P.S. An explanation.

30 05 2010

I think what I wrote yesterday might have pissed a few people off.

I want to clarify something with anyone who felt attacked or judged.

I do believe we all need to do our part to help Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. HOWEVER, I do not believe that anyone needs to alter their lives in a way that would feel foreign or wrong to them. I do not stand in judgment on anyone’s decisions of how they live their own lives. All I wanted was to perhaps make someone think a little bit about their choices, and the long-term effects of these decisions.

That’s all.

The reading I’ve been doing about all of this oil dependency stuff has made me re-think some aspects of my own usage. And far be it from me to not share my way of thinking. I am opinionated. I step on people’s toes. I also am passionate about what I believe in, and sometimes can’t let an opportunity pass if I feel I might want to spread my word.

So, if you felt like I was condemning you because you like to spend spring break in Cuba, PLEASE remember that I, too, covet a sunny vacation in the middle of the glum days of winter. If the opportunity arises for my family and I to get away, hell yeah, we will.

Thanks for reading.

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Hmm. Apparently, opinions ARE like assholes. I happen to have both….

28 05 2010

This whole disaster in the Gulf with the oil spill has got me thinking. First, that no matter what happens; even if BP does manage to cap the leak; even if the US government pulls their collective heads out of the sand (and their asses) and starts to FINALLY do something about it; even if we STOP off-shore drilling; even if the leak is “cleaned” up to some extent, NO MATTER WHAT, we ALL need to start really thinking about our reliance on oil.

Now, I’m going to lay some hard truths on you, the way I see it. Perhaps your fingers will itch to type some scathing reply in retort to my humble opinion. That’s fair. That’s your right. But be prepared for the simple fact that there is truth in what I am about to say:

STOP USING SO MUCH OIL.

Re-think your travel plans. Planning on another excursion to Hawaii/Mexico/Cuba this winter to escape the blahs? Maybe entertain the idea of going every second year. Your carbon footprint is already huge. Running errands on different days that you could combine into one day? Well, that can save you money AND the planet a little tiny bit. Choosing less plastic (pre-cycling) when shopping is that much less of an impact on our reserves. Conserve. Respect the fact that it’s a privilege and not a right to consume as much as we want in this world.

I could go on and on. It’s rhetoric we have all heard. I even get sick of it. Yada Yada Yada… environment blah blah blah. None of you are stupid. You all read and watch the news…. We all know what it’s like out there… Over 6 billion people in the world, and most of them live in utter despair while we complain that we could only “afford” a 10 day holiday this year instead of a 3 week excursion.

BUT. There is only so much oil in our planet. What will happen to us if and when this runs out? The idea of “peak” oil is not some tree-hugger’s attempt to make everyone go green. It’s a real fact, an event that will happen, sooner or later. How will you get your strawberries in January? Where will your new clothes come from, if transportation is so expensive that only the elite can afford to buy the latest fashions? Have you thought to yourself that you don’t actually need what you are buying? That truthfully, you want it, and that is the reason you’re buying something unwarranted?!

And guess what? This isn’t a lecture I’m directing at you. I’m telling myself as well. God knows, I am a slave to shopping, a slave to my own wishes and desires.

I’m guilty of it too. Tremendously so. Over use, over abundance, frivolity. Because of this, I am trying to wean myself off things slowly. I grow a garden, I recycle, I reduce. I drive less. I try to choose certain things in life that factor in the environment before any of my materialistic needs. I also over-indulge, make bad choices, ignore elements of the environment in my decisions of purchases.

It’s easy to join a facebook group condemning off-shore drilling. I’ve done it. The irony, though, is that we ALL use the product of this method every single day. Simply put, we’re all hypocrites.

I do hope that this horrible disaster can spur a change in this world. More solar energy, less oil usage. I don’t know, I’m not a scientist. I don’t have the easy answers. Sadly, I don’t think there are any.

All I know is, I sure would like this planet and all of its magnificent beauty to be around for my grandkids.





I write, therefore I am.

20 05 2010

I don’t have a fancy-schmancy university degree. I have two years of post-secondary education under my belt, to which nothing really has come to fruition. I studied communications, french and journalism in those long-ago years.

All along I was told that I could write. That I had a bit of talent with the written word. For the longest time, after my failed attempt at university, I refused to believe that. I rebelled against it. I chose to think that I was talentless. Talent? Other than being extraordinarily anal about organization (my closet is colour-coded, I shit you not) and being able to speak in any accent on the planet and doing a mean version of the Chicken Lady from Kids In the Hall, I had none. Zero. Zip.

I can’t sing. I thought once I could dance and act, but growing up in a small town did not supply my dreams of the stage with any realistic mediums in which I could at least try and see what I could do.

So writing was all that I had. I wrote short stories and poems in school, the likes of which I cringe to recall, teenage angst of young love and suicidal thoughts and vampires.  But all that faded. I put the proverbial pen down without a second thought and went on to have a wonderful life, getting married, raising kids, volunteering at the school, discovering that I am a Yogi.

Every once in a while someone, usually my Mom or my sister, would remind me that I was a good writer. It irked me. See, whenever I heard people say “Oh, I’m a writer…”, it always sounded so… smug and sure and conceited…. I’d roll my eyes, insist that I was not that great. Perhaps I was afraid. Afraid of being audacious enough to say that I had talent too.

Life though, well, it rolls along, and all of a sudden you realize that in less than a year, you’ll be 40. That gigantic milestone of a culmination of dreams and hard work, of being able to look back while having something to look forward to. In less than a year, that number 40 will be etched onto my face, my life, my soul. Questions arose. What have I done, really? What have I given this world, other than my children? What part of MY soul is now out there?

And what of that dream of so long ago, to write? It seemed to be gone. So,  I searched for it.

It was still there. Jammed between wiping bums and laundry and marital strife. It was dusty and forlorn, this little dream of mine.

It is a daunting thing, to assume that there might be a sliver of chance that I might be able to do something. But what I found was that it doesn’t matter if the end result is being published or not. It is the the physical act of allowing myself to make my words flow from my fingers onto this screen in front of me. I find that I can sit and write and not notice that two hours have gone by. I feel full. I feel excited and scared and alive. I feel like ME.

So, whatever may come to me in the future, whether I do “succeed” with finally having my words published or not, just the act of finally putting myself out there is enough right now. This little dream is carried with me, glittering and gleaming in it’s restored newness.