Blog Share

It’s common for bloggers to share the writing of others once in a while and I decided today to share a post written by my daughter on a most relevant subject.  She only posts once in a while, but I’m definitely not the only writer in the family 🙂  Please give her post a read through and check out her blog Unapologetically Kate.

Here is a share of her post from last night:

28 years and counting. Or, “you’re still single?!”

This morning, as I awoke and rolled over in my single bed all alone, it occurred to me that I will turn 29 in just under 5 months. And for the first time in my life, I kinda freaked out a bit about a birthday.

Single

Let’s backtrack a bit, shall we?

I had my life planned out. I was going to be married by 20, maybe 21. In fact, it was a standing joke among my friends that I would be the first one to be married. By 25, I would have two kids and be dreaming of a third. I’d be one half of a pair of young, cool parents.

Isn’t that what every young woman who came of age in the early 2000’s post-millenium Church, listening to the likes of Rebecca St. James (and others who will remain un-named) dreamt about?

In my early twenties (and I say that with a somewhat detached feeling of “how am I even referring to that in the past tense”), I could laugh it all off and, as I approached 25, it quickly got pushed back to a list of things I would do by the time I was 30. “Oh well, so life didn’t go quite as I had planned when I was 15. 25 is still young! I’m not even 30 yet!”

Slowly though, it began to eat away. One wedding invitation at a time.

Each one a reminder that another wedding season had come and I wasn’t the one mailing invites.

I like to say I’ve reached the “where did everyone go?” stage of single life. Trust me, it’s a thing.  It’s what happens after everyone else has returned from Niagara Falls, hung up the white dress in the back corner of the closet, ordered the best prints to enclose in the handmade thank you notes, and settled into a life of Mr. and Mrs. coffee mugs on lazy Sunday mornings.

The single friend just wakes up the next morning with smeared mascara, a slight headache, sore feet from dancing the night away, and the distinct feeling that there really is a biological clock and the ticking just got louder (but that could just be the headache from last night).

And life continues on as it always does.

It’s also at this stage that the unsolicited advice and comments from others starts to get more frequent and pointed. I don’t need to know that by my age, you had bought a house and you had 3 children. What am I to do with that information, add it to my list of failures? As if I’m not already aware of what I haven’t accomplished? And thanks, but telling me I may need to lower my standards if I ever want a relationship isn’t helpful advice. And who is anyone else to tell me my standards are too high? It would seem that in this day and age, the very fact that I have standards means they’re too high. If I’m not willing to swipe right, there must be something wrong with me. The fact that I’m attracted to a certain type of man (the type who is comfortable shopping at Harry Rosen…oy, those tailored suits…), and very un-attracted to other types makes me choosy. The fact that I crave long-term romance and so much more than the 3-date sex rule makes me prudish, not desperate enough, and means I may be single forever.

Well if not wanting to jump into bed means I’ll be single forever, then pass the Chardonnay and for God’s sake, get me a cat, because hell no, this girl is definitely not desperate enough.

But it’s not that I think about it all the time, either. You reach a point where you go through stages of loving the freedom that comes with single-ness, and stages where you want to murder every happy couple you see with a pillowcase full of bricks. One day happy to make spontaneous plans for the weekend without having to think of anyone else, the next longing for someone to cuddle with to share body heat when it feels like Antarctica outside your back door. Simultaneously embracing the abundance of alone time, while secretly longing for the Mr. and Mrs. coffee mugs on Sunday morning. Living life in the meantime, while having no idea what the future holds.

And that’s the problem, isn’t it? Having no freaking clue what the future holds. It’s terrifying.

What I do know is that in just a few short months, I will be 29. And that scares the shit out of me.

“I think we are going to have to love ourselves. F**k.”
-Liz Tuccillo

The Meltdown

meltdown-children

Definition of meltdown

  1. 1:  the accidental melting of the core of a nuclear reactor

  2. 2:  a rapid or disastrous decline or collapse

  3. 3:  a breakdown of self-control (as from fatigue or overstimulation)

I’m sure everyone has their own experience of a meltdown or perhaps, like me, you’ve had a variety of them under differing circumstances.

