Health Update

Unless something drastic happens, this will be my last update on my health.  

I live with pain 24/7 on my right side and in my neck and shoulders.  All day, all night, every day. This is the world I occupy now.  So, I have decided to no longer fight my pain but to befriend it.  If this pain is settled in for the long haul, then I suppose I should as well. But if I am to be saddled with this physical ailment for the remainder of my days on earth, then I am going to do everything I can to make this world a better place. You should too.  If we have learned anything as a species in 2016, its that we all have to fight harder.  We just do.

If I can get out of bed every damn day, you can do more to make this world better.  If you have money, donate it.  If you don't have money, donate your time and volunteer, even just an hour a month. 

Thanks for reading.

Love,

Mikaela

A Parable of Sorts

About a year and a half ago, the husbo and I went out for some Saturday afternoon errands.  As we were walking to our car, I noticed a man laying in the middle of the sidewalk.  This is very unusual as this is a bougie hood, not far from Mayor Rahm Emanuel's place of residence.  We were on a major street, middle of the day, and this man was completely unresponsive.  As I approached, I saw that he was breathing, but it was pretty clear he had had about five too many.  The husbo called 911 while I sat there holding this man's hand, because it seemed right to do so at the time.  I was hoping they'd take him to a shelter but my guess was that they took him to the drunk tank. As I sat and held his hand, a man walked past and looked down at me and said "I walked by earlier and I asked if he was ok, but he didn't answer, so..."  I had nothing but a blank stare to send back in his direction.  

The police arrived, assessed the situation, and quickly realized this was just another drunk homeless man.  As they were working to resolve things quickly, a woman who was turning onto the major street was cut off by another driver, and she pulled over to scream at the police to arrest the man who cut her off.  As she screamed and straight up lost her shit, I just stood there watching it all unfold. The part that STILL gets me to this day, cuts to my heart in this very moment, is that not once did this woman even noticed a man lying unconscious in the middle of the sidewalk, in the middle of the day, in the middle of her direct eyesight.   

I share this story as a reminder:  if we continue to turn a blind eye to some of the most vulnerable of our citizens, if we continue to see the world through our small windshields, screaming about what's in front of us instead of looking far beyond our own stations in life, if we continue to allow 15% of the population stay in poverty, then all of humanity will continue to suffer.  The anxiety you feel inside, the nagging you can't quiet, it's there because in your heart, you know our world is off track.  You know this isn't the world we are capable of; we can do so much more, and there's no time like the present to change it. 

 

 

 

Closing Up Shop

Hey there, wonderful friends. I have decided to close up shop. It's a decision I've been avoiding for quite some time. Life is no longer allowing me this luxgery.  

I can't begin to express how amazing this business made me feel. It was the first time I really built something of my own, something entirely me, and I did it the way I wanted to do it. As a result, I've learned so so much about what I'm seeking out in this life.  

Woodworking is a beautiful craft. It takes so much time and effort to craft something truly unique and lovely. If I'm someday able to get back to it, believe me, you will all be the first to know. ❤️ 

I will never, ever regret following my heart and my gut and making something so tangible out of literally nothing. I just let creativy work through me. If I had an idea, I executed it. If it didn't work, I tossed it and started fresh. The only way you'll ever know if you could is if you try. I've done a lot of trying in this life and will do even more trying when my body allows it. 

A big thank you for the follows and likes. I definitely couldn't have done this without the amazing humans, you all, and my customers, that saw my product and believed with me. 

I have no clue what's next. I guess that's the fun part, huh?

Love,

Mikaela, Robot Interiors  

Dear PoC,

To people of color everywhere: I'm sorry. I spent the whole of my 20's with my head in a bottle of any kind of booze, instead of waking up to how bad it's been for you. Your America is completely different than mine. Every time I've left my home, every time in my life, I have never been worried about police possibly taking my life from me in an instant, with no regard for my humanity. I've never had to worry about any of my white relatives being killed by law enforcement for simply existing in their own skin. I haven't had someone be scared of me as I walk by them in a hoodie. In the past, I've smoked marijuana, sometimes in public, and I've never had to worry about getting arrested (yes, I did just admit that in writing). I've lived in Chicago for 15 years, and not once I have been stopped and frisked or questioned by police.  

