ihaveanopinionidliketoshare

thoughts on life, parenting, news, and crazy shit

Are People Shitty, Or Just Afraid? Does It Even Matter?

man doing dab position near beach

Photo by Tobias Bjørkli on Pexels.com

I’ve been sitting here for several days, between trying to get work accomplished, continuing to educate my beautiful students, and being the parent that my children need.  Notice that I didn’t say “homeschool” my children, because I am not.  I do plenty of activities with them, play music and read and try to continue to enrich their lives as if we are just on an extended school break.  They are young, they will come out of this with fond memories of a time we slowed down enough to focus on each other, at least I hope so.

In between all of that, I have been purposefully changing my social media presence to simply include a brief account of what our lives are looking like during this piece of historical significance. I have also started purposefully avoiding getting into any more conversations about this pandemic, or the measures being taken, or the possible cures or anything politically related.

If there is one thing I enjoy under normal circumstances, it is a good debate or impassioned conversation with opposing viewpoints or opinions where two people can look at an issue from two very different sides and learn from one another and grow as humans.  I think that difficult conversations are important to be able to understand that there is not one thing in this world that is entirely black or white, and that almost always we all deserve a seat at the table.

These are not normal circumstances.  And I am no longer enjoying the debate.  In fact, at best some of these conversations are making me really sad, and at worst I am absolutely horrified and disappointed in some of the people that I know and love dearly and the things they are either saying or virtually applauding.

Look, I get it. This whole situation blows. Try being a fucking musician in times like these and see how worried you are about your employment prospects for the near future.  Other industries are on hold right now.  Everyone is anxious and exhausted and 100% not in control and that produces a fear response that a lot of times makes people do and say hurtful things.

For the record, COVID 19 is a super shit thing that the entire world is having to go through headfirst, blind, and pretty much with flailing arms.  We don’t have a radar screen to navigate by here, so most reasonable leaders are trying to use lessons from history to determine how best to sail through this storm.   It’s going to be messy, and imperfect, and expensive.  There will be much economic fall out from this and we are all going to have sacrifices to make.  

Ironically, people who have less are the ones who seem to be the most understanding of this.  The ones who have the most are so used to getting their own way and having access to all of their entitlements that they can’t fathom sacrificing one thing from their hoard of capitalistic treasures in order to create widespread benefit for the health and welfare of everyone else.  And really, this is what this pandemic is showing me.  That many of us are so selfish and tied to material things that we are willing to “sacrifice one old granny” rather than sit tight and ride out this storm with grace.

I’ve read the conspiracy theories and they are annoying, not fact based, and scientifically inaccurate.  People want to push through experimental treatments with total disregard for human safety.  They think it’s fine to just let hundreds of thousands of people die and allow millions suffer because it’s “less than 1% of the population” so far. They keep talking  about how the numbers are so low and we are all fools hell bent on their economic ruin.  Talking about how our children will have to pay the price for this.

I don’t know for sure, but I feel quite strongly that these are merely excuses because they are tired of being inconvenienced. They are worried about their current lifestyles being permanently affected. And in response to that fear,  some people have a put a price tag on the lives of the vulnerable and the elderly and poor. There is a line drawn in the sand about what has value and what does not, and there are so many people that I thought I knew who are on the wrong side of that line.

COVID 19 is not a socialist plot to fuck you over.  The financial aid being given out is not an irresponsible and frivolous act that will be the downfall of the country or world.  It is a much needed rainfall in an out of control blaze of fuckery and flame.

By the way, in 1918, communities that completely shut down in response to the pandemic social distancing recommendations had better economic outcomes and faster, steeper recoveries than the communities who ignored them.

I could go on and on in order to rebuke every ignorant and cruel comment I have seen lately but am I exhausted by the seemingly never ending dialogue of selfish, misinformed people who are slaves too busy worshiping their green paper gods to have any sense of what is right and good.  I am sure I will have to continue to bite my tongue and ignore this continued dickery once I post this article as I get bombarded with more hate messages and hurtful comments.

When this lockdown first started, I had a lot of hope.  Not hope that it would be quickly resolved, but hope that we would all be able to value this “Grand Pause” in our lives and see the meaningful things we are blessed with and for the first time in a long time, really appreciate them.  I thought that parents would see this as an opportunity to reconnect with their kids, and families to actually eat dinner together again and realize that the hamster wheel we’ve all been on for so long maybe was spinning beyond our control. I hoped that we would once again start to be able to distinguish the difference between want and need and realize that simpler lives may, well, simplify our existence.  Love, connection, health, peace….I thought those things might re-emerge.

And don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of beautiful people out there doing beautiful things,  among them the artists and young people and communities working together to support one another and brighten our days and reach out to help where needed.

But for many others…..there is an ugliness that is probably being inspired by fear and lack of control that is making them search for someone to be angry at, or an enemy to fight, or some other reason why none of this can be really happening. And I just don’t personally know what to do about that.  Probably nothing but just feel sad about it.

Anyway, Bitches, Stay well, stay safe.  Hold the fucking line.  See you all on the other side.

