Friday, December 18, 2009

A Day in the Life of my Puppy

If I ever come back after death; let it be as a dog. Not just any dog, but a spoiled, pampered and catered to dog or in other words, My Dog. That 12 pound ball of fur rules my life from the time I get up until I go to bed. He has taken over and become my boss and I’m really unclear how it happened? It all started 3 years ago when he was presented to me with a red ribbon pasted on his little furry head and all 2.2 pounds of him became my life. I had no idea any animal could weave such a diabolical spell on any human being?

It was love at first sight; for me anyway. I think it was “look at the sucker” for him... So for the past three years my day begins by stumbling down the stairs and opening his kennel door just in case he needs to “go” right away. If you knew me pre-doggy days, you’d know that nothing, zip, zero got between me and my first cuppa Java in the morning! I have become so pathetic that my caffeine fix now comes second! Nevertheless the dog always gets first dibs even though he generally presses the snooze button a couple of times and doesn’t actually want out until I’m sitting nicely on the throne trying to empty my bladder of a night’s worth. I find myself saying, “Just a minute, wait, I’m not done”. As if he can understand my need to finish or even the English language? As if....

I talk to this little, fuzzy animal all day long. I act like he can understand which of course, I believe in my heart of hearts, he can. Even though more often than not he pays me little attention unless it involves a treat or going outside, then inside, then outside, then inside....we never use to have a revolving door?

As for his treats and meals they must be cut up into bite-sized Bichon Shitzu tidbits, warmed and preferably “people” food, although high-end doggy meals are tolerated occasionally. He also, enjoys sharing anything I eat and if lowered will beg, which sad to say rarely happens as I prepare meals with him in mind. You know, broil the extra chop or burger so poor my puppy doesn’t starve to death?

He also, has his favourite spots around the house which never includes his kennel. There is a much-loved blanket which must be laundered regularly or a perturbed puppy will drag it to the stairwell heading to the washing machine. I am NOT joking! Any chair, coach, pillow belongs to him at any given time, should he take a fancy to it. I have been known to squeeze my butt into the chair so as not to disturb His Highness. Good of him to allow this, ‘eh?

As for sleeping arrangements he does sleep in his dreaded kennel at night because the Hubby isn’t quite as taken with his charm and won’t let him in our matrimonial bed. This grieves me almost as much as it does my puppy, but I explained I did say “for better or worse”! Puppy and I make up for it by having afternoon naps in the boudoir. It is a compromise....

So the moral of this tale is to warn anyone considering adopting a family dog. Be WARNED, your life will never be the same! He or she will take over your house, your time and your heart! They will cause you to do things you never believed you were capable of doing. You will be a devoted slave and not even mind. Because at the end of a long, hard day there’s just nothing like those doggy kisses and whole-hearted excitement to greet you at the door. These make it all worthwhile....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Comparing and Competing

This is a perfect time of year to compare and compete. I remember as a child going back to school after Christmas and having to say if front of the entire class what I got from Santa. I wasn’t one of those who got the shiny new bike, the brand new watch or the Barbie dream house. I dreaded it every year and was one of my earliest experiences of comparing and competing. I never measured up.

It’s said that comparing will make you either vain or bitter. I became bitter. As I grew older the bitterness gave way to arrogance and judgement; not exactly virtues. For a long time I always made sure I compared myself to those that I considered less so I could feel superior. It was a convenient strategy. Try as I might to avoid anyone who might excel above me, it wasn’t hard to find others who surpassed me in some way. Then there I’d be, back in grade school, feeling horrible about myself and my life. I hated feeling that way!

Living this way was wretched and I spent a great deal of my 20’s and 30’s constantly comparing and competing feeling either insufferably arrogant or impossibly depressed. I knew this wasn’t how we were meant to be with one another or how to best live my life. I just didn’t know how to break the cycle.

Finally, after much introspection and prayer, I got a revelation about what comparing and competing really meant. I realized that we aren’t all created with the same talents and abilities. Everyone has their own special attributes that we need to discover within ourselves. We must learn to be content with what we’ve be given and then do all we can to design our best lives given these attributes. We can waste our time and talent trying to outdo others or invest it improving on what we’ve been given. Certainly it’s impossible not to notice if someone is more talented or possesses something you’d like, but we can choose to appreciate and admire them, rather than be green with envy. We may be able to learn something from them if we’re not filled with malice. I finally realized that comparing and competing outside me will destroy my happiness and create an atmosphere of intense pressure to be something I’m not. I made a decision to choose differently.

Is there a place for comparing and competing in our life? I believe it should be confined to our own goals and dreams and contained within our accomplishments. Even if we’re involved in a competitive sport or profession; we’d do well to focus on own performance and work only on our aptitudes rather than focusing on everyone else’s. There’d be far more sportsmanship if our attentiveness remained on our own performance.

There’d be no need to cheat or undermine others. In everyday life we wouldn’t resent our family or friends for their successes. There’d be no need to keep up with the “Jones”. If we were our only competition, we’d live with far more contentment with what we have and who we are. It’d eliminate jealousy, pettiness and set up an atmosphere of cooperation and support. Ultimately, we’d accomplish much more if we were humble enough to ask for advice or help.