I'll spell this out for those who can't or won't see the difference:

IT IS BECAUSE I AM A WHITE WOMAN. 

And if you don't agree with me, then I challenge you to spend the day with a person of color, and see how they are treated. The same goes for a person with a disability, women, the elderly, and LGBTQ, anyone who isn't seemingly straight and white and healthy face daily:

- Harassment and name calling

- Belittling, ridicule and being spoken to condescendingly  

- Being taken advantage of by those with hidden agendas not in their best interest

- Being told your view point doesn't matter simply because of how you look or who you love 

- Being afraid to speak up, even when you know that this treatment is wrong

You'll start to see what I'm talking about, and when you do, look with your eyes and heart open, because:

There is a reason there are 47 million human beings in poverty in our country, there is a reason the middle class and working class are miserable and if you believe that any sort of incremental change will make a difference in their lives, then you are just plain wrong.  Argue me on that, any fucking day. The system is designed to fail you, yes even you, who are white. 

I'm writing this to say that I'm very sorry for not doing anything sooner. My head is out of the bottle, my mind is clear, and my heart is open and ready to fight for you all, and to even fight for those who don't realize they are wrong in how they treat you, because they were taught the wrong lessons. Nobody, especially someone who is concerned with their image or their amount of power, is ready and willing to say, "We, as a race, the HUMAN race, have royally fucked you over long enough. Time to end it."  

I know this may just be some rando blog post, but know that I am sincere in my heart when I mean this. You have an ally in me always and forever.  Thanks for reading. 

Mikaela, RI

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear World,

I'm getting stronger. Every. Single. Day. My bad, bad days are behind me. 

I'm coming for you, world. There's no stopping me. I'm coming for you, and I'm going to love you so damn hard. 

Love, 

Mikaela, RI

Dear June 7th Primary States,

For Christmas of 2014, Tony and I went to visit my family in my home state of MN. On the last day of our short trip I was feeling emotionally hung over and finding my contacts to be increasingly dry from the heat of the vents blowing in my face in our car. The morning felt frigid and achingly grey. The afternoon before, we had visited with my Dad's best friend Mike and his wife Dee. Mike was fighting cancer at the time. To sadness of many, he passed away last August. I've known Mike my whole life. He met my dad when I was just a few months old.  My brother and I used to call him Gumby because he'd always do his Eddie Murphy impression of Gumby for us, "My name's Gumby, Dammit!" Then he'd laugh, quite honestly, one of the most distinct laughs I've ever heard in my life which, come to think of it, also sounded like Eddie Murphy's, but louder. Basically, Mike was the Puerto Rican Eddie Murhpy.

We planned this visit to be our port in the storm.  A quick visit before we hit the road after a very emotional holiday weekend (what family visits aren't a bit/a lot emotional?). The 2016 election came up and Mike brought up Bernie. At the time, I didn't know much about him and told myself to remind myself to google him up soon.  Mike mused at the idea of a Bernie run. Tony said he read something similar somewhere online and Mike asked what he thought. Tony rubbed that little soul patch part of his beard, his lower lip tucked neatly beneath his top teeth. I've seen this face many times. It's the face he makes when he's pretty sure he's unsure but he likes the prospects of himself feeling sure.  

