Take Note

Take note of who shows up for you, and who doesn’t.

Take note of who is there for you, and who isn’t.

Take note of who makes you feel as though you matter, and who doesn’t.

Take note of who steps up when you need them, and who has excuses.

Take note of who answers your calls when you phone them, even it’s 2:00 am. It really doesn’t matter the time, if talking to you is important to them, they will answer.

Take note of who wants you around. Not out of any sense of obligation, but rather, just because they realize it’s better to have you around then it is to be without you.

Take note of who celebrates your victories as though they’re their own. If you’re important to them then they’ll be happy for you, never jealous. They’ll also never try to make it about themselves.

Take note of who asks how you are and genuinely wants to hear the truth, good or bad.

Take note of who remembers. Whether it’s the little details, or the big, they’re going to remember because it’s as important to them as it is to you.

Take note of who makes the effort. Whether it’s for the littlest of moments, or the biggest, they will treat them all with the same importance, because it involves you, and that’s what matters to them, making the effort for you.

Take note of who is proud of you, and proud to be with you. They damn well better be proud to be with you.

Despite what some might say, it’s not a lot to expect people to treat you properly. Take note of who treats you properly. And, if you read anything on this list and take issue with it, perhaps you ought to be treating some people better. No one is perfect. But, if someone truly cares, they’ll show it. Not with grand gestures or sweeping displays of affection/admiration or praise, but in being there, in whatever way they can – through all of life’s moments.

I just… a rant.

I am trying to explain to my employer why an ‘Anonymous Survey’ asking for feedback on each of my coworkers isn’t anonymous when I am the only female being asked to fill out the survey.

You might as well ask me to stand up in front of each of them and point out their faults and failures. First off, an environment is not safe for criticism when made anonymous. From a psychological standpoint, anonymous criticisms are perhaps taken even more offensively than open criticisms, ESPECIALLY from peers where those peer coworkers are abundantly aware that some are making more money then others.

Furthermore, not signing your name to the bottom of your comments does not make the comments anonymous. As the lone female in the room, and seemingly the only person with the true understanding of this scenario they’re creating, I think differently then men, I speak differently then men and I convey my thoughts differently then men. My feedback provided would stick out like the metaphorical sore thumb.

Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s insulting to suggest that people who communicate with one another every day, multiple times per day, aren’t able to differentiate the ways in which their peers communicate. Some of the men being asked to fill out this survey have been working together for fifteen years. I 100% GUARANTEE they know exactly how their coworkers write. Just like I know exactly who adds extra capital letters where they’re not necessary, throws ‘…’ into sentences they are still trying to form in their mind whilst they’re typing, or starts the majority of their sentences with the words ‘thoughtfully’, or ‘respectively’ or ‘importantly’, so do each of them. I know how they write, and they know how I write. Much like we have clear differentiators in the way we speak, we have differentiators in the way which we write.

This survey is not anonymous.

It’s going to start conflict.

My employer trying to tell me that I’m not being a team player if I refuse to fill this out truthfully is coercion.

In the hierarchy that is 95% of companies in this world, holding employees responsible to other employees (who are at their same level on the company hierarchy, such as my company is trying to implement here) is an abdication of responsibility on behalf of the managers. If they’re not going to manage, why are they being paid extra to be managers? Implementing this change under the guise of being ‘anonymous’ is dangerously misleading.

Are my coworkers going to say mean things about me? Probably. Am I going to be offended by it? I guess we’ll find out when I see it. Am I going to provide honest feedback? Absolutely not. This is not anonymous, I’m not paid management salary and I know better than to walk into a hornets nest. The men in my office hold grudges. You could argue that’s bad company culture, I’d argue that’s human nature. It’s specific to the men in my office (because there are so few females at my company), but it’s a generalization I believe applicable to the human race as a whole.

Companies that are actually interested in honest feedback from employees need to provide a safe-space for employees to provide said feedback. An ‘anonymous survey’ just isn’t that. If they cannot provide a safe-space for people to provide honest feedback, they shouldn’t be asking for it.

