stuck on a rock

IMG_4474.JPG

I’m stuck! Help me!!

The thing is, my little friend Buddy, you aren’t really stuck.  You got up there; you tippy-toed through the water and climbed up on your perch, tail wagging and smiling until you realized where you are.  In the middle –  surrounded by – feeling abandoned and helpless.

The only thing worse than the feeling of being stuck with your feet in metaphorical quicksand as you struggle to move, to make decisions is to watch someone you care about struggle with being stuck.

But…. we’re human and terribly imperfect klutzy beings so we laugh.

When I was seven years old I decided to climb the huge cherry tree in our front yard in Oregon City.  I climbed, and I climbed.  Oh, I was a nimble little monkey scooting out on a big branch and surveying the yard from my lofty perch as I gorged on plump Ranier cherries. Then the lightening bolt of terror hit me. Suddenly the fun drained out of my adventure and I was paralyzed with fear and couldn’t move. I couldn’t scoot back to the trunk and shimmy down; I could only sit on the branch and hang on with sweaty palms. I yelled at my big brother to go get Dad to help me.  Of course big brother laughed and my moment was saved from time immemorial only because we didn’t have the ability to snap pics and text them to our network of friends. Dad eventually came out and all he had to do was lift up his arms and hold me as I slid off the branch which was barely above his head. To hold me in his arms until the panic subsided and he set me off on my next adventure full of confidence to climb again when I found the next tree to explore.

Being stuck is so much a state of mind; in a tree or on a rock, and the best we can do is offer arms to catch and hold long enough to set us free.

The swift water rescue team is on the way Buddy, as soon as your Mom stops sending me pics of you stranded on your rock and wades in to get you.

 

 

Advertisements

that one friend

IMG_4475.JPG

Who’s to say where we find that one friend – in a new job orientation session, in an airplane, in a theatre sharing Ted X, in a dish drainer.

Pipy found her friend who doesn’t judge, doesn’t criticize, just listens in the dish drainer. While Pipy’s friend resembles her in almost every way, it isn’t a prerequisite or condition of finding that one friend.

Friendship is wondrous as it grows and evolves. That one friend what just”‘gets it” is a true rarity and an adventure to be brave enough to dive into head first. Watching Pipy and her friend as they talk, talk, talk sharing excitement, chirps and joys is how others see us interacting with our one friend.  The engagement is contagious and we can’t help but share in it, by backing away and watching Pipy chat with her friend or by having a stranger comment that watching the conversation is heartwarming.

The beauty of that one friend is in celebrating differences as well as shared vision. The daily chat of that one friend as a steady companion in shared situation, a shared “help you get through the day”, a shared “well done!” Priceless.

The beauty of that one friend is the resilience that allows the friendship to go on sabbatical and come back refreshed.  Tanya will inevitably empty the dish drainer and put that one friend away, but not to worry Pipy, the true friendship will show up again the next time you are together.

As always, thanks Tanya for sharing Pipy with me.

 

 

that 1 mosquito

IMG_4780.jpg

Where does it come from?  Sheesh, every morning I get in the car to head to work, out the driveway, turn the corner and there it is! That 1 mosquito buzzing around the windshield. On the inside.

So here’s the thing. I open the windows so it will fly out. Nope, won’t fly out like a bee does; the mosquito hovers tight to the edge of the windshield just kind of looking at me. I swat at it as I swerve dangerously and give that up in a hurry to stay right side up on the highway. My plan is to wait until the first stoplight with weapon – envelope – in hand and then fwap! It’s done.

Every morning.  I don’t leave windows open so I can only surmise that they line up as I open the door and have some sort of plan like “Bob! You’re up next – get on in there and make yourself comfortable until she gets in to go to work and do your stuff!”

I will have forgotten all about my 1 mosquito trials in six months when it’s 30 below and even the inside of the windshield is no mosquito shelter.  I can wait it out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

from the passenger side window

IMG_5765.jpg

I feel like I’ve spent the past five weeks looking out the passenger side window at the world.  I’m not used to having to ask for help or what’s worse, needing help. And I’ve had to call up my Mother’s words “Susie, be gracious” rather than growl at the helpfulness of those around me.

The great thing about a broken leg is that it heals.  The not so great thing is that it takes time, crutches, walking boot casts and learning to navigate……not so great.  As I say to people who sympathetically look at me “it’s just not as much fun as it looks”.

