Posts Tagged With: thoughts

let us out

Listen. We get it. We do.

We know: you or someone you love is immuno-compromised in some way and you really need us to take this #covid-19 thing seriously and #staythefuckathome. Please know that we are taking this seriously, we are aware of how quickly this thing “goes viral” as it were, and we know the possible severity of the illness. No one is minimizing your concerns; not trying to down-play anything; trying to follow the guidelines as best we can. I just need you to think about some other things for a minute.

You have probably seen the tweets, maybe even shared the memes about the appalling fact that millions of school-aged children may be losing their one main daily meal now that most schools have closed. There are groups popping up all over the place to help those who experience this kind of food insecurity; local restaurants offering sack lunches, mom groups cooking casseroles, etc. We all know that even these types of kindnesses will be ending soon, and that’s worrisome for sure.

What’s also worrisome is the fact that people are being bullied, judged, shamed, and threatened for meeting up with their neighbours or allowing their children to see friends; for heading out for groceries or taking their dogs for a walk. For years we have been getting pummelled with reports and studies showing us that “online” connections aren’t what we should be encouraging for our children. We have been bullied, shamed, judged, and threatened by “better” parents who limit screen or gaming time and force their kids to interact face-to-face vs. face-timing. It’s like we just can’t win. For some parents, and for some children, this current situation of self-isolation is not a viable option. Really.

I sit on the Equity Committee at my son’s school. Our biggest concern is the mental health and well-being of our students; we need to build and foster a sense of belonging within our school community. Teenagers are not doing well, y’all. Even if they have a “happy” home life, they are feeling burdened and stressed. They are lost, they are scared, and they are depressed. They are anxiety-ridden. Existential angst among 12-19 year-olds is a real thing. Nihilism is creeping in at ever younger ages. And let’s not forget, not everyone has a “happy” home life.

There are a good many kids for whom home is not a happy place, or even a safe one. What if school is the only place a child has a sense of belonging? What if their group of friends is the only real family they have? What if their English teacher or school social worker is the only adult in their lives that they can trust? What if a student’s friendship with the school custodian is the only thing keeping both of those people going? What about those kids who come to school to get a couple of hours of sleep because it isn’t safe to do so at home?

We don’t know how long this pandemic will last. Provinces, states, and countries are declaring us to be in a state of emergency. Moms and dads who are barely keeping it together on their best days will be unable to do so indefinitely. Parents who are already stressed about financial issues or worry about their job security will have those anxieties hit overdrive. Families who face food insecurity on a daily basis may fall into despair and feel nothing but hopelessness. Being in forced isolation or quarantine may make it exponentially more difficult to distract yourself from your worries or put your coping skills into play.

My mother, at 92, is more active and has a fuller schedule than many people half her age. On Mondays she has her writing group (cancelled), on Tuesdays she goes singing (cancelled), on Wednesdays she volunteers at the seniors’ rec centre (closed), on Thursdays the home nurse comes to help with her shower (so far still on). Fridays are “weekend” or her day off, and on the weekends she usually visits friends in care homes (closed) or goes to the cinema (closed) or concerts (cancelled). She is keeping herself busy with crosswords, youtube, facebook, phone calls and e-mails. She’s not bored yet, but enjoyment from those things will only last so long. She lives a two-hour drive from us and I don’t know whether I should go see her or not. I certainly don’t want to expose her to any germs, but loneliness is a bitch and I know it will set in soon.

There must be a happy medium. I think there is, I believe we can all survive this without passing germs and without going bat-shit crazy. And so, when I went for a walk yesterday and saw some neighbours sitting on their porch, I stopped and talked. Yes, we stayed 6 feet apart; no, we didn’t sip from each other’s wine glasses. When BoyGenius’ friends rode up to our house on their bikes and tried to entice him out I sent him; between the four of them these kids are dealing with anxiety, depression, self-harm, low self-esteem, a parent with cancer, ADHD (x 3) and many other stressors. They needed to get out, they needed to spend time together, and we’re only on day 3. I feel confident (enough) that they maintained a safe level of social distance while getting some social connection.

