Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dinner Date

I'm a little damp, fresh back from my trip into the city. I met J - my friend of 36 years - for dinner at a quaint little Italian cafe. It poured the entire drive and as I wrestled with my mini microscopic umbrella and walked from the parking lot to the restaurant, it seemed to come down even harder. [reminder to self: get a new umbrella]

I was a little fatigued all day and I wasn't sure I had the energy to go out after work. [don't worry, it wasn't swine flu] But once the day was done, and I was on my way, my second wind arrived and the thought of seeing my friend buoyed my spirits. Friendship is good medicine - cures what ails us.

She had ordered the wine and was casually sipping away when I arrived late. We laughed at the fact that once again she had let her cell phone battery die down hence I hadn't been able to let her know that I was parked on the highway behind one of several accidents.

The chatter was constant; the atmosphere warm and easy; the recognition unmistakable and the bond eternal. We're those same two little girls giggling across the lunchroom tables, finishing one another's sentences.

I'm not exactly sure why I've been privileged with this kindred spirit to accompany me on my life's journey ... in fact, I have been blessed with a special handful. But in the absence of answers I simply try to deserve the special people in my life; to honour them by appreciating their presence. They are the fragrant blossoms in my garden ... my beautiful garden.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I Walk the Line

I had promised myself that I would make it to the gym at least three times a week (during my lunch hours). I spend my life sitting on my behind in front of a computer (just like I am right now) and if I don't occasionally stir, rigor mortis starts to set in. I am letting things get in the way of my fitness -- I could make a million excuses, but that's all they would be. My body is mad at me -in fact it is rebelling - it is losing all flexibility, elasticity and all other "abilities".

So I am trying harder to keep my commitment to myself. When I get home from work and after dinner Hubby routinely asks me "You don't feel like walking the dog, do you?". Lately I never feel like walking the dog, but I am bundling up the lethargy and parking it by the curb and making the effort to spend a few precious moments with my sweetheart and pup (and my camera).

I stand in my full length mirror searching for signs of improvement -- muffin toppers a little less topping; the personal floatation devices a little deflated; perhaps one less chin; looking only slightly with child; a little muscle definition anywhere. Looking for a sign -- any sign. Ah but it is not to be -- not yet! But I am not dismayed. I will persevere! I'll walk the line - cause those rolls are mine.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Driving With the Windows Open

Scenes from my car, driving with the windows down:

Sun roof open, windows rolled down. Breeze brushing my face. Sun beating down on me. Tickling my nose. Glad I bought those sunglasses -even if they were only cheap.

7o's tunes playing -- being drowned out by the rap music thumping from the big black Dodge Ram pulled up beside me. I swear that truck is vibrating.

Shirtless boy, board shorts precariously slipping off his hips, baseball cap askew, skateboarding up the foot-wide slot between the cars and the curb. Sadly in need of sunscreen.

Bearded, gray haired man with a face of leather seated on the sidewalk, back against the storefront, soaking up rays, leisurely dragging on his cigarette, his empty Tim Horton's cup parked out front collecting coins.

Windows down and open every where. Sunglasses. Shorts. Tank tops. Smiling faces. And the biggest one of all was mine.

Today -- I think I'll keep it!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Help not Hinder

Maybe it's the times we're in; or the stage of life or maybe there are alot of people in need ... whatever the reason, alot of my conversations in the past few days have been about helping the ones we love, how much help is enough and at what point does help actually become enabling.

help ...
1. to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy
a need; contribute strength or means to; render assistance to; aid; assist.
2. to save; rescue;
3. to make easier or less difficult; contribute to; facilitate.

Sometimes it's the choices we make or sometimes life imposes situations or events on us that are beyond our control. And we just need a little (or alot of) help - a shoulder to lean on, financial assistance, advice - to get back on track.

Without a doubt families should help one another in times of need, in a crisis or to get over a hump. The goal should be to help them through troubled times so they can get on with the business of living their lives. But there is a fine line between aiding and enabling -- when we have to resist the urge to control and live their lives for them instead of helping and then letting go. Helping - not hindering. And sometimes the best help is none at all ...

