Thursday, December 28, 2006

Bye Bye Humbug

Well Christmas is over. All the exchanging of gifts, eating, eating and more eating is slowly tapering off.

And I always find it weird how we spend almost a month in anticipation of Christmas, carols on the radio, parties, all sorts of hoop-la-la and then once boxing day hits,it's all gone. All the decorations have been taken down. Everybody starts stressing about the holiday weight they gained, and taking about the diet and exercise they plan on starting in January.

No more Christmas music, Christmas trees, gift packages in the stores.

And the build-up to New Year's Eve isn't nearly as huge. Which is probably a good thing considering how anti-climactic new year's can be.
It's usually just a couple of days of deciding on plans, then that's it.

As I had mentioned previously, I don't generally get reflective at this time of year, I save my soul searching/goal setting for around my Birthday. So there is really not much going on right now. Back at work - same old, same old.

It's a little sad. What I love most about Christmas (not including the whole God becoming Flesh thing, to offer me eternity) is how social everybody becomes. I love going to parties, exchanging gifts, baking cookies, not really doing any work, etc...
And suddenly on December 26th, it all goes away.

Circle of life stuff I guess.

On a totally unrelated topic - People (doesn't have to be just ladies) book your calendars for Friday, January 19th. It's time for another Needle Crafts evening (I don't want to use the little bit naughty name).
7:30pm and onwards at my house.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Day of No Work

'Twas the week before Christmas
and all through the office
No one was working
not even the Bosses

The phone lines were silent
no ringing at all
We were all in anticipation of the Holiday Ball

Employees were nestled all snug at their desks
While visions of Vacation days danced in their heads

My pod-mate was net-surfing and I took a nap.
When out from the Board Room there arose such a clatter.
I sprang from my desk to see what was the matter.

When what to my unbelieving eyes should appear
but the Senior Director drinking a beer.
He invited all into the Ball
There was food, wine and gifts, which he offered us all.

As we ate and ate and ate some more
he offered his well wishes to us each one and all.

Then in amazement the clock struck three.
"Hey, It's time to go home
Whoo Hooo, Hee hee".

The scary part is not only that I had the time to make this up at work, but also how close to my actual day it is.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Ok I don't know why I's not working but I have been unable to post comments on several blogs since people have switched to the BETA version.

If you know me, you can imagine how it must be for my Psyche to not be able to "talk".

So I figured I'd just comment here:

You're better than I am, I am great at keeping other people's secrets (good thing considering my profession) but lousy at keeping my own (see previous entry entitled "Can you keep a Secret")

I also wanted to concur with you on the somewhat prohibitive nature of a public forum such a blog. I would say more (and did in the comment I tried to post), but you never know who might be reading ;)

I wanted to encourage you about being evaluated at the school this week. I know how stressful it can be, but I also already knew that you are a great and dedicated teacher, so it came as no surprise to me that you rocked it!

And that's all I have to say about that!

In other news, we had our Children's Christmas musical at Church this past Sunday morning. It took place in a Toy Store, and most of the kids played toys that come to life. While I didn't miss the point, it ended with me thinking just how much I would like to own a Miss Glamour doll - ok you caught me, BE a Miss Glamour doll, complete with Mr. Glamour doll, SUV (with leather seats) and beach house.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Short Staffed

Lately people have been dropping like flies in my workplace.
whether they quit or go on Short-term-disability, we are way low on people!!
I think we are missing a minimum of like 5 people.

Yesterday there was 1 person working intake on any given shift, I was the only bilingual person working for the morning and there was 1 other counsellor. And between the 3 of us we managed our second highest call volume ever!

And it must have been a full moon or something because almost every counselling call I took was about a Domestic Violence situation.

No wonder I came home with a headache and missed my run with the Running Room.

It's amazing to me that we haven't exploded or something.

Sometimes I get this weird mental picture of our heads expanding like balloons while on the phone with a caller. Then eventually the balloon gets stretched too thin, and explodes! In my weird David lynch style fantasy, nobody notices, and the caller keeps talking on the phone, business resumes as usual.

Then eventually the cleaning staff come in and just vacuum away the balloon pieces, and magically everybody comes back the next day and it all happens over again - kind of like the movie "Groundhog Day" from the darkside.

Well enough of my morbid thoughts - only 13 days until Christmas - then that's 2 days of celebrating, gifts, eating and sweet relief from work!!

I think it's also a busy time of year in general. Do people ever slow down?

Friday, December 08, 2006

Egads, THE TIRED has returned

When I first started at my current job, I started on the overnight shift. 11pm-7am or 12 midnight-8am 5 days a week.

I learned rather quickly that I am not good at being up all night, all the time.

The only time working overnights worked in my favour, was when we did the all night Lord of The Rings Trilogy, all 3 extended versions - I was the only person who didn't fall asleep even once.

