2021 Graduate Campaign

As many of you know, last spring I created a series of lawn signs to help honour our 2020 graduates after receiving the devastating news that my daughter’s high school prom and graduation ceremony were both cancelled. 

The initiative quickly grew in abundance and at the end of 6 short weeks I had hand delivered somewhere in the ballpark of 700 signs to the front lawns (and porches) of so many deserving Graduates across the GTHA from Pre-K to Post-Graduate education. 

With the help of so many generous people in our amazing communities together we raised over $10,000 for Kids Help Phone which is why I have decided to launch my campaign again this spring. 

Our class of 2021 (including my other daughter who is just days away from earning her undergraduate degree in Communications) are all feeling the same disappointment, anger, loneliness, overwhelm and sadness as so many deserving graduates did just one year ago. 

I don’t need to tell you just how difficult this past year has been on our youth especially, many of whom are now struggling with debilitating anxiety and depression issues along with other mental health concerns due to the devastation and impact of the Pandemic. 

Our youth need to know that it’s okay to not be okay and that they are not alone which is why I have also decided this year to spread the wealth around by donating the proceeds to several youth mental health initiatives instead of just the one I did last year as the need to support our youth mental health programs is so much greater than ever before. 

I look forward to brightening up our neighborhoods soon.

#graduationday #grads #classof2021 #youarenotalone #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #checkonyourlovedones #lawnsigns #2021grads #youareenough #ouryouthmatter #payitforward #strongertogether

A Quick Rant: A Fairer, Healthier World, My Ass

Today is World Health Day. Its campaign has become a day of recognition around the Globe since 1948 and was first created by the World Health Organization (WHO), a name that has become increasingly more and more familiar to all of us since the Pandemic started. 

This year’s campaign is focused on building a “fairer, healthier world” for everyone but living in Canada right now it doesn’t feel fair at all.

The vaccine rollout in Ontario (and Canada) has been a complete and utter disaster (imo) and I can’t believe that I am actually about to say this after what we have all witnessed over the past year in the United States but I am beyond envious of all my friends and family living south of the border right now as I witness the success of how their vaccines are being rolled out (and Israel, well they deserve a fricken gold star!). 

Earlier this morning both Rich and I were able to book appointments to get vaccinated simply because the Government has now deemed our postal code a “hot spot” along with several others in our region which has afforded us and anyone else in these select few areas who are between the ages of 45 and 59 years old to do so as well. 

I’m not gonna lie, once we both received our confirmation emails with our appointment times set in place I became super emotional (surprise, surprise there were actual tears) that this was actually about to happen.

I am beyond grateful to be given this opportunity and I feel that it is my duty to get vaccinated when my time comes in order to help stop the spread of Covid-19; but I’m angry all at the same time.

I’m angry that teachers and admin staff have not been prioritized to receive a vaccination first or the factory workers, grocery store clerks, wait staff in restaurants, construction workers, immune compromised individuals, those in more marginalized communities, the 20 something year olds who have been blamed most for spreading the virus and everyone else who works in an essential service and CANNOT work from home.

I just hope that soon enough all Canadians (and many other parts of the world) can celebrate World  Health Day together by actually building a fairer, healthier (and more united) world to live in.

Ok, Rant over

#worldhealthday #vaccinations #vaccinerollout #ohcanada  #ourgovernmenthasfailedus #weallmatter #anotherlockdown #covidfatigue #staysafe #covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic #wearamask #overwhelm #anxiety #depression #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #advocate @fordnationdougford @justinpjtrudeau @celliottability @slecce

Domestic Violence Awareness Month

November is Domestic Violence Awareness Month in Canada. Statistics show that 1 in 3 Canadian women will experience domestic abuse from an intimate partner in their lifetime, but it does not stop there as it can affect people of all races, cultures, socioeconomic classes, religions, genders and sexual orientations.

Domestic violence is also a much broader epidemic than just that of physical abuse as it could likely include several other forms of abuse as well such as sexual, psychological and emotional. 

Since the start of the Pandemic, domestic violence has become a Pandemic within a Pandemic once the stay-at-home-orders came into effect and with a big surge in job loss, unemployment, economic instability, childcare instability, housing instability and travel restrictions it has made it more and more difficult for many victims who have been confined to their homes with their abusers to safely connect with the necessary services or outside help including reporting to authorities. 

Many victims are staying out of fear or because they feel trapped, both of which have been very likely scenerios even long before the Pandemic began. 

Although there are many signs that someone is being abused, they are not always as visible to outsiders, especially with so many of the current living circumstances for victims right now. 

It can also be very difficult to clearly see signs of abuse because most perpetrators learn the art of manipulation and control over their victim’s mind and emotions. 

Signs of Abuse:
-Bullying, threatening or controlling tactics 
-Controlling your money
-Cutting you off from your family and friends 
-Physical or sexual abuse

(Footnote: WebMD)

Keep an eye out for these signs if you think a loved one is a victim of domestic violence: 

-Excuses for injuries
-Personality changes, like low self-esteem in someone who was always confident
-Constantly checking in with their partner
-Never having money on hand
-Overly worried about pleasing their partner
-Skipping out on work, school, or social outings for no clear reason
-Wearing clothes that don’t fit the season, like long sleeves in summer to cover bruises 

(Footnote: WebMD)

Lastly, if your gut is telling you that a friend or loved one may be a victim of domestic violence say something! Listen, ask questions and offer to help in any way you can. And remember, never judge another person’s situation or a decision that someone else may make unless you have walked a mile in their shoes. Empower them instead to give them the courage they may need to become stronger and more confident. 


#domesticviolenceawarenessmonth #empower #signsofdomesticviolence #youareenough #youarenotalone #noshame #startaconversation #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #dontsufferinsilence #speakyourtruth #advocate #courageous

To My Dear American Friends and Family

How is it that I have never lost any sleep over Canadian politics yet for the last month I have literally been glued to the tv watching CNN (just ask my family) and refreshing my Twitter feeds (and tweeting the President of the United States) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week due to an out of control level of anxiety and sadness over an election I’m not even eligible to vote in! 


This election is no longer about whose policies or campaign promises are better anymore, its simply and sadly about a country so divided by fear and hatred. 


I hope today will be a “Great” day for my  American friends and family and that of the millions of ballots cast it will decidedly bring with it a shift in mindset and a spirit back to the America that the rest of the world once looked upon with fondness and “Great” envy.


Vote today (if you haven’t already) like your life depends on it because it does,  and frankly so does ours!! And also seeing as our borders are still closed for who knows how long it’s gonna make it so much harder for you to gain access to all the “Greatness” our glorious Country has to offer (I know we ain’t perfect but…)! 


Your vote matters!


*picture attached is from the Origami Owl jewellry Collection

#yourvotematters #staysafe #election2020 #makeamericagreatagain #forrealthistime #ohcanada #proudtobecanadian #canadaisntperfectbut #ineedagoodnightssleep #origamiowljewelry 

https://kimfluxgold.origamiowl.ca 

Our New Norm

Jacob called in sick to work the other day, something he has rarely done in the past but he just wasn’t feeling well. He told us he was feeling really run down, he had a case of laryngitis and he also displayed some other mild cold-like symptoms as well. If this had been 6 months ago we would have probably just given him some Tylenol or Cold and Flu medicine and sent him and his “man cold” back to bed but instead we sent him to go get a Covid test to put all of our minds at ease.

We can no longer just simply dismiss exhaustion or other cold and flu-like symptoms as nothing more than the “common cold”. For almost 24 hours we kept him isolated to his room in the basement while awaiting his results. We left food and water for him outside his bedroom door like you would that of a prisoner (and Hannah made him a big bowl of ice cream for dessert too) and we lay in wait with a feeling of panic until he got his results.

While we waited we also needed to discuss in great length what the possibility of a positive test would mean for the five of us and for anyone else Jacob had been in contact with over the last week or so.

