyndsy. While shopping for my new Fitbit and other exercise stuff for me, Mr. Lyndsy showed me some kayaks. He’s really excited about the idea of us paddling together. I wouldn’t normally hop into a kayak, but he’s really excited about it and I’m excited for him. I’ve also come to realize that experiences, not things, make the memories of our lives. Why not make some in a kayak? Good exercise and probably more than a few laughs as I try not to tip us over. We also play video games together – usually the Lego games. Right now it’s Lego Batman 1 and 2, since the third is coming out soon, but we’re also going to go back to The Lego Movie game. Honestly, I don’t much care what we do, as long as I get to do it with Mr. Lyndsy.

One of the hardest things I’m going to be working on is learning to speak Portuguese. Mr. Lyndsy is Brazilian and a lot of his family doesn’t speak much English. We’re currently planning on traveling to Brazil in December and I want to have at least some ability to have basic conversations with my new family while we’re there. Mr. Lyndsy will help with some translation, but that’s not good enough for me. They’re my family, I should be able to communicate with them myself.

Now that I live a million miles away from everyone I know and love, I want to make sure I’m keeping touch with people. I thrive on connections with my friends and family. Now that I don’t live within driving or easy flying distance, I’m going to make a concerted effort to stay in touch. The internet makes this a fairly simple thing to do, it’s just taking the time to do it. Time is something I’ve got.

To sum it all up:

  1. Make sure I show Mr. Lyndsy how much I appreciate him every day.
  2. Cook meals 5 days per week – hopefully something new and interesting.
  3. Spend at least 1 day per week doing an activity with Mr. Lyndsy.
  4. Sit down with my Portuguese books and course some every day. With Rosetta Stone it’s not hard to complete a lesson or two each day.
  5. Email/Facebook friends family at least once per month. I love y’all!

This will all be easier to accomplish once I’m on a normal sleep schedule. I’m still adjusting to the time zone change – 7 hours is a HUGE change, especially since we we leaped forward. Hopefully in a week I’ll be maximizing my days and accomplishing tons.

I could use some ideas from y’all though – what do you do to keep your relationship fresh? What’s your favorite meal to cook?


Becoming Super Lyndsy, Part I: Health

Obviously health is an important area of everyone’s lives. Feeling like shit sucks. It makes everything more challenging and the worse we feel, the less we do. Sometimes we just don’t have the energy, sometimes we physically can’t do the things we want to do to stay in shape. I was supposed to walk/run the Disney Princess Half-Marathon in February, but my back went out a month before the race. Now I couldn’t run if I tried and walking at a fast pace isn’t such a good idea either. But that’s really besides the point because there’s a lot I can do to get healthier. The reality is that my body needs some help from me right now.

According to the BMI calculator, I am overweight. While I don’t put too much stock in the BMI calculations (they get a little skewed if you’re outside the norms for height – and I’m a lot taller than the average woman), I cannot deny that I need to shed a few pounds to reach a healthier state. I lost a bunch of weight after the back surgery, but I seem to have found a good portion of them again. I can tell this by my clothes too. I bought them when I weighed less and they’re all a bit snug now. Extra weight adds stress to my back and probably doesn’t help the nerve situation in my foot. (It is now swollen and painful regularly. No one seems to know why or what’s wrong, which is a little disturbing.) It’s not really about weight loss though. It’s about being healthy.

Weight loss is often a byproduct of developing a healthier lifestyle, but it’s not actually the goal. Mr. Lyndsy plays a big role in my health movement. His education, job, and hobbies all involve personal fitness. He knows more than a little about exercise and nutrition. That’s both good and bad. On my lazy days I hate it. On days when I want to feel better than I do right now, I love it. It really comes down to the fact that he hates seeing me in pain. He can’t do anything about it, and he hates feeling helpless, so he tries to do whatever he can to help me feel better, sometimes against my will. (That sounds a lot worse than I mean it. I really do need a push most of the time to get better about my own health.)

