A Popular New Year’s Resolution From a New Perspective

As we head into 2017, I think it’s important to discuss New Year’s resolutions, as many people make them. They are typically areas where people think they can make improvements in their lives. One of the most common resolutions is to lose weight. Rather than focusing on this goal, though, let’s be thankful for, well, being able to have ample food to eat. Here’s what I mean.

Popularity of the Resolution to Lose Weight

Making Improvements: Is Shedding Weight the Goal?

Weight Loss is a Popular New Year’s Resolution.

The end of the year is not just a time for going to parties and enjoying time with family and friends. It is also when many folks reflect on what they have done during the year and what to modify in the New Year.

According to the data collected by the University of Scranton and Journal of Clinical Psychology, which was shared on Statistic Brain,  the top resolution for 2016 was to shed excess pounds. I am almost certain that the same resolution will be near the top of the list of changes to make for 2017 for a lot of people.

Rather than resolve to do so, though, I encourage you to look instead at this popular New Year’s 2017 resolution in a new way.

Turning the Weight Loss Resolution on its Head

Instead of focusing on taking off weight, why not instead be thankful for to have enough food to eat each day? Think of the people who are starving, not just in third-world countries but also in the same city or town where you live right now.

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Are Women Putting Extra Pressure on Themselves at the Holidays?

A woman feels broken by pressure at the holidays

She is stressed at the holidays. Photo via Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain

In the majority of cases, I think the answer to this headline is “yes.” As a woman, I often try to live up to societal expectations of me at the holidays. Let me give you a personal example from this year and then look at some of the articles I found online that show some disturbing stats.

Speaking From Personal Experience

I have already been to several holiday parties this season. I even co-hosted a Christmas dinner. Each time I went to a party, I bought a gift for the host. Not just any gift. I searched for the “perfect” presents, which in hindsight makes no sense as there’s nothing perfect in the world. Not only that but what’s wrong with giving something that’s not perfect? What’s the worst thing that could happen?

While thinking about this notion I realized, well, I was never asked to bring a gift to any party. In fact, one of my friends said just showing up was gift enough. I bought a present, regardless. I took it all upon myself. Oh, the pressure. I felt stressed. I lost sleep thinking about what to get as the present. All for what was supposed to be a fun Christmas party.

And don’t even get me started on figuring out what to wear to each party. Would a dress, a skirt, or a nice pair of pants be appropriate? But then what about the hair? And I would have to wear makeup, of course. Again, today, I ponder about all of this.

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Nellie McClung: Assessing Her Impact on Women’s Rights (Post 3 of 3)


Colorful Canadian Mural about Votes for Women

Mural on Dr. Emily Stowe Way (formerly Elizabeth Street) in Toronto. Photo © Resa McConaghy – Artist: Jacqueline Comrie Garrido.

Welcome to the final installment of Nellie McClung week! This post is written by both Resa and I. As Resa explained in her wonderful post two days ago, Nellie was pivotal in Manitoba being the first Canadian province to grant women the right to vote. The momentous date was January 28, 1916. After this important day, Nellie continued to fight for women’s right to vote in other provinces.

When Were Women Granted the Right to Vote in Other Canadian Provinces?

On March 14, 1916, just two months after Manitoba amended its legislation, women in Saskatchewan gained the legal right to vote. One month later (April 19), Alberta followed suit. The following year, on April 5, 1917, British Columbia changed its laws about women’s right to vote. Just one week later, on April 12, Ontario did the same.

The next province in which women gained the right to vote was Nova Scotia; the momentous day was April 26, 1918. Almost exactly one year later (April 17, 1919), New Brunswick amended its election act to include women. One month passed (May 20) before Yukon made the same change to its electoral legislation.

It was on May 3, 1922, that women residing on Prince Edward Island gained the legal ability to vote. Newfoundland and Labrador followed soon after on April 3, 1925. Women in Quebec and the Northwest Territories had to wait longer; Quebec granted women the right to vote on April 25, 1940, and it was a decade later on June 12, 1951, that Northwest Territories became the last province to make the change.

Nellie in the Alberta Legislature

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A Women’s Parliament

Today Resa and I unveil post #2 of Nellie McClung week. Please head to the original post at Resa’s Graffiti Lux and Murals blog to see the Winnipeg mural of Nellie and her fellow suffragists, which has been photographed so well by Resa. Learn about the history of women’s rights in Canada and more. Thank you Resa for being such a great partner in this week-long collaboration! Our third post will publish Friday at When Women Inspire. ♥

Graffiti Lux and Murals

On January 28, 1914, Nellie McClung starred as Manitoba’s suspender snapping and cigar smoking Premier, in a mock parliament at the Walker Theater in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Artist: Mandy van Leeuwen Artist: Mandy van Leeuwen

This is Post two of “Nellie week” presented by Christy Birmingham of When Women Inspire & I.

