Category Archives: Rant Rock

Rant Rock: Villains aren’t always bad

Have you ever been made out to be the villain? I have. A lot. And I’m fucking sick of it.

I am so sick of the few people who have been in my life telling me what a shit person I am, how I have no moral compass, pointing out over, and over, and over again all the mistakes I’ve made in my lifetime.

Guess what?  I’ve made mistakes…TA DA!  I am a human being.

Guess what else?  YOU have all made mistakes. YOU all have emotional damage that you need to deal with.  YOU keep fucking shit up just as much as I do.  Guess what else? YOU are also human.

For years (Fucking Y.E.A.R.S. ), I have been a jumble of nerves and anxiety worrying about what hammer was going to fall next. I have walked on eggshells for over a decade and it resulted in me questioning myself. I allowed all of those hits and jabs and pokes to land directly on my esteem and self-confidence. You know the old saying “if everyone around you seems to be the problem, perhaps YOU are the problem”…yeah, that stuck in my head so when a select few and I had problems over and over again, I really started to believe maybe I was the major malfunction but you know what? FUCK THAT.  I have come to realize that while I am certainly part of the problem, I am most definitely not ALL of it.  My wacko magnet was on overdrive when it came to those folks.

The really shitty part of all of this is, the ones who were constantly throwing mud in my face and daggers in my heart were the people I always thought cared about me most.  How fucked up is that?  They were supposed to be part of my “family”.  I held them in such high regard and for what? To be disrespected? To be misrepresented? To be dragged through hell and back and then back to hell and then back again?

It has always felt as though the standard to which I am measured is so much higher than everyone else’s.  For instance, if I make a mistake, have a differing opinion, or even just make decisions a little differently than they would, not only is it analyzed, criticized and judged but it’s stored away in the “let’s save this for later” vault to be thrown back in my face at every turn in the road BUT if I took the same approach with them, I would be characterized as a bitch, emotionally unstable, explosive, unreasonable, etc, etc, etc.

Who does that?

For a long time I kept my anger repressed. I felt that in order for me to journey down the path of self-growth and self-awareness, I wasn’t allowed to be angry but then I realized that if I don’t get my anger out, I will never get past it. It will just sit and fester like a bubbling mass of ick. That ick will turn to sludge and it will make my path to peace a very hard one to tread. Impossible really. So I’m allowing myself to be angry. I deserve to be angry.

Allowing my anger out and allowing myself to acknowledge the good AND bad parts of me is the first step in taking the power of me away from those who don’t deserve it and putting it back in the hands of its rightful owner. Me.

If someone doesn’t like me or want me in their lives, that’s really their issue. I’m not a big bad monster who goes around hurting people and making their lives difficult. As a matter of fact, I’m one of the helpers in the world. I go out of my way to try and make those around me happy. I try my damnedest to give people what they need, be that a hug, a kind word, a beer, a pair of socks…whatever. And if the very fact that I’m a human being isn’t good enough for some people well then it’s time to say they are not welcome as a part of my life.

I will no longer walk on eggshells. I will no longer be afraid to be me.

eggshells

 

Hypocrites and High Horses

Looks like I’m shaking off the dust of this rusty old blog once again…I’ve teetered on the decision to send a letter or email vs not saying anything and neither seems to sit well with me but what I’ve got to say has got to be said, just so I can let it go.

Dear You,

Once upon a time ago, about ten years ago actually, I met you with great angst. You made it very clear that I wasn’t wanted in this family nor would I be accepted easily by you. One thing you perhaps didn’t count on is that I rise to a challenge. So I set out to be accepted into the family, what I failed to realize were the unintended consequences of doing so. Over the years I have put you on a pedestal, for what reason? I’m not too sure but I did. I looked up to you and allowed myself to think and believe that you know better, live better, are better. I am learning to accept the fool in me. And that’s exactly what I was. A fool.

Over the years you and your husband and made comment after comment after comment about my life, my issues, my family, the way I live, the decisions I made/make, the way I parent, the way I talk to my husband, the relationship between me and my husband, really there has been nothing sacred that you two didn’t offer your “opinions” on or make some comment about. And I allowed it, worse even I believed it. I believed you two knew better. What a fucking crock of shit.

