IMG_0210

Bullies: How You Treat People = WHO YOU ARE

For your reading pleasure today, we have a rant for and about BULLIES. Specifically, adult bullies who need to know better.

bullying-culture-problem-bullies
Image via thinkinclusive.us

I’m incensed after reading an article about disgusting trollery cropping up among Ontario doctors, targeting other doctors with whom they disagree on their internal politics. Click on over if you’d like to bear witness to some truly heinous behaviour, some even with screen-capture as proof.

Why should I care about infighting among doctors? Is it even my business?

Yes, it is, and I should. And so should you. Because: we are a better species than this.

Not too long ago, I wrote about How Not To Be A Douchebag, prompted by some similarly obnoxious incidents perpetrated by a different swath of people. I feel pretty certain that the post was read only by non-douchebags, since this blog’s readership is traditionally a small number of lovely, civilized people.

Now, here I am again. It seems I need to look at a greater problem: not just your run-of-the-mill jerks, but highly educated expert jerks on the public payroll.

I’m upset about the doctor thing for several reasons:

  1. Doctors go through many, many years of school, and work with (and for) a wide variety of humans, with the goal of doing no harm. In this province, they even do specific training for empathy. How can you go through all that and still feel entitled to stab your colleagues in the back?
  2. The nature of a doctor’s job is extremely intimate and sensitive. If online bullying is acceptable practice to you, what other shockingly inappropriate actions are you justifying to yourself?
  3. I’m a teacher, one of those professions people LOVE to bully. I’ve learned first-hand that no matter how divisive an issue is, it is possible to have a respectful conversation. (3.b And that no matter how crucial or legitimate an issue is, there will be people who feel qualified to forego critical thought and spew crap all over it.)
  4. As with any profession, most doctors are doing their best to do a good job and be good people. When something like this blows up, it dishonours all of them. A big shame-paintbrush like this gets an awful lot of people messy.
  5. Although this current news piece will no doubt shortly fade from the public consciousness, it is not an isolated problem. The article states that abuse and bullying have been going on in the medical community for decades.

I guess that should be no surprise. Every field has its assholes. It’s just that there’s this thing called “Professionalism.” Medicine is one of the most highly-regarded professional fields in the world. Therefore, to be part of it, you are expected to be professional. (That part ain’t brain surgery, people.)

The biggest reason I’m mad at the doctor-bullies today is that, despite the brains and hard work required for them to be where they are, they have somehow skipped the lesson you’re supposed to learn in kindergarten, or even younger: BE KIND. In translation, this also means DON’T BE A JERK.

As both a teacher and a parent, I spend a lot of my life trying to help people under the age of twelve understand what it is to be a good person. There are millions of other teachers and parents out there doing the same thing.

And it is constant work, an endless slog. Kids are often mean to each other, both by accident and on purpose. It’s normal, a developmental process – but that’s not to say it’s okay. We don’t just let it slide. When we teach kids about treating other people as they’d like to be treated, we are explicitly instructing them in skills like empathy, politeness, advocacy, and rational conversation.

We discuss manners, even down to tone of voice. We talk about mediation and listening. We make it clear that it’s not acceptable to deliberately hurt other people, whether in person or online. It’s okay to disagree, it’s okay to express anger, but it’s not okay to be mean about it.

I often ask kids who are being mean to someone, “Are you a mean person?” They almost never believe themselves to be mean people. They must be reminded that if you do mean things, that makes you a mean person. You are what you do.

These are young children. Of course we have to help them learn these things. Part of developing as a human is to learn how to be what we intend. We all need help and reminders.

But really, is there any excuse at all for being a medical doctor who still calls people awful names? When can we expect adults to grow up, if not by this point in life? When might we expect one to dislodge one’s cranium from one’s anus?

Once more, with feeling: if you act hateful to people, that’s you. Being a hateful person.

Is that the person you meant to be?

To be honest, I’m not just talking about the field of medicine. My ire is directed at all the bullies, trolls, harassers, and intimidators who fall into the category of “adults.” It is TIME TO SHAPE UP. Can’t you see that the rest of us are working here?? That we are toiling every single day to be and teach examples of treating others with compassion and respect, and that you are unraveling our carefully-crafted lessons? In other words, in case you need some more familiar terminology, you are f*cking it up.

If you think children don’t notice your bad behaviour, you couldn’t be more wrong. They are all over the internet, seeing all kinds of things you didn’t intend them to see. They hear the words you say aloud and they see the way you treat people. Unless you live by yourself in a remote cave (without internet access), you are setting examples every day.

I’m not saying you have to be perfect. We all lose our temper sometimes. Most of us occasionally say things we regret, in the heat of the moment. But when it comes to online harassment, you have no “heat of the moment” defense. You deliberately typed every ugly word you used.

I don’t care how upset you are: as an ostensible grown-up, you need to express your anger in a mature and productive way.

I also don’t care how excellent you are at your job, or how prestigious your career is; it does not make you a superior human.

I have always been mystified by those who think it’s okay to treat others cruelly. And I don’t know why, but many people seem to think the internet is the place to give voice to their most repulsive selves. I have heard of and witnessed far too many examples of this recently. Full-grown people behaving more obnoxiously – and immaturely – than the worst schoolyard bullies. Feeling no need for reflection or self-examination, and no need to consider their actual audience.

That’s the thing even the most educated trolls seem – conveniently, and incredibly – to forget: the audience is real. Would you really call your co-worker a c*nt – to her face, in a roomful of your colleagues? Would you stand up in the staff lounge and announce that so-and-so should eat sh*t? Because that’s what a closed forum is.

And if you’re on a public comment forum, you’re essentially onstage. Picture yourself and your target sharing the spotlight in a grand auditorium filled with unseen crowds – they’re there, they’re listening, and you’ve taken the mike. What would you really say?

It worries me that so many bullies have been validated by the recently-elected American Prince of the Douche-Trolls. If you look at him and think admiringly, He has no filter and he’s proud of it! He stands for free tweets speech! That’s what the new era looks like!, please know that this is bullshit. He is not “telling it like it is.” He proudly embodies a lack of self-regulation, combined with a pitiable need for attention and the cowardice to choose the internet as his preferred medium.

You know the old saying: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will leave emotional scars that will affect my relationships and mental health for the rest of my life.”

Words are profoundly important. Especially online, we have the time and experience to make something of our words, to use their power to move our society forward. We have a responsibility to consider the words we use, and to make them reflect who we are.

You’re really going to pick those shabby, disgraceful words to express disagreement? You think they will make your point?

Actually, the most salient point you make, with words like those, is about you.

If you call yourself an adult and have not yet figured out how to disagree without being abusive, then you are an embarrassment to your peers. You should be ashamed of yourself. It’s time to join the civilized world and fix this.

Please and thank you.

***


 

Related Posts:

IMG_0210

Crossing the Border into the Kids’ Bedroom

Recently, my kids got all excited about creating signage. E was the instigator in this, so these – the six most important things to keep in mind at the border – are his handiwork. They can be found on the shared bedroom door.

This one’s pretty obvious. There’s no smoking in our house, which is easy because none of us is a smoker.
Also pretty obvious – we are Canadians, after all. No firearms likely to be lurking in our sock drawers. Truth be told, we do our best to quash any games that involve guns as well, even completely imaginary ones. Even the sound effects. Too unfunny to be playful on any level, as far as I’m concerned.
They get to have their water bottles. Occasionally dry cereal. Otherwise, it’s a pretty strict policy. (Thanks for noticing, little dude!)
The items shown are Minecraft armour. Sometimes E gets to play with the iPad in his bedroom, but it’s far from being a given – especially during the school week. I think this sign is mostly wishful thinking/hopes for the power of suggestion.
We have learned that it’s very important to take off our soaking wet snow gear AT THE DOOR. Sometimes we even remember the crucial step of hanging it up.
So that’s no bears of the grizzly, polar, or black(/brown) varieties. Beanie, fuzzy, plush and/or cuddly can obtain passports to be admitted.

So watch yourselves, folks. There are no border checkpoints, but I’m sure Big Brother is watching.

***


 

Related Posts:

IMG_0210

Let’s have Sisterhood take over the world – boys, girls, and all.

Let’s talk about Sisterhood. It’s a much bigger concept than simply having female siblings. I believe that Sisterhood, big S, encompassing millions of diverse humans, is what today has been about.

