Saturday, November 30
Friday, November 29
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Friday, November 22
Thrifty Fun suggests a lot of great ideas like affirmation jars or thankfulness jars, job jars, jewelry or bathroom organizing. I kind of like the gift-giving idea where you layer your ingredients for homemade cocoa in the jar, top with marshmallows and seal it with a funky cork or washcloth topper and raffia twine. Or same idea but inserting dry bean or pea soup mixes with recipe card.
I've also washed, dried and spray-painted tin cans, using them for planters and seedlings as well as for nesting containers for Ela to learn and play with. She stacks them and puts them inside each other- cheapest toy ever =) They look fabulous spray painted. I used glossy red, teal, lime green and yellow.
I've been really cheaply painting my kitchen using Home Depot's mistints. They almost always have little $1 oops containers in various colors. I've been collecting them all summer. I have all sorts of blues, pinks, oranges, etc. but I have had them retint their mistints (free!) to browns which are almost always useful and neutral. Anyways for about $5 I painted all my base cabinets in my kitchen by mixing my mistints into a cool brown mahogany purply color. I quite like it. It at least cleans it up from the mess that it was before!
Anyhoo if you know other ideas for recycling pls let me know. I'm exploring ideas!
Tuesday, November 19
Wednesday, November 13
Tuesday, November 12
Saturday, November 9
I have had a bazillion discussions (ahem) with my spouse about how we CHOOSE how we feel. I have tried my best to explain that everyone CHOOSES to get angry, sad, anxious or whatever.
Nobody MAKES me mad- I choose to react in an angry way when someone says something that hits a nerve. But I could also choose to ignore it.
Nobody makes me sad- I choose to accept an insult when one is aimed at me. Or, I choose NOT to accept it because it is only ME that is insulted if I choose that accept those words.
I have learned this year that semantics are everything.
They are everything.
If you say "You're bad" when you mean "Your behavior is bad" these are entirely different statements. Is the person bad? Or is what they are DOING bad? Important differentiation.
"I hate you".
"I hate what you are doing".
See what I mean? Totally different.
"You piss me off". (also "You make me angry")
"What you are doing pisses me off".
Actually, you chose to react in either situation. You chose your feelings.
Know you have power.
Power in your words, power on your CHOOSING how to react.
Use your power. Use your choice.
Friday, November 8
My all time two favorite bra burner videos OF. ALL. TIME.
Ok and this video's another all time fave just because I love the dance off.
But seriously. I post them because recently I received my Oxfam newsletter where they ask you 'Hey, Can you give money to people in other countries that don't have what you have?' Of course you can. I don't care what situation you are in. We have a lot where we are. I can go without something for you in a third world country. I can. I can cut back more. I can. I can share what I have with you.
I can tell you clearly- definitely- that I have been keenly curious about women's rights since birth. It's no lie. I have questioned why my mom was at home. Why my Nana was nicknamed PET by her husband. Why my Nana was pulled from school in her teens to care for her mother who fell down the stairs. Why my Mom read me books that were about female heroines- about women who rose to the occasion all the time. In my 20s she gave me a book called LEGENDS about various women through history who changed world events. I also purchased books by Emily Murphy. I get it. I have seen what has transpired for my Nana, my Mom and what is in front of me and my daughter.
What if I had been born in... Ethiopia in 1973? Or Iran? Anywhere else? Why I came through into this world where I did was shit luck. Nobody gets to choose their existence or experience in this life. It is not their choosing or fault that they face the challenges they do.
And is it strange for us to realize that girls in other areas of the world have it worse? Certainly they do. We sponsor a girl in the Philippines. She is six. Her name is Christine. I hope she is okay in light of the recent storms and I will write and ask her. I'm going to send her a necklace in the mail for Xmas. I want her to know that someone somewhere far, far away is thinking about her.
So- do yourself a favor. Consider other people's experiences. Other childhoods. People who are immigrants. Know that they have different references than we do. Different commitments or priorities. And regardless- one woman to another- we need to support each other.