You are one of the worst hypocrites I have ever come across in my life. You talk to and about my husband, your brother-in-law, as though he is a shit human being and like he takes everything from you two. Open your fucking eyes. He asked his brother for help around his house. Big fucking whoop. That shouldn’t be something that is even used or held above someone’s head. One brother should be able to ask another brother for help without score being kept. The same person who you talk down to is also the same person who has rarely missed a child’s basketball game to which your husband didn’t go to. Why? Because he couldn’t “deal” with it or he was sitting at home sending naked pictures of his cock to strange women. Klassy. This “shit human” is also the same man who tore apart a bedroom so YOU could have somewhere to sleep while your husband was out fucking other women and refused to give you some much-needed space. Awesome. And again, same guy who has taken your kid camping, to parades, and has generally been there when your guy flakes out. But you won’t acknowledge that, you don’t give that to him.

You know, there are a long list of things I am finally, finally!, getting pissed off about but the one thing that sickens me to the actual core is how you’ve handled the last situation. Somehow, your husband was out F-U-C-K-I-N-G other women but somehow that’s my fault? Instead of being honest (whoa, what a concept) you are telling my nieces that *I* am to blame. I didn’t, and don’t, have control over where your man sticks his dick. I didn’t, and haven’t, offered undue “opinions or input” into your marriage. *I* wasn’t the cause of the infidelity but you are certainly comfortable placing blame. You know, I was there for your kid for years, especially when you couldn’t be. The Easter you went fishing or whatever with your Dad and your “man” was supposed to do Easter with us? Yeah, he dropped girlie off and we didn’t see him for three days….guess I had control of his junk then too, right? BUT…she still had Easter even though her Mom was away and her Dad was out trolling. You’re welcome. When you had to leave to be with your nephew, guess who still had a birthday party? And guess who did that? Your daughter has fabulous memories of camping, parades, family picnics, Easter dinner, Christmas dinner, and many more and guess who played a MAJOR factor in that? Yeah, that’d be me. I laugh a little now when I hear you’re doing family dinners and cooking Easter supper…all I can do is laugh a little. They say imitation is the best form of flattery…so I’m flattered.
You know, I’ve thought back to that day…you know the one? The one where I actually told you that your husband was sleeping with other woman and had continued to lie to you even after he said he didn’t. Yeah, that one…and I wonder if, knowing what I know now, would I have chosen differently. There is a part of me, a very mean part of me, that wishes I hadn’t told you. That part of me figures I should have just let it run its course and watched when it blew up in your face. I mean, he was pursuing women pretty aggressively and lots of people circling you were talking about it so it was only a matter of time. I kind of wish you hadn’t been given the opportunity to contain it and keep it private and I had the opportunity to watch those fake ass masks you two wear blow off BUT in the end, I am glad I told you. I know how important keeping your private affairs is to you, and I’m glad that you could do that to some extent and I’m glad you know the truth. So, in answer to myself, no I wouldn’t have done anything differently. If you two work things out, great. If not, that’s your story to write. Either way it goes, I’m kind of relieved, albeit saddened, that I’m out of it.

In the end of all of this, you know what irks me off the most? Is the fact that even if I said any of this directly to you, none of it would get through that thick skull of yours. You are incapable of considering my viewpoint and you have an incredible ability to disapprove of something I do, even when you’re doing it yourself. Brava on that talent by the way, it’s called double standards if you’re ever curious to learn more.

Anyway, there is a lot more that I can vent away about but really, what good is it going to do? I hope you learn how to be honest going forward, with yourself, your family, your spouse and everyone in your life. I know I’ve learned how and I’ll keep on being that way.

*dismounts my high horse*

Ciao.

Closure Exposure

Closure Disclaimer:

I was sent a “closure” email recently and I’ve contemplated responding to it but haven’t. That being said, I do need to have my say.  To be able to get these words out.  Somewhere.  So, like all things, I turned to my little web-corner and I’ve decided to have my say here.  These are my words.  My feelings.  My thoughts and my opinions.  If you don’t want to hear it or read it, please close your browser now. 

