2020 not such a bummer of a year after all

Dear 2020, You’ve been getting a lot of flak, but I want to say that I see method in your madness, and I am choosing to focus on the positives you’ve brought us. Firstly, I’d like to thank you for an even closer bond with my teens. I didn’t think it was possible, but our quarantine time strengthened us as …

Liars should get their just deserts

I hate being lied to. I rarely use the word hate, but I do feel that strongly about honesty or the lack thereof. If my history is any indication though, I have to caveat that statement because there were times in the past that I wanted to believe a lie, because it was easier and meant I wouldn’t have to …

Is another symbol in danger of being sullied?

Is the thin blue line symbol headed for the same fate of the swastika? Can we stop its current trajectory, or is it already too late? In 1999, I travelled to Asia, on a journey of world- and self-discovery. While in Vietnam, there were many swastikas and reverse swastikas on gravesites and above door frames. The vision was jarring. Even …

Show respect and keep Christmas frills shelved until Remembrance Day wraps

As soon as Halloween and fall decorations come down, they appear to be replaced overnight with Christmas ones, but not in my house. I think it is only respectful to wait until after Remembrance Day to even consider putting up the Christmas tree. My grandfather, John William Setchell, who was in bomb disposal in the Second World War, deserves that. …

For the love of buying local

As snow starts to dust our rooftops, thoughts of shopping for the holidays are like subtle sugar plum fairies dancing in my head. The pandemic accelerated our rate of online shopping this year, and that trend will likely continue, but take a minute to consider what happens if we don’t support local. Also think about what will occur if we …

What exactly is the end game for COVID-19?

It’s October and with that comes a renewed passion for scary movies. For me, the increasing polarization of society is horror movie scary. Aside from race relations, one of the top polarizing issues right now is COVID-19 and how we should be acting and reacting to keep ourselves, our friends and families, and greater communities safe. Opening schools was one …

Words do matter — and some lines should not be crossed

What is considered funny or clever advertising? What is thoughtless and offensive? There have always been lines we don’t cross, not in comedy, not in marketing, not on social media, not in conversation. Last week these very questions were sparked locally in relation to Black Lives Matter. Centre Ice Bar and Grill got their metaphorical hands slapped for an outdoor …

Letting go is liberating, and makes you feel lighter

There is a saying by an unknown author that goes: “The trees are about to show us how lovely it is to let things go.” Considering this last month of my life, and that the trees in my backyard suddenly look like their tops were dipped in red and orange paint, I’m reflecting on this quote. Recently, I had to …

Winds of change blow hard this September

I am shocked that school is starting again in September. I am even more surprised that they have chosen to start classes earlier in the morning for my teens. Anyone with a teen knows that earlier in the morning does not work well for them. I’m currently grappling with what’s right for my family given the pandemic and I’m questioning …

Making most of time during pandemic

Staying at home during COVID-19, while challenging, offered opportunities for those of us who used the time wisely. When it all started, my teens had dreams of our time at home being an extended vacation. I told them that whatever this time was, we would make the best of it. I wrote up a guideline for our time, saying that …