Thursday, October 31
Remind yourself everyday of the people and relationships for which you’re thankful. Whatever method you use, be grateful for what you have.
1. Love the one you're with.
5. Give a larger tip than usual.
6. Look people in the eye.
7. Smile and mean it.
9. Be patient.
10. Give thoughtful gifts.
11. Surprise the one you love.
12. Send a thank you note.
13. Give a good hug.
15. Acknowledge the negative parts of your life.
16. Give your dog an extra long walk.
17. Call a friend that needs to talk.
18. Donate more than you’re comfortable donating.
Sunday, October 27
But do you ever think about the POWER of those words?
What does it mean to say that "YOU SHOULD"? What is the power behind that phrase? It wasn't until I went through therapy this year that I was asked to look at that. It's something I said to myself constantly. "SHOULD" is the s-word. Should says that you are expected to do or be something that you are not. Should says that you aren't doing it currently, but geez you are supposed to be! Boy, you really aren't at your best, are you? You SHOULD be more. You SHOULD be better. Yikes! Behind the word should is often a belief or decision that you may want to question. When you say this S-word, ask yourself what you felt you SHOULD be and why did you think that?! Who says!? Who told you that you SHOULD?
Let's look at when we say it. Sometimes [if it's a task that you were given] you'll catch yourself saying damn! I should get that done! Really you're saying shit, I forgot about that! It's on my list! I better get to it before I forget. It's still a demand on yourself. It's still an expectation and something you're supposed to do although perhaps a legitimately time sensitive issue. Should is a future task that asks us to do something soon or in our future.
It's when we use should towards ourselves that we need to examine what we inwardly said, thought or felt that it can be questionable.
If we look at Should's cousins- WOULDA COULDA- we're travelling on a similar path. Woulda is the power-less version of Shoulda. Shoulda feels bad because he couldn't do it or feels he NEEDS to. He woulda but he just isn't able. It's not possible, he just isn't capable. I wistfully wish that I could be or do enough to have done it, or been able to achieve it, but I just wasn't capable or didn't think of it. It's always a past issue. I would have done X but I did Z. If only I'd had XYZ then I could have done ABC. It's a sense of lack. A sense of regret.
How about "Could"?
I could have this if I just... I could be this if I just... I could do this if I just... This could be great if... This could be terrible if... It could have been better. It could have been worse. Could is that silly space where we consider the possibilities that didn't occur, or that may occur if we consider them.
My therapist asked me to pay close attention to how I use my words. I'm famous for self-deprecating language and saying things to myself or at myself that can totally undermine my own personal efforts. Someone will ask me how my day is and I will answer "ask me later!".. like I haven't decided how it is yet! Or I'll tell myself that I should be finding more time, or that I would have more if I just did this, or that if I could just settle for less-or if I could have more- that I would be happier.
Semantics are everything.
You better believe it!
Saturday, October 26
In my twenties I had decided quite vehemently that I would NOT have kids. I felt that too many people did it for the 'wrong reasons' or did not put enough thought into it. I felt the world was over-populated. I felt that I should have the RIGHT to not have children. More than anything I really wanted to make a decision that was... somehow not expected, not "normal", not 'what everyone else does'. I had gotten married at 23 and within months everyone was asking "so when are you having kids'. Of course this pissed me off. Was I expected to do so? Is that what women are SUPPOSED to do, is get married and make babies?! What frickin year was this, what an archaic stupid question!!! Being asked all the time only made me more and more irritated about what was expected of newlyweds and I said HELL NO WE ARE NOT HAVING KIDS! Meanwhile my sister and brother went ahead and had children and watching my sister's belly grow I thought omg I am DEFINITELY not doing that! It looks terrifying! How the hell can your body get so large and pass a baby through your ... oh lord, I didn't even want to think about how much that would hurt. Why would I want to do this? I was terrified of the whole process. Again, cemented my convictions NOT to have kids.
