Friday, September 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street

This demonstration against corporate greed and lack of accountability both on wall street and in government makes me shudder. It's the G20 all over again. And it will produce the same outcome -- hundreds of innocent people will have their rights (rights to freedom of expression and association) stripped from them, the police will use unnecessary force to shut down dissension, the media will portray the protesters as a bunch of hippie anarchists and the rest of the world won't bat an eye. It makes me SICK.
So, what am I going to do about it? Pull my money out of the big bank? Sell my financial sector investments? Write a letter to my MP? SIGH. I will do nothing about it. My money is safer in the bank then under my mattress. The financial sector as evil as they are are make a shit load of money and are less risky then depleted resource of volatile tech companies. And I'm not even sure what I would say to my MP about commercial finance in Canada (we're more regulated thankfully). No, I suck. My heart is with those that are occupying wall street though. And unfortunately that's where my support starts and ends. Maybe I can do my part to raise awareness of what caused the financial crisis and also draw attention to the fact that no one has been held accountable for it. No one! xx

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hormonal Hell

I feel like I'm 12 again because it's the first time in a long time that I'm tracking my menstrual cycle -- not because I want to get pregnant, but so that I can better understand how hormones are affecting my mood. I also feel obliged to warn my partner. Today was a crazy day. It started out with a bang -- I awoke from the happiest dream and everything at work was perfect. But then I started to cramp up. By the end of the day I felt anxious and annoyed, let-down, tired and depressed. While everyone was getting dinner ready, I was sitting in the dark in my closet for nearly half an hour. What is wrong with me? And then I checked my calendar. So I took some ibuprofen, did some yoga, pigged out on chocolate and put on some Glee and now I feel much better. I wish I was more body-aware like my partner. What's causing these waves of depression? My circumstances, thoughts, hormones or all of the above.
Another factor could very well be the universe. A friend of mine noticed that she and I were having problems communicating recently. I had noticed as well, but could not explain it. In fact all my relationships were strained. And then she told me that Mercury was in retrograde. It happens three times a year and affects some people quite severely. I know very little about Astrology, but from what I've read this period is marked by personal misunderstandings flawed, disrupted, or delayed communications and negotiations. By Aug 23, I was supposedly back to normal. It won't be back again until Nov. 24th -- will be interesting to see if I am causing the behaviour because of my knowledge of the retrograde or if the retrograde provokes the change.
Well, good thing about tonight is that I put on a brave face (after I got out of the closet) and talked myself out of my darkness. Here's hoping that tomorrow is brighter. xx

Monday, September 26, 2011

Karma, why are you always on my ass?

No sooner do I toot my own horn about what a great single parent I am and how easy it was to take care of everything while my partner was on business, then Karma shows up to bitch slap me in the face with another business trip. WTF!!
Thankfully this one won't be as long. But why get me when I'm down? I need a break. Did I not show enough appreciation? I adore the kids, but I miss not having the freedom to just leave the house. I miss not having someone to defer to when I am not up to task. I miss not having the choice to be irresponsible. This sucks ass. BUT I do know for sure that I can do it alone and that I'll probably be stronger for it too.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Welcome Home!

I'm really big on letting people I care about know when they've been missed. I think we all deserve a hero's welcome when we've been away from home. I'm glad you're back. I missed you. If feels nice to know that you matter to someone else, that your absence affected them in some way. It doesn't have to be fancy (although I'll never forget how special I felt when an old boyfriend picked me up at the airport with flowers). It just has to be sincere. I even let colleagues know I'm glad to have them back in the office. Think of the good vibes you get when dear pet greets you at the door, especially after you've had a shitty day.

For me welcoming someone home is right up there with wishing them on their birthday. A birthday wish says "I'm happy that you were born." I've taken it upon myself to wish all my friends, family and colleagues, regardless if they wish me. I suppose people figure that aging past certain milestones should not be celebrated. Not me. I hope the kids learn from my example. I know that tomorrow they will adorn their dad with hugs and kisses and that it will be straight from the heart. I can't wait to see it for myself.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

You Can Do It!

I deserve a gold star, if I don't say so myself. I survived two weeks of single parenthood and did a bang up job. Not only did I do my partner's regular chores -- baths, teeth, reading, garbage and dishes, but I also got down on the ground and PLAYED with the kids. We wrestled, did acrobatics, biked, baked, did crafts, played floor hockey, sang, danced. I don't know what I was dreading because it was FUN. The discipline was tough because I forgot how much I defer to my partner. I also missed not getting a break until after 10 pm and I missed exercise. But what a great experience to show me how capable I truly am and to make me grateful for having a super partner to share the load. I had forgotten about this since running the half last year -- the old adage is true -- "you can do anything you put your mind to".

I want, I want, I want

I spent a lot of time this week going off on how crappy my life is. "I want what they have." "I want my partner to do that to me." "I want simplicity". "I want to not want money."
How about wanting what you have D? Because what I have is pretty amazing. I don't even have to compare my life to the rest of the world to realize how good I have it. Appreciate. It's all about perception. If you're content with what you have, you have no reason to want anything more and surprise surprise you realize that you are indeed HAPPY!


It really burns me to see people pushing their beliefs and lifestyle on others especially when what they are selling is a load of horse shit. I feel it's particularly irresponsible to convince those in under-developed countries that our way of life is the ideal. Just look at how well we've exported our plastic garbage, manufactured entertainment, and selfish profit motive overseas. In doing so, we've messed with their perception of happiness and created in them a burning desire for materialism and consumerism. And they have no idea of all the dysfunction that emanates. This is not to say that we should not be grateful for the rights, freedoms and opportunities we have. We are fortunate in so many ways. But there's also a dark side to wealth. And we hide it so well -- the waste, the debt, the exploitation, the meds, the destruction.

When I hear others singing the praises of 'progress', I want so badly to cast a spotlight on the other side. A balanced viewpoint would curb people's enthusiasm for our destructive lifestyle. Perhaps it's just human nature to want what you don't have. I just feel like they are impressionable and that we are corrupting their spirit. Instead, we are the ones that need to take a page out of their lifestyle and learn from their simplicity, connection to nature and altruism.

This isn't a particularly uplifting post tonight, but I needed to get this out of my head before I go ape shit on my French prof again. Progress is not building a 900km highway in Africa, it's feeding and educating the planet.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Stay-at-home parenting

What would our lives be like if I took a leave of absence from work and stayed at home with the kids? Visions of breaking up fights, wracking my brain for ideas to entertain them and being driven mad with their whining and fussing immediately come to mind. But then there's the connection that only comes from spending time together. I would get to experience every milestone with them. I'd be there after a rough day at school. I wouldn't feel like I am shirking my parenting responsibilities on daycare. I'd have time to take care of everyone, including myself. It seems simple enough. My youngest is still young enough to make it worth while. DO IT!
But then there's the part of me that identifies with my job. I am more than someone's mother. I have my own thing going on. Work is also my escape. I like the money too, even if half goes to daycare. And yet I know that I will have regrets about not doing this. The kids need me now, not when we finally pay off our debt. What to do? Nothing. Not brave enough.

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I keep going back and forth on the virtues of relationships. Monogomy keeps us grounded and helps us grow as we overcome adversity together. But it also makes us painfully unhappy. My married friends complain that they hate feeling obligated to make their partners happy, to have to do things for them, to get shit for forgetting about their anniversary, and to always worry about how their actions will affect their partner's feelings. They're tired of living "the dream".

This is precisely why I dislike asking my partner to do anything for me. If he doesn't want to do it of his own free will, than I am nothing more than a ball and chain. I don't ever want to be any body's fucking ball and chain. I hear this on a regular basis from my partner -- you're the one that wanted kids, not me. Fuck you! What a cop out. I feel like I'm the one that pressured him into this marriage and am holding a gun to his head to stay. GO! PLEASE, JUST LEAVE. Be free. Stop making me feel like a prison warden.

The thing about unconditional love is that you want to do your best by the other person. It makes you happy to do things for them. You have a genuine concern for their feelings. It hurts to see them hurt. You remember your anniversary because it was one of the happiest days of your life. This is the real thing. Or is it just a woman talking from her own female perspective?

Relationships, who needs 'em! Grrr

Monday, September 12, 2011


I never thought I'd say this about academics, but I'm thinking of doing my Masters (in information management). So many thoughts running through my head -- first up, why do I want this? What will it really give me that I don't already have? It will give me credentials and the confidence to do not only my job, but practically any job in my field. That is, if the program is as good as others claim. An MBA seemed like a natural progression from my B.Comm, but I just couldn't see myself doing more boring case studies and spewing mgmt theory bullshit. Plus it's a saturated market and everyone knows how annoying know-it-all MBAs are. The MIM is a new program at Dalhousie -- it's the right combination of librarianship, IT, records management and business analysis. I think it will fill in my knowledge gaps nicely and give me the edge I need to stay on top of my game.

So what's holding me back? The commitment: part time studies will put a strain on my family. My partner will resent having to do more, the kids will see their mother less, I'll have to give up socializing, exercise and downtime spent reading, surfing and watching TV. Our lives will suck for three years. Is the pay off really worth it?

Assuming my partner agrees to let me do this (big IF), how can I minimize the pain? Some ideas: look for small windows of study time (e.g. in the early morning, at work during lunch, while I'm waiting for the kids at their activities). Take a pay cut to work fewer hours. Make more efficient use of my time doing chores. Get a maid. Buy prepared meals or order take out once in a while. Ask my parents or in laws for help with the kids -- taking them to their activities, picking them up after school, etc. Make it up to my partner (he already gets enough sex, but I could try a bit harder to please him, oh brother).

I feel like my mind is already made up and that I will do this. I'm not worried about failing because I'm a good student and I have a pretty sound knowledge base in IM. K, sign me up. Halifax here I come!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Intoxicating New Love

Listed to the most fascinating interview with Sarah Polly on Q last night. She had a lot to say about relationships in regards to her latest film which I can't wait to see. What really stuck in my head was her take on why new love is so intoxicating. She said that a new relationship gives you the opportunity to reinvent yourself. You see yourself through your lovers eyes. And since they don't really know you yet, they only see the good. You get to wash away all the bad -- the things you don't like about yourself. You get to revel in their love of you, the very best you. The disappointment that we experience once the lustre wears off is the bad that inevitably returns and we are once again forced to live with our old selves. This really struck a chord. I've heard people say that they love how their lover makes them feel about themselves. And although it rings true, I don't like to admit that because it seems awfully selfish. What about the person you supposedly love -- isn't it their wonderful qualities that you cherish?

I think we are attracted to people who have qualities we'd like to see developed in ourselves. We emulate them and are grateful that they bring out our best. When I think back to our early days, I remember being impressed with how laid back my partner was. Nothing upset him. I wanted to have that too and his serenity was contagious. I also loved that he appreciated what I thought were my worst character flaws. As selfish as it sounds, I fell in love the day he told me that he loved how out-spoken I was. Of course, I am now the more laid back between the two of us and he's done an about face.

Back to Sarah's sentiment. She said that people who crave new love are usually insecure. This too I have heard before. I thought that it had to do with the need for attention. But it makes more sense to me when I think about it in terms of new love giving you the opportunity to ignore your imperfections, albeit temporarily. Hey, if we just loved ourselves more, faults and all then maybe we'd be satisfied in our long term relationships.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

I can't say enough good things about your partner

Come again? Twice in one week someone has told me about how great a soccer coach my partner is. His passion for the game is genuine and he's amazing with kids so it shouldn't be a surprise to hear other people singing his praises. But they're not just talking about his coaching, they think he's an AMAZING GUY. WTF?
I'm grateful for the perspective -- appreciate what you have D and what you have is pretty darn good. But then I'm also resentful that I get the shitty end of the stick. I often quietly watch my partner in public -- he's so engaging with others and his smile and laughter is so infectious. I want to be with THAT guy! -- not the miserable, cold and demanding jack ass that is my partner. The same is true for me. I am sweet as pie with others, even more so since my niceness manifesto. And I am a complete bitch at home -- miserable, cold and demanding. *Sigh*. Is this what marriage has done? We used to bring out each other's best. Our private time together was bliss. Now we are one in the same -- UNHAPPY. I'm clearly getting what I'm giving. But I'm too tapped out and stubborn to try and turn this around.
For now, I'll take this as a sign from the universe to cut him some slack, let go of resentment and just open my eyes to see the good person in front of me. Thank you universe.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Making Nice

This is still a new way of life for me, being considerate of other people's feelings, resisting the urge to criticize, putting peace ahead of the need to be right. I can see it working in some of my relationships. Friends and colleagues seem more at ease with me and I like the feeling of being in people's good books. But then there's the real D on the inside who wants to tear a strip off her partner and hurt his feelings to feel good. I worry that my niceness is just a cover-up and that the real me will explode with words that cannot be taken back.

Some would argue that it's just plain old honesty and that we should be strong enough to take the bad with the good. I'm not so sure. Criticism builds resentment which erodes relationships. Sure, in the heat of the moment, you give your partner room to 'let you have it' and you don't take it personally when they are frustrated. But some of it sticks and continues to hurt and also builds up over time.

Even though there's bile bubbling up inside me, the small victories give me hope that this could stick. Take today, we drove all the way out to Michael's to use a coupon on two frames. I bought the first one and returned to the car so that my partner could by the 2nd one (limit one per customer? pshaw! yes, I am THAT cheap - I am my Dad). Typically, he bought the wrong one (even after I showed him which one to buy) and I didn't realize this until we were home. I did make a big stink about it, so I can't say that I'm converted (my sister would've quietly returned it without a word). But what I didn't do was get personal (e.g. why does this always happen, I can't count on you, you are such a fuck up, etc.). K, that last one even I wouldn't say. When I pointed out the error, he laughed, acted all silly, made the kids laugh and I had a good chuckle too. Much better!