To panic or not to panic.

If something goes sideways, I’ve been told I’m a good person to be around.

I consider this a compliment. I’ve been in a position to handle some rather difficult/frustrating/sensitive/confidential etc. situations and I feel I’ve handled them the best I could. The fact that I’ve been called a “rock” tells me that I may have done just that.

When it was suggested that I work from home last week, I was prepared and willing to do so. I am able to do some development and planning while I cannot be in the public. As with so many people, I’ve been trying to get my head around the various developments evolving sometimes hourly. I am usually a “glass half full” kinda person. I ensure my family has food, the house is clean, that everything feels “normal”.

But it’s not normal for anyone.

I’ve been frustrated with how people fail to take this situation seriously. I judge others as I judge myself, which is to say I assume people ingest their news from more than one (reputable) news outlet. I assume people check and see when a social media post is bullshit and don’t share it. I assume people want the greater good and will do what’s necessary to keep others safe.

You know what they say about assuming…..

I’m fortunate to have a supportive employer that values me and the work I do. So does the Big Guy. His employer is offer five-star support to staff, including paying people who only worked two days before a company-wide shutdown was implemented days before it was mandated by the Province.

Second Born Son works alone, so he was fine to leave home, but today his supervisor said he too could work from home. Now there’s three of us working in the house – the office and dining room are now work spaces. Cozy, and I’m glad I can keep them here with me.

If I didn’t already have grey hair, the work situation for First Born Son would have made me go grey. They are still working. There are no measures taken for 40+ people outside of posting hand washing instructions in a large common washroom. Supposedly there will be a shutdown tomorrow. Thanks to the Premier. Never thought I’d type those words! It’s sad to think a business owner could think so little of the people who work for him to disregard their health and wellbeing, and that of their families. Some employees don’t have an option to quit work as it means forgoing Employment Insurance.

I reach out to our senior friends and family. Some of them are very emotional and frightened to be isolated. Some are definitely less mentally stable. It’s a difficult time for everyone.

What I’m experiencing is no different than what everyone else is going through. We all have our own frames of reference, but the unknown, the “is it going to happen now…or now…or now?” is the same.  We all have health issues to deal with, family members who are struggling, children who are at risk, jobs that hang in the balance. I know people who are watching their dreams of being their own boss hit very troubled waters. Small businesses, so long overlooked as a major contributor to our economy, are suddenly valued and vulnerable.

I don’t like writing overly negative posts such as this one. I’m sorry that it’s heavy. I just feel that today, being “light” or “funny” isn’t authentic. Maybe tomorrow will be a day to find the humour in something. Perhaps I’ll find out some good news that will give me a more balanced perspective.

But for today; 1. because there’s nothing I can control, 2.  no one is in control, it feels like a lot.

Here’s to a better tomorrow.

Be well!

If You Didn’t Put Up, Shut Up

For the past four months, Canadians have either been anticipating or been actively engaged in a federal election.

Unlike our America Cousins, we don’t draw these things out. We like to campaign quick, vote in October and get back to important things like hockey.

This election was frustrating. Unlike your Grade 7 Social Studies class on government, there were few defined and costed platforms that really landed with voters. No need to talk about hearing what Canadians want and certainly no creative ideas coming from “leaders”. However, there were plentiful jabs, slanderous comments and stomach churning commercials “endorsed” by full grown adults even though the content was beyond immature.

One good thing about the day after the election is you get to see how many people showed up to vote.

This year it was only 66% of us.

This makes me think of people around the world who walk for days if not weeks just for the opportunity to vote in their election. People die to fight for the right to vote. Women in this country protested and died for the right to vote IN THIS COUNTRY.

And almost half of us didn’t. Even. Bother.

Shame on you if you didn’t. Kudos if you did.

It’s tiring listening to people rant about politics and not taking action when the opportunity presents itself. It’s even more frustrating because we are so critical of the U.S. political reality; the non stop election cycle; the immature name calling and lies.

I think Canadians can do better. Until we demand better, we can expect no better from our “leaders”. With a minority government we have roughly 18 to 24 months until we get back on this merry-go-round.

So let’s do better. All of us.

Letters That Need to Be Written IV

Dear Stephen Harper aka Canada’s Bully,

I have just this evening viewed the filth commercial broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party of Canada, or should I say, the Stephen Harper Support Group, which bashes Justin Trudeau, the recently elected leader of the Liberal Party.

This would be my shortest communication ever, if I was to say “Smarten the hell up!”, but I feel I should expand on this somewhat.

First of all, in a day and age when bullying in the classroom, playground and arena is at an all-time high, can we really expect anything of our children, when our elected officials, indeed adults and purported “leaders” are guilty of such childish behaviour?

Your commercial criticizes Justin Trudeau for his background as a teacher, and a camp counsellor. How clever, because NO ONE would have thought that working with children was a lower calling. You seem to think that a strip tease is Trudeau doffing his suit jacket and shirt at a recognized fundraiser. I’m gonna help you out here, don’t Google “Magic Mike.”

It seems fairly evident that you are a little threatened by this supposed upstart. I can understand why. You have sampled all of the political parties (starting with the Liberals yourself in your University days, followed by the Reform Party of Canada – what a swell bunch, and finally the Conservative Party, which you felt the need to rebrand as “The Harper Government” once elected). Perhaps the fact that Trudeau has been a dedicated and loyal member of his party is threatening to you.

No one would blame you for being intimidated by someone 12 years your junior, and who received 80% of his party’s support in the first vote. Then there is the obvious; in our society, a man who is young, attractive, articulate and open to new ideas is much more appealing than a man, uh, hmm…. who isn’t.

Let’s face it, your brand of “leading”, which more closely resembles “dictatorship” is dated. Your regime would fit in nicely with Diefenbaker’s. Welcome to the 21st Century, where taxpayers like more support for the Environment, the Arts, Education and a little less importance on supporting your corporate cronies.

I would like to say that I believe our government can do better, and show leadership, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Although we are years away from an election (unfortunately), you have authorized attack-style election ads. Do you really thing the Canadian voter is that simple? It’s not our style. It never will be.

Why not earn your office through integrity, innovation and class, instead of degrading yourself and smearing the competition? Why not try to relate to the people you govern? And I don’t mean by playing The Beatles. All you have to do is look South to see a man elected to the highest office who people can identify with. Canada has become the laughing-stock of the free world, thanks to RoboCalls. But at least you were able to throw an intern under that bus.

What it comes down to is a bully has to put others down to feel better about themselves. If this week is any indication, I wonder how low your opinion is of yourself.

Yours in Democracy,

Sarah