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Dear So-and-So,

I recevied your “closure” email but quite frankly, I don’t care if you have “closure”  or not.  So the next time you feel inspired to write a piece of hate mail, leave me out of it.  I am tired of hearing the same old hashed-out insults and complaints.  I wanted to reply but, as you will soon find out, I have nothing nice to say to you.  That being said, I do need some closure for my own self so that I finally start the healing of this hurt. 

Everytime I start to think about what to write, I get so exasperated I can barely think. Your behaviour and attitude is beyond comprehension.  Your words are contradictory, your behaviour is erradic and overall this whole situation is nonsensical. 

Let me start by saying I am furious with you and the things said below come from a place of bitterness, disappointment, and embarassment. I am downright incensed with the person you’ve grown into and the behaviour you’ve demonstrated and I need to get this out. I always thought you were better than any of this but I was so wrong.  You are fake.  You are a liar.  You are entitled. You are destructive and you are hurtful.  You spew hate and hurt toward this family yet you act as if you are the “hurt” one.  Stop playing the victim and start owning up to your own behaviour.  You haven’t grown, you haven’t changed, you haven’t done one goddamn thing you preach about yet you expect praise because you’re going to school?  Let me tell you girl, it’s going to take a helluva lot more than a college diploma before I believe one ounce of breath that leaves your body.

In your email, you thanked me for being a parent to you when neither of your bio-parents were able.  You know, it may have meant something to me if you hadn’t spent the rest of your time bashing my character.  I’m not sure who you think you are but until you are faced with having to make the same decisions, you are unqualified to judge my actions and my decisions.  Being your parent was hellish at times.  I spent more hours crying about, worrying over, and double guessing my decisions than any one person should have.  I spent my early 20’s dealing with your shitty attitude and behaviour and oh look, now spending my early 30’s doing exactly the same thing.

Your words, your behaviour, your actions have caused me more hurt in my life than anything else.  That’s because they used to mean something to me.  Your opinion of me, meant something.  That’s starting to change.  See, all those years I’d find little notes about you wishing your Dad would leave me, all those years where you felt it necessary to impart your opinion on our relationship, all the times you’ve yelled, screamed, pitched fits about how crappy your life was are taking their toll. 

You’ve always made your opinion of your Dad’s and my relationship known and that obviously isn’t about to change.  My response to that is “Butt Out”.  It is none of your business.  My relationship with your Dad is between us.  Keep it to yourself.  In my opinion, you would be lucky to find someone as kind, caring, loving and considerate as your Dad. 

Another one of your many complaints is that your Dad chose me over you but you’ve failed to explain exactly how he’s done that.   It’s time to lay that to rest.  It’s obvious your Dad loves you.  It’s obvious he’s been there for you, there were times when he could have been there more but overall, I’d say he’s been pretty involved in your life.  I challenge you to do the math of how many years you’ve lived with your Dad, spent weekends with your Dad and then talk to me about how he was never there or chose someone else.  Until you can come up with compelling facts, backed up by people other than just your Mother’s Camp, your complaints fall on deaf ears.

The thing that has bothered me the most in all of this is how you are constantly slinging mud at your Dad.  You know, if he ever said the things to you that you’ve been saying to him, you would go on the war path like no one has ever seen.  It would serve to validate every little real or imagined injustice you have felt through your life.  You would use it against him for all time and show every person how awful and mean your Dad is.  You know, people are in your life for a short period of time and one day, you will miss your Dad.  One day, you may regret the things you’ve said to him.  One day, your Dad will be gone and I sincerely hope that regret weighs heavy in your heart and on your soul. 

I am constantly amazed at how you expect others to accept you, believe in you and look past your mistakes but you aren’t willing to give the same consideration to other people.  We’ve apologized for our parenting mistakes time and time again but that’s simply not good enough for you.  I have a news flash for you – we are people too. 

The bitter-hearted part of me sometimes wishes I could go back and take back every birthday party, every special holiday, every hug, every inside joke, every new anything and the shopping splurges, every time I did put you before my own children, every time I referenced you as my own daughter, every Saturday morning family cuddle, take the flower that represents you off of my body, basically take back every little piece of me I’ve ever given you. That is pure anger talking and it’s going to take time for me to work through that.