The previous day, January 27, 1914, Nellie and many women of the Political Equality League met with Premier Roblin and the legislative body to request the vote for women.

img_4761 Artist: Mandy van Lueewen

Premier Roblin condescended. He said, “I believe woman suffrage would break up the home and send women to mix up in political meetings.”

Artist: Mandy van Lueewen Artist: Mandy van Lueewen

This prompted a guerilla “mock parliament” wherein women had the vote, but not men. It was added to that night’s showing of  How They Won The Vote“, a play originally produced in London. It was adapted to fit Winnipeg in 1914.

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The Early Life of Nellie McClung, Notable Feminist, Advocate & Author (Post 1 of 3)

Nellie McClung, as Painted by Mandy van Leeuwen

Mural of Nelly McClung in Winnipeg. Photo © Resa McConaghy – Artist: Mandy van Leeuwen.

Nellie McClung (1873-1951) was a suffragist, political and social activist, feminist, author, and, on a personal note, she means a lot to Resa and I (Resa wrote about Canadian women’s right to vote in her #GreenWhiteViolet guest post, which included mention of Nellie).

Nellie worked tirelessly toward securing women’s rights in Canada, and for that we commend her. To celebrate Nellie, Resa and I have created “Nellie week,” of which this is the first of three posts. We will unveil the collaboration in three parts at each of our blogs to fully give this amazing lady the spotlight she deserves. Today is post number one.

As for why we are doing this project now, a major source of inspiration was the mural display that Resa attended in Winnipeg that honored Nellie and her Suffragettes, with a focus on an important play they produced in Manitoba. Also, we wish to celebrate 2016 marking the 100-year anniversary of Manitoba securing the right for women to vote and 2017 being Canada’s 150th birthday.

Now, let’s begin, shall we? Here is a look at the early part of Nellie’s life.

Nellie McClung’s Childhood & Young Adulthood

On October 20, 1873, Nellie Letitia Mooney (her maiden name) McClung was born in Chatsworth, Ontario. She was the sixth and final child of farmers John Mooney and Letitia McCurdy. Nellie grew up in Souris Valley, Manitoba, where she did not attend school until age 10. By the age of 16, she had obtained her teaching certificate and soon after taught school.

Shortly thereafter, she moved to Manitou, Manitoba to teach at Hazel School. It was while teaching there that Nellie met Annie McClung and became involved in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU), where Annie was the provincial president. Nellie soon met Annie’s eldest son Robert Wesley McClung, and the two were married when Nellie was 23 years old.

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It’s Never Too Late: Guest Post from Author Dorothy Place

Please join me in welcoming author Dorothy Place to the blog! Her encouraging story is a reminder that today is a new day for making changes in your life. If you think you’re past the age of writing a book, think again. Thanks for being here today, Dorothy, and the floor is yours.

❣ ❣ ❣ ❣ ❣  ❣ ❣ ❣ ❣ ❣

It’s Never Too Late.

As an undergraduate, my English professor at Syracuse University suggested that I major in that subject. He liked my writing and said he would like to see me continue to write. “What????” I said. “English major?” That was some fifty years ago and, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t think of one job, except teaching, that an English major could perform. And I certainly knew that I was far too stupid to be a teacher. So, I did the next most sensible thing. I gave up my scholarship and got married.

It's Never Too Late to Publish a Book

Meet Author Dorothy M. Place.

Divorced, I went back to school to earn an undergraduate degree. Despite the warning question posed by one of my male professors (what will you do when you are a candidate and are menopausal?) I drew a blank. I was 35 and hadn’t even thought about it. So, I went on to earn a doctorate.  For the next twenty-five years, I worked as a research director, making sense of numbers and writing report after report that can be characterized as long, boring, and completely sanitized.

Then, Voila! I retired. And, like many women with grown children, decided to write about my early childhood. Having plenty of experience with long and boring reports, I quickly realized that my stories were not only long and boring, but that it would take more strength than I had to strap my grown children into a chair and force feed them my work. I kept writing because I loved the exercise and discipline, and turned out quite a few stories that seemed to go nowhere.

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