I have been learning this lesson as a mother, daughter, sister and wife ... and even as a friend.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Greeting Summer Head On

That's what I like to see ... buds on the branches ... on the sidelines soaking up sunlight and rainwater to quench their thirst. Until that time when, satiated and bursting with life, they unwrap themselves into full bloom. The magnolias on my front lawn are indecisive - and only halfway there. Then this afternoon we had high winds roll in, with a thunder storm not too far behind. I was afraid the gusting winds would strip the magnolia tree of the blooms prematurely but it looks like they survived. I want the tree in full bloom as a kind of welcome home to my dad and step mom when they get back from Florida this week.

Hubby and I spent the better part of the day outside getting our back yard ready for summer. My heart quickens when the pool cover comes off - like a shot from a starting pistol signaling the official start of pool season. The pool is being filled, the dead leaves and debris have been raked and thanks to a pesticide/herbicide ban in my community, the dandelions have been pulled. I'm not complaining about the herbicide ban - I was just whining because I'm lazy. As I pulled weeds out from between our patio stones with my bare fingers (doesn't work with gloves) I remembered why I don't have finger nails!

There is something exciting about getting ready to greet summer head on. Reminds me of the anticipation you get when you know your favourite relatives are coming to visit. Every little step we take to clean up, enhance and prepare puts a smile on my face and a feeling of that they're that much closer - the good times that lay ahead.

The icing on the cake tonight was when Kidlet made the hockey team she had been trying out for all week. The grueling tryouts and her determination paid off. She left the arena with the widest grin imaginable and I just left relieved (oh, and maybe just a little proud).

All in all it's been a good day - - or rather -- another good day. What can I say, I live a charmed life ... and that is the reality I choose.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Embracing the Weekend

I am embracing it- a full out two armed, wrapped-around-it hug!

Springtime sunshine has arrived and even better - so has the weekend. Now we turn our attention to reviving our yard, draining the top of the pool so we can remove the cover and start filling it, and pulling out the patio furniture. This of course requires many trips to Home Depot and Canadian Tire. This is the irony of springtime in Canada -- the first warm sunny days drive the throngs to the big box hardware stores -- weekends spent mulling and shopping in the stores instead of relaxing and the much appreciated warm weather.

Hubby and I fall into that irony ... our renewed interest in our back yard has hubby and I excitedly exchanging ideas of how we can transform our outdoor space into our own personal tropical resort. Maybe that was a little exaggerated ... but we'll start with a gazebo.

Planting, weeding, spring cleaning - it all gets us outdoors and after a very long winter, we don't need much of an excuse! All I know is that my eyelids are drooping from the kind of tired that comes from those early doses of fresh air. It's a good tired and I am going to go with it. That means I must bid you good night -- and what the heck -- maybe I'll give the weekend one more hug.

Our little neighbour is also out and about, embracing the warm weather. Not even our mini schnauzer Fritz could deter this bunny.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Dreams - In Hot Pursuit

It doesn't always just come to you ...

You can want it, smell it, taste it, feel the desire for it burning in your gut. Once the dream is internalized you have to agitate the universe, shake it up. Act. Travel towards your goal - fly if you can. See it. Fight for it. Fight hard.

When all is said and done, it's enough to have performed your very best. And whatever the outcome you will ask yourself, was the journey or the outcome the dream fulfilled?

The fulfillment of dreams has been an ongoing theme with my daughters lately. My working daughter is discovering her inner positive power and ability to influence. She was glowing with empowerment as she recounted her day and how the new attitudes have become her natural reflects. She has uncovered the secret to a happy life ... her own power.

Kidlet is in the midst of hockey try outs and is digging deep to see her dreams realized ... excavating her passion and love of the game to make it through the grueling physical and mental challenges. That - and 2 Extra Strength Tylenol!

As a mom, it warms my heart to have a "rink side" view of the "reveal" of my daughters. All three seem to have "got it" - they know how to hold their dreams close and keep them in their sights. They know how to pursue and fight for what they want.

Somehow I know they are going to get it - they'll see their dreams fulfilled. And when I watch them, I see how lucky I am to have mine come true - three times over.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beat the Clock on Commuter Day

I don't know how people do it. Hats off to the thousands of people who make the trek in from the suburbs to the city every day. I caught the 7:25 am train this morning into the city to attend a trade show. The minute I leaped out of bed, I felt like I was living an episode of Beat the Clock.

