Tag Archives: attitude

A Perfect Moment

The frantic pace that life inflicts,

Surrounds us every day.

Sights and sounds bombarding,

That fills one with dismay.

 

Take a moment, maybe two,

And calm your weary brow.

Close your eyes and take a breath,

And I will show you how.

 

Steam wafts gently upwards,

Escaping  from the hollows,

Of a  perfectly made cup of tea.

A scent of spice soon follows.

 

Ripples brush the surface,

Your breath a tender breeze.

Hands clasp around the warmth,

And soon you feel at ease.

 

Let this moment heal you,

Feel peace in its embrace.

Knowing you can always find,

This perfect state of grace.

 

 

Odd

What a silly little word. It almost catches in the back of your throat. Odd. One vowel, two consonants. And yet it is a word that has so many uses, some good, some bad. It is one’s perception that dictates how this word is understood.  Odd, strange, abnormal, unusual, peculiar, funny, idiosyncratic, individual… It is a very long list.

There were an odd number of pieces. The weather is odd these days. That person speaks with an odd accent.  I have been feeling odd lately. I had an odd dream last night. The word has so many meanings and each of those meanings can have different connotations. I’m feeling odd. That could be a bad thing as: I don’t feel well at all or it could be a great thing as: I’m feeling on top of the world and that’s so unusual!

I like things that are a little off the norm.  A little unusual. When I was a child, I used to look up into the sky at night and paint a picture of what my mind saw.  Years later I learned about astronomy and the collection of stars that formed an image. I learned about the stories behind the stars and I was fascinated. So many people look up at the stars and see just stars. Those who study astronomy see something different.

I think those with open minds see so much more. They don’t see odd; they see unusual and fascinating. They see possibilities and opportunities. Labels are restrictive and limiting.  If we judge based on labels, we may miss the underlying truth of the individual.  Labels have a place in identifying but they are only a tool. Used properly ‘odd’ can be fascinating and incredible.

The world is full of creatures and plants that are considered oddities. They don’t fit the norm. Take a look at the platypus. I think it’s quite an adorable looking creature but it is odd.  It is a mammal that has a beak like a duck, a body like an otter, webbed feet, lays eggs and the males have ankle spurs that are venomous. Then there are plants that eat meat. It only seems fair since plants have been eaten by animals from the beginning.  Pitcher plants regularly eat insects but they have been known to digest the occasional rat or shew.  Does anybody remember Day of the Triffids!? Human eating plants take over the world. Yum. Now that was odd and not in a good way.

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure. One person’s odd is another person’s inspiration. Being odd it’s simply being yourself, an individual. I have been called odd and I liked it. It means I’m not like everybody else and that makes me special. Just like you.

 

 

 

I Love Reality TV 

A Blast From My Past                  Originally posted in April 2017.

Now don’t judge, let me explain. I love Reality TV; you know, what is ‘Real’ not some half-baked version of reality. Seriously some of this “Reality” TV is not my reality!

Now don’t get me wrong. I know how wildly popular these shows are. I personally do not enjoy watching people backstab, scream at each other and generally act like jerks for entertainment. It’s just not my thing. The ‘reality’ programs I do enjoy are the cooking shows. I have never cooked at that level but I’m fascinated by the people that do. Some of them are average people off the street. I find them interesting and supportive of each other. Yes, there are the occasional jerks, but I do try to ignore them and usually they’re booted off the show relatively early.

I even started watching a program, well a game show actually, where they are forging weapons. Seriously! But the passion they show for creating something beautiful and deadly it’s fascinating to me. The other kind of reality I enjoy watching are actually called documentaries. Now that is as real as it gets. I watched a program on the letters Queen Victoria wrote during her more than six decades of reign in England. It was a little bit history, a little romance and a lot of a strong woman. That’s a reality I can get behind.

I’m not sure I understand why some of these “programs” are designated as reality when they’re really just live-action game shows. A group of people are put in a box and live together. I have never watched the program so I’m probably not qualified to judge but to be honest I could never get past the ads for them. It simply looks like a group of people who want to see who can be the meanest or the most obnoxious to gain a questionable prize. I probably don’t understand the concept.

