from the passenger side window

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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.

 

 

 

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those 5 things this week

  1. Rushing along on the way to work when it’s 27 below muttering “it’s damned cold, it’s damned cold” doesn’t make it any less slippery on the sidewalk.

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2.  When all you can do is rest, the famous Hudson’s Bay blanket is the best! Thanks, Bear and Mark for planning ahead with the gift at Christmas. IMG_0818 2.JPG

3.  Having a friend who’s happy to snooze the day away in the sunbeams with me while I mend…….priceless
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4.  The Ninja transformation of crutches is in the works……spring loaded spikes! Yeah, go big or go home. By the way, it only takes one time to touch the aluminum crutches out in the cold without gloves.  Kind like the kiss of liquid nitrogen.

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and ……5.  People are awesome!  From a husband who cooks the best poached eggs in the world and vacuums far better than I ever do to colleagues who have become pretty special in our short time together, and notes from all over to just a whole lot of caring. Makes me smile through the pain. Thanks, guys.

 

cherish the company you keep

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Taking my ratty 2017 calendar down and thumbing through the months is a time for reflection. The charity and minor hockey raffle tickets I purchased in support with draw dates long gone and no phone call. The receipts for my hair appointments paper clipped to the side and the dental appointment cards to be moved into next spring.

Never mind resolving to lose the muffin top; that’s important sure, but instead  I take stock of where I am and who I am.

I’m thankful that the close call to someone I love was left unanswered and he came back from the precipice to be with us.

I wave goodby  and wish those well who unceremoniously  unfriended me when I didn’t fit in with the changes they made.

I embrace the new opportunities and friends that showed up at the same time this year.  Both enrich my life.

I feel blessed.

It’s a time for reflection as I hang my 2018 calendar up and as a dear friend once said to me   “make new plans, Susie”.  I am, and in doing so I have good reason to cherish the company I keep.

Happy New Year, my friends.  I wish you all the best.

 

things I saw this morning

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  • 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.

broken wheel on my suitcase

 

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Some years ago I spent a lot of money; more than I intended on a set of luggage.  I saw it as an investment that would serve me well as I was travelling to far away places. As I returned from Dubai and retrieved my suitcase from the luggage carousel I noticed it was tracking behind me weirdly as I wheeled along and I discovered a wheel was missing.  Just gone.

I called the luggage store and they said “not our problem, call the manufacturer”.  I called the manufacturer and they said “not our problem, normal wear and tear.”

Much like the emotional baggage we all carry around that’s the subject of sucky memes “we all carry emotional baggage – the secret is to find someone who cares enough to help you unpack” and so forth, our emotional baggage is something we have invested in sometimes at great cost and is subject to normal wear and tear. Continue reading

busted in the scent-free workplace

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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.