It felt scary and very real. His test results THANKFULLY came back negative, but as we head into the cooler weather now and with the cold and flu season upon us, this is going to become the reality for more and more of us in the coming months and from the several stories I have seen on Social Media just one day into the start of the new school year for many of our children who were being sent home due to having runny noses, our “new norm” is certain to only add to an already very long and uncertain Fall and Winter season ahead.

#staysafeeveryone  #bettersafethansorry #covid19test #wearamask #washyourhands #socialdistancing #togetherapart #youareenough

Can We Just Agree To Disagree?


The Coronavirus has brought out a whole batshit crazy amount of fear and anger in people all around the world and the amount of judgment and hate I’ve seen and heard (especially on social media) has been fricken shocking and jaw dropping at times to say the very least. 

It’s been a very long (almost) 3 months for all of us and is still filled with so much uncertainty which can understandably make it that much more scary. It’s basically all anyone ever talks about and it often feels like we are all centerstage at a worldwide Political debate taking on our fiercest opponent. 

The Pandemic has drawn many lines in the sand and now as the parameters of the lockdown/quarantine begin to ease, it may be time for all of us to just agree to disagree. 

Let’s try and show kindness to one another as we figure out what is best for ourselves and our loved ones right now. Let’s do so without instilling fear or passing judgment on to each other because we all have our own stories and our own unique circumstances and we all have our own reasons why; and that is perfectly okay, in fact it’s more than ok.

Don’t let others pressure you to do something your not comfortable with or quite ready for yet, but in return, please show kindness and respect to those that are more comfortable or ready. You are not walking in anyone else’s shoes but your own.

Even the strongest people you know have in someway been mentally impacted by this crisis and no matter what our story is, our circumstances are or our reasons why, we have all been forever changed by what has happened to us, but the one thing that can never change and the one thing that can be the difference for so many of us right now is if we all remember to just be kind.

#bekind #kindness #kindnessmatters #mentalwellness #mentalhealth #wereallinthistogether #strongertogether #agreetodisagree #fear #anger #judgmentfreezone #weallhaveourownreasonswhy #youareenough #choosekindness #covid19 #coronavirus #pandemic #overwhelm #vulnerability 

A Pre-Birthday Wish

My birthday is still 2 weeks away and I don’t often ask for much when it comes to birthdays or other special occasions but this year my wish list is long. In Pre-Covid-19 times my wish list would probably seem odd to many who regularly make themselves a priority or make Self-Care part of their monthly, weekly or even daily routines but at this very moment nothing feels too normal. 

I’m not too confident right now that any of my birthday wishes will be come true in time for my birthday this year (As it is my birthday present from last year has already been postponed twice and at this point I’d say indefinitely 😰😰😰) but for now I will close my eyes and make a Pre-birthday wish anyways and dream of the perfect day, complete with a trip to the hair salon, followed by a mani/pedi and of course the day would not be complete without our traditional family dinner at the Keg which would also normally be our kid’s last supper right before they were to head off to camp for the summer! 😰

What would you consider to be your perfect day right now?

#keepdreaming #birthdays #makeawish #birthdaywishes #closeyoureyes #pamperyourself #selfcare #ichooseme #youarenough #pandemic #staysafe

Signed, Sealed & Delivered


While on route today delivering more lawn signs I made an extra special stop to the home of one of the Managers of Kids Help Phone to drop off an envelope with a cheque in it for just under $8000. 
Like so many others right now, the staff at Kids Help Phone are adjusting to a new way of life by having to work from home (and for the foreseeable future) in order to help flatten the curve and stop the spread of Covid-19 but I didn’t want to have to wait several more months for Kids Help Phone to reap the benefits of the 100’s of generous donations I’ve received and so the kind young gentleman (who I’ve been in constant contact with since the start of my “Class of 2020” Graduate Initiative) offered to have me drop it off to him to ensure it got into the right hands now.

We spoke for a little bit outside his home (and 2 meters apart!) and he shared with me some of his goals he is working towards right now for our youth during Covid-19 and beyond and how much donations like this can help turn these goals into a reality. 

I told him that I will have another cheque for him in a couple of weeks once I wrap up my campaign which is officially winding down this weekend as my mental health is taking a toll right now from it, but as of this evening I am very close to doubling my original goal of $5000 and ya that’s pretty cool with me.