Within a couple of weeks of starting, I was falling asleep anywhere and everywhere. Trust me it's embarrassing when you get caught having fallen asleep in church because you closed your eyes when the Pastor says "let us pray" and didn't open them again until 25 minutes after he was finished praying.

It didn't matter how many hours of consecutive sleep I was getting during the day - trust me I was sleeping for like 10 hours a day, I just couldn't stop being tired.

I would be going along, doing just fine, alert, awake, smiling and joking, and then BAM! Exhausted and can't fight against it. It would happen at work too, in the middle of a shift. So I named the phenomenon THE TIRED.

Because we're talking about more than just being tired here, we're talking about a wave of exhaustion that hits suddenly, is all encompassing and you are powerless to fight it.

To put it in the monumental terms of a comic book - ahem, sorry I mean graphic novel: as Kryptonite is to Superman, so THE TIRED is to me.

So THE TIRED kind of went into retirement as a nemesis pretty quickly after I was switched off the night shift. But there have been some bouts of time when THE TIRED has tried for a comeback.

First there was the era of the ON-call shift. Pretty much working my day job and then being paged all night 3 or 4 nights a week. THE TIRED had a short but successful run at that time.

And somehow tonight THE TIRED is back. I hope it's just a one night appearance.
I woke-up at 6am as usual to the sound of running water, as usual (and amazingly it doesn't make me have to pee frantically anymore).
I got to work for the start of my 7am shift.
I went to an appointment after work at 4pm.
I got home for 5:30pm, made and had supper.
I went to the People's Church production of "Two from Galilee" where my friend Kellen plays Joseph (two enthusiastic thumbs up).
And as the musical ended, THE TIRED struck.
Now I'm home, I still have to make a trifle for tomorrow - and I'm going to be in a seminar all day before the celebrations of the evening.
And I can't move my butt off this computer chair.


what was that? oh right sorry, gotta make a trifle.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Oy, Humbug!

Ok, so if you don't frequent Emma's blog, check out a snipet of our Knitting Extravaganza on Friday night.

In other news, is anybody else more Chirstmassy than usual this year?

I have found over time that Christmas gets less and less Christmassy for me over the years.
I remember being so excited to go to the mall, buy gifts, sit on Santa's lap, wake-up on Christmas morning, eat, eat and eat.

I'm not sure if it's about me getting older or just that time changes things, but I get less and less Christmas-like every year. Now I grumble about having to take the tree out of storage, decorating it, having to take it all down and put it away, baking treats (who has time, and they're not healthy to eat). I complain about traffic, parking lots and slow moving revellers in the mall, who keep stopping right in my way. I moan about how many gifts I have to buy, how much it's going to cost me, and the pain that wrapping is (doesn't help that I suck at wrapping gifts).

But this year, somehow the Christmas spirit has come on full force.
I enjoyed putting up the tree, and decorating it.
I finished all my Christmas shopping in November - and have happily avoided the malls. I listen to Christmas music and hymns in the car and sing along unashamedly.

It's great, but weird - because it's such a turn around.
I don't know what bug bit me, but I think that if I could bottle it, I'd like to get bit every year. This is much more fun than most Christmasses, and not nearly as stressful.

So, if you're having an Oy, Humbug! Holiday - maybe we can figure out to bottle the Christmas Spirit bug and share the joy.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Living in the Past

Isn't it amazing how much of life is a mater of timing? Like in a bad soap opera, you overhear the wrong part of a conversation, take it out of context, and put into a play a series of events that permanently alter your path.

It always surprises me that despite the outlandish nature of soaps, the framework is not that far off reality.

And then we spend most of our adult lives with these weird habits, beliefs and idiosyncrasies (like having to finish all the food on your plate). All instilled into us from our childhoods - where we spend most of our time complaining about this that or the other that our parents did.

Or we carry it into our jobs and our friendships, our relationships. And we have all these weird issues about what should be benign stuff.

Then we use all these mind reading tricks and assign meaning and ulterior motives to other's behaviours.

And somehow we never figure out that if we just put our assumptions aside, and talked to people, instead of trying to "figure them out" life would just flow so much more smoothly.

I guess I have noticed lately that we all seem to be living wrapped in our pasts. I noticed originally because I remember being curious about how upset people were getting about things I didn't think were that big a deal.

At first I wanted to attribute it to my maturity - but then I smartened up and got to thinking about everybody's buttons.

So, I don't know if there is anything I can do about it, but I sure hope to try not to live trapped in my past and be upfront and straightforward with others.

That being said, I know I've never brought it up before, but I've been wanting to talk to you about .......

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Final Jeopardy

I actually guessed the final Jeopardy question correctly today.
That never happens!
Mind you, so did all the contestants, so it was probably an easy one - but I got it right, and that made me smile.

That's all I have to say about that.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Ah Nostalgia!