Beyond the bitterness and anger, beyond the hurt and brokenheart, this has made me stronger.  In the past, I would have bottled everything up inside.  The end result of that being an explosive response when I just couldn’t take anymore.  Now, I’m reaching out to people in my life and it’s a really good feeling.  I have kind, considerate folks who are willing to listen to me.  They help me talk through the hurt and the pain and support me in my growth.  It gives me renewed strength and energy to face the next time you enter my life.  It is a great feeling and I’m happy that I’m able to establish stronger relationships and really value them as they should be.  Our family is more honest and supportive of one another.  We are stronger because of this and are re-evaluating relationships we may have otherwise overlooked. 

Over the years we have included you in every family gathering, every family function, worked so hard to make you feel important, to make you feel loved and valued and at the end of the day, it was all superficial.  We never meant anything to you.  You keep saying “we aren’t your real family” over and over and for the longest time I didn’t want to believe it but that’s probably the only truthful thing you’ve said. 

We aren’t your real family.  To you, we never were.  It sucks for all of us because to us, it was very real.

Hey You! Sixteen and stupid

Have you seen or heard the commercial or youtube video or whatever that outlines a letter to your sixteen year old self? Yeah, me too. And it got me to thinking, what would I say to my sixteen year old self? What advice or wisdom would I impart on her? Not that she’d listen…my 16 year old self was an idiot. Anyway, here goes…

Dear You,

I am you but you sixteen years from now. Yeah ok, feel better now that your eyes have rolled all over your face? Good. Don’t do that again. You look like an idiot.

Let me level with you here kid. Things are ugly right now and unless you change some things, it’s only going to get uglier. So, you can do things the right way or you can continue to do things your way. Me, as you 16 years in the future, would really like you to do things the right way. I know you’re not going to but still. Let’s break this down bit by bit, ok?

First, school. Stay in it. I get that Skull Baby is hot. Like H.O.T. I get it, I remember him well. Your relationship? Yeah, it’s going to end in about…oh…3 weeks. School? That shit is not going away. Just suck it up, get ‘er done. Oh yeah, and participate while you’re IN school. One day, you’ll look back and really, really wish you had. You’re not unpopular, you’re not bullied so live it up. High school. It’s hell and awesome. There will never be anything like it so embrace it. Once you’re done school, go to University. Think you’re too cool huh? Well, right now, you’re trying to raise kids, pay a mortgage, work your ass off AND figure out how to afford and fit school into that kind of schedule. So, um, suck it up. Get it done. Get a bachelor’s degree. That’s a good plan.

Remember that relationship I mentioned earlier? It’s actually a pivotal time in your life. SURPRISE!

You’re going to cheat on Skull Baby with his best Bud. Don’t. It doesn’t turn out well and it sort-of sets the stage for later years. Not going to listen? Ok, fine. Then when it all goes to shit, and you are set up with Hippy Boy as a distraction, practice safe sex with him. What if you don’t? Well, then we’ll end up here…and you’ll be a mom in 2 years. Promise. Ok, so you’re not going to pay heed to my warning, that’s cool. I like the kids, yeah I said k.i.d.S., he gives you. Hippy Boy is going to change your life. You think he’s “the One”. WAKE UP! He lives in a fucking CAR! He is NOT the One. He will be the one who takes your security, tramples on your self esteem, makes you feel smaller than a speck of dust.

Speaking of self esteem and security. Learn how to build your self esteem. You aren’t fat. You aren’t ugly. You aren’t stupid. Actually, quite the contrary. You are smart. You are beautiful and you have an eating disorder. Get help. The reasons you have those issues run deep. They will stay with you for a long time. Get help. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and you WILL live a better life because of it.

Don’t fight with your Mom. Talk to her. You two can’t get along? You’re not the first. Figure out another living arrangement. Go to a group home or go to a teen’s shelter. Otherise, you will be sleeping in parks. Yes, I mean outside. Yes, I mean alone. You will be terrified. Believe me. I’ve been there. Also, go to Alanon. You need it.

Get your driver’s license. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD GET YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE! You will regret this later in life. I don’t care if you don’t use. Shred it for all I care but get it. Have it. Keep it.

Oh yeah, stop smoking. Leave the dope alone. Practice safe sex. Be responsible.

Basically it boils down to this, you are making risky decisions. I totally get you can’t see the consequences and I totally get how a lot of your home-life situations were tough and you just want to escape, I’m not denying that. I’m just saying that your escape can be so much easier than it will be if you continue down this path. A little teeth grtting will save you so much energy later in life.