I don’t remember using the term “meltdown” much, if at all, before the past few years of my life when it became the most descriptive word I could use to put a label on my complete losses of emotional control.  I know that only the third of the above definitions refers to emotions, but I would have to effectively combine all the above definitions into one to come close to some of my own experiences: the rapid collapse and melting of my core resulting in a breakdown of self-control.

I suppose I’ve had what would be considered meltdowns in the past, from frustration and exhaustion with a situation I was going through, people I was dealing with etc. when the stress became too much in the moment and overwhelmed me.  Sometimes throwing up your hands and screaming it out in the sanctuary of your own home is all you can do and you know it will pass but you need to get it out so you can breathe again and think a little more clearly.

I’ve also “melted down” on occasion when I’ve been afraid of something; I remember a time when I was pregnant with my first child and I got suddenly violently ill one day.  It lasted for hours and while I was leaning over the toilet, in between crying and being sick, I was praying that God wouldn’t take my baby (my mother had suffered several miscarriages and I was afraid of what was happening to me).  But there was a solution once I saw the doctor, it was just a wild stomach flu, and all was fine again as it passed.

The hardest ones are those that come from pain.  Broken heart pain.  Because there is no solution.  The pain doesn’t pass, and even when you think you’re doing pretty well, you suddenly aren’t.  There’s no situation to resolve, there’s no doctor to make it better.  And you know that once it’s over it won’t be the last.  Those are the kind of meltdowns I have now, at what seem like the silliest times, over the smallest things.  But the truth is that they aren’t over small things at all.

Broken heart pain meltdowns are always about far more than just what is happening in the moment.  They’re about everything that has happened up to that moment and about the things we cannot change or fix or make disappear.  They aren’t about moving forward or time healing.  They’re about never being able to mend a broken heart.

So today I had a trifecta meltdown.  Bet you didn’t know that was even a term, did you?  Yup, it was a frustration, fear, broken heart pain meltdown.

I was hanging some outdoor blinds.  The fact that I have to do this in order to keep the sun and heat from blasting into my house is already a frustration beyond description. I HATE SUMMER.  I hate bugs, I hate heat, I hate the sun shining directly on me.  It makes me physically ill in ways I won’t describe here in detail.  It makes me unable to concentrate or sleep properly.  There is nothing at all about it that I enjoy.  And the temp was expected to reach 24 today so I needed to get it done because after the town crew removed most of my trees last year, and until I can get a few new ones planted, the only thing keeping those UV rays from barbecuing my windows will be those outdoor sun and heat blocking blinds.  I thought I’d have time after the snow melted a few days ago to hang them before the roasting began, but alas, here we are again with no spring at all.  Just six months of annoying snow and then summer. (And no, disliking one thing doesn’t equal liking another.  It’s not the cold of winter I despise, it’s the constant, inconvenient, messy, hard work inducing snow.)

Hanging blinds is never a fun project, but I thought I could start early in the morning, take it one step at a time, go slowly so as not to fall off my ladder, and get them up before the sun got around to the front of my house.  So, with a positive attitude and feeling like I was taking care of business, I gathered my tools and extension cords, dug my ladder out of the shed, put the screws in my pocket and went to work.

I didn’t even think to spray myself with deep woods off – a blatant error on my part because I am the best insect repellent ANYONE ELSE could ever have.  Just sit next to Ann and nothing will bite YOU.  Sure enough, two minutes in, standing at the top of my ladder with my hands full, there’s a bee and mosquitoes and I’ve got a welt on my neck (insert profanity here …).

I drilled the holes I needed, climbed down, and got the bug spray.  This was the beginning of the end, although I didn’t know it just then.

Back out to move the ladder and drill the next set of holes – thankfully the blinds came with a template that you tape up first so you don’t have to do any measuring yourself, which is, incidentally, a wonderful idea that every single blind company should incorporate…

My yard isn’t level.  Anywhere.  Safely steadying a ladder is always a challenge.  After becoming annoyed with the ground under my step ladder and worried that if I leaned too much one way I would end up crashing down in some kind of twisted position that required a call to 911, I decided to haul out the extension ladder to see if I could arrange it differently and get to where I needed to go.  Got it out on the lawn and it wouldn’t extend, so after kicking it in a few places to no avail (insert more profanity here …), I grabbed the hammer and pounded one end until it moved.  Then I carried it over near the window, shifted it around a few times, and gave up because I promised myself I would not take any stupid chances.  Down went the big ladder, and I went back to the step ladder.  Once it finally settled into the ground, I managed to finish getting the first set of brackets in place on the smaller of two windows.

The next window was too long for me to tape up one end of the template and be able to grab it from the other end once I had repositioned the ladder yet again so I had to climb back down and go into the house for a “reacher” as my mom calls it.  I have one because my now deceased aunt had one and I brought it home with me “in case” I might need it to reach for something.  This might be the first time I’ve used it, although my memory in summer heat is not reliable at all.  It proved helpful once I had climbed back up the ladder and needed to reach the hanging end of the template so I could tape it up and drill the holes.

Fast forward to getting the second set of brackets screwed onto the house – nothing too interesting other than more sweat and itchy bug bites and the fact that each time I had to go back in the house, I had to face the hot sun beating down on my step as I came out of the still shady front yard.  You know how the radio always tells you the temp is different in the city than at the airport?  Well I can do that in my yard. “It’s 17 degrees at the front, and 35 degrees on the side step, watch out for those UV rays …”

I was ready to try putting up a blind, thinking that I probably had to wait for Kate (who’s been sick for a week and was at the hospital being diagnosed with pneumonia just to keep things exciting) to hold one end for me, but when I unpackaged it I found it much lighter weight than I’d imagined, so I forged ahead.  Once I had steadied the ladder in place for probably the tenth time so far – between moving it from one end of the window to another and then to the other window and so on – I climbed up, blind in hand.  Of course I couldn’t see properly to the other end to get it in properly.  I struggled with it a few times and finally gave up.

And then it happened: the rapid collapse and melting of my core resulting in a breakdown of self-control.  Everything was just suddenly, randomly, publicly wrong because I don’t have my husband and I was in tears.  And if you aren’t sure how it escalated to that point so quickly, I will tell you:

  • I was hot and tired.  I hate being outside when it’s warm and this project was taking MUCH longer than anticipated so the sun was now moving around to me. (frustration)
  • I was bombarded with fearful thoughts of how I’m going to get through the forecasted extreme hot dry summer over which I have no control and for which I have no solution because my previous successful options for cooling off have been taken away from me due to other issues. (fear)
  • I had no way to hang the stupid blinds myself.  MYSELF.  I shouldn’t have had to be out there myself.  I shouldn’t have had to try to figure this out myself.  I should have had my husband there to help me, to climb the ladder and drill the holes and screw in the brackets and put up the blind with me being the extra hand to hold the open end and tell him when it was clicked in the right place.  I have to do everything my damn self.  (pain)

And I lost it.  Randomly, suddenly, publicly, right there in my front yard over a blind.  But it wasn’t over the blind.  It was because of the broken heart pain that is always there and never goes away.  It just simmers until it boils.  And today it boiled over.  Again.  And as I stood there holding that stupid blind in my hand, staring at my house, crying like a baby, and swearing out loud because I try so hard to do things myself, to be independent and learn and build and fix, I knew it was just a blind, but it was a blind I couldn’t deal with MYSELF.

I knew I could have called someone to come and install the blind.  I could have found someone to help me for free; I could easily have paid someone to do it.  But it wasn’t about the blind.  It was about every single thing that I have to do alone, to figure out alone because he is gone.  Him.  My husband.  My extra set of hands. My strength and support.  The other half of my heart.

I was picturing myself calling my friend to please come and just hold the other end of the blind for me, but I knew I would be crying and have a hard time explaining how this simple task had me in tears.  I knew if I tried to hire someone, they probably wouldn’t be able to come right away and I wouldn’t be able to ward off the 24 degree heat this afternoon which is why I had persevered to that point already.  And then as I was making a final attempt to get it locked in place before completely giving up, my sweet neighbour lady – who, unbeknownst to me had been working in her own yard – walked over and reminded me that I probably shouldn’t be up on that ladder without someone standing by and she offered to get her own ladder so she could stand at the other end and help me.

