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The first snow has arrived and mercilessly covered everything in sight. Some love it and think it’s beautiful. I do too. For about 5 minutes.

Then I get annoyed as I almost fall from slipping, on the icy surface beneath the snow on the sidewalk. I think those people who really love snow, do it from the comfort of their car. No way they commute by walking and public transport.

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When I was a kid, there was a public service department only dedicated to going out every morning at like 05.00 to remove snow and put shingles on all of the icy patches. There was virtually no risk of slipping in the wintry streets, up until about 20 years ago. Then they privatised the whole operation, meaning hundreds of different companies in the city got paid for doing this task. Paid, (not doing) being the operative word.

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These days you’re lucky if these companies come by your neighbourhood once a week. This is not something I’m  making up just cause I’m a passionate hater of winter, as you may have noticed. There was actually an article in the newspaper last year about this subject. Doctors and nurses at a big hospital said in the paper that it was getting too stressful for them to treat all the broken ankles and wrists cause of the extremely increased number of these injuries. Thousands of people were suddenly seeking medical care. The paper concluded it was cause of the streets not being cleared of snow properly.

Higher taxes, less public service. The way of the future.

I work as a sort of consultant, going around to different offices where they are short on staff. Last week, the bosses at this office where I’m at currently, tried to tell me  give me an order, that I had to take on a huge extra task, during the days before and after Christmas. Now this task would derail my plan for all the rest of my work there. In short, everything would get screwed up, nothing would get done properly, and I would have a constant stomachache even during my free time at Christmas.

I contemplated this. Then I said no. This just wasn’t right. Now, I am normally a very accommodating person and used to say Yes to whatever these clients demand. But this was my limit. I’m not a robot, damn it!

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Being my own hero!

What is this new side of me… Saying no and protecting myself although other people get really disappointed. Maybe a rebellion born from being abused for so long by a narcissist…? A stronger person inside me, who’s been laying dormant for too long.

What are your limits? We don’t have to please others, all day long. No one will thank us later, when we have to go on a long sick leave from work, or get injured or sick cause of something that is damaging to us in our environment (especially if we pay for it to work, by taxes and/or fees).

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If I fall so much at once, this winter, on these icy sidewalks, I’ll send the hospital bill for my broken wrist/ankle, to the public department responsible for removing ice from the streets. Last year I was nice and polite and called them to inform them that I hurt my knee falling on the sidewalk that looked like a mirror. I am done just being polite. Whether in the work environment, personal relationships, or in our contacts with authorities, we have to protect and look out for ourselves, our wellbeing and rights. We don’t have to be rude. We just have to be our own heroes. Remember, you matter in this world!