Nobody wants to spread the #coronavirus. We are not trying to kill you or your loved ones. But we may need to get out and interact. Humans are social beings. This is only the beginning. Please understand that some of us cannot simply #staythefuckathome.

For some people the virus is not the worst thing that could happen to them. Covid-19 may not be what kills them. Isolation and loneliness could. Despair. Abusive relationships. We are living in a powder keg.

If you need help during this weird and surreal time we are living in, please reach out.

#weareallinthistogether

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because

“Why me?” you asked.

“Why you — ?” I asked both of us.

 

Because you take my breath away while filling my lungs with oxygen.

Because I can feel your heart beating with mine from a thousand miles away.

Because when I’m shopping for laundry detergent I am knocked sideways by thoughts of you.

Because you can see into my soul if you just let yourself look.

 

“No special reason,” I answered, “I just like you, I guess.”

Categories: friendship, love, poetry, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

push

Why do we push

ourselves and others

into places we don’t really

want to go; corners we

can’t get out of?

I’m sitting on my couch, trying to drink my cup of tea before it cools, can’t even seem to manage that anymore. It’s 4:56am and it’s decaf. I’ve been awake about an hour and a half. HardWorker’s alarm is going off for the third time. The cat has already been out and in again. Fourth time. Just get the f@ck up, already! There’s little crawling scratchy noises coming from my living room ceiling — I’ve been hearing that for weeks — fifth time — and I’ve pretty much given up trying to figure out what it is. My tea is cold.

You know those things we join — those groups, those challenges, (sixth time) those write/draw/photograph/post/seventh time/plank/squat/whatever things we’ve all seen and been “challenged” to do and probably agreed to or signed on for? Why?? EIGHTH TIME.

I don’t know about you, but I really don’t need another thing to fail at; some other task I *seriously, just get up! ninth time* can’t complete. What is it about “human nature” that makes us put ourselves through these things? ‘Cause I’m pretty damn sure it’s not in my actual nature to complete anything — gestation aside — and yet I say ‘yes’ and join in. I have, on occasion, tried to get others to sign up.

It must have stopped snowing; seems darker out than it did two hours ago.

I mean, look, I’m here writing this incoherent meandering post (which

I probably won’t finish) instead of lying in bed sleeping because that’s just another challenge

I have failed at. By the way, if the formatting on this ends up being disjointed as well as the train of thought, that’s down to the stupidity of iOs and or app developers who are constantly updating games and shit but can’t seem to figure out how to make a page scroll above a keyboard. And why doesn’t the WP app recognize what has been written/edited/saved in WP in a browser?

But I digress. Here’s the thing: I stopped wearing my fitbit because I suck at remembering to put it back on after I shower, and most of the steps I take during the day are done with something (like a laundry basket) in my arms so they don’t ever seem to exist, and I already know how poorly

I am sleeping, thank you,

I don’t need you to remind me.

Even my favourite Spider Solitaire game decided to do an update that now has it keeping count of and displaying HOW MANY GAMES I’VE ABANDONED IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS. Seriously. Who actually thought *that* was a critical piece of information that needed to be added???

Have I mentioned I’ve been awake since about 3:17??

On a side note: if *boyfriend* jeans and t-shirts and socks and whatever else is/are being designed and tailored for women, THEY’RE NOT REALLY *BOYFRIEND* CLOTHES ANYMORE.

And also, my grocery store has joined the ever-growing ranks of establishments offering healthy snacks instead of cookies to children who can’t make it through the shopping trip without a treat. (Why not adults? I took a clementine last week — sue me.) They even have a sign up: HEY KID’S, ENJOY A HEALTHY SNACK WHILE SHOPPING! Well, actually, they now have a sign up with the apostrophe circled and a little note beside it saying, “no apostrophe needed”. Oh, shit, I just remembered that last week I corrected a sign in another store that was drawing attention to the table of “STATIONARY” they were trying to unload. Some days I am not fit for human consumption .

I’m going to reheat my tea now. Good morning!