Let the in-fighting begin.

An update on the cup, and some thoughts about other stuff.

I threw the cup away.

I hated doing it. I don’t like throwing away goods that are still, seemingly, so good. I couldn’t get the lid off, though. With a lid on it, it’s useless to me. I can’t use it in my blender. I can’t possibly clean it properly. It feels like such a waste. Nevertheless, it’s gone. Dunzo.

Today I tried soaking the lid in oil (inside and out) to try and loosen it up and it didn’t work. I also tried banging it against the sink (stone sink) and it didn’t work. I also tried putting rubber bands around the lid to help grip and it didn’t work. I also tried silicone oven-mits and that didn’t work. I got so desperate that I knocked on my neighbour’s door. He wasn’t home, though. I took it as a sign that I should just give up.

I’m going to try to get by with just one blender cup, for now. It’s going to suck because of the fact that I hate washing dishes and I make smoothies daily. But hey, I’ll either have to deal, or get on the Ninja website and order new cups. (I say cups because you have to order them in a pack of two).

That’s a big ole explanation of something that’s not that important. I guess, though, that’s kind of an ongoing theme in my life.

In other news, today we reached a case count for COVID that we haven’t seen since early May whilst we were in the third wave. This is after the government stopped allowing asymptomatic testing, so that number is likely higher. This number of people with COVID comes as our government is stopping tracking, tracing and testing for COVID all together on the 16th of August. Once the 16th rolls around, if you want a test in this province, you either have to be being admitted to the ICU, or be willing to shill out $200 to a private company for them to do it for you. It’s part of our government’s large strategy of ignoring COVID and hoping that it goes away.

I can’t help but feel for all of the doctors, nurses and health care workers who have to deal with this oncoming shit storm. Our province has some of the lowest vaccination rates in the country. I don’t think the anti-vaxxers around here realize that the longer COVID is an issue, the longer our economy will suffer. The longer the economy suffers, the longer people will remain unemployed, or underemployed, be forced to close, or limit operations, struggle with making adequate money to cover expenses, etc… etc… etc…

EVERYTHING IS CONNECTED.

EVERYTHING.

Farmers are dealing with record-setting, once in a century droughts in this country this year. With such a short growing season in Canada, our farmed products are often much cheaper in the summer then they are in the winter. For those that don’t realize why this is… it costs a lot of money to pick fruit and vegetables half a world away and get them flown to Canada to be distributed on grocery store shelves so they can sit in your fridge for a few days before you’re ready to eat them. During the growing season, those fruits and vegetables that can be grown here will be much cheaper whilst in season. Rather than transporting them from the equator to Canada, they’re transporting them from a few hours down the highway.

When there’s a drought, though… we still have to purchase our goods from the equator. Costs remain as high in summer as in winter. Now, factor in that we don’t regularly purchase said goods in the summer, so the countries closer to the equator might have come up with other customers/countries to sell those foods too. Thus, there’s an increased demand for these goods, a demand that can’t be fulfilled, creating a buying war (prices go up) and food shortage for several different countries, not just Canada.

Everything is connected.

EVERYTHING.

Whew. I really started rambling there. Time to go wash my smoothie cup.

I can’t, volume 2.

If any of you remember last time I went sad-fishing, I’m here to do it again.

I have a relatively fancy Ninja Blender. It’s nothing near expensive as a Vitamix, but it did cost me a pretty penny. It has these individual sized cups for when you don’t want to use the giant blender and just want a personal smoothie.

Two days ago I made a smoothie and I put the lid on it, as I always do, to ensure nothing spilled while I drank it. Now I cannot get the lid off.

I cannot physically do it. It’s stuck. I’m not strong enough. It’s getting gross. I cannot clean it.

I’ve actually contemplated walking next door to ask my neighbour if he can get the lid off for me because I cannot physically do it. He already thinks I’m loony, so I might as well add to the fervor.

Does anyone have any tips or tricks for stubborn water bottle/smoothie cup lids? Does anyone have a Ninja Blender with some tips?