Into my mid and late thirties my relationship began dissolving (for other reasons) and I began concentrating on my career. By 36 I was divorced, moved into a new relationship, moved into my career (leaned into my career) but I began thinking about whether I was all that committed to my previous beliefs about not having children?
In my new workplace I was surrounded by other women who were within my age range (36-40) who were suddenly pregnant AND in management. I quickly realized hey, maybe I *CAN* do both? Maybe it's not a choice between having a career and a family(?) One of the women had a stay at home husband and the other was a SINGLE woman who found herself pregnant but had her mother's support. My spouse was a part time worker who would prefer to be home, and so I found myself thinking about whether starting a family could be a possibility in the near future? Maybe I should think about whether we wanted a baby? Or was it too late? Or was the "right time" finally coming? I had other considerations as well, like my spouse was an only child and both parents were passed. It left only him. I thought maybe I was being selfish deciding not to have children- what if he wanted one? What if he *needed* a family and a sense of belonging?
By age 38 -in the Spring- I had been transferred back to my home province within a few hours drive of both my parents and my sister. By late Fall in October I found out I was pregnant. I spent my pregnancy affirming that my body was made for birthing and certainly if my other friends were able to do this, then certainly I could. I said to myself regularly that I was in the right place at the right time and this was going to turn out great.
It absolutely is a huge decision that involves a lot of humming and hawing. People say having them early means by the time they graduate then YOU have time for yourself earlier. But my argument was that then you lose your 20s and 30s to child rearing, don't have your career established yet, probably have a little more financial stress buying a home, getting everything going in your life. Then others say having them later in life when you DO have your career established, are well into a mortgage etc, that you are "too well rooted' in your personal routines and lack energy to chase after a baby. Personally I feel like things worked out for the best and that waiting until my later years was actually perfect ...for me. I didn't feel that my "routine" was altered. In fact in retrospect I think wow, what the hell was I wasting my time on before this!? Suddenly I find hours available in my day to play with my busy toddler daughter, grocery shop, work & commute 11 hrs a day and somehow find a few minutes for me and my spouse.
So is there a right time? Are you ever 'prepared'? I don't think you are, or that there is a perfect time, but having said that- ANY time is the right time and you will find that when you do have your child (if you choose to do so) that you suddenly were prepared and you always were.
When I was really young and beginning to read my mom would read us her favorite books from childhood, which were cloth-bound and written in the 1910-teens. The books were series about girls, written FOR girls of that time period. They were her mom's books from her childhood, and so I found them exceptionally intriguing. The books were usually about a heroine who got into various predicaments and with the help of her skillful friends, she would overcome them or solve the mystery. (I'm sure you instantly think Nancy Drew but this was a generation before she came out) No, these were about a young girl sent away to camp, or an orphan girl sent to live with a relative, or some similar type story to Sarah Crew. At any rate it was not until my adult years that I realized that these girls in 1910-ish were extremely progressive for their time. Some had paying jobs, or some form of independence and certainly a rebellious streak that often resulted in trouble. If we look back at this time period the Suffragette movement itself was only beginning and for women to have any such rights like employment or independence were certainly questionable at best. One of our heroines was even an actress who had "love making scenes" (gasp! involving KISSES with a male actor!) What a harlot!
Anyhoo, I'm glad my mom read us these. It made me see that a not-so-distant history had a very different lifestyle for girls than the one that I was afforded in the 1980s when I was growing up and reading these. It made me notice that my Nana was called "Pet" as a nickname from her husband which I thought that was pretty weird and a little derogatory, although my mom when questioned said it was an affectionate name. I just hadn't ever HER call my dad that and couldn't help but note that it wasn't shared female to male(?) Nana never called her husband anything other than "Dear"...
Recently I read LEAN IN by Sheryl Sandberg. I found about a bazillion things in her book that made sense to me,or that I related to. Her Nana was called "Girlie" so not too far off from "Pet". She noted that women lean BACK when contemplating career paths, as though we have to choose between being a mother and continuing a career. In fact when I was dealing with my post partum I read a book called "I didn't know it would be like this" which also discussed the gender roles and how women face impossible odds quantifying their decisions to either lean back or lean in to their careers or families, or try to balance both. The simple truth is regardless of which you do, you are screwed. Selfish if you continue a career, and lazy or inept if you choose to stay home or work part time.