Shower, blow dry, dress. Pack my bag. I knew it was going to be a long day when I told hubby I didn't need my keys cause I was taking the train. He looked at me oddly and said, "aren't you driving to the train?" tick tock Race to car -then back to the house for my Blackberry. tick tock Drive to the station and hunt for a parking spot close enough that doesn't require a bus ride to the station. Run to the station and buy my ticket. Check the time. tick tock Find a seat on the waiting train. Yay Train doors open at my destination and the rushing throngs of the masses moves me along. Off the train and down the stairs which I can't see -under my feet, the people river rushes. It's flowing right and I need to go left. tick tock Time enough to satisfy my caffeine fix. Twenty minutes later I arrive at my destination. I am beat and the day has just begun. Beat the clock? Maybe. But the commute beat me!

Makes me appreciate how fortunate I am to have the job I do - in the place that I do.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Potpourri Post

Family time - long distance. Pops and I spent a good part of the night together having a good life chat and discussing his memoirs that he is so faithfully writing. He's in Florida and I am in Canada but family ties - and the telephone - bridge the distance. Needless to say this will be a brief post ...

Kidlet decided to make peanut butter cookies at 10 o'clock at night! I guess it beats studying for the Religion test she has tomorrow. It would seem that the apple hasn't fallen far from the tree - or maybe she read my procrastination post.

It's going to be a crazy busy sports week for Kidlet (and her parents) -- tryouts for softball, a week-long hockey try out and let's not forget roller hockey and maybe even some tennis. Where is the time for schoolwork?

I am on my own mission to get myself healthier -- starting with losing 10 lbs. My knees will thank me for sure. Kidlet doesn't think I will do it. : (
I'll show her. Better yet, I'll show me.

mmmmm. those cookies smell good!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Living Until We Die

I'm down half a box of Kleenex after watching the documentary film, Young at Heart. The film is the true story of the final weeks of rehearsal for the Young at Heart Chorus in Massachusetts. The average age in this white haired choir is 81, many of them with health problems to overcome in order to participate. They perform contemporary, rock music - unexpected for their age group. The images of their determined faces as they struggled to remember unfamiliar lyrics and complicated rhythms hooked me in. Their zeal for life and love of music translated into pure joy in their performances as they move their bodies to the music. Secrets to a long and quality life ... they all echoed the same thought -- that if you don't use it- you lose it. When they lose two members of their chorus within a week, fear and shock ridden faces aside, they soldier on ... their stark reality.

I can't remember when I have laughed, cried, reflected and derived such a heart full of love all from one film. Maybe I replaced the faces of the elderly with loved ones of my own, or maybe I am reminded of my own mortality. One thing is for certain, the movie shows our elders as human beings with desires, hopes and energy for life that are shared by the young. We are reminded that they are more than their ages, their fading memories, crinkly skin and ailments. They are lovers, mothers, fathers and friends - and willing participants in life. Their eyes are their archives, storing and reflecting the sum total of all the experiences and emotions of their lives. They wear a cloak of peace and knowing that comes from surviving and thriving for decades.

For a society obsessed with youth, the message is clear, the dance isn't over for these folks - and they will keep on singing, dancing and living - until they can no longer. When I grow up, I want to be just like them. I want to die living.... Now if only I could carry a tune!

Lyrics to the pop songs they sing, like Forever Young, Fix You and I Wanna Be Sedated take on new meaning.
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever young, forever young
And when you finally fly away
Ill be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell
But whatever road you choose
I'm right behind you, win or lose
Forever young, forever young.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

We Walked As We Talked In the Spring Air

We met for breakfast, my dear friend and I, happily chatting between mouthfuls of copious amounts of food - the 1990 Harvest Special at Cora's. After many cups of coffee and admitting defeat to the last piece of cinnamon swirl French toast we took a walk. It had been a long time since we'd spend time together outside of the monthly dinners we have, to just be. We talked as we walked along the picture perfect main street of our town, slipping in and out of the quaint little shops, admiring each fresh blossom sprouting out of lawns and potted plants as we made our way to the waterfront.

