What's in your circle of control today?

A lot of us are in really unsettling situations now. It is incredibly destabilizing and depressing, and can be demotivating.

One way to combat the overwhelm and despair is to focus in on things that are within your circle of control – the things you can actually do right now to make a difference for yourself, your family, your friends, your community, and causes you believe in/support. Small actions can eventually lead to big changes.

So this is a thread where we can support and inspire each other to keep on movin’ on and every day do those little things we can to make the world a better place. It may be ugly out there but there is a lot of beauty within us and within this community. Please share yours.


So for me, I am finding my garden to be the place that is allowing me to make a positive contribution. I am growing a ton of our own food, which will reduce the strain our family puts on the supply chain. In a few weeks I should have more than enough to share with the food bank or neighborhood families who would benefit from fresh vegetables. I am starting more seeds than I can possibly plant myself – extras will also be shared. Once things start opening up again I am looking at getting involved with an urban agriculture program – made contact with one of the staff members who live in my neighborhood and will try to build on that connection and see if we can start a local backyard growing program. They have a formal training program that I may enroll in next year (it starts in April so too late this year) and I will probably sponsor a couple of scholarships a year for that (courses cost about $700 for the series). They explicitly target POC and provide support for them to start their own farms – seems like an ideal way to integrate my interest in food/sustainability and social justice issues.


Today I’m taking the day off because I was up too late, I’m stressed, and I can’t deal with my team who seem to live in this bubble of their own privilege.

Things I will be doing today that are in my circle of control:

  • Preparing and eating good food
  • Tending to my tiny balcony garden
  • Helping to distribute good information to peers about actions they can take
  • Writing to elected officials
  • Writing to my county’s prosecuting attorney and the county coroner about the murder of a black woman in our community
  • Prepping some signs
  • Attending a peaceful gathering with my partner to hear from families and individuals impacted by anti-Black racism and police violence in our community
  • I will be bringing flowers and care supplies to said gathering
  • Spend time resting at home with my partner afterwards

This is good to keep in mind.

My garden is helpful to my mental health too, now that I more or less have a plan to deal with the difficulties of gardening this year (chiefly the long walk to/from the community garden, and having to on-the-fly reconfigure my backyard plans due to the roof replacement.) I don’t have a lot of space, but I am doing what I can with the limitations I have. I used the free seed I had, where I could.

I still have a lot of seeds. That is a great idea, to start extras and give them away. I wonder if it is too late though, our growing season is too short. It couldn’t hurt to try, though, the seed was all free and I have more than I’ll use. I could put them out in the giveaway area of the garden if anything comes up.

Things that are in my circle of control:

  • I verified with Boyfriend that our renter’s insurance auto-renewed properly (it was up for renewal June 1 and is in his name/comes out of his account). It did. I can’t control whether someone torches our building or breaks in and steals things, but I can control whether we are insured.
  • I have found ways to get at least a basic level of food - mostly produce - coming to us without us having to risk a grocery trip. Is it always what I want to eat? Nope. Getting kind of sick of the asparagus firehose coming from my CSA. But, there is food.
  • We put a Black Lives Matter sign in our window facing the street. Boyfriend made it.
  • I emailed elected officials, will email more today.
  • Money from an Etsy sale hit my account and I donated it to Black Visions Collective.

ETA: I have been sharing on Facebook any African-American orgs that I come across who need donations. Found a couple new ones today, including a school that sheltered protesters who had no way of getting out of the Loop the other night.


So much more than I have energy for. But no one else is going to take care of it.


I can write letters to my representatives (thanks for the SURJ template in the other thread, Illathrael).

I can post a few organization links in IG stories.

I can avoid the shit out of social media otherwise because it’s not good for me right now.

I can tend to my plants.


Thank you for this.

  • I can donate to various causes that have a better use for the money than I do. I’ve donated to BLM and my local mutual aid org. I will donate to Community Justice Exchange before the day is done. I can share my donations with others on social media – I’ve gotten at least 2 other people to donate to the mutual aid org today just by sharing.

  • I signed up to volunteer with the above mutual aid org. Even though I don’t want to be around too many people due to Covid, there are tasks they can use me/my husband for like buying supplies and storing them at our apartment.

  • I can sign up for the DSA because the local chapter is the one who runs the mutual aid org and does a lot of the work I think is needed in my city.

  • I can check in on my black friends to see how they’re doing (not putting my own feelings on them, just letting them know they are loved).

  • I can email/text law enforcement and government in various cities across the country to let them know this is not okay.

  • I put a BLM poster in our window so passerby can see it.

  • I ordered delicious Ethopian food from a black-owned business. I can continue to support these businesses by ordering take out weekly or so.

  • I am reading my copy of the New Jim Crow to educate myself. I purchased some other books on racism to read next, and purchased them online from a black-owned bookstore in DC (Mahogany Books).


I wrote to my congresscritters, using Resistbot. (shoutout to @Illathrael and @MonkeyJenga)
I’ve set a weekly reminder on my phone to continue to engage with my state and congressfolk.
I’m gardening the fuck out of my yard.
I donated some money.


Oooooo, I’ve got one of these right up the street from me. Yum. Great idea.

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  • I can be kind to coworkers (neighbors, friends) who may not be their best right now…I know I am not!
  • I signed up for our company “town hall” on “employees feelings and perspectives” on recent events. I plan to listen.
  • I have a standing Skype and craft season with some college friends. I asked if they want to write to our reps (4 cities/2 states) tonight, instead. They liked the suggestion.
  • I can feed myself and bf so we are not hangry.
  • I can water my balcony plants.
  • I can make more donations.

Thanks for posting this. I’ve been a bit paralyzed by recent events. I’ve made some donations and I feel a bit better.

I can make donations, and have done this already.

I can share other’s voices on my social media accounts.

I can talk to my family and friends.

I can wait on this until after I have finished my exam, and have more impact because I don’t have a deadline looming over me and using my brainspace.

  • update: actually did letter writing thing with friends. Recommend. We interspersed with catching up, we talked about our white male dominated bookshelves, we shared resources (thanks for the template @Illathrael!)
  • I reached out to two people I wanted to share my stimulus $$ with. I’ve been procrastinating because it’s slightly awkward… But that isn’t good reason to not take care of My People.