 

In Manitoba, we’re looking after ourselves now

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God I am so tired.

Of literally everything.

I am tired of wearing every hat- employee, teacher, parent, wife, daughter, friend, advocate, mouthpiece, confidante. I am tired of waiting for it to end and it never fucking ends.

I am tired of not knowing, trying to figure shit out, decision making, mitigation, concession making, pivoting, and fighting.

Mostly the fighting. Everybody, including me has their opinion about how to go about fixing the mess we’re in or how to make it better, and we are ALL experts on pointing out the mistakes others have made and all the coulda woulda shouldas in the history of ever.

In the end I don’t think any of it really matters anymore. Maybe I am just feeling abandoned by a government and a community that seems to have just given up. Maybe I am just feeling disheartened that some people are so greedy and stupid and selfish that they seem willing to risk the well being of others in the name of the almighty dollar. Maybe I am just feeling defeated that after 2 years of this fuckery, even the people who tried so hard in the beginning are too exhausted to continue on.

I get it. This has gone on for a really long time, the current situation is pointing to disease that produces less severe outcomes proportionally and appears much milder in the acute phase.In this exact moment it feels like continuing to take pauses and make more sacrifices is overkill for some people. And as much as I hated watching that complete shitstorm of a cuntboxing match of a press conference this week, one gross truth emerged from it: we really do need to take care of ourselves at this point, because the solidarity that used to exist as we all swam upstream in a body of liquid shit over the past couple of years is clearly starting to crack.

It feels like the province has lost control of the situation because they invested in the wrong strategies and resources and didn’t listen to the people on the front lines. (hint- ALWAYS listen to the people on the front lines when you want to fix something) The current strategy appears to be reminding us that our province was the first to implement restrictions 12 months ago and gaslighting the public about capacity while manipulating data and basically just being a bunch of ignorant assholes. Good reason fell on deaf ears as economic priorities took precedence, but it is a fool’s errand. We are already dealing with a loss of access to essential services due to a lack of human resources that I believe will get worse before it gets better.

So at this point, Heather’s statement is accurate. “It’s up to Manitobans to look after themselves” because the system is in failure.

So as I digest this thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that I have zero fucks to give about what anyone else does at this point. I don’t care if the province says they expect my kids to go to school. They aren’t going right now. I don’t care if they say I can’t have access to the same short term supports others will get, because I am still not sending them. I don’t give a fuck if you don’t get vaccinated. Fine. Exercise your right to suffer. If you want to take your mask off and walk around some shitty restaurant with a bunch of other dickholes flaunting your rights and exposing your tiny brains and, go right ahead. I don’t care about that either.

I am tired. I am putting on my own oxygen mask so that I can help my own people. I don’t care if you disagree with my personal decisions, or think everything is ok and I am crazy, or wanna explain this data or that data. Not one person needs to justify themselves to me or anyone else. Do what you want to do. Accept whatever risks you choose. Weigh your options. Own your shit and deal with the consequences or rewards.

Cause in Manitoba, we look after ourselves.

Make no mistake, this extra week of remote learning is a giant fuck you to educators

Photo by ThisIsEngineering on Pexels.com

I’m sure many of you were glued to your devices waiting with baited breath for the education press conference this afternoon in Manitoba. I am also sure that many of you, like myself, were expecting the government to announce further restrictions and a temporary move to remote learning as we ride this newest wave of Covid fuckery.

Dear Heather and Cliff had other plans. She sat there with her cunty smirks and him in his bewildered gaze trying to pronounce hard words in his briefing and announced that they would be moving to one week remote learning not because of the enormous spikes in Covid transmissions, rising hospitalizations, and unknown outcomes yet to happen- but to give the educators more time to prepare the schools to make them safe for the return of in person learning.

I’m sorry. I know I am just a lowly peasant and not one of the anointed stakeholders that are spoken of so frequently in these pressers, but what the actual fuck.

Prepare for WHAT, exactly? WITH what, exactly? Another shipment of improperly donned medical grade masks by hundreds of tiny humans, some more barrels of hand sanitizer and an inspection of windows that don’t open and ventilation systems that do nothing but recirculate the same air around the same building until the end of time? Will they hire more lunch monitors to make sure the kids sit in their spots while they eat maskless twice per day and toss their tiny little aerosols of Covid cooties into the air for someone else to enjoy later? Is there a secret shipment of hazmat suits coming in sizes XXS to XXXL that haven’t been announced yet?

And the 550,000 RAT’s that have supposedly finally been allocated to schools instead of to pompous morons who refused to get vaccinated? How long is that going to last 300,000 students? And what are the protocols for their use? How exactly do we expect this to help?

Whoever decided that going to remote learning was going to give teachers and administrators “more time” is either a liar or an imbecile. How in Satan’s sweet hell are school staff supposed to reconfigure classrooms, prepare material for home learning, inventory supplies and PPE, rearrange cohorts etc etc etc with students in the fucking school and the rest of them in online class? When is this magical preparation (of what I am still uncertain) going to happen?