I’m aware that there was a big, braggadocious, depressing, basically unthinkable event going on yesterday. It was my day off. I studiously avoided all exposure to it. Instead, I’ve been ruminating on more worthy things.

you-can-be-anything-be-kind
Image via The Master Shift

In November, I weighed in about the political situation and how it must be combatted with courtesy and civilized conversation  and critical thinking and especially LOVE. I felt the need yesterday to focus on that. Love is what we use to fend off and neutralize hate. Love is what we’re here for. But what does that look like on a grievously upsetting day?

Sisterhood popped up as a theme as early as breakfast. One of my wonderful, gifted American cousins – who happens to be an only child – had written a beautiful Facebook post that included these wise words:

Sisterhood shines brilliantly when we lift each other up, giving tough love when our sisters aren’t reaching their full potential… and celebrating each other’s successes from a place of abundance and admiration instead of envy. 

Sisterhood is about collectively raising and empowering the young girls in our lives. 

Sisterhood is sharing in the flawed, exhausting, pressure-filled, body-centric, mysterious, perfectly imperfect experience of being a woman. Sometimes we are violated, silenced, overlooked, or underestimated. Too often, we are our own worst enemies. 

Sisterhood is turning into our mothers, taking care of our mothers, and becoming mothers. 

Sisterhood is coming together in the hundreds of thousands, all over the world, to be heard.

This prompted me to re-read one of my favourite Momastery posts, in which the carpentry term “sistering” is explained. It’s kinda perfect. It’s all about getting close, locking in, being there and supporting where support is most needed.

It occurred to me that Sisterhood, in its greatest sense, is not just for women. It can embrace the people of all genders who sister each other.

Yes, I know that brotherhood is a thing, and a good thing in many ways. I firmly believe boys need more bonding experiences. Brotherhood connotes standing united together, leaving no one behind, knowing who’s got your back, and no doubt much more. It also connotes frat parties, army platoons, and street gangs.

Sisterhood, on the other hand, has gentleness. It is strong and fierce, and gentle. It can get angry and still be kind. It is brimful of compassion. Sisterhood is open; it confides; it listens; it feels deeply. It is not afraid to be vulnerable, nor to give tough love, nor to speak its heart.

It has been my privilege in life to know many men who understand and participate in this kind of Sisterhood – including several who are related to me. One of them had his 30th birthday yesterday, which made all of us who know and love him feel comforted on that date.

{Thank you for being amazing, Sistermen – the world needs you more than ever.}

And today is another birthday, that of a faraway sister-of-my-heart whom I rarely see, but with whom I can always fall into step when we meet.

I have many Sisters, Canadian and American, who have been marching today in various places, including Washington. It has made me really happy to check in with them and see Sisterhood governing. Wise words spoken – incisive wit – reverent listening – peaceful gathering – pink pussy hats – acknowledgement of privilege – generosity – joyful solidarity. Humans supporting humans in our imperfectly human way.

sisterhood womens march on washington
Image via cbc.ca, Julia Pagel

Last night, I was fortunate to be in the audience at the Guelph Lecture On Being Canadian, presented by Jeannette Armstrong, Okanagan knowledge-keeper, professor, researcher, writer, protector. She spoke of the importance of listening to and understanding the exact opposite of your own perspective, in order to achieve balance. She spoke of coming together to heal the world. The unity in the room was palpable. Sisterhood.

It seems to me that in these past two days, that balance of opposites is exactly what the world has seen.

To all Sisters: we know there are tough times ahead. We know that to provide the balance for what is coming, we will have to use extra measures of patience, warmth, empathy, and understanding – for each other just as much as for those on the other side of the scales. We need to think hard, check ourselves, and use the most love that we can muster.

We are meant for this challenge. We’ve got this.

 

***


 

Related Posts:

IMG_0210

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – Two-Minute Book Review

Title: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle – A Year of Food Life

animal vegetable miracle barbara kingsolver
READ ME

Author: Barbara Kingsolver, with Stephen L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver

Other works: (by Barbara) The Poisonwood Bible, Prodigal Summer, Small Wonder, The Lacuna, The Bean Trees, etc.

Recommended by: Book Club! I also find that Kingsolver’s work recommends more of itself to be read.

Genre: Non-fiction/Cooking/Poetry (because honestly, everything she writes is full of poetic gorgeousness)

Main Characters: Her family – she, her husband, and two daughters – and the FOOD.

Opinions: I adored this book, as I expected to. I had read a bunch of her fiction, as well as non-fiction essays; Animal, Vegetable, Miracle has the added practical advice, recipes, and lots of horticulture that make it useful and educational, as well as just beautiful. I don’t remember all the opinions from the Book Club meeting, but it gets 4/5 on Goodreads.

A quotation I liked: “Human manners are wildly inconsistent; plenty of people have said so. But this one takes the cake: the manner in which we’re allowed to steal from future generations, while commanding them not to do that to us, and rolling our eyes at anyone who is tediously PC enough to point that out. The conspicious consumption of limited resources has yet to be accepted widely as a spirtual error, or even bad manners.”

What sticks with me: This book is not preachy, but it says a lot about sustainability and the realities of our food culture, especially in North America. It makes me think all the more often about where my food has come from, and whether I want to support the way it’s grown or exported. I also really really want to have dinner with the author.

Recommended to: Farmers, Gardeners, Foodies, Environmentalists, Poets, and people who don’t cook but want to start.

To sum up: Inspiring. Sometimes depressing, but mostly uplifting. Barbara’s writing is always full of compassion for humanity, and this book makes you feel like a friend in her warm kitchen.

***


 

Related Posts:

IMG_0210

Nerdy Mom Plays With Kids’ Toys, Vol. 6 – Tender Moments

Happy Friday, lovely di-hards!

Minnie and the Sea Dragon

Minnie could never have guessed that being lost at sea would result in a very special connection with a misunderstood sea “monster”. After all, he’s really just a creature looking for love, like you and me (but more scaly).

Little Bear’s Rescue

Sometimes, if an orphaned mini counting-bear comes along at the right point in a mama Bakugan-dragon’s life, she will take the cub and raise it as her own. This mother is seen grooming her cub as if he were her own Baku-spawn.

Love for Planet Earth

The green aliens came to Earth for a reason. It really is just a darn lovable place. Makes you want to give it a big smooch. (Canada especially.)

***


 

Related Posts:

IMG_0210

The 2016 Review + New Year Questionnaire

Happy New Year! Isn’t it nice to have a new start, after the year we’ve had?

Time for the semi-traditional New Year’s Questionnaire. This year, I’ve decided to take some liberties with it. That is to say, I deleted or modified the questions that were annoying me or seemed repetitive. No time for baloney in 2017!

  1. What did you do in 2016 that you’d never done before?

Me: Visited North Carolina, taught English, tried an Escape Room (with a team of smart/more experienced people) – and escaped!

Sean: Bought a minivan, subsequently inaugurated it by taking 15 hours in one day to drive two kids and four adults to North Carolina. And then 15 more hours to drive back a week later.

E: Went to the Hogwarts classes and Quidditch practice at the University, licked my own elbow, started Tae Kwon Do classes.

AB: Started school, said lots of French things, learned some Tae Kwon Do moves from my brother.

  1. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions?

Me: No. I did not at all get my 52 blog posts done, despite the scaled-down nature of the resolution. (I got to 32.) Sigh. I am disappointed. I also didn’t achieve what I set out to with my delayed NaBloPoMo strategy. Life is just too hectic, and although I know that writing is important for my brain and my spirit, so is getting sleep. And so is planning lessons and marking stuff. And so is reading stories to my kids. Et cetera. There are not enough hours to do ALL THE THINGS.

Sean: Not exactly. See Question #17.

E, A: We’re kids. We live in the moment.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Me: A very dear family friend and member of our Friends’ Meeting.

Sean: Two wonderful step-grandparents.

E: So many of my baby teeth.

A: The loops on my rubber boots.

4. What would you like to have in 2017 that you lacked in 2016?

Me: My report cards done early.

Sean: Really good sleep.

E: A wooden sword. I might make one with all the boards I’ve been breaking in Tae Kwon Do.

A: I would like a unicorn that a princess can ride on!

5. What events from 2016 will remain etched upon your memory, and why:

Me, Sean: Fires in Fort MacMurray, US Election results, deaths of David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Prince, Muhammad Ali, Anton Yelchin, Gene Wilder, Charmian Carr, Leonard Cohen, Alan Thicke, George Michael, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds.

