Sunday, 19 October 2014


From Wikipedia:
An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation, striking appearance") is an experience of sudden and striking realization.

I have to admit, I've done a lot of whining lately about work.  Most of it well-deserved but still you've all been very patient and kind to listen to me.  This weekend I came to a profound realization.  It came about when I was sitting in the thinking room (TMI perhaps?) when the aha moment hit me.  

It is this:

Every time I get frustrated at work, every time I give in to my feelings, and every time I vent my anger at the ridiculous actions, the stupid decision, the thoughtlessness of others.....they win.

I've always been a competitive person and allowing someone power over me is so against my nature. And yet, that's exactly what I've done.  I say, no more!

Tomorrow is a new day.  I know I'll still get annoyed with the people around me, frustrated with the constant changes that make no sense, and angry at the lack of cooperation.  

I may not be able to "be the change" I want to be, because I simply don't have that authority. But I can strive to do my best, yet not get so overwhelmed with the tasks and demands on my time that I forget what is most important.  

When idiots happen, and they will, I will remind myself DO NOT let them win.  

Monday, 13 October 2014

Mellow Monday is so nice to have a full day off with nothing much to do.  Of course there is lots I could do if I chose to - does housework every get done?   But unless I get bored with doing nothing I plan to relax the day away.

We had a lovely day yesterday.  I set the table very simply (sans napkins and food at this point).

There wasn't much talking during the meal, we were all hungry and it all tasted sooo good!  But as we relaxed around the table after dinner, the memories flowed of holidays past spent with Grandma and Grandpa (my parents).

Something my mom always managed that I never have is getting all of the food to the table hot.  She was an amazing cook!

The star of the meal was the turkey.  George must have been a girl because it was mostly breast meat, just the legs and bit of dark meat.  My daughter loves the dark and my son and I prefer the white meat so it was perfect.

If that sounds as though we ate it all in one sitting, no worries, we didn't!  There were lots of leftovers.  No one was ready for dessert after our big meal.  I had my pie before bedtime, while the other two had turkey sandwiches.  Maybe I'm a better cook than I thought I was!

So I won't have to cook today, our Riders play in a couple of hours, and I started reading a new book yesterday.  AND I still need to get caught up on my blog reading.  Sounds like a perfect day to me!

Have a good one everyone!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Grateful, appreciative, and thankful

This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada.  It's been a very long and tiring week at work so I'm most grateful for a four day weekend.  (This is NOT going to be a whining post so that's all I'm saying about work)

Friday was spent running errands, buying groceries and getting my nails done before I went out for dinner with friends.  Saturday was housecleaning day, since I've accomplished next to nothing here at home all week.  Even the dishes were piled up in the sink!  I did laundry, vacuuming, washed floors and windows, dusted, and cleaned bathrooms. By 8 p.m. I was exhausted and ready for a good night's sleep but grateful for all that was accomplished.

I'm appreciative today will be a little less hectic. George (the turkey) is in the fridge defrosting, the bread has been chopped up for stuffing and for now I'm going to relax, read blogs and watch a bit of television.  A friend is stopping by shortly so I can help her with a task, and my daughter will be here later today for dinner with my son and I.

I'm thankful for the time we'll have together but I'll know I'll be happy when she heads home tomorrow.  We love each other but get along much better at a distance!

We've got weather for the weekend as well.  The sun has been shining and the temperatures are warm enough I've been able to open the sun room for the cats and get a bit of fresh air into the house. I'm appreciative of these last few days of more summer-like weather with the brightly colored leaves and the freshness of the air for my walk this morning.

There are so many things to be thankful for this year.  Family, health, and friends and even my job.  I'm also most grateful, appreciative, and thankful for this community I've found through the blogs I read and those who take the time to read and comment on mine.  The laughter and the tears that your words invoke in me are both inspiring and encouraging.

Thank you for sharing a little of your life with me and allowing me to share mine.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Life changing

This week we kicked our our charitable campaign at work.  In years past, the office has supported us by providing funding that subsidized the cost of the lunch.  (I may have mentioned this in previous posts so forgive me if I'm repeating myself).

Unfortunately this year, we didn't get the same support and as a result the price of lunch was passed on to the attendees.  We saw a significant drop in participation by nearly 50%.  It's a shame as this is our sole opportunity to get our message out to as many people as possible.

We've learned through experience that people contribute more when the speakers are able to touch the hearts and minds of those listening.  In other words we need to make them cry. That may sound callous, but our goal is to encourage our staff to donate to any charity of their choice.  Despite the recent job reductions, we still are very fortunate and in giving we have an impact on those in our community.

