Thursday, March 3, 2016

Another Spring

Today was a montage of random situations. From the pressure of work, to the serenity of anticipating the return of our eagles, it has had many faces and perspectives. Perhaps a day of reflection. A day of resetting. A day of anticipation. That's a loaded word. Anticipation. Most commonly associated with something positive, the true meaning of the word is neutral at best. To anticipate something is to expect it to happen and react according to the expectation not the action. So here I am, the spectrum of this day broad and diverse, and I find myself Anticipating Spring. Another spring. Now I'm not a spring person at the best of times. The mud and mess from run off is relentless. But it has it's positive aspects as well. But it's not the change in weather that has me running amok emotionally. It's the connotations and fears that come with Spring. 3 years ago May long weekend, my friend John had a major heart attack under canopy and went in. His death was splattered all over the news and everyone felt the need to express their uninformed opinion as to the circumstances, his character, and his life style choices. But the fact remained, John was dead, and I missed my friend. 2 years ago May long weekend, my friend Dr. Dave went in while base jumping in the grand canyon. Once again I was greeted with news images of speculation and implications. Yet I can still hear in my head. "Lisa? It's Tina. We lost Dr. Dave." "What do you MEAN we lost Dr. Dave?" "He went in at the Canyon, no one knows what happened. He was last off the ledge and didn't land. They found him on the hike back out." "..." Last spring, my friend Gabe died base jumping in the Rockies. Are we seeing a pattern here? There is choice and loss. But that is acceptable, understandable, something we choose to manage. We make the choice and manage the risk. And the questions are always the same. "Did you hear?" "Do you know this person?" "Are you going to quit now?" "Are you going to quit now?" From one perspective perhaps a reasonable question. But do you quit driving when someone is killed in a car accident. Doesn't sound reasonable does it. But believe it or not, it is the same thing. We make and informed choice, we accept the potential consequences, we manage the risk. But that doesn't stop the mind from anticipating, from fearing, from running. Will I lose another friend this year? Who could it be? How do I communicate to others that they are persons who are more than the implied sum of their actions. They say Knowledge Dispels Fear... but What Dispels Anticipation?

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Friends and Losses

Sunday we lost a friend, brother, father, son, loved one. I haven't known what to say. Gabe was my friend. Somehow that doesn't sum it up. Many have heard me say, "Gabe isn't a person, Gabe is an experience. One must Experience Gabe." I morn that no one will have the opportunity to gain and appreciate the impact of that Experience. Kim wrote a beautiful statement, I admit it, it made me cry. In it she mentioned his Passion. If there was ever a word to describe this man, that was it. Passion. The only thing I could add to that would be it's intensity. Gabe wasn't just passionate - he was Fiercely Passionate. If he felt something was worth taking time out of his day to do, he went at it like a force of nature. This was a man who loved his Wife and Children openly and with everything he was. He always spoke of how lucky he was to have their love, and his eyes shone with pride with everything concerning them. I truly felt sorry for any boy who would dare look twice at his little girl. There was that same intense joy in the things he did. Many of us may not of understood what gave him the ideas and drive, but on some level, I'm sure most of us appreciated the vitality he put into them. Gabe was many things to many people. He had a bluntness that I respected. If he was thinking it, he would say it. Right or wrong, you knew exactly where you stood with him. There aren't enough people in the world with that quality. There were times to laugh, times to dive into deep discussions from the heart, and yes even times I wanted to smoke him upside the head. But there was always that foundation of respect, and I always knew if I needed help, he would be there for me. I hope he knew it was mutual. I was very disturbed by the news cast Monday night regarding his life and death. In it they took a part of Kim's statement and I felt implied that he drove her away, choosing an activity over his family. Not remotely true. Kim spoke of not asking him to choose between the people he loved and the life he loved. To ask him to give up his passions would be to ask him to give up being who he was, and it would change him from the person she so selflessly loved. That was her message, selfless love for a man who shared her life, a love he returned regardless of their address. Everyone knew who he was. Someone mentioned his name, everyone knew who you were talking about. He was a person who impacted the lives of those around him. From his dark razor like humor, to his ability to make you feel like he was not only listening to you, but truly cared about you. He was someone not easily understood, described, or catalogued. He was an Experience. One I will miss. Rest in peace knowing those you loved are loved and will be watched over in your absence. To you Gabe, I say good bye, be safe my friend, and Blue Skies.

Monday, April 7, 2014

I just realized I didn't blog last week. In failing to do so I've let myself down. This is the first time since taking on this challenge (before or now) that I have failed it. It's not a good feeling. Much as I hate blogging, it is something I committed to do. And I failed. Not pleased with myself.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Timing is everything

