Pack your Marshmallows we are headed to Camp

Camp-2017-Participant-Facebook-CoverWhen I was younger I always wanted to go away to a summer camp.   I wanted the parent free days of bonding with other kids and running wild like Peter Pan and the lost boys.  I wanted hiking trips, and rock climbing, and canoeing, and swimming, and camp fires, and smores, and maybe a first kiss.  I wanted cabin allegiances and sneaking out in the middle of the night.  I wanted to bond away from the harsh glare of parental authority always telling you what you could and couldn’t do.

I’m an adult now, and so I understand the trepidation of where my parents were coming from. We had a camp, why would they pay for me to go away?  WE didn’t have the budget for that.  And then when it comes to inviting friends, how many peoples other kids do they logically want to be responsible for.  And they want to keep you safe.  All of those rules are for your safety.

But as a kid, I just wanted to be wild and free.

Camp NaNoWriMo has begun, and it’s given me the feels of summer camp I had longed for.

Once upon a time I used to be an ML (municipal liaison) for NaNoWriMo. And that position feels a lot like being the adult your family’s camp, trying to wrangle everyone, while still trying to do your own thing.  I’m planning, promoting, booking events, writing emails with pep, cheerleading, maintaining an online presence, and writing my own novel.  The sheer number of hats you have to wear is exhausting.  And ML’s do it all for free, volunteering our time, and often paying extra for stuff for our participants out of our own pocket.  It looks all so easy and graceful from the outside looking in (or sometimes it looks like a train wreck you’re sure your mad organizational skills can take over), but then you sign up and do it and realize exactly how challenging the roll is.

But Camp NaNoWriMo requires I do none of those things. It requires only that I write my novel, and maybe participate a little online, if I so desire.

See my first foray into NaNoWriMo was about writing, but also about finding my writing people. I’ve done that. I know who my peeps are. I am forever grateful for finding my people through NaNoWriMo.  But now, I need to get back to the basics, back to the sheer art of just writing.

I don’t need the same thing from NaNoWriMo that I did before. My needs have changed.  And as such Camp is a much better fit for me.

I needed the push of 50K when I first started off. I needed to know I could jump impossible hurdles, and write fast  But now I also need to write well, and that my dears takes time for me.  I like that with Camp I can set my own word count.  I like that with camp it’s about me and the project, and not anything else ML related.  It’s all the parts boiled down.

So pardon me while I’m off to toast some metaphors, and smoosh them between graham wafer crackers topped in chocolate. I’ve got some lighting bugs to catch, and lakes to swim in.  Characters who need to be challenged, and Characters who need to fall in love.  I need a Marauders Map, because this mischief is about to managed.

Rebellion

Alas it is Wednesday, and the thing I wanted to reveal is not yet ready, because I think that I am either Hemione Granger with a Time Turner, or that I have a Tardis in my backyard, and i can some how get more done with less time.  That and I’m a perfectionist with procrastination skills like mad.  Maybe next week loves?

So instead let’s talk Rebellion.

I have been thinking that a lot of the larger themes I am seeing in books are about Rebellions.  Overthrowing the government, and bringing in change.  Especially with the political climate of the world right now.  We are so much interconnected than we have ever been, and with access to the internet there’s a lot more transparency, but a lot more noise to have to filter through too.

It feels like in every YA trilogy I’m reading that is not a contemporary, the larger theme is overthrow the government.  Things are wrong, and we need to rebel.  ALLY the forces. It’s like we are living in Star Wars.

Maybe that’s the type of story I’m attracted to?  Maybe I like story about rising up to find your power, to find your voice, to be heard.  Maybe I like stories where I’m tried of being punched down on, and have a searing fire in my gut that needs to be lit?

Here is a collection of books I have read recently who I feel go well under the Rebel tag:

Some of these books are obviously about a rebellion, especially if you find them in the post apocalyptic or Dystopian Genre.  Some of these are more subtle rebellions, the antagonist is rising up, but their are clearly faults in the society, and the protagonist must confront both.

As I’m trying to write my own book right now, I find I’m focusing on themes such as rebellion.  I thought I was going to write a romantic fantasy in Paris, but then the more I started plotting and characterization, the more I saw the cracks in their world.  The more I realised it was about to fall down around them.

