Hello All! Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!…..is it Valentine’s Day yet? Ok, so I’ve failed miserably at regularly blogging again, for about the third year in a row, but hey, 2019 could just be the year it happens 😉 .
How have the last few months been? Well, there was another round of stitches ( J ), a buckle fracture to the arm ( J ), another Christmas filled with flu, one last round of the flu this week for the only one of us that didn’t get sick at Christmas ( A ) and its currently blizzarding and feels like -26, but actually? The last few months have been pretty good. My husband has worked away a lot, but it has also allowed him to have a good number of days off when he is home. After an adjustment period for Miss A, both kids are loving school and all of their many activities and I am loving all the fun things we get to watch/do/try together as a family (even 7:00am hockey on the weekend).
The world though? It’s really having a hard time. The news and stories on social media just make me want to hide inside my house and never come out, or yell at the sky, or cry. Even the most innocent seeming ideas or ventures are met with criticism and judgement, while some of the most vile, hateful concepts, while opposed by most, are championed and spread by some. It is frustrating, exhausting and often makes me baffled as to what is the right thing to say or do.
My breaking point came two days ago on “Bell Lets Talk” Day. It is a day where Bell, a communications giant, donates 5 cents for every tweet, text, call, facebook frame, etc. towards mental health initiatives and programs. Since it’s inception in 2011, it has raised over 100 million dollars for mental health. Every year, I’ve always tried my best to spread the word and support this, but this year I was shocked and appalled at several posts saying it was nothing more than a marketing scheme, that it was a bad message because sometimes those struggling don’t want to talk and that it was completely useless because mental health programming is still terrible. I have several thoughts on this.
- It’s a marketing scheme. Of course it’s a marketing scheme!! Massive corporations aren’t usually keen to give away millions of dollars if it doesn’t somehow benefit them. That may be a depressing thought, but at the end of the day, that is still millions of dollars going to a good cause instead of lining the already super wealthy pockets of the CEO’s.
- It’s a bad message, sometimes those struggling aren’t ready to talk. Yep, sometimes they aren’t, and that’s ok, no one should be forced to do anything they aren’t ready to, but I really struggle to see why it still isn’t important to share this message that it is ok to talk about mental health, that it is a normal conversation, that discussing what we are struggling with in our heads should be as accepted and regular as talking about a sore throat or a headache. There are still a disturbingly high number of people in this world that think you can just “get over” anxiety or depression if you just try hard enough. 😦
- It’s completely useless because mental health programming is terrible. Mental health programming and accessibility is terrible. 100%. It falls short in nearly every area. If you live in a rural area, there are usually almost no resources. Urban areas are not a whole lot better, because there are usually atrociously long waits for anything that is publicly funded. Anything accessible immediately costs a small fortune. Aren’t these statements the exact reason we need all kinds of funding poured into these programs? Wouldn’t it then be a good thing to be raising money for mental health?
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a one day thing. The conversation about mental health needs to continue all year round, not just on this day. We all need to commit to fighting for better programming and accessibility and support ourselves and those around us every day. I guess I just don’t see how attacking this initiative is helpful in that. This finally brings me to my title: The Grey Area. Our world is so polarized, everything is right or wrong, there seemingly is no space in between anymore.
Just a quick side note before I continue: I am not, in anyway, referring to major issues, such as race, equality, me too movement, etc. I’m definitely not suggesting there should be any grey area in these concerns and have to be aware of the point of privilege from which I view the world.
For the little things though? I’m striving to teach my kids that there is a middle ground sometimes. Everyone does not need to agree, all the time. You can have a different opinion than someone but still be respectful of them and their opinion and not feel the need to prove them wrong. Everyone’s experiences and the people around them have shaped how they see the world. It’s what makes us unique and interesting. It doesn’t mean you have to be friends with someone you don’t see eye to eye with, it just means you maybe don’t need to go head to head with the stranger in Costco who is claiming the Huggies wipes are better than the Costco wipes (I mean, I can’t imagine who would feel this way, but maybe there is someone out there, and they are entitled to feel this lol).
It’s not always easy of course. It’s certainly in my nature to want to be right or to pass on my opinions or experiences, it’s probably a big part of why I blog. I’m going to work on it though, because I want to teach my kids that there is a grey area. Of course it’s natural to share stories, especially to empathize with someone to know that you both aren’t in it alone, but when the stories and experiences become unsolicited advice, it can do more harm than good.
So I guess that’s a bit of a New Year’s resolution for me this year, spend more time in the grey area. Do more listening than talking, respect others opinions, even if I don’t agree and be kind, because the world needs so much more kindness. Maybe we can all focus on fighting the horrendous injustices that do exist in the world instead of fighting over the little things or discrediting initiatives aimed to help.
“It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.”- L.R. Knost
Take care everyone 🙂