The way Ninja is, replacing these cups ain’t cheap. I don’t want to just throw it away.

I don’t know what to do. I just can’t.

08-08-21

I have deep-rooted intense fears of failure. It’s really difficult for me to admit to that, but there are a lot of aspects of my life that I allow to be dictated by the prospect of safety, security and of not rocking the proverbial boat.

I have always tried to project to this world that I’m fearless, that I truly do believe I can do anything. Truth-be-told, that’s definitely not the case. I’m incredibly insecure and I struggle with finding the confidence to really put myself out there.

Let’s talk about a “for instance” or two… or twenty.

I’m presently trying to design a lead-generation website. I’ve been working on it since late May. I should’ve been done by down. I should’ve been done a long time ago. But, I can’t. I’m struggling every step of the way. I know what lucrative structure lead generation is, and I know that it’s quite literally some of the most passive income you can make, and I’m struggling. This should be easy for me. Why is it so hard? Why isn’t it done yet? I understand website design. I understand SEO. I understand Google Ads to put my Lead Gen at the top of Google. Why am I not done?

I’ve been talking for over a year about starting a podcast. I want to start a podcast because I like to talk, and talking on a podcast seems like a great medium to share long-form content when I’m struggling to write. I also know some really cool people with crazy stories and crazy careers. I thought that I could leverage my relationships with said people to make sure the podcast isn’t boring being only myself (roadblock one). I finally have a microphone that provides quality sound that I can sit down and record and I’ve rediscovered how much I hate my voice (roadblock two). I actually made the first episode. And… I’ve never let anyone hear it. I don’t know that I will ever let anyone hear it. I don’t even want it to become something that turns into something where tons of people hear it. I’d be happy if like 20 people listened to it in a week. But I also don’t want those 20 people thinking ‘Damn, she’s an idiot’, or ‘Damn, her voice is annoying’. So I stop myself from doing something that I want to do. Why can’t I just allow myself?

I know that I need a new resume. I know that I want to find a new and better job. I desire a job with a better pay structure and fairer treatment. Every time I sit down to work on my resume, though, I get overwhelmed. That feeling of being overwhelmed, it stops me from actually writing a new resume. 2021 has taught me a lot about the difference between knowing what you’re worth, and what your company thinks you’re worth, or tries to tell you that you’re worth. All that being said, my company has acknowledged they’re not paying me nearly enough for the industry standard, and that they know I’m worth more, but that they won’t ever be giving me that. So, I need to find my own way out. Why am I not writing my resume? I know that I need to.

Some days it feels as though I can’t get out of my own head. Some days it seems like it’s all I can do to just function like a normal human being. Then, then I start to feel sorry for myself. Then I get angry with myself for feeling sorry for myself when I’m clearly capable. I don’t doubt my abilities. I fear failure. Which is crazy.

Some days I truly wish I could get out of my own head. I’d probably be a lot more successful in life if I did.

And the family grows

My brother and sister-in-law welcomed their second child last night (August 5th) just after 9:00 pm local time in Copenhagen, Denmark.

All throughout my sister-in-law’s second pregnancy my brother has told me that they have a name, but that they were not telling anyone until after their child was born. The whole family has been awaiting the news. We knew it was going to be a girl, we just wanted to know her name!

This morning (morning for me, afternoon in Denmark), my brother called to tell me that they’ve given her my name.

How cool is that? With all of the names there are in this world, I’m taking this as a compliment. You have to be able to leave some sort of an impression if someone is willing to name their child after you.

Letters to Anyone

Good Morning,

It’s been a while. Truth be told, I hadn’t realized how long. The past few posts that I made on this blog were written a while back and scheduled. The last time I actually sat down to write was on July 21st. That’s an uncharacteristically long break for me to take from this blog.

