A – Z Challenge – Feminism

With thanks to Merriam- Webster:

1: the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

2: organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

I did not know, the shit storms that would blow into my life when I became honest with myself and all others in regards to feminism.

I did not know the people I would lose respect for and the relationships I would end.

I did not know the fights I would have. The sadness and hopelessness I would feel. The tears I would cry. The rage I would expel. The fear I would feel.

I did not know the lessons I would learn. The wisdom I would gain through the people who would teach me. The biases I would confront- internal and externally.

I did not know the assholes I would face, the strength I would develop. The clarity I would feel.

I did not know and I still don’t know, the lot of it.

This is an ever evolving journey.

A-Z Challenge – Expectations

Nothing shows a person what they don’t know than their expectations over their reality.

This can be shocking and hurtful in the beginning but as time marches on and you experience more of these little failures, sometimes they can be quite hilarious. Even some of my not so funny ones, bring a wry smile to my face. I tend to laugh at awful things, it’s how I stay alive 😉

Let’s play the funny/not funny game of expectation and reality!

1. Expectation: Homeschooling my kids will keep them away from drugs. Reality: One child will develop an addiction, straight out of grade 12. Like he waited until he was out of school, of age and out of my house before trying anything and then he really tried it.

2. Expectation: Homeschooling my kids will prevent a lice infestation. Reality: We’ve had lice too many times to count! They’d get them from public events, school kids they played with, family members in other households…le sigh!

3. Expectation: I’ve been married for over 25 years. We must be doing something right. Nothing can go wrong now! Reality: Haaa Haaaa Haaaa Haaa Haaa! And that’s all I have to say about THAT!

4. As long as I’m active and train smart, I can keep working out and maintain my strength and fitness level until I’m in my 60s. Reality: I will suffer a complete tear to my shoulder doing an over head lift with a mere 35lbs. Not only that, it will impair my ability to lift said mere 35lbs ever again. And, AND, And ; I will also suffer a nasty chronic case of bursitis on both effing hips from over use that will slow me down forever more AND dictate how far, fast and long I go. At the age of 45!

Look at all these things I thought I knew but clearly did not!

How about you? Have any expectation versus reality stories to share? Please do!

This is what it all boils down to for me now:

I’m trying! I’m sure trying.

A-Z Challenge – DOGS

I did not know that somewhere along the line, I would switch from liking dogs but being more of a cat person to becoming a total dog person.

(With great apologies to every cat I’ve ever known)

Now, I like ALL animals. But there is just something about dogs that appeal to me more and more as I grow older. They DO stuff for you. They serve a purpose. They alert you to things and if you’re lucky, they protect you.

*Special shout out and to all attack cats who do this very thing. If we could breed cats for protection, I’d be all over that!

The older I get, the more I appreciate that. I don’t want to become one of those seniors you read about in the news; alone, vulnerable and murdered in their own homes by a desperate, drugged out person. That scares me! And yet here I am, getting older by the second, living in a city where that sort of thing happens more than it ever should! It makes one think about these things…

I know having a dog doesn’t guarantee such an horrid fate wont befall me but let me tell you this : I have never felt so safe or tough as when I owned my Rotti X!

Beans was bombproof around everyday people, friends, family and other animals. She was FIERCE and protective without fail when my life was in danger, twice.

AND, people’s prejudices towards her breed kept the garden variety criminals out of my yard and away from me before they even thought to try something. Most of her work was done from afar, with a single glance based simply on her appearance.

So now, instead of phasing out my pets and maybe getting a cat when I hit those super vulnerable years…I think I’m going to get a dog instead!

A – Z Challenge – Addiction

I did not know how predominately addiction would figure in my life! As a parent, I did all things I thought I was supposed to do to prevent it and it still slipped in.

That was a shock, let me tell you. As it entered my family, it opened up a whole other world. Suddenly, addiction was right in my face and I learned just how rampant it is in our society.

It’s estimated in Canada that 6 million people will experience addiction at one point or another in their lifetime. That’s near 21 % of the population!

Yikes. It’s thought that every single person knows someone who has struggled or is struggling with an addiction, at any given time.

My family situation is now stable and I’m cautiously optimistic but, two other family members are struggling and 3 of my friend’s kids are too. That’s 5, in my circle. 5!

This all sounds so dire, doesn’t it? Believe me, it felt that way.

Yet it wasn’t entirely bad.

A beautiful show of love and support came out of my experience.

People I knew, people I thought I knew, people I didn’t know, came to me with their stories, love, advice and assistance.

In time, the fierce and freely given love I received exceeded the pain I felt.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m still mad about it, ha ha. I’m still wary. Yet there is goodness there.

Which is something else I did not know.

A-Z Challenge Theme 2020

Reveal day was YESTERDAY but I was busy freaking out about our current situation so I’m a day late!

ANYhoo, I’m participating in the A-Z Challenge again this year and my theme is going to be: I don’t know.

Well, I do know. It’s ” I don’t know””

Hee Hee

What? Why? Huh? How? Ok, let me put it another way. My topic this year is: I’m writing about things I didn’t know or still don’t.

1. Growing up in an emotionally chaotic family , I often felt vulnerable and powerless. Over time as a way to cope, I got it into my head that my suffering was a result of my low intelligence and so I set out to become SMART! I was going to learn and then know ALL THE THINGS! Even things I had no way of knowing. In my intelligence, I would also somehow become magic.

My thinking was this: The more knowledge I gathered, the more insulated I’d be from all the hurtful things. I would be so smart, I’d out think/sense/ know it all and sail through life. Nothing bad would happen to me anymore.

HA HA HA HA HA!

That idea was problematic for so many reasons and of course life set out to teach me otherwise. In my mid forties I found out just how wrong I was.

That was a Big Ouchy!

But lots of lovely things came out of that experience, the most valuable being this:

I don’t know shit! And that’s OK.

Actually, that’s pretty damn great! I loved this lesson – well the positive effects of this lesson, and I want MORE. I miss spending deliberate time in “I don’t know” land.

2. “I don’t know” gives me leave from my job as controller of the Universe. I wrote about that last year, HERE. I can relax into what’s happening NOW.

3. I try to practice and appreciate not knowing every day, but of course on my blog, I write about things I know because well…how would I write about the things I don’t?! Well, this way! I think it’ll be an interesting new way to stretch my brain out.

4. The repercussions of thinking one knows everything can be harsh and swift! It behooves me to take myself down a notch, every once in awhile. To explore the idea that I don’t know EVERYTHING. To keep myself humble. I don’t need any more of life’s smacks upside the head, thankyouverymuch!

There you have it! Please join me here in April, for my A-Zs of I don’t know!

Birthday List

Somebody, somewhere recently inspired me to start a Birthday List.

Every year this person makes a list of all the cool things she wants to do before her next birthday. She bases how many items to place on her list by how old she is and gets to work!

I thought it’d be fun to do something similar but since I’m impatient and don’t want to wait for my birthday, aaaaand since my birth month is six months from now I thought I’d do this:

Split the difference and create and execute half a list now and half a list in Lune! Here’s my list:

  1. Make homemade boba pearls and Use my homemade boba pearls in Brown Sugar Boba Tea.
  2. Make Salt Water Taffy.
  3. Read Forest Gump.
  4. Read Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café.
  5. Make pulled sugar candies.
  6. Make Jamie Oliver’s Jerk Ham
  7. Make soup dumplings.
  8. Make my own cheese.
  9. Make Vietnamese Egg Coffee
  10. Go for a winter hike.
  11. Treat a friend to a fancy meal.
  12. Create six pieces of art-one a month.
  13. Get Inka Trail tattoo.
  14. Watch a TEDX talk video every week.
  15. Knit 3 scarves for Chase The Chill YEG
  16. Make Honey Crullers.
  17. Celebrate something silly every month.
  18. Make yogurt out of coconut milk.
  19. Make cake doughnuts.
  20. Take Hubs out for breakfast.
  21. Throw/donate something away every day for a month.
  22. Spend one day living without time.
  23. Make fried eggs, Spanish style.

Hmmmm, this list just looks like an excuse to try a lot of food.

Ha. But there’s other stuff on there too! Knitting for charity…a thought experiment, acting on my generous thoughts instead of just thinking about them…it’s not all food!😆

Ok. Whatever. I like to eat!

Heehee.

I’ll revisit this again in Lune and we’ll see how I’ve done! Won’t you join me for your Birthday too? 😀