Sage Synopsis v. 9

//T H O U G H T S 

I am SO happy with my new blog design. I am so grateful for my friend Amanda who worked with me to create exactly what I wanted. It's definitely inspiring me to return to this space a bit more!

Some of you have asked me about how my pregnancy is going and although I don't plan to talk much about it here, things are going really well. I'm currently 23 weeks and our little boy is right on track. I had my first baby shower a few weeks ago while I was home in Arizona and it was lovely.

//P O P U L A R  L A T E L Y

The "P" Word: Privilege. This blog post started quite the dialogue! It was so nice to see people talking openly about issues to that matter to me. I'd love to hear your voice in this important conversation. 

What I Didn't Know About Pregnancy After Loss. Natalie's writing gets me every time. Definitely worth giving this a read if you missed it a few weeks ago. 

//G O O D  R E A D S

I am off to a good start on the POPSUGAR 2017 reading challenge. There is still time to join me! If you don't want to join me, hop on over to this post and give me all your recommendations! 

You Don't Bring Me Cliff Bars Anymore. I love Outside Magazine and I found this post really special and quite different from some of the others they share. 

I'm still really struggling with President 45. This article, Let the Record Show, is well worth the read.

//A U D I B L E S 

When I was in elementary school I was completely obsessed with Alanis Morissette. Talk about angst. My mom sent me this a few weeks ago and I literally laughed for five minutes straight.

//I N S P I R E 

//B L O G G E R  L O V E 

I wrote a guest post on Natalie Brenner's blog a few weeks back. I'm going to toot my own horn a bit and ask you to go give it a read!

Over, Under: Weaving a Strong Marriage out of Everyday Moments by Brittany L Bergman. 

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2017 Reading Challenge Update II

I am currently participating in the 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge. Throughout the year, I am hoping to do monthly(-ish) updates on my progress. This is update TWO for the year so far. I feel like I'm making some great progress lately. Let's hope I can keep up the momentum.

2017 Reading Challenge
A book recommended by a librarian:
A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long: Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas
A book of letters:
An audiobook: Prodigal God by Tim Keller (Completed in February; 3/5 stars)
A book by a person of color: Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly 
A book with one of the four seasons in the title:
A book that is a story within a story:
A book with multiple authors:
An espionage thriller:
A book with a cat on the cover: A Man Called Over by Fredrick Backman 
A book by an author who uses a pseudonym: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith aka J.K. Rowling
A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read (horror): The Teacher by Katerina Diamond
A book by or about a person who has a disability:
A book involving travel:
A book with a subtitle: Banished: Surviving my years in Westboro Baptist Church by Lauren Drain (Completed in February; 3/5 stars)
A book that's published in 2017: Are you Sleeping by Kathleen Barber 
A book involving a mythical creature:
A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile:
A book about food: Delicious! by Ruth Reichl (Completed in January; 4/5 stars)
A book with career advice:
A book from a nonhuman perspective:
A steampunk novel:
A book with a red spine: Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey (Completed in January; 2/5 stars)
A book set in the wilderness: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (Completed in February; 3/5 stars)
A book you loved as a child: Chasing Rebird by Sharon Creech
A book by an author from a country you've never visited:
A book with a title that's a character's name:
A novel set during wartime:
A book with an unreliable narrator: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
A book with pictures: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick (In Progress)
A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you: Small Great Things by Jodi Picot (Completed in February; 5/5 stars)
A book about an interesting woman:
A book set in two different time periods:
A book with a month or day of the week in the title: Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
A book set in a hotel:
A book written by someone you admire: Adnan's Story by Rabia Chadry 
A book that's becoming a movie in 2017: All the Bright Places (Completed in January; 2/5 stars)
A book set around a holiday other than Christmas: The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty (Completed in January; 4/5 stars)
The first book in a series you haven't read before: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead 
A book you bought on a trip:

A book recommended by an author you love:
A bestseller from 2016:
A book with a family-member term in the title:
A book that takes place over a character's life span:
A book about an immigrant or refugee:
A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of:
A book with an eccentric character:
A book that's more than 800 pages:
A book you got from a used book sale:
A book that's been mentioned in another book:
A book about a difficult topic:
A book based on mythology:

*I still haven't decided if I plan to complete the advanced portion of the challenge.

