Tag Archives: perception

Looking Back

As I have grown older and I am now embarking on a new decade, I find myself looking back. I am fondly reliving the things I did, wondering at the choices I made and remembering the incredible things I have seen. I have had a good life. But here’s the thing:  why am I looking back? It’s fun to reminisce but I should be looking forward and planning the next adventure. I should, but I don’t.

Now granted, due to my recent illness there are changes in my life that I’m having to get used to. And yes, that will probably take time. I’m not old! I’m older. I’m older than I was and not as old as I will be. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

I do find that when people reach a certain age (and that age changes individually) they seem to spend far more time in the past then they do in the future. I don’t want to be one of those people. I don’t want to get so lost in the joys and successes of my past that I miss out on making any new ones. That is so sad. I know individuals in their 70s, 80s and even the 90s who are making plans, enjoying life. They are actually living their life. They are not sitting on their proverbial laurels and wallowing in the past, they are making new memories! I admire that and I can’t figure out why I’m not doing it!

At this point I have to make a confession:  I am not a patient person. Oh, I love to sit quietly and read a book from cover to cover but when I do . . . do not interrupt! I find it difficult to watch a movie, unless it is incredibly engrossing, without doing something else at the same time. I expected to be able to do exactly what I was doing before I went into hospital. I’m also little thick. (I do hate the word stupid but sometimes I do a really good imitation)

My reality has changed. I’m not as strong as I was. I require more care, more assistance. So changes have to be made.  I can do that. Trouble is coordinating everybody else. I do have plans in my head I can’t quite get everyone else to see. But it is good. I just need to be patient.

And I really do need to stop remembering that idyllic weekend in northern Ontario sitting on a rock overlooking the lake. He was 6 foot two, curly blond hair, broad-shoulders, hands that . . . Good girls don’t kiss and tell!

What were they thinking?

 

Seriously. What do other people think? As most of you know I spent some time in my local hospital. As a result, I came into contact with a lot of different people, strangers to me. There were the doctors of course and the nurses, patients, cleaning staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapist, technicians, the list is endless.  All those people came together to make my stay, perhaps not enjoyable, but beneficial. And as I looked into their faces, I wondered… were they thinking?

I saw an elderly woman facing an uphill climb, literally. They were teaching her to do stairs again. I saw her face as she looked at the edifice in front of her. I tried to engage her but either she wasn’t in the right place emotionally or she didn’t speak the language. So, I smiled and nodded my head. She didn’t react. I wondered what was going through her mind. Was she sad, annoyed or maybe just indifferent?

I saw man who had lost both of his legs at different points. He didn’t hide his injury nor did he flaunt it. He faced his new reality and he didn’t flinch. He smiled and he joked with the staff. He smiled at me and gave me a thumbs up. It made me feel good. He was not a young man but he wasn’t done with life either.

We often judge other people based on what we see, not on what we know. That does us a disservice. People who look at us can’t know what we’re thinking, what we’re feeling. They only see what we choose for them to see. I think we do it for protection. But by shutting ourselves off, we miss so much.

As we journey through our day, we meet dozens perhaps hundreds of people, and sometimes only one or two. Each person that we interact with is a potential. Potential what you ask? Well, a potential friend, a potential business associate, a potential confidant. We can’t know who or what someone is until we have spent time with them. And perhaps the time we don’t spend with them is the missed opportunity.

I wonder about all the people I met. I know they affected me. I may not know exactly in what way but I believe I am a better person for having gone through the experience and for the people I met. These past weeks are not something I’m going to forget in a hurry and maybe that’s a good thing.

Thank you so much for all the best wishes I received. I may not have mentioned it at the time but it made a difference.

 

 

 

#Baywatch

I recently rediscovered this show from the 1990s.  It is about a group of lifeguards in Los Angles, California. At its height this show was, quite frankly, a phenomenon.  It had a worldwide following and was on the air for more than 10 years. I am pretty sure I watched it when it aired but I remember very little of it.

As I was watching a few episodes I started to notice a number of things. At its heart it was a drama about lifeguards and it showed them in the most heroic manner.  It also highlighted what was most important in life. It showed good people caring about others. It showed people doing the right thing, even when it hurt.  It highlighted the importance of telling the truth and of honesty and compassion. I think it is as relevant today as it was titillating in the 90s.

When people talked about Baywatch they always commented on the skimpy bathing suits and the women running down the beach (in slow motion) with their bits jiggling away. They talked about how good-looking the lifeguards were and how their muscles  glistened and their hair was… Yes, the focus of the audience was on the surface.

It was fun, it was pure escapism, it was Hollywood.  It wasn’t high drama or even politically correct by today’s standards.  I believe we all need a little mindless distraction.  Isn’t it so much better when that mindless distraction actually has a message underneath and one that is so positive? David Hasselhoff was the main character and he is still known for that show. Several other actors started on Baywatch and went on to have quite successful careers. Putting aside all the jingling, it’s nice to see lifeguards portrayed as more than pretty bimbos. They even had an actual LA lifeguard as one of the regular cast. He had a career as a lifeguard for over 20 years.

The show put me in mind of Aesop‘s fables. There is a story on the surface but there’s a message imbedded. I remember those fables as a child and the lessons they taught me. Maybe Baywatch is a grown-up version.

 

 

 

He Said, She Said

I was walking down the street the other day, (yes, I say walking even though I’m in a wheelchair) and I heard something very interesting. I was not intending to listen to a conversation, but it is inevitable when large groups of people are together. The conversation went something like this:

“He’s going to kill again!”

“He doesn’t mean to, he doesn’t know any better.”

Now at this point it did cross my mind that perhaps this was a conversation for the police to hear. And yes, I slowed my forward motion just a tad so I could hear the rest of the conversation. Again, it crossed my mind that this might be a stupid thing to do as perhaps I didn’t want to be a witness to a crime? But Curiosity will always win. After all, I might get a great story out of this!

I did sneak a peek at the two individuals who were speaking. I might be called to identify against them. They seemed to be in their mid 30s, well dressed, well spoken (except for the allegedly illegal crime). They didn’t seem to be in any great hurry and it was the perfect day for loitering. I also wasn’t in any hurry and besides, Curiosity!

It was also at that point that I started to wonder about all the conversations we hear, whether intentionally or not and just how they affect us. This conversation got my creative juices on high alert. Was there a story here that I could tell (fictionally of course)? It was starting to sound like a movie of the week or maybe a series! I really needed to hear more!

The conversation continued and while I was enlightened as to the actual topic, I was also crestfallen. My creative juices had a little too much vinegar in them.

“I gave him a book on how to do it. He didn’t read the book.”

“He’s not a reader. He figures everybody should know how to grow tomatoes­, but he doesn’t.”

They were talking about tomato plants! I tried very hard not to be heard laughing as I went on my merry way. At the very least I got something to write about for my Sunday post. And I should not have been so quick to judge something I did not understand. I think that’s a little more common than we would like.