Saturday, 19 October 2013


I keep wanting to Write About Labels with some sort of adolescent zeal. About how much I hate them (stupid, limiting labels), about how we don't even need them. "Oh man, labels!" I want to exclaim, in tones of great exasperation. I want to rant, and rave, and whine and...  But the thing is, that's all a little bit hard to buy, coming from someone who wears some labels proudly, perhaps even obnoxiously. It would be hard to take me seriously, considering that I use the label "Feminist" like it's a second name. And so I have been pondering this for a while, and here is what I have concluded.

Labels are... tricky. They are like clothes. Some fit like they were made for us, and we are so proud to wear them in public. We know they look good. Even if they don't, they are so darn comfortable. That is the "feminist" label to me. It fits like it was made for me, and I wear it comfortably all the time. It didn't even have to be altered to fit me-- no qualifiers are necessary! Feel free to talk to me about it. It's a well placed label, and I love it.

Other labels, though, are a little more iffy. Some are more like those clothes I have hanging in the farthest reaches of my closet. There is something about them that makes it impossible to just cast them off, but nothing so appealing that I would wear them in public. They are scratchy, or they don't fit right. They're just uncomfortable. Periodically they get donated to Goodwill-- just because they aren't right for me doesn't mean they are wrong for everyone.

That's how a lot of other labels are. Some are just too restrictive, kind of irritating, and don't reflect "me." They aren't bad, per say, but they aren't exactly right.

So I treat labels like I treat my clothes: I wear those that fit comfortably and reflect who I am. And if it's not the Goldilocks of clothes (or labels)? If it's too much of something, or not enough of another? Well, then. I simply decline to embrace it.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Terminal Velocity

Well, it's happened. And I am not too pleased about it. It seems that, using my current (pretty decent) systems if organization and time management, I have reached maximum capacity; important commitments are being edged out of my brain. Last Tuesday, I absolutely and totally forgot to bring Neptune to his orthodontist appointment. Not only that, but it didn't even realize I had forgotten until his mom forwarded me an email from the orthodontist.


The following day, in a burst of trying to make up for my unintended flakiness (with regards to the orthodontist, among other things), I approached my To Do list with zeal. On Wednesday, I:

Run errands to....
... The grocery store
.... Costco
... The Container Store
... All the Best Petcare
... UPS
... Wal-Greens

Called and scheduled/re-scheduled...
... One doctor's appointment
... One orthodontist appointment
... One hair cut

Taken kids from/to...
... School
... The doctor's office
... The hair salon
... The orthodontist
... Piano lessons
... Karate
... Soccer

Picked up forms from...
... The person who did my observation yesterday
... The doctors' office (a different doctors' office)

And I have developed the habit of actually looking at my calendar on a regular basis. That's pretty important too.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

I've heard this thing about the best laid plans...

When I started this Masters in Teaching programme, I was very clear about my goals. (In my head, I mean. And to the people I knew pre-programme.) I was in this process for two things: 1) The piece of paper that would allow me to be a teacher 2) Mutually supportive professional relationships. I knew it would be a small group, and planning to make friends seemed like a tall order. Plus, I had friends. Awesome friends. I have always felt very, very lucky to have the friendships I do.

So there was 0 pressure on the whole friendship front. I was excited to make professional contacts, and eager to jump through the hoops that would place me in front of the classroom. I had dragged my heals about going back to school for a long time, but having decided, I was eager to Get Going.

And then... well, I made friends. Kind of by accident, but to my great delight. My cohort is full of wonderful people, and I am lucky to be jumping through hoops alongside them. We are quite the circus act, but we're in it together! 

On Saturday, our instructor did not show up for our 9:00 class. When 9:30 rolled around, the office manager poked her head in. "No instructor?"


"I tried calling him, but I am not getting an answer. You have a class at 1:30, right?"


"Why don't you just plan on coming back for that."

We grinned at each other. Just... peace out? Forget class altogether for the morning? We could do that! Lacie, Ruka, Grace and I headed back to my house for tea, the fox video, and exchanging of house decorating/renovating opinions (yes, really). For lunch, we headed to a local dim sum place, and made it back to school for our 1:30 class.

It was a glorious, fun, relaxing morning. I just delight in this group of ladies; we are so different, but we have such fun together, and work together so very well.

I am positively thrilled that my plan to Not Make Friends failed so spectacularly. 

Saturday, 5 October 2013


Like most people in the world, I have areas of strength, and areas in need of (ahem) growth. I regularly find myself saying, "Well, I guess I should write off a career in professional ____________!" (Careers I have eliminated include professional disc golf, jewelry making, Chinese-speaking, cooking, etc) I may carry on doing these things recreationally/as needed, but I have no illusions about my natural skills.

It's ok, I tell myself. I have other talents.

At this point, I find myself chewing on my lip. What are those skills? Well, I'm nice...

The other day, I conclusively put my finger on A Skill. I'm good at Novelty!

I get bored with routine myself, and I expect nothing less from those with whom I associate. Therefore, I like to insert some sparkles into daily life.

For example, I make the kids "To Do" lists pretty regularly. On the lists are chores, homework, events, practices/rehearsals, etc. Useful as they are, though, we all get kind of tired of them now and then. Today, we didn't have "To Do" lists...we had "To Do" balloons!

Pop a balloon, get a required activity! Included activities: science homework, tidying up bedrooms, walking the dog, doing the macarena, and hugging Blythe. All important things!