Hi and Welcome to the A & J PEI Treasures E Jean Simpson Author Blog Post and Podcast. I’m your host, Jean usually coming to you from the beautiful Province of Prince Edward Island, Canada!! This week, I am on the road live from our neighbours in New Brunswick, Canada! The blog post and podcast is an opinion piece and only reflects this author’s opinion and not that of any other entity. I hold no designations in politics and am a humanitarian and speak from that viewpoint only. Whether you agree or not, at least I hope it makes you think. If you want to find out more, then stay tuned!
Before I get to the actual podcast and blog post, I have spent the past month living with my parents and helping them out in the Miramichi region of New Brunswick. There seems a lovely small town vibe to the place. The local CO-OP (Beaubear CO-OP) allows phone in orders. They are friendly and helpful. The neighbours seem to help out each other. I thank the area for their help and patience while I stumbled through getting orders made and the help getting my parents to appointments.
There are the same issues in many small towns…medical care is hard to get. People don’t seem to want to make waves. This is not different from most small towns. It is a shame that Doctors and Nurses are not as interested in the small towns. It seems everyone wants to live in the larger centres. They miss out on the nice place to raise a family. Same on the Island. Anyway, this is my shameless plug for small town Atlantic Canada.
So, what do we know about small town life or small area life? Many people seem to find more problems with it than solutions in some media. First, if you are in a small town, you have a place you can raise children in relative safety. This is not always ensured, but something that belongs under the purview of everyone. The town will be how the people allow it to be. So, if there is not a parent coalition of some sort, and children are allowed to raise themselves, then you may have problems. If there are parents that ensure their children are involved in some sort of social activities, then they will be brought up respecting each other if the parents want that for their kids. So, there is a plus there. If you have children, join some of the parent run things. You can have an influence in what your children are exposed to.
Supply chain issues, though they affect every type of town and city around the world, they can sometimes be felt more keenly in smaller towns. But, if there is more than one shop available, they will be able to get around that too. It is up to the local stores to seek out sales opportunities and this is not always easy. They complain about a lack of jobs, however, I’ve seen most small towns looking for people to work at the various local stores and food chains. Teach your children that they can work any job and all jobs should be respected and they will see any job as good. Shop owners, don’t let people disrespect your staff. People will respect you for standing up for your staff. Teach your kids the skills they need to be successful. Not everyone wants to or can work at management jobs. I was never that interested in managing anything. Too many headaches. Yet, I have a good education. I also have medical conditions that makes it hard to do some jobs. I had one job I really enjoyed and found that they had something I had an allergy to. I couldn’t keep the job and they ran out of funding for me. It was a mutual decision in that way. I liked the job, but there was something, a cleaning fluid or something and I seemed the only one affected. Though the particular job was in a large city, this issue can crop up at any job place.
The biggest difficulty with small town life is having enough doctors and nurses and other medical related people. Often, it seems that the medical profession wants to be where the action is…which is the big city or town. They miss out on the small town atmosphere. They miss out on being at the top levels of change in the area. They miss out on the challenge of learning about a variety of things and many don’t bother to find out about various things as a GP. They prefer to be a specialist. They miss out on being a big fish in a small pond. However, the towns are somewhat responsible for the issue. I’ve seen everything including doctors being hired on contract. This does not encourage doctors to come to smaller towns. Most Emergency areas tend to have at least 2-3 different people to see before you even get to see the doctor. Unless you’re brought in on a stretcher, you’re in for a wait of several hours. This could be remedied by having doctors, nurses and other medical personnel being in on the decisions of the protocols. In some cases, the protocols are quite old or made by people who have not had to wait in waiting rooms or deal with patients. Then you find short tempers and following long never ending protocols that require several visits for one thing which seems a waste of time. Some things could be handled with a short call. This is something that every small town needs to have dealt with. It seems endemic.
Most small towns or small areas are very close to nature areas. On the Island, there is never a huge distance to get to a park or the water. If you like water sports, there are lots of things to do in the summer, spring and fall. The winter is a little different. However, there are skidoo trails and other things for exercise. Most places have small gyms, libraries etc. Your life is only limited by your own imagination. There is often availability of fresh produce and hand made products. It depends on the area, what is grown, what is fished, etc. Every small Maritime town is accessible within an hour or two at the most to a major city or town of some description. For example, on the Island, we have Charlottetown, PEI, Moncton, NB and Halifax NS are closest.
There is more fresh air and ways you can enjoy the smaller and slower lifestyle. People seem to focus on big events and big cities. This is a mistake. In your local area, there are school teams. You can go to events in nearby areas. You can become part of the community you live in. You have options. Once you have done the work to establish your name in the community, then you can progress in your chosen career. Make no mistake, no one gets a free pass.
Immanuel Kant is credited with saying, “The nice thing about living in a small town is that when you don
t know what youre doing, someone else does.” People tend to find multiple things that they can do. If there is something you can’t do, there is someone around who does just that. Often there are shops that specialize, but at the same time, some tend to do a lot of different things. It’s far more varied than some people think.
As, Anita Bryant is credited with saying, “I think there is something special about living in a small town. Everyone knows your business and there is an intimacy you don’t get in a large town.” This is something that can be a double edged sword. In a small town, there is gossip. I find mostly it is something to ignore. Judge for yourself from your experience, not from something that someone has passed around town. By the time it has passed through a dozen or so people, who knows what it is. Of all the things, people knowing each other can sometimes be a negative and sometimes a positive.
Nick Notle said, “Living in a small town, one of the keys to survival was your imagination.” I think that we find a lot of creative people make a start from a small town. Lucy Maude Montgomery and Maude Lewis are just two famous names from Atlantic Canada. There are many more writers, musicians and other talented people. When you live in a small town, you have time to determine what your talents are and how you want to use them. There is a freedom to do that. You are not required to be a social butterfly, but if that is your desire, it will happen and you can be involved or uninvolved as you wish.
So, these are just some reasons you might want to think about moving to a small town and establishing your medical career or your professional career in the Atlantic Canada region. If you have a work from home job, you have a chance to work in quiet or in obscurity as much or as little publicity as you wish to work with.
I think I just wanted to give a small idea of the variety of lifestyles choices that are available in small town Atlantic Canada. I think that most people know what is available in big cities and larger centres so no need to elaborate on those. I hope that this has given you a small taste of what you can do with a quieter and small town lifestyle.
Thanks for listening to my podcast and/or reading my blog post and thanks for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures!
Keep watching for more e-books and more formats! We’re always working on something. Thank you! The podcast that matches this blog post can be found on Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures/episodes/Small-Town-Life-e1jo7b2.
Small Town Life – E Jean Simpson, BEd, BA, MA Author A & J PEI Treasures
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