Sunday, 26 April 2009

On rainy days and change

I enjoyed the rain today. 

I mean really enjoyed it! Something about the smell of fresh earth mixing in the wind sends me into this trance. It's hard to describe. All I can say is that it relaxes me in ways that I never expected.

Today, as I sat out on my patio and let the droplets of rain hit my skin while I enjoyed the 28 degrees spring weather, I couldn't help but take in a deep breath and feel myself being filled with optimism. 

This is the best kind of rain -- the kind that lets you know a change is near. 

The rain from today will trigger the trees and plants that have been sleeping through the winter. Something in those droplets will remind the earth that it's time to wake up and become vibrant again. In a matter of weeks, the browns, greys and blacks will turn to lush shades of greens, with speckles of bright colours. 

And it carries forward... Somehow the earth waking up will translate to the people who see this and they too may find their moods changing.

Or maybe not. Perhaps I shouldn't speak for others. 

But I know it works for me. 

I smelled the fresh earth for the first time in months today, and I found myself looking forward. 

And I kind of liked it! 


As in recent posts, a song  - Here's Gene Kelly singing a song from one of my favourite movies.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Need a serenade?

Everyone can use a few minutes to revel in a dreamlike state.

Thelma Houston offers the perfect croon for anyone looking for a chance to kick back and unwind after a long day. 

Here's Houston singing Moonlight Serenade. 
I hope it relaxes you as much as it did me.


Sunday, 19 April 2009

The Bonus

"I guess I'm just wondering when it will be my turn," she said, as we strolled through Little Italy. "It's just this awful feeling... and it's worse these days."

I understood how she felt, but I knew from similar conversations I'd had with others, that sharing my understanding with her was probably the last thing she needed at the moment. 

So I listened, while making a mental list of all the emotions we were sharing at that exact time and place... I wasn't in unfamiliar territory with this conversation - it was one I'd had with myself many times before (and probably will, sometime again). 

"I just think that each time it's going to be different," she thought out loud. "Each time, I hope I get that special... something. You know?"

I knew. And she knew I got what she was talking about. 

We made it to our destination - a cute little lounge in the heart of Toronto's Little Italy, where a couple of our other friends had already reserved a table for us. We spent the night catching up - a bunch of young women chatting about the things that young women chat about. Well, except for one thing. 

One of our friends had made the difficult decision not too long ago to pack all her bags and move across the world, into a different hemisphere, to be with a man she'd met a year ago while backpacking through Europe. If this move wasn't a true test of the heart, I didn't know what was. I commended her and wished her nothing but the absolute best and all the love in the world, as she embarked on this adventure. I silently wished I was also that gutsy. But then I also realized there wasn't anyone I needed to move across the world to be with, so the wish thankfully dissolved quickly. 


I came home a bit pensive. I couldn't help but keep going back to the conversation I'd had with my friend earlier that night. I saw the sadness in her eyes, and on some level, I wondered if mine reflected the same. I used to dwell on the "when is it going to be my turn" idea. But I realized that it wasn't helping me in any case (and besides, I've never been good at line-ups). 

So I came up with a thought process, and tonight, I propose it to you, my friend:

Maybe the 'turn' is a bonus. 

We enter this world as one and we leave as one. We don't get to take anything with us once we move on to the next volume. So, then, can't we argue that we should spend our lives trying to do the things that make us happy -- as one? Whether it's crafts (or glass blowing), going to concerts, reading books, going on travels, meeting people, whatever... shouldn't we ultimately spend our time on this earth figuring out what makes us smile all on our own?

Once that happens, we can look at anything else that comes along and gives us the same feeling as a bonus. And this includes that 'turn' we had talked about. It's just this icing on the.... life-cake (sorry, strange analogy, I know... but it's a good visual, no?)

If we could somehow find ways enjoy our lives with things that give us butterflies all on our very own, we'd perhaps be happy. 

And anything else... love... winning the lottery... world peace... whatever -- well, those could just be bonuses. And if, by some chance, those things never came along... then we wouldn't leave this earth feeling as though we'd lost or missed out... because we'd still have life-cake... just without the icing (and sometimes icing is overrated, anyway).

... Just some thoughts for tonight.


P.s.: And for the record, I don't believe by any shot, that you will leave this earth without your icing! In fact, your difficulty might be deciding what kind of icing you want! ;) xo xo xo 

Thursday, 16 April 2009

The longer route

It's ridiculous. Though we live in a time where everything is now available a the click of a button, I find myself wanting to take my time. Or, as the Dixie Chicks would put it, "take the long way around."
This week, I eagerly anticipated two items in the mail. No, not e-mail - the traditional one that we call 'snail mail'. A friend from the east-coast told me last week that she'd put a package in the mail for me, and another friend who lives in the North-West Territories mentioned that she'd dropped a letter off as well. 

A few years ago, hearing this would make me anxious. I would probably freak out every day, cursing the mail system for being so slow. But surprisingly, I've found myself enjoying the wait this time around. When I received one of the packages in the mail last night, it came as a surprise. I kind of liked that it had to journey in order to reach me. I liked that I had to physically wait for it's arrival. I liked that I didn't know what it was as soon as my friend sent it... and though I spoke to her between the time the package was sent and I received it, I still didn't know what it was. 

I guess my point is that I enjoy the element of surprise that comes with the traditional mail system. Please don't misunderstand me - you can still get that with e-mail and messages via social-networking mediums, but it's definitely not the same. And I realized how much I missed it. 

- - - - 

I was also talking to a friend today about accessibility online. For instance, Twitter allows users to download applications like TwitterBerry, TwitterFox and DestroyTwitter -- widgets that give you constant updates of what's happening on the site without you having to log on to it. This is just one network, mind you. Facebook, MySpace, and other networks all have applications that let you use them on your phone or Blackberry.

I guess I really don't know how people do it. Or keep up. As it is, I barely use my pre-paid cell phone. I do admit to using e-mail a lot for personal reasons and for work (remind me to tell you the story of how a lady in the cubicle next to me, e-mailed me to get her a file that was literally a chair-roll away from her). But, it's all so fast! Don't people want to slow down? Just a bit?

It's hard, I know, because having things available at the click of a button is also a very good thing. The world is moving at a fast pace and we need to do our best to keep up, or risk being left behind. But sometimes, when it's possible, it's fun taking the longer route. 

It helps to have an element of surprise in moments when nothing is surprising anymore... I mean, we live in a world where you can custom-design your unborn child!

But, I digress. My point is that when possible, try to take your time... take the longer route... you just might appreciate the view. 


And since I mentioned them, here are the Dixie Chicks with one of my favourite songs. Enjoy!

Monday, 13 April 2009

Beating the Blahs

"I'm feeling as though that huge dark cloud that had been following me around for months has taken off," I said with a smile. I was finally feeling cheerful again after countless days of absolute dreariness.

"Oh yea?" she replied. "Hmm.. that must mean that the cloud is now following someone else... they don't just disappear, you know?"

Huh? I looked at her with a quizzical nod. I wasn't going to correct her with a down and dirty science lesson. All that mattered for the moment was the fact that I was finally basking in the sunshine I so craved.

"After this experience, I absolutely believe in the February Blahs," I said. "I used to think that was something people just made up to explain why everyone got mopey around that time of the year, but now, after having experienced it, I know it's true!"

"Tell me about it! For a while there, I thought the winter would NEVER go away."

I remember a distinct conversation between my mother and a neighbour that I had overheard as a child. We were fairly new to the country at that time, and just getting settled in. Our neighbour had quickly taken a liking to my mother and began feeding her with anecdotes and 'facts' about what it meant to be truly Canadian.

This particular conversation began with, "You know, there's three things you can never go wrong talking to any other Canadian about," she said. "Just remember three Ws -- Weather, Women and Work."

My mother laughed at this during the conversation, but, as the years went by, she soon realized the truth to those words. And so did I.

I can't express the number of conversations I've had with friends, family members, and in some instance, complete strangers about the number one word on that list -- Weather.

"Do you realize that we refer to the weather at least once a day," I said while staring intently at my computer screen, unable to read the mass of words that seemed to fly right over my head. I was proof-reading again.

"We do?" she asked. "Hmm... maybe because it's such a large part of our day."

"I guess it is, isn't it?" I thought out loud as I turned to her. "So much of what we do, or decide to do is based on whether or not it's raining, or snowing, or windy, or sunny... although that doesn't happen too often here!"

"OK there, Miss Tropicana!" she exclaimed with a laugh. "Not everyone was born in the sunshine!"

"I wasn't born in sunshine. I'm a monsoon baby."


"I am!"

"OK, whatever! All I know is, you're only happy when it's sunny," she said finally.

"That's not true," I said. "I'm happy when the sun comes out to visit after a loooooooooong hiatus -- which I believe causes the February Blahs. It's different."



"Yea, OK."

I felt as though I had to defend myself. So off I went.

"Listen, when the weather gets like this at this time of the year, people start to wake up. They feel alive... invigorated, even. Suddenly, it's not just the day that's brighter - life is brighter too. People start thinking about the future, when, in the doom and gloom of the dark winter, all they could think about was getting out of the wind and cold. About sleeping..."

I paused to think for a quick moment, then exclaimed, "You know what? Winter crushes dreams!!"

"Winter what?

"Crushes dreams!" I repeated.

"You're nuts, you know?"

"Well, it does," I said adamantly.

"And now?"

"And now the sun is out, and the dreams are alive again."

"Ah-ha! For how long?" she asked. Ugh! She was challenging me.

"Hmmm... for as long as it takes!" I said simply, as I went back to staring at the maze of words on the screen.
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