Thursday, February 23, 2012

Late for Lent

I'm late, I'm late....for a very important date.

It's Ash Wednesday. The first day of Lent. And I (almost) missed it.

How? It's on the calendar. It's like a red letter day. For Christians, that's right up there with
 Christmas and Easter.

Lent. The forty day period leading up to Easter. A period of fasting or abstinence.
 A period of self-sacrifice.

It's observed by some faiths and religions. It's observed by people who say they are not religious.
Some are more religious about it than others. Some even go as far as to spend time in
prayer and fasting deciding exactly what to abstain from.
I however never even gave it a second thought. 
Until right now. And it's almost over.

Lateness is the theme of my life. I race around like the White Rabbit. Always running. Always late.

So this afternoon, after a morning of running around, I sat down for a while at my computer. First I checked my mail,  then I read a few blog posts, then went onto facebook. And as I was staring 
at the blinking screen, it stared back at me.
 And there was the answer 
to my tardiness.

My laptop is a distraction. A big distraction. My biggest distraction

I turn it on to send an email, or write a blog post, or read other blogs , or go onto facebook,
 and before you know it I've spent an hour or two or three...  
...and then I'm late.

I'm tired of being late. It's exhausting.

It needs to stop and a big part of stopping it will be to rid myself of distractions.

So I made a decision. I'm not going  to "give up" the computer during Lent, but just to use it later. Much later. After 6pm. When I've done everything else that I want or need to do. I may be a little late 
responding to emails and messages. I  may miss birthdays on facebook. I'm sorry.
 If I miss yours I'll  be sure to send you a belated message.

I'm posting this now because I had problems all day yesterday with blogger.
 And now it goes OFF.


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Snow Day

A don't wanna sit down day
A let's paint the town day
A get up and go day
Hooray - it's a snow day

 A do as we please day
Who cares if we freeze day?
A no place to go day
Why work - it's a snow day

A play on the drive day
A glad I'm alive day
Don't go with the flow day
Stay out - it's a snow day

Turn your frown upside down day
An act like a clown day
A put on a show day
Make men out of snow day

It's a family fun day
A who needs the sun day?
A lets grab a sled day
Go down hill instead day

 So, "Hakuna Matata"
No worries, just laughter
Whatever comes your way day
Celebrate - it's a snow day

Thankful for the 12 cm of packing snow. Good times.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Waiting Room

Yesterday I went to the walk-in clinic with my 13 year old son. He'd hurt his finger playing soccer the day before and it was now very swollen.

Earlier, both children had been at a dentist appointment. I didn't want to take both of them to the clinic, so I stopped at home to drop off my other son.

While we were there, I told my 13 year old to get his iPod or a book, so that he'd have something to do in the waiting room. He refused to get out of the car. I told him that there was no way I could predict the length of time it would take to see the doctor. Still he refused. I could've got the book for him, but I want him to learn to take some responsibility for his actions. I asked him one more time. He said no so I took him to the clinic sans entertainment.

I asked the receptionist how long she thought we would have to wait. She estimated 20 minutes. No worries.

I pulled out my book (which I had in my bag for their dentist appointment) and started to read. My son however, became bored after about 5 minutes. Having Aspergers Syndrome, anxiety and a sore finger made it very difficult for him to relax. "When are we going to see the doctor?" he asked me. "I don't know" I said. He then proceeded to ask me this question over and over at two minutes intervals.

An hour later, we were still waiting. My son was ready to have a meltdown. So was I.

Then they called his name. But called 5 other names before his. We were told to go to "Booth F"
and I knew they would be seeing the people in " Booths A-E" before we would be seen. Great.

"Why is the doctor not coming yet?"  or "Why is she wasting the doctors time when all she has is a cough?" then "Doesn't the doctor know how to tell time? And I couldn't give him an answer.

People with Aspergers need absolutes not ambiguity and uncertainty. They don't like when routines are switched or changed. They like things to be predictable and orderly. His plans for how he was going to spend his Thursday evening had suddenly and dramatically changed. He was freaking out.

Still waiting.

Then came the nurse who asked questions, took notes and told us that the doctor would be along shortly.

Still more waiting.

Finally, 1 hour and 47 minutes later, we saw the doctor.  He like me, suspected a broken finger. So he sent us upstairs to have an x-ray. But first we'd have to sit in another waiting room.

Half an hour later we came back downstairs. The doctor confirmed the fracture and we went to the treatment room to have his finger isolated and placed in a splint.

