As if it was yesterday

You know what I’m talking about. 9/11. Twenty years ago today. Hard to believe it’s been that long. But I remember exactly where I was. Every detail. As clearly as if it was yesterday.

I was at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). I was seeing five films that day (I saw five to six films every day for 10 straight days). And on this particular day, Tuesday, September 11, I was just coming out of my first of the day, which had started at around 8:30.

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What I’ve missed most

I just finished reading Maureen Dowd’s latest N.Y. Times column. It made me think about what I’ve missed over the last 18 months or so. I was a bit surprised, because when you ask most people that question, the first answer that comes up is “people.” And that wasn’t mine, at least not directly, or in the usual sense.

Before you rush off and accuse me of being anti-social, let me assure you that I love people, I’m not a loner (although I”m very happy with my own company). But I don’t feel like I’ve been deprived of “people,” because never in my life have I ever spent so much time, talking to so many people, as I have done during COVID.

My fingers are numb from texting and emailing. I’ve spent tons of time “conversing” on social media. I’ve had many, many hours-long conversations on the phone — really long, meaningful, interesting, amazing conversations that were intimate, revealing, soul-bearing and way more profound than many I’ve had sitting across the table from those very same people. And I’ve done my fair share of Zooming — not as much as some, but a lot. Enough.

What I miss is hugging. I’m a hugger. So for me, it’s not just about being in a room with somebody. Continue reading

A Grace and Frankie moment if ever there was one …

Yesterday afternoon my friend Sharon sent me a clipping from 18 years ago, when there was a massive black-out in Ontario. The series of events we went through seems hilarious now but back then, not nearly as funny. At the time she and I were partners in a small ad agency.

For us the adventure started a few days before. We were working on a project that involved the acquiring of a very large number of all kinds of luxury items, from American Express Be My Guest certificates to Louis Vuitton bags, golf clubs, TVs, you name it.

Without going into all the gory details, let’s just say there was an epic screw up

Just a couple of days before the deadline we found ourselves — at 5:00 or 6:00 pm no less — with no merchandise! None. Zip. Zilch. The supplier had totally let us down. There was no time to get angry, no time for blame, no time for tears, no time to run and hide, no time to do anything but come up with a solution — pronto!

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And now for something completely different …

… how about we all get on the same page?

Am I the only one getting really fed up with all the mixed messages regarding the third vaccine? I don’t understand why everyone’s saying something different and there’s a new variation of the story every day.

First it started with Pfizer, who announced months ago that they thought it was necessary for people to have a third vaccine and they applied for FDA approval. Immediately — and surprisingly I have to say — the CDC, Dr. Fauci and the White House disagreed.

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Thirty-five years ago today …

I was dripping with sweat, wearing a plastic garbage bag for a skirt, with gold sparkles stuck all over my face, neck, arms and legs that were digging into my skin like thousands of tiny sharp needles, getting high from smelling all the pot in the air, taking the occasional sip of rum from a flask that was being passed around.

There were hundreds of us there, maybe thousands — all of us having joined mas bands — waiting for Caribana (as it was called then) to start (it was already more than an hour late and we were baking in the extreme (30+) heat and humidity. An annual event, Caribana is a festival of Caribbean culture and traditions and the parade — which is a highlight of the month-long festivities — is always held on the Saturday of the August long weekend.

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This should be the first thing we see every morning and the last thing we see every night

I came across this Eckhart Tolle quote this morning and I can’t get it out of my mind: “Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

WoW!

Never has it had more meaning than it does now. The last year and a half has made it so easy for us to feel sorry for ourselves — not necessarily to wallow in self-pity constantly, but it has been difficult and challenging and scary and our lives have been turned upside down and inside out. We’ve all had to make changes and sacrifices. We’re justified in being out of sorts, I’m not criticizing. And frankly, just between us girls (and boys), the Trump years weren’t exactly a picnic either.

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Yet another revelation

I recently had a bad experience. For the most part it was avoidable, which for someone with my personality, makes it that much worse. Because then I get pissed off with myself too.

It was frustrating, maddening, annoying, upsetting and to some degree, by the time it became apparent just how badly off the rails it was, there was nothing I could do about it. Which didn’t help. And neither did the fact that it involved someone I hold in high regard, someone I have trusted and counted on, which is why I’m not going into detail about what, exactly, happened.

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What would my parents think?

I’ve been thinking about my parents a lot, which isn’t unusual. I’m often triggered by memories, lovely happy ones. This is a different kind of thinking about them though. I wonder what they’d make of the times we’re living in and how they’d cope.

My dad passed away first, many years ago, in 1987 so I think the adjustment to this world would be more shocking for him. My mom is just gone 14 years and although the last five or six years have seen massive change, she’d be less surprised than my dad.

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Upon reflection

Yesterday’s blog post made me think about the pandemic, and the last sixteen-and-a-halfish months (but who’s counting?). Then I came across a quote this morning, that also made me think: “Forget the mistake. Remember the lesson.”

And it made me realize that out of the catastrophe that was 2020, there are some really valuable lessons we can take with us into whatever comes next; and that I hope we — myself included — do learn them, hang on to them, remember them and live our lives going forward accordingly.

I have had countless conversations this past year — with friends, clients, former colleagues, family, Facebook friends, virtual strangers while I was getting my COVID-19 vaccines and probably a few others I’m forgetting. I don’t think I’ve ever talked so much — or listened to so many other people who also had a lot on their minds — in my life before. Which, in itself tells you something — which is a topic for another day.

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Surprise, surprise, guess who’s back (sort of)

It’s been more than a year since I’ve been here and I must say it feels a bit strange.

First of all, I can’t say I’m liking this new platform, or whatever it’s called (my tech savviness is limited). I’d love someone to tell me why, when it comes to technology — regardless of what it is — they are always tinkering — and, to my mind — never improving anything. It drives me batty. And, in fact, it drives me away.

But in this instance, it has nothing to do with why I haven’t been around, although it may account for why I may not be around all that often going forward. I guess I’ll just have to see if I can figure this out and get to like it.

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