Why I marched in Washington DC

One year ago today, I travelled across the country to Washington DC to join the Women’s March. There were marches all over the US, including several two hours from my home in Northern California. Why did I travel thousands of miles in the winter to the East Coast?


“President Trump” horrified me. His obvious hatred of women should have barred him from winning the presidency, but instead it seemed to propel him to the highest office in my country. His racist and misogynist views should have ended his popularity; instead, his popularity grew. He won.

I looked at my 20 year old daughter and knew I had act.

Here is the link to my blog post describing the March on Washington

And here is my original post on why I marched

This year I am staying in my home town and bringing my daughter to our march downtown. There will be hundreds of us, not millions, but we’re a small town. I want to  support my own community and show my daughter what we’re marching for. She is developmentally delayed and doesn’t understand the larger issues of racism, misogyny, and classism. She doesn’t know who the president is (maybe she’s lucky in that!). But she understands kindness and respect. She knows how it feels to be teased and bullied. She values friendship and being polite. I want to show her that most people are kind. And I want to show her that she has a voice; she can say no. She can demand that the President and our Elected Officials are respectful of her and everyone else.

New Year, new permission to be creative

Well this is embarrassing; I haven’t written anything since November. Since that was the start of the holiday season it’s not too surprising, but it is a sign that when life gets hectic, writing stops. Does it stop for you as well? How do you keep the words flowing when you’re swamped by family and work and friends and activities that all seem so damn important.

Friends and family are important! But so is writing. Writing keeps me focused and centered, which makes me much easier to deal with. You’d think my loved ones would insist I write every day. “Here Terena, take this mocha and go to your room for an hour and write. You’re getting bitchy.”

I do it to myself; writing brings me happiness, but doesn’t benefit anyone else. I feel selfish when I take the time to create and rest. Most of the women I know feel the exact same way; our creativity doesn’t matter unless someone gives us permission to use it.

Bullshit! That’s my new mantra for the New Year: Bullshit!

Starting right now, I give myself permission to write. Permission to speak. Permission to have fun. Permission to take care of myself. Will you give yourself permission to be your most creative self?

Permission is just the start; you have to also follow through and do it. But if we wrap our brain around the idea that what we love to do is important, then we’ll take the time to do it. As long as we don’t think it matters, we’ll put everything and everyone above what we really want to do. I want… no, I need… to write. I can’t explain why and it doesn’t matter. I don’t need to justify my need. Justification ties in to permission. I don’t need to justify why and I don’t need anyone’s permission other my own.

No matter what you love to do, give yourself the time and energy to do it. Whether you love to garden, paint, sew, cook, sing, dance, take pictures, or knit baby booties, do it! Do it with all your heart. Even 30 minutes doing what you love will feed your creative soul.

But no guilt. Guilt kills creativity and happiness. If all you have is 15 minutes while hiding in the laundry room because your kids won’t stop bugging you, do it then. Don’t beat yourself up because you only had 15 minutes! Praise yourself for carving out a few minutes to be creative. No excuses and no guilt. We can do it!

Of course I have to follow my own advice. Who’s gonna help me?



Night Clubs and Friendship

Have you ever been to a fancy nightclub, the kind you see on TV filled with young and beautiful people dancing to electronic music, overseen by a DJ who is worshipped by the crowd? I have. I hated it.

To be fair, I probably hated it because I was there just three weeks after I’d been dosed, so my tolerance for drunk, hip people was low. And it really wasn’t my scene; what the hell was this middle aged babe doing in a club filled beyond capacity with gorgeous 22 year olds? I was invited by a much younger friend who has spent a lot of time dancing to ear shattering music under black lights. I love new experiences, so I decided to go for the adventure. When I was younger, I was too broke to go out, especially to a dance club to hear a new DJ. So there I was, wandering a brand new club in high heels and a woman’s tuxedo, feeling 80 years old.

The club was a maze of dance floors with a raised area for the DJ to create his magic. A long, well lit bar crammed with people screaming for drinks was the most visible landmark. The rest of the club was dark, illuminated only by hundreds of multi-colored lights that swam across the ceiling, the floor and the crowd in time to the music. The girls wore the uniform of the hip and cool: clinging short dresses and platform high heels. The boys dressed with more variety, but every one looked rich. Several Go-Go dancers performed on blocks, waving light wands that changed color.  The moment you stepped into the room, you were punched in the chest with music and confused by the swirl of movement.

As we shoved our way through the crowd (it was too crowded to actually dance), I saw roped off VIP areas adorned with scantily clad young women. Many were passed out on velvet couches. People kept dancing and drinking, ignoring the girls who were so messed up they could actually sleep despite the primal thump of the drum machine. Why didn’t anyone help them? One girl had her short sequined dress pulled up over her hips, exposing her tiny lace panties. Why didn’t someone pull her skirt back down? Where were her friends? Her date? Her mother?

That’s when I knew I was waaaaaaaay too old for an ultra hip dance club. Every one of these girls could by my daughter. That boy with his arm slung over the shoulder of that girl wobbling on too high heels could be my son. If he were, I’d kick his butt for not taking better care of his date.

Later, when I asked my friend why no one helped those passed out girls, she just laughed. Why should they? It’s every girl for herself in a club like that and if you’re dumb enough to get that messed up, you’re on your own.

I felt so sorry for my young friend. When I go out with friends, I know they all have my back. On the night I got dosed, three friends came to my rescue; no one left me lying on the floor. My young friend has actually been left on a couch, passed out and unable to defend herself, while her friends laughed at her. When she went out with me and my friends, she was shocked by how much we cared for each other. Her feet hurt and a friend of mine helped her. I drank too much, and another friend held my arm so I wouldn’t fall down. If anyone had thrown up that night, at least two friends would have come to the rescue. That’s just what friends do.

When I was young, I had wanted to go to clubs and party and dance all night, but I had to work to pay for college. I envied the cool crowd with their gorgeous clothes and spending money. But maybe that world wasn’t so cool. The people are lovely, the music intense, the decor beautiful, but the attitude is cutthroat. Going to a club is like playing a vicious game of King of the Mountain with the winner being whoever is most beautiful and can drink the most without falling down.

I think I’ll hang out with friends my own age, preferably in the wine bar like the middle aged chick I am. Being young and hip is far too dangerous.