Enough is enough….have some water

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I have officially reached the next echelon of my ‘personal limit’ pyramid. Having worked in the resort and restaurant business for most of my employed life, I have seen the full spectrum of mortal behavior and potentially every single human emotion at its highest velocity and its lowest hum.  I have met people from all walks of life, people from each position on the financial scale and every personality type described in psychology textbooks.

During each new experience dealing with behavior I find intolerable, my patience wears a little thinner and I don’t handle myself as gracefully and tactfully as I once was able to do.  Call it experience, call it aging or call it exasperation – in the depths of my mind there is no excuse for some of the behavior I have witnessed during my career in hostility hospitality.  Today was no exception.

Being a server in restaurants and a bartender at an upscale eatery, you learn quickly how to carefully deal with the clientele who don’t know when they’ve imbibed enough in their alcoholic beverage of choice.  I have learned how, over the years, to go from politically correct to obviously blunt and the message still never reaches the target.  I have handled my fair share of disgruntled guests throughout my journey but I have yet to master the fully intoxicated.  Sure, the few whose cocktail of choice is a mixed drink are the easiest to help.  A quarter of a shot instead of the full ounce goes unnoticed in a glass drowned with sugary syrup after the blood has already been saturated.  But those who drink beer or wine are tougher to fool.

Today, more than ever, drunkenness wreaked havoc on my composure.  What should have been a pleasant afternoon turned into a side-show at a forgotten carnival.  The generosity of one became the  over-indulgence of another and I didn’t know whether my emotion should be anger or sadness.  It was neither my battle to fight or my place to speak.  I could only sit back and hope the situation wouldn’t end badly.

water

Water, water everywhere – and nary a drop he would drink.

(image credit)

 

 

 

 

Putting things back into perspective

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Lately I feel like I have been extremely neglectful of a very important relationship in my life.  It is so easy to take a monumental aspect of MY reality for granted because true reality gets in the way.

My blog and I have had a very close bond since the beginning.  Like a true partnership should, my blog allowed me the freedom to truly be myself.  It never questioned my motives or my ideas.  It resolved to allow me any creative indulgence I required and it remained steadfast in its desire to soothe me at the end of a tumultuous day.  It introduced me to minds that functioned much like mine, helped me make new friends and it helped my see things, once again, from my own perspective.

perspective

(image credit)

These many months later, this rolling rock of creative abandon has collected a group of followers who seem genuinely interested in the ideas that erupt from my creative well.  Along the way, the number of like-minds has multiplied.  Although I have been delinquent in sharing my comments on other blog sites, I have been faithfully following and hoping to steal back those  moments when I was allowed to spend my time immersed in the blog world.  Since the inception of Polysyllabic Profundities, I have accumulated 2 shy of 1900 followers.

That number made me stop in my writing tracks.   One thousand, eight hundred and ninety-eight people have chosen to read the very thoughts that pour from my brain to my fingertips and they find interest in those strings of syllables and interpretations.

To each and every one of you I say thank you.  Thank you for encouraging me to continue.  Thank you for agreeing with what I write.  And for those of you who disagree, thank you for making me see things from another perspective.  This is a journey I was meant to have and the footprints I leave behind will forever mark a path I was meant to follow.

 

Those serendipitous moments at the end of a long day

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You’ve undoubtedly had a day similar to the one I’ve just experienced.  That day where seemingly insurmountable problems are lurking around every corner and then, just when you think you’ve methodically cleared away all the issues, someone else abruptly pulls the rug out from under you.  The stars circle around your head as you calculate how to best resolve the next dilemma and move on.

Thankfully, I’ve never let any concerns weigh too heavily on my mind.  I’m a problem solver and this is a trait I graciously accepted from my father.  He and I would never dwell on a problem but immediately begin searching for a solution.  Perhaps this is why I gravitate towards this silly line from Van Wilder – “Worrying is like a rocking chair.  It gives you something to do, but it gets you nowhere.”

rocking chair

At the end of my work day today, the concerns were dealt with and I left for home after what seemed like an eternity.  My drive home partially meanders through a golf course.  It is a picturesque panorama of soothing greenery and winding black-top.  Halfway through  the drive I pulled up behind a minuscule gaggle of 8 Canada Geese.  Instead of becoming spooked and flying away, this merry band of winged misfits continued to saunter down the road directly in front of my car.   One by one they eventually peeled off to the left or the right, only by foot and never flying away from the powerful piece of machinery inching closer to their tail feathers.  There was nothing I could do but giggle and think that someone up above knew I needed a good laugh.

After passing through the golf course and continuing my drive, my cell phone rang and the call display showed a number I haven’t seen in a while.  An old friend was 5 minutes away and just wanted to say a quick “hello”.  Had I not been delayed at work, not only would I have missed out on the feathered chain-gang but I would have missed a quick reunion with a dear friend.  Serendipity seemed to be gracing me with its presence.

After getting home, I shared some love with my puppy dog and poured a well-deserved glass of wine.  Callaway was content with her rawhide bone and I was becoming one with the couch when I heard it.  The distinct sound of my dog farting was so loud she scared herself.  She jumped from her comfortable position on the floor to attempt to discover where the sound had come from.  My poise had been shattered.  Once again the laughter took over and several layers of tension began to dissolve.  Twice more, sounds similar to a Howitzer erupted from the back of my dog and she continued to seek out the source of the noise.

Perhaps it wasn’t the perfect ending to a day, but it was what I needed to be able to find the frivolity in life and not sweat the small stuff.  Laughter really can be medicinal.

