Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dear Canada

Why is THIS acceptable? It happens coast to coast, in this case, in my province. It's something we don't talk about nearly enough, yet it goes on every day and like typical Canadians, we just ignore the things we don't like to discuss.

Just about every single one of us lives in some sort of privilege because this land was violently taken away from First Nations. To add insult to injury, our government added disease, poverty and worked their hardest to destroy a way of life through residential schools, which not only sought to erase that way of life, but erased any chances of hope of generations of children from growing up happy and well adjusted because of rampant abuse. Like Canadians though, we buried our heads in the sand.

When did it become acceptable that we do this? Why is it okay that 500K is set aside for infrastructure emergencies for an entire reserve, when it will barely cover the cost of ONE house in many Canadian cities.

Where is it acceptable that in a nation as rich as Canada, that there are communities where there are no schools? No health centres? No access to the services we take for granted? We put a great deal of lip service into wanting people to better themselves, but that's a little hard when there is no school.

How is it acceptable that our fellow Canadians (never mind fellow humans) live like people live in nations without all this wealth?

Why is it acceptable that our government and everyone else just keep turning their heads away when we created and benefit from people having to live in such horrible conditions.

Who do we blame? They government? Ourselves? The people living in those communities? The better question is, who can help change things? The answer is so easy...I'll give you a couple of cookies if you get it right...everyone! You've got it *ding ding!* Write the author, ask him how to hook you up. Write your MP, tell them you're pissed. If you're in Ontario, write your MPP, not that they listen might as well get your complaint on the record. Find groups in your community who are fighting this injustice, learn about the issues, talk to people, pass on brilliantly written articles from the Huffington and less brilliantly written blog rants written by yours truly...linking back to those brilliantly written articles. People need a wake up call, they need to be presented with this issue so many times that it finally sinks in and they are motivated to do something, hell anything! Just creating a dialogue can produce an important ripple. Bottom line is, do not ignore or turn away, it takes so little effort to do something like write a letter or hit forward, so you have no excuses for doing nothing, other than being Canadian and for all our many virtues as a nation, our ability to ignore uncomfortable issues and topics is not one we should keep.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Applications sent

I'm applying to university. Well universities, I have two choices and if I don't get in...well lets just say I haven't thought of plan B because I'm so certain plan A will work out. Well there is a small ping of doubt, but I don't think I've ever really felt so positive about something in a while. I can visualize myself getting the acceptance letters, and I stink at visualization with a capital S.

So I sent off the initial forms, which involved me paying extra to have my transcripts sent to the universities. Then came the supplemental forms, one of which required me to send in not only my college transcripts, but my high school transcripts. So I spent a week chasing them down, panicking the whole time that I'm going to miss my window of opportunity (the deadline is next year, but I'm a Capricorn!). And last Friday I sent one packing registered mail, and the other one I polished off online today. Kudos to the university that allowed me to handle all of that online!

So now the waiting game. This is the part where I am painfully bad at. Though, I can't imagine anyone being particularly good waiting to hear back on a university program. My marks are decent, I've supplied every scrap of school related paper, short of my kindergarten progress reports and I wrote two kick ass reasons why I must be accepted or I will simply perish in the gutter. I may or may not have paraphrased those words. You can imagine me flopping around like a cat on a harness trying to get a moments peace for the next few months...that will be the state of anxiety I'm in, and if I somehow get through this without pulling my hair out of my head, or biting my nails down to the quick, it will be by some sort of divine intervention.

I have a lot riding on this. It's key to the next phase of my life, getting my foot into the next chapter. Something that will enable me to stand on my own two feet, as well as offer greater direction, much more challenging work and, slightly better pay. It will also be a stepping stone should I some day decide to proceed with another direction in my life.

So fingers and toes crossed, every sort of lucky charm employed, a few prayers offering my assistance on every last church related bake sale to cross my path, a whole bunch of positive visualization and a bit of faith on my abilities to secure this next part of my life.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Just give me a cross to crawl up on.

I came across a book about ex partners, in which it referred to the ex wife and mother as many things, but one of them was a martyr and not in the good way...although I don't know if there is a good way to refer to someone as a martyr. I was annoyed to think of my role reduced to several snarky vapid terms in order to sell a bunch of print. And when someone refers to moms as martyrs, well that just pisses me off, because whether single, married or somewhere in between, the job is fucking hard!

5 days a week, I'm running mad. From 6:30 when I rise, til about 8pm when my son comes out for his final stalling tactic I'm on the go. Rarely, I get a moment (like this) to sit down and write a post before bedtime. At about 11:30, my youngest decides to wake up and demand some comfort, and if I'm lucky, he's down for the night, where I then try to coax myself back to sleep. If I'm sick, too bad, I get up at night and keep on going. I recently had an ovarian cyst burst and as I was laying in bed the next morning listening to the ruckus downstairs, I realized it took three people to get the kids fed, dressed, off to school and the dog taken care of. Something I do on my own.

I somehow manage to tread water with the gabillion forms school sends home, the special days, the 5 day schedules, the visits, the playdates, the parties, the lessons, practices and whathaveyou. I also do all those mundane things like cook, clean, mend. My days off, I'm usually catching up on stuff or passed out on the couch from exhaustion, buried under a pile of paperwork or laundry or take out.

A martyr does all these things, but what a martyr doesn't do is accept help. I do. I have a great support system, whom without, I'd be toast. A martyr doesn't have interests. I do. I pursue them regularly. A martyr doesn't have a social life. I do. I have the bestest besties that ever were besties, a great family and a great social life...when I'm not passed out on the couch.

I don't do what I do because I want to beat my chest and say "LOOK AT MEEEEEEE! I ROCK BECAUSE I'VE SACRIFICED ALL MATTER OF ME FOR MY KIDS, FOR THE GLORY!!!" I do what I do because I have to. Would I like my work load lightened, you bet, but it's not going to happen anytime soon, so I dust myself off, step up to the plate and take my swings. My kids have gone through a pretty rough event in their lives, and in order to help them through it, not to mention, just survive and avoid being buried under candy wrappers and Lego, I have to step it up. That sucks, but that's parenthood, that's life, nothing is static and you have to be fluid enough to accept your new lot and as I've been driving home to my 6 year old "make lemons with lemonade". The less PG version of that is to grab some tequila and salt, which would be my preference, but alas, those damn responsibilities messing with my fun.

That said, if someone tries to diminish this role in some snippy trite way, you bet I'm getting a soapbox because this job is freaking hard and I'm doing a pretty decent job at it! Try filling out umpteen billion insanely redundant university forms (totally different rant altogether) while bouncing a baby in one hand and explaining to your 6 year old lawyer in training, why he's not watching Transformers for the hundredth time. It ain't easy. I don't stand on a perch crowing about it, but I will stand up for myself when someone is snarky about me doing a hard job well. And if that makes me a martyr, then hand me that cross, I'll nail myself to it.