The other thing is that Mr. Lyndsy and I want to have LyndsySpawn. (That’s more fun to say than “kids.”) I may not know much about children or being pregnant, but what I DO know is that the more in shape my body is, the better it is for the LyndsySpawn. I need to get the little booger’s womb ready before it checks in. ready (See what I did there?) I also can’t forget the Type 2 diabetes and thyroid condition. Diabetes has to be VERY well-controlled to avoid problems during pregnancy. My A1c (measure of blood sugar over a roughly three-month period) was 6.1, which is great for someone with diabetes. This means that, on average, my blood sugar was somewhere around or under 120. Prior to and during pregnancy it needs to be 100 or less. This may not seem like a huge change, but it is. I need to keep a very strict eye on what I eat. My love affair with all things carbohydrate has to come to an end (or we can’t see each other as often – which is more likely). Women with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis have a higher rate of miscarriage than women without it. To combat that, doctors prescribe a synthetic thyroid to keep the thyroid levels at a normal level before and during pregnancy. I’m not always great about taking my meds as prescribed (which may be why my foot is killing me so much of the time), but with such great risks, this med will be taken as prescribed.

Not that you want to know about my feet, but I have some seriously cracked heels. No amount of pedicures and lotion fixed them so I went to the google and searched for a way to get rid of the scales. The answer? Staying hydrated. While getting professionals to assist with your feet gets you part of the way, you have to go the rest of the way by drinking a LOT of water. I pretty much HATE water. Yes I know it makes up a good portion of my body, but it has ZERO taste (unless you’re drinking Aquafina, which has a nasty taste). I much prefer a refreshing Coca-Cola or some “fruit” juice (you know the kid I mean, the stuff that has less than 10% real fruit juices in it). However, as I mentioned before, I have to cut that stuff out of my diet anyway.

All of this sounds fantastic, but for it to work for me, I need specific goals to hit or some way to measure what’s happening. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

  1. Check blood sugar every day and log result. Aim for 100 or less.
  2. Eat better to make #1 possible – avoid sugary foods and carb-laden foods. I won’t give them up entirely, but moderation should be okay.
  3. Take all meds, every day, when I’m supposed to. Will need an app for this or to log them on my calendar.
  4. Drink 72 ounces of water every day – eventually aim for 100 ounces. Use Waterlogged app to keep track.
  5. Check weight regularly. No, it’s not the goal, but it’s a good way to check and see what’s up.
  6. Keep a journal of how I’m feeling every day along with what I ate, how I slept, etc. This should help me see which foods make me feel better and which foods make me feel worse.
  7. STRETCH every day. My back gives me loads of issues, but they seem better when I stretch in the morning.
  8. Do core exercises from physical therapist every day. After the surgery my abs haven’t been what they were. (I suppose that’s what happens when they open you up right near your belly button.)
  9. Come up with rewards for accomplishing goals. While better health is itself a reward, it’s not as much fun as others.

I’ll come up with a way to track all of this, but I think this is a good start. I have clear forms of measurement of success. It’ time to earn some rewards. How do you reward yourselves for a job well done?

Super Lyndsy

One of my favorite things about big life events (happy – moving, getting married, a new job or less – death of a close friend or family member, divorce, losing a job) is that you get the feeling that starting over or making some changes is totally normal. Obviously we could choose to start something new or start over at any point. But, when it’s in conjunction with a major life event, it feels different and makes more sense to those around us.

Getting married and moving 8000 miles away from the country I’ve called home my whole life feels like a great time to turn the page to a new chapter in my life. Hell, it’s almost like going to another part of the book, not just a chapter. In the next part of The Book of Lyndsy, I’m hoping going to make some great changes in my life. (Hoping is about as effective as wishing or wanting when it comes to change in your life. What’s that saying – Want in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up faster.)

Anyway, back to the change we can change in the change we hold dear (at 1:19). The way I see it is that life is broken down into the Big Three areas: Health, family/personal, and job/money. When one of these areas is suffering we can often get by, but if two or more are out of whack we end up feeling like complete and utter shit. Depression sets in and everything seems overwhelming. Over the last year and a half, all of my Big Three  have been out of alignment. I didn’t have much of a personal life, working as a lawyer was extremely stressful and not particularly fulfilling  (difficult clients and colleagues will do that) and not  helpful to my financial situation (I cried when I made student loan payments), and my health took a nose dive (Type 2 diabetes, thyroid condition, and major back surgery with post-surgery complications).

