Progress

It doesn’t take much progress to feel like you are on your way. It just takes a willingness to do the next small step towards your goal. And then the next small step.

I try to do a little bit towards my goals each day. I have a LOT of goals at the moment because life is feeling very chaotic. We as a family unit need to bring in more income. That means quite a few changes are occurring and will continue to occur until a few things are set up and running.

Every choice in life that we make is progress towards our goals or it’s not. Right now I am all about progress, even tiny little ripples of progress. But still, progress!

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Is it almost time?

There have been a few times in the past 24 months or so when I have wondered if we are facing a similar future to Europeans in the mid-1930s before the Second World War. The first World War was less about ideology and more about a military alliance, and who will join the fight to protect their allies. The second world war was more about genocide. Politically motivated, but still, genocide occurred in horrific numbers. I am simplifying the causes and reasons for both wars here I realize. My point isn’t an in-depth look at history. But, I wonder if the people pre-WW2 asked themselves the following questions I am asking myself now:

  • Is the world going crazy?
  • Is there a good side and a bad side?
  • Will I fight to support everyone’s human and civil rights? (the answer is yes)
  • Do I believe the propaganda spewed from many media sources? (no, I don’t)
  • I don’t understand disliking someone let alone hating them based on their religion, culture, class, sexual orientation, ability, race, etc.
  • Does anyone believe what the liars are saying in the news? Why are they allowed to blatantly lie? Why is no one stopping them from convincing more people of their lies?
  • When did outright lies become okay? Did I miss something, or did they?
  • I seriously can’t understand how someone could truthfully vote for Trump and think he was the right choice unless they were also old superrich white dudes who only care about money)? Did Germans vote for Hitler the same way? Could they see the truth?
  • Would I protect my neighbour if the police came to take them away? (not sure I would, at least at the beginning)
  • Would I recognize that the police didn’t / shouldn’t have that authority? (seriously not sure I would?)
  • I have stopped to think about what side of history I want to be on, did they before it all began?
  • Are we as humans destined to repeat history over and over again just making it worse and worse?
  • Why do any humans hate another group of humans for being different than them? Why don’t they celebrate that difference?

On this Remembrance Day, I appreciate the sacrifice of so many young men and woman in previous wars that have made that has given me the freedom to live my life and write in this little corner of the internet. I also appreciate all of the everyday people who risked their own lives to help their fellow humans, even when not everyone believed them to be human and worthy of help. I wonder if, in a few years, I will be in a similar situation as some of them were making the choice of risking my life for the greater good and protection of those deemed exterminateable. Because I would and I will if it comes to that.

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(*whispers* and it might)

Life is Short

A life is very very short in comparison to the age of the planet. It is but the blink of an eye. But, it means so very much to us when we are living it!

But, what will be left behind after you and I are gone? Will we leave a legacy of some kind? Many people choose to leave their legacy in children that they raise. I won’t be going down that path. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have something to contribute to the next generation after me. I will leave a legacy through the people I help with organization and productivity. I will also leave a legacy of kindness and compassion. This is what I wish to leave behind. And, to love and be loved.

I would like to believe that many generations of women before me have wanted to leave love and kindness examples to the next generation. And, that I am picking up on those examples and paying them forward in my own way.

Change

Are you the same person you were in High School? For me, I would say that I am not. I have changed and grown a great deal since High School. Most of it for the better. I think if I had some curse and was transported back to high school as the person I am right now I would do so so sooo many things differently.

How am I different?

I am much more accepting of difference among others. Just because someone dresses a certain way doesn’t mean they can’t be my friend. I was fairly judgey and was judged back then. I was not a cool kid, but I was also not an outcast. I was in an odd middle ground. I can see the pain in some peoples lives looking back that I would acknowledge if I went back, and befriend them.

I would actually try at school. I didn’t really try. I didn’t try my first time around at University either. I just coasted with minimal effort. I am blessed with enough intelligence that I could. If I could spend more time with the few really good teachers I had, that would be amazing.

I would likely have more genuine friendships if I had opened up to people more been more vulnerable. Shown that I cared. I had a lot that happened in junior high that seriously impacted my high school years and ability to make and keep friendships.

I would stand up for myself and not be such a pushover. I dated because it seemed like everyone else was, not necessarily because I wanted to. And, let others dictate what I did.