The water was dead calm, gently lapping onto the rocky shore and we perched on a few large boulders to breath in the beauty and peace. It was a day of noticing the beauty in all that we saw -- the tiny blue flowers blanketing the pathways; the cardinal in the tree singing for his mate; the pair of Canada geese just out for a leisurely swim; the simplicity in the little century-old cottages with brightly painted doors; the freshness of the springtime breezes; and the warmth that comes with sharing a day with someone who has been a close friend for over 20 years.

And as we walked to our cars and hugged our goodbyes I couldn't help but think to myself,

l i f e
i s
g o o d.

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Else Are We Missing Out On?

She is the top "trending topic" on Twitter and she is popping up all over the Internet and TV. She dreamed a dream - and it came true. Ask anyone who has viewed the You Tube video of Susan Boyle singing on Britain's Got Talent, and they will probably say they were moved to tears. I have watched the video many times over the past week - alone and with other people - and I admit my eyes welled up to overflowing almost every time I saw it.

I thought I was crying because I was witnessing someone extraordinary realizing a lifelong dream. I thought I was moved by the unexpected. But after soul searching this one, I think I discovered that I was was crying because I was ashamed - not so much personally - but on more of a societal level. Have we become so shallow and obsessed with packaging over substance that we discount and overlook anything - anyone - not deemed beautiful? Very telling.

This woman with her bushy eyebrows, unfashionable attire and winning smile had the gumption to walk boldly on stage - apparently unaware of the unspoken code - and share her gift.

At that moment she exposed us all. The hauntingly angelic strains were in stark contrast from the packaging of the person singing them. Why is it so unexpected? Do we think only beauty begets beauty? The more I heard her speak with her gentle spirit, humility, and simple authenticity, the more beautiful she became.

If we don't see past the superficial, thin veneers, it makes me wonder what else we are missing out on.

I've heard God works through people. I think that if Susan Boyle had no greater purpose in life than those few minutes which millions around the planet witnessed one of life's most powerful lessons - that would be enough. She is angel with a message - and an angelic voice - not to be missed.
Beauty pleases the eyes only;
Sweetness of disposition charms the soul


It's the wee hours of the morning
just CNN holding vigil
even the dog has deserted
but after hour and days
of parched non-creativity
the drought has lifted
as my eyelids heavy
and half open
the words begin to flow
and I am

thank you.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

procrastination: Why Do Today What You Can Do Tomorrow

[flashback to 1976] TV is tuned to some non descript show providing the prescribed ambient background noise. My project is overdue and I am hitting a wall. A big one. Many cups of tea. Another piece of pie. [wall is still looming before me] More Internet browsing. Fritz needs his belly rubbed. Time out to post to my blog. [haven't I learned anything? ] I can feel that old familiar tingle creeping up my spine. My old friend Procrastination is here for a visit.

I should be in full panic mode, running shrieking into the night ... Funny enough, I am deeply calm - probably past the point of hysteria. Or maybe because I know this old friend well, and I always seem to come through. Things always turn out just the way they are supposed to.

f a i t h

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bends in the Road

This crazy life we're livin'. I've learned by now that the road life takes us on is not usually a straight away. It is wrought with twists and turns and many a blind corner. When we are in the midst of it, living it, it can feel like utter choas. I've learned to trust it though; kind've like we can't see the forest for the trees. The same goes for the big picture.

I feel the Africa trip is a little like that. There have been twists and turns and I have been wrestling with what to do. Africa has gotten to me good. And not just the continent; I have discovered that I want/need a giving experience and to learn about the human condition of others. I let myself get excited about the idea of the trip to Africa with Kidlet's school. I knew there was a chance that we may not be able to pull it together in time. And that was indeed the case. I was deeply disappointed. I responded by doing what I do best ... I researched alternative trips to Africa that offered volunteer opportunities. I was like a dog on a bone ... I couldn't let go of the dream. I wanted to go this summer and that was that.