E: North Carolina, and my birthday!

A: North Carolina, and the first day of school!

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Me: Being part of Mosaic.

Sean: Becoming a supervisor and initiating the overhaul of the tooling system at work.

E: Earning my yellow and orange belts in Tae Kwon Do and participating in my first tournament. And I really developed the skill of soccer this year.

A: Singing many songs in French, especially the one we did at the school concert (“La neige tombe”).

7. What was your biggest failure?

Me: Still not managing to finish unpacking by 2017. (Sadly, this is not a joke.)

Sean: Not losing weight.

E: I get mad at myself when I do things imperfectly.

A: I have no failings.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Me: I suspect I’ve been suffering from plantar faciitis…

Sean: Toe broken by karma as I ran up the stairs chasing the kids, having just told them not to run up the stairs. And then there was that tiny metal chip that had to be surgically removed from my eyeball.

E: The usual viruses, and the usual grievous injuries about five times a day.

A: The time my brother scratched my hand that had already been scratched!

9. What was the best thing you bought?

Me: Poo-Pourri. Especially Vanilla Mint. Highly recommend. (And thanks for the tip, JP!)

Sean: OluKai flip flops.

E: I bought my smelly markers with my own money! I went to Staples with the six dollars plus tax in coins in a green container with a lid, and when we checked out I put it on the counter, and that’s how I proudly paid for my own markers. (This is Mummy’s description. Gosh, it was cute.)

A: I got five dollars from my Uncle Barry in North Carolina and I helped pay for my very own pink Automoblox.

10. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

MeSean: Trump + supporters, ISIL, other terrorists and corrupt individuals… the usual.

E: Mummy and Daddy, when they make me do my homework.

A: Mummy and Daddy, when they make me use words and manners instead of just reading my mind.

11. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Me: The peaceful Standing Rock protesters, and the two thousand veterans who joined them.

Sean: Pope Francis’s, for his work with the poor and refusal to buy into the pomp of popehood.

E: Mine, when I broke my first board! (And then a whole bunch more.)

A: Mine, for many diaper-free dry nights!

12. What did you get really excited about?

Me: A beautiful white Christmas.

Sean: The US election – good excited… and then bad excited.

E: Pokémon endless cards!

A: My sparkly silver purse!

13. What song will always remind you of 2016?

Me:

Sean:

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Me: Keeping my patience.

Sean: Exercise.

E: Screen time. There’s a lot less of it now that I’m in Grade 2.

A: I’m four. I have no need to examine my own behaviour.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Me: Stressing out.

Sean: Eating out.

E: Homework.

A: Walking to school. It’s such a long way. I think I still deserve my stroller.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

All: With people we love, all kinds of family. So very fortunate.

17. What is your resolution this year?

Me: Learn not to use the snooze button; use my massage benefits.

Sean: Be fit and productive.

Me, Sean: This year, we are keeping Bullet Journals! We shall thus become organized and effective, beyond all previous experience or expectations. (Sort of like a resolution.) We’ve already started. We are already getting a bit compulsive. I’m sure the Bullet Journal will get its own blog post one of these times.

E: Get my green belt; learn to skate. My mom would like me to resolve to whine less about my responsibilities. We’ll see about that.

A: Try a new dance class or maybe Tae Kwon Do. My mom would like me to resolve to cooperate in the mornings. We’ll see about that.

18. What was your favorite TV program?

Me: The Crown.

Sean: Luke Cage, Daredevil Season 2, The Crown.

E: Lego Ninjago.

A: Paw Patrol, Peppa Pig.

19. What was the best book you read?

MeThe Girl on the Train was basically un-put-down-able.

Sean: A Brief History of the Future and The Harrows of Spring.

E, A: We had the rest of the Harry Potter series read to us, and then all of Narnia, and now we’re on to Roald Dahl. We love them all!

20. What do you regret?

Me: Not being better organized, especially during April through June.

Sean: Spending money on junk food.

E: That time I missed most of gym period because I forgot my indoor shoes at home.

A: All the clothes that are too small for me.

21. What decision are you glad you made?

Me: To buy a mini-van.

Sean: To accept the supervisor position.

E: To ask for Diary of a Wimpy Kid for Christmas. (He has been devouring the series and was almost done book 7 as of Sunday night).