I would appreciate both my ability and my love of figure skating. Even then I knew I loved it, and I knew it wasn’t something I would have forever. But, I miss the simple joy of skating and the meditation that was figures.

I would appreciate all the things big and small that my mother did for me.

If my teen years were a snow globe it would look ‘perfect’ from the outside looking in. It really wasn’t inside the snow globe, but on the surface, it would seem idyllic.

None of this can happen. I can just appreciate that I have grown and learned so much about myself and others since those teen years. And, appreciate that I will (hopefully) have another forty or so years to grow and change even more. I wonder what changes are in store?

Real Power

Our real power is in our ability to step back and look at what we have control of. I can feel like I don’t have choices like the world is a big dumpster fire, and well it seems to be right now. But, that is not something I have control over.

What a politician does or does not do is out of my control, my only control is my vote (and my right to protest and letter write to my representatives). The media might be super negative and ranting about how horrible everything is, my control is to limit my media consumption. My employer might be a horrible bully (mine isn’t this is an example!), my control is finding alternative employment.

When our world feels like it has completely gone off access and we have no hope or positivity left. Remember, you can control your thoughts and your actions. You still have the ability to show kindness in the face of hatred. You can help the older lady at the store reach something on a high shelf. You can say a kind word to a stranger. You can be kinder to your family than you would a stranger.

You have within you the power to change this world, one interaction at a time. The trick is to know that you can only control yourself and no one else. And to let go of what others think or do.

Goals

We (hopefully) will all wake up tomorrow. We don’t know what is in store for us tomorrow. We can have a full plan, go to work, go to the grocery store, come home, cook dinner, go to bed.

But, there are so many factors that could derail one or all of those plans. Does that mean we shouldn’t plan? Of course not. It just means that we should hold any plans that we make very loosely in our hands. We hope this is how our day goes, but, like I did yesterday, we might get a panicked call from a parent with a flat tire and in need of help. There are so many outside forces that could derail the plans that we make.

Just because our plans could get derailed doesn’t mean that we should give up and just go with the flow and not do the things that we know are good for us. I went to the gym tonight and worked out. I could have come up with a thousand excuses to not go. But, I still got myself there. I eat very healthily because I have health concerns that make good food a priority. I get 9 hours of sleep/rest every night because I know I need more than most people. I have figured out the things I need to do that are best for me.

I guess my point is to make sure that you make the best of plans to improve your life, but if you get derailed occasionally don’t beat yourself up over it. Because, hopefully, you get to try again tomorrow.

Election

I have been eligible to vote for 22 years. In all that time I have voted in all municipal, provincial, and federal elections, except one. We had a massive snowstorm and I quite literally couldn’t get to the poll. It was too cold to walk a long distance without serious threat of frostbite and I had an old beater car at the time that wouldn’t have made it. My only comfort was that it was a federal election and my province’s population honestly doesn’t count that much towards the winning party. And, the federal parties know this and don’t waste tax dollars or promotion dollars out here.

I’m not going to get all political about the US election. But, if you have read any of my other posts you could likely figure out my political leanings at least between Republicans and Democrats in the US. Perhaps not my Canadian political leanings as we are a lot more complicated up here.

I don’t really care how you vote, I just care that you do. Many (many, many) people sacrificed their lives so that we have the freedoms that we do on this continent. You have one major civic duty that I feel you must perform and that is to go out and vote. You voting makes the sacrifice of those people who came before you worthwhile. It makes our governments (hopefully) function in the best interest of the majority of people. It makes our societies work and will make our governments accountable to the people.

To me who you vote for matters about as much as who your sexual partners are. As long as you did your research and made an INFORMED choice for your representative and choose who you think will govern best, I don’t care. As long as you made an informed choice and are consenting adults, I don’t care what goes on in your bedroom.

One huge caveat. If you choose not to vote. And, yes it is a choice there is nothing short of a medical coma that should/could/would stop you from voting. If you make the conscious choice to NOT vote. I don’t think you have the right to voice ANY opinion AT ALL on politics/healthcare/education/welfare/social security/political parties/lobbyists/pipelines/Indigenous people’s rights/laws/Mineral Rights/Off-shore Drilling Rights/environmental protection/restrictions on political power/etc/etc. You choose not to perform your civic duty which is your voice. You do NOT get to voice your personal opinions after the fact until the next election. I don’t want to hear it.