The speakers that were brought in from two charitable organizations were good but neither really elicited much emotion from the crowd.  I had decided a couple of weeks ago, if this were to occur I would share how my life had been impacted by a local charity. I'm going to tell you it was frightening to open up my life in front of my co-workers but I did it.  I hope it will have a positive impact.

Today I'm going to share my story with you.

Hi, my name is Eileen and I'm a single mom.  I've been a single mom for nearly 33 years now, and I always thought I was a pretty good mom.  Although my children didn't have the latest toys or the $100 running shoes, they always had a roof over their heads and decent food to eat.  They didn't get into trouble at school...much...and neither got arrested.  By the time they both reached the age of 18 I thought my worries were over.

I was wrong.

Seven years ago, early on a Sunday morning in April I got a telephone call that no parent would ever want to receive.  On the other end of the line was a nurse from the psychiatric ward of a hospital telling me that my child had made a failed attempt at suicide.  At that moment, the bottom dropped out of my world.

Like a mama bear with her cub I went into rescue mode.  I dropped everything and drove several hours to be with my baby.  But my baby wasn't a child anymore, so the doctors and nurses couldn't or wouldn't tell me anything.  I was so frightened, wanting nothing more than to protect my child, and so worried about the future might bring.

By the time I arrived home a few days later, the feelings of shame and guilt were overwhelming.  I didn't know what to do or where to turn.  This is where our local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health association comes into the story.  They provided information that helped me not to understand why it happened, but to accept that it had happened.  They gave me hope that I could support my child in their mental illness, and showed me that I too was in need of support.  They encouraged me to seek out others who had lived similar experiences.  I am beyond grateful for the support I received.

Today I still live with the fear that someday another attempt occur.  If it does, no matter the outcome, I know there is support for me within our community.

My point in sharing in my experience with you is that we don't always know or think about who our donations will impact.  I do know it is not always those who are less fortunate, it could be a family member, a friend, or a co-worker.  When you donate you truly do make a difference.  

Thank you.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Weekend Wrap-up

Sigh.....I'm so glad it's the weekend!    I can hardly believe I made through another of work without screaming out loud or jumping off the roof. Though I did threaten to do the latter at one point.  

We're about to formally kick-off our charitable campaign and another group has chosen to hold an event the same day and time as ours.  I wasn't too worried as I felt the two events were so dissimilar we wouldn't be attracting the same individuals. However, on Wednesday I learned that someone from the other group was talking to though who had purchased tickets for our event, trying to convince them to attend long enough to pick up their lunch and then return to the office for the other session. What a great display of our values; cooperation, respect and professional.

When I took my concerns to our management adviser, she pooh-poohed them.  I think I know why, as she joined us for a canvasser meeting the next day, and there was no one who paid less attention.  It was clearly obvious she feels no connection to what we do or why we do it. I suspect her opinion is indicative of most of management.

This point was proven even more  strongly, when later in the day, I learned the office is planning a safety drill just a half hour before our event.  Not only does this mean our adviser has no intention of helping us set up, but there is a good possibility those attending will be delayed as they are required to attend a de-brief post drill.  

It was at this point I suggested I was ready to leap off the roof.  AND I am terrified of heights!

It was a good thing I had yesterday off.  I slept in, then went for breakfast, did a little shopping, had my hair done, and just had a relaxing day.  Later I went for dinner with friends, then came home to watch our Riders play football.  It was a debacle!  We've lost our starting quarter back and our back-ups are just not ready  Our defense kept us in the game, but we lost 24-0.  To add injury to insult (literally) with four second left in the game one of our better receivers went down with a serious injury.

I was in bed by midnight but was awake until nearly 5 a.m.  I tossed and turned, planned the program for the kick-off, made mental lists of all the things I need to get done, and tried desperately to relax enough to go to sleep.  At 4 a.m. I gave up briefly, spent a good half hour writing out the program and my lists before I crawled back into bed.  I guess I should have done that sooner!

This morning I took care of some of my personal to-do list, filled the car with fuel, got my oil changed, had my nails done, and stopped by the dollar store.

I finally got my marble jar.  It will go to work with me on Monday.  Every marble represents a month remaining before I plan to retire.  At the end of each month I will remove a marble from the jar and when I've lost all my marbles I'm done!

Our weather has turned cool again, with rain and wind.  I had thought I'd get outdoors to gather the leaves that have fallen but it is far too wet.  Instead I'll stay indoors, watch more football, and maybe catch up on my sleep!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.