Pretty soon we had to hit the road back to Chicago. Everyone said their goodbyes and found their way out of the house, but I stuck around a bit longer to say goodbye. Mike was really thin at this point, and though I was nervous about it, I couldn't stop giving him hugs. I wasn't sure if I'd see him again.  Mike looked up at me and said, "Don't forget about me." I bent down to hug him one last time before I hurried out.  My contacts were sufficiently moistened at this point. Hope hung so thick in the air of their home. We were all just wading in it together and it felt nice to feel hopeful with both Dee and Mike, but it made it that much harder to say goodbye, and even harder to imagine the outcome that nobody wanted to imagine.

As we drove off, my heart ached for Dee. For Mike as well, of course, but I could feel just how tenuous her grip to everything must have felt from moment to moment.  The agony that accompanies the uncertainty of an illness' final outcome is felt by all parties involved, maybe sometimes more so by the caretaker. Then again, as someone who has been living a life of pain for almost the last year, I will say that watching people watch you in pain, well [big fat sigh inserted here] there is nothing in this life that can prepare you for it. Maybe we can all take comfort somehow in that part of humanity.

I've thought about Mike and Dee so much over the last year. Life since my last birthday almost a year ago has taught me some major shit. The biggest thing? The most important part of life is living the little moments, and living them honestly with your truest of intentions. Those little moments of honesty and love are FAR more powerful than anything in this world. In fact, it's the cure for cynicism, a disease that plagues our country and world. 

That's my lesson, at least. It's different for everyone, but there is a common denominator: the want and drive to act truly human is something that is earned. And once you're there, the work does not stop and can only continue with you; no one will do this for you. No one CAN do this for you. Only you can choose to seek the truth about you. 

Mike cannot continue to fight, but I'm here and I'm getting stronger every day. So I write this to ask of you to not only vote your conscience, but to also vote your humanity. Not me, us. United in humanity, forever one race: the human race. On June 7th, 2016, let's give the world a message that love, hope, patience, kindness, foresight, and empathy are qualities we want in a leader that will take our race, the human race, further in its pursuits. 

June 7th also happens to be my birthday.  Let's make it a memorable one, eh?

Feel the Bern. 

Love, 

Mikaela, RI

Oh Daisy...

I can't help but show this video to you all. Since becoming a professional home body, my social media updates have generally been politics, #tbt's, and Lurls and Daisy. For now, that's my life in a nutshell. It's not a bad nutshell when you include cookies, which I do often.  

But sometimes something happens in your day that's so out of the ordinary it transports you to a place of wonderment and excitement that you are alive and witness to this seemingly impossible moment in time. 

This is one such moment. Daisy likes to play a game where she hides in the bath tub, and I pull back the curtain and exclaim in a high pitched squeal, " DEEEZEEEEEEE!" Then she excitedly slides her body down the slanted ceramic wall and rolls around like a fool, and then I rub her belly. It's as silly as it sounds, but it's a sight to behold. 

Well last night, our sweet dear Daisy became a bit of a show off, and waited to make any moves before I went to get my cell phone (that's most definitely me projecting, but can't a cat mama brag about her little sweet Daisy?). I kept my voice on the lower side to mix things up, and below are the results. 

Bonus points if you catch her cute little wink at the end!

My "Butt Rocks" and Further Health Progress...

The progress I'm referring to is OH so slow moving. 

Here's a rundown of my sitch: The spine surgery I had in early November was successful in removing my herniated disc, however a dent was left in my spinal cord as a result. I've been told by docs that there is not any permanent damage which is wonderful news!  

But (there's always a but it seems these days), nerves are very slow to heal. The best way I've come to understand this is that nerves are similar to wet spaghetti noodles. When they become compressed, they clump together and once the compression has been relieved, it takes a long time for them to de-clump (new word?) and heal.  Up to 18 months, in fact. The good news? At any moment I can wake up and be better! However, I'm a notoriously slow healer as it is and considering how things have been going, I'm keeping my expectations low but my hopes and motivation as high as I can. 

