Friday, 31 May 2013

On The Run...

I recently saw a posting on™ of a woman who decided to take up running as a hobby within the past few years. This gal has made new friends and effectively has found her stride in a new lifestyle. Her post noted that she had signed up for her first marathon. 

I was thinking about how she has effectively set her sites on accomplishing a task that may not have been in the scheme of things just a few years ago. When raising a family, mothers are often the “go-to” person, especially if we were raised in a traditional 1950-60’s household where “Mom was the heart of the home and Dad was the head”. 

In a different season of adult life, there’s often a shift to thoughtfulness about making or taking more time for ourselves. An empty-nest seems to create a void that must be filled now that daily tasks and responsibilities may be reduced. 

It happens too often that ill health or other concerns come into one’s sphere, perhaps parents or spouse on one hand, and our children on the other. Any flicker of resentment is quelled then as we step again into the shoes of responsibility. Mine fit too comfortably – in fact I seldom take them off! 

If your shoes are run down at the heels, need to be buffed up, and sole savers applied, maybe it can be refreshing to take a different point of view. I realized with a wide smile that the now-single lady with a new lifestyle has just switched her footwear!  

When there seem to be still too few hours in the day and the list of Things to Do seems longer, I’m  now wearing imaginary spandex, layered tops under a sweatshirt, and sturdy shoes to both feel the part and perform the task of being “on the run”.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Unsung Heroes and Heroines…

Too frequently a family member, friend, neighbour or others we know are diagnosed with a serious ailment. That “news travels fast” is an understatement, and despite pleas for privacy - everyone is a-buzz.
Well-meaning offers of assistance, advice, carefully spoken encouragements or even probing questions can be nearly overwhelming!

After the proverbial dust settles and people are no longer so attentive, a routine may develop which involves a spouse or other caregiver from dawn to dusk, as well as interrupted sleep through the night to meet the needs of a loved one or patient who is unwell.

The prognosis may not be a guarded opinion or clearly terminal, there are many situations where caregivers toil courageously over long periods of time, the commitment seldom eases. Children may have any number of debilitating conditions and require ongoing attention and assistance; victims of accident might find their lives and lifestyle turned topsey-turvy; parents or partners may develop dementias; others may suffer the cruelty of incurable relentless conditions.

While television, print media and support-group efforts create an awareness not previously learned, until people walk in someone else’s moccasins as a selfless caregiver, there is only surmise, not knowing.

In-home caregiver family members can hardly participate in an exciting conversation about trivia or fun, the row they hoe is long, winding and fraught with challenges. A quick trip to the grocery store for food basics must be scheduled, time-frame predictable, and with backup in place!

Courageous men, women and children are all around us, seldom complaining – just doing what needs to be done. When we hear a radio account, view a television documentary or news clip, or read a magazine article about the intricacies of managing the task loads and keeping a steady hand on the tiller – let us be grateful for our own good fortunate and send good thoughts to the unsung heroes we may know of, haven’t yet met, or will never meet.

Friday, 17 May 2013

When The Going Gets Tough...

I think it’s probable that we have all found ourselves in the disconcerting situation where a friend or relative is faced with bereavement, job loss, divorce, or illness – to name just a few identified major life stressors.

We are usually quick to say “what can I do to help”, or, “if there’s anything you need, call me”. Even the most generous hearts and minds can feel stymied when it comes to stepping forward, perhaps with a hand up or a hand out. It’s sometimes awkward to find the right words, or worse – trepidation about saying something that will sit inappropriately.

If the response is stilted, it’s easier to back away rather than hold fast in our offer – probably the recipient of our goodwill is just as uncertain as we are! I love and treasure the sensitivity of this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr…
”The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Regardless of our personal opinions or convictions on disputable subjects, striving to retain our integrity and strength of character by not making unsolicited comments will always hold us in good stead. In this unrelenting world of work, busyness, socializing and family, it’s easy to get caught up in our own activities.
When you hear of someone who is struggling through mire, telephone or write a note and follow through.

Imagine how thrilled the recipient will feel when the going gets tough!

Friday, 10 May 2013

It's a crapshoot...

I had the pleasure yesterday of attending a matinee performance of the 1950 Broadway musical Guys and Dolls which was performed at the Algonquin theater in Huntsville. A wonderful production and many in the audience humming along to familiar melodies and lyrics!

Being of more recent vintage, I found myself recognizing crooned tunes such as “I’ll Know”, “If I Were a Bell”, “My Time of day”, and “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”. The freshness and wonder of new love likely touched everyone in the audience!

The ongoing ups and downs of Adelaide and her fiancĂ© Nathan Detroit hold true in today’s world – some things never change! A few quiet giggles and murmurings as people there related personally to the throes of romance.

Sinatra made “Luck be a Lady Tonight” his signature song! Whether we peer through rose-coloured glasses, swoon with anticipation or, conversely, are more matter-of-fact; love and loving can sometimes feel too fickle!

Whether the subject is gambling either with cards or your heart, “it’s a crapshoot”!

Friday, 3 May 2013

Magnetic Appeal...

Last night was one of those “tossing/turning, up and down” sleep interrupted nights for me!  And for this I blame my father…my brother does too! We all suffer(ed) often with those charley-horse leg cramps that make you roar out of slumber.
My grandmother (hmmm, maybe it’s her fault…) would stagger into the bathroom and put her knotted foot onto the surface of the cold floor. My brother’s relief is acquired by sitting on the toilet seat cover and applying his soles, with great athleticism, to the outer sides of the toilet bowl.
A colleague’s eyes opened wider when I was discussing my short sleep and how I invariably roll a cow magnet over my cramped tendon or leg muscle. It may not be scientific, but seems to bring relief for me.

If you aren’t familiar with a cow magnet, neither was she! These are readily available at a farm supply store – farmers use them to prevent cattle from digesting metallic objects the animals swallow while grazing. Google™ this for your own info and interest!

However convoluted the transition may feel, I reflect as always on the parallels to doing business as a professional REALTOR®. While foraging, it should be noted that I don’t habitually swallow nails, barbed wire or the like – though the “gut” feeling may be similar from time to time.  A tried and true remedy to “make the pathway pleasant and smooth for my clients” is extending magnetic appeal.