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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I Was... Were You?

Bullied.  I was bullied when I was in Grade 8.  I had a big Halloween party planned with all my friends.  We had our costumes made and big plans for a fabulous night.  The event was going to be the best event of the year.  Then I wrote a note in class saying one of the girls was an a**.  I don't remember why I wrote this.  I was not the type to do so.  I was actually a pretty popular girl now that I look back.  And I was friends with everyone, popular, not popular, jocks, musicians.  But we all said things about each other and wrote notes in class.  That was probably the worst note I ever wrote.  But she found it.

She and the whole group confronted me that day.  Everyone was full of hatred.  The next day, one of the girls threw my Halloween costume in my face (her mom had made it).  The days and weeks that followed were almost impossible for me as a 13 year old girl.  One of my best friends planned a Halloween party and invited all the same people.  There was name calling.  Ignoring.  Threats to beat me up.  Nasty phone calls.  It was a difficult time... not only for me, but for my parents.

One day after school a group of the people bullying me were calling me names and throwing snowballs at my Dad's car.  My Dad stopped the car suddenly and got out and asked them what they thought they were doing.  Throwing snowballs was dangerous.  They responded with, "She called so-and-so an a**."  My Dad essentially told them to get over it and grow up.  They are hurting people and could cause a lot more damage.

My Dad got back into the car and told me to never write another negative thing like that on paper.  I was pretty proud of my Dad that day:)

I also had a friend at that time who didn't go to my school.  She invited all of her friends to my Halloween party and it was the best party I ever had!  My parents went the extra mile and we had KFC and awesome music and a light show.... pretty amazing party back in the 80s.

And then there was another girl, a friend, who made it possible for me to enter the classroom each day.  She didn't follow the crowd.  She did her own thing.  She even came to my party and not the other girl's.  I knew that when everyone in the class was ganging up on me, she would be there on my side... not saying anything, but not bullying me either.

And those three things got me through.  Being an excellent student and being involved in extracurricular activities also helped.

So what does a teenager do when their parents may not be aware or available?  What if they don't have a friend outside the bullying crowd?  What if there isn't at least one person in their class that stands by them?  What if they don't have an escape to their extracurricular activities?  What if social media causes all of the 'outside school' friends to follow the bullying?

Amanda Todd "had nobody."  She cried out because she "needed someone."  It doesn't matter what she did.  It matters that she was troubled enough to ask for help and then commit suicide.  It matters that our systems in society didn't catch this in time.  It matters that she's not the only one to cry out for help and not get it.

The people that participated in bullying me grew up to be wonderful, beautiful people.  I'm friends with them today.  As teenagers, we're just learning how to behave, how to monitor our thoughts, how to choose what actions are worthwhile to take, where to place our energy... who we are.  We need guidance.  We need help.  We will face intimidation.  We will face animosity.  We will make mistakes.  (I still do!!!)

Parents  need to be aware and support their kids.  But they also need to help educate them to understand bullying... that the bullier has his or her own problems.  And here is where the bigger systems need to step in.  Parents need to be educated too.  Parents need to understand bullying.  Parents need to be able to recognize the signs.  Parents need to be conscious themselves and help raise the consciousness of their children.

This blog post is a cry out to parents and teachers and adults.... educate yourself.  Join the Conscious Parenting Facebook page (  Google 'conscious parenting' and read about it.  Learn about how to become a more conscious person and become that.  Your elevated awareness will have a ripple effect.  Your children and the children around you will become more conscious.  We have to start somewhere and becoming a more aware, more educated person yourself is a good place to start.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Smokin' Drivin' & Havin' a Chat

I was driving my daughter to daycare the other morning and stopped in a line of traffic.  I happened to look in my rear view mirror and the driver was talking on the cell phone.  Worse.... the driver was also smoking!  While driving!  Seriously.  Smoking while driving!  How can one multi-task so much?

Well, the answer is this.  She's a woman.  Not that men don't multi-task... not going there.  But I've spoken to so many women who manage being everything to everyone and still have great hair.  How on earth do they find the time to do their hair??

My last blog talked about discipline.  I'm still working on it.  And while I'm getting more disciplined, I'm getting more done... and my to-do list gets longer!  Because I'm more productive and disciplined, I guess I feel I can take on more.  So I took on two courses and decided to stop waiting around for that perfect job.... and started my own business.  It's in development but I already have a small contract.

So these days I'm a mom to an 18 year old, a mommy to a 15 month old, a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law, a friend, a chauffeur, a student, a business owner, a cleaner, a cook, a reader (I also joined a book club), a runner, a yogi, a writer...... it's exhausting.  I love every role I have.  I love my life.  But something's gotta give.  So cooking it is.  Oh yeah, and cleaning.

Welcome to my home.  It's messy, but my hair is clean.