No. This is the government telling teachers to go fuck themselves. Since being elected 5 years ago there has been a war raging between government and teachers and I feel like today’s announcement was like Heather saying “Oh you need time, we’ll give you time” and she loved every fucking minute of it.

Furthermore, we basically have no new information. Are we reopening in Code Orange? Where is all the extra staff going to magically appear from? What is going to be done with staff shortages? How important will education be then, Cliff? Or will it just give people one more opportunity to call teachers lazy and overpaid babysitters? Once again, there are more questions than answers and no details about what exactly is going to be accomplished.

Teachers and schools have been repeatedly neglected and set up to fail since all of this began and here we are again. Politicians self congratulating themselves and jerking each other off on camera while they talk about all this money they have given to schools. What was it for? Is it the 80 million from the federal government from last year that wasn’t “invested” in education as promised that you are now taking credit for? Where is the accounting? Why are you so completely full of shit? People just want straight answers and some accountability. We are frustrated. We don’t trust you.

This “extension” is stupid. Pull the plug and do something actually proactive or don’t and live with the consequences of your decisions. But putting schools in another impossible situation so that everyone can be mad at them is a cowardly deflection of our government’s consistent ineptitude and miserable attitude towards educators.

No, I don’t think I will be sending my kids back to school in January.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Let’s be honest. I personally don’t know of any parent (especially working parents) who enjoyed or felt successful at remote learning. I’m not talking about parents who chose to homeschool their children as a means of regular education and have the time, energy and will to take on this enormous task. I’m talking about being thrown into a poorly supported (by the government) situation where the amount of hours in a day don’t ever feel enough nor do the limitations of our patience.

But let’s also be honest about something else.

I personally can’t envision a situation where sending our children and educators back into the classroom for 7 hours a day, without the resources- both material and human- to make it a safe environment for the students or the staff.

Our provincial government is once again busily dropping the ball and keeping parents and school staff in the dark about what the actual situation is and how they plan to address the challenges before them. In fact, it feels like they have been very blatantly gaslighting us all into believing that everything is just fine, and that they have it all under control. Just be honest for once. Please. It is so painfully obvious that we are making public health decisions based on political outcomes and I am absolutely so fucking sick of it.

I don’t know about you, but being repeatedly and consistently bullshitted by what is probably the worst political leadership in the history of ever in Manitoba feels like a slap in the balls already.

Around the country and around the world, we are seeing staffing crises in multiple sectors. New York City has an emergency workers shortage of 30%. WestJet just announced a reduction in services as they struggle to staff flights. London has reduced tube services as they also face a large number of train conductors and staff off sick.

As usual, the tits in charge of Manitoba have set up a scenario where they will try and tell us that they aren’t seeing transmission in schools, they are safe, blah blah blah. They have instructed those under 40 to not get tested, opening up a door where they don’t have transmission and case data for school aged kids, so how will we know? We still don’t know how and when rapid antigen tests will be used, the schools are scrambling to implement the distribution of them, N95 masks are difficult to find and certainly not handed out in an equitable manner, and the schools have a whole extra TWO FUCKING DAYS to figure it all out.

So what is the government assessing in those two days? Are they figuring out how to help the schools split all the classrooms in two? How to use the limited staff and resources they have to try and distance and manage classrooms using EA’s to supervise as teachers run back and forth from room to room? What about how they will manage the inevitable staffing shortages that will occur as the adults get sick? Are they getting ready to keep the essential workers’ kids in person and organize remote learning packages for others? Or are they going to just pretend that they don’t have to worry about children getting sick anymore despite the alarming increase in severe illness in children in other jurisdictions – or continue to not report the outbreaks currently underway in our Children’s hospital here?

We are 10 days from the start of the winter term. Educators need better communication. Parents need better communication. This province deserves better communication than a Premier who shows up once her tan has faded enough to not be so obvious, a health minister who only shows up to deflect every single question ever asked of her once her nails are fucking dry, and an education minister who seems to feel like his role is purely ceremonial.

Personally, I don’t have any trust left in the system. Our educators are worn out. They are getting sick. Two staff members DIED at the same school this week. Parents are worried. I AM WORRIED.

I don’t actually give a shit if Omicron is mostly less severe. Less severe than what? Than dying? Than needing hospitalization in the acute phase? A lesson in proportionality: a smaller percentage of an exponentially bigger number is still a whole fucking lot. More than Manitoba can handle, and more than is fucking reasonable to risk.

So no. I don’t think I will be sending my kids to school in January. I fucking hate that this is where I am at again, but it is what it is. I actually feel safer sending my kids to extra curricular activities that provide shorter exposure, better ventilation, smaller numbers and business owners who hare able to control some variables in the name of keeping everyone safe and keeping their doors open.

And once again, those of us privileged enough to be able to say “NOPE” will have a better chance of escaping this wave that those that rely on schools to not only educate their kids, but care for them. There is no equity given to those already underserved in terms of resources, care, funding or options. I can’t find all the answers for everyone, and I wish to God I could. All I can do is be part of the solution by trying to keep our little family safe.

