Friday, 30 November 2012

On Golden Pond...revisited

At the annual Thanksgiving time of year there are many thoughts which may come to one’s mind. Personal circumstances though can sometimes make feeling thankful a difficult mindset!

The different “ages and stages” that we grow and progress through affect our emotions and confidence – there can be plenty of “Aha!” moments when concerns become clear and the path out of the woods discernible; and the choices we make are hopefully well thought out and balanced.

On a recent “get-away” for a couple of days in Autumn, I had a serendipitous revelation! The beauty of the seasonal colours felt vibrant, contrasting somewhat to the personal “slump” I was feeling…my usual upbeat enthusiasm was absent.
The road trip was lovely, and nigglings of my mind were assessed, reassessed and evaluated again. The themes – both obvious and more subtle as well of that famous “On Golden Pond” movie seemed appropriate –  the awareness of how some things change, some stay constant, and some challenges appear which must be resolved.

Whether we are thriving and zooming or  simply managing to get by and can’t quite get our heads around the “golden years” that are ours – to everything there is a reason and a season. If we can summon even the teensiest sense of adventure,  and seek out activities or subjects that are of interest, it’s inevitable that the autumnal feeling will give way to the eternal hopefulness that is Spring.  Funny how our viewpoint can change with just a nudge – being “On Golden Pond” might be the adventure of our lifetime!

Friday, 23 November 2012

Leaf Peepers In Muskoka...

It came as a great realization to me how easy it is to over-estimate someone’s stamina and have that too-weary feeling after having tried hard to make an event pleasurable and interesting!

Recent visitors to my home in Bracebridge wanted to come and “see the leaves” – so the day was set for an excursion by car. With me driving, there were four others in the roomy vehicle; sun was shining and everyone had a full tummy!
We toured several smaller towns and stopped at three lookout points through the day, as well as lunch at an adorable restaurant in Dorset named Zachary’s.

The end of the afternoon found us back where we’d begun – but astonishingly, our visitors were tired and seemed almost bored.  I felt foolish that I had taxed their energy and enthusiasm….heads bobbing as they dropped off to the land of nod from time to time wasn’t rewarding for them or me. The pleasure of being a positively scintillating tour guide was lost!

After supper, everyone settled in front of the television for a movie we’d all been anticipating. Shortly into it they were snoozing in their chairs – jolting into wakefulness from time to time and wondering what they’d missed.

A lesson well learned –make the jaunt shorter and it will be all the sweeter if you want to host friends and family at Leaf-Peeping time in beautiful Muskoka

Friday, 16 November 2012

Blarney Stones...

We can all recall a popular advertising slogan several years ago that suggested “freedom” from the workaday world at time calculated to be ten years sooner than traditional retirement age.  Anticipation flushed many a cheek!

Since that time, global economies have suffered deep and truly devastating influences – delusions of grandeur and speedy sports cars have evaporated for many. And yet, workers everywhere have set their shoulder to the wheel and have been able to move forward, though sometimes imperceptibly. Keeping one’s head above water is a struggle for many.

The advent of Instant Win lottery tickets, Early Bird draws and all manner of puzzle prizes have lured hopefuls by the throng and in Ontario the casino crowds now outnumber those who bet on the horses!

As time rolls along I have learned that the plea “if someone would just give me a break” falls on deaf ears and a non-existent “someone”. We make our own breaks by making informed choices, few guesses, and keeping our eye on the ball. A more recent probability  is that most of us who have achieved 60-plus years under our belt may have to toil on longer.

The proverbial “pot of gold at the end of the rainbow” is, for the majority of grown-ups, an empty crock of blarney stones.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Changing Gears...

When I was a young girl and yearning for my driver’s license, my Dad felt it was very nearly essential that everyone know how to manage a manual transmission. He stressed that I “might be able to save someone’s life someday” by being capable of either reversing or moving a vehicle forward to free someone from underneath! 

Decades later, never having found myself in that particular situation by the way, it seems like so many adults are driving through life’s changes on “auto”-pilot rather than shifting gears on the grades and bumps in the road. Perhaps the different stages of living were viewed at a younger age as having a certain set of how’tos that everyone seemed to follow. An example might be “getting married and having babies” or “having a split-level house with a two car garage and manicured lawn”!

Just as every roadway requires adept maneuvering to get over the bumps and around obstacles, so it is with baby-boomers like myself! We may not drive quite as fast as in earlier times, but our senses are acute and experience serves us well. Whether we’re in the proverbial fast lane or not, being able to smoothly change gears can result in a stall when we least expect it!

I think of my Dad often when the way is uneven and treacherous – being able to move forward or reverse if necessary can indeed be a lifesaver.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Flying Free

November 2, 2012

Several years ago, having saved up travel rewards points for awhile, an invitation came to my husband and me to vacation for two weeks in beautiful Barbados. My cousin and her hubby have been going for many years – and I’d been dreaming of the beaches, sand and sun!

The four of us met at a small hotel near Pearson airport in Toronto, had dinner and then early to bed so we could be ready for the shuttle in the pre-dawn. Excitement was palpable – an adventure to say the least! We would be joining an already established group of 4 other couples and were full of anticipation!

When our bags were checked, Duty Free purchases stowed safely, we made our way to the Departure Lounge – in good time. The Flight Attendants at the desk were well organized and all seemed to be moving along smoothly. Until our names were broadcast over the loudspeaker and we were summoned to The Desk!

My heart was in my mouth with apprehension – surely we wouldn’t be bumped from the flight because we flying on rewards points!!! My husband and I were informed that the plane was overbooked, and that there would have to be some changes made. I told the Attendants earnestly that we were travelling with another couple – and having never been to Barbados before we simply couldn’t be split up from them. Forthwith, my cousin and her hubby are also summoned – and with distinct pleasure, the Attendants at The Desk asked if we would mind moving up to First Class seating, at no extra charge!

We’ve continued to accumulate rewards points – and anticipate making another reservation when we’ll again be flying free!