The past couple of weeks have been a walk down memory lane in all sorts of ways.

It started with meeting my old boyfriend for drinks- which turned into dinner, and then spread into the bulk of the night a couple of Thursdays ago.

It was a good night, we played catch-up (it has been 6 years), and reminisced a little bit about our "cult of the green carpet" days.

Back in OAC year me, my pre-ex, my best friend and his best friend we sort of an inseparable foursome. We would spend every Friday night, Saturday and Sunday together. Usually one or 2 others might join us, but we were the core. Mostly we hung out in Steve's basement - which had a green carpet. Hence our cult name.

Then I bought Beverly Hills 90210 Season 1 on DVD - it came out on November 7th. I loved this show while in High School. And I have been watching episodes whenever I can. Even just the beginning of the credits brings back great memories!

Then last night I went to the Audio Adrenaline Farewell Concert (last one, they're retiring). So mix the music I started listening to like 15 years ago with going with my old church (the friends I was going with had a last minute emergency, so I hooked-up with my old church), and you have a potent memory lane mix.

I spent most of the night with my old best friend (same as above) and her now husband (the other guy from above). It was like Memory Lane overload.

interestingly, in my dinner conversation, when I talked about feeling nostalgic, he told me "well none of our relationships have stayed the same".

So I guess nostalgia or not, there is no staying in the Good Old Days, life marches forward whether you want it to or not.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

My Knitting Resolution

Ok - you can directly blame this on my friend Kevin (unbeknownst to him)- I have been reading his blog recently and he recently posted about what he calls "The November Resolution"

So thanks to Kevin I now have "The Knitting Resolution" - well I just borrowed the name form from him.

I consider myself still a fairly new knitter even though I've been doing it for about 6 years now.
I have analyzed myself (ah Physcian, heal thyself) and I figured out why I have completed very few projects. I am a results kind of girl, and when I can't see the results of my labour quickly enough, I get easily put off. Couple that with the 98% social me - while knitting is usually a solitary activity, you can see how I tend not to participate all the time.

I am continually surprised with just how social I am. Just last night, I was late for my running group, and started out alone to catch-up with them. I couldn't run more than 3 minutes at a time, I stopped to walk frequently, and I was ripping myself a new one with my negative self talk - it went something like this "you're pathetic, who did you think you were kidding, you can't run, you can barely walk for 4 minutes straight, look at you, huffing and puffing all out of breath, you've only been out a few minutes - you belong on a couch, lazy and fat forever, just accept it" It was truly awful, I don't think I've talked to myself like that before. Then I catch-up to my running group - actually they caught up to me, because they turned around halfway. And I ran the rest of the way back - we even raced for the last 6 minutes, no problem. It was like a Jeckle and Hyde experience.

Anyways, back to our regularly scheduled programming, I have this Afghan I've been working on - it's my first. I've made sweaters, scarves, hats, dishtowels, and baby booties before, but this is my first blanket.
So I started it January of 2005 - that's right 2005! Which means that this January it will be 2 years, and I'm only 1/3 of the way through.
So I decided last week that I will endeavour to work on my blanket every day, every SINGLE day until December 31st and hopefully I will be almost done by then.

So far it's been 8 days, and I've managed to work on it for 7 of them. I even brought my bundle to work today to get my quota in.

So you can call me on it - hopefully I'll have a blanket to show you in January - Hopefully.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Assumptions and presuppositions

Do you ever get frustrated while driving?
Boy do I ever! To begin with I really dislike driving in the first place. I love the freedom and independence it gives me, and I would never go without it. But usually I am driving alone, which, for social me is pretty sucky.

So I am usually just trying to hurry up and get to where ever I am going (not speeding, just in attitude). And some days it feels like every other driver on the road has been purposefully put in my path to slow me down, and muck up my timing.

I know what you're thinking - easy Egotistical there Mira - the world does not revolve around you! And you're right, the impractically of every driver just waiting for me to hit the road, then doing everything in their power to mess with me leans the balance completely away from that theory.

But sometimes, despite my most rational efforts, I can't help but feel that way.

Now here's the funny part - when I get frustrated by other drivers I mutter the make or model of their car, as if it's a bad word. So if for example you cut me off, I would probably say something like "hmmm...Camry". Then For a few minutes I have a genuine dislike of all Camrys. And I always equate the license plate with the newness of the driver. So if your plate starts with an AW or AY or AZ I just figure you're a new driver, and I can add inexperience to the litany of reasons why I don't like you. The irony, I got a new car about a year ago, and my license plate starts with an AX. I am not however a new driver - I've been driving for 12 years (can you believe it's been 12 years already!)

I wonder what other drivers think about me?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

My Inauspicious Alarm Clock

Argh!!!!!! My new alarm clock is going to drive me crazy. If you've been keeping up, you've already heard a little about my trials and tribulations with this "state of the art" device.