A: Changing my mind at the last minute to be Minnie Mouse for Halloween instead of Elsa again.

22. What was your favorite film of this year?

Me: Moana.

Sean: Captain America – Civil War.

E: Zootopia.

A: Moana.

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

Me: 38, got surprised by my family coming to dinner and doing beautiful birthday things.

Sean: 39, celebrated the weekend before at an indoor water park in Niagara Falls with family and friends.

E: 7, had my friends over to my house.

A: 4, attended several dinners in my honour.

24. What new thing would you like to try in 2017?

Me: I’m considering an Ugi ball.

Sean: Minimalism.

E: I’ve tried skating, but only a couple times. I’d like to learn for real.

A: I’m considering a haircut.

25. What political issue stirred you the most?

Me: Nestlé’s mercenariness, pipelines.

Sean: US Election.

E: Kids in my class saying I have a crush on someone when I don’t.

A: My right to snuggles EVERY MORNING for as long as I want.

26. Whom did you miss?

Always Sebastian. Also, please see #3.

27. Who was the best new person you met?

All: Two new friends! We have all been really glad to get to know Danielle, and also Matt.

E: It was my first year getting to attend the same school as last year, so it was nice NOT to meet as many new people.

A: My best friend is Olivia P!

28. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2016:

Me: Every vote really does matter.

Sean: Replacing the filter on your CPAP machine makes a huge difference to sleep quality.

E: Practice really does make you better at things.

A: W goes down-up-down-up, and N goes up-down-up.

29, Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

Throw a little love till the world stops hurting… Keep on, keep on, keep on truckin’…

lucky family

***


 

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
IMG_0210

Sending you actual love, right now.

Free image via pexels.com cabin forest winter night

Hi, Lovelies.

It’s been a busy month for most of us. And cold and snowy for many of us, at least in our area of Ontario.

I also know it’s a really hard month for people. Even for those who celebrate and love the holiday season, it’s hard. Keeping spirits up when there’s so much to do, when expectations are high (especially our own), through the emotional ups and downs of social occasions, anticipation and letdown, hopes and dreads.

I love this time of year, and I find it hard too. I love the music and the food and the family and friends. Gifts are fun too, especially when you get to give gifts to children.

But I still fight depressing thoughts. I worry that materialism and greed will take over my kids, despite our best efforts. I worry about the germs that spread scarily fast in winter. Especially when it’s really cold out, I worry about the people who don’t have someplace warm to be. I feel the emptiness when Christmas ends. And I struggle with the darkness. It makes me dwell on the things that are wrong in the world. It makes them seem overwhelming.

This has always been somewhat true for me. I remember the way it would feel on winter evenings when I was young… I would consciously turn on my warm yellow desk lamp and read an L.M. Montgomery book, to fend off the creeping knowledge that the world is dangerous and violent and dark and cold. I had to deliberately keep these thoughts at bay, even though I had very little actual experience with suffering. I can only imagine how hard it must be for people who don’t have loving families, who don’t feel safe, who spend their days hungry or in pain.

Right now, I’m hoping that you are okay, and have found some beauty in this month.

I hope you have spent time with people you love.

I hope you have also spent at least a little time just for you, doing what you love most.

I hope you felt awe in Nature, despite the darkness – a sunbeam when you really needed it, a bright star, a pink sunrise, the deep hush of a snowfall in progress.

I hope the shortening of nights has been a comfort, even though it’s hard to see.

I hope that if you were grieving, you did not feel alone.

I hope you deeply felt the support, purpose, creativity, and unity you needed.

I hope you’ve had a really good laugh.

I hope you saw – or were part of – generosity in action.

I hope your home was warm, and your candles burned bright.

I hope you’ve felt some true wonder lately.

And some joy.

Today is a beautiful snowy day. (And it’s packing snow, miracle of miracles!) Our tree is still up and smells sweet. Our kids are not completely healthy right now, but healthy enough to play. We have been blessed to visit with all family branches this month. There’s been singing, which is important to me. Also family games and jigsaw puzzles, which I love. Sean has actually had significant time off, which is a treat for all of us. I’m very grateful for all these things.

2016 has been a rough and upsetting year in many ways, but it’s almost done. We in this house are choosing to be optimistic about 2017.

***


 

Related Posts: