I changed jobs this week. On Monday, my first day, when I should have been primarily concerned with learning the office microwave-cleaning rota and orienting myself to a new Xerox print centre, I was a little preoccupied. At 8 pm on Sunday, I found out that my father had fallen, broken his hip, undergone emergency surgery, and was in isolation in a hospital in southwestern Ontario. Details were fuzzy. Hospital staff would not share much with my aunt, my father’s sister. He had managed to call her on Sunday morning, 24 hours after his fall, once he had come round after anaesthesia. He needed her to go to his house to make sure my mom was okay. My mom wasn’t answering the phone.
Unanswered phone calls are not uncommon at my parents’ house. My father is quite hard of hearing, after spending 37 years as an infantry officer. My mother tends not to answer the phone because she is self-conscious. She has a severe cognitive disability ...continue reading →
More than 800 000 Canadians access food banks each month, and no province or territory is unaffected by food insecurity. As citizens of one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Canadians should not have to struggle to put healthy meals on their families’ tables — families living on minimum wage should not have to go into debt to benefit from a nutritious diet. We tend to concern ourselves with these issues during traditional “giving” holidays, particularly Thanksgiving and Christmas. As a result, donations to food banks hit a lull during the summer, which unfortunately coincides with increased demand due to children no longer being enrolled in school-based meal programs. We need to be concerned year-round. ...continue reading →
I was 16 years old when Sadness and Joy first went AWOL in my brain for a protracted period. I was an angry, scared, self-loathing teenager. Typical, many might say, but the anger and fear ran deeper and longer than my teenaged psyche could endure. I started taking anti-depressants when I was in university, and I have alternated between diagnoses of anxiety and depression for much of my adult life. I am fighting hard to keep the black dogs at bay. Finally, at the age of 36, I feel like I am making some head way.
Inside Outbrings to life five of the small voices in our heads, each of which represents a universal emotion: Happiness, Sadness, Fear, Disgust and Anger. (Surprise is absent.) We learn how these five emotions interact with each other in 11-year-old Riley’s head to keep her safe, drive her passions, connect with others and form her personality. ...continue reading →
The opposite of play is not work. It’s depression. — Brian Sutton-Smith
A little nonsense now and then is cherished by the wisest men.― Roald Dahl, Charlie & the Great Glass Elevator
What happens when we play? What changes do we notice in our bodies? When we play a game with others, how do we experience those players? What physical or physiological responses to the actions or emotions involved do we notice? What is play? According to Jill Vialet, author of the book 'Recess Rules', play is like pornography: you know it when you see it. The dictionary definition includes words like “aimless” and “frivolous.” Bernard Suits described playing a game as a voluntary attempt to overcome unnecessary obstacles. But we shouldn’t be so dismissive of play and its benefits and rewards.
People who play are more trusting; they are better self-regulators and can resolve conflict more effectively. Groups who play together have healthier interactions ...continue reading →
Rhonda and Gerry Wile’s journey to creating their family is documented on their personal blog and in Leslie Morgan Steiner’s new book, The Baby Chase.
Rhonda and Gerry met and married in their late 20s. Like many women, Rhonda had dreamed of a future in which she would be a mother. Unfortunately, Rhonda discovered that she had an uncommon medical condition that resulted in infertility: although she had two vaginas and two uteruses, and could easily become pregnant, the small size of each uterus meant that all of her pregnancies would result in miscarriage. The Wiles could be included in the 16% of Canadian heterosexual couples affected by infertility.
Infertility is increasing in Canada, as it is elsewhere, and it can be a heartbreaking, isolating and depressing diagnosis. More and more couples who want to start their families are forced to make some very difficult choices as to how far they are willing to go to create a baby. For the Wiles, those choices took them thousands of kilometres from home.
Couples like the Wiles have four options for dealing with infertility: remaining child-free, seeking fertility treatment, pursuing adoption, and surrogacy. According to Morgan Steiner, about 50% of couples will choose to remain child-free and not seek other options. The remainder who choose to continue on the path to parenthood must navigate some very murky waters. ...continue reading →