It's hard to wait and my son proved to be a very impatient patient.  I think the waiting room experience was more painful for him and perhaps worse than any pain he felt in his finger. Life threw him a curveball. He wasn't prepared. But I should've known better. I should've just gotten the iPod for him myself. This was not the time to teach my son a lesson. It was time to be supportive to him. He has Autism.

But I can relate.

It's been a tough week for me. I too have been in a few waiting rooms myself. I've had some "abnormal" test results. Further testing has proved "inconclusive". I've been here before. Some of you know my history.  Here we go again.

I guess what this means is, I'm going to have to ride the roller-coaster again while strapped in the waiting room chair. It's a white knuckle ride with no screaming allowed. There will be "I don't know's, maybe's and uncertainties." My short term plans and goals may have to change or be placed on hold.

And I'll have to wait.

I just ask you to be patient with me.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love is in the Air

Photo credit: Louisa Miceli

Cupid transcribes, tidings of love
With colours - red and pink
Yet wrote on skies of powder blue
In cotton cumulus ink

And with his arrow shaped a cloud
This statement to declare
A quiet moment, echoed loud
Look, love is in the air

For Susan, with love...

Happy Valentines Day

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Season of Friendship.

Four Season Painting: Luiza Vizoli

I paused and I pondered
Reflected with reason
Why every friendship
Is much like a season

There are cycles to all things
Friends come and they go
When compared to the seasons
 I've now come to know

~ - ~ - ~

Quite often a friendship
Reminds me of Spring
It blossoms and grows
With the new life it brings

While others, like Summer
Are enduring and long
Through storms and the heat
Somehow still remain strong

~ - ~ - ~

Some friends burst with colour
Like an autumn display
'Til cool winds of change
Cause a falling away

Winter friendships turn cold
We may never know why
Become distant and frozen
And eventually die 

~ - ~ - ~

To friends who are constant
Steadfast and true
I will try to be both
 Spring and Summer to you

But sadly, some friendships
Are not meant to last
I take comfort, like seasons
These too soon shall pass

*Please note: I think all seasons are beautiful, and every friendship can add 
some meaning to your life*

Sunday, February 5, 2012

When the Write Words are all Wrong


Unspoken. Spoken.Written.

They are still the most effective method of communication that we have.

Words are powerful. The right words can uplift or elevate. They can empower us. Change us. Make us smile. Make us feel good. They can turn a bad situation around. And the right words can heal.
However, the wrong words can tear down and destroy. They can hurt and wound. And oh how they do.

"Use your words..."

When I used to work in Kindergarten, perhaps the phrase I would  find myself saying the most is "Use your words..."  Young children, having neither age or experience, are not well schooled in social interactions and conflict resolution.They usually default to their fists when backed against the wall. I remember an incident where two little girls were involved in a shoving match. "Use your words" I encouraged. She crossed her arms, screwed up her face and spat out "you stinky poo-poo head..." Not quite the words I was expecting.

Recently I wrote an post on my blog and featured my friend as an example in an illustration. I wanted to show everyone what a valuable lesson I had learned from her. I chose my words very carefully and thought I'd used the write words to show how different we were.She calm and orderly. Me crazy and chaotic. I thought I had highlighted some of her finer qualities, such as discipline and organization. I thought she would like what I'd written. She didn't. Obviously I thought wrong.

I sent her a text to see if she'd read the post


I then left her a phone message followed by a message on facebook.

More silence.

How could this have happened? Even if she had misconstrued or misinterpreted my words, surely she could read my heart? I would never do anything to hurt her. I was trying to build her up, not pull her down.

Still there was silence.

So finally I sent an short email. No flowery poetic language. Just the right words. The right word.

 Sorry is not an eraser.  It doesn't take away.

It's more like a Band-Aid.

It covers the wound, so healing can begin.

After my children have had a fight, I will often tell them to say they are sorry. Sometimes they are reluctant.
"I don't feel sorry" they will say. "Maybe not, but your brother needs to hear it..."

So I chose to say the right words and begin to repair the bridge from my end. My friend needs to see it and hear it.

And hopefully time will heal.

But if sorry isn't the right word, I'm not sure what else I can say?

Friday, February 3, 2012

Winter Lace

Click image for more detail

O seasonal celestial skies upon this orb, has graced
A crystal crochet covering of pure white winter lace

This frosted silent shroud settles on limbs exposed and bare
And forms a glittering glaze to showcase natures earthenware

 Standing in snowy stillness mortal eyes in awe, survey
Such ornate frozen forestry on delicate display

Photo credit: Jean Yokarinis.

Dear Jean...thank you for capturing winter so beautifully.