Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me. Take a look at all the things captivating me lately.
Why Should We Care About The Middle East?
This post from Jamie Tworkowski, the founder of To Write Love On Her Arms, about his trip to Iraq with Preemptive Love Coalition touched my heart. American media doesn’t report on the terror happening to victims of ISIS and Syrian refugees. It’s still happening and we can’t forget. They need our help. Displaced people fleeing war-torn places need food, homes, safety, and hope. Please learn about what is happening. I recommend following and donating to Preemptive Love Coalition.
Jeremy Courtney, the founder of Preemptive Love Coalition, wrote a book called Preemptive Love in 2003 about how the organization came to save the lives of Iraqi kids with heart defects and what it means to ‘love first, ask questions later.’ It’s a touching and inspirational read that I recommend. In fact, I’m giving two copies away! Comment below that you want the book and tell me your favorite non-profit. I’ll choose two winners randomly and email the winners on February 14, 2017. Sorry, only U.S. residents are eligible to win.
Weekend in Nashville
One of the highlights of my January was visiting my friend Abbie in Nashville! It was a very tasty weekend as you can see from my Best Restaurants in Nashville post. Posts about the best sights and a travel guide are coming soon.
Volunteering at Central Texas Food Bank
The Central Texas Food Bank moved into a new facility a few months, and I was excited to see it and volunteer there. The organization provides millions of pounds of food each year and the new, bigger facility allows them to provide more. With everything they do, they need many hands to help. On my volunteer night, I helped inspect and bag grapefruit. Since one of my goals this year is to volunteer monthly, I’m looking forward to returning! If you want to join, let me know!
Women’s March in Austin
On January 21, 2.5 million people around the world (and 50,000 people in Austin) marched for women’s rights, human rights, immigrant rights, and more. It was sad that the event needed to happen but it was inspiring and encouraging to be there. Which brings me to the next point…
Why does Civic Engagement Matter?
If we can find a silver lining to all these crazy times, it’s the inspiration for Americans to do more and the return to civic engagement. Calling your government representatives, voting, educating ourselves about issues, and being involved in our government are our privilege and duty as Americans. This is how we make democracy better. So, let’s not stop this momentum. We need to do what we can for immigrants, the environment, and our future generations. Check out this opinion piece in The Washington Post about civic engagement. If you want to get involved, follow the 10 Actions / 100 Days campaign and sign up for re:act email to get actionable items. If you have any other suggestions, please let me know in the comments!
Running the 3M Half-Marathon
Another half-marathon in the books and run four of five in the Austin Distance Challenge is done! It was VERY windy on the day of the run so it wasn’t very enjoyable but I managed to muster enough energy to shave four minutes off my half-marathon time. It was a tough run but I did get this cool spinning medal!
Watch this 9-Minute Video
Aziz Ansari hosted Saturday Night Live this month and did a fantastic monologue at the beginning of the show. I highly recommend you watching it!
Chick Flick for Galentine’s Day
Next month is Valentine’s, and I always think the holiday is a good excuse to throw a party. How are you celebrating? If you’re hosting a Galentine’s party, check out this guide to picking the best chick flick.
Time is Running Out
I feel like I’ve been going non-stop this month, and it has finally caught up to me. I saw this post on the Seth Godin blog and it reminded me to prioritize and spend time on the things that matter most to me. For me it will mean not putting too much on my schedule that I feel overwhelmed. How are you feeling after month one of 2017?
What’s captivating you lately?