Being a new mom to a girl I have definitely noticed my feelings about women's rights, or equality, about the world she is going to grow up in. I've seen young girls in the news commit suicide over bullying and being blackmailed by their peer boys to email or message compromising photos of themselves. I think -what can I do as her guardian to guide her through all this?
Last week my mom said enthusiastically that she wanted to buy her a toy oven for xmas. I kind of groaned and said yno, I would prefer a less stereotypical toy, maybe something less gender oriented? I pointed out a cute ride on Jeep (although pink...) for her instead. Mom said "or maybe I should get her a hammer and nails?" Good lord let's swing the other way completely? Sure or how about you get her a toy chainsaw and a red and black checkered jacket!? Wth. How about neutral, like a counting book or alphabet learning something?!
Just released in the news is this report GENDER EQUALITY INDEX where Canada ranks #20 in the world for equality. The States is behind us as #23, the best are Finland and its neighbours, and the worst are Chad, Pakistan and others at the bottom. I'm not entirely shocked but I am thrilled to see the report point out that it is the MATERNITY leave support that makes the difference between the BEST countries and North America. Specifically the policies in place are
Although I'm lucky to have 16 weeks paid from my employer for mat leave I confess I felt this was quite inadequate. Had I been a nurse, teacher, police officer, or even a Van City (bank) employee I would have received much more supportive maternity leave benefits for a much longer term. To boot there is no easy integration back into the workforce, you simplyt return to your regular pace, regular job immediately with the expectation that you have then retained your "prior self" somewhere to pull out on demand. (As if !!!!) But you know, had I had the option I would have loved to come back in a graduated basis EARLY to keep my head in the business, give me a much needed break from my changing home-life and effectively create a balance as I returned over time to normal hours and duties. How life changing would this have been for me.
It's not my employer's fault that we do not have these tools in place. This is society-wide. Certainly it's far worse for my female counterparts in the USA who have virtually no PAID maternity leave benefits in their social net although they are generously allowed a full 12 weeks UNPAID to gather themselves back up. Thanks, Uncle Sam!
For all the advancements we have made there are still so many to overcome that we will certainly not see in our lifetime. I can only journal my experiences for my daughter to reflect on in her baby book where I write everything that I feel will serve her at some future point.
Speaking of society wide- just LOOK at the commercials we see for toys and products for young girls. OMFG. It makes me cringe. How about a BOY getting a stove for Xmas? I mean, he has loads of MALE CHEFS to point at to say hey; it's cool to be a cook. But will we ever see commercials of a boy cooking at a toy stove!? RIIIIIGHT!? Girls commercials are all about looking pretty, or household chores, etc. Hell even commercials for women MY AGE suck badly, and I point to the Cascade Kitchen Counsellor ones here!!! Two sisters fighting over their clean house or dishwasher as though this is what establishes our WORTH is how effing clean our homes or dishes are?! WTF is that?! Even the counselor is female, because it's women who talk about feelings, right. For the love of the small children.
Guys commercials- AXE deoderants and body sprays. Sexual attraction ads. Or the KFC commercials where Husband goes in and accuses KFC employee of hitting on his wife through their deals on food. Like he owns his wife and is asserting his territorial rights over her or something. Yeah, it's everywhere.
Watch for it, note it, think about it.
Then question it.
Tuesday, August 6
Tuesday, December 25
Thursday, November 29
Yes- we are hitting that feverish "I cannot eat enough and am wide awake without naps" six month point. Yaaaaay!!! Lol :) Actually it's pretty stunning how noticable this one is. We changed her diaper together & looked at each other saying "wow, look at how thick she's gotten... suddenly...!"
Pretty amazing. She goes for her next shots in 2wks so we will find out her weight then. I'm going to wager 15 pounds maybe. Let's see if I am right!!