To give you an idea of what this like, the pain I feel radiates through my right arm and leg, my shoulders and neck on both sides, and as of recently (this had originally gone away post op), my lower neck into head. The pain is 24/7, and this type of pain literally has no rhyme or reason. As it heals, it can get worse before it gets better, and I believe that's where I'm at in the healing process. My doctor described it this way: If you lay on your arm and it goes to sleep, as it wakes up it tingles, hurts, burns, but then goes right back to normal after a minute or two. Long term nerve healing is like that, but just a ton slower and unpredictable. It makes for some good days, some tough days, and some all out hell days where my whole body feels on fire. Luckily, I've only had a few of those, and those are the days I eat ice cream for lunch because why the F---K not?!  

And now the butt rocks. My back, upper arms, and shoulders have these insane knots. They are gigantic and hard and when my physical therapist works on them, it's pretty damn intense and ignites more burning that night and the next day.  I have these knots in both of my butt cheeks, as well, and when they are inflamed, it's like sitting on two hot ass stones that have been implanted in my butt cheeks. Sexy stuff going on here, people. 

So there you have it.  That's my life right now.  So, what does this mean for my business?  I can't use my hands for hard gripping, so it's hard to do a lot that is required for making them.  I definitely am no where near woodworking status again. So, for the time being, I don't know, but that's OK.  I only have so much control right now, so all I can do is focus on getting myself healthy again.  And I've never wanted this business to be "all about the Benjamins," as the kids say (they still say that, right?). My business is about making a functional piece of art that brings beauty and sense of calm to your home, while providing a light in the dark for others by giving a portion of sales to local community charities.  And in the process of doing that, I learn so much about, well, everything.  Creating something from nothing just makes you see the world with a new set of eyes, and it's glorious to experience.  I'm not sure you'll see anything coming out soon, but I really hope you do. And I'll of course keep everyone up to date and still have lamps available at Modern Cooperative, Sacred Art, and OrangeBeautiful

This has been one of the craziest situations I've had the pleasure of experiencing. I say that because I'm learning so much about my body and what I'm capable of handling and that alone may be worth the pain. I have to look for the positives or I'll go cray cray. It's been 9 months of pain, with a possible 13 months more. But that's worst case, so let's just hope it doesn't shake out that way, shall we?

It means a ton that people are still paying attention to RI. I started this business out of a newly discovered passion for woodworking. I have so many ideas I want to make into a reality, and I know I'll be back there some day.  Hope is a powerful thing. 

Thanks for reading and caring enough to check in. It means more than you know. 

Love,

Mikaela, RI

 

It's been real, 2015...

"Some days are better left under a blanket. " - Me on several occasions in 2015.  

"Some days are better left under a blanket. " - Me on several occasions in 2015.  

My friends, I hope your holiday season has been one to remember. Mine definitely has, and it feels like the right time to post a progress update, so here goes.

I'm into my eighth week post op from spinal surgery. There are vast improvements with my pain, but some slow to heal nerve damage that's affecting my right arm and leg. It makes for a rocky path to take every day, but then again what daily path out there isn't rocky, even if the path rarely strays? I have always been a slow healer, that's just how my body works. So I'll be slowly incorporating work back into my life in 2016 hopefully soon but to be honest, I have no idea when. I simply have to wait and see. 

This year I officially launched my first line of lamps and not only had a successful spring show debut, but I also ended up in three stores in the Chicago area (a big thanks to Modern Cooperative, Sacred Art, and OrangeBeautiful for the support!). And just like that, it was all out on hold and has been that way since June. I'm not really one for New Year's resolutions, but I will tell you this: in 2016 and for however long I'm on this earth, I plan to continue to be grateful for the people, the art, the making, and everything and anything under the sun that makes me joyful.

There are things that happen to us that we can't control or don't like; that's just part of this fascinating science experiment we call life. And I'm learning to face that stuff every single day and the uncomfortableness that goes along with it. But I'm still here, still breathing, still laughing. That's the best I can hope for every day. 

To those of you who've been following my progress both professionally and/or health-wise, thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring. It really does mean so much.

