Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thursday, May 24, 2007

This Morning

Oprah would call it a "lightbulb" moment, Dr.Phil an "Aha!" experience. To me, it was a gentle reminder of a lesson I've learned but had forgotten.

This morning it snowed. A lot. I looked out the window and my heart sank. All my beautiful flowers planted (prematurely, I'll admit) in the front garden were covered in 10cm of thick, heavy snow. And I had slept in. I rushed around the house, dragging out the sweaters I packed away two weeks ago and packed a lunch. I was feeling irritable and stressed and nothing and at everything.

Brian was driving me to work today and so he headed outside to brush off the car while I finished putting my lunch together. I went to the door to put on my shoes and saw him across the street. "What the hell is he doing over there?" I thought, "Doesn't he know I'm late!" I felt grumpy and a little annoyed that he wasn't doing what needed to be done so I could get to work on time.

Brian was across the street talking to the old woman whose townhouse faces ours. When I saw him take the broom out of her hand and proceed to brush all the snow from her sidewalk, I stopped and watched. She stood there looking old and frail and happy as he cleared the snow and then beat the broom against the tall tree in her front yard, releasing it from the weight of the heavy snow. A big branch had already fallen from the tree and he picked that up too and took it away to the dumpster.

As I stood there on this January/May day I not only fell in love with Brian all over again, I realized how quickly and easily we fall into selfish behaviour. I wasn't late for work this morning, I still had my coffee and a little old lady has a renewed sense of community and a back that doesn't hurt.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The Office

I've been working at my job now for 15 months. In my time here I have helped write the organizations first research brochure, become the web editor for the province, taken on the duty of provincial photographer, developed and maintained relationships with key researchers, organized media interviews, organized parties, team building lunches, chili cook-offs, brought the writing standards up by several notches, remained positive and optimistic in the face of major organizational upheavals and staffing changes, never made a spelling mistake, kept my boss organized and informed of what was going on, where we were meeting and why, given valuable input on strategy, come up with unique and creative marketing strategies and I have been undervalued and overlooked and drastically underestimated...and all for far less money than I should be making given my performance, capability, education and the job market I am working in.

But today made it all worth while. Today, as a reward, I was given a cubicle near the window.

So when I finally decide to jump I won't have to run as far.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Life in a Revolving Restaurant...

This past weekend we went to Edmonton for my Dad's surprise party. He's been staying up and working on the house for the past few weeks and I was really missing him. His birthday actually isn't until June but since my brothers and their ladies are all headed off for various countries very soon, we decided to celebrate a little early. Dad had no idea what was coming. As far as he knew, he was going for a nice dinner with Mum and Craig and Bobbi and when he showed up there were 15 other people there. My Aunt and Uncle and cousins, some of our oldest and dearest family friends, my other brother and his girlfriend and of course, Brian and I. The look on his face when he saw us was pure magic.

I have found over the past few years that how I look at my parents has really changed. When I was younger they were "Mum and Dad" - older, wiser, funny but at the end of the day, my parents. Now that I am an adult I see them as more than just my parents. I see them as complete individuals, as a couple but also independent of each other. I recognize myself in them and I see their lives with greater clarity and a sense of recognition. I am able to see myself in them in a way I never could before. This has been a wonderful gift for me and I feel like I have a far deeper understanding of how they must have felt at different points along their life, because I have experienced a lot of the same things in my life now. With this greater connection also comes a greater understanding of pain and how difficult and complicated life can be. I see them struggle with growing older and know that I will have the same struggle. I see them making adjustments as they move to a new stage of their life and I watch and learn.

My Dad really is an amazing man. I watched him on Saturday night as he went to every single person in the room and made them feel valued and special. He had kind words for each person and they were personal and genuine. He has an energy that lights up a room and makes every one in it feel like they are the most important person there. He has a vulnerability that he does not try to hide and it makes people feel like they can be vulnerable they can just relax and be who they are. I was so happy to see him there surrounded by people who love him and respect him and I hope he knew, at that moment, how truly loved he is.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

In Defense of the Indefenceable

Damn Facebook.

I feel like my web-based life has become completely one-dimensional. I recently bought a domain with the full intention of building an entire site. It sits idle and ugly (two very bad things to be if you can help it). I haven't blogged since our Mr. Vonnegut's demise and although I'd like to flub that off as self-imposed mourning time, it wasn't. I was buried neck-deep in Facebook.

I often feel the need to defend this new kid on the block because its increasing popularity and subsequent vulnerability to naysayers. I've heard things about how people just add friends to make themselves look popular (So? Maybe I really do have 159 close, personal friends - did you ever think of that!?) and that it is a total time-sucker and well, that's true. But so is breathing and nobody complains about that.