Monthly Archives: February 2022

The Problem With Efficiency

Have we become too efficient? Too good at getting things done easier? Are we so bent on making things trouble-free that we have we forgotten how things were originally developed? We need a little trouble. We need to be continually striving forward to create and to improve but do we stop when we think we’ve done enough? If there is one person in need, one person who feels slighted then we have not done enough.

I was in the kitchen mixing together a few things and I wondered if there was an easier way to do what I was doing. And then I was horrified! The time that I spend mixing ingredients together is time I can think about things I want to do, ponder a poem or a post. I’m usually so caught up in other things I’m doing that I don’t take the time to stop. To stop and to think. We lead such busy lives, constantly on the go that I wonder if we take enough time to simply be.

We harnessed the power of fire because we were cold. We learned how to fly because we wanted to go places. We learned how to cook because we were hungry. That hunger fuels us to create, to invent and to evolve. Without it we would stagnate. When I was forced to give up working because of my disability, I was concerned that I wouldn’t make it a year. I could not conceive of a life where I was not productive, contributing in some way to the greater good. I had mistakenly thought it was only through work that I could contribute. I was wrong.

Work is one of the larger sections of our lives. We do it for so long. It feeds us, it clothes us and allows us to have a life. But it is not our lives. Some jobs do become all encompassing. That’s usually when the job is actually a vocation. Doctors, nurses, firefighters, police officers (and many others) do not stop being doctors, firefighters etc. simply because they’re not at work. They will always be these people. And we are thankful that they are. We don’t want them to stop being efficient but we also need them to continually search for better ways to do their job. We should all be on that search.

There is always room for improvement. It’s been said often enough. It’s been said, because it’s true. And we should never forget that while we may not be hungry or cold there are those that are. We need to work towards a world where no one is hungry or cold or disenfranchised or forgotten. That is the world I want to live in, I want to strive for.

Just because I am not at an official job, I can still contribute with my words. I can still, hopefully, inspire and if living my life well encourages other people to look inside themselves then I am doing a good job. A simple smile to someone on the street might be all it takes for them to smile at another and then the other person smiles at another one and so begins the domino effect. Let’s hope that smile never dims, never stops



I have mentioned over the years that I am a redhead. Or rather I was a redhead, I have turned mostly blonde. It’s what a certain shade of red will do. Eventually I will go white. But I thought I would put it all into context with a photograph. This is me… more than a few years ago!

My Challenge

I opened a book and found a word,

More than one in fact.

It seems I need a challenge,

Which now I will enact.


“. . . they constantly rise to the surface,”

Was the sentence that I read.

Whatever will I do with it?

These words I think I dread!


It does promote an image,

That rises in my mind.

Challenges that we face each day,

Are hurdles that we find.


All it takes is willingness,

An attitude as well.

And we can rise above the fray,

And adversity we can quell.





The line is from The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling volume two


An Olfactory Assault

The scent of a lilac bush gently wafting on the air as it tickles your nose hairs. The smell of the dawn, dew wrestling with the sleepy flower petals. The sun still at its nadir as gentle beams of light gently caress your face. I’m told that coffee first thing in the morning is a motivating aroma, a positive one. These are sensations that are pleasant and thought-provoking. Poems are created with these gentle nudges in mind. They do not assault; they caress and comfort.

And then there is the delivery person who has been marinating in a toxic substance that you can smell ninety seconds before he rounds the corner. The miasma he has inflicted on you lasts for 20 minutes after he leaves. The woman who believes that she must reapply her perfume every hour on the hour and now walks around with a haze surrounding her body. Plant leaves curl up in horror as she walks by.  She makes an excellent insect repellent as mosquitoes tend to fly desperately in the opposite direction to escape the onslaught. I’m not exaggerating . . . much.

Our world stinks.

Many years ago, I needed some new hand cream. I decided to go to a high-end store and get some good stuff. Boy, did I get an eye-opener. I had gone to a rather large shopping mall. I found the store I was looking for and I was 3 feet inside the store when a very bright and lovely young lady came and asked me if I would like some assistance. I told her what I was looking for and we moved further into the store. About 10 feet from the entrance my eyes started to water and I found it difficult to breathe. I immediately understood what was happening. I apologized and made a dash for the entrance, I had to get out! The further into the store I had gotten, all the scents of the individual products seemed to coalesce to form this nauseous, toxic haze in front of my nostrils. Individually they were probably lovely scents but all together it was like being hit with a sledgehammer.  I thought leaving the store would be enough. It was not. My sense of smell was heightened now and I could smell everything! I could smell food, body odour, clothing, cleansers they used on the floor. It was a sensory overload. I raced to get outside of the building and the fresh air. Ha ha ha! Outside I could smell the asphalt, gasoline, cars, smoke… You see my problem. Fortunately, within a few minutes the heightened sense of smell diminished somewhat and it was just the usual stinky world we live in. I have not been back to that store or that mall in years. I am now very careful what stores I walk into.

Everywhere you go you’ll see signs that say thank you for not wearing any perfume or we are a scent free building. I appreciate that. Most of my friends don’t wear perfume or if they do it is incredibly mild. I appreciate that. I also appreciate that we have indoor plumbing. There was a time when human waste was simply dumped in the gutter. Now we seem to allow human waste to go into politics. Oh, I’m so sorry I shouldn’t have said that out loud.

We don’t have to wear perfume to have aromas around us. Hand lotions, shampoo, make up, deodorant, dryer sheets, laundry soap… the list is endless. We stink. It’s as simple as that.  Some stink a little more pleasantly than others. There is so much scent in everything we see, do, touch, that we can’t get away from it. It’s almost as if we shouldn’t be asking “how are you feeling today?”  It might be more appropriate to ask: “how are you smelling today?” And that is my thought for the moment or perhaps it is my olfactory appetizer!