When we last visited this topic, We were left with scaring imagery of hundreds of little birds pecking away at my head. (I'm good with the Hyperbole eh?!)

If you remember this contraption also comes with a very detailed manual, which I need to refer to do just about anything with it.

So it wakes me up as per usual at 6:ooam on Friday morning - Ocean Waves and all. I tap the alarm button to turn it off as I do every morning. Then I figure it's off, no problem.

On Saturday I needed to be somewhere for 10am, and was cautioned not to be late. I didn't want to pull out the manual to re-program my clock, so I set my running watch alarm instead. Well my too-smart clock went off at 6:00am as usual and startled me out of bed. Then because I was scared I would fall back asleep and not get up in time for my appointment - I spent like 3 hours lying in bed, talking to myself, trying to keep myself awake and think of something I could do so early. (Yeah, I bet the crazy diagnosis is starting to sounds a little more realistic right about now.)

So for this morning, I thought I better re-set the alarm, 'cause I'm not getting up at 6am again, and I want to go to church. Since I bothered to bust out the manual, I figured I would try a different nature sound to wake-up to. I choose "Mountain Stream". The alarm went of at 8:25am, that's a good sign, but the stinking sound of trickling water for 15 minutes made me have to pee something fierce! It felt like I had just sat through a 3 hour film while guzzling an extra-large Diet Coke . As I was hobbling to the bathroom, half awake, I woke everybody else up with my "Ow, ow, ow" mumble with every step towards my pee goal.

Having survived the mental and physical ordeal that was my alarm going off and the ensuing pee, I collapsed wearily back into bed to recuperate.
Oops - 3 hours later, I roll over, it's almost noon, and I missed church.

My plans foiled again at the hands of my alarm clock. At least I'm going to choose to blame my alarm clock - much easier than taking any personal responsibility for anything ;)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Grumble, Grumble

I need to complain!
That's my disclaimer - so turn away now if you're not in the mood for a minor rant.

I have had a crummy day - any single event would have been manageable but, it's the culmination of all of them that has pushed into this complaining mode!

Ok so let's start at the very beginning (If this were a good day, that would be the seguay into the Sound of Music song).

I got this very exciting "Progression Wake-up Alarm clock" for my birthday - not cheap and special ordered from the U.S.
The premise of this clock is that it wakes you up with simulated sunlight, aromatherapy and nature sounds. And this schmorgasboard is suppose to make you wake up naturally and easily.
I envisioned floating out of bed, fully rested and refreshed when the alarm went off.

So I set it up on Saturday, and it went off Sunday morning. The pre-set nature sound is "Songbirds" (there are 5 others). I woke-up Sunday morning thinking I was being attacked by birds at the window. Yesterday I swear I had a split-second where I thought they were pecking at my head (like a scene out of Hitchcock's The Birds).
So for this morning I reset the sound to "Ocean Waves".

Yeah, stupid alarm didn't do what it was suppose to - I hit the snooze for an hour, then spent 45 minutes in my usual sleep stupid state staring at the TV. I start work at 8am, I left the house at 8:05am.

Then, of course because I'm rushing, I get in the car, and start backing-up as I'm checking out my back window. I nearly run over my next door neighbour.
"OMG, I'm so sorry are you ok?"
"You nearly run me over"
"I am sooooooo sorry".
"It's alright", turns around, keeps walking, mumbling.
So now I'm worried about coming home to find my house TPed by my middle aged, unhappy, neighbour.

I get to work and the morning whizzes by - thankfully.
In the afternoon, I'm on a call and somehow my head is getting heavier, and heavier, my eyelids feel incredibly heavy, maybe I'll just put my head down and close my eyes for a minute - Ahhh, that's nice.
Wait a minute I'm at work, and on a call!!!
ABORT, ABORT - come on eyes OPEN! Listen to me darn it - head lift up.
Phew, that was really close!

Ok, so I finally get to go home, and I'm thinking - it's ok, I'll run tonight, I'll get pumped, have a good night's sleep and tomorrow it'll all be good.

I get ready for my run, leave the house at the usual time and - what the heck, has everybody and their brother decided to go on a leisurely drive tonight?
The streets are packed, after 20 minutes on the highway I finally have moved 1 exit, so I think "I better get off, maybe the roads are better than the highway".
Yeah, ummmmm the answer to that is no.

So 62 minutes later (yes, not the 20 minutes it usually takes me) - I arrive at the Running Room just as everyone is getting back from the run.

I get a call about 2 minutes later from my Family "Can you buy a pizza on your way home for supper?"
So I decide to get some Mamma's Pizza 'cause it's cool and gourmet, thin crust and they have a funky potato pizza (which tastes much better than it sounds).
Ok so 2 pizzas cost me $38 - That's crazy!!

