Be kind to one another, please

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell each and every one of you to please be kind to one another. This is a tough time for the world over and the last thing we need to do is turn on each other.

Show compassion, empathy and care. Ask someone how their day was and genuinely listen for the answer. Call your mom and dad or grandma and grandpa just to tell them you love them. If you’re financially able, buy the next person in line their morning coffee. Kindness goes a long way in this world and we desperately need more of it. So give kindness. Spread love, not hate. And please, please, please do it from a safe social distance.

Remember: you cannot do all of the good that this world needs but this world needs all of the good that you’re able to do.

Quarantine day: I’ve lost count

I dyed my hair today. It looks absolutely terrible. That’s okay though. We’re trying to accept change for what it is and move forward, even if the top of our head resembles that of a fire hydrant. Yes, we’re referring to ourself in third person now. Ourselves?

I mentioned a few weeks back that I was considering cutting my hair myself. Well, I never really gathered the guts to do that, so I decided that dying it was a much better idea instead.

Perhaps I’ll dye it again? I’m good at a lot of things in this life but logic is definitely one of my strong suits.

It’s been an eventful week. The tectonic plates beneath my feet have shifted and life will no longer be the same. As I stare at the chaos around me, waiting for the dust to settle, I realize that I have a choice to make. Do I live in the wreckage and pretend that it’s the home I remember, or do I crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild elsewhere? I’ll have to get back to you on that one because I really don’t have any answers. At least not right now. That seems to be par for the course in my life, though.

I’m beating up on myself tonight. I don’t want to be, it’s just the mood that I’m in. I was in this exact same room ten years ago today. Ten years ago. It’s crazy to me that, as much as has changed over the past ten years, nothing has seemingly changed. Did I really accomplish anything at all? Not likely. Time plays tricks on us. It really does. One minute your whole life is in front of you and the next minute it’s ten years later and you’re in the exact same place. Sure people have grown, some have even gone grey. But, for the most part, nothing has really changed. Everyone’s still the same they’ve always been. I guess I shouldn’t really judge. I’m not exactly the poster child of accomplishment. I always just assumed I was meant for so much more.

Perhaps it’s the quarantine talking… whatever it is, though, maybe it’s time I start adjusting to the world and stop waiting for it to adjust to what I desire. Because if the past is any indication of the future, I’m definitely not going to get what I want and hard-work plays absolutely zero factor in that.

Rainy days and Sundays

I’ve sat down to write this a few times this weekend. Each time I’m hit with a ‘you can’t talk about that’ frame of mind. So, I end up deleting it and closing my computer. Alas, here we are. I’m still not sure what I’m gong to say.

Things are changing swiftly around here. So swiftly that I am having a hard time keeping up. I genuinely was hoping that people would be more excited than they have been. But hey, I guess it’s my life, not their’s. So, what matters most is finding my own happiness. After all, we’re the only one’s responsible for our own lives.

To anyone who remembers my posting that I was going to give the website Medium a try, I have just over six in earnings so far. Not too bad, really. That’s six more dollars than I expected to make. Consider me pleasantly surprised.

I’ve noticed a distinct difference between Medium and WordPress. WordPress is the kind of place where I, and many others, dump out their thoughts. There are no rules, it’s more like the Wild West of writing platforms. Medium is very structured and very in-tune with rules. If you’re not going to follow the guidelines, you might as well not even hit publish.

That being said, I do believe that everyone is welcome on Medium. Don’t let the paywall intimidate you. If you want to write there, you’re welcome to write there.

In other news, I’ve been suffering from what I would consider to be extreme exhaustion as of late. I’m struggling to function, my headaches are such that it’s hard to be in a room with the lights on and my body aches. My body aches so badly.

The last time that I was dealing with these extreme of symptoms, I had some blood work done and that’s what started my journey towards discovering that I have celiac disease, a plethora of allergies to different foods and, extreme levels of malabsorption. I truly believe that I’m dealing with malabsorption right now and that it’s wreaking havoc on my body. Unfortunately, it sucks to deal with. That being said, it’s not exactly something pressing that needs to take up space at the doctor’s office. Doctor’s are inundated enough already with things that are far more pressing than mine.