And PS, I will participate in “remote learning” as it it provided or not provided on my own terms. I am not killing myself or my relationship with my kids to meet some made up standard of what they need to know about the history of Egypt when they are 9 years old. I don’t give a fuck right now. My priorities will be happiness, survival, coping, health, inquiry based learning and fun. I will try to facilitate work sent home as we can tolerate and that is IT. If that makes me a bad parent then there is a place reserved in my mind for you to go fuck yourself.

I hope this is the last time I have to vent this type of frustration, but I suspect our leaders will continue to suck ass. So until we get new leaders, I’m gonna take matter in my own hands and do the best I can.

Solidarity to all the educators, staff, parents and kiddos out there. I hope you all stay well and we see the actual beginning of the end after this.

This is why people are mad at you for not getting vaccinated

Photo by Liza Summer on Pexels.com

The past two years have felt very, very long. Living in a state of constant uncertainty, trying to manage the unknowns both personally and professionally, and coping with the rollercoaster of rules and restrictions has not been easy for anyone. Most of us have made constant sacrifices to try and protect ourselves and others often at the expense of our own well being or mental health and in some cases our careers or businesses.

And yet, there was hope.

The best, smartest and most dedicated scientists in the world worked tirelessly to try and find either preventatives or treatments for Covid so that we could start to put this whole thing behind us. Using decades old technologies and combining them with new knowledge they were able to develop vaccines that had good efficacy and safety.

And we hoped some more.

In the meantime, a small pocket of people were determined to shatter that hope. They were loud, and abusive, and just plain wrong.

And while this post is not about the science behind the vaccines, I will acknowledge that vaccinating against coronaviruses is a difficult thing in terms of efficacy and long term immunity- I myself believe that vaccines alone won’t fix things. First, because vaccinating against diseases in the upper respiratory tract is problematic, second because coronavirsuses mutate quickly and often, and third because the resulting immune response wanes relatively quickly. I think that research should also continue to focus on therapeutics and “cures”, and understanding long term effects of the disease while ALSO knowing vaccination remains one of the most important tools we have in this fight to get back to a normal life.

Having said all of that, I think those opposed to immunization don’t understand (or don’t care) why those of us in support of it are frustrated, disappointed, or in some cases really angry at them.

It’s frustrating when someone you care about shows a lack of concern for you. Having someone in your life who appears to put their own fears, investment into conspiracy theories or self indulgent Dunning-Kruger behaviours ahead of the care of others is disheartening. Watching someone be willing to increase the risk of others around them is disappointing. Having a loved one willing to put themselves at risk in the name of being *right* makes us sad and worried.

Having to make a choice that you can live with in terms of your risk tolerance for a novel disease with so many unknowns and being accused repeatedly of being divisive is shit. Having uncomfortable conversations with friends or family or clients explaining why you can’t have them in your home not because you are mad but because you aren’t willing to put your children at risk- or them for that matter is SHIT. Being made out to be the bad guy when all you are trying to do is mitigate risk and keep your family from harm is fucking shit.

It’s worrisome to think about losing someone you care about when it is something that you can improve your odds on. We have grieved the loss of so many things these past two years and do not want to watch loved ones get sick, die and suffer. It is avoidable.

Listening to the absolute arrogance of ignorant people who should have stayed int their lane way back at the starting line is fucking irritating. Watching health care professionals be harassed while they care for people who refuse to get vaccinated is an abomination and the stupidest thing ever. Being threatened online by strangers for choosing to get your child vaccinated is horrifying.

Watching our medical system (which albeit was already a mess before) sag and almost collapse as the added strain of unvaccinated Covid patients exploited every weakness it had is scary. Knowing that it will probably be a decade before we catch up with non-Covid related illness and conditions and the weight of treating those who are now sicker and will require more care is daunting. Knowing that Covid maybe could have been “just a cold” for most of those people is hindsight nobody wants to think about.

If you’ve chosen not to get vaccinated not because it was a decision your physician made with you but because you’ve decided you know better-you still deserve love and compassion and care. But if you wanted to understand how your decisions have affected others, not just in terms of their health or access to healthcare now you know. It feels like a betrayal on a lot of levels- in terms of who we thought you were, your character, your willingness to protect the things that need protecting. It feels like the hugest disrespect to all of us who have made every efforts to protect ourselves and YOU.

Back before there was an internet, before the Chris Skys and Maxime Berniers we listened to the experts because they were the experts. We took care of one another. We listened to reason and tried our best.

A big part of me wishes we could go back to that. Everything is so toxic now.

But let’s go back to trying our best, and remembering that just because you are mad at someone you can still love them.

This is fucking bullshit already

Photo by Tara Winstead on Pexels.com

Jesus Christ.

That’s not a swear. It’s a heartfelt plea that we get some guidance and salvation from the absolute fucking idiocy that we are plagued with in terms of leadership in Manitoba.

You would THINK that by now, in the fourth round of this pandemic spawned in the pits of the darkest corners of Hell, punishing humanity for its arrogance and entitlement that we would have the sense to do things a little differently.