Then I met Mr. Lyndsy. Shortly after that, I went to the doctor to figure out what in the world was making me fatigued and awful all the time. I’m still sorting through some of the health stuff, but I feel a little better. Recovery from surgery is just going to take a while. Foot drop sucks, but I finally found a way to walk where I don’t look like a horse and I don’t trip over my foot (most of the time anyway). My neurosurgeon is hopeful that in a year to 18 months the nerve will regenerate and I’ll be totally fine. I left life as a lawyer in May of this year and I now work for a lawyer in a support capacity, which is infinitely better than lawyering. (If you ask the lawyer I work for, she’d agree wholeheartedly.)

For me, it’s not enough that the Big Three are stable. I’m big on personal development. I want to take what I have going on right now to the next level. I won’t lie, I’ve tried this in the past. I often usually lack dedication. I know it, but obviously just admitting that doesn’t do much (see above re: shitting in hand). It’s time to commit to myself and become a better Lyndsy. I’m very fortunate that I’m in a place where I have the freedom and support to do it. I don’t like the idea of squandering that opportunity, so I won’t.

Over the next few days I’ll outline my plans for becoming Super Lyndsy. I’m counting on you all to help keep me in line!



Man, it has been a crazy couple of weeks! It all started when Mr. Lyndsy showed up a couple Fridays ago, instead of last Tuesday when I was expecting him. I didn’t peg him for the surprise type, since he hates them. Apparently it’s fine when he’s the one doing the surprising. It’s being on the receiving end that he hates so much.

The surprise didn’t go off as well as he’d planned, however. He expected that he’d be able to get an internet connection while flying through Madrid. He now shares my hatred of that airport (remind me to tell you the story about why it is that I have two passport stamps there on the same day when I never left the airport). He couldn’t get a connection so I didn’t hear from him. Since the end of November, I have talked to him at least once a day, usually in my morning/his afternoon. By 4pm local time, I was panicking. Driving in Qatar is pretty dangerous, so my first concern was that he’d gotten in an accident. I tried to get in touch with his parents, but didn’t get a response. One of his local friends didn’t respond either. His brother suggested that he might be out with his phone. Another friend of his from college suggested he may fly in and surprise me, but I was pretty sure that wasn’t the case.

My mom and I had been planning on seeing Jersey Boys that afternoon and I didn’t see any reason not to go. I figured that I could be miserable and scared in a movie theater just as well as I could at home. Not even an hour into the movie and Mr. Rodrigo calls! He acted like nothing was wrong and asked me where I was. I responded that I was at the movies with my mom.



“I’m at your house.”

Needless to say, my mom and I left the movies right away.

We had a calm few days waiting for our families to fly in, but once they got here things moved quickly. Our ceremony at the courthouse was a lot of fun. I think the people working at the clerk’s office really appreciated that we had some fun with it. I’m sure it’s not every day that someone gets married in a tutu!

Mr and Mrs Lyndsy at the courthouse

We had a family party on the day we got married and a family and friends party on July 4th. The parties were a lot of fun and exactly what I wanted. They were relaxed and casual with great food. I got to see some people I haven’t seen in a long time. Given that I’m moving halfway around the world in a matter of days, it was really nice to catch up with so many people. We have some really generous friends and family and I am certain that our thank you cards won’t even come close to expressing our gratitude.

Our last guest left on Monday and it’s been nice having things back to normal, at least a little bit. This is actually the longest stretch of time Mr. Lyndsy and I have spent together and we’re both really pleased that we still want to be around each other.

I probably should have been packing some over the last few days and I’m not starting to panic a little bit about how much I have to get done over the next week. My appointment to renew my passport and change my name isn’t until the day before we take off, which makes me more than a little nervous. I still don’t have my social security card, so I can’t get a new driver’s license or change my name on my bank account. Kind of a bummer since I need a new debit card, but I guess I’ll have to just see what I can do.

Getting married is apparently a real pain in the ass, but it’s totally worth it.