On July 1, I Remember

As I was writing a post about Memorial Day here in NL today, I was struck by the fact that this province has been mourning the loss of those soldiers for 105 years.

We all know there were close to 800 soldiers in the regiment who were part of the ‘big push,’ the ‘July Drive’ at Beaumont-Hamel and that the next morning only 68 men answered roll call.

That loss affected life in our province for many years. It had an enormous emotional, personal, cultural, and economic impact on the people of NL.

Those are all facts.

Sad and horrible facts.

Writing them down today in the context of also preparing posts to honour the Indigenous children whose graves have been located near the so-called “residential schools” that were actually essentially assimilation centres where children were abused and mistreated threw the whole thing into stark relief.

This province has been publicly mourning the loss of those men for all of these years but our country has essentially left Indigenous people to mourn alone.

Even though there were far more victims. Even though the personal, emotional, social, cultural, and emotional impact has been far wider.

Even though Canadian government and church policies are clearly at fault.

This wasn’t a mistake. It wasn’t a lack of knowledge. Residential schools and other racist policies were by design.

Yet, there has been no public mourning until now. And it still isn’t a formal day of mourning, it’s a movement but not a public policy.

I recognize that it is a different sort of situation. And I know that a public day of mourning is only the beginning of what needs to be done.

Reconciliation is going to be a long process and there is a lot of work to do.

But a formal public acknowledgement through a day of mourning would be a step forward.

PS – My friend Cate has written an excellent post about the movement to cancel Canada Day. Please check it out.

A photo of blue forget-me-not flowers surrounded by greenery.
Image description: A photo of small blue forget-me-not flowers amid greenery.

More resigned than annoyed

It snowed today.

On June 10th.

Two days after some straight-up summer weather.

I couldn’t work up a full positive attitude but I do feel kind of resigned to the facts here. (Acceptance is important, right?)

June is often awful here in Newfoundland and Labrador. And we have had so many foggy, rainy, cold Junes that our recent good weather is the aberration, not this.

It’s pretty rare for us to have our patio furniture set up by this point and the leaves are hardly ever put by now.

But still, the fact that it is has been so warm and so green makes this snow a sort of insult.

This was not in the plan.

A backyard deck, set up for summer, is covered in snow.
Image description: a corner of a backyard patio, decorated with star shaped lights. There is a deck chair with a red cushion on it under a leafy tree. There is snow on the deck, on the ground, and on the tree.

Piece by Piece

One of my biggest challenges with ADHD has always been with breaking projects into smaller pieces or in understanding how small efforts will add up to a larger whole.

I’ve referred to it before as a ‘reverse forest for the trees issue.’ It’s not that I get so caught up in the trees that I can’t see the forest, it’s that the forest is one solid unit – I have to work hard to see that it is composed of a series of individual trees.

However, a combination of a food level of medication and some excellent systems has made piece by piece planning and work readily available to me for the first time in my life.

It really takes a lot of stress out of things, doesn’t it?

No wonder you can all work so steadily!

A GIF of red lego blocks being added together to build a larger block.
GIF description: red lego blocks are added one by one to make a larger lego block.

Taking better care of myself

Like everyone else, I find that I frequently have a stiff neck. This is, in part, because of bad habits while texting, reading, or using the computer, but it’s also definitely related to the fact that I ‘brace’ when I am trying to concentrate.

My ADHD meds help me a lot but but I still have a little extra trouble focusing at times and I fall back into old habits – pushing my hand on the desk or clenching my jaw or holding very still – to hold myself ‘in place.’

Luckily, I stumbled on this video a while back and it is very restful and fun way to help find some ease in my neck.

Writing & Planning

I’m still figuring out how I want to organize my writing time this summer.

For a change, I have a lot of control over my own schedule. And my ADHD meds are at a level that allows me to plan out my projects and make the most of my time in a whole new way.

I have a novel and a bunch of short stories to revise and it feels great to know that I have the time and the capacity to reshape them into the stories I want to tell.

I haven’t figured out my schedule yet but I know that I can, and I am just going to enjoy this feeling for a few more days before I make myself decide.

After all, I don’t want to let all of this marvellous time slip away from me.

A person’s hands unrolling a rolled ‘battle plan.’
It won’t be a battle but I like the idea of unfurling a plan like this. image description: a GIF of a person’s hands unrolling a large, hand-drawn ‘Battle Plan’ on a table top.