The past few days gave me time to digest the Africa question. I realized that to go this summer was already going to be a financial strain and somewhat of a rush. When I really let myself see the forest, I realized that Africa isn't going anywhere. There is an upside to waiting. It gives us more time to prepare and anticipate. The change in plans is just that -- a change to the charted course. I talked to Kidlet about it and we agreed that we will work hard to fund raise and make her school trip a reality -- for next summer.

We'll still get there; there are just a few bends in the road. And I know that one day, maybe years later I will look back and see how what seemed like disorganized chaos, were perfect pieces of puzzle that came together in perfect synchronicity. I've learned to trust it.

Monday, April 13, 2009

S'long Weekend - It's Been A Slice

It's over ... this glorious, long weekend is winding down and drawing its final breath. And it was simply wonderful. The weather cooperated with deep blue skies and golden sunshine, garnished with the perfect mix of family times and quiet down time. There was time for pondering and reflection. Time for puttering and browsing, reacquainting myself with old books, ticket stubs, theatre programs, journals, notes from my mom, locks of hair ... and other random treasures I have stored in my non-collection of cigar boxes and treasure chests. Time - a precious commodity that I have come to appreciate and cherish.

As long as I can remember Sunday nights were my least favourite of the week. I could feel the anxiety start to creep in as it signaled the end of the weekend - with Monday waiting in the wings. I have carried that dislike for Sunday nights with me to this day. And tonight - although it is not Sunday - has the same feel about it. Something else that hasn't changed from way back when -- I didn't finish my homework. Tomorrow is going to be a busy, stressful day.

But that is tomorrow. For now I will cling to the last few seconds of this holiday weekend, say a quiet prayer of thanks and hold on to this nugget of gratitude for the charmed, blessed life I live.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter Sun Day

What a glorious sun-day, and we didn't waste a ray of it. I rolled the blinds up and threw open the drapes, the warmth and brilliance of the sunshine flooding the house. Fritz is clearly as happy as everyone else to see the sun. We caught him sprawled in the grass bathing in the sunshine (without sunscreen!).

Actually we were a little worried about our little schnauzer. Yesterday we found the foil remnants of a chocolate Lindt Easter bunny ... he had eaten the whole thing. This morning he upchucked the "recycled" poisonous chocolate and during our walk in the forest, I had the honour and privilege of filling two bags with doggie poo. Unpleasant as it was, hubby and I were relieved that Fritz seemed to be feeling better and was no worse for wear. I was feeling queasy afterwards though ..

We went to hubby's parents for Easter dinner tonight. Not sure why, but dinner always tastes better when someone else cooks it. Roast beef, ham, baked potatoes, blueberry and apple pies. I ate it all and even got some to go! Family dinners at hubby’s parents are always much quieter than those held at our place but I thoroughly enjoy the contrast. There is a relaxed, easy going vibe. Glasses of good wine, playful banter with sis-in-law and f.i.l and even the odd debate. MIH always has her happy family time hat on and goes above and beyond to make the occasion special. Today an oversized Easter bunny greeted us on the front stoop …

This has been a weekend crammed with family time; my idea of paradise. It has given me cause to pause and reflect … time is a precious gift we can give one another; these family moments weave the fabric of future memories; I am profoundly grateful for each and every hug, smile, conversation from my family. It reminds me what it means to be fully alive and living …

It has been a very happy Easter.

The animal life seemed to be as happy as the humans to see the sun.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

It's Over - But Not Really

They're gone and the house is eerily quiet. The calm after the crazy chaos. We had our Easter dinner a day early; a full day of family and friends. The heartbeat of our home was strong. Every chair was occupied, our table full and the walls reverberated with the sound of shrieking laughter and animated conversations. I was engulfed by the beaming, smiling faces of the people I love.

Simply put, it was a day to remember. And if the conversations of tonight's dinner is any indication, I can guarantee it will be fondly recalled, again and again at some other family event - it's joy relived all over again. That's the best part of these special times. They are the gifts that keep on giving.

Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday!