Then I get home and I'm being reprimanded for spending so much money on Pizza. Ok forget the fact that they all sat home doing nothing, and that I paid for it with my own earned money, and didn't ask for any money from anyone else.
No "thank you", no "Wow! Awesome pizza, this is really different" - I got yelled at!

Ok, I'm done complaining - thanks for reading my grumblings.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I have grown wiser in the past 24 hours

So my Birthday has officially passed, I was born 29 years and more than 24 hours ago.
And while waking up on Saturday (my actual birthday) didn't feel any different than waking up on Friday - well except for the giant wrapped box at the foot of my bed - I think I have eased into the wisdom that comes with age ;)

I had an all-party week-end (a party on Friday, one on Saturday and one on Sunday)- and it was awesome, I loved it.
It definietly reinforced just how social a being I am. When I do the Myers-Briggs inventory, I score like a 98 out of 100 in the extroversion scale (it's a continuum from introversion to extroversion, and the idea is that everybody is a blend of both, and can't be completely one or the other, but has elements of both). Well not me. I am a full flegged bonified people person.

It's not even that I hate doing nothing, I would just rather do nothing with someone else.
Have to clean my room - if you're there with me, I would gladly participate. Both Saturday and Sunday night after each respective party (I had 2 birthday parties), one of my guests stayed a little later than the others and helped me clean-up. Techincally on Saturday 2 guests stayed back while I saw some others out, and by the time I got back upstairs there was hardly anything left for me to do (Thank you Austin and Nina). And you know what, I actually really enjoyed cleaning up, 'cause I had someone to do it with.

I realize that it's true about my running as well - if I have someone to do it with, the time passes more quickly and it's so much more enjoyable. Probably why the running room works so well for me.

And while I always knew that I was a people person, I guess I never put the pieces together as to how much. And now I am going to decide to embrace that about myself instead of thinking I need to mellow out a little. Now I know how to set myself up to succeed at something new - make sure it involves people, and I'm good.

So last night as I was getting ready for bed, as tired as I was after an all-party week-end, I feel asleep with a smile on my face. After all what better week-end could I have - 3 days of fun times, with fun people that I like to spend time with, and I got to wear a tiara!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Something to Look Forward to

So tonight is my Running Room practice night. Tonight we were working on maintaining the goal we set-up on Monday night. So it's my second run at this rate.
tonight our regular facilitator was not there and we had Sue leading our 5K clinic group. So it was Sue, myself and Nicole.
What you need to know about Sue is that she is a complete coach - happy, encouraging, energetic, enthusiastic.
So today Sue pushed me - HARD! The awesome part is that I did much more than I thought I could. I added a minute onto my time, which means I did a minute more that we did on Monday and were scheduled to do (Trust me a minute is HUGE for me!!)
And it was the fastest I have run to date. Which is also HUGE for me. Usually you could be walking backwards next to me, and you would probably still be moving faster than I run.
But tonight, you would have had to be walking super fast, maybe even jogging with me to keep up! YEAH!!!

Ok, that was actually the aside, what I wanted to tell you about was the conversation I had afterwards with a couple of the others in my clinic (they ran with a different group tonight).
I mentioned that my Birthday is coming up on Saturday and how I find Birthdays much more than New Year's make me re-evaluate my life and contemplative of my goals.
Anyways what they 3 of them told me (they had a consensus) is that your forties are the best years of your life.
You have more money, you're sure of who you are, you know what you want and you can do it.

Phew! It was such a refreshing conversation. I have spent most of my life with people telling me that the years I'm living are the best years of my life. And that hasn't been my experience. Not that they're horrible years or anything, but my twenties have been spent trying to get myself to my future - whether it be school or a career or relationships - always trying to work out the future, sacrificing the now for the to come.
So it's good to know that there is a to come, and that it can be enjoyed!

Here's to being in our forties, and finally getting to enjoy life - well maybe we can get some enjoyment in here and there before then, just a little ;)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Tell Someone you Love them today :)

Today has been a reminder of how life can be short and really suck sometimes.
I didn't really have a sucky day, just a lot of opportunities to observe life sucking.

For example my day started with me staying home from work - when my Teta (grandmother) work-up and found me in my room, she got very excited about having someone home with her. She actually did a little dance in front of my bedroom door (ask her and she'll deny it, but she did).
It was really cute, but mostly it got me thinking about how lonely and boring and long her days must feel home alone, all day, every day with nothing to do. Plus when the rest of the family gets home we all have other things to do, errands, dinner to make. My mom and my aunt both take a nap right after work - for at least 1 hour. I imagined what it would feel like to be starved for company all day, then people finally get here, just to choose sleep or something else over talking to me. Kinda Sucks.

