Taking Control

Week 48 – February 15, 2021 – Being Intentional

I cannot believe that it’s mid-February. Where has the time gone? This COVID Time Warp is not helping me. Time is flying by, yet standing still. It’s Week 48 since the pandemic announcement in BC and we’re steps away from its one-year anniversary. Although I appreciate this time to reflect and think about what’s important to me during the pandemic, I need to make some intentional changes for myself. I’ve been thinking about my strengths, my interests, and how I feel. It’s been a rollercoaster. I’ve had it pretty easy though. I teach remotely, I have a job, and I am home with my kid.

Recently, I’ve been thinking about my cultural identity, decolonizing my pedagogy, and what’s next for me. I am so grateful to be on the Sunshine Coast and enjoying being back on the coast. I love the ocean and being with my kid and friends. I am recognizing the role of land to one’s identity and how PLACE IS STORY. I don’t think I would have understood this had I not taken myself out of place and situate myself somewhere different. The climate is different, in addition to the geography and people. You don’t notice until you really have to. This, in itself, is good learning.

Maybe it’s the “I’m 50” thing or I am so entrenched in my #pandemicreflections and we are approaching one-year of being #sociallydistanced. What I do know for sure is, I can’t let life happen to me. I’ve been letting it (for some reason) and it’s not playing out the way I had hoped. Also, I have to be more intentional with what I choose and understand why it’s important to me. Yes, this sounds like another opportunity for overthinking, but I am finding myself overworking and under fulfilled. I’ve been giving my power away by stepping aside, hoping for the best, and thinking good things happen to good people. None of this is serving me well. And yes, I can see that now.

I am reminded of my mom at this time of year. She passed away almost 3-years ago and she made critical decisions about her life to take back her control, integrity, and dignity. I remember the days so clearly, with one regret of not being with her overnight when she first went to the hospital. I’ll leave that for another blog post. 3-years ago, my mom prayed for family day long weekend to end. No one was on duty so she had to wait for everyone to come back. On the Wednesday, which was Valentine’s Day, she decided to stop all treatments. She was done with the needles. On the Friday, Chinese New Year, she opted for MAID (medical assistance in dying).

I remember those days. She was so absolute with her decision. My family did not believe her. They were planning something completely different for her but she stood her ground. She was determined to make the final decision of her life. She made that choice on Chinese New Year. She made it again when she signed all of the forms (and she was blind). She stayed consistent with her conviction with the 2-doctor interviews. She was sent home because they would not do MAID at the hospital. She insisted that she wanted to die at an institution and not at home. BAD ENERGY, she would say. We transported her from place to place. At her very last moment, they asked her again and she followed through. The nurse called her a “maverick” and a “trailblazer.”

My mom was so brave. She is probably the most strongest person I know. She was caring and funny. She always thought of others and did what it took to take care of others. I mean, she waited for me to graduate before she passed away. Damn. I took soooooo long to get my dissertation done. She was even too ill at the time to go to my convocation. We did not know the extent of her illness or pain. She tried to hide it, even though at times she was not very good at it. Valentine’s Day, Family Day, and Chinese New year is not an easy time for me. There is a lot of pain and sadness. I miss her. But, I am left with a smile as I write, because she continues to teach me.