How I believe in Woman Liberation

There is nothing better than witnessing women who are working together – and standing by each other for a common purpose. Women today (in 2017) should be liberated in business, marriage, motherhood, medicine and all quarters of our life.  Women should be the fuel for a fire of liberation in all these areas, and cross paths to eliminate division amongst us.

We, as blonde haired, green eyed, nurses, surgeons, teachers and grandmothers need to be building each other up to succeed for all women as a whole. See, as women, we are some of the most wonderful, intelligent and mysterious creatures – that of whom need to build each other up to exemplify and shine our full potential. Many women who have made history have gone un-noticed, climbed hurdles to get where they are, and they’ve had to fight for equality – equality for education, treatment, marital rights, compensation, career progression, etc. These are the exact things that for hundreds of years, we’ve had a backbone of women fighting, attempting to fix a system that places women as weaker, incapable, and poor leaders. This is a working progress, we are still at it. But why do we appreciate the history of women’s rights, and the attempt to be a part of positive change if we can’t appreciate one another? 

Why do women do this? Or say they believe in each other if they hate each other? Why are women jealous and judgemental of each other? Why are women hurting each other in a world that was built up to be better for us?! There is no correct explanation. A woman should not judge another if she wants to stay home with her kids, or chooses not to have children, has a mental illness, is a new Canadian citizen or poorer than her. She should not judge a woman that stays with her cheating husband, gets an abortion, works above her or chooses a different path of faith than her. So, tell me why is it women are so quick to judge her friend based on the pacifier and bottles she gives to her baby. Tell me why she is so quick to trash talk after meeting a couple of lesbians or fat girls. Why does she rage with jealousy when meeting her doctor and lawyer friends? Why do they talk down to her? Why do they often exclude her because she has a scarf covering her hair? And why is another woman angry with the woman promoted above her? Why do women do this to eachother?

It doesn’t take a lot to tell another woman how fabulous she is, how beautiful she is or how much you admire her for her strength, perseverance, and success. If we truly want the success of women’s rights and accomplishments heard, continuing to move forward for women world wide – it starts here, and it starts with where you are and the women around you. Divided, we are the female species. United, we are empowered women of the world.

 

©Leah Finlay, October, 2017 – All rights to Leah Finlay, the blog of thinking out loud, permission required for copying.

 

On My Christmas Shelf

You may ask, What is a ‘Christmas Shelf?’ It a basic shelf decked out with lights and Christmas decor. It is filled with Christmas bliss, from music to movies, to pictures – it just screams Christmas.

Upon my own Christmas shelf, I have movies, books and CDs that I like to pay extra close attention to this time of the year. There is a Mickey Mouse figurine ringing Christmas bells, and a giant Christmas penguin. I will share some of the specific films and features I think everyone could benefit from this holiday season! Here on my shelf is:

The Polar Express – Hop aboard a magical ride to the North Pole!

Why I love it:

I find the Polar Express to be a magical whirlwind of a movie – and extremely creepy at the same time! Haha, maybe that’s why I like it. Nonetheless, the animation is tremendous, the hot chocolate song and dance is a great feature. The awkward movements of certain characters make it all the more interesting, and Tom Thanks gives amazing voice and gusto into the conductor character. The newspaper front page is a real newspaper from the 1960’s – I like the fact they’ve aimed to make this movie as real and life-like as much as possible, with added magic!

Chicken Soup for The Soul (Any Christmas Edition) – Features poems, stories and heartwarming tales revolving around Christmas.

Why I love it:

These books give a spark of Christmas cheer at the turn of every page, while bringing the reader tears of joy, feeling of hope, sadness and relief. Stories of illness and faith, poems of Santa’s reindeer, and tales of families reuniting for the holidays – this truly is a reader to warm anyone’s heart for the season. Another great thing is the fact you can chuck it down, and pick it up, and do that again and again – since it’s composed of short stories.

Celtic Thunder Christmas Album – Featuring traditional Christmas songs with a Celtic touch

Why I love it:

Listening to Celtic, Scottish and Irish music makes me think of home- and there is nothing more beautiful sounding. The Christmas mix of this music gets me even more emotional, I dream to see a Celtic Thunder Christmas performance someday. Be sure to give them a listen, and for an enhanced experience, watch some of their live videos via YouTube.

Gremlins – The classic film that made every child desire a Furby!

Why I love it:

This is a Christmas movie I watch multiple times throughout the holiday season. I’ve watched in both English and French numerous times – it is excellent in both languages. I love it for Gizmo is too darn cute! I love the story, and the eccentric inventor father, and how the ‘evil’ gremlins come about! And I love that in the midst of all of that, they’ve managed to tie in Christmas quite beautifully. From the mother decorating ginger bread men, to the talk of depression around the holidays, to the town decorations – there is no doubt it’s Christmastime in this movie!

