Everything is Going to Be Alright

Monday, December 26, 2011 by Michelle

Last winter, in the depths of a miserable night of rain and my own life's sadness, I was coming home from a class on the Skytrain. Just out of Stadium Station, I looked North and saw a neon sign that surprised me with a message that read, "Everything is Going to be Alright". This unexpected message of hope and optimism lifted me out of the sadness that had been engulfing me in that moment, and truly made me feel hope, even if only briefly. "Yes, yes, it will be alright. Even if it won't really be alright, surely it will be alright." Sometimes art makes that kind of difference. Sometimes art makes ALL the difference.

Of a Certain Age

Thursday, December 8, 2011 by Michelle

Over the past year, I’ve been mildly afflicted by an occasional slight fever. Oddly, it’s usually near the end of my menstrual cycle, then it just clears up. It’s very strange, now that I think of it, that I always seem to be on my way to being sick without actually arriving.

I suddenly realized the other day, “as a woman of a certain age”, that I may be having mild hot flashes. Because they’re dressed as a pleasant warmth to my face, it honestly didn’t occur to me it was anything but an occasional mild bug. I guess I was thinking perimenopause would be flashier and more dramatic. The “Oh, Someone Open a Window NOW!” kind of intensity, with lots of sweat and a complete disregard for the chattering teeth of those around me.

Then, for the first time since the age of 11, I skipped a period. Sailed right over it. It didn’t even say “whoosh” when it went sweeping by; it just didn’t show up. I still had my usual back discomfort (twice this cycle) and other mild symptoms, but nothing happened. (I just hope it doesn’t overcompensate because I’m really liking this!)

Oh, and I’ve noticed over the past year or so that I’m craving creative outlets; I’m knitting again, am quilting more, and am taking a sewing class so I can make myself a dress. These aren’t odd for me as I've always been a crafty woman, but it is interesting that there a sense of a little urgency to it for me now.

If this is perimenopause, I’m very happy with it!

Remembering, on December 6th

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 by Michelle

On December 6th, 1989 at École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec Canada, 14 women were killed and 10 more people injured by a man who claimed he was fighting feminism. He then shot himself. He left behind a suicide note that blamed feminists for ruining his life. The note included a list of nineteen Quebec women whom he considered to be feminists and apparently wished to kill.

I remember walking down the halls in a fog at Simon Fraser University as an undergraduate when I heard the news, scared of male classmates and what they may conceal in their hearts and backpacks. And I remember the sorrow I felt for these women and their families, friends and classmates.

Let’s remember these sisters today as we continue to work for a better world for women, one where we can all live, work and study in an environment of respect and safety

(first paragraph of was mostly pinched from a well-written communique from BC Society of Transition Houses)