Monthly Archives: May 2013

Taking the Faith Challenge

Standard

Earlier this week I had a miscarriage. Yesterday I was fired. It hardly seems worth adding that they found 2 cavities at my dentist appointment. It is a lot in a short time, and I’m a bit amazed that I’m still standing. But I am, and smiling, and kind of excited about the future.

I am going to give myself as much time as I need to unfold the varied emotions, worries and negativities associated with this week’s events. It is incredibly sad that we lost our baby. I loved many things about my work and was very good at it. There are financial realities to contend with now. I don’t really know what kind of work I might do, or what the next while of being a stay-at-home mom will look like.

I also am choosing to believe that things will work out. I had a brief flash of realizing that I could let myself be swamped with worry and sadness, or I could choose faith. Tremendous faith in the goodness of the universe and in hosts of intangible but very real assistance that surrounds us, just waiting to be tapped. Faith in myself: in my body to produce life, in my skills and contributions as an employee, in my ability to attract meaningful, well-paying work. Faith in my family: in my daughter’s love, husband’s support, in the unity of our broader family in pulling through hard times.

And regarding being fired, I confess to an unreasonable degree of excitement. I get a few months’ severance as part of our collective agreement. I’ve been itching to try other work, but haven’t found the time or resources to pursue it. I can now leave behind all the stressful, tedious parts of my job and focus on looking for work that best inspires and challenges me. And summer is approaching, and now I get to spend TIME with my daughter in a way I haven’t since mat leave.

I know I’ll face uncertainties over the next months, but am choosing to enroll in the Faith Challenge and know that things will work out. And in two weeks, I’ll get my cavities filled and all will be well.

Hoffy

Standard

Post dictated by my daughter\-

Notty tickty mittmee kit mip me.

Yeth. Heyyo. And “I love you” and “my mup moo” and “si sup soo” and “dai dup doo” and “Nai nup noo” and “sai sup.”

Eee. For A. E for A. E for A.

E for A. E for A. E for A. E for A. E for A. E for A. E for vay. Yuppy. And puppy. And yi.

“Can I do some writing now?”

Now Alya will write some things by herself: pjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj fds a XZ

506++++

\\\\\\\\\m  ………… .. \++++++++++++++++++/…  l/

] l

“I want to buy a song.”

I want to learn a song! Too a baboo ti ma mi.

pppppp/

+

On closing the circle

Standard

Pleasantly, I received a fair bit of positive feedback for my “intervention” the other day. I was thanked and congratulated, and actually got an email from the presenter reiterating her appreciation for my intervention and “solidarity.”

I also saw the villain in this scenario again, on the second day of the conference. He seemed to notice me too, but neither of us approached the other. I thought about it, but did not have it in me.

Why on earth would I do such a thing? Well, circular concepts of justice are going through my head. The humanity of all of us, full of faults and strivings. Even in the situation, even in my anger at this man’s actions, I knew he was a person who must have had some motivations for his actions, and who would be affected in some way by mine. I still was not okay with what he did, but knew that I had a choice in whether or not to paint him as the bad guy in the scenario.

I thought that possibly, the thing to do if I had the maturity and universal love to manage it, would be to approach him and see how he was doing and ensure that he knows he continues to be part of the event, welcome to participate. I can imagine that seeing yourself as the person who was yanked off-stage by the walking stick could make one incredibly uncomfortable and inflict a different type of lasting hurt than that potentially experienced by the person in the facilitator role.

Well, as it turns out, I was not able to do that. In keeping with my attempts to think about the incident holistically, I decided to accept my current limitations and be glad that I am avoiding dualistic thinking and can consider him and the entire situation with compassion.

Would you have approached him?

It’s official: I am a weirdo

Standard

Have you ever done something big and dramatic and embarrassing and public? And laughed at yourself? And realized with a soft smile of acceptance that it’s a pretty good commentary on your true self, while still shaking your head at your weirdness?

Today I was in a workshop at a teaching and learning conference. The session, facilitated by a lovely, intelligent and competent graduate student, had us reflect in groups on our ideal educational system and then report back its key characteristics.

All was going smoothly, with relevant, brief and inclusive commentary by a few groups. Then an older gentleman stood up for his group, stated very clearly that the focus of his presentation was focused on his particular field of education, and proceeded to detail in sequence the six components of his model. After he had been talking for quite a while, the facilitator stepped in and asked him politely to wrap things up. He shrugged her off in a way that had her retreat apologetically, and he continued to hold forth. A number of minutes later, he went up to the board and in spite of the outcry from the group, started writing on the whiteboard with a permanent marker. The facilitator managed to get his attention to swap out markers, and she again asked him to wrap up. Then again, a few minutes later, she asked him again. He shooed her away with a rude expression.

At this point, I went from agitated to action within 2 seconds. The mild offense of someone who felt his own views were of more value than others was combined with the universal offense of not honouring the position of the facilitator, and magnified multiply by the offense of an older male demeaning an capable younger woman.

I stood up and started shouting out to him, “You need to stop! She has asked you to stop!” When I realized he wasn’t going to stop, I moved. I slid across the table in front of me saying, “I’m not okay with this!” (what?!). Okay, I was clearly in fight mode at that point. My heart rate up, my vision tunneled, everything hyper-real. I moved quickly to the front of the room and put my hand on his shoulder. I spoke loudly and directly to him: “You need to stop. She has asked you to stop. You need to sit down.” Over and over again, until he finally stopped and took his seat. And I went back to my seat.

I returned, laughing inside at how ridiculous I must look. I jumped up and shouted out in the middle of a public presentation. I slid across a table and got a speaker to sit down. Who does that?! In front of their colleagues, too?!

I wasn’t asking for praise for my actions, but I had quite a few people thank me for what I did. I approached the presenter after to apologize, not knowing if my actions had been helpful or had invaded her space. Fortunately, she was gracious and grateful. And I can see myself doing something like that again in the future, knowing what I know about my response to what I perceive as injustice or mistreatment of others. I am fortunate I live in such a law-abiding society, or who knows where my need to intervene might land me?

It took a few minutes for my heart rate and breathing to slow, and I’m still in a bit of shock over the incident. It was interesting to realize that this type of thing is something that I do, albeit rarely. I do get angry over unfair treatment of others; I do have a tendency to act rather than not; I’m willing to put myself on the spot. And it might look really weird from the outside, and so be it.