And I was grateful.  Because that’s all it took to get the blinds up.  Five minutes of help from an extra set of hands.  She didn’t see me crying, but when I told her I was having a moment because it’s times like this that just keep reminding me my husband is gone, she gently sympathized, saying that her husband always helps her on the ladder 🙂  As it should be.

Until next time …

 

 

 

 

 

 

Help me, Husband dearest, but NOT like that …

 

18034331_1505368239497034_5653658819984006317_n

Warning: not for the faint of heart feminist

I came across this tidbit in my Facebook newsfeed recently, and had a good chuckle not just because it’s meant to be funny, but because it signifies something about a lot of modern women and THAT makes me laugh.

I think instead the poem could be entitled “Ode to the Never-Quite-Good-Enough Husband” and include more lines that go something like this:

Fold the towels, but not like that.

Cook once in a while, but not like that.

Discipline the children, but not like that.

Communicate with me, but not like that.

You plan the trip for a change, but not like that.

ETC. ETC. ETC.

It doesn’t rhyme, but most of today’s feminists probably won’t catch that; they’re too busy looking for more things to add because they’re loving this poem already and thinking of various places to stick it before he gets home.  And it probably won’t be in a nice homemade casserole either.

Too sarcastic for you?  I think you’re on the wrong blog.  You must have stumbled over here on your way to googling “how to get your man to do exactly what you want” or something like that.  If so, here’s a link you might be interested in:

I’m No Feminist!

And if you still think you have it rough because “he’s like an extra child”, try this one:
Bye for now!

Parenting Done Wrong …

writing47

I know parents are supposed to support each other (it takes a village and all that jazz), that parenting isn’t easy, and that no matter how hard you try, some days just don’t go well.  Even your normally quiet and best behaved little ones are going to have tantrums, outbursts. I get it.  I’ve been there.  I never said my kids wouldn’t do it.  But I did say my kids wouldn’t get away with doing it.  Big difference.

But the cases that really make my eyes pop out are the ones in which the PARENTS are to blame and the PARENTS are the ones you’d like to slap upside of the head because they’re not only condoning but encouraging the unacceptable behaviour either by their lack of immediate discipline or their need to make everything exactly the way their little princes and princesses want it to be, even at the expense of others.  Like, we’re all supposed to put up with your little hellion because you choose to do so?  I don’t think so, Tim.

I’m talking about parents who appear to be raising their snowflakes to grow up thinking the rest of the world will bow to them just like their parents do, and I’m especially talking about the parents who are willing to buy their way out of anything.  Can you say “teenage criminal with money bags daddy who pays off a judge to just make it go away”?  OK, call me dramatic, but that kind of crap starts somewhere and a couple of incidents I heard about this week sparked my attention.

My daughter belongs to a running group online and recently there was a big Disney marathon weekend in Florida, so people have been chatting about their experiences and she shared these two with me: (I can’t link you directly to the posts because it’s a closed group)

Please stop kicking me

One runner who was taking in some of the Disneyworld attractions while there for the weekend, was standing in line for a ride and found herself being shoved and actually kicked by some children next to her.  The parents were right there.  She asked the kids to please stop kicking her, and was told by the parents to get over it, “this place is for kids, you know”. Huh?

IN FRONT OF YOUR KIDS you have just now told them IT IS OK TO KICK PEOPLE because they are standing in an amusement park themed just for them and anyone else there needs to put up with whatever they decide to do, even if it hurts.  And yes, the kids went right on shoving and kicking.  Un-freaking-believeable.

I’ve been at the Happiest Place on Earth, I’ve seen a few misbehaving children in line on occasion – most are just cute and excited to be there – but I’ve never been pushed or shoved by any of them and had I been, I’m really not sure what I would have given as a response to these absolutely rude and ineffective parents.  Those lines can get pretty crowded, you aren’t always close to a staff member to ask for help,  and you never know how someone might twist off at you if you dare suggest that their perfect little wonder child is annoying you.

