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Category: life

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

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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.

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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

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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.

9/11: 20 years later and it feels like we’ve learned nothing

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20 years ago today most of us remember exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news. We watched the footage of airplanes hitting the Twin Towers in New York City, at first believing it was a horrible accident and tragedy, and then the horrific realization as the following planes hit that it was an intentional act of harm set in.

I was in my early twenties, not particularly interested in politics or world events as I lived the life of a young adult tempting freedoms and poor decision making and figuring out my place in this life. I remember the shock and grief I immediately felt as I pulled over on the side of the highway and sat there, stunned and in tears, trying to make sense of how you could have enough hate in your heart to want to kill not only thousands of people, but sentence whole families to a lifetime of questions and sorrow while causing an irreparable change to the world. I sat there and silently mourned the loss of life and the naive belief that most of the time, good prevailed over evil.

And yet, we also witnessed some of the most heroic and selfless acts of love of all time. We watched how sometimes, even during our worst moments we are able to push away our differences and support one another the way we should be. We watched people put love into action when that was the only way to get through the most challenging moments of their lives. It always amazes me how humans are capable of rising above all the bullshit and coming together during times of acute crisis.

As I reflect on September 11, 2001, I think about our pattern of behaviour and wonder if we have truly made any progress or learned enough from that day. In a lot of ways, the opportunity of what is one of the biggest tragedies to ever occur in the world to become better as humans seems lost.

9/11 showed us exactly what the results of extremism of any kind results in. It showed us what intolerance and hate does and the following destruction that seems inevitable. It showed us what while we are capable of unity and compromise and love we are somehow incapable of sustaining it.

We were shown so many things, but we weren’t really watching, were we? Not all of us anyway.

Have we really learned anything in 20 years? Have we done any better?

We continue to divide ourselves out of selfishness and greed and the prioritization of our individual beliefs over the best interest of our communities. We impose extremist views from both sides of the political spectrum on one another and refuse to concede a single fucking thing. We choose personal hills to die on that harm others because we are more concerned with being right than doing what’s right.

9/11 was a tragedy of epic proportions. The loss was monumental and despairing and preventable. It didn’t happen in a vacuum, we just didn’t really notice because the pot of water was heating slowly ( thanks for that analogy Margaret Atwood). And here we are, 20 years later, with a different sort of tragedy unfolding over the last 2 years and we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes as humans over and over again.

As we watch memorials today and see the images of the heroism and love mixed in with the sorrow of that unforgettable day 20 years ago, remind yourself that we have a chance to live up to the way we temporarily came together back then. We can take care of one another and remember how to put others ahead of ourselves in a crisis. We can choose to love above all else or we can choose idealism and selfishness.

Choose well, be well. Don’t let trauma of all those that survived New York City, those that didn’t make it, and the pain of their loved ones be another empty lesson that we continue to ignore.

Vaccine Mandates for the Win

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This past week has been swirling with news and discussions about mask and vaccine mandates and the ever evolving situation with this pandemic from hell which feels like it will never ever, ever end.

I was asked yesterday in an interview with cbc radio where I stood on vaccine mandates. The answer is, right in front, leading the charge of YES PLEASE.

I’ve been sucking up my opinion about this the past few months because I work with a lot of different folks with different beliefs and I thought it would be cool to try to be respectful of that. I will also say that there are a lot of people who are choosing not to get vaccinated, but are also respectful of the hesitation of others to have contact with them due to that decision, and even others who are basically preferring to continue to isolate themselves rather than get vaccinated. This is not about them, because they are making choices based on their personal situations and willing to accept the limitations of those choices.

HOWEVER, if you are working with the public, or any vulnerable population which includes but is not limited to children, medically fragile, elderly, or impoverished folks I believe it should absolutely be mandated that you are vaccinated. By not doing so, you are putting those who have limited choices in receiving the services they require and have a right to (such as education or healthcare) at risk. Let’s put it this way: all children have a right to a public education and all people have a right to healthcare in this country, but we are not entitled to work in any given field. That puts the onus on the employees, the teachers, the doctors and the therapists to fulfill their mandate of providing a safe environment and making the well being of those they care for a priority.

In short: It is your right to decide what goes into your body, but you do not have a right to inflict that choice on others.

