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The Frozen Wasteland of Parenting

Oh Friends…

It has been a trying time of late here in our house.  Darling Daughter – who was 19months on Monday – has taken to screaming.  And when I say ‘screaming’ I mean screaming.  Like: horror flick, virgin girl screaming.  And I’m understanding that it has more to do with her lack of control over really anything in her life.  Honestly though, understanding will only get you so far.

screeching child

After that, it’s up to your good friends and alcohol.

And then, once the friends are gone home and you’ve slept off all the gin you drank (~ahem.  Hypothetically of course.  <cough>) and you wake up to the cherubic sounds of more god damned screaming you start to loose your mind a little bit.  I did what many have done in such circumstances: I asked facebook for help.

And you know what?  Facebook helped.  In a matter of 5 minutes – at 7:00 in the morning, mind – I had responses from several people.  They were all saying, “Chin up, it gets easier, it’s a phase, ignore it, you can do it” and so on.  It didn’t stop the screeching, I’m sad to say, but it did help.

It reminded me that I am not alone in this frozen wasteland of parenting.  And today, that’s all I needed.

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Family, Raising Kids, Vexations

 

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A Red Dress for Me???

You guys:

I just did something rash.  Hasty, even!  I was totally impulsive, and if it works out OMG I will be over-the-moon thrilled about it!!  And yes, I promise to tell you.  Maybe even invite you!  We can have a party in it’s honour!  Oh, that would be SO cool!!!

Wait: I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?

Okay.  Do you know who Jenny Lawson is?  What about “The Bloggess”?  Do you know her?  You should – I’ve talked about her on this site before and I’m linked to her on my “blogroll” page.  Not only that, she is now a published author and as of today will be appearing on The Katie Couric show.  So you know, she’s a fairly big deal.  The best part though is that she’s a steaming pile of awesomeness.

So anyway: she’s becoming really well known for a movement she’s started called “The Traveling Red Dress”.  You can read all about the concept here.  In fact, it is for this topic that she will be speaking about on Katie’s show today.  In a post she recently made on her blog, she announced that she was going to get 3 more red dresses and send them to people who want them, all we had to do was tell her on the facebook page why we wanted one.

I wrote to tell her that I wanted one.

OMG you guys!!!  If I get a dress…  wow.  Will you come and help me if I get one?  I’ll need hair, makeup, pictures, maybe some other people with me in red dresses, and of course, someone to pass the dress on to once I’ve had my moment in the Red sun.

So – what do you say?

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Randomness

 

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This World We Live In…

Every day I start off my day by reading blogs.  I don’t read news papers, or news sites even (unless someone on my facebook feed links to an article that tweaks my interest).  I don’t listen to the radio, I don’t watch newscasts.  I am in what I like to call a “Media Free Bubble”.  As such, I miss out on things.  And the only ways that I stay informed of what’s going on in the world around me is through MOMD (who himself is a journalist), facebook, and blogs.

This week I stumbled upon a new blog: http://wrathofmom.blogspot.ca/.  When I find something new, where the writing is good and the humour is plenty, I tend to read through a bunch of entries to get the flavour for the site and decide whether it will make it into my usual haunts, so to speak.  Which is how I became aware of this.  And this.  I’m sure you can imagine it really made me uncomfortable.  Because wow…  way to be totally insensitive, even after the issues with your material are raised.  Far more appropriate would have been  to say, “Oh – I had no idea.  Thank you for raising our awareness.”  Or something like that.  Instead, the station did nothing and time is being spent discussing the problem in the House of Commons, in front of our Prime Minister.

And then there’s the whole business with Ashley Judd.  I mean, 6 months ago most of us were hard pressed to remember who Ashley Judd was.  We may remember her from her movies like “Double Jeopardy” and the grief she reportedly gets from her mother, Naomi Judd, for her movie roles.  And now, she’s up in the stratosphere, appearing on 4 highly recognized and watched news programs in less than 4 days.  She is the new face of the feminist discussion.

I’ve been a big fan of Miss Representation ever since I discovered it.  And in fact, when it was here for a screening back in October, I bought 4 tickets myself, and filled the seats.  There were 7 of us in our little group that night and it was just amazing to see.  A theatre filled with people – the 7 in our group ranged in ages from 12 to 63 – men, and women, discussing Humanity and how to best serve our own interests.