Once things calm down and health care services are running normally again, that’s when I’ll seek out to see if I can get some blood work done. Until then, I’ll continue to take my supplements and eat the right foods in hopes that it gets better.

Speaking of getting better, British Columbia has started it’s ‘reopening’ process this weekend. Slowly but surely businesses that have been closed since late February are turning their lights back on, or will be soon.

I think it’ll be a while… at least a few weeks or more, before I venture into any place that I don’t deem absolutely necessary for me to be at. I’m still a little weary about being around people right now. B.C.’s provincial health officer is still urging people to proceed with caution. I’m really, really hoping that people will listen to her and won’t just crowd themselves into the closest bar, or restaurant or nail salon they can find. The last thing I want to see is a ‘wave two’ striking this province.

Tomorrow is Victoria Day here in Canada. If you’re celebrating the long weekend (silly suggestion, I know… every day is a long weekend right now) I hope that you’re doing it from six feet apart.

Stay sane, stay healthy and stay safe, please.

Testing medium.com

Recently I’ve done some research about medium.com. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s an online publishing platform created by the founders of Twitter as a way for people to share their thoughts, outlooks, perspectives and views when they aren’t bound by 140 characters.

Medium has a partner program in which people can sign up, for free, and submit their writing to the website giving them the opportunity to earn money for their contribution.

Medium operates much like a subscription service. Hundreds of thousands of people have signed up for the website to have access to the content of all of these individual creators submitting their written work. Each subscriber pays $5 a month to have access to unlimited content. If a paid subscriber reads an article that was submitted by one of the partner writers, the writer gets a portion of the subscriber’s monthly fee. From what I’ve read, this translates to different amounts depending on the how many articles a subscriber reads in a month.

For example: If a subscriber reads only two articles in a single month, $2.50 will go towards each article. If a subscriber reads 100 articles in a month then 5 cents will go towards each article written.

People are using Medium as a side-hustle to earn hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of extra dollars each month by sharing their writing with the platform.

If you’ve been around #MillennialLifeCrisis for any length of time, you know that I’m an advocate for the notion that if you write good content, people will find your content. So, when I started learning about Medium I thought that this sounded like the ultimate test. Can the simple act of writing great content be enough to make you money on Medium? Or, are you a small fish in a big pond of thousands of talented writers. I want to know.

I’ve told myself that I’m going to test out this website for two months. I published my first piece to Medium a little over 36 hours ago and it’s been met with mediocre stats so far. Definitely nothing to write home about (pun intended)! That being said, I’m committed to testing this for at least two months. I really want to contribute genuine effort to this and find out what are the possibilities with a little extra effort put towards it.

If anything happens along the way, I’ll be sure to update this blog. I know that many people who read my blog are, themselves, looking for ways to make money from home. So, if there are any interesting revelations, I will be sure to share. Otherwise, I’ll post an update as to how it went in two months time. I’m sharing this here as a measure to hold myself accountable to stick with it.

As of right now, all I that can report is that it’s EXTREMELY easy to sign up and that it seems to be an extremely organized and well thought out platform. Oh, that and that I really suck at editing my own work so posting to Medium will be good for me because I’m going to have to spend a lot more time editing.

Is there room for a girl like me over on Medium? I guess we’ll find out over the next two months.

Five things

This is a ‘tag’ I’ve seen going around WordPress lately. I’ve honestly seen it done so many times that I couldn’t tell you who started it. SORRY! That being said, I enjoy reading lists like these because I believe it tells you more about the person who has written them. I wasn’t a huge fan of some of the categories, so I left some out and changed two. Otherwise, the following is my addition to the ‘five things’ tag!