You would THINK that by now, instead of letting these absolute fuckpastries of politicians make the decisions that we would start to think hey, maybe, just maybe, it would be a good idea to listen to the people working in hospitals, laboratories, and otherwise highly specialized areas of lifetime study instead?

That maybe instead of blowing billions of dollars on knee jerk reactions we could clue in to the fuckery of donkey ass that is about to happen because of Omicron and invest our efforts in prevention, testing, ENFORCEMENT, infrastructure (a little ventilation, anyone?) and capacity.

That maybe the last thing we need is another goddamn task force with a million dollar pricetag and a new pants suit for our minister of health?

I.Don’t.Want.To.Spend.Another.Year. Locked.In.MyHouse.With.My.Children.

I love my kids, god help me I would fall on a thousand swords for them and throw a verbal assault that would sink a sailor’s ship if you messed with them, but I can’t be all things for all people and continue to keep my shit together. I finally just felt like I was getting my groove back. Like Stella. If you know, you know.

So many of us did the right things. We tried SO HARD to do the right things, despite the whining and stupidity of the right wing cousin humpers and the inadequacies of our governments. And still the barn orgies churches were allowed to go on, nobody got shut down, the test positivity soared, and the politicians gave zero fucks because the VOTES.

Now we have less nurses and doctors thatn we did the last time, the doubling time of the virus is 3 days instead of 34 and even if you aren’t good at math you must be able to understand how utterly jacked in the ass we are going to be.

In the meantime our Premier went to football games and opened hospitals that can’t be staffed, and complained about the lack of an omnipotent crystal ball and told us not to see family while she planned a party at the stadium with 30, 000 friends.

The health minister got her nails done, baked cookies and refused to answer questions. She gave a beautiful performance of getting her booster shot and fucked off to the flower shop to kiss the ass of her potential voters while she passively signed the death warrants of others.

There’s only one thing left to do. I can’t even read the news anymore because DUMB PEOPLE.

I’m going to the LC.

An irritated rant about the flaming dumpster fire of a health care system in Manitoba

Photo by Jonathan Borba on Pexels.com

First education, now health care. Manitoba is a complete administrative and political nightmare of fuckery and disaster. I’m no doctor, I am certainly not a politician, but holy shit there has to be a way to make this better.

Surgery backlogs that will take years to clear. Lack of access to diagnostic services. Reduced amount of in person appointments. Limited admission for family members to support their loved ones while in care or at end of life. Exhausted health care workers. Mandated overtime. Forcing nurses to work in highly specialized areas they aren’t sufficiently trained for.

And what do we have? A Health Minister who passes the buck in the name of the optically termed “TASK FORCE” so that she can continue to pre-campaign in her constituency; baking cookies, delivering flowers and taking a bunch of photos in her cheerleader pose that does nothing but negatively affect her credibility in my opinion. I mean, go Bombers go, but I’d rather see Audrey put her pom-poms down and pick up her fucking portfolio.

We have a bunch of problems that need addressing, and I personally believe that governments ( all of them really, but especially our current bunch of twits) love to throw bandaids at things that sound really good but never accomplish a goddamn thing.

A task force? REALLY? So you can justify centralizing more services that look streamlined on the outside but in reality just continue to reduce accessibility of care to those who need it the most and create more bottlenecks down the road?

We have a critical shortage of resources, especially staff in this province. We have a system where family doctors and local medical clinics can basically do nothing for you besides take your temperature and write a prescription or a referral. For pretty much everything else, you have to go to a hospital which is beyond stupid and astronomically expensive.

Need stitches? Hospital. Need to be rehydrated? Hospital. Having a baby, need an ultrasound? Hospital. After 4pm? You guessed it-hospital.

Oh, and just for fun, we only have 3 hospitals with emergency rooms, and none of them are in local neighbourhoods.

On top of all that, our critical care wards were already running at or very near capacity during normal times. There were months or years long waiting lists for scans and scopes. Need a knee replacement? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

There was absolutely no wiggle room in the system to begin with and then Covid happened. Now, you might have sacrificed all the things, gotten vaccinated, followed the rules, but now you get to die of cancer because the scope you should have had for that pain or lump took two years to get, so now they found your cancer at stage 4 instead of stage 1.

THIS IS FUCKING BULLSHIT.

And so we put an arrogant, inexperienced, unequipped, fool of a first term back-bencher MLA in charge of fixing this? Dear God we are so fucked.

I think we need localized health care systems that are truly equitable and accessible to everyone. We need more after hours clinics that can handle 3 am baby fevers and 9 pm broken arms. A family practitioner should be able to give someone stitches in their fucking office and if you are in the business of delivering babies, wouldn’t the ability to perform ultrasounds in the office make a whole lot of sense? Midwifery should be the standard of care for expecting mothers, perhaps even (GASP!) tapping in to the multi million dollar birth centre that almost nobody currently uses.

And we certainly need to be meaningfully addressing the levels of poverty, mental health and addictions in Manitoba. Status of one’s physical health is directly correlated to socio-economic situation and mental health status. If people are well fed and housed, and their mental health is truly cared for (meaning that everyone has access to therapy without years long waiting lists) their overall well being will be better and they will require less other services. It is an investment that no government has ever seemed willing to make.

We need to increase the size of training programs for medical professionals to acquire and retain more nurses, doctors and technologists. That takes money. At some point the uber rich are gonna have to cough it up one way or the other, and governments have to stop running platforms of reduced taxes because it ISN’T WORKING.

This mess has been years, decades and generations in the the making. If we are going to actually fix it, we need to elect someone who gives the right fucks, has the right vision, and is ready to take time out of Simon Says with their political party and do what’s right for the people they are serving.

It’s not even Halloween and I am already so tired of all the things

Photo by Sarah Chai on Pexels.com

We are less than two months into the school year, and I gotta tell you, I am already over everything.

I’m over the 50-60 hours work weeks. I am over managing that with the needs of the kids and their activities. I am over packing lunches and early mornings and running for the school bus and arguing about bedtime. Especially bedtime. Bedtime can go fuck itself. The End.

Mostly, I am over feeling like I am stretched so thin that I suck at everything I do. Maybe it is leftover trauma from all the lockdowns and a feeling of being so permanently overwhelmed that doesn’t want to let up.

Or MAYBE the last 18 months have enlightened us to the fact that we (in particular working mothers) have lost sense of a life balance that is even remotely reasonable and sustainable. I can’t help but feel like this was something we always knew was a problem but didn’t want to admit to ourselves, to our employers, to our spouses or to each other.

Seriously, who the fuck decided that working full time, plus commuting while raising children was really going to be good for us? Who decided that starting every day at 6am, rushing around to get everyone ready for the day, sending off the kids, working our asses off all day, rushing home to do pick ups, feed the people, rush to get to the next thing, rush home to bathe and go to bed -was a good idea? God forbid you don’t work a regular schedule either, because who really does anymore anyway?

I honestly don’t know what the answer is. I mean, obviously as a fairly *successful* working mom, I fully advocate for women to have meaningful and fulfilling careers WHILE being able to raise a family. So why does it feel like these issues of balancing family and career are so heavily skewed towards women? I don’t want to discount all the dads and their efforts, but it certainly feels like the assumption to this day is that the mother is the primary caregiver and it is us that make the bulk of the sacrifices and carry the heaviest part of the emotional load.

At the risk of sounding like I just want to bitch because I am tired and burnt the fuck out ( I am) I am also truly wondering how to better support families and working parents.

Can work days be tailored to accommodate school hours? Can employers be mandated to offer on site childcare options for employees? Can we job share more commonly? In light of what we learned during the pandemic can we offer a hybrid model of working remotely and on site to reduce commute times?

What about restructuring societal norms? How do we normalize fathers taking paternity leave? How do we normalize it being ok for women to ask for help and admitting that they are struggling? Multigenerational homes? Cooperative living communities where childcare duties are shared?

I certainly can’t wave a magic wand and solve all of my own problems, so I won’t pretend like I have all the answers about this most challenging season in life. All I know is that I am tired, so I will share what I think might help in the meantime:

Bitches, give yourselves a fucking break. Stop making the gold standard so fucking hard. Give yourself permission to heat a store bought, frozen lasagna for dinner. Feed them hotdogs and pre-made subs from the deli. Hire a house cleaner. Skip the gym without guilt when you feel like you can’t add another thing to your plate. Build a village and take turns with the kids. Have your groceries delivered. Do the things that make all the bullshit easier however that looks like for you, and focus on spending time on the things that matter more.

And don’t forget to do a shot of tequila. Wash, rinse, repeat.

True gratitude includes being thankful for the stuff that sucks too.

Photo by RODNAE Productions on Pexels.com

We all know the things we are supposed to be thankful for. We celebrate them as often as we can- having food, shelter, family, love, good health etc. That’s the easy part.

True gratitude and insight, I believe, comes from being thankful for all the things that suck too. Without the dark there is no light, so to speak. After a three year stretch of navigating rough seas, I am trying to find light in the darkness, and understand how to be grateful for the things that haven’t been easy.

Today, I am thankful for suffering multiple losses in a short period of time. The grief was a testament to the fact that I am a well loved human. I had grief to wade through because I knew love. I knew companionship and support and joy through others, both human and animal. I loved sincerely. I am grateful that even though the loss is painful, it is there to remind me of love, and not everyone has that.

I am thankful for the lessons that the stress and uncertainty of this pandemic has offered. It showed me that we are capable of doing hard things together for the sake of others. I am grateful for the people who disappointed me during all of this, because it helped me reevaluate relationships that were draining me and helped me to better appreciate the ones that filled me up. It allowed me to learn how to say no. It gave me strength to stand up for the things that I think are important to stand for, and the tenacity to see them through.

I am thankful for pants that are too tight, or feeling guilty for not exercising enough because it means that I always have enough to eat. It means that my children don’t know what it is to be hungry. It means that my dogs eat better than some humans.

I am thankful for balances on credit cards and lines of credit and sometimes having to wait until next payday to make a purchase, because it means that I have appreciation for the things we have. It means that I understand the value of hard work and the value of privileges we enjoy. It means that I value the time of others, and don’t take them for granted. I am thankful for the lesson it teaches my children of having to work for what you have instead of expecting it to be handed to you.

I am thankful for illness and injury because it gives me empathy for others who are suffering.

I am thankful for mistakes because without them we would never learn anything new. I am thankful for doing it wrong a million times before getting it right because it teaches us perseverance and hope and determination.

Today, I want to be thankful for the things we usually wouldn’t want to acknowledge, because it’s been a rough few years, and I think the next few are likely to be challenging, and finding the calm among the storms fills me with hope.

Happy Thanksgiving.

It’s ok to butter the toast too.

Photo by SHVETS production on Pexels.com

This morning my youngest asked me to make him eggs and toast. Since the frying pan was already out I decided to also have an egg. I popped two pieces of fresh french bread in the toaster, fried an egg, buttered my toast and added a drop of ketchup.

It probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, but if you have a history of disordered eating, or any type of unhealthy control issues surrounding food or body image, it really kinda is.

The simple act of just eating what you feel like eating without allowing yourself to negatively self talk is a huge deal for anyone who has historically or presently associated their self worth with what they put in their mouths, while trying to conform to a societal beauty standard that is unattainable or unsustainable for them.

The simple act of buttering my toast without feeling guilty about those “unnecessary calories” was, in fact, a really big deal for me.

Body positivity isn’t about celebrating fatness. It isn’t about giving up on taking good care of your body. For me, it’s recognizing that taking good care of my body begins with loving myself exactly where I am at and understanding that it is ok to be living in whatever skin I am currently in. It’s about not having to to justify the fact that I have soft spots and round spots by killing myself at the gym and constantly injuring myself by trying to push my body to places it doesn’t want to go.

It’s about taking part in things that make me feel good and strong and not feeling like changing the shape of my body is the ultimate accomplishment. I’m 43 years old, and am really, really tired of that narrative.

Since childhood, I have lived a life of restrictions around food. It came from doctors, coaches, parents, teachers. And I know that they all felt like they were doing what was in my best interest, but in reality, it damaged me. It made me feel like it didn’t matter what else I was good at, or even brilliant at, unless I could just not be fat. Their comments became my inner voice and it turned into a life long torment that made me feel like I was never really in control of anything unless I could control my body through deprivation or obsessive habits, and created the inability to ever feel like I was enough unless the number on the scale was deemed acceptable. It lead to avoiding doctors appointments because I didn’t want to see what the number on the scale was or hear the speech about healthy eating and exercising. It meant that running 5km 4 times a week still wasn’t enough. It meant not wanting to go out for dinner with my husband or friends because it wasn’t my “cheat day”. It damaged me.

Fast forward to the pandemic where we are all living some variation of our former selves. Like many of us, I wanted to find ways to “work on myself”. I dieted again. I ironically felt in control of things during a time where we didn’t have control over much, but realistically, food was controlling me yet again. Social media showed me pictures of weight loss programs and people who were celebrating their accomplishments and it just felt like an affirmation that I was unlovable unless I also attained such changes. But it made me finally decide that all of this bullshit was just enough.

I honestly don’t know who decided that thin was in, or that it was the ultimate goal for everyone, but I’ve honestly fucking had enough of it. People come in all shapes and sizes and I don’t know why we can’t just fucking accept that.

If there is part of the population who don’t fit into a “standard” airplane seat, change the standard, or make different sizes available. In the clothing store, we don’t need “plus” sections or “regular” sections. Just make the fucking clothes available to every body. Stop pretending that you did keto or weight watchers to “feel better and get healthy” because I’ve done them all too and that is a fucking lie.We did it because the world told us we were fat, and less than and we didn’t want to feel that way anymore. We wanted to shop in the same part of the store as all the pretty people do. And I get it. It feels GOOD for everyone to tell you how amazing you look- but why didn’t they see how beautiful we were before? Why can’t we see that our beauty exists in every shape?

So, yes, take care of yourself. Run the miles, take your vitamins, eat your vegetables to make sure you can poop, walk your dogs, swim the laps and pump the iron. But for the love of fucking GAWD, butter your toast too and remember that you are pretty anyway.

An Irritated Rant About the Fact that you DO NOT HAVE A MEDICAL EXEMPTION

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I am getting pretty fucking tired of this Anti-Vaxx merry-go-round that seems to be spinning faster and faster.

First, the excuse was that the vaccine was made too quickly. That was quickly addressed by the decades of research, the three phases of clinical trial and the billions of doses administered safely worldwide so far.

Next up is the “I don’t know what is in it” bowl of nonsensical horseshit. Check your aspirin bottle. Or the box on your last heat and serve meal. You can’t pronounce the ingredients listed there nor do you have any idea what most of them do either.

Oh and the moral objection to fetal cell lines because you are pro-life? That fetus died fifty years ago, no cells that were from a living breathing human were ever used in vaccine production, you seem to have no moral objection to systems that were built on exploitation or racism that make your life better, the Pope says it’s ok and honestly just fucking STOP IT.