All of this made me feel like we were getting somewhere.  Maybe – just maybe – the time has come for the tide to turn and the world to become a more accepting place.  But then, I’ve always been an optimist.

Yesterday there was a link in my newsfeed – which I am deliberately NOT sharing here – to a piece asking whether a fairly well respected woman comedian was “too ugly for Hollywood”.  Mother of God!  Where do I live that this is a headline in an international magazine?!?!?!  Detractors from this article are saying things like, “did anyone ask this about Jack Black?”  This makes the point that there are not just ugly, but also fat men in Hollywood, who are regularly given big-budget movies to carry.  And at no point that I can find has someone ever asked if a man were too ugly for the industry.  And c’mon: Steve Buscemi – while an excellent actor and highly deserving of his reputation – is not good looking.

And yet, when I reflect, I note something that I find too convenient to be a coincidence.  This article was published in the wake of Ashely Judd’s essay, her subsequent press tour discussing her position, and all of the articles that came in response to her moment in the media spotlight.  All of this was designed to change the conversation – to dismantle and rebuild the way we think about each other and women specifically.  Women were getting some screen time and were talking about breaking down the establishment.

Does it not seem too convenient to you as well that “Is Rachel Dratch Too Ugly for Hollywood?” is a headline in the aftermath of the shifting sands upon which the Media Machine stands?

I remember reading somewhere once that the only way to keep women from taking control of our culture and industry is to keep them divided. (Mommy Wars, anyone?)  The author was saying that the only way for men to stay as power-players in our societies is to keep us distracted and fighting with each other so that we did not turn our collective intellects and strengths toward accomplishing goals that we consider important.  You know, silly stuff like ending the cycle of poverty for our young and elderly, education, and dare I say it?  Even world peace.

Somedays I am dismayed about the state of the world.  I question whether bringing more people into this mess was the right decision, particularly now since I’m carrying a little girl.  And then I remember that I am one person, with a voice, who has influence over 2 soon-to-be men allowing me to shape and mold their perspectives.  I remember that the presence of a strong man, like MOMD and my presence too promises a strong foundation for self-esteem, compassion, and discourse that will set our daughter up for success; in fact it will serve all 3 of our kids well.  It is then that I take a deep breath, square my shoulders and soldier on.

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2012 in Opinion, Politics, Soap Box

 

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Challenges

So, a couple of days ago (maybe longer, because remember?  I was in a sickness coma?) I saw this image on facebook:

And I, being a naturally positive person, really liked it.  As a self-employed person it REALLY spoke to me.  Because you know, when you’re the boss, it’s a lot easier to say “I’m not coming in today,” because what are the repercussions?  Exactly.  In the short term, there are few.  In the long term, however…  well, we’re not talking about my business, are we?

So anyway, I shared the pic to my page, and a friend responded to it saying “And if your sabotaging your work, maybe the work is something you shouldn’t be doing.”

Now, I’m doing something different with my work life (Direct Sales and Network Marketing are absolutely not the same as a regulated, 9-5 job).  So I play by a different set of rules (mostly a self-directed, motivated kind).  This was an interesting statement though, so I asked him if he could expand his thought for me.  And this is what he said next: “You’re doing something you don’t want to do but believe you have to do it, or everyone says you have to do it but subconsciously you either disagree or want to do something else so you do things that keep you from completing the task.”

I can see what he’s saying.  And sure – to some extent I agree.

I can’t agree entirely with his point though.  Here’s why: I believe that as human beings, we are meant to grow and evolve and develop into more than we are.  This is a constant thing, that we should be experiencing throughout our lives.  Many people agree with me; I know this because there’s an adage that says, “You learn something new every day.” And really, if you are actually learning something new, changing your perspective on the world – be it everso slight a shift – and ultimately doing something different, you will be uncomfortable.

We are programed to be comfortable.  Entire industries are built around the idea that comfort is the ultimate goal in our lives. (Lay-Z Boy, anyone?) Marketing campaigns are developed to play to our most basic instincts – safety, which in and of itself is a form of comfort – so that we spend our lives scrimping and saving so that we aren’t left eating cat food and living in a shopping cart in our “golden years”.  If you ask a person in their mid-30’s what they really want out of life, or what it would mean to them to be financially free, most of them will tell you some variation of, “Enough to meet all of my obligations and have a little left over.  I just want to be comfortable.”  Because of this quest for “comfort”, when we feel the opposite of that – uncomfortable – our gut instinct is to stop what we’re doing, and revert to the behaviours or positions that made us feel comfortable.  To sabotage our forward momentum.

The problem with this is that, if you’re not uncomfortable, you are not growing.  You are not challenging yourself to be the best that you can be in the moment you are in.  Which you know, is fine if you don’t want anything more than you all ready have.  I am not one of those people though.  I have a lot that I am grateful for, and I have great ambition for even more than I have right now.  And we all know that if we want something other than what we have, we have to do what we are not currently doing.

Which brings me back to the image above.  If we stopped spending time, thinking up reasons for why we can’t or shouldn’t do what we are planning and just simply DO IT, we would accomplish so much.  I want to leave you with this thought that I heard from a training I was listening to recently.  The speaker said, “Human beings are the only thing in nature that does not fully manifest itself into all it was created to be.”  Well, I am here, reaching, stretching and pushing to grow to my fullest, to realize my potential.  Won’t you join me?

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Opinion, Randomness

 

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Women, Women Everywhere… So What’s to Celebrate?

So yesterday I tried to write a blog post.  About International Women’s Day.  I had some research lined up, some back ground and history (did you know that IWD has been a thing since 1909?  And that in Russia – during the Soviet years – it became a holiday where you did not have to go to work?  It’s true!  The day off was granted in 1965) and yet when it came time to write, I just couldn’t.

In part, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to say.  And if there’s one thing I know about writing, is that when are taking on a large topic, you need to know what the point is of your message otherwise your piece will be rambling and boring.

My “writers block”, if you will, was certainly not from lack of interest in the subject.  I am one of the few people I know who loudly and proudly calls herself a feminist (although pretty much everyone around me supports the agenda, aims and goals of feminism) so I certainly have a view point.

So…  what was the issue then?

Well, to be honest, I think the topic really just made me so sad.  I was focussing on what the world was like in 1909, what the life of women was like then, and what the intention of IWD was at that time and drawing comparisons to today.  That really, that was depressing.

The initial intent of IWD was to raise the profile of women as complete people.  They were seeking the right to vote, and for gender equality.  Really?  We’ve been fighting for gender equality for more than 100 years and STILL don’t have it?  I mean, okay.  I’ll grant you that we are no longer in the eyes of the law seen as property.  And it’s not frowned upon when we want to work outside the home, and pay someone else to look after the kids, clean the house, and so on.  So we’re certainly further ahead than we were.  I think you see my point though.

And you know, the suffrage movement was huge, and daring, passionate women died fighting for the right to vote.  And I think about how so few of us can actually be bothered to get to the polling booths on election day and I am so frustrated.  Did you know that it wasn’t until 1940 that all women in Canada earned the right to vote (Quebec was the last province)?  It’s true!  That’s only 70 years ago.  There are women still alive who remember maybe not being barred from voting, but certainly remember winning the right to do so.

Around the  world IWD is celebrate with parades.  With ceremonies, with memories.  People talk about accomplishments and achievements showcasing the power of women in the world today.  Feminists are not man-haters.  They are leaders of countries.  They are social activists bringing relief to children and women in danger here from poverty, abuse and other factors, as well as around the world where these groups are targeted and abused systematically.  They are people who are concerned about what’s happening – through the ever-increasingly powerful media machine – to our children and young adults.

They are people like me.  And I bet, they are people like you.

You know what happened in my neighbourhood for IWD yesterday?  Nothing.  Or at least, that’s what I assume since nothing was advertised in a public place.  I knew when the bridal show was happening here in town though.  *fumes*

All over facebook I saw people wishing others “Happy International Women’s Day”.  No mention of the battles we’ve fought and won, or the struggles we’re still facing today (Rush Limbaugh to give name to one high-profile issues today).  Yes, we should celebrate who we are.  Yes, we should take a moment to honour our sisters for surviving and thriving.  We should also remember what this day is meant to mark, and honour that as well.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Women%27s_Day
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_Canadian_province_was_the_last_to_give_women_the_right_to_vote

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2012 in Opinion

 

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