#FMF – Privilege

Joining up with a whole bunch of fabulous writers over at Five Minute Friday, to write for five minutes on one subject and then head on over and see what others have got to say as well. One of my fave communities to be a part of.

This week’s prompt is a tough one.

Privilege
(v) to exempt
(n) a right, immunity, or benefit enjoyed only by a person beyond the advantages of most

“The task of calling things by their true names, of telling the truth to the best of our abilities, of knowing how we got here, of listening particularly to those who have been silenced in the past, of seeing how the myriad stories fit together and break apart, of using any privilege we may have been handed to undo privilege or expand its scope is each of our tasks. Its how we make the world.” Rebecca Solnit

Privilege is such a complicated subject. Especially when it comes to the way that we relate to each other.

I was aware of my privilege at a young age, though I had no name for it.

I visited a friend’s home for a play-date one Saturday. I had a fabulous time. But what i did notice is that they had two chairs at their kitchen table and about 8 people who lived in the house. They had bunk-beds in their rooms but most shared one bed, but because they didn’t have enough blankets to go around and keep everyone warm.

At my home, I had my own room. I had my own bed. We had extra chairs at the table and not enough people to fill them.

another time, after my birthday party we took my friend home. We drove for quite some time on a road that seemed to meander endlessly. The marker for her home came up and we turned on what seemed to be mere tracks leading onto property. When we arrived at her home, my eyes grew large. I am not sure if I said anything but I’m sure she saw it on my face. She lived year round in the frigid cold with her family in a re-purposed School bus. I didn’t see inside but dropped her off and said thank you for coming to my party. I cried all the way back home. I couldn’t believe that people had to live like that.

And I don’t know the situations of each family. I don’t know what brought them to the place of having little, while I had much more. But it broke my heart. At that time, I don’t think I truly grasped the poverty that I found myself in the midst of.

I’m much older now, and see a bit differently then I did then.

The question seems to always be, how can I help. Some would say that asking that question seems to move privilege along. What then is the next step? I hear lots of people shouting that there needs to be steps taken, but I’m not sure where one begins to lose privilege and pass it on to someone else, or if that is even possible, or wanted.

I long to listen, to have this conversation, but how do you approach these questions without somehow coming across as thinking you might have something to offer. Is that what is wanted in the first place?

I don’t have the answers. I don’t think I need to. But I do want to understand better.

END

 

 

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#FMF – Agree

joining up with my people over at Five Minute Friday, where we all write for five minutes on the same word and then see what other people have to say 🙂

this community is such a great place. So thankful to have these people to “hang out with” on Thursday nights on twitter, before Kate releases the word for the week. Come join us around 830EST (I think) on Twitter with #fmfparty.

prompt: Agree

to be consistent; harmonize

When I lost my job the beginning of January, it was a very confusing time for me. I understood that I had been ‘let go’ because of a variety of reasons. My boss had mentioned that I was ‘not working out’ but didn’t divulge anything more on that, and also suggested that there was some restructuring that needed to be done. So I assumed that I had been let go. Never once did he say ‘fired’ or terminated’.

Within the week I was in touch with my other boss about my Record of Employment, which is required in Canada to get Employment Insurance (which is a part of your paycheck that is withheld that you can tap into if out of a job and needing a bit of income, but is very minimal). Anyway, she indicated to me that she would send it after my last paycheck of Termination pay.

Termination? What?

I started freaking out. Had I completely misunderstood and they had fired me? I was disappointed that I didn’t have a job, but kind of understood that it was a result of economic changes and that there wasn’t enough work to be done nor money to pay for it. Perhaps when he was offering me reasons for letting me go (or what I understood to be this) i started reading into what he said and making up things that weren’t said. I don’t know.

I knew that what my employer put on my Record of Employment for our seperation would influence the governments amount of money to give me or even give me any. So after finding out that my ROE had not been submitted when I anticipated, I got in touch with my former boss and she informed me it was sent.

I called the organization this morning to see if my paperwork was together and all filled because now I”m a couple weeks behind on receiving anything because of the paperwork. And the gentleman informed me that it was listed that I was terminated from the employment.

So now my account has to be looked into by another person, because we have different stories that don’t agree with one another. *sigh*

There is so much stress looking for a job. I’ve never been good at selling myself and that’s totally when you have to do. I attended a workshop at an Employment councilor that talked about ‘How to keep a job once you have it.” There were alot of things that were hard for me to swallow, because when I was employed I thought I was a pretty good employee. There were some things that I acknowledged that I slacked on, but i didn’t think it was any more than anyone else. I learned I was wrong.

And now that I’ve been pondering these words ‘terminated’ I realize that the last job I left had the same outcome….even though I was told they were letting me go as well. But that was an attitude issue and I had a whole lot of other issues with that whole situation.

its hard when these types of things don’t agree and its a whole lot of ‘he said, she said’ going on.

END

#FMF -Surrender

Joining up with my dear friends over at Five Minute Friday, a wonderful community of writers who are like family.

Prompt: Surrender

If I close my eyes

The noises grow louder

My thoughts warring for space

Pieces of things said to me echo

And it feels like I’m vibrating

If only when I opened my mouth

All these thoughts, words, feelings

Could pour silently from my mouth

Released into the wild open

Of the everyday world

Perhaps they would become lost

In the noise that makes up

The day to day

And I’d be free

To close my eyes

Just lean back

Feel the sun on my face

And surrender

To quiet

At least for now

#FMF- Intentional

Joining up with my friends over at Five Minute Friday to write for five minutes on one topic and see what happens to appear on the page. Also visiting others who link up is the fun part, to see what the word happened to prompt for them.

its a great opportunity to just put some words down and if you are anything like me lately, the only time that I write. But its good to keep those words flowing.

Prompt: Intentional
Intentional – (adj) done with intention or on purpose
Intention – (n) act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result; purpose; meaning or significance
(syn) aim, hope, motive, objective, plan, purpose, goal

There needs to be intention in looking for a job. But let me tell you, I am very good about being intentional in doing all the other things that aren’t as necessary but find their way on to my plate.

I seem to be someone who is not motivated by some of the ways many people are. I have been motivated but it isnt something you could wrap in a bow and hand me over and over again.

I tend to take life slow and I need alot of extra sleep. I am forever feeling exhausted. Sometimes I sleep to excape the overwhelm, sometimes because my body is emotionally and mentally overstimulated.

I wonder sometimes wether I have let laziness because something that I could find myself named by. If I follow the Enneagram correctly I find myself most represented by the 9. The fatal flaw of 9’s is sloth. An inability to follow through, an aversion to conflict and being asleep in mmmore ways than physically.

I need to step up into my life. I need to be intentional about my life and the choices I need to make.

End

#FMF – Simplify

Its the 2nd week of linking up for 2018 for the Five Minute Friday community (I missed the first one). Gathering together, writing on one work for five minutes and seeing what is revealed.

Prompt: Simplify
Synonyms: clarify, cut down, facilitate, reduce, streamline
Definition: to make less complex or complicated; make plainer or easier

i think that a simplified life is something that I would like to have, but the thought of getting there seems overwhelming. Because you have to go through things, and get rid of things and think through priorities and while those are all things that are ultimately good, they seem exhausting to me.

I am overwhelmed by the excess that I have. I fear running out of things, or needing something one day and not having it. so i keep things that aren’t really necessary. i have gotten rid of things, don’t think that I hold onto it all, but that doesn’t always seem to be something that takes its place.

i would like a clean open space. I would like to be able to see things in my room and know where i put things. I would like to have less clothes and less things. But when its time to go through my things I start to think…well i might use that, i might need that and its hard for me. and i’ve had several friends say ‘oh I’ll help you’ and my answer is NO thank you. it fills my heart with terror that they may dispose of something I deem important although I might end up with truly less instead of my half hearted attempts.

END

Working thru the tears

mourn: to feel or express sorrow or grief over

Yesterday, I lost my job.

It was something that I thought might happen, but that didn’t stop it from being very sad.

On January 1st, Ontario changed minimum wage from somewhere about 11.50/hr to a mandatory 14/hr. There were many thoughts behind it I am sure. For those of us who actually make minimum wage, it wasn’t necessarily the benefit the government proposed it to be.

Numerous people will lose their jobs. Numerous small businesses will close up. Our cost of living (for EVERYONE) will rise significantly.

I anticipated that in January I may be without a job. I am the last person hired at my store, and also drive about an hour to get there. Everyone else is local and has been there over two years. I was considering attempting a new job in September closer to home, but knew that there would be much upheaval with the coming changes.

The thing that makes me saddest about this situation, is one of the things that made my heart hurt last time as well. I love people. As someone that works in the Customer Service industry, it is hard not to come to know and enjoy the people you daily interact with. In this situation and the last one, I was unable to say goodbye to either my coworkers (this time I got to tell two people and get a hug) or the customers who really meant something to me.

Last night tears ran down my face, thinking about the people who I won’t see today…or any day in the future. I didn’t know yesterday would be our last interaction. I hope they know how much they meant to me and how thankful I am to have had them in my life.

In some sense, perhaps I cry because I want to be acknowledged for having made a difference, for being someone that really made their day a little better and brighter. I also cry because they made my day better and brighter.

I will miss Bill saying “hello Janel” in his special way every shift we work together. I will miss Jen laughing with me and telling me fun things about her family and dog. I will miss Bob’s easy going personality. I will miss Zach’s encouragement when I really messed things up. I will miss Todd’s easy going smile. I will miss Joan calling me and telling me I’m something special. I will miss all the people who came in for water and who I had a weekly interaction with at the same time each week. I will miss Dana putting up with my quirkiness. I will miss Betty’s mom’s smile. I will missing hearing all the Platz Deutch around me. I will miss the beards, and bonnets and homemade/homespun clothes. I will miss Melissa telling me about her painting escapades. Dean telling me about his daughter and new grandson. Sheila and her husband claiming me as their favourite.

These are the people whose faces run through  my mind as the tears drip down my face. these are the people I wished I had known to say goodbye to before I left.

I understand being let go at the end of my shift. It makes sense. But its hard to not have closure, especially for someone that needs and loves people like I do.

#FMF – Different

Always a pleasure to join up with my favorite community Five Minute Friday and write on a prompt for five minutes. 

Prompt: Different

I don’t really consider myself a traditionalist in many things, but the one time that tradition seems important to me is in celebrating holidays with my family. 

As the years have gone by and life has changed it has been difficult for me to see things become different than they once were.

Since my brother has more often than not lived far from us the past 10 years he hasn’t had alot of chance to be part of the getting ready for Christmas that we often do. 

We used to go and buy a real tree for years. We would tromp out into the fields at a farm and try to size up what we could see. Sometimes there was no snow to be found and we had umbrellas for the rain. Sometimes we had to make a path thru the snow. My mom developed an allergy to the trees so we have since had a fake tree.

We have collected individual ornaments since we were born. My parents chose the theme of horses for my brother and bells for me. 

– – – end of time

I have since developed a love of ornaments in general and have more than my years. My brothers still get put up on the tree faithfully.

Our celebration dates have changed as well as we have my sister and her family to think of as well. So we have often celebrated with them in January.

The first year my brother wasn’t coming home for December it was hard on the rest of us. My brother reminded us that we were blessed to have all the years together that we did. 

I am not fond of different but sometimes it comes wether you summon it or not.