No, you can’t have my medal

Another runner who had just completed a challenge – a 10K run and the marathon – was sitting in a restaurant afterward with some friends and had one of her medals sitting on the table.  A boy about five years old went over, took the medal, put it around his own neck and went back to his own table.  The runner went over to the table and asked for her medal back.  He gave it to her, but a few minutes after she got back to her own table, the boy’s mother came over to say that he really wanted her medal and she would pay $50 for it. (cough – privileged brat – cough).  The runner said no, that it wasn’t for sale, she had earned it and wasn’t giving it up.  The mother then offered $100, to which the runner again said no, and the kid came over and proceeded to throw a temper tantrum.  The runner said she was sorry that the boy couldn’t handle the disappointment of not getting what he wanted.  The mother told the runner it’s just a medal, she had ruined the boy’s day, and that perhaps she would understand if she had kids of her own.

Just take a breath and let that sink in.

The runner EARNED her medal – if you know anything about running marathons you know what that means – and because some kid’s mom can pay his way out of everything  the rest of the world is supposed to bow down, surrender their stuff, take the cash and move on.

These stories wouldn’t be so annoying if they weren’t so damn typical in today’s world of self-entitlement.  Yes, I had kids and no, they were not – nor are they now as adults – perfect.  But here’s how this would have gone down had one of my kids even tried to pull such a ridiculous stunt:

  1. My kids, at five, were not allowed to wander freely around a public place unsupervised.  Problem solved.
  2. IF by chance one got away from my table before I could stop them, I would have followed them immediately and prevented the taking of the medal.  Problem solved.
  3. IF I hadn’t made it to my child before they grabbed the medal, I would have turned them straight around to give it back with an apology FROM MY CHILD to the owner.  Problem solved.
  4. IF for some reason – like the runner’s table was right beside mine and my child was able to take two steps over without me stopping him/her – as soon as they got back to the table with the medal in hand they would have been taken to the owner to surrender the medal and give an apology.  Problem solved.
  5. If my child threw a temper tantrum over not being able to have the medal, I wouldn’t have been whipping out my wallet.  I would have been dragging my child to the car where they would have received what is now probably an illegal smack on the butt and maybe even the deprivation of further entertainment in the theme park designed for children.

I cannot fathom the arrogance and stupidity of the mother who decided that her child’s immediate desire trumped the choice of a woman to keep something significant that was her own to begin with, and that it was OK to sanction the lifting of someone else’s possession with no consequence other than having to bear the disappointment of knowing that even mommy’s money couldn’t make it all better.

As to the first situation with the kicking children, had I been the receiver of the kicks and the parental response, I think I might have spoken directly to the children and told them that “mommy and daddy say that kicking people is OK so if you want to kick someone, turn around and kick them”.  After all, they’re certainly the people who deserve to be kicked.  Hard.

I can honestly say here that I have a hard time imagining even my most active little guy thinking it was OK to kick strangers in a public place, so the behavior of these children must have been learned and tolerated long before the trip to Disneyworld! Had one of mine crossed the line though, they’d have been made to apologize – I would have also apologized for not paying close enough attention to see what happened – and if it didn’t stop, my child would have been removed from the line-up to miss going on that ride and learn a lesson in proper behaviour because the place was NOT DESIGNED JUST FOR THEM and even if it were, there’s still no excuse.

I can tolerate children who are stepping out of line; it happens.  I cannot tolerate parents who stand by and allow it, not because they didn’t see it, not because they don’t have enough hands to deal with it, but because they actually say it’s OK and are willing to reward their children for bad behaviour.  I can’t even …

 

 

 

 

The Book

17545586_10155547206975663_1852786390692613959_o.jpg

Well, I finally did it – I got it all put together and printed as a book.  I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it or not, and there’s been something nagging at me for a while, since I started blogging about the story of my husband’s brain injury.

I’m just not the self-publish-and-promote-myself type of person, you know?  I’ve always figured I could just put things out there and if people wanted something, they would come for it, whether it was my music, my handmade crafts, my quilting services, or now my story.  I don’t see myself sitting somewhere selling my own book, but if someone is looking for a story, and it can help them somehow, I’m happy to share it.  I don’t know if that makes sense or not, but that’s me 🙂

So when a company that helps people get their blogs published into books found me – I didn’t even know about them until they followed my blog, which I’m sure is a great marketing strategy for them! – it seemed like the right time to get it done, to take a step.

I ordered one copy just for me, to see what it would be like to have my story in book form.  I have to say it was an overwhelming experience to hold it in my hands and read it as a book rather than a series of online posts.  We read so much online these days, but there is something more real about a book.  Hard to explain, but I’m sure book readers out there will know what I mean.  And it’s lasting.  So if the whole internet blows up one day, I will still have the book.  My family will still have the book.  Of course I have files and I could print things out on paper, but it’s not the same as a real book.

So here it is, the story from start to finish – or at least to Pat’s finish line.  I’ve already had inquiries about ordering copies for others in my local area, so I’m placing orders in bulk and if anyone is interested, please contact me.  The company is in Europe, they ship quickly, and they set the base prices, so no, regardless of what you pay, I’m not going to get rich!  In fact, because of the quality of the paper they use the price is higher than you might expect so adding anything for me just seems like too much.  But that’s OK because I never did it to make money.

I did it for personal reasons; it was therapeutic, and it’s the kind of thing I wished I had found to relate to when I was in the middle of it all.  And it’s also for Pat because through it he will be remembered in a concrete way and he would want to help others by its being shared. And while he will always be remembered by us and others who knew and loved him, somehow a book seems concrete; who knows where it can travel to, whose hands it might end up in down the road, or who it could help even years from now?  Books are lasting and often carry with them their own stories apart from their actual contents.  There’s always a story “of” a book as well as the story within it.  Each reader will have their own 🙂

 

Transgendered people aren’t the problem, the laws are …

I discovered a blog post describing an event which directly relates to some concerns expressed by myself and others regarding gender neutral washrooms.  The writer is definitely not discriminating, and it’s absolutely worth the read if you care either way about this issue because there’s something to consider from all sides.

A Man in the Women’s Restroom at Disneyland

Was this man doing a “social experiment” as we’ve seen in the past with regard to various topics?  It’s reasonable to predict that men who are inclined to intimidate – fully heterosexual men – could simply enter a women’s washroom because they can, and wait for reactions so they can then show cases of discrimination based on appearances.  There’s already a TV show that has people doing very similar tests in social situations, so don’t shake your head as if I’m being too dramatic!

Was he a predator of some kind?  Was he just confused and behaving strangely?

The main point is that even though he was doing nothing washroom related the whole time he was in there, none of the women felt safe in addressing his presence.  None of them felt they had the right to question it.

I’d like to direct a couple of my own points to the transgendered group – specifically to those who are transitioning from male to female – for their consideration as they decide whether or not the rest of us have any reason to feel uncomfortable with certain things that are happening.  Please forgive me in advance if I don’t use the proper terminology.  I’m not always sure which terms are acceptable, so it isn’t my intention to be offensive.  And please be clear on this: I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU OR OF HAVING YOU IN A WOMEN’S WASHROOM.  I expect that most of you are, as most other people are, very nice people who wouldn’t want to hurt anyone.

If you’re a man transitioning to a woman:

  1.  While I recognize you’ve likely dealt with your own kind of bullying at various levels – which is always wrong – please remember that you’ve never actually been a woman.  As girls, we’re taught to be careful, to watch out for who is walking behind us when we’re alone on a sidewalk or a street, to be aware of our surroundings in public, especially in public washrooms (to check that no one is hiding if it’s empty when we enter), and to make direct eye contact with strangers who might be intimidating to appear strong and avoid giving an impression of vulnerability.  With current laws and the risk of being accused and charged with some version of discrimination or a hate crime, we’re now being silenced.  If we make eye contact with a male looking person in the washroom, we’re “staring”.  If he/she looks more like a man than a woman and we take a second look, or even ask security for help because we’re uncomfortable with their behaviour – as in the case described in the blog I have linked to – we’re profiling and discriminating based on appearance.  We no longer feel able to reasonably protect ourselves from possible danger because anyone can say that they “feel” like a woman and enter a space where private womanly things are happening.
  2. Have you considered that once you have fully transitioned to a woman, you will also be in the same position we are now in as far as safety?  With your background and life experiences, you might not feel the same discomfort at having men walking freely into a washroom where you are taking care of private business, but you will be every bit as much at risk of danger as the rest of us once you look like a woman.  Perhaps, think of the reasons you’re not comfortable using the men’s washroom!  And because of laws and the risk of being accused and charged with discrimination or some hate crime, the silence we feel forced into will mean that we can’t protect you either, if you are among us and a suspicious man walks in.  You might know many feelings and experiences that we do not know, but you don’t know what it’s like to be a woman and feel threatened by a potentially dangerous man.  Never mind what it’s like for a young girl to feel that way.  I just ask that you consider it, even just for a moment, because this isn’t just about your rights.  It’s about real life danger and how it affects all of us, even you.