Stay warm out there, kids. And here's to a happy and healthy 2016 for all!  

Love, 

Mikaela, RI

 

music, soulful music

Will you be happy with the time you gave...

Will you be happy with the time you gave, if these were to be your final days. 

- Cary Ann Hearst

If you know me IRL (as the kids and the Internet say) you know I'm a gigantic fan of musical and IRL duo Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst of Shovels and Rope. Their music is soulful and pulls you out of moments to the place in your mind that connects you to humanity as a whole.  This is to remind you that not only do you matter in this world, but so do your actions, your reactions to others actions, the importance of making the positive choice to be kind, open, and not only accepting but understanding of others and the world around you. And the best part is that they do with humor, love, and some fucking amazing music. 

The song, " The Thread," from Carry Ann's solo album, "Lions and Lamb," gets me every damn time right in my heart hole. 

 

Click here to get to the album on Spotify. 

Click here to get to the album on Spotify. 

Enjoy if you choose to listen.  I hope it makes you feel good!  Stay warm!

Love,

Mikaela

 

Trust Falls with Myself

Have you ever tried this? Letting yourself fall backwards and then falling into your own arms and catching yourself? Of course you haven't. No one can do that as it's physically impossible. But you actually have. In the metaphorical sense, you do this every day whether you are aware of it or not. Every single decision you make is a trust fall with yourself. And it isn't always a big grand decision. It can be something as small as what train to catch or which bathroom stall to use. Tiny trust falls are being done constantly and we unconsciously feel confident and OK in the every day decisions. Maybe not always, but if you're stressed out about which bathroom stall to use, that's a bigger issue. The point I'm trying to make is that if my everyday small choices have become somewhat second nature that I don't even bother questioning catching myself, then why is it so hard to treat my big decisions the same way? 

When it comes to big decisions, why am I standing there with my arms folded telling falling me, "screw you?" This repeated fear and doubt of my own path and choices and not supporting those choices means I will only feel doubt and fear rather than excitement every time I have to make a seemingly "big," decision.

The entire second half of my year 2015 year has been spent trying to find a comfortable position in my bed or on my couch while an entire world goes by outside around me. And rather than relishing in the downtime and using it to learn or read, I've been so afraid to just fall freely.  I am so worried that by giving in to this, by taking care of myself and my body, it means this has defeated me somehow.  When I write it out it sounds even sillier.  By giving in and letting my body rest, I am actually giving it the care it deserves, so that eventually I will be back to a stronger version of myself.  I am not weak because I need help; I am human because I need help.  And so today, this week, I am falling.  Falling and crashing repeatedly until I can learn to catch myself.  I have the time to do it, and definitely the reason.  And maybe you can notice how often you're letting yourself fall, so that you can work on making that big important catch every single time, because no one can do it but you.

This is a crazy time in our world, so take care of yourselves and your fellow humans.  It's the only way we will all get through in once piece.

Love,

Mikaela

woodwork, maker

Life is Like a Box of Chocolates...

you never know what your gonna get.  Like, maybe life is being a dick that day and covered some poop in chocolate and put it in a box and gave it to you!  'Cause life is really weird, man. 

- Forrest Gump's Mama + Me

Sometimes I push myself really hard.  I should rephrase that: I always push myself really hard.  That's not a judgement or a bad thing; it's actually an awesome quality to have!  That's how I started to learn the craft of woodworking, and that's how I decided to start a business.  But along with the awesomeness of that quality comes a less constructive side, as well.  There are often times when what I want to do and what I can physically do don't match up. And not listening to what I need and following what I want, sadly puts me into situations that aren't necessarily the best for my physical or mental health. 