Example # 2 - I was in an interview where I was given senarios that I was asked to put together some case conceptualization and treatment plans for as well as highlight challenges, and concerns. This is pretty standard in my field. The senarios were pretty convoluted, but I know that they are true to life situations. It made me sad to think of people who had suffered so much at the misguided hands of others (parents, teachers, etc) and are now struggling to be a functional part of society. Definitely Sucks.

Example # 3 - Driving home on WDCX (the Christian station out of Buffalo) they had a counselling call in show. BTW, the Therapist was excellent. I heard 2 people in the hour I was in the car (stupid highway lane reductions and exit closures). The first lady had been married for 6 years and her husband had not displayed any physical affection towards her through their entire marriage. The therapist coached caller on asking questions about his childhood. Even though she didn't say this to the caller, it was pretty clear her working hypothesis was that he is an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse. The second guy was from a military family and was talking about how he was very rigid and structured (expects everyone in the house awake and beds made by 4am and stuff like that). Again she talked about his childhood (he came from a military family, no surprise there). The interesting part was when she asked him how it made him feel as a child - and he said "I hated it", and yet he was pulling those same things into his adulthood and for his children. Sucks for sure!

Anyway, bottom line is it also made me thing about how many great and awesome things we can have in life, despite the suckage - which manage to co-exists together. Plus we usually totally ignore the good stuff, 'cause our entire focus is spent on the suckage, the pain, the hurt, the anger. Still Sucks!

And then I started thinking about how much of a difference a small gesture would have made in each of my suck examples above.
What if I had gotten out of bed and had breakfast with my Teta?
What if the call-in lady's husband spontaneously held her hand, or kissed her forehead?
What if her husband had an adult he could trust when he was a child, who gave him a feeling of unconditional security and love?
What if call-in guy's Dad had hugged him, or played wrestling with him or let him sleep in on a Saturday?

Suddenly the Suck is shrinking.

So I would like to encourage you (yes you) to tell somebody whom you love that you love them today, give them a hug, smile.
Life is incomplete without these things.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Wow!! Nature's Awesome...

Yesterday I went on a guided nature hike through the Rouge Valley Conservation Area as a work event.

So 10km, and 3 hours later, all I can say is WOW!! It was spectacular! The river, the creek, the leaves, the trees, the hills, even the hill that used to be garbage was awesome looking.

We started out at the Pierce House Conservation Centre - across from the Zoo parking lot. (If you would be interested, every 2nd Sunday of the month, they offer a free guided hike for 2 hours starting at 1:30pm - I would be happy to go again).

I didn't expect that it would be 3 hours or 10km - it was not the leisurely afternoon I had envisioned, but rather a pretty intensive work-out. We had to go almost straight-up this one hill. The climb really did feel almost vertical - it took about 8 minutes to get to the top, and while I didn't stop (I was scared that if I did, I would never start again) a couple of people in our party took several 2 minute breaks on the way up.
So thighs burning with the lactic acid build-up (feels just as crappy as it sounds by the way), and amazingly huffing and wheezing (thank you Asthma) like I do when I run - I got to the top and turned around. I was speechless.
Before me was the rolling hills and valleys that you hear described in novels about the English countryside. But instead of just green grass with a couple of sheep here and there - it was littered with colour and texture. And not just the brown, red and yellow that you see in your neighbourhood - I'm talking about intense, high pigment colours - a bright, vibrant green, deep ochre red, burnt sunset orange, creamy yellow. At one point because of erosion, there was a tree (known as the hanging tree) which was at maybe a 35 degree angle - roots entirely exposed, but living strong. It was full of leaves, and each a beautiful pulsating red.

I didn't have the best shoes and my feet are all blistered today, my legs are sore, and I accidentally slept through my running clinic today (so I didn't make my run)- but it was absolutely worth it - I would go again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I Hate Exercise - sort of!

Ok it's official - after an hour and a half today of sweating and contorting and getting nowhere, I have officially decided that I hate exercise.

I've been running now, to be more accurate, I should say I've been trying to run now for about 4 months.
That's 3 times a week for 4 months.
And I still huff and puff, run slower than most people can walk, and turn beet red and go crazy hot for like hours!! (I am NOT hyperbole-izing!)

I have decent rhythm, but everytime I take a ballet class or a pilates or stretching class - I'm watching my form in the mirrors (they're everywhere!) and I feel like an egg with arms and legs. No grace, no fluidity of movement - just this basal desire to survive!!

And yet, I get home, I take my shower, and magically I feel able to conquer the world - most days.

Hence the sort of.

I am waiting with baited breath for the day that I feel good while doing it - as opposed to after. It appears that that day will be a long time coming.

So until then - I hate exercise, sort of!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Sleepwalking through my day

Do you ever have that experience where you're driving home (usually) from somewhere and you get home, but you don't actually remember the drive, making the turns you're suppose to make - and you just sort of arrive at home?