If we, as adults would strive to set an healthy example of competition and comparison instead of acting like raving, judgemental, cheating lunatics who can’t stand even our “best” friends to outshine us; then perhaps our children may grow up feeling much more self-assured that the talents and gifts God gave them are enough. Then they could simply be content being the best of who they are and who they can become. Really, isn’t that what we all want?

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I am a Christian and I celebrate Christmas. It is one of the most important days of the year for me. It is not only a time of fellowship with friends and family, but a time that I feel in my spirit that our world may have a hope in hell of one day becoming again the beautiful place Eden must have been.

Despite the commercialism many people seem just a little more joyful, a wee bit more light-hearted and generous and a tad more patient. My imagination? Perhaps, but allow me to live in my fantasy for this one month of the year.

Above all it is the birth of my Dear Saviour that brings joy to my heart, and hope to my spirit. I feel as if I can love my fellowman with just a little more big-heartedness during the Christmas season and maybe even awhile beyond.

So, as for those who get offended when I speak of Jesus, wish them a Merry Christmas, sing Christmas hymns or share my joy can go to hell! (In my belief system that is exactly where they will be going, anyway). I DON’T CARE!!

Christmas is a time-honoured and highly-esteemed celebration that many, many Canadians have enjoyed for a long time. Our country is steeped in this Christian belief that our Saviour was born and came to save us from ourselves. You don’t have to believe it, that’s your prerogative. Don’t celebrate, don’t sing, and don’t share gifts and meals with kindred spirits. Ignore us and think we’re idiots. I DON’T CARE!!

But leave us alone. Take your beliefs from your country of origin and celebrate in whatever way you see fit. Or don’t. I DON’T CARE!!

If my being a little more patient with you in a traffic jam upsets you well....blame it on my Christian beliefs. If I spend a ridiculously amount of money in your place of business so I can give to everyone in my neighbourhood well...blame it on my Christian beliefs. If I smile and greet you with a cheery “Merry Christmas” in a crowded busy subway well....blame it on my Christian beliefs. I DON’T CARE!!

This is my holiday, my celebration, my Jesus. I should be able to enjoy it without worrying about you. My silly beliefs aren’t harming you. Ignore me. Pity me. Go about your business; it’ll soon be over. I DON’T CARE AND NEITHER SHOULD YOU!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can we see Eye to Eye?

Today I digress from my list of topics on what hinders our search for Eden and indulge in one of my pet peeves. Actually, it’s more than a peeve; it’s yet another example of how our society has become so distant and world-weary.

I wonder why is it seems so impossible for so many health care providers to really “see” me? Why am I just another faceless, nameless entity that makes up their mind-numbing work day? Are they really that overworked and understaffed? I’ve been hearing for decades that their lack of personal connection is due to staff shortages, cutbacks and overwork. That justification just doesn’t cut it for me anymore. I do sympathize with being overworked. It is tiring, frustrating and debilitating. We’ve all felt it and I’m not asking nor expecting every nurse, doctor or therapist, to be sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. But....

Could somebody just LOOK at me once in awhile?? Is it too much to be seen? My God, are you so worn out, so jaded that you can’t be bothered to take at least a temporary interest? Fake it, if you must? I am a fellow voyager, too. You are not the only one who gets tired, frustrated and overworked.

I’m here because I need your help and concern. I’m here because you presented yourself as a health care provider. I’m here because I trust you and respect your expertise. I’ve waited for tests, appointments and examinations because I realize there are countless others like me and there is only one of you. It wasn’t me who bellowed at you three hours ago? I apologise for that person’s boorish and belligerent behaviour but, surely most are like me; waiting respectively.

I don’t have any ingenious ideas how to create a system that doesn’t run you ragged. I’m saddened that there aren’t enough people like you who have the constitution to take care of us whiny, sick & hurting folks. I’m here because you have the skills. I’m sure at one time you probably really cared about all of us or you wouldn’t have chosen this profession. I don’t know what triggered your apathy and lack of consideration? Maybe too many people didn’t “see” you either, but to be fair most of us come to you because we’re a little “under the weather”.

One thing I know for sure; it wasn’t I who bankrupted you emotionally. I didn’t single-handedly create your indifference. But I did turn up hoping you might care enough to really “see” me; not just a condition. Ultimately, I came for your expertise and you did your job; you helped me. I appreciate that and I’m thankful. My question is; would you recognize me if I came back one hour later? Somehow I doubt in your busyness and aloofness you would remember me.

In all fairness I guess I can’t expect you to remember everyone but, next time I come to you, please take one second to really look at me. Just for that moment make me feel like a person not just another condition.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Multi-Taskers - THINGS GET DONE!

Multi-tasking is the "in" thing to do these days. Next to being "busy" there seems no other credible badge to honour the efficient, well-organized and proficient woman. It's a sure sign that you are capable and dependable. People are amazed by you, bosses line you up for promotions and all those slow, plodding fools who get nowhere fast must be terribly jealous. You are a Multi-Tasker and when you're around THINGS GET DONE! And that's about all that happens....

While I was growing up, my mother was the Queen of multi-taskers. My goodness I would leave for school in the morning and she'd already have the laundry started, dishes soaking in the sink, homemade bread rising and all beds stripped. All this before 8:00 AM! Wasn't she just amazing, a super woman?

Except more often than not by the time I arrived home in the later afternoon she would be hyped up and miserable because there were tasks incompleted. Stressed out but, being the good soldier, she'd push through trying to finish everything before she fell into a puddle of exhaustion. Wasn't she a mother to be admired? Emulated? Except, I could forget about trying to talk to her or spend any time together.

Was my mother an exception or just not very good at multi-tasking? I think not. How many times have we had so much on our plate that we feel overwhelmed and miserable? How often do we find ourselves exhausted and there's still 3 things left to do? How many times are we stressed out, impatient with our loved ones and making ourselves crazy trying to be super woman and get everything done?

Why do we overburden ourselves this way? Will the world end tomorrow if we limit our tasks to a reasonable amount to do in one day? Are we any happier, forfilled or satisfied with our life because we multi-tasked ourselves into lunacy? Is our family happier because of our multi-tasking? Are we?

There is no hard evidence that more gets done or we're more efficient when we multi-task. In fact, mistakes and sloppy results are highly likely. In the end you make yourself appear to be a stark-raving lunatic hyped up on too much caffiene and sugar.

Even if you are one of those super-women ( which I believe is a facade ) who manages to get a zillion things done in a day and remain sane; I doubt you enjoyed one single thing you did. Multi-tasking at it's best is only goal orientated. THINGS GET DONE!

What about taking the time to really enjoy every task we do? How about being mindful and fully present? Even the most mundane jobs can be pleasurable if we slow down. Everything doesn't need to be done at warp speed nor all in one day. Some of the most contented, happy people I've ever known don't rush, don't take on too much and find joy in the doing not just the outcome.

I know what it feels like to multi-task. I've experienced the stress of being rushed, exhausted and overwhelmed. I also, have experienced the elation when THINGS GET DONE. But I wonder how many things I've missed?

The half-hearted conversations with my little girls, blowing off coffee time with friends or seeing the evening shadows and light dancing in my back yard as I finished washing dishes. How many interesting and amusing people have I overlooked or worse, not noticing the sadness of rejection in a loved one's face? Multi-tasking is highly over-rated and if you have fallen prey to this idea of success; I'd rethink your priorities. Trust me; it'll wait, whatever it is and you'll be all the happier for being "one of those people" who back-burner things.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hot in Pursuit

Given we all want to be happy I've been pondering why we seem to find it so difficult to achieve. After much marinating of thought I've come up with a list of possible reasons that I want to explore and hopefully get input from any reader who stumbles onto this blog. So,with the following in mind I intend to go in hot pursuit of some of the roadblocks to happiness.

1. Multi-tasking
2. Comparing and competing
3. Worldly success
4. Busy, busy, busy
5. Impossible standards
6. Our inner child
7. Trendy self-help gurus
8. Turn down the volume
9. To do lists
10.We're just a number

These are only some of the possible reasons we fail to be happy for more than five minutes, but it's enough to get me started....Do you really want me to get started?? I double dog dare you! Ta Ta

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Finding Eden...

What is the theme of my blog? What do I mean by "In Search of Eden"?

It is my belief that while we're striving to attain success by this world's standard we're really searching for Eden. Eden represents the quintessential life even if you really don't believe it existed. Who wouldn't want what Eden offered?

First and foremost all our needs would be provided by a loving and generous father. He'd supply everything we need to live safe, fulfilling and satisfying lives.

The climate would be the perfect temperature so we wouldn't need clothes and therefore wouldn't need to worry about making a fashion statement. We could eat everything (except for one thing) and it would not only be good for our health, but appealing to our eye and taste buds. We wouldn't worry about trans fats, high cholesterol or any other health issues as we'd have perfect health.

We'd live with a perfectly compatible companion so there'd be no stupid quarrels, misunderstandings or jealousies. If we were a woman; childbirth would be painless and child-rearing would be delightful with our wonderful husband and wise father assisting us.

If we were a man we'd have a the fulfilling job of taking care of a beautiful garden and all it possessed. Money, status, climbing the corporate ladder would be irrelevant. Our time could be spent enjoying our family, home, friendships and work. There'd be no need to stress out by competing, comparing or striving. We'd be happy. And....

Isn't that what we're all really looking for? To be happy and fulfilled? We search for it by striving to have the best job, nicest home, biggest car, most well -behaved children, loving spouse, biggest bank account, most prestigious job, etc. etc. We have missed the mark.

We search and only find temporary happiness but, what we really need is Eden and not just the Eden of perfect climate control and ample supplies. We need the Eden of the Spirit where true and lasting happiness begins. That's the Eden I'm searching for.... That's the Eden I've missed by searching in all the wrong places. So, now in my life, on this journey I've decided to try something new and different. I'm going to try a new path. So therein lies the theme of my blog; finding a way to find Eden.