Categories: NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Sleep, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

small talk

** This was actually yesterday’s post, but the wordpress app and I are not seeing eye to eye (on the iPad) — and apparently now online on the desktop, too!! (just lost 1/2 of this post although I saved the changes) — so it was not able to be published last night. **

You know how a few days ago I said I was going to stop some things? Well, I did and I have. To a degree. It’s hard, man! I check my e-mail today and see that someone I follow on Twitter has been quoted in The Daily Call (?),  and not knowing how big of a pit I would be falling into, I decided to take a quick look. Ha! What a mistake that was. I did manage to pull myself out after 5-10 minutes, though. Tried to scroll through my facebook feed without clicking any links and to be honest, I can’t actually remember how successful I was. But since I did get two loads of laundry done and one bed stripped and re-sheeted/linened before heading out to the city for my hair appointment, I think I did okay.

There’s a lot that goes on in a hair salon — chit-chat, gossip, the radio plays, the television is on the local 24-hour headline news station (sound off), the phone keeps ringing and people come in and go out. So as I’m getting my hair washed I can’t help but see some of the stories that are on the news and it’s all I can do to keep from allowing the water to blind me to save my sanity.

As I sat for my cut, my hairdresser and I spoke of many things, as we do, and once we got the stupidity of the news stories out of the way we moved on to other things: Fashion, the beauty industry, our children, Christmas. We discussed how the beauty business is a billion dollar industry and that even though we both find it ridiculous, it is, after all, her livelihood; how horrible we both find any number of things about the fashion industry, including the fact that women’s sizes now stretch shrink all the way down to 00 and 000, and that certain trends just won’t die the horrible deaths they deserve; my son being in grade 8 and loving his vintage adidas jacket, and me dyeing his hair black for Hallowe’en, while her boys are grown and survived some dubious fashion trends that still refuse to die. We talked about my mother’s aborted postponed/rescheduled hip replacement surgery and her father’s recent cancer diagnosis. We mentioned make-up and eyelash enhancing volumizing serum and then we laughed because we both know that I don’t wear make-up and thus have no wisdom whatsoever to contribute to any such conversation other than, “If I wear mascara, people think I’m dressed fancy!” We discussed how I already knew in grade 9 (almost 40 years ago!!) that I was wholly incapable of conversing with any of the other girls in the washroom at a dance because all they were talking about was shampoo, hairspray, and boys. She complained that it was totally unfair that I had been able to realise that, already, at age 14.

We finished up, we settled up, and we booked my next two appointments.

The realisation that I am actually able to make small talk came as a bit of a surprise to me. And a welcome one at that. Whew!

 

 

 

Categories: friendship, memories, NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

poetry on a monday

I think I’m calling this one drowning.

windows open,
autumn breeze;
all the air
but i can’t breathe.
something’s wrong,
i feel it here.
for far too long
i’ve been living in fear —
things that happen,
things that don’t.
what if payment’s due
like some bad loan?
stop. take a breath.
need to slow it down.
4 count in and 4 count out;
’cause if i can’t control it
i may just drown.

Categories: NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, poetry, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’m going to stop

For a long time, I didn’t watch the news.

For a long time before that, I did. It was the 10 or 11 o’clock precursor to bedtime. It meant the end of the day; time to see what had happened in the world, in the country, in the neighbourhood. Then, a few years ago, I had a baby. I think that’s when I first stopped watching the news — new baby, no sleep, oddly timed feedings/pumpings, etc., etc. Then when I tried to go back to it I could no longer stomach it. It was bad news most of the time and it really stressed me out. So I stopped.

I did alright without watching the news. If there was something big happening I was sure to hear about it anyway, whether it was on the radio in the car, in the schoolyard, or on the tv at McDonald’s. HardWorker still watched the all-day headline broadcast channel before she left for work or before bed, ostensibly to check the weather or the traffic. Whatever I did happen to see annoyed me no end and it wasn’t just the content. Not a single commentator seemed able to read the sheets that were in front of them without stumbling over names, dates, locations, or the basic tenets of the english language. They make me crazy. I try to stay away from it if at all possible.

