Captivations is a monthly feature with links, stories, and news that captivated me. It’s also a monthly update/recap of what’s going on in my world. Here’s a summary for November 2023.
This time of year always seems like a slide; we’re quickly approaching the New Year!
We will never stop having to say goodbye and feeling that heartbreak. But we will get better at holding space for each other. Friends and family gathered to honor Kimberly’s life this month. Kimberly loved to bake. I was asked to bake cookies for the celebration and I randomly picked a delicious-looking pumpkin oatmeal recipe I found. During the event, I found out that the website I used was Kimberly’s favorite for recipes. Sure, maybe the website has really good SEO, but maybe it was another celestial nudge to remind me it would be ok.
I read somewhere that you can’t make the pain smaller, but you can make your life bigger. Sometimes it’s getting through each day or finding ways to honor someone. Sometimes it’s finding ways to heal through new hobbies, new habits, or new adventures. In the moments when I miss Kimberly or feel grief for the many terrible things in the world, I remember to be thankful for my breath, that I woke up today, and that there are things to look forward to. Gratitude is a continuous lesson for me, and I’m finding that it is something that I can come back to for hope and peace.
The Best Desserts
For all my fellow dessert lovers, here’s a list of the best desserts at new restaurants in the U.S. I’m noticing a lot of similarities in the list.
If you want to be better at conversations, check out this list of 300+ questions to ask. They’re an interesting mix.
This video on how to help a grieving friend is beneficial! In short, you can’t heal someone’s pain by cheering someone up. What helps is acknowledgment and sitting with them in their pain.
Best Foodie Cities
A new study found Austin, Texas is in the top 10 best foodie cities. We are in some interesting company, but when you look at the criteria – accessibility, affordability, and diversity, it makes sense.
A Really Good Dog
Reading this story about a Jack Russell Terrier named Finney reminds me how loyal dogs can be. Finney and his dad Rich went hiking, but Finney was the only one who made it home 72 days later.
This story moved me. Casey McIntyre died from cancer on November 12, 2023. She asked her husband to put up a fundraiser after she passed. It has raised $571,000 and counting. That amount erases $57 million in medical debt for low-income households.
In the Quantum Realm
I happened upon this podcast episode featuring an essay about grief and happiness from Mo Gawdat, an Egyptian entrepreneur and writer. It’s a 12-minute listen and honors his son who died unexpectedly. He explains the essence of beings and how they reside in the world. Physical bodies are finite, but a person’s consciousness is eternal.
Dark Sky Places
Have you ever visited a Dark Sky Place? These are great places to admire the night sky! Light pollution is growing, but certified Dark Sky Places are good for our environment and enjoyment. There are more than 200 around the world. See the list here.
What Death Teaches Us About Life
I enjoyed this article by Esther Perel and it echoes a lot of what I’m feeling about death. Talking about death makes it more thoughtful instead of anxiety-driven.