Archives for the month of: September, 2011

I seem to have skipped over some days somewhere around here…oops, oh well, on with the show…errr, on with the words?

Ok, so Thursday continues to be problematic in my existence, so today I count all the good things that happened to me today.

1. I woke up.

2. I wore one of my fav dresses.

3. I wore my most comfy pair of shoes.

4. My dad drove me to the train station.

5. I got a seat on the train facing the direction in which we were travelling.

6. I had a token for the subway in my wallet.

7.  The train was on time.

8. I ran into one of my favourite people while waiting for the subway (you know who you are – helllooooo!).

9. I called one of my favourite people right after work and he answered! (you know who you are too – hey!)

10. I met one of my favourite people for a tea (same person as 9. – hey again!).

11. I saw my bro and niece (2 of my favourite people).

12. I spent time with my bro, nice, dad and mum. (4 of my favourite people)

13. I was not made to drink beer.

14. My car is now home and fixed and no longer leaking mystery fluid (it was gas!) (I imagine the explosion had I thrown a match…boom?).

15. I got an email from one of my favourite people (hey! are you still reading this thing?)

16. I got a voice mail from one of my favourite people (heellllllo! thanks for calling, I’m sorry I missed talking with you!)

17. I got another email from another one of my favourite people and we are making plans! (I’m not sure if this person reads this thing – hello? hello?)

17. I got comments on my blog from two of my favourite people (hey Pen! hey jennygoth! – isn’t it cool to get shout outs on someone’s blog?) (it is fun to give shout outs on a blog…I learn something new every day…)

18. Someone new subscribed to my blog. I am sure they will become one of my favourite people (welcome to the conversation, please feel free to chime in any time, for any reason, it is great to have you along!)

19. My dad, who is one of my favourite people (see 12., above) is doing me a big favour on Friday (I’d say “thanks Dad!” but he doesn’t read this thing…) (just in case – thanks Dad!)

20. Thursday is mostly over now.

21. I made a list of good things that happened to me on a Thursday and the number was 20. This is a good thing that happened to me, so it becomes 21. 21 good things that happened to me on a Thursday, today. Hmmm, maybe this means that not all Thursdays are problematic?

Actually, I rather like rainy days.

They are the perfect excuse to go around with questionable-looking hair – hey! My hair is all up and tied back or in a braid or just, you know, wet? That is A-OK, ‘cuz everyone’s hair looks like this today!

Rain doesn’t bother me, doesn’t put me a bad mood, I enjoy getting a bit soggy, ‘cuz I know that when I’m home I can dry off and get warm, put on fleecy clothes and have some soup for dinner. And then some after dinner green tea.

I don’t carry an umbrella, but most of my coats have hoods, so I just put my hood up and I’m off!

I feel for people who don’t have jackets and coats with hoods – they are either stuck getting wet, using a newspaper or something to keep their hair dry. Dry-ish. Or carrying around an umbrella.

Not many people carry umbrellas around these days. Or parasols.

Just saying.

At times rain was coming down in sheets. It was wonderful. I love to hear the rain too, not to just be out in it, getting wet, but to hear it, beating. Kind of like the heartbeat of the skies.

You know what I’m talking about here.

I love it when it rains…

 

Look I still find Thursdays to be incredibly challenging and no, I haven’t yet got the hang of them.

But, still, there was something about today…made me think today would be a good day to try something new for lunch.

I tried the same sandwich, different spread. Today I went with the Basil Pesto spread, what can I say? What can I say but yum-yum?

Nothing, I got nothing.

Yum-yum.

Truth be told – I likes the sandwich with the Basil Pesto spread even more than with the avocado spread, which was total yum. So, rye and caraway bread, with basil pesto spread, smoked salmon, tomato and bocconcini cheese. Oh, yeah.

Upside to today: the people who work at the sandwich place seem to recognize me! Me! Little bex. As soon as it was turn the first guy looked at me and smiled this huge smile – nothing like the sort of harassed look he was wearing when helping the chicks in front of me. (Being a chick myself, I am certainly allowed to used this to describe other women, right?)

His colleague at the till then gave me a similar sort of smile.

I can’t quite figure it out – I think it is one of those smiles that means “Hello, bex, you sort of crazy chick, today is Thursday and you have on a crazy kind of dress and you have this half-mad look about you, but you smile and know your manners and smile and laugh out loud, so perhaps you aren’t that bad…”

Which, to be honest here, is a lot for a smile to say.