The sun came screaming in through my kitchen window this morning. SPRING!! I knew you would be back. Let's home this time it's to stay. Nothing says spring like deeply coloured tulips so I couldn't resist picking some up when I was out doing some last minute errands. With the holiday most of the stores were closed - except (thankfully) for the Indian owned Hasty Market and the little convenience store down the street. I spent a good part of the day at my daughter's place helping her prepare for the Passover seder. We laughed as we cleaned, chopped and boiled and had a chance to show her the gravy secrets first hand. Watching her carefully set her table, making sure each detail was in place made me feel so proud of her appreciation for her family traditions and her willingness to make sure they continue.

I also spent the day with hubby cleaning and getting ready for our big Easter dinner we are hosting tomorrow. It started off with only 8 of us and as the week progressed, more family members signed on ... and I couldn't be happier. Definitely the more the merrier. So it will be ham and turkey tomorrow and that's just the relatives! My parents and a nephew will be the only ones missing this holiday so we will raise a glass to them - and they will be there in heart.

As I write this, middle daughter and Fritz and I are snuggled on the couch. Daughter is watching a rerun of Friends and Fritz is snoozing with his head in the space between my laptop and my tummy. He gave up on trying to get me to hit the sack and checked out early.

It's been a wonderful day - and tomorrow will be even better. It wasn't just Good Friday -- it was a great Friday.
Fritz being a helper in the kitchen ...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I awoke this morning to a thick crust of frost on the car and a light dusting of snow on the tree branches. I think winter took a detour on its way out of town ... We didn't fare as badly as other cities though, that I think had to go in search of shovels. I had to laugh at my brother's Facebook status today ... HB is thinking of taking the dogsled home tonight.

Africa may not happen this year. Kidlet said there is just not enough time for the students to raise the 5K each to make the trip this July. They are holding out hope for next summer - which would give them plenty of time to fundraise.

Now that Africa has gotten under my skin, I think I may try to find another way to get there. I now know that I want a cultural experience; a personal exchange. Sure - I want to see the wildlife and the breathtaking vistas and landscape, but even more than that, I am interested in experiencing the essence of Africa - the heart and soul of the continent - and that can only happen by experiencing the people who live on that land. Humanity. I have a passion to learn and absorb their stories.

Just like the adage says, where there is a will there is a way. I know I will find a way ... there just may be a few detours. And that is what makes life so interesting ...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Daybook Kind of Day

For today
Monday, April 6, 2009

Outside my window ... the lilac buds tightly wrapped cling to the branches as if they have had a change of heart. Let us know when spring is here to stay! The rain is relentless and our pool is close to overflowing, but we are luckier than many - no snow!

I am thinking ... that my knees would be delighted and grateful if I took at least 10 pounds off my frame. My waist may join in the celebration too!

I am thankful … that so many of my family members live close to me and that once again our dining room table will be filled this Easter.

From the kitchen ... the dishes are done and the residual aromas from the leftovers we reheated for dinner still linger. The waffles Kidlet has in the toaster smell heavenly – but I’ll resist the urge.

I am wearing ... my favourite plaid flannel PJ bottoms, cosy socks, a pink Hanley T shirt and a very soft, blue hoodie; perfect attire to stay warm in this drafty weather.

I am creating ... a daily written record of the gifts that each day bears and the images that create the slideshow of my journey.

I am going ... back and forth from the laundry room, and to and fro from the kitchen!

I am reading... or should I say devouring a spectacular coffee table book on Africa that I received as a gift for my birthday. The photography is absolutely breathtaking and inspiring. Maybe some day I will take a few of my own.

I am hoping ... that the trip to Africa will be a “go”. Can Kidlet’s classmates pull it together in just a few months?

I am hearing ... Kidlet play guitar as she sings her heart out. Dancing With the Stars is also in the background.

Around the house ... the gift bag remnants from my birthday 2 weeks ago (shamefully) still litter the living room; a dust bunny just rolled by (where’s the Swiffer??); very neat piles of folded laundry cover the coffee table in the family room – but not for long!

One of my favourite things ... drinking piping hot tea with a thick slice of whole wheat bread, smothered in strawberry jam and slices of cheddar cheese.

A few plans for the rest of the week: preparing the bedrooms that will be occupied by my returning daughters this weekend and shopping for some special Easter treats. Welcome home!

I am sharing this image: Catch me if I fall ...

Check out the Simple Woman’s Daybook for more wonderful posts from women around the world.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Getting & Giving ... or Sharing & Caring

Rolling around my head ... thoughts about materialism, consumerism and all sorts of 'isms'. Not exactly sure why. Maybe it's the economic downturn or maybe in my wise middle age I am taking more time to pause and reflect on what I have experienced, and what I see.

Why do we hold that which we have so tightly and then continue to accumulate even more ... so much more than we need? How much is enough? Why is it so hard for us to let go ... and give?

I can't understand why companies and owners, once they reach profitability, resist sharing the wealth with the very people who generate it? Why is it all about making the most they can make, instead making enough and then sharing the rest. Shouldn't the dollar we pursue be the solution or the answer to the question ... "I want/need this money SO THAT" . . . I think we forget WHY we are pursuing wealth; and sadly we live in a society that is wired to recognize success in money signs and decimals, and not in deeds and contributions.

Since Kidlet has returned from her Costa Rica trip where she had her heart and mind opened to greater possibilities, I can see her struggling to make sense of things ... to find meaning in her daily life. We were having a life chat this evening and we were discussing this very topic. She showed me this wonderful website, TOMS Shoes. This company produces funky, casual shoes and for every pair they sell, they donate a pair to a needy child . One for one. They are a shining example of making a difference while still having a profitable business. Kidlet made a profound comment; she said she thinks she could start a business that could be profitable -- and in more ways that are merely financial.

I long to find my way of giving back; to dedicate a piece of myself to the greater good and humanity. I think Kidlet is reminding me about something I had pushed to the back shelf ...

Life is funny like that. She sends little reminders in unexpected ways. We just have to pay attention ... Thank you Kidlet.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Sealed With Some Bliss

Hubby and I just got home from our road trip - a trip to Windsor to see a Seal concert at Caesar's Palace. I always enjoy the time alone with hubby in the car - uninterrupted time to catch up, philosophize (me), dream (me) listen to the extensive music collection on the Zune (him), and just be. The rain was relentless, and the hypnotic rhythm of the wipers made it hard to keep from dozing off. We were cosy in our car, a cocoon from the dreary chill and as I leaned back in my seat listening to the music I realized how special these seemingly simple times spent together can be. For a few hours time is suspended, peace descends and we are left alone in the company of our thoughts and one another.

The concert with our fantastic vista was icing on the cake. I came away from our special get away thinking that we have to make more of an effort to make more together time. Life is wonderful and the fact that I have someone I love so dearly to share it with, only delivers deeper meaning and dimension. A blissful, technicolour life - that is what I am living.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head

Well, the April showers arrived today - with a vengeance! I heard the pattering of raindrops on the roof when I awoke in the middle of the night. From the warmth of my cosy down duvet the rhythm of the rainfall sung like a tender mother's lullaby and I drifted off peacefully. This morning even the grayness and dreariness holds promise -- these April showers transform and awaken the yellowed brown grass and trees and rouse them into their green finery. I smile knowing that when the first of the showers are over, the view will be a little more vibrant, greener and cheerier.

As for me, I am off to another city to see a Seal concert in an intimate setting. This is my birthday present from hubby who always tries to do something creative for my birthdays. Whatever comes our way, it's always an adventure! I just saw the weather report ... better remember the umbrella ... and keep those raindrops from falling on my head!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Welcome Signs

Today the sun came out, the temperatures climbed and you could go outside without a jacket. The first time you can be out without cumbersome clothing signals the true arrival of spring. I took a late afternoon walk to stretch my legs and test the waters - no coat. My overcautious, Canadian, afraid-to-believe it attitude loosened with every step and breath. She's really here. All around me were the signs ... tender shoots poking up through the soil, lovebirds at the bus stop, a lady in a pencil skirt leaned up against her office building dragging leisurely on her cigarette , the sudden outburst of road construction and more people sipping their coffees outside the Tim Hortons than inside. We are crawling out of hibernation, shedding our groggy cocoons to embrace the fresh air and promise of renewal.

I have tomorrow off so my weekend starts tonight. I can't wait for a full weekend basking in the optimism of the season of new beginnings. Rain or shine ... it's going to be a great weekend; a new day.