*Feel free to reach out to me before Sunday night to honour a “Class of 2020” Graduate! And if you or anyone you know is feeling sad or angry or frustrated or scared please reach out to Kids Help Phone 24/7. They are now servicing all children, youth, frontline  workers and even adults.  

#kidsmentalhealthmatters #itsoktonotbeok #youarenotalone #youareenough #courage #checkonyourlovedones #startaconversation #kindnessmatters #dontsufferinsilence #mentalillness #mentalhealth #depression #anxiety #suicide #ouryouthmatter #strongertogether #togetherapart #staysafe #stayhome @kidshelpphone @bellletstalk 

How Can I Say No?


I received another shipment of “Class of 2020” lawn signs (over 200 to be somewhat exact). As last week wrapped up and I could barely see straight anymore and was feeling extremely vulnerable and overwhelmed I went to bed that night with a promise to myself that I had taken my last order. I tried reminding myself that delivering close to 600 lawn signs over the course of one month was an incredible feat (with several drives that were close to an hour North, South, East and West of the City) and I even tried to convince myself that I should be very proud of what I have accomplished by raising over $8000 for Kids Help Phone to date; and then before I knew it, morning had come.

You see, I have a very hard time feeling like anything I ever do is good enough, worthy enough or just plain old enough. And I also have a very hard time saying no, I want to say no, and I often need to say no but the guilt of saying no can far outweigh my ability to set healthy boundaries even if it means that I’m compromising my own mental and physical health for it.

I went to bed that night having set several healthy boundaries in my head. My plan was clear as day, I was not going to take anymore orders; no matter what!!! I needed to focus my energy instead on wrapping up my project and on the upcoming delivery, which included mapping out a very clear and concise plan as to how Rich and I were going to conquer the current deliveries with as little conflict as possible. I had also been preparing those who inquired about Grad signs last week and even part of the week prior (before I knew that I was going to appear on the evening news) that if they wanted to place an order they needed to confirm with me by Sunday evening because I would no longer be accepting orders after that (month end).

I know we can’t always please everyone and that creating healthy boundaries can help ease some feelings of guilt but when I woke up Monday morning and my inbox already had another dozen or so messages from parents and loved ones of a “Class of 2020” Graduate wanting to lift their spirits I just couldn’t say no. 

Each sign I have sold has come with its own unique story and I have had the privilege of hearing many of these stories about so many AWESOME “Class of 2020” Graduates and many stories have also included how much Kids Help Phone has played an important role in their lives. 

I wish that when I do say no that I can do so without guilt of course but also without feeling like I have to always apologize for saying no, or explain myself for saying no or feel like I’m being judged for saying no or that I’m letting others down for saying no and besides all that; didn’t Nancy Reagan teach us that it’s okay to “Just Say No!”?

#sayno #youareenough #justsayno #healthyboundaries #finalorder #nostringsattached #ichooseme #guiltfree #noshame #noapologies #graduationday #grads #classof2020 #ouryouthmatter #youarenotalone  #endthestigmatogether #strongertogether #kindness @kidshelpphone @bellletstalk 

National Say Something Nice Day

It’s National “Say Something Nice Day” today! Today is a gentle reminder that we always need to use kind words and show kindness and empathy toward one another every day. We’ve all heard the saying “Practice makes perfect” right? So today I dare you to say something nice to someone or about someone and that you continue to practice doing so each and every day moving foward to ensure we help make a better tomorrow.

There is also another saying that we have heard from a very young age which is “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Words can cut deep and once they are said they can’t be taken back so please choose your words carefully because our words matter.

And while you’re at it maybe you could drop off a jar of olives and a hazelnut cake to someone who needs a smile, a kind word or a gentle reminder that they matter because today is also National Olive Day and National Hazelnut Cake Day too! 

#killtwobirdswithonestone #antibullying #areyouupforthechallenge #saysomethingniceday #wordsmatter #weallmatter #youareenough #bekinder #payitforward

%d bloggers like this: