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Archive for September, 2010

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She Said WHAT????

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

I am not going to make excuses for a terrible terrible bad habit that I have brought with me through turbulent adolescence into my 30’s. There is no excuse and there is no hiding the fact that I have what is politely referred to as a potty mouth.  It is a habit that I have worked very hard in breaking but have yet to succeed and those that know me now might be shocked to hear that I am much better than I used to be – much, MUCH better and that isn’t saying much. 🙂

I could blame this habit on my upbringing, the environment in which I was raised, cultural or societal predispositions, or even blame the friend in high school that every parent considered a bad influence. I could do that and all of those explanations would have merit but none of them would change the fact that I am here now and have to find a way to bring my language more in line with who I am as a person because the way you speak definitely tells people a great deal about who you are and I am definietly not the type of woman that my language portrays me to be.ue

So how do you break a life-long habit?? Seriously – HOW – I need to know and I don’t. I need help desperately! This habit is so ingrained that I am mostly unaware of it and unless I make an overtly conscious effort to avoid curse words and vulgarities, they slip off my tongue like not-so-sweet honey. A very good friend recently pulled me aside to discuss my offensive language – she was very polite about it and was terrified that I would be offeneded by her critisim – I hope she was pleasantly surprised when instead of being hurt or defensive, I thanked her!! I really do need help because I am not always aware of what I have said or how I have said it and when my language is pointed out to me, only then can I correct the behavior! As Dr. Phil says, we cannot change what we don’t acknowledge and I am 100% acknowledging this personal shortcoming.

This friend has taken it upon herself to choose a special ‘word of the day’ for me to use as a substitute for a few choice phrases – so far I have Flower and Sugar as great alternatives and am working on using them instead of the words that they represent. The funny thing is that I am actually self-conscious of saying “OH SUGAR!” in public when I never even noticed how often I used the other S-word in my vocabulary. It is beyond ironic and I am so embarrassed by this flaw in my character.

So how can you help me and maybe even yourself or someone you know with the same problem??? For me, like I said, having people comment on it, point it out and even tell me that they don’t like it – is a huge wake-up call and a great service to both me and anyone within earshot of my conversation. If this type of language intervention can help me, a life-long offender, maybe it can help you too. All I know is that as far as I have come, there is still a long way yet to go so if you meet me on the road please do not hesitate to offer up a new and less-offensive word of the day. I for one will appreciate it!

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Fair Representation?

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

I don’t think that it is any secret that I have put myself on the block and have committed to running for Town Council for the 2010-2014 term in Rivers Manitoba. Do I have any political experience? Not in the least. Am I a smooth-talking politician with the popular vote? Not even close, actually if we were to take a poll I am probably one of the least liked people in my community – I have no misconceptions about how my personality and shoot-from-the-hip attitude often rubs people the wrong way, I am completely aware of it but I am also aware that it is a part of me that makes me, me and I am not willing to change just to appease the masses. People may not like me much, but my actions in the past can assure them of one thing – they can trust me to always do what I say and stand behind my words, actions and opinion, whether they are popular or not. The stand I take on an issue will never be dependant on the company I keep and will never bow, bend or break due to pressure, coercion or outright bullying – if I haven’t proved that in the past 6 months alone, then I probably never could.

This blog isn’t meant to be a campaign speech because unfortunately I realize that much like high school, municipal politics in a small town are very similar to a high school popularity contest. Who do you like more? Who will tell you what you want to hear and who are the popular kids that you want to like you? Too often people will go to the polls and check the name that is most familiar to them, without even considering who will do the best job of representing their and their family’s interests over the next four years. The one thing I am hoping to do with this election, whether I win or not is to change the way people engage their community and demand fair representation at the municipal level because let’s face it – that is where it really counts. Provincial and federal elections can generate a great deal of excitement, but it is the day-to-day matters in our own communities that effect the quality of our every day lives and that is where we really need to get involved and understand what is going on.

Did you know that there is no provincial or municipal by-law preventing family members and even spouses from runnig for and sitting together on council? Most people in Rivers will know that since in the past 4 years we have had just that – a councillor married to our Mayor. Is that fair? Some may say yes, some may say no and some will say that it depends on the couple and their integrity. I say – it shouldn’t matter. In a town the size of Rivers with roughly 1200 people, we are represented by 6 councillors and a Mayor – these individuals are supposed top represent the interests of all the people in the community – from all walks of life, all demographics and all backgrounds. as individuals. While most will say that being married or being siblings or being parent-child has no influence on a person’s ability to act as an individual, I don’t believe that is true. At the best of times, it allows the people involved in this conflict to argue their own case with each other in private, at the worst it influences a vote based on personal agendas or pressures.

What if we had two couples on council or three? If 4 out of 7 or even 6 out of 7 representatives on our council were intertwined with each other – how fair would that be? Would that limit those people that they could fairly represent? Would it turn a council meeting into a family affair. a dynasty or are people comfortable with only two or three family’s having control over what happens in their town, with their taxes, their community? I know I am not, but when it comes time for elections, every person needs to make that decision for themselves, because if the option arises to choose to allow family members on council, it is really only up to the voters to protect themselves and ensure their own fair representation.

My true feelings about this up coming election are these: I don’t care if people vote for me or not – what matters the most to me is that people come out and vote, making informed decisions and choosing what they honestly feel is best for them, their family and their community, that the next four years they can rest assured that they will be fairly represented in their community. If that includes me on Rivers’ council, that will be great and I will do my best for them, if it doesn’t – that is ok too because that is what a democracy is all about. What I really, REALLY care about is that everyone in this and every community realizes that they matter, that regardless of ages, economic or social status, employment or culture, that THEY have a voice and that they can use it, especially on election day.

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