For my own amusement

I have often been accused of being ‘too serious’ and that may be the case when I am really trying to focus on something or when we are talking about a topic I am really passionate about.*

That, however, doesn’t stop me from laughing at myself on the regular.

For example, when I spend a chunk of one morning trying to create an image for the phrase ‘You don’t need a cape to be a superhero.’ I ended up with this and I immediately shared it on Instagram.

IMG_0447

As soon as I posted it, I realized that the cape looked like bacon. I have sent myself into fits of laughter about that at least 5 times since.

*And I way-over-the-top hate being misunderstood, so if you are teasing me about something and I feel like it is based on me not communicating effectively, it is going to be a challenge for me to let go and recognize that you are just giving me crap.

Roberta Bondar and Steel Nails

On January 22, 1992, astronaut Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman to go into space! Source: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryArchives/

On January 22, 1992, astronaut Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman to go into space!
Source: https://www.facebook.com/LibraryArchives/

Today is the 25th Anniversary of the day that Dr. Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman in space and when that information appeared in my Facebook feed this morning, it made me think of a story about her.

I was a session leader at an International Guide Camp in Guelph in the summer of 1993. Dr. Bondar held some honorary role with the camp, so, one night, she came to speak to us all.

I didn’t even really know who she was, aside from the fact that she was an astronaut. I was 21 years old, a bit caught up in my own personal quests and  while I was definitely all about equality, I’m not even sure if I described myself as a feminist at that point. So, while I thought it was cool that she had been in space, I don’t think I fully understood the obstacles she would have faced to get there.

Her speech was fantastic and left me feeling stirred and empowered, that much I know, but I don’t remember the specifics.

In fact the only detail I remember is that earlier in the week the local newspaper had published a ‘political’ cartoon featuring an image of the camp. One of the tents had a speech balloon over it with the phrase ‘Oooh! I broke a nail.’

We had been all furious of course. Seeing that stereotype, having our efforts diminished. Sure, we knew it had been intended as a joke, but every girl there knew about that type of joke – one that wasn’t intended to include us, one that wasn’t laughing with us, but one that was mocking our efforts, one that was intended to remind us of our place. We had felt those jokes before and we knew we were in for a lifetime of them.

Dr. Bondar got us all riled up on our own potential, our own power, and then she told us that she had seen the cartoon and that she was writing a letter to the paper. She said she was going to tell them that…

‘The only nails broken at this camp are made of steel, baby!’

My heart still thrills thinking of that moment.

Here was a powerful woman, an astronaut, a doctor and she wasn’t telling us we were being silly for being upset. She wasn’t telling us that we were overreacting. She was telling us that we were right, they were wrong and that she had our backs.

It resonates with me to this day and it’s one of the (many) reasons I make sure to tell young women that I see when they are being slighted and that I have their backs. I’m no Roberta Bondar, obviously, but I do what I can.

Thank you Dr. Bondar

, from my 21-year-old-self.

And, even more so, from my 44-year-old-self.

This is #WhyIMarch

I put on my power suit (my dobok) for my #WhyIMarch selfie. I can defend myself and I'll defend you, too. With words and with actions. Kiya! Virtual March for Woman's March on Washington #WMWCanada #womensmarch #sistersofthenorth #WMWYYT

I put on my power suit (my dobok) for my #WhyIMarch selfie.
I can defend myself and I’ll defend you, too. With words and with actions. Kiya!
Virtual March for Woman’s March on Washington #WMWCanada #womensmarch #sistersofthenorth #WMWYYT

Our March in NL became an online event because of blizzard conditions here today.

I have lots to say about how invigorating it was to see the Marches everywhere today, the sheer volume of people out to show hatred that it will NOT win. I’m still processing my thoughts though so, for now, I’ll just post:

  1. My photo for the online March.
  2. A link to the Women’s March on Washington: St. John’s
  3. A link to the Call to Action

 

 

 

On Being Fair

I used to wonder if I was being fair when I decided not to engage with people on certain topics, if I was not giving their opinions a fair airing.

After all, I do want people to feel heard.

But, then, I listened and I realized that there are certain types of people who do not just want to be heard, they want to take away from others so they have more. And I can tell when I encounter them because I can feel my energy and my empathy draining away.

That’s when I realized that sometimes it comes down to my values.

And my most sincerely held values involve maximizing the love in the world, increasing kindness levels, and ensuring that the vulnerable feel safe.

So, if the opinions they are espousing reduce love, reduce kindness or reduce safety then it is my job to stand against that, but it doesn’t mean that I have any responsibility to ensure that they feel heard. I don’t have to let them rail against me. I don’t have to give them equal time.

They are welcome to have their own opinions but they are not welcome to impose them on others.

I will stand for love. I will stand for kindness. I will stand for protecting the vulnerable.*

I will not stand for hate.

 

*I understand that some of the people I am thinking of believe that they are protecting some of the vulnerable but their version of protection amplifies hate. Mine does not. I will not allow it to stand.

Tools of the Trade

I am ridiculous about notebooks. I have so many that I could start my own stationery store – as long as people would buy notebooks that either have a few pages used in them, just a few pages left OR that are too pretty to use.

I think the notebook thing goes with the writer gene but I had the notebook tendencies for long before I realized that I was a writer*. That long term affection for notebooks makes it super-odd that I have spent so much time trying to make digital methods of planning work for me.

Notebooks, pen, lipgloss, timer, candle.  It's the stuff I need to get stuff done.

Notebooks, pen, lipgloss, timer, candle.
It’s the stuff I need to get stuff done.

I love the *idea* that my tasks can be easily shifted and that I can plan on a huge scale but, in practice, when I get overwhelmed, I avoid turning on the computer. Sooooo, that leads to me not having my to do list in front of me and that leads to me not doing it.

I have trying to use a bullet journal for a while now but I find that I don’t really like having the various scales of planning (big life stuff, yearly, monthly, weekly & daily) all jumbled in together. Soooo, in a move utterly uncharacteristic of me, I have bent the rules a bit**

Here’s the system I am working right now.

The open notebook with my name on it is my bullet journal – that’s got big picture stuff in there. The fancy notebook in the middle has brainstorming and meeting notes in it. The black one, which is going to be decorated with metallic markers after this weekend, is a calendar with a day for each page. I am currently using that as a daily to do list but I am hoping to turn it into a bit of a daily log as things go on.

I also have a Trello account so I can keep track of individual projects in a way that I can easily replicate for repeated things. And I put links to articles I want to read in Google Keep.

The benefit of all of these notebooks (and Trello) is that I have a space to put each type of information so I don’t worry about losing track of things and I have a record of stuff that I did.

The downside is that my purse is rather full!

* I mean, I always knew that I could write, I just never thought of myself as a WRITER.
** Even though I generally march to my own drummer, I have always struggled with systems because I (unconsciously) thought that a system would only work if you did it all EXACTLY right, me bending the rules about things like bullet journalling is HUGE and a credit to my ADD meds. 😉