I have an issue coming up with a big bad? Who is the villain that they must ally around?  What if their resistance though makes them a villain from bringing down the world around them?

And then I think, okay if we collapse everything by the end of the book… then what?  Then I need at least a book two to rebuild the world?  And how do you rebuild a world after you broke it?  I have been toying with that idea for awhile.  Sure you Rebel, but then you create a vacuum for power, so what comes next?  Besides being dissatisfied what is your next play? What is your idea of governance?

So first I’m going to break a world.

Then I’m going to remake it.

Three things to have a good day

I have been watching 100 Days by John Green.  Watching a grown ass man have a healthy mid life crisis has been entertaining, and motivating to get back to the gym.  However, it was this video that really stuck with me.

I’m a girl with an epic to do list, and I only feel like I have my shit together when I get to all items + on that list.  And those lists are long.  They are maybe over ambitious and maybe set up so I can’t succeed.  So I can tell myself I am not enough, and tomorrow we have to try to burn brighter.  But this video told me that I can have a minimum of three things that need to get done to have a good day.  And I think that it can work in either direction.  For an overachiever, and for underachievers.  Pick three things, and as long as those things happen, you’ve got this.

So here are my three things:

  • Drink your 8 glasses of water (tea and coffee count, but for only half, hopefully less then)
  • Do something active today (go for a walk with dogs, hit the gym, Yoga with Adriene, a walk on your breaks at work, the more the better but at least one is still a success).
  • Read a physical book (okay – readers are fine, but audiobooks are cheating.  I already listed to a lot of audiobooks, so I just want to get back into the zen of reading again)
  • Bonus round – do something creative today.  Knit, write, or colour, or even something else.

I also try to be on social media daily, on twitter or instagram, but I can see already where those are chewing up time, that could be better spent.  I’m constantly checking in for self validation.  However, I need to figure a way to participate, but not using it as a popularity contest.

On a how I am going to achieve this level, here’s what I’m hoping to change in order to meet these goals.  Start tracking my water consumption.  There is no way of knowing if I make it, if I don’t track it.  Find a way that works for me to do that.

Get up and go for a walk on my breaks at work. I’ve been skipping the breaks, and I’ve noticed that I’m loosing focus in my days, and I need that time away to disconnect, get out of the job at hand, get movement going again, and get out of the office.  Listen to an audiobook and destress.

I’m loving what I am doing at work right now, as I’m filling in for a temporary job vacancy, but I’m still getting that feeling of all my time is going to other people, or a to do list to get things in order, so I finally have the time for me that is needed, and then I don’t get that time because the to do list is to damned long.  I want to schedule some time in the morning just for me, but I need a reason to get out of bed.  Working out has always worked well for me, so Yoga I think is going to be my way of setting up my day.  I’m going to start setting my alarm 30 minutes earlier, so I can get up and do a small Yoga with Adriene session.  I’ve just done her beginners video and I want to try doing that every day before work.

I need to start going to bed at a reasonable time and instead of playing mindless games of my phone, I’m going to read again.  I’ve been having this fear about reading before bed, because what if it’s really good, and all I want to do is synch into the novel.  But then even other times I put aside for writing I feel myself holding myself apart from the reading experience, because I don’t want to fall endlessly in love with the project, because the heartache.  But dude, this is why I read.  To feel that connection.  This is why I write, to make others feel that connection.  Avoiding it will not grow my craft.

Bonus round, too often we put our art at the end of the day, after everything is ticked off from that to do list.  Once I get better at waking up earlier for Yoga, I want to add in some extra time for writing.  In the mean time, I think I’m going to make writing a priority before I start tackling my to do list.  Have you written your 500 words, then no gym for you.  However, I’ve kept it open to other creative endeavours, because I love to knit and colour, and somedays at the end of the day, that’s all I have energy left for, is just something easy, and I should be giving myself credit for that too.

So there you have it.  My three things, with a bonus round for how to have a successful day for me.  I’m going to stop punishing myself for not being superwoman and saving the universe.  Alas, I don’t have the genetics for that.  What I do have is a keen appreciation for books, and wanting to live a long happy life.