I know you aren’t going to listen. I am you afterall. I know that your stubborness and refusal to give in will get you through but it will tire you out.

Some other words of advice: your Mom is going to borrow money for a downpayment. Get those terms in writing, in a contract that’s been reviewed by a lawyer. Otherwise, you will lose out. There will be an opportunity for you to buy a house. Take it. Put your kids in private school. It’ll be worth it. Don’t give in to drinking and eating excessively. You will struggle with weight gain in later years. Stay in touch with friends. You will miss them in years to come.

Dawn of Realization

Have you ever heard the phrase “dawn of realization”?  I always thought that I knew what that meant.  And apparently I’ve been wrong for quite some time.  I know, I know, mark your calendars.  I clumped in “dawn of realization” with all those other hippy, dippy phrases people use to describe some epiphanic moment in their lives.  It’s not a hippy dippy phrase though…it’s an actual thing!

So, at the beginning of January, I jumped back on the Wonder Weightloss Wagon and so far, I have had success!  For the first time ever, the weight that I put on (after my dumbass drunken manouver stellar display of gymnastics resulting in two blown out knees) is melting off.  It. Feels. Awesome.  Naturally, whilst one is attempting to lose weight, food becomes a MAJOR focus in your life.  (Hint, we are passed the Iamcompletelyblindingmyselftinthedeadofnight point of my realization).  So, naturally, all I think about is food.  Bad. Idea.  When one who is addicted to (glimpse of realization) food, thinking about it incessantly, is kind of like putting a chunk (rock? block? hit?) of heiron in front of a skitzed out junkie and telling them to just look at it.  Riiiight.  When a foodunkie (yep, still making words up yo) thinks about food, they aren’t thinking about how nourishing that bunch of kale is going to be or fantasizing about how that quinoa is going to provide you with hunger-satisfying protein for the rest of the day; they are telling the voice screaming that the double chocolate-dipped triple big mac you’re staring down is bad for them to SHUT THE @#$% UP! 

A foodunkie is in love with food like a 15 year old girl is in love with their first boyfriend.  It’s obsessive.  It’s all-consuming.  It’s unhealthy.  Food is not something that we should be using to occupy our time, fulfill wants, or to fix some emotional problem we don’t feel like looking at.  Except that is exactly what’s going on.  Food is fuel.  Pure and simple.  It will only make you feel better if you’re hungry.  Otherwise, that “good” feeling you’re expecting is really guilt, shame and defeat.  I’ve decided (which can be interpreted as the first twinges of twilight) that I need to break up with food.  And no, I’m not going to go on a hunger strike or stop eating but I am going to stop thinking about it.  I am determined to think about food when I’m hungry and it’s time to eat (and apparently while I blog).  Then I will be faced with a choice.  Then it comes down to healthy choices.  (oh, look at the pretty pink my realization is turning)…

So, in thinking of food and how I think about food, I realized that this really is the end of the line for my eating habits.  It really is like a bad breakup.  I thought to myself, this is a “for life” thing.  This isn’t a journey where I’ll get to my goal weight and be all like BOOM!  Break out the Burger King and double dip that @#$% in double chocolate.  Why would I waste all of that effort?  This was really my dawn of realization.  Basically, it comes down to this. My health, my nourishment, my body and my self image are worth fighting for.  It’s a looooong, up hill battle.  There will be times when I’m tired, discouraged and pissed right the hell off and I acknowledge that BUT there will also be times when I’m super motivated, when I achieve success, when I get to buy that gorgeous shirt because it @#$%ing fits!  There will be a time when I look at the lines in my shoulders and be happy and there will be a time when this conversation leaves my daily dialogue.  It will become my new way of life.

So bare with me while I’m inconsisten in blogging, when I rant about not being able to eat and drink my face off AND achieve my goals and while I work through all the issues surrounding how I became a foodunkie. 