Employers create and implement policies for their staff ALL the time. The restaurant I worked at once upon a time had a strict policy about how many piercings you could have, how big they could be, no visible tattoos, and what colour your hair could be. It was based on the clients’ comfort level and response to said body modifications. To put that in terms of Covid vaccines, the “clients” have a right to feel safe in their environment and I think that gives employers the right to determine that their staff needs to accommodate the protection of their “clients” in order to be employed in that sector. While the vaccines are not perfect, especially with new variants in play, they remain one of our best tools to reduce transmission and the risk of severe illness. It will help us begin to focus on care for things other than Covid and emergencies in our health care system. It will help our kids stay in school and our economies to thrive again. Isn’t that what we all want? When we have cancer do we refuse treatment because we don’t know what’s in it? When you have a headache do you spend hours on the internet “researching” the ingredients and looking for adverse reactions of Tylenol? NO. Because many believe in the science when it is convenient for them. I can guarantee when someone refuse to take a vaccine due to lack of trust in the doctors recommending it, they will have an expectation that all of a sudden the same doctor will have enough skill and knowledge to help them get well. It’s all so fucking maddening if you ask me.

We are starting to see post secondary educational institutions mandate masks and vaccines with some school divisions following suit. Which leads me to congratulate the insight and leadership some institutions are showing, but ALSO begets the questions: Where the fuck is the leadership from our provincial government on this? Why is this being passed on to superintendents and university boards? We haven’t we seen hide nor hair of our “Health Minister” for months until all of a sudden she wants to be the Premier, holds a press conference and refuses to address or even acknowledge the crisis in our health care system. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

People get confused about rights and freedoms all the time. We tend to forget that just because we can, doesn’t mean we should, and also doesn’t mean we are entitled to. The only thing we seem to be experts at these days is finding arguments to confirm our own biases about anything. We are so focused on the ME, that we have no tolerance for the WE.

As members of society and communities, we have a moral obligation to care for others. How our selfishness has grown so deep that minor inconveniences have ballooned into heated political divide and such a severe lack of empathy that we are more willing to risk our children’s well being than implement the easiest of safety measures weighs heavily on me. How an unwillingness to protect our most valuable and vulnerable has evolved into an acceptable “opinion” is unfathomable.

So yes. I truly believe that vaccine mandates should be implemented in many sectors. It’s not even a new thing.Health care professionals when applying to study and children entering the public school system have historically been required to show proof of up to date immunizations, so this should be an easy transition.

I am grateful that my children’s school division has blazed the trail to mandate both masks and vaccines. I am relieved the campus I teach on has done the same. I am hoping our leaders will see what is occurring in other parts of the country and world and will act proactively this time around. There’s still time to prevent the disaster that is waiting for us this fall, so here’s hoping our government will listen a little harder this time around and do the job they promised to do.

I can troll these bitches on Twitter all day but it is up to you to get rid of them in 2023

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Welcome to Manitoba, where provincial politics have degraded into an inability to make good decisions, have productive conversations or effectively represent anything other than individual interests of re-election.

Realistically, politics is often a dirty game between opposing sides of the aisle. Even when they are being polite to one another the venom is swirling and any opportunity to drag the other through mud will be pounced upon like a cat stalking a mouse. So what is so shockingly terrible about Manitoba’s provincial government right now?

Well, from my perspective and from my personal experience, the Conservatives in this province have turned a deaf ear to the very people they are supposed to be advocating for and representing. They refuse to communicate, respond or account to anyone who may ask questions about the issues that matter to them. The issues that directly affect them. A culture has been created where only those in agreement get a seat at the table, and those in public office actively block, ignore, screen out and silence those who are asking them to do their jobs- to represent the people who elected them in the first place.

For me, that means everyone gets a voice, and no matter how an MLA or any other representative feels about what is being said, they don’t get to effectively censor the dialogue because they are uncomfortable or unequipped to give appropriate answers. They aren’t the “Appropriation Police” who get to dismiss people because they have one hand on their pearls and their head in their ass while being either too incompetent to deal with being in the hot seat or too weak to take the stand that needs taking.

Personally, I’ve gone a few rounds with my MLA Audrey Gordon. I’ve since written her 3 emails asking for meetings to discuss everything from her public mocking of trans folk, supporting Springs Church and her position on the Premier’s words on Residential Schools. I have not even received an acknowledgement from her office that I exist.

