Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I'm awake

I wrote to a radio station I have been a loyal listener and financial supporter of for over a decade.  I was furious about the dismissive and demeaning way they characterized the women's march on Saturday.

I'm waiting for their response.

But in the writing of it, in the seeing of hundreds of thousands of fellow humans marching around the world I was remind that it is beyond time to start acting on my values again. 

I have been guilty of allowing a certain apathy to creep into my Canadian 1% life.  

I've become so tolerant - prepared to look at multiple perspectives, consider other ways, thoughts, actions.  

I've allowed the insidious lie that my words or actions won't change anything to gain a comfy spot in my brain.

My apathetic tolerance was laudable only for its complete lack of backbone or difference-making.

Well - I am now emerging from this grey-pleasant-bland-world and I am back to not only drawing lines in the sand but acting when they are breached.

I know many of us are in an exhausted fog trying to understand what the actual heck happened in Washington on Friday and in the USA generally in the last few months.

And not only in the political arena but between regular people, friends, families...

The hate, the division, the refusal to consider other perspectives,  the use of religion to justify extreme behaviour.

There have been some funny memes, some of us have been in disbelief, or holding on to tenuous hope that things wouldn't be so bad.

Well shucks.  

Things are bad.  

"Alternative facts" - my brain is literally tired from trying to understand.  

Maybe it's not understandable.  

Maybe it's not me. 

But ...I can't shake the feeling...the truth...that it IS me.  

It is up to me to say my piece, do my piece, stand and speak for those who can't.

I have been quiet, politically correct (or as PC as I have ever been).

My brothers and sisters across this world stood up, put on their shoes and marched.... millions of them.  

But that was Saturday.  

What about today? 

Today I stood up to the comment that "the women marched because they needed something to do while the men were watching football".

And I am going to stand up every damn day that there is racism and sexism and all the other isms.  

I will most especially speak and act against those who think recent events give license to speak hate, leaflet hate, post hate, behave hatefully. 

I will likely skew the stereotype of a "Nice Canadian" - sorrynotsorry.

God gave me a heart, an intellect, a conscience and I am pretty sure He expected me to use it - for good, for the building UP of others, for Justice and Mercy 

and Peace.

And Love.

I'm awake.  I am ready. 

I'm going to speak, do, sing, march, write, dance, shout my part in Love winning in 2017 and beyond.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017



January 17, 2017 

marks my 17th anniversary of the day I started with the Society of Richmond Children's Centres

Ahhh how I love the symmetry of that..... 17/17/17

Almost like I planned it.

When my colleague pointed out the auspiciousness of today in conversation yesterday (we share the same anniversary date) I hadn't even remembered. 

But through the evening / night I was reflecting on those 17 years.

What a lot has changed.  

How much I have grown and changed.

The people that have come....and gone.

The relationships that have enriched my life. 

The work itself and all it offers and challenges.

And, of course, I wondered for a moment or two if it was wise to have stayed in one job for so long - albeit a job that has itself evolved and changed so much.  Long careers in one place seem a bit of an anomaly these days.  I sometimes wonder at the various paths I could have taken, jobs I turned down....a pension I might have had...Ha!  

And so today dawned with me feeling less celebratory and a bit unsettled.  

Did I make the right choice?  Should I stay?  No good reasons to go but somehow others seem to be changing jobs and trying new things.... maybe I need to be more ambitious, more driven.... and yet I feel fulfilled where I am. 

And then this popped into my inbox this morning.

Ahhhhh perspective. 

I have both creativity and joy in my career and so much more.   

Work is a gift, worthy work with an incredible team is an even greater gift.  To claim creativity and joy as at least weekly parts of my work - pretty darn priceless.

This is right for me.... for now.... for the last 17 years and hopefully a few more.  
So here's to 17/17/17...... no need to change lanes.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Message in a massage

3 Things you should know:

1. I am seldom impulsive...I tend to the over-planning end of the spectrum.... case in point we met with the dog-sitter today...for a trip we are taking in mid-March

2.  I am frugal... to the stupid-frugal end of the spectrum...fortunately only when the money is to be spent on me or things that I don't like to spend money on.  If it's for you, my kids, friends..... frugal ain't my middle name.

3.  I am fairly useless at self-care.  Frankly I even find the term a bit annoying.  I am a happy, busy person who prefers doing things for others ... I think that is a legitimate way to live life. 

Today, after a week of having a nasty head cold I woke up and dual nostril breathing had returned to my head.  

Hallelujah - the angels sing! 

Despite a little sleep-in this morning we had to get up and going (see Dog sitter appointment above) and clean tidy the house etc.  

Also the boy needed a dress shirt for his upcoming Winter Formal and given I have two 6 day work weeks coming up it had to be today.

So to the mall we headed.  We found not 1 but 2 dress shirts that fit the boy and the bill and were home in pretty short order. (I won't digress here but Girl vs Boy clothing shopping for Grad events - no comparison in time, money and angst).

I plopped down on the couch.  It was 1pm,  I clicked on FB and saw this.

Without any real thinking/planning/consideration of multiple view points/listing of pros and cons/consulting with 10 people,  I replied immediately and then I called fully expecting the spot to have been taken.

It was not. 

So less that 60 minutes later I was face down under a heated blanket in a dimly lit room at a lovely spa, ready for an aromatherapy massage.

Crazy stuff. 

And as I lay there I was immensely relieved my nose wasn't running and I could breathe the lavender/patchouli scented air easily.  

As I allowed my body to relax and quieted my mind I realised I was being given a gift. 

A gift of time, a gift of care, a gift of relaxation, for an amazing discount and in it I heard the message that I was worthy of this gift.

I don't know why they had a cancellation, why I opened FB when I did, how this happened on the only free Saturday I have in weeks but this I do believe....it was meant to be. 

I actually told that to the lady at the reception at the Spa - "This is what was meant to happen today" and she looked at me and said "I believe that."  

As is often the case with a beautiful, surprise gift I am left humbled and deeply grateful.

And very, very relaxed.