What’s been happening? Well, I got away for the long weekend. Remember when I said I was Thinkin’ about Vancouver and escaping for the long weekend? I did it. I got away. I walked myself into the airport and onto the plane and I left for the long weekend. It sounds like such a small thing in theory, but it was a really big moment for me. It took a lot for me to get on that plane. My anxiety was in overdrive, and where I would normally avoid situations that make me that uncomfortable, I did it anyway, and I’m really glad that I did. I had an amazing long weekend away from Alberta. For the first time in over a year, I just left the whole world behind. I didn’t pay attention to the news, I didn’t even phone my mom. (She was angry about that) I just enjoyed spending time with my friend.

Would I fly again any time soon? I don’t know. It made me really uncomfortable that we were in a sky-tin with recycled air and so many people just took their masks off because they really didn’t give a damn about anyone but themselves.

In other news, I’m presently in negotiations for getting a new car. It’s a pretty long story. Perhaps I’ll get there to share at some point, but not now. I’m looking forward to the prospect of some new wheels. BTW, when I say new car, I mean new to me. I am purchasing a pre-owned vehicle.

I’m also getting a new set of glasses this week. It’s the first time since 2015 that I have gotten a new pair, so I am hoping new spectacles with an updated prescription will help with my headaches. They were very expensive, so let’s also hope they last a couple of years at least.

Not much else is new around here.

Calgary is still smokey. The provincial government is still being idiotic about basically everything. BC is still burning. People are still denying climate change is real. An actual quote I heard in the grocery story was ‘Lightning didn’t start that fire, lightning is in the sky and it doesn’t touch the ground’. Speaking of grocery stories, food prices are on the rise and no one around here seems to be able to comprehend why. Droughts don’t make for ideal conditions to grow food, or feed cattle to ensure there’s food on the shelves of the grocery story. If it’s harder to produce the food, due to climate change, then the food is going to be more expensive on grocery store shelves, and we will continue to pay bigger bucks each trip to hear people who clearly can’t grasp the basic concepts of weather. Whew. That was a tangent.

Be kind people. Care about others. It shouldn’t have to happen to you for it to matter to you. And always remember, you cannot do all the good that this world needs, but this world does need all of the good that you can do.

It’s expensive to have crappy vision

I have extremely poor vision. I always have. I was that baby who was wearing glasses with the elastic around the back of her head so that I wouldn’t pull them off.

So to frame my perspective (no pun intended), I’ve had glasses since I was a baby, and I’ve had contact lenses since I was thirteen years old.

Eye doctor exams in Canada run between $135 and $210, depending on where you go. To wear contact lenses, you’re required to get an eye doctor exam every year. So, if I were to low-ball an estimate of what I’ve spent on eye-exams from the time I was thirteen to now, my eye exams have cost $2,565

Every major benefit provider in this country will pay $100 for a Canadian to get their eyes checked every second year. So, I will subtract $600, as that would have been paid for by benefits.

Out of my pocket, I’ve paid $1,965 to sit in an exam chair and have a doctor tell me that I have shitty vision.

That, in of itself, doesn’t include the special treatments and tests I’ve required over the years because of my vision being so poor. I can’t even fathom how much that’s gone on to cost. Special requirements aren’t often covered by benefits providers, because apparently I just messed up and should’ve come out of the womb with good eye sight? Let’s low ball my treatments over the years to roughly $5,000.

I have a special prescription for my eyes that makes glasses between $800-$1,200 per pair when I get them. ($800 if I choose the cheapest frames, $1,200 if I try to get something a little more sturdy)

Now keep in mind here, I have no choice. I need to wear some sort of a corrective lens in my eye, or in front of my eye, in order to be able to see. Otherwise I walk into large objects, I would’ve never been able to drive, and would likely fall down stairs. I say that “I’m blind” when people ask. Whilst I’m not legally blind, the world is 50 different shades of fuzzy without some sort of vision correction.

Because I’ve prioritized contact lenses over glasses (they work better for me, my lifestyle, my mood in general), I typically get myself a new pair only once every four years. The reason for this is because I only wear my glasses at night after I’ve taken out my contacts.

