Monday, 31 May 2010

Not Yet

A pal once told me of an experience he'd had with some Monks. Their world existed in a positive frame of mind. They didn't know the word no. There was the word "yes" or "not yet."
This conversation enlightened me. Why not forget the word "no?" It's a dead end. Blunt. Negative in some cases. Doesn't go anywhere.
When you think about it, the words "not yet" are toned in a much more positive manner. Leaving you hanging in the balance so to speak.
Rather then answering a question such as "Have you ever tried skydiving?" with "no" (presuming you haven't), you say "not yet." Which leaves the receiver of this communication to hear, you haven't yet but maybe someday you will.
I like that. I like that because it's positive and open-ended. By saying "not yet" you also leave your mind open to the possibilities of whatever that question is.
So, "Have you done the dinner dishes?"
My answer: "Not yet!"

Sunday, 30 May 2010

James Bond Monte Carlo FUNdraiser

Take an airport hanger, some select styling vehicles, and a plane then add in the ‘James Bond’ theme with Vegas style games with live entertainment and you have an epic of sorts FUNdraiser!

Thanks to the Rotary Club of Sidney By The Sea, funds raised will go to help with the North Saanich Freeride Bike Park, something close to my heart.

What started as a few mounds of dirt that certain mother’s (me for instance) would allow their kids to go and hang out at with their bikes for hours on end during the summer, has transformed into the goal of become a World Class Cycling Destination for people of all ages and skill levels. Pretty cool I have to say.

Development of pump tracks and dirt jumps takes skill, machines, labour and money. Lots of it. Much has already been done. But more work is needed. In jumps Rotary and voila, a FUNdraiser ensues and last night true fun was had by all. Complete with the live jet landing and bringing in two gents (I heard one was the owner of the hanger) in themed James Bond style gaggled with two babe-alicious runaways.

I spent the evening as a volunteer at the crown and anchor wheel of fortune. Amazed at the humour and spirit which all that attended brought with them.

Thanks Sidney By The Sea Rotary! Great idea, can we do it again next year?!

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Slow Down, Sit Down, Shut Down

Time. I always seem to be rushing. I get tired of rushing. I know I’m not alone. I used to like the weekends where you could get up when you felt like it and do whatever your heart wanted to. Whether that meant reading the paper in its entirety, going for a longer then usual workout - the best! Or taking the time to make a big brunch breakfast.
I’m envious of those that I know that wake up and meditate before anything else.
If I got myself out of bed earlier would I take the time? Twenty minutes minimum is all I need. It would be THE time in the day where I would clear the head and completely shut down.
My brain is thinking about tomorrow, today. Every minute of my day is accounted for. Down time isn’t on the agenda. Neither is doing the dishes or the laundry. There’s no time!
I read somewhere recently where a community of individuals were advocating for a 25 hour day. Now how would that be possible given the sun up to sun down time ticker?
I’m already late for getting the workout done and getting to work. Not to mention arranging for more volunteer duties. Before anything else tomorrow, will I make the time to slow down, sit down and shut down?
I’m going to try adding it into the agenda.

Friday, 28 May 2010

Love in a Hug

There are certain things certain people know about me, that not even the higher ups in my family chain know. I’m happy to keep it that way. The secrets stay within.
There is one particular person in my life, who has stood beside me for a long time. She’s been there for me through all the ups and the downs, even the turnarounds - and is right up there in “the know.” My pal Carolyne. She’s one special gal!
It was luck that I caught up with her this evening. Doing her usual set up for her Arbonne business in the Sidney Health Fair at the Mary Winspear Centre. Only a smidge of what she really does with her life. The list grows weekly!
We pick up where we left off. Fill in the holes on what we’ve missed on the Facebook updates. It’s better to talk in person. I can catch the flicker of joy in her life as she talks about her trip away to Puerto Viarta and her daily yoga practice. And feel the emotion in her eyes when she tells me about the passing of her beloved dog, Sam. Life’s tales are better told in person. Especially when they start and end with a hug.
Love in a hug. What true friends are always there for.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Sparrow's Pooh

You’ve heard up with the roosters, today I heard “Up with the sparrow’s pooh.” Humm, I said to myself. Is 4:20 a.m. up with the “Sparrow’s Pooh?” I suppose so.
Getting out of bed around the number four has never boded well for my body. I'm in training for the BC Bike Race so I need to get a three hour road ride in before work. This is my seventh intense week of training. I'm getting better at not hitting snooze.
Truthfully though, I’ve grown fond of being on the road by 5 a.m. It’s me, the bunnies, the birds, the deer, the raccoons, the street cleaners and the newspaper carriers. By the time the three hour mark rolls around, the traffic is abuzz and the city is awake. Too bad, I think to myself, I like it just me and the wildlife.
The funniest moment I had this morning was when I was crouched down on a gradual hill grunt and I went to blow the said right nostril out and I saw to the right of the road a family of goats. Shocked they were at my indecencies! Their expressions, priceless. I carry on.

It's spring in Victoria (British Columbia, Canada) and I have to say it's the air I enjoy the most at that time of the morning. While I ride seaside I sniff the sea, when I travel through forests, like Mount Douglas Park - I whiff the magic of the trees and the grass. So sweet, especially after the spring sprinkles. I don't imagine it's anything close to the aroma of a sparrow's pooh!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

The Shadows of Debt

Swallow the pride I said to myself. Make the call. If it’s before noon, you’ll have the money in your account the next day.
I couldn't go any longer. How embarrassing would it be to be standing there with key in hand and debit card in another and oops, “Insufficient funds in account.” Sorry. Can’t take the truck home tonight after the brakes have been renewed. Ouch.
Drawing on one’s pension since one lost the steady high paying full-time job almost two years ago is demoralizing. Not only that, scary. I transferred the pension over to the RRSPs so I could access as needed. Far too frequently. When it’s gone. It is gone.
Money. Money. Money. Can’t live without it. Whenever you have it, no matter how much you make or have, for some reason it is never enough.
I often dwell on what it would be like to not worry about paying bills on time. The triple A credit rating took time. Don’t want to loose it.
Years ago, I remember furnishing my first apartment. In a second hand store I discovered a treasure of an art deco kitchen table. Had to have it. Went to the bank, not thinking and got the cash. Handed it over to the shop owner and said, that’s my rent money right there.
He looked at me with a smile and a smirk shrugging his shoulders and said, “It’s only money honey!”

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

A Double Egg Yolk Day

It cracked and out came two! With that my face saw a grin and I said to myself, “Today is going to be a good day.”
I likened the double egg yolk in the frying pan to be an omen of goodness. I’d already done my road ride, complete with some speed work. Not to brag or anything, but somehow I managed to cut off 11 minutes on my usual one hour length road ride (the turnaround point). So of course I had to ride farther. Hastened by the growl in the stomach, I made it back home in two hours, one minute and 27 seconds.
The rest of the day went splendidly. I worked as hard as I could for as long as my arms would let me. Today I was sanding old stripped varnish off of a wooden boat’s cap rails and hand rails. Sometimes bending over, occasionally on my back looking up and at times from my hands and knees. I was gagging in teak dust by the end of the day. Happy to make it home to jump in the shower and freshen up. Exhausted but with a good feeling of productivity. It must have been the eggs that kept me going!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Lost Souls

People. It takes all kinds. How do we become who we are? We are shaped by our homes, the people we grow up around, our teachers and the neighbourhoods we live in. Then externally, by what we read in books, a newspaper, or watch on television or hear on the radio. These days, more like what we see, hear and read on the World Wide Web. On a computer.
Deeper then that is where we were before we became the body we are in today. The ‘old souls’ amongst us have lived long before. Grown up in different surroundings and likely different kinds or moral ethics. Religions have evolved to surmise what is known today, but was it always thought of that way before?
What lies ahead is unknown. The purpose for today is to live for the day, but what about tomorrow? And what about now?
For all there is to life, do most actually live in the moment, for the moment? Do we take the time to smell something beautiful? To actually stop and savour it, or do we let magical moments in life rush by? When we see a hummingbird fly by to attend to a flower or a feeder, do we stop and marvel in its creation?
Time marches on. Life moves quickly. When a body dies, does the soul go with it? Or does a soul live on forever?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

I Had a Feeling!

Photograph by Dave Hord, Cycling BC

If it’s meant to be it will be. I’ve always heard that. Mum used to say, “Everything happens for a reason, you won’t realize it now but you will later.” Particularly if something you didn’t want to happen, did and well you couldn’t quite justify the reasoning at the time.
Last night I was Blackberry messaging my son. He was in Quebec preparing for his first Canada Cup Downhill Mountain Bike Race. He’s in his last year of racing as a Junior before he goes Pro and also preparing to graduate from high school. He has a lot going on. Including a girlfriend and two part time jobs. In the last year, he’s had some challenges with sponsorships and I'd have to say focus.
I’ve been getting up early anyway so I send him encouraging words for the day always book-marked with “Ride SAFE!” He’s well trained now to respond to momma with “I will!”
Last year he suffered a horrendous amount of injuries and still managed to synch the title of National Junior Downhill Mountain Bike Champion. Early in this season, he had some ego crushers. Not his strongest achievements to date.
In messaging back and forth I began to sense this air of confidence I hadn’t heard from him in a while. He had it “Dialed!” (In teenager lingo that means he has it figured out.) He’s practiced the race course and he’s ready to go. I put my Blackberry away before going to sleep and think to myself, with this attitude, he’s going to win.
Sure enough – he did! He won Junior and placed fifth amongst the Pros. I had a feeling!

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Mind Yes, Body NO

The birds were singing. The alarm rang. I got up. It was not much after 6 a.m. I’m 46 years old and I’ve been training hard for the BC Bike Race, a seven-day mountain bike race
The race involves 30-40 kilometres of mountain biking each day. The training requires 12-18 hours of riding each week.
Because I varnish boats at the moment to make money, I fit my long rides in during the wee hours of the morning. I’m too exhausted by the end of the day to ride my bike for three hours. So for example, I get up at 4:15 a.m. on Wednesdays to do my three-hour road ride. I’m on the bike by 5 a.m. (great hour to ride the roads – no traffic) and am back home by 8 a.m. to eat and get ready for work.
However, this week has been difficult. It’s Saturday and I thought I’d hit the road by 7 a.m. It’s my sixth week of intense training. I barely have time to do my laundry let alone wash my dishes. My life is consumed with driving to work, working, driving home and training.
Today I did what a friend on Facebook did. I got up, ate my breakfast and my mind said “get ‘er done, need to get dressed and get on the bike,” but my body slammed on the brakes and said NO! And back to bed I went. But this didn’t just happen today, it also happened yesterday and the day before yesterday.
When the body says no, I guess the mind listens.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Family Fumblings

What's a family without some sort of drama?
When dad was alive, he used to refer to his better half's parents home as the "Funny Farm." We'd all have to go sooner or later. Have a meal. They'd drink some wine. Then if someone was silly enough to bring up Politics, the **** would hit the fan.
For as long as I can remember we've been "taxed to death." I heard it all the time. Of course, no one disagrees.
However, when a long-standing family dynamic changes; i.e. one person crosses the floor and over the comfort boundaries to bonk another said family member, well I'd have to say that the fire of the dragon has come alive.
You can assume you know your family. For better or for worse. But when the truth comes to light and that certain individual won't communicate honestly, while all around those who watch, hear and feel know reality... a drama unfolds. Which begs the question, if you can't trust your family, then who can you trust?

Thursday, 20 May 2010

A Birthday Wish

I love dancing. The most fun I can remember was bouncing in sinc to some sound in a wild African-like frenzy. No care in the world. My soul sang. I was free. I was in a moment. When nothing around me mattered. I was one.
As I drove to work this morning and found myself singing out loud to some song on the radio I thought about dancing. I want to go dancing on my birthday. Today is my birthday.
Where do I go dancing? I remember a couple girlfriends and I used to have dinner and make the kitchen the dance floor. That was fun. So much energy. Positive energy.
However, the older you get the more time seems to suck you in. And for some reason, there becomes less of it for yourself.
I had made a commitment to attend to a family matter. Which I did. It ended poorly. Followed by a date with a laundromat.
Shortly before 10 p.m. I lit a candle on a store-bought cheesecake and sang myself Happy Birthday. I reckon I'll just have to do some dancing in my sleep. There's always next year...

Pass on a Smile

It was a Drama teacher some years ago who shaped who I am today. We sat in a circle. There was a bunch of us girls. At the time - although short-lived - I was in an all-girls school. A piece of paper was handed to one person. She was asked to read it then whisper it into the next person's ear. She did so. And then the next person was asked to do the same. And so on. By the time the message came to the last person it was said out loud. But it wasn't anything close to what was written on that piece of paper. The message was said, but interpreted differently by each person that heard what another person had said.
Mrs. Bradshaw then talked about the smile. How when you smile to someone, instinctively there comes a smile back.
In a day where there may be sadness or darkness, you never know what kind of light you may bring into someone’s heart simply by smiling. And so in my heart this message stuck. You simply can’t go wrong spreading a smile.
Smile when you wake up.
Smile when you meditate.
Smile when you walk down the street.
Smile when no one is looking:)