FIVE THINGS THAT HAVE BEEN GETTING ME THROUGH QUARANTINE:

  1. A foam roller – These are great for helping to relive muscle tightness, soreness and inflammation. The one I own I actually bought at Dollarama for $4.00. That being said, there are various types of these I’ve seen priced anywhere from $4.00 – $120.00. So if you want to spend some real money on it, it’s not hard!
  2. Vaseline Clinical Care Extremely Dry Skin Rescue Hand Cream – My hands were getting so dry from washing them and slathering them in sanitizer 40 times a day that they were starting to crack and bleed. I think it was $3.99 at the local drugstore and it’s been a real gem for my poor hands.
  3. Herbaland Vegan Protein Gummies – Knight was the person who actually found and bought these for me. They’re an extremely low-sugar, vegan protein snack that kind of tastes like candy. I’m not sure if you can get these outside of Canada as the company is headquartered in Vancouver, but if you can they’re definitely worth trying if you’re a fan of protein snacks.
  4. The Ordinary Caffeine Eye Concetrate – My sister in law bought this for me after hearing me complain about stress wrinkles forming under my eyes and, while I’d never heard of this before she left it at my front door, I can without a doubt say that it’s quickly becoming the best eye cream/serum/gel that I’ve ever tried.
  5. Thrifted Nike crewneck sweater – I actually bought this in summer 2019 at a local Thrift Store for $4.00. It’s just the perfectly comfortable, oversized grey crewneck sweater that dreams are made of.

FIVE BLOGS THAT ARE WORTH CHECKING OUT:

  1. Cynical Wordsmith – Poetry, Introspection, Life
  2. Filosofa’s Word – Politics, Snarky Snippets, World Events, Writing
  3. Marla On The Move – Travel, Stories from a world I’ve only ever dreamed of being able to see
  4. RebeccaGoesRendezvous – Travel, Stories from a world I’ve only ever dreamed of being able to see
  5. RTS – Facing the Challenges of Mental Health – Writing, Mental Health, Self Care, Introspection

FIVE YOUTUBE CHANNELS THAT I ENJOY WATCHING:

  1. Abandoned Urbex Canada – Run by a gutsy explorer, this YouTube channel takes a deep dive into abandoned towns, communities, homes and cultures across Canada.
  2. Daniel Schiffer – Daniel is a self-taught videographer who uses his channel to teach, freely, the likes of videography, editing, production and all of the tricks to the trade that he’s learned over the years.
  3. FlavCity with Bobby Parrish – The host talks a lot about nutrition, how to read ingredients lists on processed products and how to understand what’s truly in the food you’re eating. IE There’s a half dozen different terms that can be used on ingredient lists to note sugar, without actually stating that sugar is an ingredient.
  4. Levi Hilderbrand – Levi talks a lot about what it really means to be environmentally conscious and not in the ‘buzzword’ sense of being trendy. Some of his content is a little out there for me, but a lot of his videos really make me stop and think about the choices I’m making and what’s best for the environment and for myself.
  5. True Crime Daily – The content is exactly what the title suggests. I love this YouTube channel because of my deep fascination with true crime and desire to discover what drives people to commit crimes and do horrible things.

FIVE FOODS THAT I LOVE:

  1. Baked sweet potato with a sprinkle of cinnamon
  2. Bananas
  3. Cacao Nibs (if I close my eyes and think really hard about it, I can trick myself into believing they’re chocolate chips)
  4. Mashed Potatoes (Yeah, I clearly like carbs. lol)
  5. Seaweed Snack

FIVE TV SHOWS THAT I LIKE TO REWATCH:

  1. Bones
  2. Criminal Minds
  3. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
  4. Law & Order SVU
  5. Two Broke Girls

FIVE SONGS THAT I COULD LISTEN TO ON REPEAT:

  1. Arkells – Leather Jacket
  2. Bruce Springsteen – Dancing in the Dark
  3. Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel (this version specifically linked)
  4. Mumford & Sons – I will wait
  5. Otis Redding – Sitting on the dock of the bay

FIVE PLACES I’M DREAMING OF GOING WHEN IT’S SAFE TO TRAVEL AGAIN:

  1. Borneo
  2. Denmark
  3. Las Vegas
  4. South Africa
  5. The Cook Islands

FIVE THINGS THAT FASCINATE ME:

  1. Religious Fundamentalism and Extremists versus Cults
  2. True Crime and what causes people to commit heinous acts of violence
  3. Culture and how it differs not just from country to country but from east to west, and how different regions within the same country can be vastly different cultures
  4. How manipulation tactics drive hyper-consumerism
  5. If there is a difference between being good and doing good and if there’s some happy medium between the two

FIVE THINGS I STRUGGLE WITH:

  1. Anxiety
  2. Admitting when I am wrong
  3. Seeing the brighter side to life when there’s so much bad in the world
  4. Self-esteem
  5. Understanding my value

FIVE PEOPLE THAT I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO MEET:

  1. Anderson Cooper
  2. Jessica Mulroney
  3. Justin Trudeau
  4. Kenny Chesney
  5. I know this doesn’t really count as he’s already passed away, but I would’ve loved to have met Anthony Bourdain while he was still alive. I would’ve loved to just sit and chat about travel and culture and food and life while eating something that scared me but didn’t phase him at all. That would’ve been cool.

FIVE THINGS I WANT FOR THIS WORLD:

  1. Understanding
  2. Progressive governments
  3. Progressive culture so that people don’t have to live in fear of being themselves in the truest and most authentic forms
  4. Belief in climate change followed with effective steps moving forward to help protect the earth and not do unnecessary harm
  5. Equality

Have you seen the ‘Five Things’ tag floating around WordPress? What are your top five? If you make a post about it, let me know and I’ll check it out!

It’s almost Friday (a random assortment of thoughts)

As I write this I am watching three black bears across the road, down about three hundred feet from our yard, picking through the neighbours garbage.

You would think that living in a place this remote, people would know by this point that there are bears… that bears are awake during spring and summer and that their garbage should be kept behind their fence. Perhaps the neighbours just enjoy cleaning garbage that’s been torn up and tossed around their front yard. Yeah, that’s probably it.

Silly neighbours…

For lack of a smoother transition, British Columbia now has an official plan of action to reopen the economy, send kids back to school and define our new normal. The plan, slated to take place over the next eighteen months, is filled with holes, leaving people with more questions than answers, but at least it’s a plan at this point. The government isn’t haphazardly saying ‘open back up and pretend as though COVID never happened’. Because I know that’s definitely happening in a lot of places around the world.

What does that mean for travel?

I don’t know.

My brother invited me to Norway for Christmas. Does it make me a negative person if I don’t believe that international travel for leisure will be a thing by then? British Columbia isn’t planning for our tourism industry to reopen for a long time.

I have ALWAYS wanted to see Stavanger and the truly breathtaking surrounding region. But, I don’t think it’s worthwhile for my brother to sink his money into plane tickets for me when a trip like that is anything but certain in a COVID world.

I was talking about it with MarlaOnTheMove (she’s a fellow British Columbian) and honestly, the way I figure, we’re going to be in this province for the forseeable future. And, hearing how much she’s dealing with in trying to get refunds for her trips, I really don’t know if it’s worth it.

I’m so negative tonight. I know. I’m trying not to be. I just keep telling myself that I’m being realistic. And realistic, in a 2020 world is important right now.

On the subject of travel, did anyone else see the Axl Rose/Steve Mnuchin twitter spat? I know ya’ll are tired of hearing my opinions about politics, so I’ll just say that 2020 is whoah.

My anxiety has been pretty high this week. I’m doing what I can to cope but it’s been difficult. There’s just so much uncertainty that it’s hard to keep a calm frame of mind. I’m trying. But I’m also having troubles getting out of bed each day. I won’t lie about that.

Alright, that’s enough word vomit for tonight.

If you’ve read this, I hope you’re safe, healthy and sane. Sending best wishes from me and the bear sleuth.