WTF?!?!!?  I was kidding about the chocolate dipped burger
WTF?!?!!? I was kidding about the chocolate dipped burger

The Bitch about Blogging

I started my very first journal when I was young, perhaps around 10 or so, and I’ve been going at it ever since. My first diary was filled with, quite literally, random babble. A young girl trying to figure out how to put her emotions and thoughts to words. Over the years, instead of being a day to day thing, my diaries became more of a vent-space. Spaces were earned by friends who were pissing me off, boyfriends who jilted me, my parents and their never-ending banter and just life in general. It was my very own burn book.

burnbook

As the years progressed, people whom I trusted would read those thoughts even when uninvited. My mother and my (now ex) boyfriend were the worst offenders. So I learned that I couldn’t really be honest in those spaces because my words would inevitably be thrown in my face. Over the years, I just stopped writing in paper books and would create electronic documents that I could password protect and ensure my privacy. That worked wonders.

Moving along…enter the age of blogging…

When I first heard of “blogging”, I could not figure out what that meant. To be honest, it sounded like a disease I was not interested in catching. Then I started poking around on the interwebz and came across some very funny folks who I still read to this day (check the blog roll, yo). Blogging was a perfect way for me to get out my thoughts and rants and musings in a semi-anonomous way. So up went my site. Even though I write about some very personal things, I know that this space IS open to the great wide world. Even though anyone and their dog can read this, I decided to share my space with a few family and friends and I even posted it on my facecrackbook profile. I wanted to share my words, my lessons, my wisdom and my humour with those people who care about me and care about what I have to say. Over the years, I’ve gotten a few followers (can I get a WHOOP WHOOP) and they’ve even commented (which I find profoundly awesome because I don’t know most of them in “real” life).

Now, if you’ve read my past posts, you know that I have a special, smirky hate hard-on for computer trolls. They usually @#&$ up my New Years resolutions by dealing me a hand of #lookdeepinyoursoul cards when I’m simply looking for the #i’mboredatworkandwanttolaugh deck. It turns out that these critters, the ones living amongst the circuit boards, eating RAM and making programs glitch out, their trollish tittering disguised as fans whirling and whizzing to life, are actually closely related to the infamous internet trolls. troll

Ugly little things, right? Unlike the devious computer trolls, who like to play on people’s frustrations and crash software programs JUST as you’re moving towards the save button, internet trolls are actually real people. I know, shocked right? These trolls are disguised as humans. Instead of playing on pure frustration for technology, these tricky trolls play more with emotions, invoking sadness, anger, hate and inspiring arguments around a vast and rather unpoliced space. The internet trolls like to leave nasty comments and start long-winded arguments on other peoples’ spaces in the interwebz and then sit back and watch the fire storm that usually follows.

I, personally, have been found by one local internet troll (thank you IP address tracker). Basically this can only, really mean one thing…I am now a real blogger!! *big grin* For those of you out there who can’t shrug off that kind of verbal diarrhera, I am sorry that you have to deal with trolls. I hear they like to eat goats. realdeal

If you are curious about my stats (if you are, you are one step ahead of me…it wasn’t until I read another blog that I realized I even had a “Year in Review”), I have posted them for you to ohhhh and ahhhh over. ‘Til next time folks!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,500 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 6 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012: A Year in Question

According to some, the world as we know it will be coming to an end in four short days.  While some people scoff at the notion, others are taking it seriously.  I’m not sure what will happen on Friday but it seems to me that some sort of change is in order.  Take a look around – our world is becoming horrific.  

This weekend, I let my mind wander around the hallowed halls of Christmas time memories and traditions.  In talking to my mother-in-law, she was telling us about what Christmas was like for her as a young girl.  Their family didn’t have a lot of money and gifts didn’t cover the living room floor.  They got one small gift each and sometimes had to share that one gift.  The thing that struck me most was that she was remembering her Christmas’ fondly, there was no hurt feelings because she didn’t get a lot of “stuff”.  Christmas for her generation was about family, being together and having a special time.  That didn’t necessarily equate to things.  On that note, I was raised differently.  I was given every thing my heart could desire.  My Christmas mornings were 5 hour long productions, marathon gift opening to be exact. I can’t imagine the debt my parents incurred trying to give me that.  And you know what?  I can’t recall with any clarity what I got on any of those Christmas mornings.  All of that “stuff” has long since disappeared.  My Christmas memories are more about going to Christmas functions, school plays and our own family traditions.  It is difficult to break that cycle but it’s one I’m feeling like I need to break.  I remember being a small child and the idea of Santa not bringing gifts because I was naughty was a real thing.  Now, I think most children would roll their eyes and say “whatever”.  That is what entitlement does to people.