The Book of Holiday Awesome – A spin off of the original ‘The Book of Awesome’

Why I love it:

This Holiday book is written in the same witty, simple style as the original ‘The Book of Awesome’. I own ‘The Book of Awesome’ as well, and have read it and laughed a great deal – and I am proud to be a reader and supporter of these books, that began from the 1000 awesome things blog. If you are unaware of how the blog began, take a moment to research and find out please. These books are awesome because they show a glimmer of positivity at the turn of each page, in the worse of times. When I sit back and think about how difficult it is for someone to deal with mental illness, and the courage it must have taken to write one positive thing each day – it does me good. So the holiday edition is all this and more, but with a holiday twist!

New Year’s Eve – It’s not often we watch holiday movies that focus more on New Year’s Eve than Christmas!

Why I love it:

This collaboration of a musical, comical and an overall stellar cast is fantastic – it includes, Jessica Biel, Leah Michele, Bon Jovi, Halle Berry, Hillary Swank, and many more! I love this movie because it shows so many deep and personal stories, and then it shows how they are all interconnected. One thing I also love about this movie is the relationship and connection between Zac Efron and Michelle Pfeiffer. They are two people that were destined to stumble upon each other to bring holiday cheer to each other. The journey of these two characters from the time they meet to their dancing scene at the end is beautiful. This is just an example of one phenomenonal connection within this movie, there are endless ones.

There are so many tales, tracks and traditional films for the holidays – dig out the ones you most enjoy, and make your very own Christmas shelf!

 

Merry Christmas to You All! And All The Best for 2017!

 

The 8 weeks of Christmas

I love Christmas, it’s always been a favorite time of year for me …and though some Christmases have been hard or of loss, it’s remained a time of the year I look forward to. And currently speaking, I am full of Christmas spirit! So many things in our world are changing, either to become corrupt or away from tradition – so if Christmas is one last thing I can keep, I am going to do it. And by that I mean, I enjoy little rituals and traditions that happen each year, along with keeping the true meaning of Christmas through it all. And that true reason is Jesus – he IS the reason for the season and whole reason we have Christmas in the first place! Sometimes people need to be reminded of this around Christmas time, to take a moment and pause in what Christmas actually means, and slow down in the rush.

I am guilty of it, but I try not to get caught up in the rush and stress of things – to me, the holidays mean so much more than that! I have seen countless number of people post their tower of gifts they bought for their kids, and I just shake my head. It would be nice if one or two gifts from mom and dad, and two gifts from Santa were enough for today’s children. Today’s children should be taught more than the gift giving and receiving aspect of Christmas. So as I ring in the season, I’ll share with you some ways I find Christmas spirit, and keep it all season long.

While observing Remembrance Day, I begin my holiday season once the first of November arrives. I respect the decision of those who wait until after Remembrance Day, but I personally side with the fact one has nothing to do with the other – and I can remember and respect our Veterans and troops while decorating , or attending a craft show, etc. That being said, this gives a good full 8 weeks of Christmas – and the chance for one and all to be merry all through November and December! And here are some ways we can do this:

1. Attend a Christmas craft show – what better way to get into the Christmas spirit than to parade around a Christmas village full of holiday crafts and sweets, surrounded by those who share your merry feeling!

2. Dig out those tunes- I have a little box of Christmas CDs, ranging from highland Christmas music to country – take out your Christmas tunes, and turn them on … and that’ll put you in the spirit!

3. Put on that first Christmas movie – I love this one! Pick one, anyone! And throw on your very first Christmas movie of the season, how exciting! There are so many good ones to choose from, and many available via streaming or on demand – Please keep an eye out for my post regarding Christmas films.

4. Pay it forward – As you find yourself in Christmas cheer – spread that to a stranger by a kind act, after all this is really what Christmas is about. Paying for a stranger’s coffee, or gas bill helps that individual see a glimmer of hope in these cold, hard days. A lot of people struggle through the Winter, or are laid off work – you can never be sure of people’s situations. This is why we shouldn’t judge but love…so pay some Christmas love forward in your neighborhood and city.

5. Visit a thrift store – Walk into your local thrift store and bam! – you will see Christmas threw up in there. It can get a lot of fun looking through it all, all the tacky knick knacks, and perhaps you’ll find another snowman or Santa for your collection. Also, take note this will be the best place to find an ugly Christmas sweater or Vest.

6. Support a local play – Often in late November thru January – there will be numerous holiday plays and live theatres one can attend. While going to the city theatre is a treat, and casts professionals – bear in mind it costs more, and there are other, equally as enjoyable plays. Check out holiday productions of your local schools, churches, dance academies and universities. Attending these plays spreads lots of holiday cheer, and supports local artists/talents – and I love supporting local, where I can! One of the best Christmas productions I saw was of ‘The Nutcracker’ and it was held at a local university!

7. Read, and read some more – There is no better time of the year to cozy up with a blanket and hot chocolate, and read that holiday tale you’ve been dying to dive into. Along with classics like ‘The Christmas Carol’ and ‘The Greatest Gift’ (‘Its a Wonderful Life’), there are modern Christmas stories worth a read, and excellent Harlequin Holiday novels also trending. At this time of the year, it’s also important and should become a practice to read ‘The Christmas Story’. Whether you want to read it directly from the bible, read a story book, or children’s bible version – it is an impacting story that began Christmas, so what better story to share with your kids!

8. Appreciate the outdoors – Let’s face it, most people don’t care for the cold and Winter, other than an odd few, like myself. But it’s not going away – so stare it right in the face! Most importantly, dress warm and in layers, when you think you have enough layers, you don’t! You need to be layered, puffy and Michelin warm. Go for a family walk in late December, to check out the lights – this is super fun and mesmerizing, Christmas lights are so beautiful! Or better yet, go for a walk with a group and carol door to door! This brightens others’ spirit as much as your own. Attend your community tree lighting, and warm up with hot chocolate, watch your local holiday parade. Have Winter bonfires with winter gear on, blankets and hot cider, and a gathering of friends. I know Winter is not a friend to many, but look her right in the face and enjoy it!

So here you have it ya’ll – My 8 lovely tips for the 8 weeks of Christmas. This is a beautiful time of the year, and it only comes once a year….so make it the very best. Be kind to others, find the meaning, expect less and give more and take time for yourself.

What is wrong with the world!!??

Whatever happened to the days that food was real food? And our children could play safely on the streets? Whatever happened to the days where mankind was grateful to live off the land, and executed the meaning of hard work? Whatever happened to the days where families prayed together, ate together and worked together?

I’m looking at the world 16 years post-millennium and….I am disturbed. We are only four years away from 2020, 2 decades after the millennium – and I am concerned about the events to come between now and then.

Both the Holy Bible and Holy Qur’an make statements suggesting when the world has become in a poor state, you should see this, this and this. Both refer to children disowning and disrespecting their elders and parents, along with not being able to identify man from woman. Both also discuss about man’s poor choice in leaders, and how this will lead to our end of time. Theorists would say all of this could escalate up to a world war three, others would argue that we the people  ARE the war. It probably would be hard to debate against this theory – given current events.

Donald Trump, also known as bigot, perverted asshole, is gaining a lot of attention through his presidential campaign. The reactions are both good and bad. Reason being is, though he may be arrogant and unpleasant – he holds power, acts fearless and knows how to be the center of attention, as an accredited business man. With these qualities, he has resources to reach out to a wide variety of people, to get them on his side. I recently went on a date with a business man, who explained to me he looks up to Donald Trump and stated he has a lot of good business motives. I was very disturbed by this. Especially since he is a young, Middle Eastern man, trying to establish a business and deal with aged, ill parents – and he’s going to applaud Donald Trump???

Along with that tidbit right there, I can first and foremost say that Donald Trump has had nothing nice to say about the Middle East. Put it this way: Bell Canada began a campaign to lower the stigma behind mental illness, Donald Trump is campaigning to heighten the stereotypes of the Middle East! He wants everyone to believe that every Middle Easterner can’t be trusted, they are unstable, they are terrorists, and don’t belong in our society.

I have quite a few Middle Eastern acquaintances, and I’ve gone to school with quite a few Middle Easterners. Some have never been to the Middle East, they are as much Canadian as me or the next person! Others have chosen Canada as their home, and they bring with them a warm kindness and the absolute diversity that Canada is known for. Donald Trump has such a hardened heart and is so sure about his shit, that he is trying to manipulate intelligent, young women like myself into hating marginalized groups of people.

He stood at a podium and publicly mocked a news reporter with a disability – that’s disgraceful. Years ago, there were desperate, self-contained institutions for the disabled. Life can be challenging for individuals that are disabled, but I can’t imagine the greater challenge and depression that came from being shoved in a room, not tested to one’s full ability. If someone was mentally challenged and/or had an intellectual disability, they were boxed out from society – there was the ‘norm’ and then the ‘freaks’…everyone that did not fit into the ‘norm’. Our society has tremendously progressed, allowing every child and every human to thrive, as much as they can as an individual. I am part of a team prospering valuable education everyday for children who have intellectual and physically disabilities, and mental illnesses. Observing the progress of a particular student of mine, I’ve seen incredible progress in reading comprehension – and I am so proud! Everyone has a God-given potential, at their own pace and own level, and that’s the beauty of it. People who are supporting Donald Trump are supporting an act to revert back to small-minded ways. I have no knowing of this – but I am pretty damn sure that Donald Trump is a man that supports these individuals being locked away, or isolated.

Donald Trump is all about making a scene, attracting attention – but never saying anything useful. He says the same spiral of bullshit over and over again at each stand at the podium. Among his belittling and disgust for any sense of diversity in our world – where has he mentioned anything beneficial? People really should be asking: Will Donald Trump establish valuable healthcare, for all incomes and classes? What respect does Donald Trump have for women? Will he work hard to improve a country that pays less than what the things within it cost? Will he address gang violence? Will he provide resources to all schools equally? Will he make tourism a priority, and allow quiet states and towns to prosper?

There are so many questions, eh? So many questions that this asshole is brushing over. One real question to ask is: Who does Donald Trump model???

Let’s look at Hitler, or King Herod. These are individuals who gained their status of power and increase of wealth through racism and the impression of another race.This is what is to come, if Donald Trump gets in the white house.

Donald Trump has a lot of black, white and diverse mix of supporters – which really blows my mind. They must not realize the storm that is about to come due to their poor choice in action. Instead of saying he’s going to ‘Make America Great Again’, it should be known he’s going to ‘Make America a War-Zone’.

And instead of ‘London Has Fallen’, it’ll be America has fallen – because let’s face it, America has fallen into the sweaty, fat hands of a poor leader. Let’s hope and pray it’s not so, and be mighty prepared if it is.

Originally Printed: March.13th, 2016

Oh God, Sometimes I really can’t stand people!

You know those moments ….while you’re working at the McDonald’s or local motel, and you look tired and a guest, client or customer notices…and thanks you for your hard work. Deep down, you don’t want this person to think you are a broke ass individual working for not much more than minimum wage, because you are so much more than that! I mean they look at you and see a lobby girl all in black, overworked and tired – but she rocks at her job. They look at you and see a fast food clerk, sweating and trying not to lean but remain standing straight as your feet kill you…and you greet them with nothing but a smile. You rock at your dead end job, you shine within it, and treat others well…that is what they see.

Have you ever humanized yourself to them? … that’s what I am getting at here. You want them to realize, hello, I’m so much more than a short, chubby girl in a sweaty uniform here to serve you. I’m so much more than the lady I am while flipping hamburgers.

Have you ever thought of saying to them:

‘I have a master’s degree, I’m probably smarter than you and your three children, though I sit on sixty thousand dollars of debt.’

‘I am a single mom of two, they are my life, and I do everything I can for them and my sick mother that lives with me. They are my world and my light.’

‘I come from a family of wealth, but I choose to work….while attending school.’

‘I work twice as many hours and twice as hard as rich assholes like you, and at the end of the day I am still serving you.’

‘My husband is in prison, so I work three jobs. I am sorry you feel the need to pat me on the back and shrug your shoulders like you’re better than me – because I am a woman of color, because I am a female and a service worker – I feel sorry for people like you.’

‘Thanks for all your life stories. My life story is told by the cracks and scars of my hands…take your coffee and leave.’

We clearly can’t/won’t state these things, as it would ruin our image. Because despite the scenarios of daily lives listed above, we still remain the hot waitress, the cute, flirty girl that makes your coffee, the good looking bus driver that takes you to work each day. However, all this and more makes many reasons why one should appreciate the customer service and front-line service they receive each day. People who work in these service industries truly make the world go around, and they don’t want to deal with rude or belittling assholes – but they do! They also don’t want to be treated like they have gold up their ass, for what they do – because at the end of the day, that too, is condescending. Just appreciate, would you?

If you are one of these people, I am sure you can relate, and know how important you are to the everyday occurrences in your community. And for everyone else, show respect and remember to say thank you, maybe actually say hi to your grocery clerk rather than stare down at your phone the whole time they bag your food. You expect they’ll bag your food whether or not you say hi to them, or that it’s only proper they greet you first. At the end of the day, they kind of expect the same courtesy – that just maybe you’ll stop screening Porktober Festival and tweeting the latest minion picture. It would only seem human to switch off your phone and greet the kind, young man bagging your groceries, for example.

As service workers, sure we may not be able to reveal ourselves ‘naked’ to the public, but we sure can do the most important thing by being ourselves, and continuing to go the extra mile – knowing how much of a difference we make in daily lives. And as public, while we may wonder about the deep details and lives of many of these individuals we often encounter, they will remain blind to us, outside of uniform… But we must remember there is another side to them, an outside, impacting life. We must remember this in order to humanize them away from just the girl that makes your extra sweet soy late each day. Then, it’s nothing to smile at them, like you would a friend, thank them, as you would your parents, pray for them, as you would your children. Then, you’ve done well.

 

Originally Printed: October, 5th, 2015