International Women’s Day

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Friday, March 8 is International Women’s Day. The history of this day goes back to the early 1900’s with women from around the world marching and striking for peace, food and their right to vote. Now the day is still celebrated world wide, some countries have a national holiday, some totally ignore it and some just pay lip service. Here in Canada the day is acknowledged and women may march for a cause and some introduce a project that is close to their hearts like the shoebox project.

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I describe myself as a woman, wife, mother, grandmother, and feminist. I firmly believe that women are equal in all ways. We are not superior to others but equal. I was fortunate to be raised in a female household. Dad died when I was nine and my mother remarried a couple of years later to a man who was in the navy so he was gone six or more months of the year. So myself, two sisters, my nana and my mum were all together in one house. My mother was totally female, petite, always in full make up and well dressed. But she could handle a hammer or screwdriver and built our TV stand herself and then built and replaced our wooden garage doors. We were taught we could do anything and encouraged to try many projects. I was athletic, excelled in English and history and did well in some sciences. The world was just waiting for me. I truly believe I was very fortunate to have the upbringing I did. We don’t need to tear down other women to achieve our goals but we do need to hold out a helping hand, ready and willing to lead the way. Because our goal is equality, we shouldn’t try to tear down men either just to achieve our goal of equality. Men and women must learn to treat each other with respect, each recognizing the other’s unique talents.

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This year, in Canada, our theme for International Women’s Day is Innovate for Change. There is a strong emphasis on STEM. Girls are being encouraged to study science, technology, engineering, and math. The female brain is equally able to learn these subjects and,  if their interest is there, study them and do well. Previously, women were discouraged from these studies, now they really are being encouraged. Women are being empowered. That’s not a catchphrase, it’s a truth. Our daughters, nieces, sisters are achieving empowerment when they are able to achieve a place in the decision making process, the ability to access opportunities available to them without limitations and restrictions. To achieve this we must celebrate the contributions of women and renew our efforts in achieving gender equality.

In high school, I was told I could become a nurse, teacher, secretary or housewife. I chose nursing and had a pretty good career. I mentored many new nurses, I stood up to the bullying system on behalf of myself and others, I taught a bit and I helped make my workplace, and others, safer. Secretly I wanted to study journalism and write, but for whatever reason I just didn’t have the drive to do it when I was that young. I believed nursing was my path and I was damn good at it. But I would have been a fantastic journalist. So to any and all who are reading this, encourage those girls and women to do the work that they know they can. Do the work they really want to do. Be FANTASTIC!!

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Back to Reality

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I am back to writing, after about eight months of not writing and feeling quite guilty about it. I kept telling myself that I didn’t have time to write anything so I just didn’t, but really I just didn’t carve out the time I needed to write. So much was going on that I allowed myself to be distracted, yet everything that happened were things that every retiree goes through at some point in time.

To start the hubby and I decided we wanted a home in Florida. Although recent events in that state have made us question our decision, we made a quick trip last December to look at and ultimately purchase a mobile home almost smack dab in the middle of the Sunshine State. It’s not huge, a single wide park model, and some painting and repairs were needed, but it’s comfortable, the people are nice and let’s face it, there’s no snow. I Have to apologize for the picture. It is from the back of our trailer in Florida and I forgot to crop but it gives you an idea of our nice little space.

We decided to leave our townhouse too. We sold our home a few years ago and were renting so we thought why put out that much money when we won’t be there five months out of twelve. So we left at the end of our lease and bought a trailer in a small park situated on the shore of Lake Ontario. Our children and grandchildren live about an hour away so the choice was easy.

But I have to tell you, all these lifestyle changes were a real shock to the system. We moved a lot of our “stuff” to Florida when we went there and the rest we put into a rather large storage unit. We also donated some belongings, sold some of the furniture, and took some to the dump but we still had a lot left. Hence the need for a storage unit.  My goal this summer is to go through all our belongings again and decide what more we want to take with us to Florida and what we can either sell, give away or trash. One thing that really bothers me is there is no place to hang my pictures right now. I don’t have a big, wonderful art collection but I have a number of prints either given as gifts or purchased just because I really like them. Here at our trailer in Ontario, there isn’t much wall space for hanging things but we do have much more space in Florida, so quite a few pieces will be making the journey with us in November. What do I like, really like, about trailer life? There is so much less space to clean!

Although I am enjoying the quiet and solitude here during the week, I miss seeing my friends and family more often so we are still undecided about staying in a trailer here. I will try it for this year but I am leaning to going back to a rental if we can find one that is reasonably priced.

I have one other issue with being retired, I am not focused enough on what I want to do with all my time. I want to write so I must make time for that. It’s not hard, I have lots of time, but setting aside time for a specific task is difficult for me as my mind wants to go to many different scenarios at once. So to solve that I decided I need to meditate. I used to meditate about a hundred years ago but life and all its busyness got in the way. so now I meditate sporadically. I have vowed to do it on a daily basis. My meditation has led me to a new interest that I’ll tell you all about on these pages as time goes by. Hopefully my blogging again will bring me back to the reality of a calm, organized life.