Elevation

Feb. 29th, 2016 06:59 pm
Gentle Readers,

It's been a week since the elevation. I suppose I should probably write something down about it. In theory, I've been putting off writing because I've been processing. However, I haven't really been thinking about it to be honest.

One of my friends, and a ceremony junkie, did a lovely write up that in the Ealdormere Gazette. From the inside however it was not exactly the same kind of magic. The last few months have been spent making sure everything was in place, coordinating a ridiculous amount of support from friends.

Writing the ceremony was probably the hardest part. I didn't do the actual writing but I did have editorial control. Which is good as I caught a few things that were miscommunication between me and the main writer. We needed to find that sweet spot to make it clear that this was still an Ealdormerian peerage but was still something new and special. We also had to make sure that it was clear that it was a martial peerage but without cribbing from the Knights.

I believe we succeeded.

As mentioned in the article I spent my vigil going back and forth between quiet contemplation and swordplay: advice or adversary. I think I would have liked a bit more of the adversary.

The advice was fairly consistent. Many people were proud of me and pleased that I was being recognised. I was told that I was clearly doing the right things and I should keep doing them. I was reminded not to be a jerk. I was told that I now get to carry the weight of the peerage and my behaviour will be seen as typical. To be honest, a lot of it feels like being Baron. There were three pieces that stuck with me. Firstly, in your life there are very few opportunities to have a whole day filed with people telling you that you are doing good; so revel in it. Secondly, when it's your turn to provide advice at someone else's vigil, never take more that 2 min. Finally, and most important: Love more, be awesome.

There were other things, that I wish I could remember but I'll hold in to these.

After the vigil we had scheduled some time to decompress, but I think I really could have lived without it. While the day was filled with human interaction, it was mostly one on one so not as draining as it could have been.

After taking a few moments, I got my self into my new suit and it was time.

The ceremony was as we wrote it so there were no surprises except for the fact that the sword of the order got left in the car and there was a last minute substitution. Everyone had lovely words (which I will be asking them for) and it was clear to me that people carry moments of kindness with them and that, more than any words during the day drove home what this collar is really going to mean.

The rest of the evening was a bit of a blur but it wss spent with friends and I couldn't have asked for more than that.

I'm very blessed by the generosity and kindness I have been shown and it's my job to pay that forward.
Gentle Readers,

The third in my series of Things I've Been Meaning to Post About is the idea of a Mentor. I was having a lovely conversation with my parents and talking about all kinds of stuff when they mentioned my brother and his mentor when he was studying Traditional Chinese Medicine. I thought about it for a bit and concluded that I've never had a mentor.

So, before we get too deep into this, I should make sure that we have a working definition of mentor. In my mind, a mentorship has two sides (which should come as no surprise, there are 2 people). On the Mentor's side, they are someone who has taken a personal interest in their protege's growth and development and invested their energy and support in helping make that happen. On the Protege's side, they see something in the Mentor that they wish to emulate and think that the direction they are being guided is where they would like to be.

The SCA actually has a pretty good culture of mentorship (although quality of mentors and proteges can vary) and that's where I have most often seen this form of relationship. I've also seen it in university and in various forms in some of the workplaces I've had.

I've had many people in my life who have helped me become the person I am. I've had many amazing teachers who have helped me get better at various things and people higher up in the food chain in various organizations who have shown me the ropes, but I can't really point to any of those relationships and say "this person was a mentor" as opposed to this person being a caring friend or a teacher. It's the aspect of Role Model that seems to be missing from the relationships. I haven't managed to find that person I want to be like.

One of the things I've been wondering is if that is because I'm not seen as mentorable or if it has more to do with my not finding that person to emulate. Am I picky in what I'm looking for? Am I too particular? Am I seen as too difficult to guide and/or change? There have been many people I've learned from, and learned a lot, but I haven't seen them as someone guiding me. The relationships have felt more like we are peers. So, perhaps it's ego and the lack of ability to see them as far enough above me that I have to strive to reach where they are.

On the other hand, maybe it's been shyness and I've just not been willing to put myself forward to request that relationship either implicitly or explicitly.

Now, I find myself in a position where I could start to act as a mentor for someone else and, frankly, I find that idea a little frightening. Am I in a place that I want to bring other people to? Can I help people avoid the pitfalls that I have stepped in or if not, can I help them out? Do I need to seek someone out, or let them come to me?

I have no idea, but I think I need to figure it out. I do believe that I have useful knowledge to share but I'm not sure how to best go about it. Sometimes I feel way more like a useful counterexample than a role model.

Maybe I should find someone to mentor me in mentoring.
Gentle Readers,

I posted something on my facebook the other day talking about stagnated wages and gov't spending and minimum wage and such. The (very few) people on my friends list there who are rabidly right wing started ranting about the usual things, mostly about how we give the government too much money because "socialism" and if only they reduced taxes we'd be in utopia. On one the comments he made was "The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money." which was clearly a quote from some clever person.

The more I think about it, the more I am forced to acknowledge that he is correct. The thing is (and I think the thing he doesn't really consider) is the fact that this is true for capitalism too. No matter what, you eventually have to spend your own resources, or find a way to get blood from the stone. And that's part of what I want to talk about.

There have been a few little information points that have added up to this. The biggest was an <anhref=http://skud.dreamwidth.org/61567.html>excellent post from Skud which talked about, more than anything else, ethical living (although I don't know if that was the intent). I like the ideas about resilience and the ability to survive a crisis (be it Job Loss or Zombie Attack). I like the idea of reducing impact and reducing resources. Which got me thinking about why this was important to me. In some ways it's about living more frugally but that's not just it. Even as vigilant as I try to be about keeping out of our consumptive culture, it's hard not to get pulled in. The idea of having a set of rules for how you want to limit your consumption seems like a good rule for dealing with this.

