Tag Archives: positive changes

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!

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.

 

Rattling

 

 

Have you ever had a poem,

Rattling round your head?

The moment that you write it down,

Damn! That puppy’s dead!

 

You hear the words internally,

The rhyming is so fine.

But when it’s on the paper,

It’s just a bloody crime!

 

My silly brain is addled

I can’t forget your face.

Or am I just remembering

Another in your place?

 

Life is such a crazy thing,

We live from day to day.

Writing is really what I do

For me to have my say!

 

Now I wrestle with my words.

I’ll make that poem work!

If I don’t then I’ll just say:

It’s just a silly quirk!

Hubris

 

It’s a funny old word, not widely used but I think we see way too many examples of it every day.  The Great Sage GOOGLE says:

hu·bris

/ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/

noun

  1. excessive pride or self-confidence.

“the self-assured hubris among economists was shaken in the late 1980s”

synonyms:

arrogance, conceit, conceitedness, haughtiness, pride, vanity, self-importance, self-conceit, pomposity, superciliousness, feeling of superiority.

  • (in Greek tragedy) excessive pride toward or defiance of the gods, leading to punishment.

 

I am a big believer in confidence. We need to be confident in our daily activities, in our workplace and in ourselves. But sometimes that confidence becomes inflated and the result is hubris. And the way in which we experience it can sometimes be hilarious.

Have you ever been in a bar and spent your time watching what the other people are doing? Of course, one must do this with at least a beer in hand so as not to appear to be a pervert. Put away your camera phone and I would suggest that you not take notes. As you were watching them, the bartender is quite possibly taking note of you. Try explaining this to the police!

But I digress. In any large group of people, especially where alcohol is involved, they’ll always be at least one peacock. An individual who believes that he, or she, is the pinnacle of human evolution. They will prance, yes I said prance, around expecting adulation. They never for one moment think that they are anything less than perfection.

Some people are able to go through their entire lives believing in their perfection. It is quite sad when reality sets in. But not unexpected. After all, Society is the one who feeds in to this idea of hubris. We don’t let our children see reality. We coddle them and praise them, as we should, but they also need to know that failure does happen. We need to understand failure in order to appreciate success. I read a story many years ago about a grandfather who took his small grandson skating. When they were on the ice the older man lifted his arms and said “fall down” the child did just that. This happened several times in a row and the child asked why his beloved grandfather was making him fall down. The answer was simple: “You need to learn that it’s okay to fall down. When you’re not afraid of failure you can truly succeed.”

Our children need to learn that it’s okay to fail. It is part of the equation which leads to success. You are not ‘less than’ if you don’t succeed the first time, you’re simply on the learning curve. We need to let people, children, know what failure is like. Otherwise we will create a society with way too much hubris and not enough compassion.

The lessons we learn as children mold us into the adults we will become.

 

Distraction

Life is a distraction,

A leaf flutters by!

There’s so much to do,

Look, birds in the sky!

 

But work must be done.

A flower’s in bloom!

To put food on the table

We need to consume.

 

Life is for living

And support is required

To allow us to live

Before we’re expired.

 

Perhaps we are wrong

About so many things

We really could wait

To see what life brings.

 

Life is a distraction

That could bring us joy

It can also bring peace

We then could employ

 

 

 

#Kindness

A friend said recently:  “I always feel better when someone smiles at me. It boosts my mood.”  It was in response to one of my quips and she is absolutely right: a simple smile can make a difference.

An act of kindness can have a major impact on the recipient. And here is the amazing part:  It is free (usually), hygienic, ethical, moral and (usually) legal.  Now is that not a subversive idea?

We spend our lives in pursuit of . . . stuff.  Money, power, recognition, acceptance are lures society spends its time chasing.  Is that a good thing? Actually, it can be good and it could be bad. It all depends on the outcome. But kindness is something each and every one of us has the ability to pass on. It could be as simple as a smile or a handshake or as complicated as necessary to achieve a targeted goal. Kindness does not have a template that one has to follow. It is just being nice to a stranger or a friend. It’s giving up your seat on the bus to someone who looks exhausted. It’s crossing your eyes and smiling at child who is just curious about the world. Kindness is the woman in her 80s who takes dog cookies when she goes out for her daily walk. She always asked the owner if she could give them a cookie and the dogs look for her. Everyone is touched. Kindness.

I wonder if it is a word and an act has gone out of fashion. That would be such a shame. We now have automatic doors so no one has to open a door for another. We have automated cashiers so we don’t even have to talk when we buy groceries. That is so sad. If we lose the desire to perform kindness then we will have lost far too much, perhaps more than we can afford.

A great kindness was done to me recently.  I was having my kitchen counter replaced and so I was without a stove top.  Hence no ability to make a cup a tea. (No, I will not boil water for tea in a microwave!) I love my tea in the morning.  A friend knew this.  She called and told me she was coming over. She arrived with a thermos full of tea.  It was my tea, steeped appropriately. I would have survived a day without a cup of tea but she knew I would miss it.  This simple act of kindness touched me deeply.

A simple smile as you walk down the street can lift the spirits of another. But we have to start. Each and every one of us has the ability to smile but its only true value is when we smile at another. I wonder what the world would be like if more people practice kindness?

We need to be kind to each other.