Welcome to our blog...the Women's March Canada blog! I'm thrilled to be here and overwhelmed...there's much to do. At times it feels like a mountain...one that can't be climbed. Both Michelle and I have our days of wondering if we can do this. Today was one of those days.
Michelle and I met in person just a month ago, at the Broadbent Summit in Ottawa. Before that we've been messaging constantly and picking up the phone so many times we can no longer count. In an age where no one talks on the phone anymore, it's so easy and so natural for either of us to just dial each other's number and I think we do need "easy" at times.
After discussing a number of things on Facebook messenger this afternoon, Michelle messaged me, "I am getting very worn down". Immediately, I picked up the phone and called her. It's what we need to do.
Over the past month, she and I have written the start of a long term plan for Women's March Canada. We've both helped (in a small way) to set up Women's March Canada as a not for profit organization, we've got our bank account, been accepted to Communitech's Start Up Services, managed our growing social media accounts, traveled to Ottawa, St. John's, Vancouver and Victoria to create partnerships for Women's March Canada with some fantastic organizations. We've watched Malala speak to our Parliament, screened our first board applicants, and talked to those who marched in Windsor, London, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Vancouver and Edmonton. We've had planning calls with Women's March Global and dealt with a number of internet "trolls". We've done this while living in two different cities, the beautiful Edmonton and wonderful Waterloo.
I've learned that one phrase in being an activist is an important one..."self-care". We have a lot of work to do. Every time we turn on CNN or look at our Facebook feeds, we realize that. Today, we got a message from an inspiring young woman in grade 11 who wants to write about the experiences of those women who have marched for her in her local community. We also got a second message, a very positive one, from a wonderfully strong woman who was one of the organizers for the March in Ottawa.
I'm realizing that "self-care" means taking the time to step back when I need to and to take care of myself. It also means to step up and take care of those that are working with me and it means to step to the side and allow others who want to work and carry the burden beside me. I'm learning every day that even though this plan we are developing for Canadian women seems like a daunting one....it's one that I'm not working on alone. Our new website will help us work together, amplify our voices and connect us. As Michelle reminds me...it's a marathon, not a sprint. Welcome!
Sara Bingham is one of two Executive Directors with Women's March Canada. She is the author of "The Baby Signing Book" and the founder of WeeHands, a sign language program with instructors across North America. She is a frequent contributor to parenting magazines and baby-related professional websites.