My first week back at work (which in hindsight was at least a week too early) I hobbled out on my crutches with my armpits on fire – because well…… using crutches was a new experience for more than my legs – to my car parked conveniently in front of my office. My car parked in what had turned into a melted, then frozen, then melted  and frozen again lumpy mess of snow/slush/ice four feet wide and curb deep. Not to discount my terror of falling on the ice yet again since that’s how I ended up in this situation,  I was ready to cry until one of my colleagues basically lurch-carried me across the moat and tucked me in the driver’s seat of my car. (It’s the left leg – so I can drive 🙂

Every day until a week ago when I got off my crutches my colleagues escorted me out. Even when I said “nah, I’m ok”. The same colleagues who grabbed my coffee and carried it to my desk.  “Susie, be gracious.”

And shopping? My Daughter-ish person shopped for me and found me an awesome backpack since I discovered a dangling purse was more of a hazard than a convenience. Mark has been doing the grocery shopping and I’m liking the variety and sometimes surprises I find in the fridge. It sounds weird, but it’s hard to give up the control of being the one who buys the food but it’s been the good part of the whole experience.  I did have to tell him “no more Pecan pie since my fitness level consists of lurching around from place to place which I don’t think burns Pecan pie calories very well.

All in all, it’s been a real struggle and makes me more than thankful for usual good health.  I’ve been bored not able to do much and while I’m at work, it’s really very hard – which I won’t admit – because my leg hurts.

Mostly I feel like I’ve been looking out at the world, not able to do much in it and missing inspiration. Mostly it’s been a time of trying my patience with so much.  Mostly it’s been a time of gratefulness for the amazing support of family and friends even when I get a little growly.

And being grateful is good. There’s some inspiration for me.

 

 

 

things I saw this morning

IMG_7730 2.jpg

  • A lineup of traffic several kilometers long with more big trucks than I could count. Sitting, idling, waiting with lights glowing like a long string of Christmas lights.  A shout out to the truck drivers who are on the highways from here to there and back again in all kinds of conditions.  We need you; be safe out there.
  • A pair of socks and black underwear in the doorway of the bridal shop. They’ve been there for the past three days and a couple of weeks ago there was underwear and socks in the same place.  It’s minus 23 centigrade with fresh snow out here.  I wonder who would change clothes or disrobe in these conditions and leave their socks and underwear. A groom in a last-minute hurry to don the tux and make it to the ceremony? A student who got the early gift of socks and undies from Mom and couldn’t wait to get them on? Nah…..  it’s probably a superhero off to save the day somewhere because we all know superheroes wear much more colourful underwear and socks than these.
  • A business man I see on my walk from the parkade. We mutter “good morning” with frosty breath every morning as we pass on the sidewalk. This morning he had a saran-wrapped plate of cookies and I said “good morning, it’s a good day for Christmas baking”, and he said “my wife made these” as he unwrapped the plate and said “have a cookie for your walk to work.”  And I did.
  • And I smiled all the way to work.

baking bad…..that bake sale anxiety

IMG_4022.jpg

I’m sitting here catching a glimpse every once in a while of the Christmas Cookie Challenge on the Food Network as my background company.  Now those are some kind of cookies!! But to reality and my anxiety of the workplace bake sale.   Continue reading

busted in the scent-free workplace

b2e5176497461d5b2afcdee1a9a499b9.jpg

I got busted for smelling good in our scent-free workplace. Quite mortifying to be told you smell…….good. Not allowed anymore.

It’s a shame.  With the holiday season upon us the perfume and aftershave ads are enticing us with beauty (no cellulite) and a lifestyle that can be ours if we only smell a certain way.  Enticing it is.

The picture is of my vintage Tiffany perfume bottle.  The perfume long ago used up but the bottle kept for the memories. That’s what perfume does for us; evokes memories and moments.

When I was in high school the “neat guys” were swathed in the smell of English Leather or Brut.  It was a cacophony of competing scent as they headed down the locker-lined school hallways.  About that time too, the fancy ladies at the perfume counters lunged as you walked by and squirted you with the cologne of the day as you walked by.  Now they spray it on a little piece of paper and swish it back and forth in the air before they grace you with a sniff.

I’ve been trapped in the workplace elevator with the woman so drenched in perfume that my eyes watered as well as walked through a cubicle world with smells like a perfume sampler box.

But still, green tea hand lotion? Really?  We have become so scent oriented that we burn scented candles, and have warmers to keep our home smelling like applies, peaches, pumpkin pie ( that’s from a song for those of you of my high school vintage years). We launder our clothes with products to produce artificial smell for weeks.

But we can’t smell at work.

So on Saturday as I pull on my well-worn yoga pants and my stretched-out sweatshirt, I place perfume on my pulse points and smell good all day.