Have you ever felt your day go by that way?
Just this morning my pod-mate said "can you believe it's almost half-way throught October already?"
And you know, I can't believe it.

Last I remember I was gearing up for Septemeber and it's like I blinked and we're halfway through October. Like I have been sleepwalking through the past 6 weeks.
Don't get me wrong, it's not like I haven't had events and moments in those six weeks - I'm sure my itinerary has been litered with them.
But somehow these events and moments seem to fade to the background or become swallowed-up by my routine.

Again, I'm going to blame this weird existental nostalgic turn on my impending Birthday (18 days and counting!!)- always makes me reflective - works much better than New Year's for me :)

And hey at least I'm not litering these pages with a search for the meaning of life - more like the details of living it.

As a totally unrelated aside - I made a pretty awesome Butter Chicken out of our leftover Turkey today - well I guess that makes it a Butter Turkey technically. It was yummy!!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Conservative with Pazzaz!

I attended my friend's wedding yesterday - actually I also got to participate by reading Scripture. (I think I may be getting typecast - I read Scripture or do a reading at a lot of weddings!) I love to participate in this way, so I get very excited each time I'm asked.

So yesterday, I'm dressed up in my new fancy outfit - just purchased on Friday, lucky break - and passing out the programs as people are entering the Church.
One of the ladies attending, who is also a member of my Church comes to take her program and says to me "You know what I like about you? You're conservative, and you do it with pazzaz!"
I know this was intended as a compliment, and I took it entirely as such, but it does beg the question - what exactly qualifies as pazzaz?

She did encourage some boldness in me though - I hitched a ride with some friends ('cause the reception was in timbuktu). As they were leaving the church and we were coordinating my pick-up later, I said "Yeah, I'm going to change, and I'm gonna look smokin' !". I am just as shocked and amazed as you are that those words left my mouth in all sincerity.

Later that evening, I was mentioning that I was getting hot and someone said "just take off your jacket"
to which I replied, "I can't do that I'd be too naked"
"That's not naked" while showing me the spaghetti strap of her dress.
"Yeah, not naked for you, is naked for me".

So ultimately I guess the conservative part was right on the mark.
That's probably why my mom didn't buy it when I bought a fake nose ring years ago to see how people would react. She just said "get that silly thing out of your nose."

I got a pretty fun reaction when I wore purple clown sunglasses around for a day once (see above).
It was fun to make people (total strangers) smile and laugh while driving, pumping gas, grocery shopping.
I wore them around for the entire day. I think I still have them tucked in my closet, although I never wore them again.

This does make one want to revisit the title of conservative however, or at least include a clause or something :)


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Am I Unbalanced?

So I went for my monthly massage yesterday. Yes, I get a massage once a month - part of my self-care plan because I work in a high stress environment, and I get good benefits.

Anyways, I'm on the table and my RMT starts working my muscles and I am so ridiculously tight that I think I can actually hear her panting with the strain, and feel the sweat trickling off her forehead!
She's working on my right shoulder for what feels like 20 minutes, then she actually has to get her elbow involved. She says to me "nice shoulder", to which I reply, "yeah, I put it to good use."
Near the end of my massage, she's working on my neck, and it feels like somebody decided to hide a bag of marbles back there. I say to her "Wow! It's been a while since my neck's been this tight eh?" "I don't think it's ever been this tight."

Today, I feel like I've been hit by a truck, then the truck driver came over to see how I was doing and decided to beat me up to finish the job! Everything hurts! It's crazy.

I understand the mechanics of a massage, that my muscles have tightened and shortened. That an RMT manipulates that muscle, puts strain on it to trigger a release so the muscle can stretch out to what it should be. That over time, since muscles have memory, they will "remember" being stretched and proper and resist shrinking and tightening (and stretch more easily next time).

Here's what my day of muscular agony got me thinking about:
I try and eat healthy - protein load at lunch to keep me alert, increase the carbs at night to promote sleepiness, no caffeine, minimal sugar, "healthy fats", etc...
I run 3 times a week - I'm not a star, but I'm faithfully doing it
I get massages once a month
I "debrief" intense calls with co-workers or supervisors as needed
I have good friends, watch good TV, and have good fun

I am basically scheduling what's good for me - or what's suppose to be good for me.
Why do I have to work so hard at achieving "balance"?
It seems a little contradictory to me that I seem to have filled-up my life with complications (as evidenced by my muscular revolt) in order to try and simplify my life.

I heard it said somewhere that when the internet and mobile phone technology were first introduced some business head honcho said "This is a great technological leap, in 10 years we will work half the time and accomplish twice as much".

I feel like I work twice as hard and accomplish half as much.
I can't even imagine how people survived when it took half a day to make a loaf of bread to feed your family - how did they get anything other than bread making and eating done?

