Archives for category: Thursday

In times of crisis or trouble, I guess it is true – we send out a burst of invisible, telepathic butterflies and they fly straight to the people we love and who love us and deliver the messages that we are unable to speak.

On Tuesday and Wednesday I suddenly, randomly heard from a few friends I have been out of contact with and many of my colleagues at different locations called for no reason.

I didn’t realize that I sent those butterflies until people started calling and saying “Thinking about you, miss you, get in touch, how about drinks tonight”. I didn’t mean to send them, but I’m happy they flew and touched the people they needed to touch. I needed those messages. I needed to hear from the people who love me.

I have been reminded moment to moment since that thing that happened that I am loved and valued and there are spaces for me.

And no, it wasn’t me, but witnessing violence, seeing something upsetting, it upsets us and causes us harm.

I realized today that I’ve constructed a mental map of my workplace, which resembles many other mental maps that I keep – it shows the “safe” and “unsafe” spaces. Where I know I go and be protected and those spaces that I’m afraid to go.

On the map, this map in my head, I revert to colour coding – green is “safe”, red is “unsafe”.  IT is a safe space and I brave the scary back stairs to avoid the front stairs becuz they now make me nervous, as does the reception area. I’m friendly with the receptionists, so this makes me sad – I don’t visit them as often as I did before this all happened, becuz the last time I saw the manager was at reception so the space is now shaded in red. Project Management Office is a safe space – I have a bunch of friends over there and it is totally unrelated to what happened.

I run into problems at my managers’ office, it is red. Her office is beside my desk, so bleeds red into my desk space, which makes being there for my usual amount of stretches of time uncomfortable. I can feel the red seeping into my lovely green space.

Where I eat lunch is still safe as are the places I get water.

But there are two meeting rooms and a couple of hallways that are in red.

And I’m not sure what to do about that.

I’ve never had red spaces at work before.

I’ve never needed strategies to avoid spaces at work.

We had a meeting with the new manager of that team today. And she is really supportive and cool-headed. And I think she will be very good for the team. And one of the questions the team asked was if I was staying with them and they were happy that the answer was “Yes!”

A lot of people have said to me since this messed-up thing happened that “Things happen for a reason.” and you know, I just don’t think that way. It seems to me that things just happen randomly and we impose a narrative on it and rationalize it to make ourselves more comfortable. I think that humans are wired for narrative, we are story junkies and when we don’t understand why something happened, we just say “Things happen for a reason”. This thing happened for no reason and is without reason.

But.

I think if it makes someone feel better to say that, then I’m willing to hear them and take them to mean that they are offering support or whatever and I will accept hearing it, no matter that I disagree.

I think the reaching out, the expression of support, I think that matters, I think maybe those invisible, telepathic butterflies, they cast a wide fly zone and the people in our lives try to understand the butterflies and do the best they can with those confusing telepathic messages.

And that matters.

 

 

 

 

 

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Up late last night waiting for my parents to come home. Waiting, waiting.

Finally the front door opens and they are home!

Flurry of bringing bags in, hearing stories, looking around at the work done on the house. Mum is put to bed and Dad and I stay up a bit, have a drink, have some food. He talks and tells me slices of family politics, which I listen to but don’t contribute to, I just…don’t have time or interest. I love these people, they are my family, but man, some of them are crazy.

Late to bed. This is the smartest day of my vacation, staying up to welcome my parents home.

Late to rise and today is a combination of chores and relaxation. Chore – renew driver’s license, well in advance of when it expires. Relaxation – getting my hair done.

Rest of the day is hanging out with Mum and Dad and doing research about ongoing and upcoming projects – painting, stripping wallpaper and renting an RV for a road trip.

Tomorrow it is back to work!

I took all the plans I had for Thursday – going to the top of the CN Tower, going for lunch at one of my fav restaurants, doing some wandering around downtown, going to Casa Loma – and threw them out.

I slept in – in my world “sleeping in” means staying in bed an extra half an hour, sat in the comfy armchair, read, ate chips, drank water, watched the Portugal vs. Czech Republic, read some more and watched some “On Demand” TV.

I didn’t do my hair and stayed in my most comfy cloths.

I didn’t check email or logon to FB and when my phone rang and I picked it up, I was totally relieved that it was an automated recording.

Yep, unproductive and unsocial.

But.

This is my vacation, my way.

No Complaints Thursday.

Look, some days are just…like that.

And some weeks are…like that too.

I try my best to not take it personally and remind myself that, yes, we all have bad moments and we all have to have bad moments if only so one person doesn’t get all the bad moments, right?

I’m happy to get my share.

Just sometimes…I’m not that great at it.

So, yeah.

Bad Week.

One of those weeks where that thing you’ve put off a bit too long and suddenly needs to be done doesn’t go exactly as planned. In fact, it goes horribly, horribly wrong. And it costs you money that you hadn’t budgeted for and really why did you feel so bad about that little piece of paper that said “FAIL” on it, when you were about to see a little piece of paper that said $$$$ on it?

One of those weeks where someone suddenly decides to call you a new nickname, which sounds strangely like a pet name your ex used to call you and then proceeds to call you that even after you requested they not. And explained your reason, and they want to know the pet name.

One of those weeks where someone else suddenly has a jealous rage and says “I don’t like you talking to anyone else.”, pouts and clenches his fists. And takes a moment to calm down and accept that, yes, the person you just spoke to is actually a very important colleague.

One of those weeks where your very worst character flaw about grammar asserts itself causing the someone to get angry and not speak to you for the rest of the day.

One of those weeks where you trade one sentence emails with your ex and when, on the fourth day one doesn’t arrive you are totally crushed.

Yeah, that kind of week.

So.

Upside:

It was also one of those weeks where one of my dear, dear friends called me up to see if I wanted a drink and me, at work late, decided to try to call back on the off change she was still there and – she was! So we went out for drinks and something to eat and she was at work late too! So we did!

Another upside:

We had our staff BBQ and I’m on the committee that does these things and everyone had a really, really good time.

Also an upside:

I was very productive.

This, too, is an upside:

I totally wow-ed my trivia pal with the answer to a question about the first line of a story – he even prefaced the question by saying “You will never get this. I’m just going to skip it.” I convinced him to ask and he did. I got it write away and told him the author as well. I’ve never seen someone so amazed by something I said.

And another upside:

I’m going out for dinner and a pedicure with a dear friend after work tomorrow. And visit in the morning.

So, yeah, even during a Bad Week, it is possible to find some upsides.

On Tuesday, as part of a belated “Administrative Professionals Day” my team presented to me, I received “The Book of Awesome” and during lunch I did a bit reading and felt a little inspired to share the awesome thing that happened to me today.

After work, I caught the 5:35pm show of “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and…I had the entire movie theatre to myself! I sat in the perfect seat, laughed in all the rights places, put my feet up on the seat in front of me and spread my stuff out over four seats!

And I stayed to the end of the credits!

Yeah, it was awesome.

Ack!

This never happens!

At work I am fortunate to mostly in charge of my time – my team members are mostly on the road and my director is usually at meetings or on the road herself. And it isn’t like I’m goofing off or anything, I create projects that help my team and when they need me, I’m ready to give immediate and accurate assistance – I keep and give information and help on a dime.

So, there I am working on a database that I’m doing for our resources/education materials and one of my dearest friends calls. And she has stuff she needs to say. She gets going and…

One of my colleagues comes to my desk for a visit and…I’m all on the phone.

And then my director comes out of the office with some things that she has approved and need to be taken to the step.

And you know what?

I have to take them.

Right now.

I explain quickly and, I hope, politely to both my friend on the phone and the colleague who is there for a visit and run downstairs to take these forms to the appropriate people – I am against a deadline! If I miss it then two of my team members will be out-of-pocket!

Yikes!

Bad Timing.

Near the end of the day and I’m packing up – I have plans to meet for drinks with some of my favourite people. I’m almost all packed and my director has a question.

And it isn’t like it is hard question, but her question leads to like five more, so I am about to come up with a solution that will work for her and she suddenly says that it is time for me to go home.

But you know what? I’m not just going to leave her in the middle of something she needs to get out. No way.

I go back to my desk and my phone rings.

I am of the school that when the phone rings and you are there, you answer the phone, even if it is after office hours.

The person on the phone isn’t calling for me.

She is quite convinced that she is calling for me, but she isn’t. She really, really isn’t. I offer to help her and all she wants to do is 1) explain to me why she is calling 2) ask me why I’m still in the office 3) explain why I should be able to help her.

I try to be polite and give her answers: 1) I know why she is calling 2) I know we have office hours and not that it any of her business, I’m helping my director with something 3) I understand why she is calling my number, but truly, I can’t help her, I can, however, transfer her to the correct person who can

I help her.

Transfer the call, do one more thing for my director and then I’m out of there.

I meet my friends half an hour late.

I’m never late!

Bad Timing.

On the upside, the Malbec I had was extremely drinkable and those chicken tacos were very tasty. And, of course, the company was amazing.

Not a bad Thursday, a Bad Timing Thursday to be sure, but not a bad Thursday.

This is a true story. It happened to a friend of a friend of friend of mine.

Wait.

No it didn’t. It happened to me.

I slept into today, which is fine, the morning routine includes 45 min of extra time – I use this time to email, like things on FB and double-check gear if I’m climbing after work. I like mornings. so this extra time makes me feel indulgent and lovely.

But, today I slept in.

So, up late, breakfast, shower and into a summery dress I haven’t worn since early October, but the day is going to be fine, so bring it on, right?

Then I realize, I need a sweater, ‘cuz this dress doesn’t have pockets or a belt where I can attached my pedometer.

Bad news, the sweater needs to be ironed.

Pick up the pedometer, pick up the sweater, put them both down so I can re-adjust my bra strap, pick them both up and –

Wait.

Where is my pedometer?

It was right under my sweater when I put them down.

Look for the pedometer. Lift up the other things on the couch.

No pedometer.

Look behind the couch.

No pedometer.

Lift up the couch cushions.

No pedometer.

I have to iron this sweater so run downstairs, do a quick iron, run back upstairs, maybe I’ll find the pedometer.

No pedometer.

Check the couch again – look behind and under. No pedometer.

Bra straps comes undone.

Shimmy out of the dress, re-do bra strap, do up dress.

Move the couch cushions. No pedometer.

Fold out the fold-out mattress. No pedometer.

Put mattress away.

Bra strap comes un-done.

Shimmy out of dress, re-do bra strap. Do up dress.

Put cushions back on couch.

Hmmm.

Get broom from kitchen.

Lie down on floor and take broom handle and “sweep” it under the couch. No pedometer.

Bra strap comes undone.

Shimmy out of dress, re-do bra strap. Do up dress.

Think.

Think think.

Look behind and under couch again.

No pedometer.

Bra strap comes undone. Shimmy out of dress, re-do bra strap, do up dress.

Ok.

Look in all the other rooms for the pedometer.

No pedometer.

Look in ‘fridge.

No pedometer.

Look in toaster over.

No pedometer.

Back into the first room, where the pedometer was last seen and held.

Look under and behind couch again.

Shimmy out of dress, as bra strap has come undone again. Re-do bra strap, do up dress.

Lie down in front of couch and look under couch.

No pedometer.

Bra strap comes undone.

Move couch and –

What was that ripping sound?

It came from my dress…

Shimmy out of dress, look at dress, can’t see any rips, but, how this day is going, I’m losing this dress in the most public and humiliating way at work today.

Toss dress on floor, get another dress, with a belt, if I find that pedometer.

Do up bra stray, do up dress.

And –

Time to leave for work.

Work, work, work.

I don’t get a lot done today, but I get enough done.

Have several excellent conversations with excellent people and they are all on the look-out for my pedometer.

I’m straight home after work and straight back to looking for the pedometer.

Pedometer!

There it is, pretty as you please. Sitting.

On my dresser.

It was never once on my dressed this morning, so this is a bit of a mystery.

But you know what. I don’t mind at all.

Change out of the dress and into “stay at home clothes”.

I’m on a mission.

Time to clean the room and clean the closet.

Turn the radio up, move the couch several more times, flip the carpet, vacuum everything.

Stuff that is garbage is put in the garbage, other stuff is sorted, filed and put away.

Time to tackle the closet.

I don’t know if you know, but a woman’s closet can be a scary and daunting place. It represents time, money, investments, relationships. It is a record of our changing bodies, styles and tastes. It needs, more than everything, a good editing on a regular basis.

The rules:

  1. Throw out stuff that doesn’t fit, is damaged beyond repair, is permanently stained or that you haven’t worn in 2 years.
  2. Be ruthless – it doesn’t matter how much you love it, you get to keep the memory of it, but get rid of it in reality.
  3. Your style has changed since you bought that, if it doesn’t fit your current style, get rid of it!
  4. You’re older now and should know better – get rid of it.
  5. That thing that friend who doesn’t speak to you anymore talked you into buying ‘cuz it was exactly the kind of thing she would wear? Get rid of it.
  6. Now do the shoes too.

A garbage bag and half of clothes and a garbage bag of shoes.

Which, I realize seem like a lot, but I give my discards room and space to breath.

My newly edited closet offers ease of finding things, extra hangers, sensible organization and a special section for special event dresses. I moved out of season boots and non-work shoes into it as well, so there is more room in the front entryway.

And, as a bonus, I’ve done so much walking about that I must be racking up the steps on the pedometer.

Double check the step count.

Oh.

Not one more step is recorded.

I write down the count, hit re-set and –

Check a couple of hours later – it is still at zero.

Upside: My bra strap stayed done up.

Everyone is “up” this week at work. Not sure what exactly is going on, but everyone looks great, has springs in their steps and are just generally in a good mood.

It is a great situation.

Perhaps related, this week is “Random Acts of Kindness” Week, not just at my workplace, but like all internationally, yo.

People have been posting stories about how much they appreciate kindness is others and moments where someone did a random act of kindness to them.

It is a lovely way to start the day, reading about all these nice things people have to say.

In the breath, I have to tell you that on some level it is a bit depressing as well – why should we need a week out of the whole year to do this or to recognize kindness in others? Man, I think kindness is about how you live your life, it is something to do everyday, every moment, every time you interact with someone.

I want to be someone who recognizes kindness and is able to tell someone right away “I appreciate you being you, in my life, doing that thing you do”.

You know what I mean.

I think, for me, it is important to express these things to people in my life, so they are clear about what they mean to me and how they contribute to someone’s, my, life.

Today, I was supposed to have a project meeting, which ended up being cancelled, but no worries, we are on track and will be meeting on Friday as well. And we kept our lunch plans and you know what? My friend treated me! It was a great surprise.

Even better, after we got back to work she let me know that after talking to me she felt better about things.

Much better.

And knowing that, knowing that simply talking, listening to someone when they have stuff to say makes them feel better. Well, that is something worth being indeed…

When I get into work in the mornings, the first conversation that I have is generally with a colleague of mine who works on the switchboard. The building design is kind of odd, and there is this random space that sits beside the staircase and looks out over the reception area. I call this random space “The Eagle’s Nest”.

So, I start every morning with a talk with my friend up in The Eagle’s Nest.

And talking with her is good – she seems to be getting things together, you know. And one of the things that I love about talking with her is that she is always calls me “young” and says she is invigorated by my “youth and energy”. That always makes me smile and laugh a bit ‘cuz, honestly, I don’t think of myself as “young”. Immature? Yes. Young? Nope.

The other things I love about talking with her is that she is getting her stuff together. She teaches me everyone morning that getting your life together is a constant process, something you never stop working on and trying to get together.

And she wears the most interesting colours. Today was all different animal prints. Leopard spots, tiger stripes.

And different people told me how good I looked today – my dress, how sexy I am and one person even used “hot”.

One time, coming back after getting another glass of water, someone left a curiously minty life saver on my chair.

And then, that same person called me up to make sure I found it!

I made him an orgami crane as a thank you – he was thrilled. The paper was blue with daisies. Very nice.

Later, my boss gave me some rockets.

Today, Thursday was made bearable by little things, tiny surprises, fleeting moments of kindness and positiveness.

A good kind of Thursday.

 

 

I’m spending my daily allotment of words on talking and not writing.

I’m totally immersed in re-reading “What the Buddha Taught”.

I’m too easily distracted – by shiny things, by making up excuses about why not to climb, or go the gym or write?

I started baking again and looking for recipes and planning what to bake less takes a lot of time.

I gave my number to that cute guy in my hot yoga class and I don’t want to get into writing something in case I don’t hear t, he phone. And voice mail sucks.

So, yeah, take any one of these and that is reason why I haven’t been adding new posts.

Things are good – great holiday season, things are humming along at work, *finally* got my hair cut, looking and feeling good.

Just this whole thing about not writing lately, so looking to turn that around…