I know I am a privileged person-white, university educated, Christian, in a heterosexual marriage. At the same time, there are areas where I feel I am underprivileged. All the “only” and “just” and “not” labels: just a woman, just a mother, only a renter, not a real teacher, not a real artist, only working part-time, etc, etc, etc. It’s maddening, but it’s life.
I feel like my job has changed my awareness of privilege, and that I am constant re-evaluating privilege. This is challenging. I make mistakes. I learn.
Right now, the best I can do is strive to be fair, respectful, polite, and kind. To model patience and justice. To listen without jumping in (something I struggle with). To be thankful, helpful, and cheerful. To also be firm, to use my voice and actions even when it is difficult. To love and to forgive and to move on. And to do these things because it is the right thing to do, not for applause or a pat on the back. To be quiet yet powerful.
I try to schedule me time on a daily basis. Knitting, watching a movie, going to the library, wandering Michael’s or Ikea or Value Village or Dollarama, baking, drinking hot cocoa or tea, painting my nails, napping. I am a much better mother, wife, and person when I have my down-time. I don’t feel guilty about it, as it is important for my own mental health and well-being. Everyone unwinds in different ways. We all need our “me” time, even Georgia does. Every now and then she will go off and play quietly on her own, or I’ll put her in her crib and hear her singing to herself, happy and content to have some time to breathe and think. She comes back content and energized. Relaxation is a part of our daily routine, and we all suffer if we do not have time to unwind and recharge.