Books read in 2017: 8
Progress towards reading goal for the year: 8/50 (16%)

I am still looking for recommendations for some of the prompts! You all have given me some great ones so far. I would love more recommendations if you have any!

Would you consider joining me for the challenge? It's not too late! Get a printout of the challenge HERE

P.S. You can always find my reviews by following along with me on Goodreads.

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The "P" Word: Privilege

Do your eyes glaze over when you hear the word privilege? What about white privilege? What kinds of feelings does that phrase stir in your heart? Do you feel defensive? Do you stop listening? Well.. I hope today you'll push back whatever your gut response is to the "P" word and stick around a bit to learn about my own journey with privilege.

Something I commonly hear my clients, friends, and family say is "I'm not privileged because..." this usually ends in something like: I grew up poor, I had to work for what I have, nothing was handed to me, and so on and so forth. And those arguments are valid, however, they don't diminish your privilege. Let me explain. 

Peggy MacIntosh describes privilege well:
“Privilege exists when one group has something of value that is denied to others simply because of the groups they belong to, rather than because of anything they’ve done or failed to do. Access to privilege doesn’t determine one’s outcomes, but it is definitely an asset that makes it more likely that whatever talent, ability, and aspirations a person with privilege has will result in something positive for them.”

See, privilege isn't just about advantage, it's about power. Those with privileged identities experience advantages individually, institutionally, culturally, and so on due to their identity. Those with oppressed identities may have certain advantages, but they lack the power of the privileged group. Privilege is inherently tied to power. One of my favorite shorthands is: "If you don't have to think about it, it's a privilege." Now, this is a VERY simple explanation, so keep that in mind.

We all have many different identities such as age, race, ability status, citizenship, and so on. So, while you may be privileged in some identities, you may also be oppressed in others. Below are some examples from my own life. 

Race: White (privileged)
Privileges/advantages I experience: I am never asked to be the spokesperson for other white people. When I open history books, I can find people that look like me. I can be certain that flesh colored band-aids will be similar to my skin tone. 

Ability Status: Able-bodied (privileged)
Privileges/advantages I experience: I never have to worry about whether a building will have accessible doorways and restrooms. I don't have to be concerned about whether or not a television program or movie will have closed captioning.
*side note, here's a great podcast episode about ableism I loved.

Language: English (privileged)
Privileges/advantages I experience: I won't have to worry about whether restaurant menus will be in my preferred language. I can expect that important documents like tax forms and legal information will be in my dominant language. 

Religion: Christian (privileged)
Privileges/advantages I experience: All of my religious holidays are also federal holidays. I can worship freely without threats of violence.

Size: Small/Thin (privileged)
Privileges/advantages I experience: I can be certain that I will fit in most chairs and seats. I can purchase clothes in my size in most stores. I can find people that share my body size in the media and advertisements. 

Sex: Female (oppressed)
Disadvantages: Chances are high that I will be paid less than my male counterparts in the workforce. When sharing about my experiences with sexually harassing comments made by men, I might be told I am "in the wrong crowd."

Sexual Orientation: Heterosexual (privileged)
Privileges/advantages I experience: I can get legally married in any state and rest assured that I can find someone to marry me. I can talk openly about my relationship and partner. 

This is only a small snapshot of my various identities and the advantages/disadvantages I experience as a result. As you can see, I experience an incredible amount of privilege. So, it's not that I haven't have a hard life and it's not that I didn't have to fight for where I am in life, but instead it's about the fact that society is structured to serve many of my identities. I experience particular advantages because of my identities.

It's important for us to be aware of the various privileges we experience and to be allies for those who do not share the same privileges. Just as I want those who are privileged to stand up for me in the areas where I experience oppression, I want to be able to recognize my own privilege so I can stand up for those who are oppressed. Doesn't this feel extra timely in the current climate of our society?

So tell me, what are your thoughts on privilege? Which identities do you identify with that are privileged and which are oppressed? If you haven't thought about this before, I encourage you to take this opportunity to do so! I want this to be a safe space where you can process these things without fear of being attacked. 

Want to learn more? Here are some of my favorite reads on the topic:

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