When people say there should be no complaints about giving rights to various groups because it has nothing to do with our own rights, that it won’t take them away, please consider that it does change things.  Our freedom to express our valid concerns in situations like the one described in the blog post I’ve mentioned is being squashed because we know that anything we say will be turned into some kind of discrimination or hate speech as determined by the laws that have been put in place to give you certain rights.  I’m not saying you don’t have a right to use the women’s washroom.  I’m saying it’s a lie to tell me that your having that freedom doesn’t in any way change my own.  Because it does.  It has. And that’s what we’re afraid of, not you.

 

 

 

To Read, Perchance to Dream …

img_5993

I actually cashed in some Chapters/Indigo Plum Rewards on the weekend.

No big deal for a lot of people, and you’re probably wondering why I would even mention it.

But for me, this is monumental.

As a child I loved books. I read many, so many in fact that part of the explanation for my eyesight changing rapidly during those younger years was the amount of time I spent reading books.  I had an aunt who loved books and every gift she gave us included books.  Whenever she cleaned out her own library, we got more books.  Thanks to her love of reading, my own children inherited many classic collections.

I don’t remember when I shifted from reading to other pass times while making sure that my children had lots of books and that I read to them often, usually daily.  Even as an adult, I enjoyed children’s books, and I found particular ones especially entertaining.  But I had lost my own desire to read for fun and found that I only picked up a book when I wanted to learn about something or someone, finding non-fiction to be my genre of choice.  That is, when I actually did read something, which wasn’t often at all.

My daughter has been an avid reader and book lover all her life.  I’ve spent a lot of time with her in book stores over the years, me perusing the non-fiction while she got lost in the wonderful land of dreams.  I envied her on more than one occasion; I wished that I could lose myself in a good book for a quiet afternoon or weekend, that I could experience the anticipation of getting home from work or some other activity and settling in to find out what happened in the next chapter of a book that had captured my interest.  Many snowy and rainy days I watched her curl up with a coffee and a blanket and enter another world for hours on end and wished I could do the same.

I love the smell of books.  I love the look and feel of the paper in the ones that have uneven edges.  I DO judge books by their covers and there are some really cool ones that even have raised designs on them!  I love to be in bookstores.

But I’ve always felt a bit sad that I didn’t actually love reading.  Any rewards I built up over the years were the result of purchases made at Christmas for my book loving girl 🙂

And then it happened.

I was standing over a book display while Kate searched for something to add to her library – and she does have a library such that when she still lived at home we had to keep close track of the value of her book collection in our home insurance records – and I was so  frustrated by my lack of interest in reading.  I just wanted to read, to be “a reader”.  I felt left out of a huge world of wonder.  I wanted to go home that day with something I could curl up in a chair with and lose myself in for a few hours.  I knew that was what she was going to do!

So I picked up a couple of books that looked interesting and read the summaries on the inside covers, checked with Kate to make sure she didn’t know of anything particularly bad about them (I cannot handle horrific or bloody themes, or graphic sexual content!) and I settled on a couple with themes from the second world war era which has always caught my attention; one was a true story.  I started to feel excited, I made my purchase, and I came home, got settled, and started reading.

Don’t laugh, but that was just two weeks ago and I’m now finishing my fifth novel, having ordered three more online last week and picking up two at Indigo on Saturday, taking advantage of the rewards I have collected buying my daughter books!

Now when I go to the bookstore with her I’m no longer just enjoying the atmosphere and feeling like I’m missing something.  I’m part of it now.  I’m searching for stories that will take me away to other lands, other places in time, and I’m anticipating getting home where I can cozy in and read.  I’m totally enjoying it and thankful that I’ve finally found my way back to being a reader!

For now, I will sign off, as I simply must go and find out what actually happened to The Woman in Cabin 10 …