 

 

Sunday Rebranding

I’ve always been a person who takes Sunday’s for themselves.  I used to call it JamieJam Sundays.  It was a day where I could just relax and be, without an epic to do list.  Without having to run errands, or workout, or anything else that felt pressing.  It was a day for reading, or tv watching, and some cooking for the rest of the week.  That cooking thing got me. Because yes I love great good and I want it available for the rest of the week, but why am I spending time on Sunday doing it, when I just want to relax.

Then I was having a hard time with my writing.  I was getting disconnected with it through the week, so on Sundays I told myself, I would get reconnected, and give into it.  Get that deep down zen feeling you only get after hours of being in the story.  You can’t get that on a weeknight hitting your 500 words per day.  Sure that moves your story along, but that zen feeling of being one with your writing, that’s part of the art, and that takes time for me.  I realized that, that feeling was a reason why I wrote as well.

Sundays slowly started keeping up with stuff that had to get done, and all of a sudden it wasn’t lazy Sundays anymore.

Therefore, Sundays need to be rebranded for me.  They are still my days, but as I sit here writing this, I have a mud mask on, I got up and read for a bit this morning, I did Yoga with Adriene, and plan on making super, and getting words on my novel in.

Therefore, I’m moving that we rename Sunday to Self-Care Sunday.  This is the day of light workouts, dog walking, yoga, healthy meal prep, skin care, and of finding my zen in the WIP.  This is what I wish all my days looked like, but if I get only one of them, this is it.  It’s a soft gentle day, with easy to achieve goals and a pace that is manageable, and things that refill instead of drain.

All in a Weekends Work

It’s Sunday evening, at around 8:30 pm as I’m writing this.  The end of a weekend, and I’m thinking what did I actually get done.  Weekends are such fickle things.  I want to sleep in for 10 hours each day, and spend all day reading a book.  But then I also want to go to the gym, and walk my dogs, and write on my novel for hours on end.  I want a clean house, and to hang out with friends, and I want to watch endless tv, and knit.  I want to live a thousand lives in 2 days.  I want to do everything, and nothing at all.  I want to be productive, and cross things off a to do list, like i’m the Jedi master of to do lists, and i also simultaneously want to sloth about the house, and do nothing but things that are comfortable, like reading and tv.

So let’s see what I got accomplished off that list.

As of Sunday evening around 8pm my house is finally clean in that top to bottom kind of way I do so enjoy.  Everything is tidied, laundry is done and put away.  All bedding, including dog bedding and couch coverings has been washed and reassembled.  Couches have been fabrezed and vacuumed.  The house is dusted.  The bathroom cleaned, and the floors moped.  I also prepped a bunch of food for next week, and the kitchen is clean.  Cleaning took about 2 days, but it was off and one, and in between.  Still quite the monumental task, but it does so clear the head, and make me feel at peace. It frees me up for the rest of the week to not fret that I should be attending to the tumbleweeds that are threatening a revolution.

I walked my dogs each day.  I went to the gym on Saturday.

I hung out with a Friend on Friday night, and we watched 4 episodes of Teen Wolfe.  I hung out with a different friend late Saturday afternoon, through to Sunday afternoon.  We went makeup shopping, made delicious foods, drank and watched great TV.  I highly recommend Riverdale by the way, if you like a noir murder mystery teen drama version of Archie.  LOVE LOVE LOVE Veronica.  Betty, I’m waiting to see how her character arch plays out. I got a wee bit of knitting done in there.

I got zero writing done, except for this blog post right now.  I listened to a  lot of audiobook, but got very little reading done hardcopy or ereader style. I’m a wee bit disappointed in the writing, and the reading front, but I really did pack a full schedule into the weekend.

Overall, I think I killed the weekend.  But I could use an extra day, for writing, for lounging, for just being.  I packed it full, and feel full, but as an introvert, I feel like I could use a little more quiet.  But such is the way of a Sunday evening.  I always want more time.

This week, I’m going to try and focus on writing each evening, walking my dogs, and making it to the gym at least three times.  I want to take more lipstick selfies as I’ve acquired a new batch of warrior paint and must show that off.

Here are a few pics posted to my instagram from the weekend. (in case the pics don’t show up, because I’m new to trying to get things from Instagram to show up in a blog post… here is the link for my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jemuldoon/)

 

I help fold towels too! #bassetlove #bassetlife

A post shared by Julia Muldoon (@jemuldoon) on Mar 12, 2017 at 11:22am PDT

 

Delightful teacup is delightful. So touched. Thank you @sarah.j.cairns and for the tea. Love love love.