Ah well, enough pondering - back to my TO DO list.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Secrets and Not so secrets

So I went out last night with a good friend of mine and after dinner and a movie, we got to talking in the car as I was driving her home.

We ended up talking for a good hour I think, and the conversation was very good, and really intriguing. I feel this way mostly because it was reflective, existential in nature, and about a lot of stuff that I have actully been pondering myself for about a month now. Blame it on my upcoming Birthday (28 days and counting !!), but I always seem to get reflective this time of year.

Now here's the interesting part, in the course of our conversation, I decided to tell her about a recent experience I've had, that I haven't talked to anybody about. So of course it stared with the following disclamer "now I haven't told any body about this, so I would appreciate if you wouldn't say anything."
"Sure, I never do, but I would like to point out to you, that you always say that, then I hear somebody else talking about it"
"What, no!"
"yes, like that time you told me about XXX, the I hear YYY talking about XXX"
"I told YYY about XXX!! And then she told you?"
"Well it was me you and YYY in the car, and she was talking about it with you"
"OMG! I totally don't remember telling anybody about XXX, it's a pretty embarassing story."
"Yep, you did"

Unbelievable!! I'm a total blabbermouth about myself! I wonder what it is that shifts me from not talking to telling it all - with like no pause in the middle?

Now that I've had time to think about it, I think I've told several people about XXX.
Funny, then I must need to forget, like a self-preservation mechanism.

Well, if my life can offer any humor to yours, then I guess the information is worth sharing.
Imagine what life would be like if we could never find humour in difficult or embarassing situations, it would SUCK!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Guffaws in other languages

Working in both English and French has offered me plenty of learning opportunities, see the following examples:

Earlier this week I learned how to put a mob hit on somebody in French "Je vais engagé quel-qu'un, et mettre un contract sur la tête de ..."

Two weeks ago I acidentally told someone that a counsellor has a Mistress (Maitress) in Social Work as opposed to a Master's (Maitrise) in Social work.

Just this morning I succumbed to slang use and told someone that I sometimes deal (dealé) with high risk situations. Please note that this is actual slang used in Quebec - they do that to the F-Word as well as in F---é. (Although this use is not considered as profane as other terms used in French - and magically not confused with Seals)

But I think the Piece de Resistance for me was not in speaking French at work but actually Arabic to my family, where I confused the terms Sick (E-it) and Naked (Er-it). I told my aunts and cousins that "my Mom got very naked after eating some uncooked salad vegetables on her last trip to Egypt".

Thankfully, I manage to always be understood, even if it is with a chuckle!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Woes of being Single

On Saturday we had a Pastor come over to visit to pray for my aunt who has been very sick for a couple of weeks.

So he comes in, sits down, looks straight at me and says "next time I come over, I don't need to see a new car, what I'd like to see is your groom".
To which I reply "yeah, me too!"

So then he starts grilling me on all the stuff I'm doing to find me a husband - I told him I faithfully take out my sandwich board and bell wandering the streets of the city nightly taking applications. (ok, I didn't actually say that, but I really was thinking it)

Then he starts making suggestions around finding someone "back home" - right, just what I need a mail-order husband.

I will let you imagine how wonderfully enhancing to my self-esteem this conversation was ('cause you know since nobody in this Country obviously wants me - well there's always the guys in other countries looking for immigration)

So finally he finishes his exposition and turns to my aunt to ask about her health. And I think Phew!
Ah poor naive me - to think it might have been over.

As he's leaving he turns to me and says "I'd like to give you a little more advice"
"you just need a little bit of diet and exercise, just a little ok? Do you exercise"
"Yes I do, I run 3 times a week actualy"
"oh, ok well then just a little bit of diet then. It's ok because you're tall, but just a little bit of diet". (heaven forbid if if I was short and fat there would be no hope for me, but since I'm tall and fat, some guy may just be willing to settle for me).

What was up with this guy???

I don't think he could have picked on anything else - unless he started telling me I was too smart and shouldn't have gotten all my degrees.

Well at least now I know what's standing in my way - me.

So here I sit in Starbucks, all wired up (woo hoo) and I'm scanning the room....
By the way, I'm still accepting applications ;)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Never Too Late To Start

Ok so this is my first attempt at a Blog - I hope it's not abysmal.

It's Sunday evening - and I've been home most of the day - well I went to Church this morning and then went to lunch after church.
And I'm a little bored! Somehow I'm always bored when I'm home.

I had tons of stuff to do today, and I came home from lunch all set to attack my mile long to do list. And I got it all done, then it was 4:30pm and I was again bored.
Sometimes I wish I wasn't so efficient! Well that's not true, I just wish I didn't get bored so quickly.

Unluckily I start work at 7am tomorrow - so not much of today left for me - I'm going to do my best to transition from bored to sleeping in a few short hours. Probably skipping the tired step - seeing as I've been lazing around bored for most of the afternoon.