Smile and the world smiles with you

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Nobody remembers the specifics of my entrance into the world, much like they don’t recall how I got my nickname, but they do remember that I was abundantly happy at an age when babies do nothing more than cry and sleep.  I was not the baby who would play strange and scream if a stranger picked me up, there was no colic, no fuss, just smiles.  My mother used to wake me up at 11:00 at night just so she could play with me because I was such a happy toddler.   Her friends thought she was certifiable until she invited them over to prove a point.  I became a real hit at parties!

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(not actually me, but the resemblance is uncanny)

I am fortunate to have carried that disposition with me throughout my life.  I am rarely in a bad mood.  And although my mother doesn’t come over at 11:00 pm to play with me anymore, I wake up in the morning, smiling and just, happy.

I am the person in the room that will make a ridiculous statement so I can make even one person smile.  On the curling ice, I’m the comedian who invented full-contact curling. I don’t use it very often, but the thought of me turning into a Defensive Tackle on the ice amuses people and makes the game more fun.  One of my teammates told me he didn’t think I have an angry bone in my body.  (He hasn’t seen me dealing with an aggressive hotel guest hell-bent on proving they are right, when, against the premise of the rules of customer service, I vehemently disagree.)

I am lucky that I am able to find the joy in the small things in my life.  Music lifts my spirit – when I am alone, I sing like I’m on stage, I dance in my kitchen just because it’s fun and I am content to just feel light and joyous.  Even writing this post, I am smiling because I am still able to not dwell on the negative and appreciate the precious things in my life.

Smile and the world really does smile with you.

The start of my writing journey – thanks Mr. S.!!

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Today’s Daily Prompt is - Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different today because of him or her?

There are always teacher’s that will stand out in my mind for various reasons.  My Grade 9 Geography teacher spoke in such a monotone voice, I almost failed the class because I could not train my mind to pay attention.  But the one teacher that will always stand out as the person who helped to create the person I am today is my Grade 6 teacher, Mr. Stimson.  He truly loved his students and it showed in his teaching.  His lessons were not all taught in the classroom and did not entirely come from a syllabus.

We learned to be respectful, we learned how to survive outdoors during his Wednesday cookouts and we learned how to be decent human beings.  We learned that learning was fun.  His class was our first real introduction to creative writing and I never looked back.  Several years ago, after a very lengthy teaching career, he retired.  I know many people of all ages who had the pleasure of being in his class and every single one of them refer to him as their favorite teacher.   Upon his retirement, I wrote this poem for him.  Thanks Mr. S!!

 Inspiration

Words of Inspiration

He stood at the front of the classroom, a smile upon his lips,

A comical expression on his merry face, hands upon his hips.

He led us through his rhyming lesson, many not paying attention,

But something he said piqued my interest and I delved into a creation.

A whirlwind of thoughts flew through my mind, eager to be set free.

Nobody knew before this moment, that there lurked a poet in me.

Words and phrases I’d never known, spoke music in my ear,

Expressing my feelings in a rhyming prose, and this I did not fear.

He encouraged us to be individuals, to learn, to absorb, to think,

And when we achieved these remarkable heights, he’d always be “tickled pink”.

He is the epitome of teachers, a leader to some and a friend in many ways,

And for his attention and encouragement, I wish to give him praise.

His words of inspiration, helped me to reach inside my heart,

To find out what I hold inside, that tells me and others apart.

I have a special gift, a creative flair, that is very much my own,

But without his help, his caring words, it’s something I’d never have known.

To covet, or not to covet. That is the dilemma.

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I remember the word ‘covet’ securely fastening itself in my brain after I watched The Silence Of The Lambs.  I had always admired the word as part of the English language, but never truly gave it the power it so richly deserved.  For only having a mere five letters, the word yields much more of an impact than meets the eye.  With the pun intended in that last sentence, I began to realize how it easy it could be to covet something that was so far removed from my reality, yet so much of a presence in my daily thoughts.  I could always see what it was that I wanted.

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Signs and portents of the things we covet will surely present themselves in a myriad of ways, and those glowing neon reminders will only serve to keep that item at the forefront of our brains.  Though we may not have access to the object of our attention on a daily basis, it nonetheless plants a small seed in our brain that sprouts and grows every time we give it a moment of thought.  That lingering speculation permeates the moments of our day and the spark of what could be fuels the evolution of our fascination.

By giving ourselves permission to covet, we allow ourselves the opportunity to keep our desires alive, to live with passion.  And maybe if those dreams never come to fruition we were privately allowed the right to give that fantasy a breath of life, if only for a few fleeting moments.  There is no legitimate way of telling our heart it was wrong.  It will beat the way it wants to beat and we are powerless to its incessant drumming.

I am intimidated by the fear of not following my desires, of never having opened the door to possibility, and thus never being able to define what is truly important to me.  Coveting those things, identifying the wants that truly envelop me but knowing they may be the things that I can never have, affects my world on a scale beyond my comprehension.  But those impervious wants, those things I covet,  allow me to begin to sketch the blueprints of what it is that I truly desire.  They satiate my thirsts, they begin to quench my desire.

To covet is to wish – to wish is to dream – and to dream is to live.

On the eve of my 100th birthday

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Written for the Daily Post Challenge: You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever.

Last blog entry – March 27th,  2069 – the eve of my 100th birthday

I am a smoldering pot of emotion.  This blogging journey, and all of you, my fellow writers, have taught me a great deal about myself.  I was apprehensive beginning what I thought would be a whim, but what truly turned into a collection of moments that, once they were added together, defined me.  From the rare glimpses into my humor to the things that truly touched my heart, I have bared my soul through pontificating on these random polysyllabic profundities.

Many suns have set as I assumed the position at my keyboard, unaware that the day had passed and the night had now enveloped the walls of my widow’s peak to which I have become accustomed to writing behind.  The wind has frolicked through the leaves and tickled them on its way.  Those same leaves have fallen to allow for the snow to blanket the branches, season after season, and I was none the wiser.  Months, even years passed as my mind was lost in thoughts of future tales to tell.

And now, in what may be my eleventh hour, I am overcome with grief as I say goodbye to what has possibly been one of few true friends that genuinely understood me.  This blog has been the one confidant that I was able to tell my deepest secrets.  It let me rant when I needed to release my anger, it laughed at my humor and embraced me when I wrote about things that absolutely broke my heart.  It has nursed me through the passing of loved ones and helped me welcome the next generations into our family.  And now, as I sit alone on my last night on this earth, it is this blog that is my only companion, for it sees me as I truly am.  I want my family to remember me full of life and not a feeble, bed-ridden old woman, barely able to type.

There is a slight chill in the air and I feel the darkness seeping into the corners of my eyes.  I shall hit ‘publish’ one last time so my last words will enter the blogosphere as I enter the light.  My words will be there to greet you one last time as those who have passed before me await my arrival to join them in that place beyond our world.  Thank you for joining me on what was a very long, but extremely fulfilling journey.