Thursday, March 4, 2021

Odds & ends

  • I saw a Twitter post (& replies) this week where the (American) writer's elderly parents had been fully vaccinated, and she got to see and hug them "real hard" for the first time in a year. 
    • I started sobbing. 
    • It's been a long year.  
    • I miss my mom & dad. :(   And I likely won't be seeing/hugging them until Christmastime, if I'm lucky. 
      • (Yes, I'm 60 years old. But I'm still their kid, and I still miss them.) 
  • The region where I live started booking COVID vaccination appointments for residents 80+ as of 8 a.m. on March 1st, a full two weeks earlier than announced by the province. There are currently just THREE vaccination sites serving a population of 1.2 million residents -- so appointments are limited (and were quickly booked). And they're being booked online only -- no phone calls (yet), no walk-ins. What a mess... 

Residents 80 years of age and older who are not able or comfortable booking an online appointment are encouraged to seek out a support person (caregiver, family member or friend) who can assist in booking this appointment on their behalf...  “We would have to lean on family and friends who can access technology to assist in the booking of these appointments."  

Ummm... What about seniors who don't have friends/family around them who are willing and able to do these sorts of things for them?  Being childless (not to mention aging...!), I know I am hyper-aware of these things, but it really does seem to be a common blind spot in public policy (and not just in Canada)...  and with an aging population, and rising childlessness (not to mention parents whose children have died, moved far away, become estranged or otherwise unable to assist), there's going to be a lot more seniors needing a lot more help, very soon...  

  • I mentioned in a recent post that the CBC was starting to show "Call the Midwife" on weekday afternoons in the timeslot previously held by "Downton Abbey."  Dh & I watched the first episode (episode one, season one) on Monday afternoon... and, as I reported in the comments: 
Okay, we watched the first episode of "Call the Midwife" -- beautifully filmed, great performances & period details. BUT. Rookie midwife handles traumatic birth in which both mother & baby die... almost! (of course...!)(although no doubt not all episodes end that happily...) I said to dh, "I'll watch to the end because I want to see what happens, but I'm not sure I can take this five days a week...!" Just a little too close to home for comfort...

Anyone else ever see it?

(We haven't watched another episode since then.)  

  • So... I (*cough*) joined another online book club.  This makes four of them -- my L.M. Montgomery Readathon Facebook group,  my D.E. Stevenson group, the Gateway Women/NoMo book club (on the GW private community), and now this one. (Five, if you include my "real-life" library book club, which is on hiatus, because, COVID-19.  Actually, the library is now offering Zoom book clubs, but I haven't felt compelled to sign up just yet.)  
    • A friend asked on Facebook if anyone was interested, and since she & I are pretty simpatico on a number of things, including books, I said yes. (She's also a fellow childless loss mom and former blogger.) Our first pick will be "The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, which is one I've had in my TBR pile for a while now anyway -- and we'll have a Zoom meetup to discuss it (and presumably chat about other things too) in early April.  
    • I'm feeling just a wee bit guilty, because another friend asked the same thing on Facebook a few months ago and I told her I was in too many book clubs already. (Insert red-faced emoji here...) 
    • (How many book clubs can one book lover handle?  I guess I'm about to find out, lol...  The LMM & DES groups do chapter-by-chapter reads of one book over a couple of months, versus a new book every month, so it's not like I have to read four different books for four different groups every month.) 
    • At any rate, this should provide another boost to my Goodreads Challenge numbers...! 
      • Dh is up to 30 books so far this year -- basically a book every 2 days. (He doesn't do much social media, though...!) 
  • LOTS of great things to read, listen and look forward to in the childless community right now! Here are just a few I've found in the last few days:  
    • Two men, Andy & Nick, shared a conversation about childlessness on "The Listening Project," a BBC broadcast/podcast. They're the first item featured during the program's initial 10 minutes. 
    • I've already plugged this event before, but it's worth repeating!  The Childless Collective Summit is coming, March 18-21 -- and (last I heard) more than 900 (!!) people have already registered!!  As someone who has been consciously childless (and hanging out in various childless forums online) for almost a full 20 years now, this is absolutely MINDBLOWING. Registration is FREE, although there are also paid options that provide more/longer access to videos & other goodies. Check it out! 
    • I listened to Katy of Chasing Creation, the conference organizer, speaking about her experiences with faith, infertility and childlessness with Dr. Maria Rothenburger on episode #91 (Dec. 24, 2020) of "Miracles Happen." 
    • A group of younger childless women who are mostly active on Instagram -- including Katy, Brigid of The Fruitless Figtree, counsellor Tanya Hubbard and (another) Katy of The Pleasure Anarchist -- had an interesting Zoom conversation, now available on this video, about various aspects of  living childfree after infertility -- the differences between childless vs childfree, how to bridge the gap between childless people and those still trying to conceive, pity versus compassion, and the tyranny of "never give up" messaging.  
    • Pamela Tsigdinos of Silent Sorority had a great conversation with Kallie Fell of the Centre for Bioethics and Culture Network on Venus Rising (episode #29, March 3, 2021). 
    • Jody Day of Gateway Women recently delivered a lecture (via Zoom) on childlessness & grief to a group studying various aspects of grief at the University of York in the U.K. earlier today. A video will be available shortly.   (ETA:  Here's the link!) 
    • Jody also had a great conversation with Ben Eisner on "Knitted Heart" (episode #19, February 15, 2021).
    • Jody will be hosting another conversation -- the third to date -- with a fabulous group of "Childless Elderwomen" on Saturday, March 20th. Details, registration and videos of the past two gatherings here.  


  1. Your second bullet point, about older people quite possibly needing assistance with making their vaccination appointment online, has me thinking I might want to switch gears from pediatrics and go into geriatrics. I was happily surprised to learn that I really enjoyed working with this population during my clinical rotations.

    Oh please post the link to Jody Day's lecture on childlessness and grief when it's available, just in case I don't see it myself anywhere. I really want to listen to it.

    I miss my parents too. I haven't seen them in almost two years. That's crazy!! And terribly sad.

    1. Jody just posted the link -- here it is! Will try to work it into a future post too. It's definitely worth a watch:

  2. I binged Call the Midwife earlier in the pandemic and LOVED IT. Even though sometimes it was painful. It has a few adoption situations, as well. Handled somewhat well, and somewhat for drama's sake. #ofcourse

  3. Somehow I missed this when you posted it. Sigh. You're obviously blogging more often than I can handle! lol (Note: This is not a complaint. It's very impressive.)

    I'm also in awe at the way you keep up with videos and blogs and podcasts from the childless/free commmunity.

    Sending a big hug. I'm not surprised you miss your parents. I know you've been worried about them too.

    And a grrrr to the assumption that all elderly have someone who can help them access online information/appointments/help. It is so short-sighted.

    But it is a motivation to me to try and keep up-to-date with new technology for as long as I can. A motivation out of fear, though.