Saturday, November 17, 2018

Crossing the Street Between the Pylons

Crossing the Street Between the Pylons Day 13 - my mini NaNoWriMo

I’m getting tired of the orange pylons that we have along every thoroughfare. The construction in my city seems like it has been going on forever. Pylons that were shiny and orange are now even less appealing, they’ve been rained on and snowed on and run over too.

In my attempts to circumvent some of the busier, traffic-jammed roads on the way to work each day, I drove a different route this morning. A familiar route, through a part of town where I used to live a decade ago. 

I could see the passing of time, the renovations up and down the street. I saw the large For Sale sign on the house on a corner saying, “legal basement suite”, which in other words meant, ‘more money required’.

I wove through a community that held many memories, of walking with my children when they clung to my hands. And then later of them being dragged for a family walk as they walked on the other side of the street pretending not to know me.

As I wove my way into the area on the more 'affluent' side of the street, I proceeded through two school zones, slowing for the speed bumps and watching for excited little children on their way to school. 


Crossing the Street Between the Pylons
Then a smile spread across my face, I couldn’t help it when I saw him. A mentally challenged man I used to see each morning more than a decade ago, I'll call him Tommy for this writing. He could be in his thirties or forties by now. Hard to tell with those amongst us who live happily. He cautiously made his way across the icy sidewalks oblivious of the clear sidewalks on the other side of the street. I was reminded of how content he looked each morning in his tidy clothes and brushed back hair when I used to see him each morning.

We all have orange pylons in our lives, I wonder how Tommy deals with his?

How often do we forget to acknowledge the simple things? The people who teach us just by being on the sidelines of our day?

Let's make peace with who we are and where we are in our lives. Because crossing the street might make it easier but it won't necessarily make us happier.

We all have orange pylons in our lives, how do we deal with ours? (Tweet This)

Crossing the street might make it easier but does it make us happier? (Tweet This)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

No Pretend Siblings Needed

No Pretend Siblings Needed - Day 13 mini #NaNoWriMo

While I was driving to work on Monday I realized that it was the first time since Thursday morning that I had been alone.

Some of us might grow up in households with lots of noise and laughter and action. And although those years in my life are a long (long, long) time ago, the house I grew up in was quiet. No siblings to blame anything on. Only myself for company. Lonely was not a word I knew, I always had me.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons that I like quiet best. I am used to it. Quiet gives me time to ponder, to dream, to create, and to make up a story.

No Pretend Siblings Needed
And yet, I have always been fascinated by large families. I believe that I went through a stage when I created some pretend siblings in my mind. If I remember correctly it was common for me to even boss them around, and after some time they just didn’t come back! 

I have been known to ask my friends who come from big families questions such as ‘do you have a favourite sibling?’, ‘was he always the black sheep?’, ‘did you think that she’d really join the circus?’ Okay, maybe I haven't used the last one!

So while I was sitting in the now quite usual traffic back-up on 14 St on Monday, I had a chance to untangle all the interactions which had happened in the last few days. To see the richness of the conversations, the predictable jokes, the moving waves of discussions, the touching of someone's hair, the familiar laugh across the room. The feeling of family.

As the red light changed and each lane of traffic moved to allow the flow, I thought of all that had happened since Thursday

I saw the wonder of each moving piece. How and when each supported the other, perhaps even anticipated it. And then how each one had the ability to move back into their own life. Ah, that is family.




Monday, November 12, 2018

Returning to the Habit

Returning to the Habit - Day 12 mini #NaNoWriMo

Yes, this writing challenge is difficult. What words do you put down and which do you discard? 

You might have noticed that I haven’t written here for a few days. Oh, I had a really good reason, getting married takes some energy and focus away from sitting at a keyboard, I'm sure you'd agree. But we all have reasons, don’t we?

Long hours at work, a child who won’t sleep, sore back or wrists? How about, no ideas?

I can’t fill in the gaps of the days that I missed. I thought about doing that for a few minutes, I would just "catch up", I  said to myself. How would anyone know? I could fake it. But I believe that I need to acknowledge just how difficult this mini – NaNoWriMo truly is.

Festivities have ended at my home. Along with the quiet of departing family members is the realization of how quickly I can fall out of a habit. And I need to own that before I can sit down to do this again. Is it no wonder that only 18% of NaNoWriMo participants complete it?

Let’s face it, writing is my creative enjoyment. But to feel creative I also need to know that my other responsibilities are taken care of first. I like a tidy home, I like to make my lunch for the next day, I like to have some time to catch up with my husband. He’s the one that made the dinner which gives me the leftovers for my next work-day lunch. He deserves any creative success I might achieve.

Here’s another excuse, I want the perfect photo that works with my written word. Which sends me off on a tangent to find it in my “many” folders of memories. Although I am quick to preach that “done is better than perfect”(Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In), I struggle with utilizing this gem when I sit to write each day.

So here I am climbing back on the writing train, with a deeper understanding of the commitment required and why a writer deserves every single cent of the sale of their articles/books. This writing is dang hard work.

Most writers start a new project right after they're done, that new idea usually came to them while they were working on something else. It is endless. It’s a wonder that more writers don’t throw their computers/injure themselves with their pens.

And so the circle goes, finish it, put it aside, it might not be perfect but it’s out of your head and on the page. 

Note to self: there are no perfect photos or (Tweet This) in this post. Yet the world continued to revolve. For today, it is done. Tomorrow, do it again, maybe better.


Saturday, November 10, 2018

Counted

Counted - Day 7 mini NaNoWriMo - sorry! missed posting this one.

From the time we learned that two pieces of candy were better than one, we have been enamored with numbers. Who’s the tallest in the class? How many touchdowns did they score? Even how many times has he been married?


Counted

We see a large number on Friday’s Lottery and we stand in a line to buy a dream. We’re now even impressed when someone has five, or six or seven children. How many square feet is your new home? (although we rarely ask “how big is your mortgage” even though we might think it) We use numbers to qualify who we are. How long did you stand in line for the release of...?

Rarely do we ask the important numbers though. How frequently do you stick to your goals? How big is your heart? When was the last time you picked up the phone to keep in touch with your Auntie?

So when we casually say how many comments we received on our blog, how many books we sold, how many new followers we got last week, what are we really asking? To be noticed? Admired? Need some attention?

Yes, we need to be counted. But let it be for our good deeds, our unexpected surprises, the number of times we cheered someone’s day. There will be no tweet or billboard about those things.

But we will have Counted.  

What are the important things you count? (Tweet This)


Thursday, November 8, 2018

Today is About Promises

Today is About Promises  day #8 – miniNaNoWriMo

Do you remember promising something with your fingers crossed behind your back? As if that little act dispensed you from telling the truth?

We might stop with that practise but somehow we have been known to make a promise that we have absolutely no intention on keeping. Perhaps, it’s about writing every day for NaNoWriMo or saying to someone that “we must get together for coffee”. Little and big strings of words. However, we try only until it gets difficult.

We give ourselves the excuse that we really tried…but... things happened, work got busy, I got the flu or a myriad of other reasons. We try but often not hard enough. Or we had no honest commitment  whatsoever of fulfilling our words. And that’s where Today is About Promises comes from because we cannot tell what is going to happen tomorrow but we still have to promise.

We don’t know about hurricanes, or job loss, illness or a tree falling through our roof, smashing the ceiling onto your computer.

Today is About Promises
Today, I get married. 

You might wonder why I am sitting here sending you these words on such a busy day. I can do this thanks to a wonderful thing called “schedule” which proved to be a mighty handy tool for me this week. But you see, I'm trying hard to write every day this month because I promised you.

More importantly, today I will promise my heart. Because I have the best intentions, I’ve learned that to be more we need to give more. Now I have the faith to trust that we do deserve the best.

We can never anticipate what Life will bring us even when it brings good surprises. All we can do is make the promise For Today and For More, no fingers crossed, and do the best that we can.