Not fleeting, those smiles.

Didn’t stay to eat there today, but did make a stop at the overly priced, overly dear shop at the corner to pick something up for my boss. I don’t care what ever else she does, people have to eat. And yes, I went over her budget by 1 dollar and 52 cents. I’m no expert in the weight of cooked broccoli with walnuts. Ok?

I don’t even know anyone who is an expert in that…what would you call that anyone? A broccoliologist?

That just doesn’t seem right to me…

Today seems like a good day/tonight seems like a good night to tell you this…a long time ago, feels like a long time ago, I was conversation with a friend of mine who was very dear to me. She was crying. Very upset and tears were flowing. She was really embarrassed. Not like “I don’t know how to wash someone’s hair embarrassed, but mortified to lose it in front of another human being. She lost her composure, I guess is how she felt.

I said to her and I say this now to you: Laughter is food for the soul. Tears are like washing the soul. You have to eat more than you have to wash, but sometimes, it is really important to wash. I think it is important to eat every day, feed your soul with laughter, every day. But sometimes, you have to wash and be clean, so when you have to cry, cry and get clean. Remember you have to eat more than you have to wash, but washing is important too. Crying is a part of what your soul needs to be healthy, so if you have to cry, cry and cleanse your soul – you will feel better for it and then be already to eat again.

I still think that is true.

And I don’t think that we can compare  our suffering, our worries to another person and say “Well, compared to them, my feelings are nothing! I don’t know pain and worry like that person there! I have no reason to worry and to worry is a selfish thing. I should only worry when I’m truly, really, suffering, like dying or something.”

I don’t believe that.

If you are having worries and fears then they are your feelings and you don’t have to justify them to anyone else or explain why you deserve to feel that way. They are your feelings, your emotions are important. And yes, you need to deal with them. You can only feel what you feel and figure out what to do from there – you don’t have to compare or write an essay about contrasting your feelings or why your worries about paying your rent or your relationship being important to you occupies your mind and heart. This is your life and your heart and you don’t owe anyone an explanation about those things that you worry about.

Ok?

You know, today? Today the absolute best thing that happened to me today was my climbing partner canceled our climbing night, 15 minutes after I checked my email for the final time.

I have to tell you – I hauled my climbing stuff with me on the train, on the subway, stored it at work and hauled it out of work, onto the subway and on the train to home…and you know what? I completely forgot about climbing tonight, so when I took a look at what was in my bag and I saw my gear…well, I jumped on email and found…my climbing partner canceled! So she wasn’t waiting for me and I didn’t stand her up!

See? Sometimes the difference between a good thing and bad thing is only a matter of…changing things up?

Woke up…angry.

Which is something that I rarely do. It was an odd feeling to wake up with, heavy and weighed down. Not a reason to get out of bed at all.

Floundered between dressing to suit my mood and wearing something cherry. I went with the cheery, ‘cuz you know what. Bah! to my bad mood. I don’t care about the weather or the impending rain storm, bring on the rain and let it wash these feelings away.

So I have this job that I’m not even sure what I’m doing at, so what if I feel completely belittled by my boss. I’m here, I’m alive and things, from here on in, they are going to better. With every beat of my heart and with every breath of my body. Things will get better.

Right?

So, complete failure at one of my crosswords this morning, I’m beginning to suspect they have a bunch of people of write crosswords and some of them specialize in easy ones and some specialize in hard ones. Today, it was a hard one. I don’t even know if I got half the answers! Every day on the train I do two crosswords and usually I can complete both. Not today.

Upside: Today I completed one crossword puzzle. At least I played.

Another upside: Playing crosswords are good for my speling…sorry! Spelling.

Additional upside: I get to do something with all those lovely words I know and all that stuff that my brain knows.

The left side: Whether or not I complete one, both or neither crossword puzzles has absolutely no effect (or affect) on if it will be a good day or a bad day. Some of the worst days I’ve had begun with me completely two crossword puzzles in superfast time. So there you have it. Completion of crossword puzzles is not a reliable predictor of how the day will go.

Doing the crossword puzzles are like a completely magical and “outside of time” thing for me. Everything fits together neatly, everything has an answer, there are right answers and wrong answers and sometimes the answers are trickier than you know. They are a good little challenge for me in the morning.