I often say that I have an Ant Complex.  I assume that no matter the size or how heavy an object is, "Don't worry, I got this," (much to my husband's chagrin, especially if I tell him I lifted my incredibly heavy band saw/drill press/bin of logs [all true stories] while by myself in my shop).  My mental want vs. my physical capabilities don't always align and in my 20's I got away with it all the time.  But the sense of invincibility my 20's afforded me has finally caught up with me (give it up for 32, y'all!).  Early this summer when I lifted several extremely heavy logs up the stairs to my third floor apartment, I herniated not one, but two cervical discs in my neck.  Gentle forehead slap.

What has followed since has been a summer of constant pain, sleeping issues, meeting with several doctors, two ER visits, and the (hopefully) final step of Spinal Fusion surgery in a few weeks and a six week to six month recovery period to follow.  If all goes well, I will most likely feel 100% myself just two months shy of one year since this whole thing started.  Welcome to Ugh Town, Population: me.

I have never been in a situation like this and the silver lining's playbook is that I'm learning I can handle this kind of heavy duty life stuff.  But that also means I've had to learn the hard way about not being prepared for something like this.  Because this situation means not only dealing with chronic pain, but also dealing intense stress about pretty much everything.  And on top of all of that stress, is the stress I feel because I can't create. And the not creating part has been quite honestly the hardest thing of all.  As a result of this injury, I have had to cancel my participation in two shows (Renegade and the upcoming and amazing Show of Hands - go if you can; so many amazing makers and goods!), and I've had to put my business pretty much on hold.  And... it's agonizing (but the good news is: it's agonizing!  Which must mean I must really love what I'm creating). 

I am sharing my story with you all because I think it's an important discussion to open up to makers and small business owners alike.  My hope is that in the future I will always be prepared for an eventuality like this, both mentally and financially.  So I ask:  Are you prepared for something like this?  Many of us start with an idea, and we work on that idea and fall in love with it more and more and think " Maybe I'll try to sell this?"  And so you pick out a business name,  get an Instagram started, set up a website, and life starts to make sense and you feel purposeful and driven and you're doing this full time and it's all really magical. It truly is!  But what would happen if (knock on wood..sorry, couldn't help it) you were injured working on the craft you love so much, or simply walking down the street?  I am beyond fortunate and so very grateful to have a really amazing support system in place, and this has still been on my top five "Hardest Things I've Had to Deal with in My Life," list.  Do you have the support you would need?  Are you prepared to be out of work and laid up for six months? I raise these questions because it's not a fun thing to think about, but it's an important thing to think about.  Comment and let me know your thoughts and feelings on the matter. 

Thanks for taking the time to read this.  I'll post updates now and again, if anything because I go through many bouts of boredom throughout the day.  I should be back at making early next year, and I have so many wonderful things on the horizon!  So keep staying plugged in, and thanks for the likes, comments, etc.  They truly are a bright spot during a tough time. 

Love,

Mikaela

 

 

What is the point of this blog...

What is the point of this blog?  I've been asking myself this question a lot lately as I've mulled over what my next post should be about.  I had a blog for years and I would post updates about my former acting endeavors.  When that career path no longer felt right, I used the blog to post about my plant on my desk at work and other inane things.  After a while, I stopped posting at all.  It became so infrequent, I simply retired it and took it offline.  I don't really read blogs. I try to, but I am not the best at keeping up with them.   I don't even know if people read blogs, honestly.  I struggle because Robot Interiors is my business so it is a professional blog, but I find myself teetering back and forth between wanting to use this blog for simply updates on the work I'm creating and affordable design ideas, or for using it to share my thoughts and observations on human behavior in our society in regards to mental health and compassion for others.   I am not a doctor, I am not educated in Psychology, I am simply a human being looking around the world at other human beings, and working to digest what I see and process it so that I can understand and learn.  And I ask myself, is it OK to share what I see, learn, and feel?