Without a framework, you have nothing to support you and you fall back on the defaults.

So, there's that. Then there was Rick Mercer's rant about Rob Ford's popularity. The money line was "These are people who would vote for a hamster if it would reduce their taxes by a dollar". This got coupled with an article about why people who can't really afford it still buy luxury goods (which I can't find the link for) but the Cracked article about habits you get from being poor talks about it as well (it's just not as well articulated as the lost article). Basically: "If you never have much money, if you always have debt, you have no faith that you will ever have more money than you have right now. If that's the case, what does it matter how you spend your money." People become so desperate for that little bit more they will throw in with anyone who will help them get it, regardless of what that costs them down the road.

I know I'm speaking from a position of privilege. I didn't grow up poor. I don't really get it, but it seems plausible as a reason for why people appear to me to be voting against their self interest.

We also have the set of people who, while not poor, are still seeing their fortunes getting worse, are angry and frustrated that things are getting more expensive (or companies cheat and reduce the amount of content in their packaging), especially when their income has been stagnant or even been clawed back. So, again there is the opportunity to get things going into the black again.

So this takes us back to other people's money. In order to get it we need to make them believe that it's not worth keeping. We need them to believe that there's no point in saving it, it's better to spend it now. And really, in many ways, that is true. Even with inflation as low as it is, given that real wages are not keeping up with it your money will never have as much buying power as it does now. In addition we convince them the to use other people's money themselves via credit (although it's just another way of getting them to pay more money).

Which takes me back to the framework. I'm not going to be able to stop buying things, but I can choose (thanks to my privileged) to buy things that are durable and repairable. I can learn how to take care of the things that I buy so that they last longer and stay in good shape. I can reduce my reliance on processed things and learn how to make things for myself.

Most important, I need to make sure that I remember that these are my choices. Other people have their reasons for making their choices and those reasons are different than mine which leads their making different choices. I need to respect their autonomy even if it means that they are making choices that are detrimental to me (like voting for Larry O'Brian). I'm sure they feel the same when I vote for the "Tax and Spend Liberals" and may not be as charitable.
Gentle Readers,

It's really amazing the things that can push us out of a story. I ever expected one of those things to be fruit. I was reading a story and the main character mentioned sliced raspberries. At that point, all I could think was: has the author even seen a raspberry? What were they imagining when they wrote that line? Where would the idea for sliced raspberries come from.

Have you ever had one?

In other news we had a lovely weekend. First we helped Kira-lynn celebrate the epic milestone of both graduating and finishing another year of existence on the same day. They fed us tasty treats and while I didn't get any of the diploma cake (that looked better than the real one) the hors d'oeuvres and champagne were both delicious. She even gave Lydia a loot bag (it *was* a birthday party). We left just as the young people were starting to arrive. Lydia complained for all the way to bed that she wasn't tired and then fell asleep about 30 seconds after her head hit the pillow.

The next morning I got up at 7 to sew and got a bunch of stuff to the point of hand sewing for our trip to Kingston where we helped guin and peredur celibrate their birthdays. It'a good thing that us (and Gaynip) came as we were the only ones who made it. I saw Shrek 4 with the girls (and it was quite good). I saw Lesbian Vampire Killers with the grownups and it was surprisingly good, considering.

Sunday I got in some sword fighting as my back had finally recovered from a bad throw on wednesday. It was great fun. I've been worried about my lack of practice with the rapier lately as we have a couple of people attempting their provost prize in 2 weeks and I want to give them a good fight. While it won't be a great fight, I do think I won't embarrass myself. This is good.

Also, it looks like I will be finished my sewing project in time for Trillies. Yay!
Gentle Readers,

Corbet posted the following questions in her livejournal and asked for answers.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An astronaut/fireman/policeman/ninja. The uniform would be the most complicated part.

What have you always wanted to do that you haven't yet done?

Test cutting with a "real" sword, possibly on a carcass.

What have you done in your life that you are really proud of?

Managed to live an open and honest life where I'm not hiding anything about myself from the people who care about me.

If you knew you were going to die within a year, how would you spend that year?

Make sure that all of my affairs were in order and my family would be taken care of then spend as much time with them creating as many happy memories as possible.

What brings you the most fulfillment -- and how is that related to money?

Finishing things that I started and finishing them well. Only related to work in that if I don't finish the things I'm being paid to do, I don't get paid for much longer.

If you didn't have to work for a living, what would you do with your time?

Sew costumes for myself, practice various martial arts, fritter away my time on the internet.
Gentle readers,

Some other fabulous things:

From Slacktivist:
Fred Clark: "...he knows full well that hate crimes has nothing to do with his fantasies about Gay Stormtroopers invading churches."
pharoute: "Somehow I think a lot of preachers secretly wish gay stormtroopers would rush in and do all sorts of fabulously terrible things to them."

From the english language:
floccinaucinihilipilification
"action or habit of estimating as worthless," 1741, a combination of four Latin words (flocci, nauci, nihili, pilifi) all signifying "at a small price" or "for nothing," which were listed together in a rule of the well-known Eton Latin Grammar. The kind of jocular formation that was possible among educated men in Britain in those days. Just so, as in praesenti, the opening words of mnemonic lines on conjugation in Lilley's 16c. Latin grammar, could stand alone as late as 19c. and be understood to mean "rudiments of Latin."

From CPI: Imogen Heap has a new album out. Apparently she's also performing in Montreal on the 27th.

From real life: Lydia was in an amazing mood this morning and so was I. I still am.

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags

Profile

j_v_lynch

May 2016

S M T W T F S
12 34567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031    

Most Popular Tags

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Style Credit

Page generated Jul. 26th, 2017 10:32 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios