7:16 A.M. Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My lunch was made last night, so, hopefully, I can get this written and still be on time for work.

It’s a very busy time for me right now, big meeting coming up tomorrow, plus lots of other CUPE business to be taken care of before the end of June.  I’m doing my best to stay on top of it, but I have to be honest, I’d much rather just let it all go and spend my time outside in my yard or on working on jobs around this house.  There is just so much to do and never enough time to do it all.

I have, however, gotten better at not stressing about it.  I do what I can and tell myself to be satisfied that I’ve done the best I can.  The world is not going to fall apart, I am not going to be tarred and feathered if something slips, and,  in the end, I’m the only person who’s really going to care.  Everyone else is as busy with their lives as I am with mine.  Let’s face it — I’m just not that important.

Now, when I say that, I am not being self-deprecating.  I simply mean that in the big scheme of things, my little life — my worries, my failings and faults, my successes and strengths — these things are really only important to me and to a very select few family and friends.  And even then, the importance of my daily life is not uppermost in their lives.  It’s their lives and the lives of their children, spouses, and significant others that matter most.  And that is how it should be.

Each of us wants to be thought of as important.  We want to make an imprint on the world, we want, in the end, to be remembered.  But history books only have so much space, and that space has to be allotted for the truly important.

I think that we’ve been seduced by media, in all its forms, into seeking recognition for our individual self-importance.   And though I wholeheartedly believe that each of us must believe in our own self-worth and have a strong sense of who we are, I don’t believe that outside of our own little circle of family and friends, we should be concerned about what the rest of the world thinks.

Being present in your own life, making a difference to those who matter most in your life, and being, for the most part, happy in all that you do, that should be what is truly important.  Not whether your name is mentioned in a newspaper, or your face appears on a list of ‘volunteers of the year’, whether or not you are celebrated at a community event, or named as chair of some committee — though  these are all wonderful achievements, they shouldn’t be the driving force behind any good deed.

Shows like Secret Millionaire and  Undercover Boss  are just two examples of vehicles that promote people seeking the sort of recognition I’m talking about.  I can’t stand either of these shows simply because they are a showcase for people greedy for public recognition and a platform for them to promote their self-importance.  The real heroes of those shows are the unsung individuals who were doing all the hard work before the ‘celebrities’ appeared (in disguise).

So, I guess what I’m saying is:  Be important, but be important to those who matter most in your life first, then be important without wanting or needing recognition.  If recognition comes, then, you’ve probably earned it through action, not self-promotion, and that will likely mark you as someone to be remembered.


Wednesday, May 25th

The Canucks have made it to the Stanley Cup Finals!

I thought I was going to have a heart attack last night.  Double overtime, Kesler hurt, no one seemingly able to get a shot on net, the worst officiating — EVER — (and on home ice, no less) and Henrik and Daniel unable to bring the magic.  They tried, mind you, they tried.  Watching those two work their passes is something spectacular.  Burrows, as part of their line is always amazing — they set him up and he puts the puck where it needs to be, but for some reason last night it just wasn’t happening.

Kevin Bieksa, the big hero for last night’s game, they’ll be talking about him and his ‘duck’ for quite awhile, I’m sure.  How lucky for him to be in the right spot at that moment and to be the only one who knew where the puck was?  I was on my feet for the last five minutes of the game as the Canucks poured it on, giving it everything they had.

I can’t explain why I am so in to this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs — it’s never happened before.  I think it has something to do with a bit of holdover from the Olympics and the sense of pride I felt in our country, the way, as a nation, we came together to celebrate all that makes us who we are.  At first, I only cared that a Canadian team was in the playoff run, but now, I find myself really rooting for the Canucks.

I admire them and their somewhat muted determination; they seem to exemplify what we Canadians are like. They’re not too flashy, they persevere — doggedly,  they’re unassuming about their wins and yet they have this quiet, reserved strength about themselves that says ‘we believe’.  And, so do I.

View from the Side’s weekend challenge — Dance

My entry for this week’s challenge:

Once, We Won a Contest

Somewhere, in a box, tucked away out of sight, is a medal with the likeness of Elvis Presley on it.  Every so often in a fit of de-cluttering or a demented desire to relive the past I’ll stumble across it, and when I do the same thing always happens.

I think back to the night we went to the theatre and wound up winning a dance competition.

We were so young then!  Still in our twenties.  A young child at home with a babysitter while we went out on the town.  With some friends we’d decided to indulge in a little culture.  I laugh now at how absolutely foolish we must have seemed.

But, we sure looked good.  All of us thin and in our primes.  New shoes, new outfits — all on credit of course, because we could only pretend to afford the lifestyle we were stepping out in to.

I don’t recall much about the play, it had something to do with a black, female blues singer, and was fairly light-hearted and full of toe-tapping tunes.  Afterwards, there was a dance being held in the theatre with members of the cast.  Maybe this was the final night of the play’s run, I don’t remember.

Well, we got into the drinks pretty quickly and soon all of our nerves and inhibitions were out the window.  When the organizers announced that they were going to have a dance contest I grabbed my red-haired darling’s hand and pulled him out onto the dance floor.  He resisted at first, but I wouldn’t be denied.

We jived, we gyrated, we twisted, we did the hop.  We kicked, twirled, dipped and walked like Egyptians.  And in the end, we won.  I can remember laughing and gasping for breath as we were handed our medal.  My husband and I were clinging tightly to one another, partly to keep ourselves from falling over, but more out of a sudden and compulsive need to keep touching.

At some point during the contest I remember a feeling of total abandonment coming over me.  Our friends did not exist, our child at home was forgotten.  The debts, the worries, and the squabbles that had come to define our relationship and our daily life seemed to be being ground into the floor beneath our feet as we danced.  When I looked into his face I saw the love he had for me, the desire, the need, the want, and it was all I wanted.

We’ve never danced that way since, and this past Christmas when we attempted the Twist, we both just laughed, shook our heads and agreed not to try.  Hand in hand we made our way back to our table, where we told our son and his wife the story of how once we won a medal for dancing.

© 2011 KathyLarson
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 12

It’s been a little while — but I’ve been thinking about writing every day, so I’m thinking that counts towards my inner goal to do something every day.

The ideas churn around in my little ol’ brain and while I’m doing stuff I don’t necessarily want to be doing — I visualize myself composing an article or crafting a story a poem, and, though I don’t seem to ever get to the point of actually doing the writing I fantasize about, it at least helps to think about it.  I scribble bits of ideas, or snippets of conversation on pieces of paper, (sadly, I generally lose them) but in those tiny, brief moments I feel like a writer, instead of an EA, or a CUPE president, or a grocery shopper or a. . .   Sound silly?  Maybe, but for me it helps.

Yesterday was my birthday — and although I don’t relish the idea of getting older, I have come to the point of being grateful for being granted another year of life.  The time to be with family, to celebrate all the little things that makes life worthwhile.

Things like my daughter-in-law calling to have the kids sing happy birthday to me.  That was wonderful (although my damn fax machine cut them off just as they were getting to the big finish!)  Still, it gave me a great big smile to finish off my day with.

Things like the kids I work with being genuinely excited about wishing me a happy birthday and sharing the cupcakes they and Mrs. Baker made for me on Tuesday while I was away.

Things like my husband’s birthday surprise of the little road runner fetish carved in stone that I admired while we were on holiday in Sedona.  It is a lovely small thing — exactly the type of thing I love to collect.

The road runner fetish Tim gave me with a little Navajo horsehair pot I purchased in Arizona

So, all in all I really enjoyed my birthday — thank you everyone who contributed to making it special.

The weather here in Alberta has finally turned warm — but with the higher temps comes wind — of course.  Yesterday I thought the roof was going to come off the house a couple of times, and today is not supposed to be much better.  I am thankful, however, that I am not living in Manitoba or Quebec where they are fighting massive floodwaters right now.

In Portage la Prairie, the town where I spent the formative years of my teens, some areas surrounding the town may have to be deliberately flooded in order to prevent catastrophic damage by flooding.  They’re saying this is the ‘flood of the century’, but then they say that every year.  It is, however, a scary situation and I hope they don’t have to resort to breaching the dikes.  As of the news report this morning there are currently 1100 soldiers deployed in Manitoba in an effort to stave off the waters.  I wish them all the luck in the world.