A post shared by Julia Muldoon (@jemuldoon) on Mar 12, 2017 at 1:58pm PDT

 

Stinkin Cuteness 

 
I’m feeling the urge to nest right now.  Read lots of books.  Curl up and be lost in a world that is not my own.  Which makes for very boaring blogging.  

I mean I could do book reviews, I once did them, but not I just do them quickly on goodreads.  They are for me, more than anyone else.  If your interested in my boook reviews you can find them on Goodreads. 

So here are some cute pics of my dogs because if I can’t entertain you with words, you should at least have stinkin cuteness in your lives.  

I missed Wednesday. In my defence it was my birthday. 

So a list is in order because their easy:

  1. Wednesday, march 1st was my birthday. I turned 32. The older I get the quieter I like my birthdays.  Simple things like relaxing with a good book work really well for me. 
  2. Things that did not happen on Wednesday was hours of reading time.
  3. Things that did happen, was a giant snow storm we ended up driving about in. 
  4. The reason for the driving about and lack of book curling up was my friend Nancy. She was in from out of town visiting and my Day’s to see her and whole up where due. So Cowboy and I collected her. 
  5. Then we went pastry shopping because birthday deserts are a thing. Then we went to the mall. And we bought BOOKS!!  And boots. And pjs. The pjs where not for me. They where Nancy’s. pic above of the book haul. 
  6. then we went to Best Buy and TousRUs. More driving. More Nasty snow blowing at us. But I aquired season 4 of Sherlock. So WINNING!!!!
  7. Then more driving as we went to the Vespa kitchen for food stuffs. Yum.  It has that food truck in a standard location vibe and food. Delightful.
  8. Then home! Where we watched a k drama. We had started Boys Over Flowers this summer and had yet to finish it. 
  9. Yesterday we finished the k drama. 
  10. Tomorrow I drive to the halfway point to drop off Nancy. Then back home. It will be A LONG day. Like 10+ hours of driving. This is love. 

So that was my birthday. 

Below we have a pic of Rory and I on my birthday. Dog selfies are an important part of my identity. 


P.s.  Cowboy is best present giver ever. He got me an iPad Pro. I would have been stoked at a mini but this thing is sleek as all get out and tots sexy.  I immediately downloaded scrivener and set up the synch to my computer via Dropbox and holly does it make a world of difference reading your own writing on an iPad. Different the medium makes it ideal for editing. 

A writing update (GASP, this is not political)

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Just to start things off right, here are some pics of my dogs taken a day apart on the same couch.  Want to play spot the differences?

This was a long weekend here in Ontario, Canada, and I thought before it started I would get so much writing done.  However, I made the STUPID mistake of waiting for inspiration to hit in order to get the writing done.  I have been doing that a lot lately, and guess how much writing has actually gotten done?

0 multiplied by 0 is still 0.

It’s just I had such a wonderful writing time a few weekends ago.  I woke from a dream and needed to capture the plot, so spent a day working on it, and suddenly woosh, 10K words.  And then after that all I wanted to do was write, except I didn’t have the time to sink into that zen feeling of writing again, for a 10 hour day because I had a day job, and was stuff to do in the evening, and so sadly that motivation dripped away.

BUT I wanted it back.  I thought this weekend would bring it back.  It didn’t.  Because I didn’t show up to the page.  That was the lesson that I had been trying to teach myself in early January.  500 word per day weather you feel it or not, and eventually that writing faucet will be turned on all the time.  500 is an easy goal to show up for.  Heck somedays I can sneeze out 500 without even thinking about it.

Except I’m caught up in the plotting of the book.  I really want to have a sturdy roadmap built before I start writing the book.  So that too felt like another obstacle to hurdle.  Was plotting really writing.  It certainly didn’t feel like it.  It felt more like playing with tools, then it did being mad and crazy and creative.

There is this place I go to when I have a really great writing day.  It’s like time stops.  I am one with the writing, and writing it one with me.  It’s totally the force I swear.  But getting in that place takes time and effort.  Dogs are distracting and bark at things, and need to be let in and out, because that is what they need, and all I want to do is ignore every click of there claws, and sink into this feeling, and not come up for anything.  I want to go deep down into the caves of writing.  Into the fairyland of writing.  I want to live there forever.  Except I can’t.  I have to come back up to the real world for air, and that is what kills me.  That is what slaughters the writing buzz.

It’s like wanting to read before bed.  I really do want to do it and synch into that book, but you know, I also need sleep to be a functioning person, and maybe instead falling into that zen, I’ll just go to bed, because that way, I’ll at least be well rested.  I keep choosing things other than the thing I want to be doing, because the thing I want to be doing, takes a lot of time, to reach that perfectly zen state.

Anywho, I’m going to try and make 500 words each day this week. I’m going turn on the tap, and see if I can get a full stream going.  And yes, even though plotting feels more mechanical it still counts as writing.

Nevertheless She Persisted

nevertheless-she-persisted-t-shirt-teeturtle_800x

The context it was said, was meant to shut someone up, when they didn’t want to hear their opinion.  It was mean to punch down.  It was meant to silence.  It was meant to tell them they are not good enough.

This is a statement you hear a lot growing up as a girl.  Maybe not in those words, but in a thousand other ways. In a thousand other actions.

I remember being told I was equal.  That I had just as much right.

Yet when I wanted to join hockey I wasn’t allowed.  I had to take figure skating instead.

It’s in the ways you are told to sit there and be quit, your words aren’t valued, your opinion holds no value.  It’s in the way, the women magazines tell you you are only of value if you look a certain way.  It’s in the way that we are marketed to, that we only like pink and princesses and barbies.  It’s in the way that men are told to be strong and not show emotion, and that emotion is weakness because women show it.  It’s in the way I was told not to make decisions with emotions, that thinking with my heart, was the wrong way to go.  That I had to think more analytically.  The way you are marginalized for having feelings, or an opinion that differs from the person who thinks they have the power.  Oh she’s just a girl, she doesn’t know any better.

It was in the way that whatever I did, it was not good enough.  And all I kept thinking, was if I was a boy, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.  If I was a boy, I wouldn’t have had the same curfew.  I wouldn’t have had the same rules about the opposite gender in the house.

Even though I was told I could be and do anything, I could only be and do anything within the realm of what was acceptable as a girl.

Even now, as an adult, it’s about picking myself up, and putting myself back together again.  Sometimes I feel like Humpty Dumpty.  She sat on a wall, she had a great fall, and no one could put her back together again.  Except for her.  She persisted.  She looked at her shattered broken bits, and she said, time to forge something anew.  Time to evolved.  Time to be the Phoenix and rise up, and keep coming back, and proving my worth.

Nevertheless She Persisted.

Such words could not be truer.

Because that is the lesson we have learnt, every time we where punched down.

Nevertheless She Persisted.

Where I Stand on the Issues

This is your get out of jail free card.  If you are not here for the politics, I won’t be offended if you scan on by this post.  It’s cool. I understand.  Politics are everywhere, and some of you just need cute animal pictures.  I have provided some above (of my two stinky bassets), and hope that will sustain you. Heck I need cute animal pictures.

So if you make it to the end, and want to share some cute animal pics, that would be great.  Also if you want to share ideas on how to help – I want those too, but keep it respectful and on point, please and thank you.

Now if you are staying, this is a doozy of a post.  It’s longer than I thought it was going to be, because once I started, it turns out I had a lot of concerns ticking about in my head.  It feels good to get them out on to the page, where I can see them.  Where I can reflect on them.  Where I can ruminate on them.  Where others can help me navigate the waters in the areas I want to effect change.

As a follow up to last weeks rallying cry, I thought I should be a bit more transparent in where I stand on the issues. Not just a resist the regime, because they are the power, but because I don’t support their policies. I am Canadian, but the US is going through some shit right now.  They are my neighbours and I’m concerned for them.  Therefore, some of this is criticism on changes I would like to see for them, some is criticism on Canadian issues, some of it is both.

Okay, I think I have provided you all with sufficient warning, so if you are still here, it’s because you have chosen to be.

Here is the list:

  • LGBTQ+ are human rights.  Period.
  • I am Pro-Choice.
  • Those who are Pro-Life, I could only support your POV if you provided better support for the following: maternity leave, free child care, socialized medicine, a better education system (this is largely in response to the US, because a lot of this is taken care of in Canada).  Until you fix those things, your position is moot.  You are pro save a fetus, but not provide any real support once it’s a life out of the womb.  SHAME ON YOU.  If you want to march for pro-life, then you get to adopt every single child someone would choose an abortion over.  Oh you don’t have the financial responsibility for it, too bad, that’s your choice to save a fetus.  And those who don’t support abortion from a medical perspective, are just fucking ignorant.  Moms who have to abort for medical reasons WANTED those kids.  It is truly fucking heartbreaking for them, and you protesting on their behalf is about your ego, not their rights.
  • I have socialized health care.  Everyone should have it.  You shouldn’t have to make financial decisions about your health.  No one should have that additional stress on top of a shitty situation. I want better socialized health care, and can see areas we need still improve. But overall, I’m glad I have what I have.
  • Both Canada and the US where formed on immigration.  We stole the land we claim as ours.  If you are pro tighter immigration laws and closing of borders, you are a fucking hypocrite.  Unless of course you are aboriginal, in which case I see your point, but have some complex ideas and feelings about it.  So many of our great minds, came from allowing asylum to those who sought it here.  I can understand your concern for letting in a different standard of mores.  It can be scary hearing about other world cultural practices, because some of them are quite outdated.  But we are here to give people the opportunity to learn another way.  We have laws in place that protect us against criminal activity.
  • Aboriginal rights.  You deserve better.   You are placed on parcels of land, with no infrastructure to support growing an economy.  In short you are placed out of sight, out of mind.  Your resources are slim.  However, it saddens me when they show videos of places that you can clearly see no pride of ownership is taken.  That the walls are dirty, and bathrooms are broken.  Asking for a handout doesn’t resolve the social issues.  Setting up better housing, doesn’t mean it won’t eventually deteriorate again.  The problem is complex and multifaceted.  I hear you.  However, how do we help in a manner that will provide long term change and sustainability, not just band aid solutions?
  • Separation of Church and Government.  Your first amendment US, and yet when I read it, it sounds a lot like the government can’t regulate your beliefs. However, I wish for the opposite clause, that your beliefs should not regulate the government.  Separation of Church and State needs to be more clear.  If the government allows abortion, that is not them taking away your religious beliefs.  You can still choose to not have an abortion.  They are not forcing you to have one.  But if you lobby against abortion for others, you are taking choices away from others who need it.
  • Gun Control.  I didn’t understand gun control when it was coming down the pipes in Canada.  I think I was in grade school at the time. Mostly I didn’t understand it because in my community guns where for hunting and we all understood that, and we didn’t need them to protect ourselves.  So the gun control seamed rather silly on something that we where already pretty good at.  Now that I’m older, I’m glad someone had the foresight to get on that.  Seeing what is going on in the states, holly shit am I ever happy about gun laws here in Canada.
  • Science is fact.  Scientific discovery needs to be shared. Science is not subject to your feelings or religious POV.
  • Global Climate change is real.  Stop pretending it’s not because you don’t like how it’s going to change the economic landscape.  Learn to be forefront leaders in this area.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Find innovate technology and change your economic landscape based on this.  There is still room for growth, but that means that other older ways of doing things need to fall.  We need to shift our focus, like changing gears with a clutch, slowly release one, as we engage another.
  • Legalize Marihuana.  I’m on the fence about this last one, but from an economic standpoint it’s a revenue source we are missing out on.  We need to balance our budgets and find additional streams of revenue.  This is undocumented revenue source we could be taping into.  We would need to come up with ways to regulate it, the same way we have for alcohol consumption – re-drinking and driving.  However, overall, it’s a thing.  People do it.  Stop wasting resources on criminalizing it.  (I won’t be taking up this habit, as I have scene first hand the paranoia and lack of motivation this causes.  However, I won’t stand in your way either if that’s how you choose to live your life.) Also, this is totally on my Canadian list of TO DO’s.
  • Paternity leave in Canada (but also everywhere).  We have it pretty good here.  We can split it amongst mom and dad. However, if both want to take it at the same time, only one of them is paid for it. As I’m from Ontario, I’m just going to link you over here (http://www.unassumingbanker.com/2015/08/19/how-to-take-paternity-and-maternity-leave-at-the-same-time/) , as they say it better than I can.  What I want is for both parties to get paid, at the same time, without anyone of them having to go back to work early because they’ve tapped into the resources needed to maintain financial stability during this time.
  • Free childcare.  Other countries have it, or something similar.  You want to experience population growth, then you need to make it financially possible for those willing to have kids.  I would have four if I could.  I’m not going to because of budgetary constraints.  People are basing  family planning on budget limitations.  Other countries do this, so should we. (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/what-the-world-can-teach-canada-about-building-better-daycare/article15036667/?page=all)
  • Better Sex education.  As female having gone through our education system, it is filled with fear mongering and shame.  I propose a much more french insight. Basing this on the Michael Moore Documentary Where to Invade Next (though I don’t agree with his style, the insight on how these other countries are doing things, is a good starting point for how the rest of the world could be doing better).
  • A better financial system.  See Michael Moore’s Documentary: Where to Invade Next. (I watched with hubby, and while I don’t like Moore’s style, the information behind it was enlightening).
  • Free education – period.  Whether it’s university, or college.  No matter your age, no matter your income.  No application or hoops to jump through.  Taken care of up front.
  • Cleaner energy sources.  Renewable energy sources. In general, how do we be more green?
  • How do we improve the situation for those who are in poverty or are homeless?  What is the true crisis there and how do we better respond to it?  How do we decrease poverty and meet the needs of those who find themselves in this situation?  What type of resources are needed?  Mental health facilities?  Detox facilities? We have them, but how do we leverage them to greater effect?  Can these people be helped into a better future?  Some are so unwell they don’t have the fortitude to go through programs that could provide them help.  We are supporting basic human needs with shelters, and food, but can further improvements happen.  What is our responsibility to them?  It’s frustrating because largely we want them to also want to help themselves.  And there are those who do want to help themselves.  But there are those, who don’t have the motivation, and there is a feeling of why are we wasting resources.  What is the balance?
  • Job growth and creation for those who only have high school level education.  They should still be able to be part of the middle class. The middle class is shrinking.  We need to respond to this.
  • While we have seen improvements to minimum wage, we have also scene increasing costs to living.  We need to find a way to balance income with cost of living.

