We need to talk about Ashlee


Good morning gorgeous. It's been a blizzardy week here in Toronto, so today let's curl up with a warm blanket and a hot coffee for our weekly chat.

This time of year can be hard. We're leaking all of the vitamin D we had leftover from the summer, and reserves are low. When we’re cooped up, we’re more likely to listen to our fear. The really bad ideas go like this: I’m not good enough. I'm not smart enough. Something bad is going to happen.

The scariest bit about this is that we become the stories we most often tell ourselves.

If you tell yourself you’re not good enough, you’ll look for evidence everywhere to affirm that (bad) idea. Confirmation bias kicks in, and we only see the things that confirm our beliefs about ourselves and our lives.

You get to choose what colors to paint your life with, and if you’re only working with shades of grey, everything is going to look like darkness.

Listen to your fear but don't buy in. Treat your anxiety like a high school gossip, call her Ashlee. She's overdramatic and untrustworthy— but once in a while has something useful to say. We need to find the nuggets of truth she knows, and let the rest go. Ask:

What is Ashlee trying to tell me?
Is there a useful message here?
Do I need to take action? If so, do what you need to do.
Then tell her to stfu, you have a beautiful life to build and you need to use all the colors of the damn wind.

Eventually you will see that the real cause of problem is not life itself. It's the commotion the mind makes about life that really causes the problems.
Michael A. Singer

We need to talk about Valentines Day
Today is the eve of Valentine's day, a day whose past is steeped in the misery of women and the violence and misogyny of men. Oh, you thought this was a love fest? Sorry, Karen, your day of roses, chocolate, and social anxiety stem from a real bad party and murder. Sexy.

From Feb 13th-15th the ancient Romans used to celebrate Lupercalia. It was a holiday that required sacrificing animals and whipping women with their hides. Sooo romantic. Anyway, they’d get drunk and naked and take part in what was in the 70s called a “key party”. Then, their Emperor, Claudius II killed two priest dudes on Feb 14th. They were both named Valentine— so, St. Valentines Day! Uhh...

Here's the thing, the Cupid on your card is wearing a diaper because he’s full of shit.

Valentine's Day is a nonsense holiday designed to create social and romantic anxiety so you buy stuff. Love isn’t red or pink, and it doesn’t happen one Hallmark-friendly, murdery day a year. So, say it with me, fuck Valentine’s Day.

Should we celebrate love? Oh hell yes. We should do that every damn day of the year. We should bend our everyday choices toward making more of it in the world. Tell the people you love in the world that you love them today, and tomorrow, and the next day.

On the 15th, nab some half priced chocolate and discount flowers for your damn self. You deserve it.



We Need to Talk About: #AutismDoesntEndatFORD
This post is by a #wntta reader who wished to remain anonymous for professional reasons. They have 10 years of experience working with children with Autism.

Last week the PC government announced that they will be overhauling how Autism services are delivered in the province. This is a (poor) attempt to clear the waitlist of nearly 23,000 families who are waiting for services. Here's the plan: The province intends to pull funding from existing service providers and give money directly to parents. This sounds good, right? Here's the catch, the funds they are expected to receive won’t be adequate to cover the cost of therapy— not by a long shot.

The proposed plan will take the existing budget of $300(ish) million meant to cover services for 8,400 families, and it spread to cover the additional 23,000 on the waitlist. Hold up, I know math is hard but that sounds like a cut. The Minister of Child, Community and Social Services, Lisa MacLeod, assures us it's not a cut. Uhh...

It gets worse: each family will be eligible for funding on a sliding scale based on income and the age of their child. Ripple effects are expected to hit the school system. If thousands of children with high needs are suddenly unable to pay for therapy, they will be transitioning back to school. This plan also doesn't take into consideration the fact that there just aren’t enough professionals to address the overwhelming needs of these families.

How can I help?
You can write to your local MPP, join parents protesting at government offices, or sign this petition. This is just the first step towards a more privatized health care system for us all. #FuckFord

Something to jam to
The brilliantly talented Alicia Keys rocks two pianos and sings the songs she wishes she wrote.

Something to be hopeful about
James just wanted to make sure her heart was OK.

Something to make you laugh
When God created Millennial Earth

And God said, “Let there be light,” and it was lit AF. God saw that the light was so extra, so He separated the light from the darkness (for aesthetic), then bragged it was hashtag no filter.

Something to make you think
Black History doesn't fit into one tweet. Did you know Rosa Parks was an SVU investigator (and badass)?.

Thank you so much for dropping by this morning. If you want some advice in our monthly Dear wntta mailbag, drop us a question. If you like this little letter, please share it with your community. It keeps going because it's growing, and that's because of you.