I worry for those children who haven’t learned and are not learning good values, the satisfaction of hard work, are being seduced by fame and mostly who are not being held accountable for who they are and their actions.  This past Friday, our nightmares came true.  A young man walked into a school and murdered students and teachers alike.  I believe that event and the subsequent media frenzy pretty well outlines exactly what is wrong with our world right now.  Firstly, why did that man have such easy access to those weapons?  Why can’t the US get it straight – you should NOT have the right to bear arms.  Your arms laws are making it easier and easier for people to kill one another.  Stop giving everyone a gun.  It’s a bad idea.  Secondly, stop making your health care systems for profit.  These are the people of your nation.  Take care of them.  Stop picking wars with other countries and take care of your own.

I have a hard time writing about this subject because example after example after example of how messed up we are comes to mind.  I simply can’t type fast enough to get it all out.  The indignation, anger and deep sadness I feel for the state of humanity is close to unbearble. 

That all being said, I have spent a considerable amount of time looking within myself to see if I am contributing to this incredible downward spiral or if I am trying to make it better.  I think I am walking both lines.  With the “end of the world” looming ever closer, I have been looking at my loved ones a little closer.  I layed next to my husband last night and looked at him.  Really looked at him, traced each line in his face with my eyes, breathed in the scent of him, put my feet on his and rubbed them just feeling him close to me.  I spend so much of my time focussed on what’s not right, what needs to change and what isn’t getting done, I sometimes forget to just stop and enjoy being with him.  Together we’ve faced incredible adversity, we’ve built a life together, we overcame incredible odds just to be together and we share a love that is deep.  Sometimes I forget that regardless of life’s stresses, life’s worries and life’s horror, I have someone with me.  That’s a lot more than a lot of people have.  Again, with the end of the world looming, I have been hugging my kids more often, hugging them closer, tighter and longer.  My son will be 14 in a few short weeks.  The days of long hugs are going to come to an end.  As he takes his first steps into young adult hood and I fight to keep him small, it will become tougher and tougher to live with one another.  So I’m hugging him more and more.  My little daughter.  She is getting taller and taller and the “tween” years are not too far in the future.  I am praying we get through those years a little better than my Mom did.  I am praying that things are different than with our eldest daughter.  I am praying she remembers how much we love her.  Basically, I’m praying that our parenting is strong enough to get both my son and daughter through the next 5 years clean, successful and still alive.  I worry about this more and more simply because of the state of our world.

So, whether or not the world will truly end at the tail end of this week has yet to be determined but I really believe that something needs to change.  We, meaning humanity, simply can’t carry on the way we have been.

Skeleton’s in Social Media’s Closet

Social media – incredible, useful, brilliant and scary all at the same time.  Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn, Digg, Stumble Upon, various blog sites, forums and chat rooms…a million ways to connect with people all over the world.

At times I am awed by the power of social media sites.  I have been able to connect with people I went to school with, thousands of miles away.  I have been able to offer my support and advice from one Coast to another.  I have been able to witness, at least through pictures, births, weddings, deaths, life threatening diseases and I have been able to send a quick note of love, prayer and support to at the touch of a button.

Through blogging, I have been able to work through some very personal issues.  Vent and rant about things that roll around in my mind.  I have been able to share parts of me that I didn’t think I could, say the things that I didn’t think I could say and get out the things that take up WAY too much of my brain space.  Through my writing, my words and this blog, I have touched other people’s lives with my writing and even have “followers” (ps…YAY FOLLOWERS!  Thank you!!!).  Through accessing social media, I have been able to read about the struggles of other mothers trying to get through each and every day, I have been able to read a struggle with mental health, I have been both moved to tears and laughter through the skill of other writers. 

These are awesome things.  Powerful things.  The bright side of social media.

But what about the dark side?

