Thursday, December 5, 2013

Snow Day Reflections

I'm relishing my snow day today.  I realize that it's a couple days later than most Albertan's snow day, but it's the first day this week, this month even, when I didn't have to leave the house for a meeting, appointment or to play taxi service for my kids.

So I'm sitting at my messy desk, with my lukewarm coffee, trying to think of everything that's happened in the last 2 months or so since I posted anything about my personal life.

The Fall brought some big changes.  I started a new part-time position with Community Food Connections Association as their Food Security Coordinator. This position is 20 hours a week, but let me tell you, it's pretty consuming for me.  I have written previously about food security on my blog here, and those of you who know me know that this is my dream job.  I work from home, but I haven't figured out yet if that is a blessing or a curse.  I often find myself back at my computer in the evenings after the kids are in bed, checking emails and reading the CFCA twitter feed.  I finally started turning my work cell phone off on weekends and evenings so that I'm not tempted to answer it.  Oftentimes in the afternoon (she's only at kindergarten in the mornings) the TV does some babysitting of my 5 year old for me while I'm working at my desk, and I feel guilty about that, but I try to remember that although I am not giving her constant attention, my little girl is still able to be in her own home, with her mother available to her for a hug or kiss, to get her a snack, or take a break to read her a book.  I am so blessed to have a boss who is understanding of school drop-off and pick-up times and I am able, for the most part, to work around my children's schedule.  Thankfully I have my mom close by to watch the kids when she can.

I'm sad to say that something that has fallen by the wayside is my volunteer work.  Even if each thing I did had only one meeting a month, combined, I could be out of the house once or twice a week to meetings or events.  I completed my term on parent council, and promptly missed the next meeting, only the third I've missed since my grade 3'er started kindergarten at this school.  But I had a good excuse, I was at a church meeting!

I also finished out my term as the co-chair of Palliser Friends of Medicare and resigned from the board.  This was hard for me as I believe so strongly in the defense of public healthcare, plus I really enjoyed the wonderful people I got to know on that board.  What a group of fine, dedicated people.  You may not realize it, but all throughout our city are people who spend countless hours of unpaid time fighting for your access to quality public healthcare.  I would highly recommend that if you support public healthcare (and you should, you all use it), pay the $10/year to become a member of Friends of Medicare and add your voice to the many others in our province who want to improve our public healthcare system and protect it from those who only desire to either offload their responsibilities (the government) or profit from it (private for-profit care).

I'm still working for Public Interest Alberta as the Medicine Hat Community Mobilizer, and have been called on for comments or interviews about wages, poverty, employment numbers, etc.  Provincial politics is never dull, and the Provincial government is constantly trying to defund or deny public monies to our social safety net, so there never seems to be a downtime in that realm, even during the legislative recess. If you would like to support the work that Public Interest Alberta does, please check out our website.

And now we've arrived at the holiday season.  You all know how that goes.  In addition to the stresses of everyday life, we have to incorporate all the additional events and expectations of the Christmas season.  As a parent I feel tremendous responsibility in providing my children with a "magical" and memory-worthy Christmas, while still keeping their focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  There are decorations to put up, gifts to purchase and wrap, Christmas parties and concerts to schedule in.

Gratuitous picture of one of our Christmas trees.
I took my kids for their annual Christmas studio photo last week, even thought the five year old had a bruise on her cheek from falling in gym class. It never fails, one or both of my children end up with a cut, bruise or rash on their faces in the days leading up to studio photos. I also realized after we had left the house that the 8 year old was wearing dark navy tights rather than black, somehow I hadn't noticed when I purchased them. They looked black in the store. Parenting fail.

I finally identified one of the main reasons I don't like being busy.  It's not that my house looks like a bomb went off in it, (although it does), it's not even that we end up eating grilled cheese for supper more than I'd like (because we do), it's because in the effort to just make it through to the next thing, I've lost the time to truly anticipate upcoming events, and anticipation is half of the fun.  I'm sure most of you have experienced times in your life when you quit looking farther than a couple of days ahead on the calendar and just focus on making it through "the next thing".  That's how this season feels right now, just making it through.  I think part of it is because of the huge learning curve of a new job, but I also know that part of it is because I'm an introvert and being out and doing things all the time is very costly for me. I need a day here or there where I can sit in silence; reading, drinking coffee and writing.  Thankfully today has been one of those days.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't have thought of you as an introvert, Alison, with all the things you do in the public eye, etc.!! I DO understand the feeling of just trying to get through the next thing on the calendar... I'm glad you had a 'slower' day today. By the way, I'm sure the girls will look beautiful in their picture(s) despite the bruise & navy tights!! Your girls are beautiful...& that's what shines through. Besides, we've all been notice it more than we will! :)