I did watch for a while the game show where people are deserted on an island but when it deteriorated into ‘how badly people can treat each other’, I lost interest. It was fascinating to watch the culture of the island as it was often interwoven into the contest. But that too became unwatchable.

When was the last time you saw something absolutely new on TV?  Everything seems to be a remake of a program from decades ago, even the movies. And then when something interesting does pop up it shows up on other channels with different actors but a similar premise. Have we grown so stale, so jaded that we can’t handle innovation? I find it amusing when I’m watching a show and enjoying it only to recognize something I saw in my childhood in the new program. I guess each new generation has to experience what we did decades ago in the entertainment field. Perhaps if we didn’t continue to live so long, we wouldn’t be noticing all the rehashes.

Still, I watch what’s on TV, some I enjoy some I don’t. And I think I’ll keep watching the reality TV that I enjoy. Parfait anyone?

 

A Broken Pencil

I broke a pencil the other day,

It hit the paper hard.

It seems I had a thought to mind,

That we must be on guard.

 

I guess it started as a rant,

And seemed to grow from there.

Never one to hold my thoughts,

I also need to share.

 

Fear and hatred all about,

A culture of despair.

Is this the way we want to live?

Or must we now beware?

 

The pencil hit the point with rage,

My fury was too strong.

And the moment I had done it,

I knew that I was wrong.

 

Shame was all I really felt

There was another way.

Hate cannot be met with hate,

It’s love we must convey.

 

This is the time to heal our wounds.

A time when we should bond.

All it takes is willingness,

And we could move beyond.

 

I know that we can make amends,

And all can live as one.

Beam a smile at a stranger,

And lo, you have begun.

Offensive Miners

Warning!  This rant may include words that are not to everyone’s taste. Please exercise your discretion.

They seem to be everywhere! And they are doing their mining under the cloak of anonymity because of the Internet. Perhaps I should explain. There is, I hope, a small group of individuals who take a perverse delight in trolling through my idyllic childhood looking for something that offends them in the 21st-century. I am not amused.

If something from my childhood offends someone 50 or 60 years later, I’m sorry about that. I’m sure if I went digging in your childhood, I could find something that offended me, if I was actually looking for it.  If a character is depicted in a less than flattering manner then perhaps the character can be changed to accommodate sensibilities decades after the fact. But here’s something I don’t understand: it was a different time. It was a lifetime ago. You do not know the mindset of the author and don’t pretend that you do. You can infer and make innuendos all you like but you weren’t there.  And to vilify a beloved author who got millions of children reading is just wrong.

Christmas carols have been torn apart and demonized. Beloved nonhuman characters have been crucified with innuendo. Where does it stop? I believe in freedom of speech but that freedom comes with responsibilities. If you feel strongly about something, then stand up, speak up and be identified.  Own your concerns. If you believe something needs to be corrected then correct it. Don’t spend your time spewing hatred on Social Media. That is not responsible.

When I hear about a new offence that has been perpetrated decades ago, I envision the anonymous speaker as someone sitting in his underwear, or her underwear, in Mama’s basement eating fast food and spending their days trolling. It is not a pretty sight.

Stop imitating a kumquat and join the human race. There are plenty of things in our history to be offended by and some of it goes back a lot further than 50 or 60 years. But you only seem to be concentrating on the recent past. Why? Was your childhood so damaged, so perverted that you are incapable of finding joy? So, you wish to bring everyone else down to your level of misery? If that is the case, then I don’t hate you.  I pity you.

There are plenty of things today that offend me: racism, bullying, ageism, inequality… The list is endless. Why don’t you get your facts straight and speak up about what is happening today to the people next-door, to the people around the corner and across the world. Wouldn’t your time be best spent in this decade?

 

Rant concluded. Thank you for your attention.

Failure is the only option.

Failure. To fail. To not succeed. To not accomplish a task. To not complete your objective. It has seriously negative connotations and yet it is simply one part of the learning curve.

