Now it’s my turn to go under the microscope …

I love watching people and trying to figure out what makes them tick. It’s something I’ve always done. Except when it comes to myself. At least not that deep exploration that really digs way beneath the surface to find that “stuff” we’re all so good at burying.

Until now.

Because that long, wonderful, illuminating conversation I had recently with a friend has made me curious about myself — and Continue reading

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Never to be taken for granted …

A friend’s grandson just turned 1 and I went to his birthday party.  I was talking to her Chain Linksdaughter’s (the baby’s mother) father-in-law and Ellen (my friend) said to him, “Fransi and I have known each other all our lives.”  He was intrigued and wanted to know more.

Our mothers met in the laundry room of the apartment building where they both lived, in Montreal.  I was an infant.  Her parents were newlyweds.  The Continue reading

I’m in the dog house …

Bartlett, one of my cats, is pissed off with me.  Majorly so; and he’s giving me the cold shoulder.  I catch him giving me dirty looks BartlettBlogMay23sometimes, too.  Trust me, he’s very good at letting me know where I stand.  Which at this moment in time is very low on his top-ten list of favourites.

I didn’t do anything per se, I swear.

Thing is, when I worked full time he was used to not having me around all the time.  But in the six or so years I’ve been freelancing he’s become accustomed to me being home a lot more.

If I was going to be really honest with you, which apparently I am, I’d admit there are some days I don’t go out at all.  There are some days I’m so busy writing I don’t ever get out of my Continue reading

A life less encumbered …

In last week’s post I compared walking the Camino Trail to our life’s journey. less

Both require endurance. Both often necessitate we divest ourselves of the unnecessarily heavy loads we carry. For those walking the Camino it usually means emptying their knapsacks and even leaving sleeping bags behind. In life it can mean getting rid of possessions, walking away from relationships, moving to smaller homes or relocating to different cities. Both also provide us with the opportunity to unload the emotional baggage that tends to bog us down.

I’ve spent the week thinking, on and off, about the changes I’ve made in my life over the years. What I’ve

Continue reading

Day 240. What’s Realistic?

Yesterday’s post has made me think a lot about ‘expectations’.  Yes, I do believe hormones are responsible for some of the issues between men and women.  And expectationsreally, what are we ever going to be able to do about that?

But the more I think about it, the more I realize there’s another culprit.  One we can do something about:  EXPECTATIONS.  And even when we factor the opposite sex out of the equation, I believe there are adjustments we can, and probably should, make to our own, individual expectations.  And not only as they relate to men or women, and our relationships with them.

To life in general.

So I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say we (men and women alike) are often our own worst enemies.  We are often the source of our own disappointment.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m one of the most positive human beings you’ll ever meet.  And confident.  I have always believed if you want something badly enough, and you set your mind to it, your hopes and dreams can come true.  Provided, of course, they are realistic.

Aha!  The caveat. Continue reading

Day 239. The Battle

It’s okay. You can put the history books away. This isn’t going to be a post about Custer’s Last Stand, otherwise known as the Battle of 1876. No, this is a story of differencesmen and women. A story that hasn’t changed in generations. A story I’m not sure will ever change.

I overheard a conversation yesterday. That’s what sent me down this road. But before you accuse me of being nosy, let me just say, I couldn’t help it. The two girls in question were sitting right next to me. And they were not speaking in hushed tones. The only way to avoid listening was to leave. And why should I have left? They chose to talk about a personal matter in a public place. In loud voices.

What more could a writer ask for?

Anyway, I figure they were both in their early twenties. What do you think they were talking about? I’ll give you a hint. It wasn’t the economy, or the new Pope. Boys. They were talking about boys. One was being neurotic, as only a female can be.

She’d recently met a new guy. She liked him. They went out twice. She hadn’t heard from him in four days. He said he’d call and he hadn’t. Now before you pass judgement and accuse him of being a dick, he had told her he

Continue reading

Day 127. Unexpected ‘Friendships’

A headline on the front page of the Styles section in this past Sunday New York Times caught my attention:  “Forging A Bond In Mud And Guts”.  It was a story aboutfriendship “Tough Mudder”.  Which is, as Joshua David Stein (the writer) explains, “an extreme obstacle course that is becoming the macho sport of choice for Type A men (and some women) who find marathons too easy and triathlons meh”.

My interest in the story had nothing to do with any desire, on my part, to roll around in the mud.  Not even with some hunky ‘warrior’ type.  I was intrigued by the pulling together, the teamwork and the camaraderie between these guys.  And also by the encouragement they gave each other.  Even though, for the most part, they’d entered the event as strangers.

They were bonding.  It was instinctive.  Primal.  In this case, it was happening because of the gruelling Continue reading

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 27. New Again

I went and had the strap on my watch changed yesterday.  It was like magic.  In less than a minute I had a brand new watch.  Presto!  For a fraction of the cost.  Just a simple, little refresh was all it took, to make me love it all over again.  So much so, all afternoon I kept glancing over, admiring it, as it lay wrapped around my left wrist.

But the real significance of yesterday’s experience was, it’s taught me that the change doesn’t always have to be as radical, or costly, as we may have originally thought.  I love this watch.  It works perfectly.  I didn’t need a new one.  That would have been a totally unnecessary and extravagant purchase.  And in a few years’ time, I’ll wager I’d be just as bored with the new watch, as this old one.  The new band did the trick!

And this, of course, has made me think of all the changes we can, sometimes should and, often do, make in our lives; in an effort to breath new life into our wardrobes, our homes, our careers, our relationships, our lives, and even ourselves.  Both the changes, themselves, and how dramatic (or not) they need to be.

Ask any fashion editor or stylist and I’m sure they’ll agree.  Most women who are considered to be well-dressed, don’t necessarily have tons of clothes.  They have equal amounts of fabulous accessories, imagination, style and daring.   Make an old skirt new again, by adding a spectacular belt.  Last year’s dress is unrecognizable when you make an interesting pin the new focal point; or toss a new jacket, cardigan or shawl on top of it.  Shorten an old mid-calf length coat to mid way between your hips and knees, and everyone will think you’ve  just bought it.

Instead of buying a new wide-brimmed hat, that’s sure to be ‘in’ fashion one year and ‘out’ the next, borrow one of your husband’s fedoras.  The same outfit, worn Continue reading