I guess it’s now time for me to get ready for work.  I’ve got a meeting to attend first thing this morning and then it’s back to the school to finish out my day.  Hopefully, there’ll be time this evening for me to pursue my fantasies.

Great day, everyone!

Friday May 6th

Good morning!  Here are a few shots of the slough, er, pond in Bon Accord.  It’s at the corner of my street and I love walking by it in the morning.  The red-winged blackbirds are busy nesting and making all kinds of trilling sounds as they flit from branch to bull-rush.  They go into survivor mode the instant they spot an intruder.  Tons of fun to watch.  Right now we’ve got some very healthy looking duck families swimming about.  They’ve got their nests in the reeds and at the sound of anyone approaching they all start swimming out into the middle of the water.  The one semi-close up I got is blurry on enlargement, so I’ll have to try again when I can get out with the tripod.  Anyway, the pond looked beautiful this morning so I thought I’d share.

On a totally different note. . .

WAY TO GO CANUCKS!   I don’t want to jinx anything by saying anything too positive, but they’re up in the series 3 games to 1.  They’re on home ice Saturday and Nashville will be looking for some major pay-back, so it’s bound to be a nail-biter.  I think I’ll make a crock-pot lasagna (thank you Jenn — it is very good), grab a couple of cold beers and settle in for some good entertainment on Saturday.  I’m lookin’ forward to the weekend!

Well, it’s that time again — time to get ready for work.  TGIF

Oh, but I wanted to share this too, from my garden:

Primroses emerging from decay of last year

Wednesday, May 4th

We're still not looking much better than this -- come on Spring!

It’s a windy day in Bon Accord.  Actually, in all of Alberta.  It is Spring-time, after all.

Today, though, we will have some sunshine.  Yesterday was gray and cloudy and rainy for half the day.  By suppertime the sun had decided to come out.  I wish I had the time to get out and work in the garden.  Hopefully, this weekend, though Heather tells me that rain is forecast.

The Canucks managed to beat Nashville last night — in OT, again.  These OT games are really beginning to wear on me.  I wouldn’t say last night’s game was a thriller, in fact it mostly dragged along.  Pekke Rinne was fantabulous in goal, as was Luongo, (when the puck was in Vancouver’s end); this is seriously going to be a goalie’s series.  I kept hoping and hoping that the Sedin boys would show some magic, but alas, no.  Kessler managed a goal and an assist — that was a long time coming and extremely well deserved.

I did not know a thing about the Canucks going into these playoffs, but I have to say I am really enjoying watching them play.  They’ve got a lot of heart, and some very talented, disciplined players.  For me, it remains mainly a Canadian pride thing — I want a home team in the playoffs, and ultimately to win the SC.  It doesn’t matter that most of the players on the American teams hail from Canada, it matters that they’re playing for US. (that’s us as in us Canadians.)  So. . .

anyway, Go Canucks!

Monday Morning, May 2nd

Had a great weekend.

The weather was finally half-decent.  Managed to get my car vacuumed out on Saturday — all that winter grime and dust sucked up and gone, gone, gone.  I even scrubbed my rubber floor mats — they almost looked brand new when I was done!

Sunday we drove up to Lloyd for my sister-in-law’s 50th birthday.  Landon and the kids came; we made a day of it.  Michele was surprised that we all turned up and that was wonderful.  Scott bbq’d hamburgers and smokies on the new Cuisinart gas barbecue that he won the night before (loser!)  Just kidding — but he is one lucky son of a b — he’s always winning something.  I’m just jealous — it is a REALLY nice barbecue.

Someday when I have a deck again. . .

Just a brief note on the death of Osama bin Laden.  Thank God, finally.  Perhaps now some real progress can be made in destroying Al Qaeda.  I hope the victims of 9/11 and all the other victims of his horrible crimes the world over can finally get some peace.

And — good on America — they needed this, but let’s not forget that they didn’t do it alone.

Conspiracy theory alert:  Why did they bury him at sea?  Why not display his body as proof?

Okay, time to get ready for work.  Have a great day everyone.