The title suggests a combat application, which is valid. Timing is everything. You can have all the speed in the world, but if you don't launch at the right time, what good does it really do you? But my intent was not martial in context. A more universal approach is where I was going. Timing is everything. I'm taking a week of my day job to get stuff done. Burning a weeks holidays to make my life into less of a chaotic mess than it currently is. But timing is everything. The last 2 people who took a holiday in our office have left a pile of work (in a complete mess) on someone else's lap. One dumped their mess on my former team leader and myself, and the other person dumped it on my mom and her partner (yes I work in the same office as my mom - deal with it). Bottom line, in both cases it was a jerk move on their part. So now I'm gearing up for a week off, and I know somewhere in the depth of people's minds there is a doubt if I will make it a hat trick. For the record I didn't. In fact I've nearly killed myself this week getting all my poop in a group so that no one will even need to walk over to my desk for any reason. My account audits are up to date, in spite of getting them over a week late from the contractor. My Health & Safety Committee duties as Co-Chair are up to date, documented and emailed to all members, and physical action where needed has been taken. My duties on the OPPEC Committee are up to date, emailed and resolved where applicable. And my duties on the new hire team are also done... my assigned new hires have been contacted, assigned office and parking spaces, and given alternate contacts should they need anything while I'm away. Whoopty frickin doo for me right? Seriously, it's my job, and the expectation that I am doing it is completely reasonable. It's not my point lament how busy I am and have been, but it does help paint the picture. Again, timing is everything. Back to the reason for this particular tirade. The personal life, or at least what masquerades as one. I'm up to my eyes, and the water is still pouring in. No, I'm not going to go into details because lets face it, it's none of anyone's offense, but it's really not. What I will say, however, is that the largest contributing factor of said chaos comes with a time limit. A very sensitive time limit. It's something that has been consuming years of preparation and planning. I can't remember where I heard the expression, but it goes the best laid are only functional until you engage in battle, then they are useless. So I had my battle plan, I had my battle field, and I had created my opportunity. And it all went to pot. The timing was wrong, and timing is everything. So now I regroup and wait.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Bet you thought I forgot to blog... well I didn't, I'm just stupid busy. So till next week.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Power of Motivation

My baby horse turned 2 on the 5th of March. Hard to believe it has been 2 years already, but yes she's not a baby anymore. It's always interesting to see their personalities develop and to see them come into their own. "Jinxy" as she is known, is an independent little stinker with a very strong mind of her own. My brother Gord and I are the schmucks who feed her, and occasionally get some attention for our troubles. My brother Jake however, is an entirely different matter. Jinx knows the sound of his truck. When he pulls in, she runs to the fence and calls to him. He in turn calls to her, which revs her up for pets and scratches. I remember once, I was riding the quad out in the field. Jinx chased me down, and when she realized I wasn't Jake, she got the most disgusted look on her face and stomped off with out so much as a backward glance. Bottom line, Jinx LOVES Jake. He is her person. And he can do pretty much anything with her. He talks to her like she's a person and she eats it up. Which brings us to the power of motivation. She wants to please him. To that end, she has learned many things more or less by accident one would assume improbable. Case in point, the other day a couple of yearling calves got out of the fence they were supposed to be in. Jake was at the farm with my dad. My dad is 74 yrs old, so his days of running across an icy field chasing cows have reached their twilight (if only he would admit it). So it fell to Jake to get the calves back where they were supposed to be on his own with the help of the dog. Not impossible, but can be tricky. Or so he thought. Keeping in mind that horses love to be the boss over cattle, and that Jinx loves Jake, she had them cornered in another part of the paddock. When Jake told her (as a joke mostly) to move them to another place... lo and behold she did. If that wasn't enough, when he got the gate he needed open he told her to bring them up. You guessed it, she did. And since he didn't want her in the corral they were in, he said "Wait there". Believe it or not, she waited at the thresh hold for him to close the gate, all the while keeping a guarded eye on the offending calves should they try to make a second break for it. Upon completion of her hard work, she was rewarded with the much coveted attention. Scratches, hugs, and a horsey cookie. She has proven that if you want something, hard work and have a willingness to overcome communication limitations, you will get you what you want. If an animal can use empathy, motivation, and a willingness to learn to develop very useful skills, what is stopping the rest of us.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Things Undone

I'm one of those people who like to do many things... Apparently I get bored easily. Vast diversity of interests, or just enthralled by shiny objects. Only the Shadow knows.... mwahahaha. Okay maybe someone should keep me from blogging when I have a migraine. My point, and yes there is one, is that I've always wanted to write. I enjoy writing short stories, poetry, pretty much anything. I'm so stupidly busy however, that I have to be very decisive as to what my priorities are for allotting time. This particular interest has resurrected itself thanks to some of my co workers/friends. Well former co workers as they are now stationed out of the tower, and I'm still by the airport. Anyway, one of my friends wants to be a professional author. She works tirelessly on her book and is always researching how to get published, listening to seminars on getting into the industry, and making contacts with other authors and agents. Couple that with (in my opinion) her talent, and I have no doubts that one day I'll be buying her work. The other is less focused on becoming a professional author, but he is still very committed to his creative process. All told, being around them has reignited my interest. Last month they both entered a contest on the internet from a publishing house. I don't have the details of the contest, but what I do know is that they had to create a short story with a maximum of 750 words and it had to begin with a certain phrase. Sounds easy enough right? Let me assure you, it is far more challenging than it sounds. They both worked hard on their stories, and had me do a proof read for them (which I thought was fun) and sent them off. The other day, I was cleaning out my email and came across their stories. I thought to myself... Self, that could be fun. So I took a bash at it. Sure enough it was fun. I sent my story to them and they both enjoyed the read. I sent it to my sister, and she texted me to tell me I made her cry. She then sent it to her husband and he said more or less the same thing. (It was a happy story, but with a sad ending). My sister and brother in law both encouraged me to keep writing. Please filter that with the fact that they actually like me. Many years ago, I started a novel... but who hasn't right? And due to it not being a high enough priority, it stagnated. I've been thinking about it a lot, and of the dedication that my friends have displayed. They practice mastery in their chosen venue. I am proud of them, but more importantly I am inspired by them. Maybe it's finally time to start revisiting this interest. Something to think about.