I found I was able to stay fairly stress free (news-wise) and life was good. Facebook was something I had discovered and joined years ago (after abandoning my mySpace page) and I enjoyed keeping up with family and friends from around the globe. New babies, vacation pictures, familial losses, even making new friends; it was all at my fingertips. I even joked with other school parents at SCC meetings that if the news wasn’t accompanied by kitten videos on Huffington Post it meant nothing to me. Then it all changed. People started regarding the Huffington Post as a real “newspaper”. The major networks all have Facebook pages, as do all of their regional stations. All the Posts and Times and Gazettes are there as are numerous weekly or monthly magazines. People quote Twitter on their FB pages and link to just about everything that gets published anywhere. It’s too much. Too much to read. Too much to follow. Too much to click through.

It’s too much. Sensory overload. And let me tell you, I barely link any of my accounts, I don’t check my mail every hour, and I’m only on Twitter about once a week. I HAVE A FLIP-PHONE. That’s right. I HAVE A FLIP-PHONE. I do not receive badges, banners, or updates; do not get pinged every time a new e-mail comes in; no swish or chirp when someone tweets something. It doesn’t seem to matter. When I do check Facebook there is invariably some new horrible thing that is being shared by everyone I know. When Hardworker comes home and asks, “Did you hear about …?” I have to say that I did. Whether I wanted to know about it or not. Apparently we no longer have the option of not watching the news.

Well, folks, I’m taking it back. I’m going to stop watching. Stop reading. Stop scrolling. Stop clicking through links. I’m going to stop. I know that some people will think this is no way to live in this day and age. They will call me names and tell me I’m part of the problem. I’m telling you this is the only way to live in this day and age. If I don’t stop I won’t survive.

So yeah, I’m going to stop.

 

Categories: family, friendship, media, NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

still tired

November. Wow. This year is almost over and I’ve hardly been here at all.

It’s been almost three years since I wrote about being tired. Three years, and not much has changed. Well, I may be somewhat more tired than I was, but the rest of the stuff is pretty much the same. Of course, the world is on fire and that’s pretty draining, too. Living next to the US of A and being bombarded by their pain and inflammation on a daily (sometimes even hourly) basis is exhausting. I can’t even imagine how terrifyingly intense it is for those of you who live there.

Yesterday while on my way out to run some errands I thought, “I haven’t felt this tired since I was 6+ months pregnant” (which was when I realised I shouldn’t be driving in to work any longer since I was pretty much falling asleep at every red light).  I ran into a friend at the dollar store and while we were in the middle of our “how are you” pleasantries she said, “I’m so tired this week, I feel like I’m pregnant. That’s what I told my husband this morning!” I just chuckled and agreed, “Oh my god, that’s exactly what I thought on my way here.”

I have so much to do, and so little energy. I have spoken with my doctor about not being able to fall asleep, not being able to stay asleep, and falling asleep during the day if I sit still for too long. All my bloodwork (iron, vitamins, cholesterol, thyroid, etc.) comes back “normal” so it remains a mystery. Hormones? Sure, why not? They’ve been pissing me off lately anyway.

November has begun. I am a Little Pepper and committed to NaNoPoblano, so here I am.

Categories: NaBloPoMo, NaNoPoblano, Sleep, words | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

poetry on a thursday

Although this wasn’t written today it is fairly new; with the cool air and the autumn breeze it seemed an appropriate day to share it.

My God! Do you really not see what I see when I look at you?
The way you sparkle when you laugh, like the diamonds of early dew;
the light that glows from deep in your soul when you’re telling me something new;
the strength that emanates from your hands when you’re working with a tool;
the depth of wisdom behind your eyes that shouts that you’re no fool;
the flow of your hair, the curve of your hip that your beauty do betray;
the love that breathes and beats in your heart — it all makes me want to stay.
I wish that you could see yourself through my eyes now and then;
you wouldn’t doubt your value or your worth ever again.

This poem percolated for a few days, and I lost some of it while wool-gathering. I think it still turned out okay. 

Categories: friendship, love, poetry, Uncategorized, words | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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