Websites like thedirty.com; facebook stalkers, craigslist killers…the stuff that no one really talks about but we all should be thinking about.  Facebook added a function where you could “check in” to places that you are currently and immediately my back went up.  My first thought was “why do my facebook friends need to EXACTLY where I am?” and my second thought was “if they know where I am, then they can figure out where I’m not”.  I’m sure that every one of the people I have on my facebook site are good people.  I have also locked down my profile so that you would have to be a pretty proficient hacker in order to access my information but a lot of people don’t do that.  There whereabouts are out there for the WORLD to see.  Me, you and Mr. Aklihovinaoa from Africa who would like to send you your $5,000,000,000 inheritance. By telling the world where you are, you are inherently telling them where you are NOT.  Such as…at your house (welcome robbers)…or with your children (hello abductors)…or precisely where you’ll be leaving shortly (hello creep-o’s who stalk people). 

The dirty.com is a ridiculous website that I am so grateful did not exist in my youth.  That would have been serious trouble and my heart goes out to the younger generations who have to deal with excessive access to information.  Who have to deal with bad decisions and moments in your life being posted online, for anyone to see – f.o.r.e.v.e.r.  This also opens the door to a whole new avenue of bullying.  “Cyber-bullying” is a relatively new phrase but one that needs to be talked about.  Often.  With our world becoming more and more mobile, our lives, our children and ourselves are more and more accessible and vulnerable. Every little thing you do, every little place you go, every public (and sometimes not-so-public) decision you ever make has the potential to be captured, posted and commented on.  Think…”Wal-Martians”…people who make poor wardrobe choices and then go into Walmart get their picture taken and get posted to a website for the WHOLE world to look at and laugh at.  I have been one of those people who look and laugh.  To me, I am a cyber-bully.  What business of is it of mine what someone else decides to wear to a store?  Why do I even care?  Do I feel so crappy about my own self that I need to look at someone else and laugh?  Cause I think my momma taught me better than that.

The darkside of social media is that often times the human is taken out of what we’re looking at.  Those girls/ boys on thedirty, the people on Walmartians, and sites such as that are all people.  Perhaps they’re underpriviledged, perhaps they are mentally challenged, perhaps they just like what they’re wearing, whatever the reason…good on ’em.

Rant Rock: Teachers teaching

Our teachers are threatening job action when school starts next week.  I, for one, am outraged.

Teachers have toted that the amount of children with learning disabilities have increased, that class sizes have increased, that they aren’t making enough money, etc.  So in recourse, teachers are not going to communicate with me.  The parent.  The teachers are not going to provide report cards.  The teachers are not going to meet with parents.  But in the next breath, state how much they are about our children’s education and well-being.

I call bullshit.

If you cared, you wouldn’t be reducing services that AFFECT OUR CHILDREN.  Back in the day, a teacher cared.  If a student needed a little extra attention, they got it.  The teacher didn’t carry on about how much of a drain or disadvantage it put them at.  The teacher took the time to care about each student.  Back in the day, the teacher was passionate about being a teacher.  End of story.  Back in the day, the teacher didn’t have a professional development day EVERY. SINGLE. MONTH.  (Which usually falls right before a long weekend, I might add).  Back in the day, teachers didn’t have helpers to help them with problem children – nope.  The parents were called to deal with the problem child.

I am so tired of hearing that there will be job action taken RIGHT BEFORE SCHOOL!  Do you not think we can’t see your manipulative tactics?  Why didn’t you take your precious summer vacation to fight this battle?  Why can’t the professional development week happen at the end of June?  Oh right.  Because then you’d have to either give up your cake or give up eating it.

You know what I’d like to see?  Teachers who refuse to do THEIR JOBS (read the job description people, then read the definition of subordination) get fired.  Yep, one…two…three strikes – YOU. ARE. FIRED.

Think that every teacher would run for the hills?  I think not.  Teachers salaries are anywhere from $44K to $81K per year.  This is a pretty decent wage if you consider you are guaranteed a professional development day per month, meaning it’s catch-up time for marking, courses, etc.  You only work from late August to June (BONUS!) and you get one to two weeks off in March and December and then stat holidays throughout the year (at this point, I’m thinking I picked the wrong public service!)

I think it would send a mighty strong message to the teachers of this Province.  Do your job or be unemployed.  If a person were to pull have of this shit working at Taco Bell – what do you think would happen?  I am almost willing to bet…in the end…our children would end up with better educations than the crap they’ve been receiving.