On butterflies and unlucky numbers.

Do you ever wake up and have that feeling in your gut that SOMETHING is going to happen?

Like you have butterflies in your belly, but you don't know why. 

Everything around you feels like it is in super sharp focus and you are just waiting....

for something. 

Or maybe I am confusing that feeling with having had too much coffee and the uneasiness is simply a caffeine rush and I have to poop. 

Either way, this is how I have been feeling since Sunday.  

It could be the change in the season affecting me, as it tends to do this time of year, and the tingling in my brain and my belly is that of increased anxiety and the onset of SAD.  

October is kind of a weird month for me. The fall colours surrounding me are soothing, as is the crisp air I inhale deeply as I walk Willow every day. It is a month of celebration in our house with Seven's (soon to be Eight's) birthday, Canadian Thanksgiving, and our wedding anniversary. 

It's also the month of preparing for winter. Putting away the yard furniture, raking up all the leaves and making an appointment to get the winter tires installed. And while I like to be proactive about these things, so I don't get stuck at the bottom of the hill by our house during that first big snowfall - AGAIN! It also feels like I am reaching for those last days of sun, of playing outside with only one layer of clothes on and soaking up the last bits of our way to short fall season, on our way to a long, dark, winter. 

This month also marks our 13th wedding anniversary. I've always thought of the number 13 as unlucky, mostly from buying into the usual superstitions, and all that Friday the 13th movie stuff as a kid. And possibly because I got my damn period when I was 13 - so you know, that was great. When I think about it, something feels a bit off in celebrating this "unlucky" number. In an effort to turn around my thinking and subdue any silly superstitions, I've been researching the numerology meaning of 13, and lo and behold, it is surprisingly fitting for where we are in our lives:

The number 13 in numerological terms is (1+3=4). Thirteen describes a pattern of new beginnings (1) + creative expression (3) = building and structure (4). It is actually a theme of solid, grounding movement. So in essence, number 13 is a strong vibration representing organization and accomplishment in a creative and unique way.

I can't think of a better way to describe our life right now. New beginnings, and building, and creative expression - yup, that is us. New house and renovation, the kids starting a new school year, and ahem... as of tomorrow, a new job for yours truly. 

This "new" development is also contributing to my October anxiety/butterflies. I didn't quite plan on getting a job outside the home this year, and I have to admit that this one kind of fell onto my lap in the most serendipitous of ways. It's a job taking me back to my sales roots (retail), in a place I love to shop, and working for a strong, incredible woman whom I admire, and whose philosophy I believe in. 

As I sit here and watch the leaves change and fall, and the tall grasses sway in the breeze of this cool fall day, I am trying to reframe my usual October anxiety and embrace the butterflies. I am breathing deep into by belly, and getting ready for new patterns in our lives. I am choosing to open myself up, rather than cocoon into hibernation-mode as I traditionally do at this time. 

Basically, what I am saying is:

Or at least I will...





Feminist Fare Friday: The "women are not just for nurturing" Edition

This week I feel like I basically did nothing.  

In reality, I did the following:

  • Folded the Laundry
  • Watched the first US Presidential Debate. 
  • Had two house meetings
  • Took the dog to get groomed
  • Got groomed myself - a haircut that is. 
  • Went birthday shopping for the upcoming October/November B-day avalanche!
  • Picked up dog food
  • Got a part-time job*
  • Went for a massage
  • And read, A LOT!

Here are the ones that really stuck out for me and I really want you to read too. 


1. I firmly believe that as a consumer in today's world, I have a responsibility to do some due diligence with where I choose to spend my money. I am a big proponent of shopping locally as much as possible,and looking into the companies that make the clothes that my family wears. And as much as I love the cute T-shirts, low prices, the lovely new Home line at H&M, I can't in good conscience shop there anymore. Sirin Kale reports on the employment conditions for women in the H&M factories in Cambodia and India this week in Broadly.

Structural factors make it almost impossible for people to escape their low pay and insecure conditions. Almost all the factories in Cambodian capital Phnom Penh employed people on short-term contracts of one to three months, meaning that anyone who stepped out of line (for example, by asking for sick days, refusing overtime or, god forbid, are even a little late for work one day) might not have their contract renewed.