If we do the math of when I started paying for my glasses at 13, to now, I’ve owned 5 pair of glasses. Let’s say, I chose the cheapest frames every single time I went (I didn’t but I don’t remember what all of the costs were). $800 x 5 pair of glasses is $4,000 spent on glasses.

To recount, I’ve spent roughly $1,965 on eye exams, $5,000 on special treatments for my eyes and $4,000 on glasses. Right now, we’re sitting at $10,965 spent just to care for my eyes and correct my vision.

Now, I have made the choice, since I was thirteen, to wear contact lenses. This has been a choice that I realize makes things more expensive, but it’s overall suited my life better and has been attainable to me, so I have willingly chosen to do it. I understand that life would be cheaper if I just wore glasses every day of my life. So this isn’t a mandatory expense, but a chosen expense to make my life easier.

The contacts that I wear cost $725 per year. The one thing that I’ve always appreciate about contact lenses is that the fee is always the same. It’s been the same since I was 13 and the price has never gone up, even when my vision has gotten worse.

$725 x 19 years is $13,775.

All major benefits providers in Canada will pay for $100 every two years. Since I wear glasses less frequently then contacts, I’ve always elected to have that $100 go towards my contact lenses. So, if we subtract an estimate of $100×10 years (to be on the fair side), I can take one thousand dollars from the total of my contact lenses. So I have paid $12,775 for contact lenses.

Since I’ve started paying for my own vision care at 13, I’ve spent $23,740.

It is extremely expensive to have shitty vision. And, it’s really a luxury that I’ve been able to afford correcting my vision all of these years. Listen, I’m lucky that for the majority of the past 19 years, I’ve had some form of benefit in some sort of way to help with that fee. But, it’s still fucking expensive with those vision benefits.

With or without benefits, these fees aren’t attainable by a lot of people. I think this is something that a lot of people don’t realize. Vision care is a bit of luxury. Granted I choose to wear contact lenses so my total is more expensive, if I wore glasses every day of my life, I’d likely need to replace them more often, so the total wouldn’t be that far off.

Now, I’ve been very lucky in my life that I’ve been able to afford this luxury.

And sadly, it is still a luxury to be able to see properly in this world.

I can’t even begin to imagine what these eye doctor visits and treatments and whatnot would cost in the United States. Probably more?

As much as I wish all kids could be born with perfect vision, that’s just not reality. There are a lot of kids in this world who just have shitty vision, for no other reason than just because. It can be really hard for their parents to afford eye doctor examinations and glasses, especially if their vision continues to change/get worse.

And for adults, you know, I’m exceptionally blessed to be in a situation where this is a feasible expense for me. I can completely understand, though, this tough for a lot of people. People who really don’t have extra money, people who live pay cheque to pay cheque, people who were laid off in the past year due to COVID, it’s hard to fathom spending vast amounts of money on this.

This is why so many people will go without.

Or, they’ll get glasses of some sort, or contacts of some sort, and just stick with that because it corrects their vision ‘enough’, despite their vision worsening.

A lot of people will just get by with what they have because it’s too damn expensive to get a new pair of glasses, or a new order of contact lenses. Can you imagine? Can you imagine having to get your driver’s license renewed and knowing you’d then have to go get your new glasses in order to get your driver’s license renewed, otherwise you can be denied? It’s an expense, on an expense.

This is something that I care very much about because I’ve always had bad vision and it’s gotten considerably worse with each passing year. It’s expensive to be blind. It’s expensive to have shitty vision. No one chooses shitty vision. Vision care needs to be made more accessible to the masses. The truth is, if your vision isn’t corrected properly, it could be made worse because of that. You could also be subject to frequent headaches, dizziness, increased lethargy, all because your eyes are working so damn hard to just see the world in front of you.

With it estimated that as much as 70% of Canadians needing corrective lenses in order to properly see (I can’t even imagine how high that stat would be around the world!), why isn’t more being done to make vision care and corrective lenses more accessible to people.

You need to see to drive. You need to see to read. You need to see to judge distances, or understand depths, or avoid hazards. Corrective vision should be way more accessible than it is, in Canada and around the world.