But my favourite, MY FAVOURITE is the medical exemption.

You don’t have a medical exemption. You jut don’t. I don’t give a fuck what your herbalist or crystal dealer or woo-fuckery practioner says, you just don’t.

I don’t give a fuck if you have eczema, or had diaper rash as a baby. I don’t give a fuck if you had a concussion once upon a time or once had a heart palpitation or maybe you’re going bald. Your saddlebags don’t count and neither do the bags under your eyes. And your concerns about side effects are nothing compared to the side effects that are awaiting you due to your utter stupidity and willingness to die on a hill of ignorance.

You are completely full of shit and grasping at straws, and at SOME POINT, you are going to run out of football field and will have nowhere left to move the goalposts.

CBC ran an article today about a woman with “chemical sensitivities” and is squawking that the medical exemption scope needs to be expanded. Maybe it does and maybe it doesn’t, but I’ll tell you what: I can’t handle the smell of oven cleaner or a regualar dose of Ativan either so my chemical sensitivity is pretty high too. Good thing the vaccine is made out of shit that breaks down in your body quicker than a hit of ecstasy or valerian root tea instead of paint thinner and formaldehyde or whatever the fuck you think you know about it but don’t.

It’s fucking BALLS that pretty much every person I know wailing about medical exemptions or worries about fertility or however else their anxiety disorder is choosing to manifest have not even SEEN their doctor to discuss their concerns. They have self diagnosed and based their decisions on the propaganda they see on the fucking internet: which has been perpetrated by crackpots who stand to gain financially from the amount of traffic on their websites BUT have zero background in reproductive biology or biology of any kind. If your car broke down, would you take it to a bank teller to get fixed? Pull your fucking head out of your ass. Get information from people who have verifiable information to give you.

So no. You don’t have a medical exemption. Reasons to not get vaccinated, other than ignorance and downright bullheadedness are exceedingly rare. You have concerns and questions- which may even be valid, but they are questions for your DOCTOR. Who you haven’t seen yet. And who knows better than you do because of the whole medical school/residency thing.

Go see your doctor. Stop listening to uneducated Doomsday preppers living on farms and fucking their cousins. This is stupid.

The Millennial Pastor

An iPhone Pastor for a Typewriter Church

For The Love Of Ligh

APK Photography Blog

AfterOtis

Written by Natalie Oldham

Midnight Calico Farm

One Family's Journey into Farm Life

unreally written

A mushy mom, a little madness, and a lot of musing.

Speechbaby

Child Rearing with a Professional Twist

Feminist Philosophers

News feminist philosophers can use

Out an' About

Loving life and Embracing a New Earth

Cooking Without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

MOMtessori Life

Living the Montessori life as a mom with two young children

Pirate Patty Reviews

Books, Books, and More Books!!

Archon's Den

The Rants & Rambles of A Grumpy Old Dude

Mind Of An In-Depth Woman

My thoughts about love, music, spirituality, relationships, life and random topics in between

The Bede Update

He may be small but he is mighty

Ends and Beginnings

"The World is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning."-Ivy Baker Priest

Musings of An Insomniac

Late night thoughts of a perpetual dreamer..

Surviving Grief

How to embrace grief and heal

dwaineevanssr

This WordPress.com site is the cat’s pajamas

BigAndPinkyToes

A blog about family, food, and other good stuff.

Mums diary blog

MOTHERHOOD ~ FASHION ~ FAMILY LIFESTYLE #mumsdiaryblog

Breaking Sarah - Bruised, Not Broken

One woman's raw journey through incest, teen pregnancy, trauma, death, and family estrangement.

brickhousechick

Letting it all hang out

lifebeyondmommy

A stay at home mothers guide to self discovery

Peace Hacks

life, faith, adultimatums. Resources for peace seekers

Luminous Blue

a mother's and daughter's journey with transformation, cancer, death and love

The Secret Life of Emily Maine

a place to shout my secrets

Dramatic Momologue

The juggle is real.

andrea shawcross

comedy writer & maker of filmstuffs.

Ben's Bitter Blog

"We make bitter better."

David McVety

A Spiritual Shepherd's Thoughts on Faith and Family

Beating Myself Into a Dress

First a wedding dress, then a maternity dress, now I'm just trying to fit into ANY dress.

The Fat Chick Memoirs

Dealing with my Weight-Loss One Funny Story at a Time

The Science of Mom

The Heart and Science of Parenting

The Fat Bottom Bard

Waxing Poetic and Penning Tall Tales

Jeneral Musings

A personal potpourri of thoughts

Supporting Birth Diversity

Celebrating the Tapestry of Motherhood

rarasaur

frightfully wondrous things happen here.

An Early Start

Meet Jax a funny, kind, and smart preschooler who was a micro-preemie born at 23 weeks. Now that Jax is older, the scariness of the NICU has faded, but we're still learning how to manage the lasting effects of prematurity including chronic medical issues, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder. This is our story of love, hope, and survival.

Writings From Dr. Oolie's Pond

Poetry, Prose, and Random Thoughts

%d bloggers like this: