Hooray, I turned 44 years old this week. Is it just me, or does that number look ridiculously high?
Today, I chopped off my hair. So liberating. And I got bangs. I wanted to change it up, and the stylist really went for it. I got tired of the mom bun.
I’ve had a great birthday week, spending quality time with family and friends in the flesh. Not virtual! One of my goals is to connect with people in person because frankly it makes me happy. Texting, calling (who does that anymore) and social media do not count.
Here are some celebratory birthday pics.
At Blue Dot in Alameda with Conrado–my longest tenured friend. Can any of you beat an active friendship from the 2nd grade?
Family dinner at A16 in Oakland. Franco threw a fit and said he didn’t want to go, but thanks to our excellent server DeShoniq, Franco finished his meal saying he liked the restaurant. Success! See if you can spot the Clipper Card Franco put a heart on and wanted to take a picture of.
I continue to work with my life coach/therapist, and she helps me focus on my goals and also holds me accountable. She also listens when I just need to cry! I’m so glad I found her, as she is a critical resource for me.
Here are other resources I use on a daily basis. I highly recommend!
Lastly, I wanted to share what I learned recently from reading the book The Soul of Money which is that we, especially Americans, look at life through a lens of scarcity. We need more space, more things, more money. How about looking at our lives with gratitude and a sense that we have enough, that we are abundant, and that we can share our resources.
In this stage of my life, I am trying to figure out how I can do more and give back, as someone who has received so much. I’ve always donated to charities during fundraisers or for special occasions (like my birthday) or at the end of the year, but after reading the book, I decided to make recurring (weekly or monthly, depending on how the system is setup) donations to my favorite non-profits. Will you consider doing that? Or do you do that already? Would love to hear.
Here are mine:
1951 Coffee Company is a non-profit that promotes the well-being of the refugee community in the San Francisco Bay Area by providing job training and employment to refugees and asylees while educating the surrounding community about refugee life and issues. 1951 marks the year the United Nations first defined and set forth guidelines for the protection of refugees. Graduates of the ongoing training program are now employed at Starbucks, Peet’s, Blue Bottle and other local coffee shops including in-house tech company cafes. I love this organization and always get a group to join me for an annual volunteer event.
More than 80 years after Albert Einstein helped create the IRC, the number and intensity of humanitarian crises across the globe warrant a dose of Einstein-inspired innovation. The IRC has grown because the teams have gone to the toughest places, done cutting-edge research, developed in-depth knowledge, and forged vital relationships with local governments. 191 field offices in over 30 crisis-torn countries are helping communities to survive conflict and rebuild and recover from war and natural disaster.
As the daughter of immigrants and a native Californian, I am a huge supporter of refugee well-being and employment. California has more immigrants–documented and undocumented–than any other state. One out of every two Californians was born outside of the U.S. or has a parent born outside of the U.S.
I often hear backlash from immigrants to our country citing that they came here legally. For me, I can only sympathize. Illegal immigrants are being persecuted, facing violence and trauma. They are fighting for their lives.
At 44 years old, I’m still working on myself, but imperfectly trying to be kind, share my knowledge and resources, and empower others.