Every time I watch a video of a police officer killing or beating a human being who has a different color of skin than they do, I cry.  I cry very hard.  And my instinct is to say that I should not have watched it because I always get so upset, but I immediately dismiss that away because it's not that I shouldn't have watched it, it's that the person who is being hurt or killed should not have EVER had to experience it.  The videos that are so quickly adding up online should not even exist in the first place because no one deserves to be treated this way.  I watched the video from Texas of an officer attacking a 15 year old girl in a bathing suit, and I sobbed because those kids did literally nothing to put the officer's life in jeopardy; his response was beyond egregious.  I put myself in the their place, being handcuffed at a suburban pool, or being pinned down by a man twice my size.  I imagine the pain she must have felt, having 250 pounds being pushed into her back muscles and spine by two hard knee caps, for no reason at all.  I imagine her heart pounding, trying to catch her breath with all that weight on her, and how vulnerable and terrified and angry she must have felt.  Then I imagine the next day, how sore she must have been when she woke up and climbed out of bed.  How it probably hurt to simply go to the bathroom and reach for the toilet paper, or to brush her teeth, or to even lay down.  With every move she made the next day, she was reminded of that man's knees pushing into her back.  And I think about how this horrible experience at such a young age will now affect how she views the world.  And it makes my heart ache.  My heart aches for those kids.  

But my heart also aches for that officer, because what happened to that man that made him see the world in a way where he thinks that this is acceptable behavior?  What happened in his life that was so awful that makes him want to treat another human being that way?  Where did he learn that this kind of physical abuse is OK, and why in his life did he never stop and realize that it's just isn't?  I am certain, as many people are, that it's difficult to be a police officer.  That is not up for debate. Violence is sadly very much a part of their job descriptions.  But if this man were, say, a manager of a fast food chain restaurant and part of his job description is to keep the bathrooms orderly, that doesn't mean he should do so by screaming at patrons who use the bathroom, or pointing a gun at someone for dropping a paper towel on the floor and not picking it up, especially if those patrons simply have a different pigment of skin.

The thing that he may be missing, and something I've noticed is missing a lot these days, is compassion and empathy for humanity as a whole.  It's missing from many people in power.  It's missing from those who make laws that help fund programs for those with mental illness.  It's missing for people who see someone who is black and makes an assumption about their character based on nothing but conjecture.  And for that matter, it's missing for people who see someone who's white, asian, hispanic, gay, transgender and so on, and makes an assumption about their character based on nothing but conjecture.  It's missing for those governing who can't see that people in poverty and the working poor don't even have a chance to simply live a life that is without stress and that allows them to find their passions or purpose, because they don't have the resources, time, energy, or the comfort of feeling safe, to do so.  These are the things that run through my head when I watch videos of this nature.  And it's hard to not feel angry and helpless and frustrated and scared about the state of our world.

But then I stop. Then I remind myself that empathy, compassion, love for your fellow human, these qualities are not missing for everyone.  There are people out there who stop to help if they see a stranger struggling or in need.  There are people out there who dedicate their entire lives to those in need, and most of them are barely getting by themselves.  And then I start to feel hopeful again.  

Hope, empathy, compassion, love for your fellow man, these are all things that can be learned.  It's like any change a person makes, such as losing weight or quitting smoking.  The decision to make the change has to happen and you have to be ready.  That's step one.  Step two is simple: practice, practice, practice, and keep on practicing.  The more you stop, think, and feel, the easier it becomes to do and soon it becomes your go-to way of living.  Acceptance of others as they are, no matter what their race, sexual orientation, or choices are, becomes a lifestyle.  I know you think you can't do it, but you can!  Humans are extremely adaptable to change, they just have to accept the change and understand that it doesn't make them weak to want to change, it just makes them adaptable and that's a good thing!   And it makes you someone who people actually want to be around and engage with; when you look at the world through this lens, you'll realize that engaging with people who are also like this is really quite a beautiful way to exist.  And by following these two very simple steps, a lot of that anger you feel inside that doesn't need to be there will melt away in time.  You will start to feel grateful for everything you have, instead of frustrated by the things in life that in the end, don't matter.  They never did.  What matters is that you love hard and you do so to everyone, even those who they themselves haven't learned these two steps to happiness.  So far for me, this has been the most difficult part:  loving those who don't yet know how to be kind and compassionate.  But rest assured I am really working on it.

