Laziness & To Do Lists

My last post referenced the firing of my previous pharmacy manager. Since then, I’ve become acquainted with our new pharmacy manager and taken quite a shine to her foreign and novel ways.  I often observe her with wonder and awe as she scurries around, working ardently on her days off, composing verbose emails at 3 am, and maintaining a social schedule better suited for a sorority in the US sunbelt. Given her seemingly unending level of energy, I’d assumed she was much younger than me.  She strikes me as the type of person who responds immediately to both texts and emails, never putting off until tomorrow what is better done today.  Meanwhile, I often add needy texters / emailers to my spam list, so an afternoon spent lost in a good novel or in a bubble bath is not interrupted with unnecessary notifications.

Learning we are the same age, made me temporarily doubt my life ambitions (or lack thereof).  Perhaps my lack of an internal cattle prod will ultimately result in demotion and eventually, termination followed by a slow decline into destitution, homelessness and insanity. Despite this, I’m still more likely to yearn for a Thoreau-esque cabin in the woods than a C-suite office.  I suppose the question comes down to whether you’d rather be productive or happy.  And for me, the two tend to be mutually exclusive.
In fact, my Summer To Do List does not include a single work related goal.  Fortunately, I like it that way =)
1) Build some muscle
2) Take a road trip
3) Try canoeing
4) Go to Bermuda
5) Be blonde for the summer
6) Grow orchids
7) Take a Mediterranean cruise
8) Read Pulitzer Prize winning book
9) Read Nobel prize winning author
10) Spend lots of time with family & fiance

Life Lessons

In my experience, life lessons can be learned in sundry of ways.  Some, I’ve learned by watching and imitating those who’ve earned my admiration. While in some cases, I’ve been guided in my own life by bearing witness to someone else’s misfortune and attempting to take cautionary note.

A couple of weeks ago, I received a call from my regional manager asking if I could work a few extra shifts.  As it turns out, a pharmacist I’d been working with (and was quite fond of) had been let go. Ironically, I’d only come to know the laid off pharmacist whilst filling in for another pharmacist, whose ailing health will likely result in his eventual premature retirement.
Witnessing this, I was struck by the fact that in the span of 2 weeks, two of my colleagues were facing unemployment and/or retirement much sooner than expected. With this in mind, I decided to start investigating how to protect against the adversity that comes with losing your job later in life. Much has been written about this phenomenon, which can result in depression, limited reemployment prospects and reductions in net worth.  Being female, I knew that this problem could be even more acute for me.
Since no one can predict declining health or weakening job prospects, one can only attempt to protect themselves on a microeconomic level.  Luckily, this article provides insight on how to ward off the depression stemming from a late life job loss.  The TL;DR version is 1) be rich and 2) do not be poor.  This seems reasonable, as ample financial resources can mean the difference between an impromptu trip to Hawaii vs. struggling to pay bills after being handed an unexpectedly clear calendar.
Thus, I immediately made another lump sum mortgage prepayment and topped off my TFSA for the year.  Although these are not “fun” expenditures today, I’m certain my 50 year old, laid off future self would thank me.

A Womb of One’s Own

Considering it’s 2016, I feel there are too many headlines wasted on abortion debates. Why legislators feel it is their obligation to dictate what women can and cannot do with their bodies, is completely beyond me.  Much of this talk can be chalked up to campaign trail rhetoric in the US.  Even more disturbing, women exposed to Zika virus are being denied the right to terminate their pregnancy, and now Poland may be facing an all out abortion ban.  Given that men are typically mystified and dumbfounded when it comes to the female reproductive system, I wonder why so many display such avid interest on this one issue.  Perhaps, the abortion issue is a harbinger of something deeper.

I am reminded of a quote from Sandra Cisneros’ “A House of My Own”:


Even as women have made great advances in all other avenues of life, our biology is the last chain that can be used to hold us back. A woman may be educated, have a career, a home, and her own money.  But the powers that be still want to condemn us to be barefoot and pregnant at their will. What is the point in having an education, the right to vote or to own property if we are stripped of the fundamental right to control our own bodies?

Fortunately, I am confident that none of this will come to pass as the majority of the electorate is too smart to elect a misogynist in 2016.  And hopefully, in 4 years time, society will have evolved enough such that this issue will no longer be worthy of debate. Here’s hoping…