Spring Cleaning

It is that time of year where I try to get an hour or so in deleting, shredding etc of the stuff I don’t need anymore.  There was a time I was an employer and as an employer you have a legal responsibility to maintain employment records for a certain period of time.  So I have them organized into shredding years and March tends to be my shredding month (tax time).  It’s a Friday afternoon, overcast with a very grey sky and I’ve just thrown a load of laundry in.  Might as well do a data cleanse.

The upside is I can eliminate hoarder from my list of possible disorders (OCD is still there but with a question mark).  The downside is you wind up reviewing things from the past believing “wow look at what we accomplished”.  But that was seventeen years ago and all we have to do is watch a Republican presidential candidate debate to realize how little those accomplishments have been.

A 1999 national strategy to fight racism and where are we today?
A 1999 national strategy to fight racism and where are we today?

In 1999 a swell of anti-racism was sweeping the labour movement in Canada.  The Canadian Labour Congress had provided a nation wide recommendation in the pursuit of anti-racism.   Anti-racism awareness training was a busy industry.  I know, I was involved in all of it.  I was involved in policy development, trainer/advisor, consultant and consumer.  Being a consumer was important as the whole process was being self determined, not imposed by a body of individuals with no personal knowledge of the issues.  We were building a better world, or so we thought.Continue reading “Spring Cleaning”

Dusting Out the Old Year

It's not how often you get knocked down but how many times you get back up that counts!
It’s not how often you get knocked down but how many times you get back up that counts!

I plan on doing a lot of writing this year in hopes of not repeating the emotional turmoil of 2015.  My writing is really my therapy.  I enjoy writing, semantics, playing with words, had a painter friend tell me recently that I painted with words so thank you Milton.  It is a way for me to declutter my psyche, feel good about myself knowing I can share things which, to me, are important.  Writing also helps me keep some balance in my life.  In researching these things I learn so thank you, you are contributing to my education.  DISCLAIMER: let me be clear here that I am NOT endorsing the links I have provided below, how you process them is up to you but they do give you a starting direction.

I want to get away from the political toxicity I have experienced over the last number of years.  The toxicity created by watching programs and support systems that I had helped develop being eroded faster than the banks of the Bow in the Calgary flood of 2012.  Much of my writing will be focused on community challenges that are important to me like #access, mental health awareness or the restoration of so many programs already gone (ask any #veteran).  Since my last article was an access story, today I want to support the #LetsTalk mental health initiative.

As a matter of disclosure I spent almost 20 years of my career working in mental health and psychiatry.  Eleven of those years was as a mental health therapist in a fairly large inner-city hospital so I believe I have a bit of professional knowledge on the topic of mental health.  My last five years in that field was spend as a stress and pain management therapist which is where my attachment to cognitive therapy and core belief systems came from.  Beliefs are like faith, you may not always see them but acknowledging them helps you deal with the challenges life throws your way.Continue reading “Dusting Out the Old Year”