I know parents want to shield their children from the evils that exist in the world. We all do.  It is a natural reaction. But I think children need to be exposed to a little more that is less than perfect. If they only experience rainbows and unicorns when they are young, they won’t be able to understand life when they are adults.  Failure is a part of life, a big part. It is one of the best educational tools we have. And if we don’t take advantage of it, the cost down the line can be catastrophic.

We love to regale others with our successes, our shining wins.  No one ever likes to talk about a loss, our mistakes, our failures. Somehow, we think it will make us seem less worthy. Whereas I believe the opposite is true. How you deal with your failures, strengthens your character and will provide you with a template for future situations.

An example:  I was 16 and all excited about getting my Driver’s License. The freedom to go where I wanted, when I wanted was intoxicating. I failed my first driving test. I was devastated. I didn’t understand why I had failed but I had. I wallowed for a while in a ‘pity me’ haze. And then my parents pointed out to me that the first test was a trial run. I needed to study more, practice more and I would nail it on the next try. They were right. When I first took the test all I could see was what I would be free to do, I didn’t think at all about my responsibilities with that Driver’s License. There are laws, rules that I had to follow and to respect. I did the second time around. Failure was good for me.

When I was a youth, I belonged to The Girl Guides of Canada. It was a wonderful organization; it probably still is. I was taught how to put up a tent properly, how to appreciate the outdoors, how to work in a team. I was also taught how to make a fire without a match. The first 50 times I failed. I failed again and again and again. What I didn’t do was stop trying. And eventually I became one of the best at making fire using two sticks and a little sweat equity. It was such a moment of achievement for me because of my previous failures. I learned to never give up. It was a life lesson I never forgot.

The only way you will truly fail, is to never try.

 

 

Thought Processes

Have you ever stopped and wondered why you think the way you do? I know that’s an odd question but where does your mind wander to when you’re not focussed on anything. I will be quite honest, I try very hard to keep my mind engaged because when it is allowed to stray, well, things can get interesting.

It was in one of those moments of mindless meanderings when I remembered the many times I’ve had to deal with unprofessional sales clerks. There was the one who could not get past the wheelchair or the one who was smacking her gum, twirling her hair and talking to a friend about a boy.  The fact that I wanted to buy something simply did not enter into her mind even though she was looking right at me. That was probably 20 years ago but I wonder what she’s doing now. Has she gone on to blow expectations and become a PhD chemistry professor? Call me mean but I think not.

Back in the good old days (a year ago) I used to love to listen as people walked by. You never got the entire conversation but it was fascinating to think where it could take you. Like the time I followed a couple after overhearing that he was “…killing them”. Oh, I was intrigued! It’s OK he was just killing his plants. But out of that brief conversation I came up with a story about some actual killing. Yes, there is an evil side to my character and every now and then I embrace it.

When I am standing in front of a dog with a cookie in my hand, I know exactly what he is thinking. The drool is a dead giveaway. But when I’m standing looking at complete strangers it’s impossible to have any idea of what’s going on in their mind. Are they wondering if they locked the door or turned off the porch light? Are they thinking about gifts for a dear friend? Or perhaps how they plan to kill that annoying next-door neighbour? There is just no way to know.

That is fascinating to me. I have, in the past, created stories on the spot to describe what I could see. It had no basis in fact, it was pure fantasy but it was fun to give these people a life and a future directly out of my addled brain.

I once gave a man a wife, a mistress and a sexy secretary all because he was standing waiting for the Train with a smile on his face. It was a nice face but it looked like he had a secret. Those are the best ones to play with. And the upside to this game is nothing is ever written down because I can’t remember them and no one is besmirched. This is what I do when my mind is allowed to ramble and my thought processes are given free rein.  Be afraid, be very afraid…

Crisis Adjacent

I have never been in the middle of a forest fire or a hurricane or a volcano eruption. I have never felt the earth open underneath me in an earthquake. I have never faced down an angry assailant or looked death in the eye. I have never experienced a major crisis but I have been close to a few. I have been crisis adjacent .