If I finish one or both, I feel like I’ve done something (I completed a crossword!) if I don’t complete either I feel challenged and ready to try it all again the next morning (drat! I will do better next time!).

So, yep, only one crossword completed this morning.

Ok.

Subway was a bit delayed and therefore a bit crowded.

And I have this moment of…will I? Or won’t I?

Fleeting moment of…just going to do something else with my day.

Yeah, still smarting over the whole “hair washing thing”.

I suck it up.

I go to work and steel myself for the day.

Hey! One of my fav clients is always in the place and having a great time. I greet the early birds and get on with things – I owe people some print outs I forgot to do before leaving yesterday, so first thing first. Or, I guess, last thing first…Anyway!

Huh, not printing.

Well, no worries, open my eyes and…oops, out of paper, no worries, out of the things that can wrong today, this is nothing. Fill the paper up and…

Hmmm.

What is this printing out?

Six pages and something about…

This isn’t what I’m printing.

Wait…the same document is printing again…and again…and…

I’ve had enough, no way does someone need more than one printout of whatever this is, print queue open and cancel the remaining jobs…someone wanted this 6-page doc to print…6 times?!

What goes on here when I’m around??!!

I take the 2 and half print outs that I allowed and pile them on the chair near the person who printed them off. Eventually she comes over to ask me something and I say “Hey, I think that print out is yours and I’m just assuming that you didn’t need 6 copies of it. Did the printer not print for you? Did you just keep wanting it to print and pressing the “Print” button? Next time check the paper – it was out and never would have printed.”

She looks at me, bashful.

And agrees, yes, she couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t printing and got really frustrated. No, she doesn’t need 6 copies of it.

Then she tells this client, one of my favs, remember?, about the “hair washing incident” yesterday. Everyone chuckles. Well, not me. But now, well, now I have a come back. “True enough, but at least I know how to load paper in the printer.”

Hee.

I end up holding brushes, while the client is getting her hair dried. Yes, I apologize many times for this, I’m not trained for this, I hold two brushes at once! What is up with that?

The client leaves and we are well into our day.

Hee.

My boss references the hair washing incident a couple of more times and I counter with the printer incident. At one point, I’m asked “When are you going to stop talking about the printer? I’m sorry I wasted all your paper, gesh!” I retort “Maybe when you stop talking about me washing hair?”

All reference to the hair washing incident ceases immediately.

Order some stuff, get a payment denied, look over a couple of bills, worry about the slow times with my colleagues – everyone along the street where I work is slow right now, we are not alone. It is just…frustrating for me, for my colleagues.

Lunch is an adventure, one of my colleagues brought me back a postcard for this gallery down the street and right now, tomorrow is that last day, has an exhibit one that she thought I would like. Did you ever see the film “Exit Through the Gift Shop”?

Well, the artist that is featured in that film? Has an exhibit at the gallery down the street.

I didn’t see the movie, but I meant to.

And the exhibit was very enjoyable. It was like…maybe the direction Warhol would have gone had he lived and kept on in his direction. Iconic images, many Warholian in themselves smashed together with other iconic cultural images. I especially liked these two pieces, one of Bob Marley, the other of Michael Jackson that looked like they were those awful velvet wall-hangings, only huge. Closer look and you see that the raised part, where the velvet would be thick and plush were actually smashed records. Very cool.

I really likes the stenciling with stuff splattered on top of it as well.

Thank you to my colleague who suggested it – she hasn’t even been able to get there yet, but she and her dog have walked around the gallery, so that is somewhere to start. I’m hoping she gets there ‘cuz I’m curious what she has to say about. And yes, she is now waiting for me to see “Exit Through the Gift Shop”.

(And she doesn’t read this blog, so I thanked her in person, but never hurts to express extra thankfulness, right?)

Then, it was really time to eat, bex = extremely hungry!

On the menu today – freshly made sandwich from this totally awesome “made to your exact specifications” sandwich place. Thank you again to my friends who introduced me to this one, I love it and it is becoming one of my fav places to eat.

Ok, so this is how it works. You chose a bread, a spread, a meat, a cheese and a veggie. You don’t have to choose any of it, besides the bread, if you don’t want bread you can go to the salad side of things, but you are allowed to choose four options. I opt for the spread, meat, cheese and veg way. One of these days I may get a spread and all veg, who knows?

Today = caraway rye, avocado jalapeño spread, smoked salmon, bocconcini (Word Press thinks this cheese is a spelling error!) and tomato. With a bit of pepper, no salt.

A few minutes between the sandwich press = total yum. With a rather awesome side-salad on the…well, side. Nice lunch.

Funny thing happened at the sandwich shop. While waiting for my turn, a man got in line behind me and we were both looking at the bread, I was being patient and he was jiving to the music – it was very good – I looked at him and smiled.

Him: Sorry. You are just lucky I didn’t bring my maracas.

Me, laughing: Bring them, enjoy, it is all good with me!

Him, also laughing: Interesting. You know a million people would disagree with you and find me annoying.

Me, shrugging: A million people can be wrong, in fact, a million people have been wrong.

Him, thoughtful, surprised: Well said.

Me, shrugging: It’s true.

Him, nodding: It is. Well said.

The sandwich is everything I want in a sandwich and side-salad and you know, I could do this again sometime. And yes, the line conversation was surprising and fun and the music is really fun, so there you go.

Back to work and things are…not exactly hopping, but there is enough going on to keep me occupied and out of trouble.

Did I tell you about earlier in the day another client noted how enjoyable and professional dealing with me was for her appointment, she said, “From setting up my appointment, to getting my reminder to call, to right now, you are so professional and lovely to deal with, I’ve enjoyed it, you have amazing customer service skills.” Well, yeah, that is me. I was happy too, that I was able to make another appointment for her and her daughter and you know, she really appreciated that I noted on her daughter’s client card to confirm appointments with her daughter with the mother, rather than the daughter, ‘cuz there is nothing odder than asking for a kid (regardless of age!) to confirm an appointment with them. If the parent is making the appointment, then confirm with the parent.

Do you want to know my secret to amazing customer service?

It is totally boring and completely unsurprising, but so many people who work in customer service would do well to remember it – treat people as you want to be treated.

See, totally boring.

I don’t do anything special for our clients, I just treat them how I want to be treated. And yes, this means that I want to be treated with respect, with cheerfulness, with manners, with a smile, sometimes with a cheeky/almost risqué quip, I want to be asked how I am, offered something to drink, made sure that I’m not wanting for anything, clear directions to the loo, know the name of the people who are touching my hair, be told and be treated like I matter, my time matters and thanked for being patient. I clearly tell people that I can’t always do what they are asking, but I will try, and you know what? I really do try. I return messages promptly, say sorry and mean it when I make a mistake and ask permission before I go about assuming things that they want. I ask questions when I need clarification and explain what I’m doing when I have to be silent. I use their name as much as I can and try to remember their issues, so the next time they call, they can use their first name only and I can help them base on stuff we already know.

Simple, easy stuff.

So, how come everyone else finds it so extraordinary?

Huh.

So, yeah, woke up angry, but some feelings aren’t meant to last and today that feeling was washed away with the rain.

Things are getting better all the time.

 

 

 

 

Huh.

Having one those times where I’m not sure exactly what and where to begin this one.

When I woke up this morning, I had no idea that when I got to work I would be completely mortified by my boss. Umm, twice.

You ever read a book where half the pages, say, the even-numbered pages, are like…missing?

Well, you know exactly how I feel at my new…can I still call it “new” job.

That is right, every situation that I run into to, every new task or new thing on the “To-Do” list yields more information and often, the information I’m missing, is the most important information.

Today I took a message for one of my colleagues, returned the message exactly as requested only to be told that the agreement to which the person was referring was already agreed too and that not following through with it would…well, let’s be honest, it would put us in the position of being in breach of contract.

Soooo.

What to do, what to do?

And then I find out that those two things that I was asking for, that we originally ordered, where actually canceled, so I have to start at the beginning with this order. Again, really, someone should have told me the whole story before asking me to follow-up on something that doesn’t exist any more.

Then, well, Tuesday is kind of like my Monday, so you know it doesn’t end there.

Yep, next thing I know, I’m being asked to wash someone’s hair.

And you know. I don’t wash other people’s hair. ‘cuz if you know, involves…how to say? Touching them.

And that is all kinds of not right in my books.

So, yeah, I spent the rest of the day being laughed at, by my boss and all my other colleagues who thought it was probably the funniest things they have ever seen. My boss kept saying “Your face was so red! Did I embarrass you?”

Well, yes, yes, you did.

And you know what.

I was totally embarrassed.

My face was red.

And I’m sure I had a look of complete look of confusion on my face…

And nope, I didn’t actually shampoo the client’s hair, but I did rinse out the dye.

‘cuz, you know, I don’t actually know how to shampoo someone’s hair.

But the threat is that I will be trained.

And I want to be clear on this point, this point right here. When I was told by my boss that she would train me to shampoo someone’s hair, I said that I would teach everyone else to use Word and Excel.

So, take that.

On the upside, my boss received a text from a client of hers saying how cheery and professional I was, so that is something, right?

Not sure what “something” is, but today I’ll take it.

Years ago, in the first class of one of my classes, my prof talked about this study that showed that Buddhist monks could actually change another person’s brain waves for a few hours. Which is totally impossible. We all have our own pattern of unique brain waves, brain waves don’t just change to someone else’s, no matter how centric, calm or enlightened that other person is.

Only.

They do.

So, you know this is something that I think about.

I think about, too, how when you meet someone, how they treat you and how they take whatever and however they are feeling and push it onto you, regardless of how responsible you are for how they are feeling. You’ve been there. You are feeling pretty good about things, life in general, your hair in specific and you interact with another person, you have to buy something or, like me, you are lost and need directions.

And they are grumpy.

And when you leave that interaction, you feel kind of…grumpy too.

So, the next person you meet, who is feeling pretty good about life in general and their hair in specific, asks you for directions ‘cuz they are lost and you…are a complete a$$ to them, ‘cuz man, you are feeling pretty grumpy today for some reason.

And it goes on.

To be cliché here, throw a pebble in a still lake and watch the waves spread out to the shores.

And you know this is something I think about too.

And you know, I’m no Buddhist monk, I don’t have the superpower to change someone’s brain waves, but…well. I do have the chance to make sure everyone I talk to or pass in the street gets a very happy bex.

And I think, that, maybe, this makes them feel a bit better about things. And maybe, that this feeling can work like this – I mean, maybe they were feeling grumpy before, but their grumpiness is no match for my radiant cheeriness and they may walk away from me feeling better. And they may be more cheerful to the next person who asked them for directions.

Just a little social experiment that I run on the side.

Today, I received confirmation that it works. A colleague of mine was listening to me do client calls about appointments, I do them every day and for someone to listen to me doing them is a little funny. After one of them, I turned to her and said “I hope people aren’t annoyed when I call – the cheer may be a little much for some people.” She laughed and told me that she had a client who told her that after talking to me on the phone she felt better for hours after, her client said it was so good to speak with someone who was happy and that, in turn, in that wave from a pebble, I made her feel happier.

I told my colleague it was a low-level form of mind control – my will to happiness is greater than most people’s will to grumpiness.

I think of it as changing the world one smile at a time.

Hey, does anyone else get these very fun positive reinforcement message from WordPress when you submit a new post. Right now, some of the fun for me for posting is seeing what new thing WordPress is going to say to me, so far it has said “Cool!”, “Groovy!”, “Far out!”, “Wild!”, “Awesome!” etc. It also counts my words. Interesting feature. However, I would trade to for the function of seeing the most recent posts of the blogs I follow in order of posting…you know, like they used to do? Hmmmmm.

 

“Do you need a good massacre?”

Which, I thought as I was on the subway yesterday, was a bit of an odd thing to be advertising on public transit.

But.

Well, you know, the more I thought about it, the more I read that sign, the more I thought “Actually, a good massacre sounds like a good idea.

And I know just the people.”

Deep breath and grin.

Another deep breath and –

Oops.

The sign really said:

“Do you need a good massage?”

Which.

Yeah.

Ok.

That sounds pretty ok too…

But, for a moment there that massacre idea had some real potential…something I could work with.

So, what do you when your boss wants to be friends on Facebook?

This is a new one for me, I mean, yes, I am friends on Facebook with a couple of people, including people who I met at work. And you know, I post and use it so rarely that it isn’t really a big issue. But, I do have a link from there to this here blog.

And I kind of think of this space as…ours.

Like, this is our sandbox and new friends are always welcome, but I want us to be free to talk about things that maybe would offend people who just don’t get it. You know what I mean here.

I don’t post much on Facebook, sometimes about what I’m drinking, sometimes about how climbing went, sometimes that I would rather be climbing. But, my friends post about political things. And I “like” and comment about political things.

And I don’t want to stop.

Not for anyone or anything.

But, I don’t want to offend either or allow people who maybe aren’t ready to get that part of me.

You know what I mean.

So.

Yeah.

Questions in the postmodern work-a-day world.

Huh.

Excellent night after work today – met up with a friend for drinks and nibbles and something sweet – besides my friend’s company, you know who you are, thank you! – to round out the evening. Wow, it was amazing to see her. The absolute highlight of the last couple of days.

I mean, besides the massacre thing…

So, yes, a rather lovely sort of Wednesday.

Not sure how it is Wednesday already…I feel like I’ve skipped a day somewhere in there…

TO City Manager has suggested cuts to the following: fire service, city owned theatres, zoos, libraries, transit, subsidized child care, snow removal, grants to arts groups and added insult to insult by suggesting these are not “cuts” but “efficiencies”.

Suddenly, TO is looking like a meaner, harder place to live for low-income workers and people who live in the city core.

Hmmm.

No yoga today, all set to head out and I got diverted, back to the job board for me. Something about a new sense of optimism and feeling good about things in general and in specific.

Less about not liking where I am now and more about knowing that there is something out there even better.

One has to open oneself to possibilities to get better – I think of job applications as not looking for a new job or getting away from a current one, but opening oneself up to new possibilities.

Sent possibilities out into the universe. We shall what happens next.

Phone call from a friend that I haven’t seen in weeks and weeks meant an opportunity to get  together, get caught up and visit somewhere new.

Another phone call prompted another friend to check out the same place!

Suddenly, this Monday turns into re-finding people I love. You can’t say that about every Monday, but today, I can!

Beautiful day, exactly the right temperature, place in the shade by the stream, lovely light snack and excellent company.

Getting caught up and trading stories and yes! even introducing two people I love to each other – thank you! Thank you, for the excellent day, you know who you are.

Got a bit lost on the way home, yes I forgot the print a map for getting home from the place, but everything was A-OK, I found my way.

Actually I found my way incredibly easily, so I don’t know what was going on there – I should have been lost, but I managed to find the exact place I wanted to be without fuss, worry or panic.

Go figure.

Back home and seems like the day was a good one all the way around, now it is time to find something for dinner and then…ironing!

Ended up a “Girls’ Dinner and Game Night” Friday after work, delicious food, excellent company and a board game. I’m not one for board games, but have to tell you it was totally fun.

Could have been the wine?

Could have been the company?

Could have been the food?

Could have been that my team kicked so much butt and won the game?

Who knows?

All I know is that it was a truly excellent way to spend a Friday after a week at work and yep, something to do again.

And yes, everyone loved my hair.

Saturday climbs weren’t awesome, but 6 climbs = 3 x 5.8 + 2 x 5.10- + 1 x 5.10+ so at least we got a few challenging ones mixed in with the super easy ones and we, you know, got out, right?

Getting out is important.

As I was sitting, waiting for my climbing partner (I’m not implying here that she was late, between the arrival time of my train and her drive time in traffic, I often have to wait a bit, no worries and not something that bugs me or anything, sometimes it is nice to have some wait time, quiet time to think) and you know what, I’m done with the grief. Not sure exactly what happened or how it happened or why, but everything everyone has been telling me, writing to me and such and whatnot just…suddenly got through. Like I understood.

And I felt…better.

No apres climb brunch this week ‘cuz I was planning on going up to the second memorial.

I got home, starving and it was this beautiful day and my dad and mum were in the backyard and dad had this full salmon on the BBQ with onions and potatoes and it suddenly hit me that I haven’t sat and eaten with my parents and talked to my dad in over a week. Over a week! And all I could think was how much I wanted to kick back with them.

So I did.

Dad suggested I give my sis-in-law and niece and call and invite them over too.

So I did.

Dad and I had some rum and coconut water, ate some salmon, potatoes, onions, my sis-in-law and niece came over, we have some more to drink and it was so relaxing and just…nice, really, really nice.

We all came in the house and dad turned on the TV to watch a soccer game, mum sat on the couch with my niece and my sis-in-law read some stories to her. I did some reading of my own, but instead of secluding myself like usual, I stayed and read with everyone, game playing in the background, my sis-in-law reading out loud in the background as well.

“Nice, nice, very nice.”

And when my sis-in-law and niece left, I felt chilled out and relaxed and sleepy and loved and about every good thing that comes with good food, good drinks and spending time with people you love and who love you. It was unplanned and casual and fun and lovely.

And you know, a person can’t be sad in the face of that. I can’t.

Not even a little.

I woke up this morning and spent the day doing some training for the job and coming home on the train, now, I feel energized, happy.

I think…I’ve been in mourning for so long, since Seoul, really, I guess and now, my heart is just done being sad. I think about those lessons, about putting things down and listen to my friends about getting past it, getting over it and getting onto and on with things. I think about all the questions I have and I realize there are never going to be answers, these mysteries will remain and you know, I’m ok with that now.

I take a deep breath and I feel…

Ok, I’m ready now. The time for mourning is over.

The Next Great Adventure begins.

I’m a long way from perfect, but, trust me, that is part of my charm.

I can count, among my many flaws and faults a fear of the telephone, fear of crowds, the inability to put together a reasonable outfit from “separates”, a lack of accessories, a surprising small shoe collection, the inability to straighten my hair, the complete lack of caring that I can’t straighten my hair, asking too many questions, offering free advice, laughing too loudly, smiling too much, talking to strangers, eating too much ice cream, a fear of dogs – but, mostly, only certain dogs -, sometimes liking the company of animals better than the company of humans, talking too much about things that bore others, not seeing the right movies, being out of the loop on about half of everything that happens, a dislike of coffee, drinking too much water and too much green tea, the ability to hold a grudge etc etc. See what I mean? Loads of flaws.

One of my worst flaws is upon hearing that someone I care about has a problem I want to fix it. I’m a born problem solver and, although I’m sure it is totally irritating, I love helping people with the funny things in their lives they need help with.

Case in point:

Chatting today about seemingly not much with one of my colleagues, somehow he suddenly revealed that quite a few of his important government documents had expired. That’s right, expired passport, expired driver’s license – you get the picture. I looked at him and said “Hey, easy! We can fix that.” He sighed and said he knows we can fix it, his problem was…just doing it. We chatted a bit more about it and he started getting upset…anxiety can be a right wanker.

I asked him to leave it with me so I could see what I could do.

Later in the break room, we were both sitting at the same table. I took a form that I found for one piece of documentation and I used some sheets of paper to block off most of the form and to only reveal one box to complete at a time for my friend. I instructed him about the box, he filled it in and hey! It was like a game, he had no idea what he was doing and was laughing his brains out about me keeping the form a secret from him. When he was done with the form, we then played a game – in order to get this document, he needs one item from each of these 3 columns, he has all of them. Turns out this thing that he thought was difficult and stressful ends up being super easy. He is going to get his renewed documentation in a few days! I’m so excited for him.

I also told him that we were going to do this once a week until all his documentation was complete. Small steps, right?

At one point he turned to me and said “bex! You know what you should be? A personal coach! Seriously, you just solve people’s problems and get them back on track, this is awesome.”

And you know I thought of this all afternoon and you know what?

I would make a horrid personal coach. If I were a personal coach, I would have to deal with people who were paying me to fix and help and solve their problems. Right now, I do this, free, for my friends. I thought maybe personal coaches are for those people who don’t have friends to help them through these things?

I know, in my own life, the times that I’ve used counselling are those times where my friend and family could not offer me support for what I was going through – the first time was when one of my close friends was dying from diabetic complications, I remember very clearly my dad telling me that he wished there was something he could say that would help me, but he hadn’t yet gone through losing a friend with a chronological illness…for the record, my dad’s insight in this has drastically changed and when it was his first time going through this with a friend of his, I was able to offer my insights to him…

Sometimes, though, we need to lean on our friends and appeal to them for the help we need. Other times, it is up to us to seek people outside, who have different experiences from those in our lives. I think either way is good, whatever works at the time you need it, right?

But, for me, I rather like helping the people I care about. I don’t want to get paid, I want the people I care about to be happy, to go walking about and appreciating all the wonderful things that this life has to offer. And yes, if that includes having up to date government documents, that is what it includes.

Then again, I am looking for an alternate revue stream, so maybe this is exactly what I should be doing…hmm.