Saturday, 6 September 2014

Birthday Weekend!!!

So, this year, my age is a palindrome. 44 is 44 no matter how you spin the numbers. But, like last year I am spending a low key day doing nothing except what I want to do on my own schedule. A pedicure (this morning), a couple of errands followed by some fall clothes shopping and lunch. And tonight, dinner at one of my favourite restaurants in the city. Time for some Caribbean soul food the way my grandmother used to make it!

As always, though, I am touched by all of the FB birthday wishes I have received from friends near and far and for the cards, particularly the baby blue and pink one from my father and stepmother saying: "For a Wonderful Daughter".

Happy Birthday Weekend To Me!

Monday, 1 September 2014

This Girl is a Woman Now: So Long, Summer of '14!

Spring might be about new things and new life, but summer is usually considered a season of maturity and growth. A good description of this past summer. My mood stabilized, my life seemed to find a new balance and, after coming out to my father and stepmother, things seemed much less frantic. I was still busy, at work and outside of it, but I felt as if I were moving through it more smoothly. I had gained an important insight: individually, I knew what was my stuff and what was other people's. I had a clearer sense of my boundaries and limits, of who I was and where I was.

Feedback at work told me that the quality of my service was excellent. In life, I knew which relationships were working and which ones I needed to let fade into history. Old wounds between me and some others were healed. I had learned the value of friendship through, sadly, losing many friends; memories of friends who had passed on over the past year continued to haunt me. But, I could better handle the comings and goings of my living friends, feeling fortunate to know to them and wishing them well.

In mid-August, my father and stepmother came to visit and stay with me for a week. One of the best, tender and fun weeks in recent memory. It was clear that their acceptance of me was total. I felt so much joy in showing them around my neighbourhood, introducing them to my friends and neighbours and just having them around. A major shift was happening. I also felt the sadness of time lost over the years between my father and myself and I could tell it broke his heart as well. The tears I shed (and there were plenty) were for this, and missed them as soon as they left my house at pre-dawn that Sunday. I miss them still. I look forward to seeing them again, soon.

The paper work for my upcoming gender confirmation surgery went back and forth between Vancouver, Victoria and Montreal during the summer. I began to look forward excited, and more than a little nervous. I see an upcoming year of adventure, and risk, and recovery, and rest (not just sleep). Lots of time to write as I heal. My transition continues to have a ripple effect on other parts of my life.

And now ... autumn.

(Support) Labour Day!

2014 has been unprecedented in labour history, and not necessarily for the better. The fight for minimum wage continues among fast food and retail workers. In Canada, issues around the Temporary Foreign Worker program ignited earlier this year after a complaint filed by an former employee at fast food outlet in British Columbia. The resulting backlash against foreign workers had a predictably racist and xenophobic tone. Meanwhile, as we were reminded this past April 28 (National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed on the Job), health and safety standards for these and other workers in Canada still have some ways to go.

As I write this, the BC Teachers' Federation and the provincial government are in a deadlock, with a predictable increase in frustration and resentment directed towards the teachers as it tends to be directed with any public sector workers; health care, government employees, libraries and archives, etc. The decades old mantra "public is bad, private is good" continues.

This Labour Day, let us not forget the valuable work all workers do, and that workers are people, indeed workers are us. Learn some labour history today, but most importantly, support workers movements. They (we) need all the support you can give us.