After the fiasco with her church back in May, Audrey removed herself from Facebook, shut her office door and stopped answering her phone. Her assistant Jana regularly posts pictures of Audrey in gardening costumes and yellow pantsuits on community Facebook pages but turns off the commenting so that the only person who gets to have a say is Audrey. She effectively cut herself off from anyone whose voice is not in alignment with hers.

Andrewwhosew Smith recently blocked constituents for asking him to do more than post selfies and government bulletins and stand up for educators and Indigenous folks.

Heather Stefanson won’t even make room in her schedule for the Federal Health Minister.

Cliff Cullen won’t respond to repeated emails from school boards requesting a meeting regarding the massive upcoming changes to education.

Shall I go on?

NONE of this is ok.

We are a democracy, and democracy depends on everyone having a voice that is represented without bias by the people we elect to do so. Refusing to have conversations with anyone except your elite posse who are busily stroking you off is not democracy. Ramming through bills that affect all of us despite obvious monumental and bipartisan public opposition is not democratic. Allowing a Premier and Minister of Indigenous Relations to justify the cultural genocide of an entire nation of people and standing by them is not becoming of a democracy.

I don’t know what we can do. It’s so frustrating. I can troll a bitch on Twitter all day long but what good is it going to do unless we all make it our mission to get rid of these fucking assholes in 2023?

Seriously Bitches. The gloves are off. VOTE THEM OUT.

Is body positivity just another branch of toxic beauty culture?

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The past 15 months have been epic. As in, epically difficult in so many ways.

So many pressures coming from every single angle, and the inability to really control or plan for anything because every single moment seems to be hanging on the edge of a knife, ready to fall or change or be sliced open.

It is exhausting to live in a perpetual state of wondering what tomorrow will bring when your choices are limited and you have no power over the decisions that affect your life.

For a woman, particularly a working mother, we are used to living in a world that calls on us to meet the expectations of everyone around us. Having to give a 100% in all of our roles lest we be judged by our bosses, our families, our fellow mothers and ourselves.

And now, with those expectations amplified with limited or no options for ways to recharge or take breaks or say no, I am feeling especially tired of any expectation of beauty standards or body image attacks or fashion or any of it really.

I have always been a huge advocate for body positivity, self-acceptance, fitness at any size, and ignoring stupidly unattainable goals that some dickhead decided was hot. And now I am questioning if even that is something we should give a shit about.

Why do I have to be beautiful to be worthy?

Why do I have to be skinny or fit or groomed, or feel like I should celebrate my stretch marks or surgical scars or any of it? Is body positivity just some other bullshit vanity marketing tool?

Why is beauty a PHYSICAL attribute? I mean, to begin with, what is beautiful to me visually is not beautiful to another person. Beauty rather might be better defined by personality traits like kindness, consideration, self sacrifice, love and generosity.

And in terms of the past 15 months of our lives, when there is so much pressure on us to be all of things without much time to consider for ourselves, why are women most specifically still worried about whether they are beautiful or not? I honestly don’t know who has time to fucking care right now.

Maybe I am just burnt out. Maybe I am lazy. Maybe I am lucky to be in a relationship with someone who sees ME, not just my appearance. Maybe I am throwing in the towel and going full Apocalypse Dom where no one cuts their hair and having a shower is a major accomplishment and fatness is a sign of stability and wealth rather than a shamed thing we try to hide.

Maybe Covid has worn me down and shown me that beauty standards are fucking bullshit and has taught me to re-establish my priorities. Maybe beauty never even really existed and women should finally feel like they don’t have to hurt themselves with dieting or over exercising or guilt about eating something delicious or spending their hard earned money on fake eyelashes and nails or hair dye.

Maybe I’ll change my mind. Who knows.

But honestly, right now….I am going to let my hair grow wild and my eyebrows go unplucked and I’ll wear nothing but leggings and comfortable shoes and promote things that celebrate the beauty that exists in humanity on the inside.

It’s nice to be “pretty”, but let’s promote beautiful humanity rather than a pretty picture.

Dear Manitoba, start enforcing restrictions or STFU

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Fuck restrictions.

Honestly. Closing retail spaces and restaurants and gyms again isn’t going to do anything further unless a few other things happen.

  1. Close the borders for real. Redefine what essential is and make sure that you monitor it. Yes, the variants are already here but adding new sources of infection is just plain dumb.
  2. Go to remote learning, at least for high school. Stop allowing team sports to practice. This is one of the fastest growing age groups spreading infection, and the data showing limited spread in schools no longer applies as variants are changing the game.
  3. Vaccinate everyone who works in a manufacturing or factory setting. These people are essential to supply chains and work in small, poorly ventilated environments and have a high proportion of new Canadians or folks living in multi-generational homes. This immediately makes close contact numbers high, exposes those more vulnerable, and continues to put at risk those that have no other alternatives for income, no sick benefits and do not have the option of working from home.
  4. Mandate anyone who is able to work from home to WORK.FROM.HOME.
  5. Vaccinate teachers.
  6. Vaccinate bus drivers and taxi drivers.

And here’s the big one:

It really does not matter one bit what restrictions you impose if people refuse to follow the rules. Increasing the restriction levels does nothing but further punish those who are already doing their best: wearing masks, limiting contacts, only seeing people outside their household outdoors, limiting non-essential activities. The people who aren’t doing this and are organizing anti-mask rallies, or spreading mis-information online, having personal gatherings, and basically anything else to effectively thumb their fucking noses at public health officers will continue to do so no matter what rule you make.

They are LAUGHING at you.

To be honest, we all are. You sound like a bunch of idiots. Nobody trusts that you know what you are doing or are prepared to actually back up these rules.

Until this government gets out there and actually enforces the rules they are making, not one of these anti mask “BUTMYRIGHTS” wads from a rancid dickhole is going to give a shit.

As we speak, there is an anti mask rally happening at the Forks. No cops, no bylaw officers in sight. Not one ticket being handed out, not one arrest being made. THEY.ARE.LAUGHING.AT.YOU.

If the Manitoba government wants people to take their Covid actions seriously, they need to get serious about them. Ticket every fucker who breaks the rules. They don’t pay the ticket? They can sit in jail until the 14 day quarantine period is over.

And I don’t want to hear anymore about how they are worried about people lying to contract tracers for fear of being fined. They are lying ANYWAY. If you had your shit together, you could easily investigate this.

Get your shit together, Manitoba. Or we are about to be Ontario, Part Deux.

On the subject of appropriateness and other bullshit

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I read something this morning that hit the nail on its fucking head.

https://bcmj.org/presidents-comment/nature-being-professional

Basically, this doctor in British Columbia talks about how we have these standards of “professionalism” and “appropriateness” and I swear to fucking god this man nailed it so hard.

I’m not a doctor, obviously, I am a teacher. A parent.

Both of these titles comes with this list of expected and accepted behaviours that people like to hold over your head not because they mean anything, but because it makes them feel better about themselves if they can have some criteria to judge you by.

“Teachers don’t get frustrated. They don’t get angry. They are always calm and patient and never swear. They engage in professional, arms length relationships with their students and their families. They don’t share personal experiences or stories. They don’t reveal personal details about faith or family or belief systems.”

“Parents have endless supplies of energy and selflessness and love. We shouldn’t yell, or consider ourselves. We are capable of knowing when library day is and whose laundry basket is full. We keep track of what time is swimming lessons and soccer practice and what day are we meeting friends at the park and who needs a new jacket and did you brush your teeth today and we’re almost out of ketchup. Our energy is endless and we take the time not to discipline our children but just have meaningful conversations with them and it’s ALL FINE ALL THE TIME HERE IS A NICELY EDITED PHOTO FPR SOCIAL MEDIA.”

It’s all fucking bullshit. They are impossible standards that are built on a mountain of lies we tell ourselves that do nothing but hide the truth about our personhood and all the beautifully real and messy thing that go along with being human.

Here’s the thing. The second you stop pretending that you need to live up to any of these standards is beyond liberating.

I literally break every rule, every fucking day.

Like Dr. Chow in the above article, I refuse to live behind a set of barriers between myself and my students and my children. I wear leggings and messy buns. I share my struggles and successes as a musician and a parent. I ask about their day and their feelings and I actually listen to them. I give them a safe place to fall without judgement.I say fuck in front of my kids and in the company of adults. I fuck up and get mad and take ownership of myself and say I’m sorry. I tell the truth about who I am every single day and in return, people feel like they can tell me the truth about who they are.

And while I may not be everyone’s favourite flavour at the ice cream shop, at least you know I’m not full of shit. Professionalism? No thanks. Realism? Yes please!