My father was in a plane crash and that was pretty tense for a while.  but I didn’t find out about it until after we knew he was OK. I have come across car accidents just after they have happened. I offered what assistance I could but I was never in any danger. I have been trapped on a Lake in the middle of a horrendous storm but with all the canoes secured together we just floated it out. I guess I have just been incredibly lucky.

Many years ago, a friend of mine was in Mexico during a horrific earthquake. She was terrified. She and her companions huddled in the doorway and waited for the shaking to stop. She left the country the next day. I cannot begin to imagine what she went through. Maybe this is why I enjoy watching disaster movies. It isn’t so much for the disaster but how people respond to it. The hero and heroine always come out looking wonderful but it’s the side stories that interest me. It is the image of a stranger reaching down to help another. They don’t discuss ideology or politics or even the weather. They just help one another. I know it’s a movie and I don’t ever want to experience a tsunami to find out how I will react. Maybe if I watch enough disaster movies, I will know what to do but one can never be absolutely certain until you are in the moment.

All the planning in the world can be derailed by a simple misunderstanding or a missed appointment. We can have the best intentions but at the moment we freeze . Why? Because life is not an algorithm. It is a series of moments strung together to form your life, your existence.  Our reaction to what is happening around us is predicated on our past, our experiences and our understanding of the situation. People with proper training react without thinking. Police officers , first responders. These people have trained and acted out scenarios so that they will know exactly what to do without taking the time to formulate a plan. Sometimes seconds really do count.

For the rest of us we just react, hopefully responsibly. But it is in that moment of crisis when all the ego is burned off and what is left is the true merit of a person. I wonder what I will do …

 

 

Are you offended yet?

Read on,  I’m sure I will find a way to offend somebody. Or at least those who are always looking for something to offend them. Maybe I got all the good readers who are offended in the same way I am, by people who are easily offended.

Why do we judge the past based on the sensibilities of the 21st century? Are people not aware that the time was different back then? Was it right? People thought it  was for that time. How exactly are we going to be judged in 100 years, in 50 years? Are people going to be offended by our idiocy? I cannot answer that. But I can tell you that we will be judged. If it was wrong in the past, let us change it now and for the future. That should be how we are judged.

We are offended when people don’t agree with us. We are offended when we infer their words to different meanings other than was intended. We are offended when we don’t get what we want . And yet why aren’t we offended by racism and hatred and bullying? These are issues that should get our blood boiling the way we let loose when we are offended. And yet we don’t. Hatred is something we will never truly get rid of but we can find out why we hate. I hate some foods . (Which I will not mention here because there are people that actually like these things and I don’t wish to offend.) But how can I hate a person when I don’t know them? How can I hate a country that I’ve never been to? How can I hate an idea when I don’t even know what it is?

And yet people hate for the most obscure reasons. ‘Her eyes are blue.’ ‘He doesn’t like cats.’ ‘I don’t understand what they are saying.’ I wonder what would happen if  we took the time to look past the things we don’t like? I wonder if we would find someone that we might actually care for?  I wonder if someone looked at me and decided to hate because they didn’t like the colour of my hair?  When will we stop hating the unknown?

Children are not born hating. Bullies do not spring up out of nowhere. These are learned behaviours and they are taught by adults. The entire world has a responsibility to its children to put a stop to the negativities they grow up around. I know this is a simplistic idea and certainly the whole world cannot be fixed by the snap of my fingers but just because it can’t all be fixed at one time, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start.

A Fallen Leaf

He lay on his back,

A slight dusting of snow.

He knew he was done,

There was no place to go.

 

His time in the branches,

Were glorious and free!

But time is not static,

His memory the key.

 

You see he is a symbol,

of Summer and Spring.

The days full of frolic,

That memories bring.

 

As he shivered with cold,

On this bright chilly day.

He knew with conviction,

What others would say .

 

Soon will be spring,

And buds will appear.

Leaves will start growing,

Never you fear!

 

 

 

The accompanying photograph was provided by Dan over at nofacilities.com. He and Maddie are most generous with the fruits of their walks. Thanks Dan!