Very opinionated post about politics

I watched an interview earlier in which Jared Kushner dubbed President Trump’s response to the Corona Virus Pandemic hitting the United States as a tremendous success.

Stepping aside from the fact that he needs to kiss his father-in-law’s ass as a means to remain in good standing with the family, and to quite literally have any job at this point in time, ignoring the silver spoon and ignoring the sheer idiocy of what is Fox News, I can’t help but think of the 61,000 families who’ve lost a loved one, be it a family member or friend, over the past two months. I can’t help but think of how utterly cold and offensive a statement like Kushner’s must seem. When he steps in front of that camera and peddles this complete and utter bullshit to the American public, it must feel as though he’s kicking 61,000 families while they’re already down. I would suggest a correlation between Kushner’s statements and spitting on the graves of those Americans lost, but honestly… 61,000 people have died in two months and he’s celebrating when these people haven’t even been properly laid to rest.

When President Trump ‘celebrates’ how low he’s keeping the death toll, it must make 61,000+ families feel as though the lives of their family members and friends who’ve passed are expendable to a government who’s leader promised he would stand up for the underdog. Celebrating a death toll, under any circumstances, showcases a serious character flaw that we all knew existed, but many refuse to acknowledge.

When President Trump spews complete nonsense from the podium day after day after day, only to turn around and claim he was being ‘sarcastic to see how news reporters would spin it’, it must make millions of people shake there heads and wonder why the fuck this idiot thinks right now is the appropriate time for sarcasm, under any circumstance. I know that’s how I feel.

Listen, I’m not American. I’m an outsider looking in and I’m looking in because I know that what happens in the United States is going to have a very real and lasting effect on my country. We’re not without problems in Canada. And yes, things suck right now. We are not immune to issues by any means. But it also sucks everywhere. It just seems like the USA is competing for a gold medal in the who can suck the absolute most Olympics. Or who can convey they have the coldest hearts.

Because there are as many people now out of work in the United States as there are people who live in Canada. And that hits me. As someone who knows the extreme lows that come with unemployment, that hits me really hard. I feel for these people who are struggling. People struggling to find the balance between remaining healthy/alive and feeding their families.

When Mitch McConnell says that he refuses to bail out blue states, I can’t help but think that this isn’t the time for a political pissing match or a dick measuring contest. (Vulgar, yeah, I know) When the Governor of Georgia waits until April to announce that he’s only just learned people can be asymptomatic carriers of this virus, infecting dozens or more without even knowing it, only to less than a month later say ‘Fuck it, social distancing is too hard’, I can’t help but think that it must really suck to be in Georgia and coming to the realization that they really don’t care if you live or die.

And when I hear about these tests, these ‘beautiful tests’ as Donald Trump touts them, the tests that are for everyone, the tests that Mike Pence needs to clarify were distributed but not processed, I can’t help but think what the fucking point is in having tests distributed if they can’t fucking be processed.

Literally, when Donald Trump gets out of office, he’s going to write a tell all book (and by write, I mean dictate because the man can’t speak so he definitely cannot write) about how he fucked over the United States of American. He’s going to sit on his golden throne on the top of Trump Tower and laugh about how many lives he ruined and how he’s going to go down in history for just how ‘beautiful’ of a job he’s done.

Side note – I don’t think he knows any other adjectives beyond ‘beautiful’. Beautiful tests, beautiful phone calls with the Ukrainian government, beautiful letters from North Korean dictators… oh don’t get me started with North Korean dictators…

For everyone who’s lost a loved one, a friend, a colleague, a neighbour, a stranger who you appreciated, I am sorry. I cannot imaging the pain you’re going through at this time. For everyone who is struggling, who doesn’t know how they’re going to make it through this, I am sorry. We will get through this together, whilst keeping a safe distance. And for the doctors, nursese, health care workers, and anyone on the front lines or working essential work right now to keep us all going through this, thank you. I cannot explain how much you mean to me, and though I don’t want to speak for a collective, how much you mean to all of us. You’re heroes. Full stop.

End rant. For now.