Okay, those are my areas of concern. They are complex.  I don’t know how to resolve them.  I realize we are slow moving ship, and that changing course of action will take some time.  I realize we need to prioritize, both on a time and a funding perspective.

I know I can’t personally tackle each of these issues.  I don’t have the time, resources, or mental fortitude for it.

What I am going to do will seam small.  It will seam so incredibly small, compared to my list.  However, it’s a start, and I’m willing to invest in small changes, as they build together for greater change.  I’m a knitter.  I believe in one stitch at a time adding up.

This year, I’m going to focus on being more green.

  • Shop at my eat local at least once a month.  This will help with local economic growth, and global issues in regards to climate change.  It’s small, but if we all did this, it could be a real change.
  • Plant some produce at home. I want a really big garden, but it’s sort of overwhelming to get started.  So I’m going to start small, and grow my garden each year.  I’m going with one stitch at a time here.
  • Get a rain barrel.  If I’m going to have a garden, I’m going to need to water it, and I should be willing to use the resources that I have to sustain this.

I want to do more, but I really need to ruminate on where my time and money can be best spent.    I want to pick a big cause, one that’s not just about me, but about others, to get involved in.  I just haven’t met that challenge yet.  I’m going to keep myself open to the possibilities, and really examine how best I can help.  However, if anyone suggests fundraising for a cause, I don’t feel like that’s the best response to the social issues outlined above. Unless you can provide me with one, that feeds measurable change on the issues above. Fundraising feels like such a  band aid solution some times.   Every one has a walk or a run, but where are the resources truly going?  It feels like every cause is shouting louder than the next, asking for more, and the real question is, where is the change?

This is what it means to be an adult and care for our coming generation.  It means we look at our issues, and how we can set up future generations for success.  This is not an easy list.  It is filled with complex questions, and multifaceted issues.  It requires many minds, and a lot of resources.  It requires us to work together and to listen.  It’s not an easy challenge.

Alright, thanks for listening/reading, I’ll get back to the regular on writing posts.  It’s just been a heavy time lately.  We are in a position of change, and I’m looking at where I fit into that, and my responsibilities.