2. I know that a lot of people opted to NOT watch the first US Presidential debate on Monday for their own mental well-being, and if that was you - let me tell you that you made a good choice and I hope you enjoyed whatever it was that you watched on Netflix instead. I DID watch it. From the comfort of my handsome-feminist-"because it is 2016"-Justin-Trudeau-run Canada. Hillary was amazing, not just because she was HELLA prepared (TO BE PRESIDENT Y'ALL!), but also because not once did she stoop to his level. But, was it enough? Will it ever be enough? As Larry Womack at The Huffington Post points out, everyone needs to stop pretending they don't know the REAL reason people have such a hate-on for Hillz. 

It’s time to stop pretending that this is about substance. This is about an eagerness to believe that a woman who seeks power will say or do anything to get it. This is about a Lady MacBeth stereotype that, frankly, should never have existed in the first place. This is about the one thing no one wants to admit it’s about.

3. While we are on the topic of the US presidential race and you are still an undecided voter, I highly encourage you to read this post from my friend Vikki Reich and think about what your vote means, not just for you, but for the people all around you.

May you never wonder what will happen to your family as a result of an election.

May you never have to comfort your children in the face of such uncertainty.

May you never know the fear that comes with waiting as the majority votes on the rights of minorities, on your rights.

4. I do love me a good clap back. Outdoor Research TOTALLY wins the shade toss this week with their response to a ridiculously sexist piece published in GQ.  Ryan Flyss at TheDyrt.com did the side by side of both pieces, and I need to give all the STANDING O's to Outdoor Research for their very thorough and subtle, but IMPACTFUL response. Way to call out sexism peeps!


Ok, that's it folks, I am off to meet my new boss*. 

Have a great weekend!






Feminist Fare Friday: The "Delayed because I was in the ER" Edition

I had BIG plans for Friday this week. I was going to get so much done.....

And then I ended up in the emergency room because I dislocated my hip - again. You can read my account of it here. (I was really high on quite the concoction of narcotics l when I wrote that, so I apologize for any typos and rambling.) My little friend and I are now hobbling around feeling super sore and still kinda groggy. 

Here is the round-up for this week. A couple of days late, and short, but both of these are longer reads and important pieces I really wanted to share with you. 


1. Just so you know, if I find a dress or a great skirt and it has pockets, I WILL BUY IT! And this fascinating read from Chelsea G. Summers at Racked about the Politics of Pockets gives me even more reasons to DEMAND pockets in all my clothing. Clothing designers - listen up!!  

...a 1954 Christian Dior bon mot: “Men have pockets to keep things in, women for decoration.” Tease apart that quote and you get a fairly essentialist view of gender roles as they play out in clothing. Men’s dress is designed for utility; women’s dress is designed for beauty. It’s not a giant leap to see how pockets, or the lack thereof, reinforce sexist ideas of gender. Men are busy doing things; women are busy being looked at. Who needs pockets?

2.  Ok, as hard as this is, I have to admit something. When I first heard that the police officer charged with manslaughter in the shooting death of Terence Crutcher was a woman, I was... I don't know... disappointed? Disheartened? I asked the question, Why a woman? And then I quickly gave my head a shake and let go of all my white privilege and my white lady tears falling once again on to the easy road of identifying more with the white female officer, than with the innocent black man who was gunned down for being "a big scary dude". Terence Crutcher should not be dead. Police officers should be there to HELP people with car trouble. Officer Betty Shelby should be charged. She killed a man. FOR NO REASON, OTHER THAN HER WHITE LADY FEAR OF THE BIG BLACK MAN. 

I know a lot of you may have been feeling these same things. It's OK. You can feel these things, BUT.... NOW YOU HAVE TO FIGURE OUT WHY YOU FEEL THIS WAY, CONFRONT YOUR OWN WHITE PRIVILEGE AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. 

My friend Syreeta Neal lays this all out for us in her piece at The Establishment this week. PLEASE READ THIS. IT IS SO VERY IMPORTANT.

Yes, white women are oppressed by patriarchy and misogyny. Yes, they are oppressed by male-dominated power structures. But white women are also fully capable of oppressing Black Americans and have been doing so both consciously and unconsciously for centuries. In order to change that, one must first acknowledge it.

Oh, and if you are worried about Officer Betty being in jail - DON'T, she was arrested, booked and out on bail all within 13 minutes and never saw the inside of a jail cell. 


Okay, that's enough for today. It's been a rough week folks. Let's do better going forward, okay?