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Welcome to In an Auscape! What's an auscape? It's a word my friend Katie came up with that means "The sensation of a second stretching into a minute, a mile, or a year." Is that fresh or what? This newsletter is where I'll describe my (bi)weekly minutes, miles, and years. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
What I'm About
Every morning when I wake up, one of the first things I do is go into the Facebook app and delete my memories. It's a funny practice, born out of hatred for big tech and fear of who's using my data for nefarious purposes. Twtitter notwithstanding, I'm working on shrinking my digital footprint, and it's way, way harder than I thought it would be. 

Revisiting these memories brings up all sorts of emotions. I'm constantly surprised and warmed by how many of my (real life!) friends engaged with my posts, offered advice or humor or warmth, just because. I get to see Nora again, cutely standing in her carrier or curled up under a blanket. I see places I visited, back when it was easy to go places, back when we got on planes without fearing they might kill you. There are marches and calls to action, petitions and art parties and fights for divesting, defunding, protection, and so much more.

And deleting these memories is also a gift. I recently talked with a new friend about the power of forgetting, and how our digital life makes that hard, these days. I will forget the comments, the easy laugh here and there. I am saving some of the photos, but mostly, it all goes. And it feels fine, really. I'm untethering myself from a history that didn't matter that much, that's helping to build the wealth of a billionaire I don't care to support. I have to be on Facebook for work, but I do think I can minimize my time there, cut back on the scrolling, and keep my own identity a lot more private. Maybe next year, I'll work on Twitter. 
Who I Followed
Princess Blanding at MDP Circle
Princess Blanding for Governor!
Garret Felber
Support Garret Felber!
I can be pretty gloomy around the New Year, thinking about all I haven't accomplished, about the microscopic amount of time we have on earth and how poorly most of us use it. But this year has been a catastrophe for everyone, and if you're reading this, you lived through it, so I'm really trying to think about what didn't suck, and what I can do to make next year feel like an opening instead of more of this tragic moment. Here are my very basic goals.

Become A Back Sleeper: Or at least a side sleeper! This is a tiny goal! And I'm giving myself all year to accomplish it. Right now I sleep on my stomach. I don't know when, how, or why this started, but here we are. I wake up with a pain in my shoulder, my neck, my hip. I know it doesn't have to be this way, and I'm gonna change it. Send your tips my way!

Join the Y: I mean, talk about an easy goal. I'm not planning to do this until I feel safe actually *going* to the Y, but I really want to get back to swimming, back to group classes, back to the weird and random community I found at the Y in Wilmington, way back when. 

Rehydrate my Sourdough: I have some brittle sourdough starter that I dehydrated before we moved here, and I'm scared to get it going again. I never really mastered making sourdough, and I feel like this winter is a good time to slow down and figure it out. 

Three tiny goals. Honestly, it's kind of fine with me if I don't accomplish any of them, but I think they're mostly achievable, and if I surpass them, like by becoming an expert baker or a daily swimmer, then I'll have something to brag about at this time next year. I hope you've got some easy goals too. Brag about them to me!
Pleasure Fix
Erica at the beachWe finally, finally made it to the Atlantic Ocean. It's been a long time coming since we got back to the east coast in the fall, but it was just perfect. The long stretch of shore, the sandy beach, the far off horizon. This is the beach of my youth, what I think about when I hear the word beach. It felt so, so good to be there.

We stayed overnight in a fancy hotel (thanks, Hotwire!), watched the Reagan documentary on Showtime (it's DAMNING and I loved it), and read in our camp chairs on the beach in the morning. What a gift. 
As you read this: I'm prepping goodie bags for book club!
It's work, but it's not *really* work.
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