In return I feel an enormous sense of community around me. When my mom died two years ago, my students’ families took care of me, because I at some point had taken care of them. They fed me and cried with me and took care of my kids. When my dog died and my students came for their lessons, they hugged me and forgave me for being the worst teacher ever that week. When my students became teenagers and they needed an adult to be on their side when they made bad decisions and to give them advice, I was there. When they were hurt and needed help, they asked me. When my families were struggling as units, they shared their hardships with me and I loved them anyway.

When I was a terrible parent and was exhausted and shitty to my kids, the other moms reassured me. When I couldn’t find a solution they offered advice. They didn’t judge me. When they saw me failing or bitching or asking for help, they shared their own problems and complained in solidarity. We supported each other.

And honestly, I think being real and transparent and sincere is one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves and each other.

Personally, I don’t give a fuck about the details, as long as you own yourself. Being real and authentic can’t live in the same house as “appropriateness”.

And yes, I get it- there are obviously situations where we respect the boundaries and limitations of others. That’s a given. I’m just saying you can’t exist authentically in a bubble blown up on the expectations of others without being in fear of it popping all the time.

BE MESSY. BE HONEST.

Surprise, surprise, the vaccination process is a mess too.

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SOMEONE has to help me understand this ridiculous dumpster fire of a vaccination rollout.

As with everything in this province introduced by this poorly prepared, short sighted and self congratulatory, Trumpesque government, the delivery of vaccines has fallen somewhere between an inconsistent process and a total mess.

All over social media we are hearing that some people are in and out in 30 minutes, while others wait in hours long lineups snaking through super centres and all the way across city blocks outdoors.

I keep reading that those who are visiting pop up sites in smaller communities like Morden are having positive experiences (thank god!) while those who are booking their appointments here in the city are absolutely not. Anyone with some reasonable vision could see from the beginning of the organization of such large scale vaccination sites were going to be a nightmare and they were better off with smaller scale, local community sites that served smaller populations.

Hey! Wait! Local administration works better than a large centralized one? Sounds familiiar-*throat clears* Bill 64– but that is a different post.

So my Dad had his appointment yesterday in the late afternoon. He arrived 20 minutes prior to his appointment to be sure he had time to check in. When he got there, the lineup outside the Convention Centre was a couple blocks long. In 80 km/hr wind gusts. It took about 30 minutes just to get inside the building. For the next hour he gradually moved along like one bull in a cattle herd up and around all levels, until he finally reached the space where the vaccinations took place.

His comments: The amount of space dedicated for vaccine spots were only about half full. There about 4 times the amount of volunteers on crowd control then people available to administer the vaccines, which seemed useless because the paths were clearly marked. While the online booking system was seamless, the actual logistics of the site was poorly organized and managed, they booked way too many appointments for what they could realistically manage and in his words “whoever is responsible for the logistical design and process of the site should be fired”.

So, this is 5 days after the supposed “scheduling glitch” occurred and Dr. Reimer has assured us it had been rectified, with wait times back down to 10-20 minutes. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

I suppose we could always decide to drive 3 hours round trip to Morden for a more positive experience. I mean, a smooth, well run operation designed to serve the local population, right there in the political base of the governing party? You don’t say.

I also enjoyed the Minister of Health’s video post over the weekend telling us what a great job she was doing getting Manitobans vaccinated. Really? We have more vaccines in storage than you can get into arms, we are about to lose the race against the variants, and you want us all to pat you on the back and say job well done? While you scream about Justin Trudeau and lack of vaccine supply? Last week we had received about 248K doses of vaccine, with about 157K administered. With ANOTHER 123K arriving this week? Over the weekend you managed to vaccinate something around 3000 people in total. Does that sound like we have a supply issue?

I’d argue that we have a competence issue, but that’s just me.

You want to figure out how to get as many people in and out in the shortest amount of time while keeping them happy? Someone get an Olive Garden Manager and a team of hosts in there and this problem will be cleared up before you can say Hospitaliano! (sarcasm- mostly)

Once you have emptied your freezers and have people waiting to book appointments, cry about supply as loud as you need to, and I’ll even cry with you . Otherwise, I’d suggest closing your mouth and fixing this latest mess.

If we could just get some accountability, some transparency or maybe even a little truth from our leaders right now, a lot of us would be a little less angry.

Don’t you guys care about us? Don’t answer that.

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