 

 

 

Until we meet again

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heaven

 (image credit)

When I am overcome by sorrow and surrounded by an outpouring of emotion, the writer in me takes over and helps process the overwhelming feelings by using words.  I cannot express enough gratitude for those words at times when tears and despair are not adequate enough to describe the sadness of attending a funeral for a 30-year-old man who had been experiencing the best year of his life.

In the aftermath of a tragic event, two parents lost a son, a younger brother became an only son and my best friend lost her brother.  The news of his passing was felt in our small town like the shock waves recorded during an earthquake.  Everyone who knew Cam was rattled to their core.  The emotion was raw, the grief was all-encompassing and the anguish could have been described as physical pain.

We gathered in Toronto today to celebrate Cam’s life.  We shared tears, we shared many hugs and we all knew we had lost something special in our lives that we can never get back.  Cam was that guy that everyone loved to be around.  His smile will be forever etched in the memories of those who were fortunate enough to see it and his absence will never go unnoticed.

His funeral service today was a touching blend of spirituality and prayer, accented by a heaping dose of Cam’s sense of humor.  As the family left the service, the well-recognized Monty Python song “Always look on the bright side of life” played while we stood, waiting to join the family outside.

“Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.”  —Phillip Brooks

Cam truly was a man of character.  May you rest in peace, Cam.

 

Check, check and check

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I am a self-professed control freak when it comes to events in my life.  I love planning, I love having lists and I love being organized.  I’m an Aries, what can I say?

The questionnaire

(photo credit – chicklitplus.com)

Routine and planning make me comfortable.  I like to know what to expect and I appreciate having my day flow in a way that can only come from planning.  I go so far as to arrange my grocery list according to the layout of the aisles so my shopping is not a haphazard trip, circling the store multiple times to find items.  It is a coordinated dance through the maelstrom of people frantically running from aisle to aisle having given no forethought to the layout of the store.

While I admit I am not a big fan of surprises, I do appreciate a little spontaneity.  It is a welcome change from the comfort of my structure, but I could never be a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl.  I like setting aside time for certain tasks and find that I accomplish much more when I stick to a regimented timetable.

I have mellowed over the years and am not as systematic as I used to be.  I was once accused of planning a spontaneous event and was guilty as charged!!  I’ve learned to let go of the reigns as I have matured (or aged….the maturity is still in question) and enjoy the moments of the unexpected, but I will never give up my lists.

What about you?  Are you a planner or a spontaneous person?

Let the creative juices flow

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I have a strong penchant for all things creative and I’ve dabbled in many of them.  Since I was a young child, I could always find ways to express myself artistically.  When I was still in single digits I would spend hours at a time at our summer cottage painting birds on old cedar shingles.  I was no Rembrandt but I must say they were pretty good.  My parents were slightly concerned that I was not spending more time outside until they came to the realization that I never complained that I was bored and they didn’t have to find things for me to do.

Exploring that creativity was like opening the door to a new world.  My affection for writing began at the tender age of eleven and that passion has always been my true  love.  Being able to paint my images with words gave me more freedom because the images came from my head and they were an original creation, not an imitation of anything else.

The poetry continued through high school but the writer in me found great competition with the sketch artist lurking in the shadows.  I would spend hours, most often during class, sketching and shading a large collection of pencil drawings and thus continued my artistic journey.  Oil painting, photography, wood carving, sewing and cake decorating are all part of my creative arsenal and I enjoy being able to dive into the bag and pull out a different weapon when the mood strikes.

pansy cake

Tonight, once again, I get to trade idioms for icing and decorate a going away cake for a friend.  I used to make wedding cakes as a side business and loved it.  It was three hours of being able to lose myself in a process that would begin with a blank canvas and turn into something beautiful.  The cake above was a cake I made for my mom on her 65th birthday.  Everything on the cake was made by hand and all edible.

Perhaps my love of words stands above the rest because words are forever.  Cakes will be eaten, pencil and colors may fade, but words and phrases are always readily available and they do not need a time or a place to be written.  They linger in the recesses of my brain and stand ready and waiting, longing for the chance to be freed.

Though we have many loves throughout our lives, we always remember our first true love.  While the writer in me may step aside to allow the myriad of other hobbies to bubble to the surface, those words will wait for me because they know my heart belongs to them.

Family and friends aside, is writing your true love or do you share a passion for something else?

It is called a ‘senseless tragedy’ for a reason

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There are several phrases in the English language that we utter fairly frequently without truly recognizing their meaning.  They are used commonly in conversation without true regard for the depth that these phrases can impart.  Today I felt the incredible intensity of one of those over-used expressions.

My best friend lost her brother in what can aptly be described as a senseless tragedy.  Nothing about his passing makes any sense whatsoever.  He was young.  He was paving his path to success and happiness.  He had faced his demons and won.  So why now?  Why would he be taken in such a random accident so long before what should have been his time?  Why are there no acceptable answers to these questions?

These accidents, these random moments in time that can alter the reality of so many, seem so absurd, so unfair.  I cannot write with the perspective I usually have because I am so broken by this senseless tragedy.  So many lives have been forever changed by the loss of his gregarious spirit.  So many futures will be altered by the lack of his presence.  There was absolutely no reason for this catastrophe.

The only thing I have to help me through this is my words.  My heavy heart aches for my best friend and her family.  I have suffered losses in my life, and one very recently, but none compare to the one that they are now faced with.  I can only hope that the embrace of loved ones and the sharing of memories can help alleviate some of their sorrow.  Rest in peace, Cameron.  You will be missed.