It’s 8:38 a.m. and two of the three rugrats are still snoring soundly in bed. We are fully entwined in the dog days of summer: slow mornings and late nights. Part of me wants to revel in this deliciously slow pace — to wake up naturally sans alarm, to enjoy a hot cup of coffee sitting down while my kids chill on the couch with their morning cartoons. But I know that well rested nights and lethargic mornings are a luxury in our house. And although it is easy to slide into this routine now, I vividly remember how things used to be, and how I used to feel.
I am a hoarder at heart. Maybe it’s the fault of my favourite childhood author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose descriptions of storage rooms brimming with canned goods and produce seemed so comforting and warm. Maybe it dates back further, to our ancestral days when the ability to stockpile food and tools significantly increased our odds of survival. Either way, there is something about having an abundance of things that just makes me feel good. Secure. Protected. Prepared.
There are two fundamental truths that I have learned as a parent to three kids. The first is that no matter how you choose to raise your child — co-sleeping or separate rooms, breastfed or bottle, organic food or floor snacks — the moment that you claim something you’re doing works, it is guaranteed to stop.
And the second is that everything you do, and I mean literally everything, will now take ten times as much time. Getting dressed to leave the house used to take three minutes. Now it’s 30. Doing the week’s laundry used to take a couple of hours max, most of which could be spent multi-tasking in between loads. Now, the laundry never, ever ends.
Sometimes my husband and I look at each other and ask, “What did we do with our time before we had kids?” We say this, not because we can’t remember, but because it’s incredible that we have managed to cram so much more into the same amount of hours. It’s exhausting.
Which is why I’ve never felt guilty about stealing a few minutes here and there to tune out, to relax, to scroll through mindless junk on my phone. Because we all deserve a break. Except now, I realize that my kids are no longer the biggest demands on my time. My phone is. It’s a massive time-suck that continually draws me in, like a black hole from which I cannot escape.
There are many ways we mark March in Saskatchewan. Hauling our kids to and from the rink for the last few hockey games of the season. Enjoying a final round of beer and chicken wings at the local curling club or getting one last ice fishing trip in before the snow melts away. In all cases, layering a bunnyhug under your winter coat because the weather will change from being ‘not half bad’ in the afternoon to ‘still freakin’ cold outside’ at night.
But nothing is more quintessentially Saskatchewan in March than answering the call to “ring those phones” during the province’s annual telethon — Telemiracle. The 21-hour variety show shines a spotlight on the diverse talent within the province, intermixed with performances by a celebrity cast. But more than that, it proves once again that small groups of people working together — coming together — to help others can have a powerful impact on our world.
Picture it. You’ve settled the kids with a babysitter, put on some clean clothes and headed out with your spouse for a long overdue date night. You’re about to enjoy a bottle of wine, a nice meal, maybe even dessert. And best of all, a rare chance for uninterrupted, adult conversation.
You know what you should talk about?
I know what you’re thinking: “That’s a sure-fire way to kill the mood.” Or “Great. Just what I want to do — start a fight.”
But the truth is having a heart-to-heart about your finances is one of the best things you can do to build a healthy, lasting relationship.
Someone, somewhere, started a rumour that it’s impossible to have a strong economy and a healthy environment. Then they drew a line between the two and suggested we all choose a side.
This is lazy thinking.
It underestimates people’s ability to adapt to change and solve complex problems. It ignores the incredible work that industries are already doing to improve environmental stewardship while fostering economic success. And, worse of all, it makes it seem like there’s nothing we can do as individuals to balance the interests of both, so why bother to try.
The truth is individuals can have a very big impact on both the economy and the environment just by the choices they make on how and where to spend their money.
Here’s a few things that we can all do to support both.
People everywhere are jumping on board the Bell Let’s Talk Day by sharing messages of support via social media and in person, and for very good reason. Mental health affects all of us, in so many ways.
One in five Canadians will personally experience a mental illness in their lifetime.
Suicide accounts for nearly a quarter of all deaths among 15- to 24-year-olds. It’s one of the leading causes, second only to accidents. Canada’s youth suicide rate is the third highest in the industrialized world.
About half of the people who feel they’ve suffered from depression or anxiety have never seen a doctor about it.
Only one in five Canadian children who need mental health services receive them.
I love a fresh start. A clean page. A new beginning. The feeling that anything is possible, that opportunities are endless, that potential abounds.
Nothing says fresh start like a new year. It is the ultimate opportunity to let go of past mistakes and embark on a journey of self improvement. But the trouble with New Year’s resolutions is that, if you screw up, as most people inevitably do, the temptation to throw in the towel and try again next year becomes incredibly strong. So strong, in fact, that about two-thirds of people who make New Year’s resolutions give up before the end of January.
Not everyone sets New Year’s resolutions, but most people have a goal that they want to achieve. Maybe they want to be healthier. Maybe they want a new job. Or to develop a new skill. I can think of a hundred things that I’d love to change, be better at, or check off my bucket list.
So here are some tips I’ve found to help me (and you) set goals and achieve them.
I love everything about the Christmas season — the decorations and lights, the cheesy movies, the food (and drinks), the good deeds, and the get-togethers with family and friends. The list goes on. But there is one thing about this time of year that I really hate.