March 12, 2023 · 8:52 am
Is it any wonder I sometimes find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place as an adult, when scenes like the following played out in childhood?
My mom would be in the process of trying to gently steer this only child onto the more courteous road of life where the world didn’t actually revolve around me. She would share words of wisdom and life lessons on the importance of patience, with beautiful sayings like “good things come to those who wait” and how taking turns just makes the world a better place.
Moments later, my Dad would stomp in, turn off the TV and announce that the grass needs mowing… now!
Maybe they should have checked first for the scheduling and timing of their life lessons, but despite the mixed messaging, in time I came to realize that they were both right.
In life, some things must be handled urgently while others can (…and should) be scheduled and addressed at a mutually convenient time. To recognize the difference is what I would consider to be the “wisdom” part of the equation.
But not everyone seems to have gotten the memo. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, Inspiring, stories
Tagged as client, customer, demands, expectations, human, humanity, industry, labor, labour, patience, patient, people, perspective, service, speed, staff, tech, technology, time, urgency, urgent, wait, waiting, work force
February 26, 2023 · 8:07 am
A while back, while running my socially-distanced, masked, sanitized errands, I stopped by a nearby bank branch with a simple mission: to obtain a transaction register.
For those who might not be familiar with what that is, a transaction register is that little booklet you slide into your chequebook holder, to keep track of your deposits and your withdrawals.
I realize that I am probably dating myself with that statement since cheques, chequebooks and chequebook holders might not be household names in many households anymore.
The fact is that cheques are losing popularity (in Canada, anyway), in favour of credit cards, debit cards, eTransfers and automatic withdrawals. I think it would be safe to say that during the pandemic when physical forms of payment were discouraged, the adjustment to contactless forms of payment may have accelerated the inevitable.
Just the same, there are occasions when a cheque is still the more convenient or practical payment option. This 2018 article from the Ottawa Citizen explains more on the topic:
Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, stories
Tagged as accounting, check, check book, cheque, chequebook, cheques, credits, debits, finances, financial, money, personal, records, register, system, transaction
February 19, 2023 · 7:34 am
Have you ever looked at the list of recorded programming on your digital recorder and thought, “No, I’m not in the mood for those”?
And then have you scrolled through your streaming service, looked at the list and said, “No I’m not in the mood for those either”? Me too.
It is no reflection on the quality of the shows whatsoever. To be honest, I do pick up new shows fairly regularly, and with great interest, to keep apprised of how the TV landscape and the screenwriting world are rapidly evolving.
But at one time or another, don’t we all have moments like that, like a teenager looking inside a fully stocked fridge and announcing, “There’s nothing to eat!”?
So what does one watch when that feeling strikes?
For me, I turn to what I call “Comfort TV” programs that are like a comfy pair of slippers or that cozy sweater. It is that list of shows that I may have already watched a few (dozen) times, but that I am always ready to watch again.
For some of those shows, they may represent a fun throwback to childhood.
For others, they just have a knack for tapping into something that strikes a chord, whether consistently tickling the funny bone or light, gentle, comforting storytelling.
Others are just timeless classics that are a joy to behold time and time again like a piece of art. Surprisingly, there are times when I might notice something new but from an older and wiser lens… or so I’d like to think. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, pop culture, TV
Tagged as classic, comedies, comedy, comfort, enjoyment, favorite, favourites, joy, list, network, pop culture, reruns, streaming, television, TV, viewer, viewing, watch, watching
February 12, 2023 · 8:22 am
One of the greatest ironies about getting older is that despite the whispers of life experience and wisdom through which we can better take life’s drama with a grain of salt, and to view it with the perspective and acceptance that prevent our heads from exploding on a daily basis, there is one troubling reality: new situations to replace them… which still hold the power to make our heads explode.
To me, a recent bugaboo has been company name changes.
A few weeks ago, my partner and I received an email from a company we deal with, announcing their name change. Frankly, it wasn’t a big change. They just dropped a few letters from the end of their name.
I felt empathy for the poor employees having to drop everything to update all of their forms, templates and signature blocks, at a time when their plates were probably already full. It brought back memories of a position I have been in more times than I wanted to recall.
I sometimes wonder if it’s just me who thinks that company names seem to be changing at a faster pace than before.
But the evidence speaks for itself when watching a vintage episode of “The Price is Right” on YouTube and noticing that many company names that were household names in the 1970s have completely disappeared.
I have to admit that remembering names is not my strongest attribute. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Humour, pop culture, stories
Tagged as aging, brand, branding, business, change, changing, client, company, consumer, corporate, customer, goods, history, memory, name, names, recall, reputation, service, services
February 5, 2023 · 8:49 am
The first time I ever heard of a contract rider was back in the 1980’s, when I heard that in the tour contracts for rock band Van Halen, a clause stipulated that backstage, there needed to be a bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones picked out.
A little over-the-top? Perhaps.
Author Steve Jones, provides more insight into the reason for this clause, in a fascinating article from Entrepreneur Magazine entitled: “No Brown M&M’s: What Van Halen’s Insane Contract Clause Teaches Entrepreneurs.” If you are interested in checking out the article, please click on the article’s title.
As celebrities progress through their meteoric rise to stardom, I think it is fair that their expectations when touring or on location should indeed be commensurate with the financial rewards they bring to the table.
Some requests may be very practical if they need to travel with family members or an entourage of staff.
Other requests might seem less practical, maybe bordering on the frivolous, but that would be a matter of opinion. I am certain that some celebrities make such requests to create the environment that ensures that they are at their creative peak and completely in the zone. Continue reading →
Filed under Humour, stories, Writing
Tagged as accommodations, clause, comfort, conditions, Contract, creative, creativity, guest, home, location, meals, optimal, process, rider, staff, work, writer, writerslife
January 29, 2023 · 10:01 am
After living in the country for more than two years, I can say with absolute certainty that I like it here.
The peace and tranquility I feel, away from daily doses of traffic jams, chronic noise pollution and a higher concentration of people with an innate talent for exasperating others, have been worth the time, the energy and the price of admission.
Despite this having been a truly joyful experience, there has been one inescapable irritant: Asian lady beetles.
For those who might not have had the pleasure (or displeasure) of meeting them, they look very much like lady bugs, but with a more orange-coloured outer shell.
While I am told that they aren’t destructive to property, one could be inclined to just ignore them… but it’s impossible. The problem is the numbers… on a crisp, sunny fall morning, my partner and I could be squishing dozens of them as they try to enter the house in search of a warm place for the winter. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Cats, Humour, stories
Tagged as care, cat, childhood, essentials, family, gratitude, hospitality, kindness, memories, necessities, relatives, travel
January 22, 2023 · 7:56 am
While I consider myself an optimist who likes to think the best in people, I thank my Mom for raising me with a healthy degree of skepticism to keep things in balance.
If she didn’t, I think it would be safe to say that the Pollyanna in me might have fallen off the turnip truck, not seen the forest for the trees and may have gotten into financial hot water.
One life lesson that has proven invaluable has been the idea of getting a second opinion (…and sometimes a third.)
I don’t think a second opinion is needed when making small, routine purchases. Let’s face it, despite being starved for conversation after the pandemic lockdowns, we probably won’t make friends while canvassing for second opinions about long-lasting breath mints at the express check-out counter.
But to me, there are times when a second opinion makes sense to validate the necessity of an expensive transaction and that the associated costs are justified. Also, having a few moments to just take a deep breath and to absorb what we are being told without freaking out is an added bonus. Continue reading →
January 15, 2023 · 8:16 am
After the big move to the country, as I was unpacking my towels, I experienced a bit of a life-flashing-before-my-eyes moment, as each towel colour seemed to hold an association to a specific period in my life.
I guess the fact that I bought my bathroom towels in batches to coordinate with my decor each time I moved might have had something to do with it.
When I first moved out on my own, my bathroom (actually, my whole apartment) was decorated around basic black and white neutrals with red accents. It was easy, it was inexpensive (luckily, budget-friendly flat-pack furniture often came in either black or white), and it looked deliberate and pretty well put-together.
My linen closet was stocked with a first purchase of black towels. I enjoyed them because they were very low maintenance in the sense that they rarely needed special treatment. To me, they never showed stains the way a lighter colour might.
The only issue I had was the dust and the lint that they produced when they were brand new, despite several washings.
I found myself cleaning the pale bathroom floor more often than I would have liked simply because of the little black fibers and spots of lint that littered the floor. It only took a couple of days for the bathroom floor to look like it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks. This was more than the Type-A part of me could tolerate. Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour
Tagged as bath, bathroom, decor, dust, home, hotel, lint, relaxation, serenity, spa, towels
January 8, 2023 · 9:14 am
I don’t know if it’s just me, but even after several decades on the planet, I can still get that giddy energy I did when I was a kid and sometimes find myself too excited to sleep.
When I was growing up, I remember being afflicted with that joyful sense of sleeplessness before my birthday, before Christmas, before summer holidays and before the first day of school (not for the school part itself, but to see my friends and favourite teachers again).
In the younger days of adulthood, I had those same moments but for different reasons. The start of a new job, an upcoming trip, a first date and the move to a new dwelling all brought with them a jolt of energy that could leave me looking a bit tired and puffy-eyed the next day.
A decade later, I noticed a shift to more experience-based reasons for being excited like once-in-a-lifetime concerts, Broadway shows, unique travel destinations, and celebratory meals with friends and family.
I get a chuckle out of how I’d even get too excited to sleep the night before the delivery of a new kitchen appliance. If that’s not an adult thing, I don’t know what is. Continue reading →
Filed under 50+, Health and Wellness, Humour, stories
Tagged as anticipation, blessings, energy, enthusiasm, gratitude, insomnia, joy, passion, positive, relaxation, rest, sleep, sleeplessness
January 1, 2023 · 8:17 am
I think it would be fair to say that most people experience the “exploding tissue in the washing machine” situation at one time or another.
You know… it’s those times when despite having thoroughly checked the pockets of the garments being loaded into the washing machine, a tissue still sneaks in, goes through a full wash cycle, and explodes into a million little pieces.
Given my emergency preparedness training at work, it should come as no surprise that I always kept a tissue neatly tucked in a pocket (especially since the pandemic) to catch unplanned, unscheduled or unexpected sneezes.
That being the case, over the years, I was no stranger to the occasional case of exploding tissues in the wash.
It’s not that I didn’t check my pockets. I did… I do… I always do… but once in a while, I might miss one.
That being the case, I developed and implemented a two-step checking process to try to catch those sneaky little buggers (or “boogers” in the case of used ones):
Step 1: I check the pockets before an article of clothing goes into the laundry hamper.
Step 2: I check the pockets again before the clothing goes into the washing machine.
This two-step process has proven to be invaluable as I have found myself breathing a sigh of relief in catching some just before a wash load, especially a load of dark coloured clothes.
But still, every once in a while, a tissue sneaks through and makes a mess.
Why is this? Continue reading →
Filed under home, Humour, Running, stories
Tagged as clean, cleaning, clothes, laundry, mess, stories, story, tissues, Washer, washing