Pick your battles

As you know if you read my blog I’m writing a book. It’s about my motherbattle and, to a lesser degree, me. I loved her and we were always close. But what’s fascinating is, in dredging up these old memories, I’m noticing aspects of her personality, her character, her being I wasn’t really aware of before.

Maybe I’d seen it, known it all along, but it never registered with me, most likely because I Continue reading

Day 327. Life Lesson

Life teaches us many lessons.  A lot of the time it’s our mistakes we learn from, but not always.  Sometimes it’s the things we do right.  And, in the process, if we’re blueberry muffinlucky we also find out about ourselves, at the same time.  When we decided to close our agency, it was a very tough decision.  But that was just the beginning.

There were a lot of very difficult conversations that had to be had; and they all fell on me.  First, with the man who ran our parent company.  And then with our staff, with our clients, with our suppliers and alliances and with the industry, in general.  To say it was challenging and intense would be an understatement.

The biggest revelation was what I discovered about myself:  I was much more of a grown up than I thought I was.  I didn’t hide. I didn’t cower.  I accepted responsibility.  I faced it.

I did what had to be done.  I told who had to be told, despite the butterflies in my stomach, the nausea, the Continue reading

Day 161. Hidden Agendas

This isn’t my first rodeo. I’ve been around the block. More than a few times. I’ve worked in industries, and with individuals, who leave you with very few illusions. I’ve thumbs upmet and known and loved all kinds of people. I’ve been hurt. Disappointed. Taken advantage of. Had my heart broken.

Been shaken up. Battered and bruised (not literally, thankfully). Shed some tears.

Yes, I know. Apologies. This is beginning to sound like the lyrics to a song. Shania Twain, anyone? Celine Dion? Leonard Cohen? But you know what I mean. I’m merely saying I’ve learned my fair share of the lessons life can, and does, teach us. And if I haven’t ‘seen it all’, I’ve come pretty damn close.

So I am always shocked when I discover I am still capable of being naive. But clearly, I am:

A couple of weeks ago I came across a blogger asking her readers to say nice things about her blog. And in return she’d do the same for them. Got to admit it took me aback.

Before I go any further with this, let me make myself perfectly clear. I am not passing judgement here. I am just asking a question. Where is the satisfaction in getting compliments you asked for?

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Day 117. No Regrets

It was bleak here yesterday.  Very bleak.  No blue showing in the sky at all.  Just thick, opaque grey clouds that were too heavy to float.  They were introspectionjust hanging there, like a painter’s drop cloth, dangling from a ceiling.  Lumpy.  Still.  Oppressive.  Dark.  Dingy.  Gloomy.

Somber.

Leafless, lifeless trees.  A cold wind, blowing.  From my fifteenth floor apartment, I could hear it howling like the soundtrack to a Halloween horror film.  And it was cold, too.  That damp, raw cold that makes you shiver.  The cold you feel under your skin.

Winter cold.

This truly is, hands down, my  least favourite time of the year.  No redeeming qualities.  It just looks, and feels, like death.

Which in some ways, it is.  It makes me want to crawl into a cave, from which I emerge in the mid to late Spring.  When the tulips and daffodils are just starting to peek their heads out of the still hard, cold earth.  November totally saps my energy.  And yesterday,  it put me into a reflective state of mind.

Introspective.

And it was the absolutely perfect day for it.  My exploration into my heart, my soul and my psyche revealed a lot that I already knew.  That, like a moth to a flame, I Continue reading

Day 70. Remembering Dad

Today is my father’s birthday. He’d be 100. It’s hard to imagine. He’d died relatively young, by today’s standards. Two weeks shy of his seventy-fifth birthday. My mother was 65. Young to be a widow.

He was a libra, and definitely had the characteristics of his sign. He was urbane, sociable, elegant, kind, easygoing and extremely generous. He loved beautiful things, and had exquisite taste. And although he wasn’t demonstrably affectionate in public, he did have a romantic streak. He was the least judgmental person I’ve ever known, he had tons of integrity and was honourable to a fault. His word was more binding than any contract.

This is his engagement photo. He was thirty-one years old. People tell me I look like him. I think I do, although I have my mother’s colouring.

I had an incredibly close relationships with both of my parents, but my dad and I had a very special bond. From the first day I moved out on my own, to the day he died, I spoke to him everyday. Without fail. Even when I moved to Toronto, from Montreal. He and my mother would visit me in Toronto very often, but he used to come quite frequently on business; and we always saw each other when he was in town. We’d have dinner, or lunch, whatever he had time for.

And, because he was also so generous, he’d always tell me to invite friends or even colleagues to join

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