Like I said, I am simply a human being, and I'm just trying to get by.  I am not religious; I don't associate with a faith.  I am a human who believes in humanity and the right to exist in a world that is kind, patient, caring, and empathetic.  We are all just trying to get by, so let's all try to keep that in mind, judge others less, and love more.  Stop and think about other peoples' perspectives, even if you don't agree or get it, because that is the only way you'll ever move past the feelings of anger or hatred; and those feelings will never allow you to grow into the amazing human you can and should become.

So I guess I'll use this blog however I use it, and stop judging my choices about how to use it.  And if no one reads it, that's ok because it's nice to get these thoughts and feelings out.  And all I can do is hope that maybe it will make at least one person stop and think about how their actions affect others.  And maybe instead of hate and anger, they'll choose love and kindness.

Love,

Mikaela and Robot Interiors

 

 

Making the Future Brighter, One Lamp at a Time

I am so excited to be donating to such a wonderful place like Thresholds.  I worked as an office manager at Thresholds a little over a decade ago when I was in college.  I supported an outreach team that worked with homeless people who suffer from mental illness.  They would set them up with shelter, food, and provide clothes and toiletries.  One thing I will never forget from my time at Thresholds was how tirelessly my coworkers fought for those who needed it most.  The people who work for Thresholds are so compassionate and committed to helping others.  Read below to find out more about this organization. 

About Thresholds

Established in 1959, Thresholds provides healthcare, housing, and hope for thousands of persons with mental illnesses in Illinois each year. Through care, employment, advocacy, and housing, Thresholds assists and inspires people with mental illnesses to reclaim their lives. 

Thresholds is one of the oldest and largest providers of recovery services for persons with mental illnesses in Illinois. They reject the notion that anyone is a lost cause, utilizing evidence-based practices and a wide range of supports to treat the whole person, rather than just the disease.

They offer 30 innovative programs at more than 90 locations throughout Chicago, the adjacent suburbs, and McHenry and Kankakee Counties. Services include assertive outreach, case management, housing, employment, education, psychiatry, primary care, substance abuse treatment, and research. Last year, Thresholds served more than 7,100 adults and youth, with 75% of services delivered out in the community, representing more than 400,000 hours of care

For further information on Thresholds' platform, or to donate, visit their website

It's been a few weeks...

Hello, dudes!  It's been a few weeks since we launched our site officially. Thanks so much to everyone who has visited thus far. It means a lot to us that you'd take the time to visit the site. By doing so, it means you support the handmade craft community and that means more than you know!

What's the what since we last blogged? Well, Robot Interiors has been accepted to Show of Hands!  This show is filled with a wide array of very talented makers and takes place at Architectural Artifacts in Ravenswood. We've been to a few weddings there and are  always amazed by how this beautiful and unique space exists in the middle of it all. It's tucked away on Ravenswood just south of Montrose. If you can't make the show, you should wander there anyway one day (maybe as the snow melts and Spring  warms the air...it's on the way people, I promise!) and check out the space. 

In the meantime, head to the Show of Hands site to view the fabulous vendor list.  Scroll through the photos; they are a feast for the eyes fit for a design queen/king/jester.  We are so honored to be a part of this list and we hope you like what we bring to the table... and maybe your home. 

Stay plugged in to what we create by following us on Instagram and to what we like by following us on Pinterest, both @robotinteriors. You can also like us on Facebook. With so many chances to stay connected, you're never without a little light in your day!  To those who have followed us already, we thank you kindly. 

Its an honor to have you along on our journey.  Let's keep going and see where we end up; just don't forget the road trip snacks!

Love,

RI

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