Happy Legalization Day Canada!

If you want to wave the flag above, there are a number of places to purchase it including Amazon and Ebay. I borrowed this image from an Amazon seller named Ruffin Flag Company. Check it out here.

I hope everyone who partakes has a good day and a safe one. Don’t go to work high and don’t be an idiot when it comes to things like driving. Also, please don’t show up at the voting booth high next week.

Don’t forget to puff, puff, pass 😉

R~

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Thoughtful Thursday – Things Are Often Different Than They Seem

So, I’m walking around Sparks Street searching for my boyfriend, who doesn’t have a phone. Yeah, he’s old school. Anyway, I’m searching for him because he’s not at the meeting place we picked earlier today. He’s late. And not a little late. He should’ve been there more than an hour ago. I’m getting worried and also maybe getting ready to get mad at him as I’m thinking maybe he took off.

Anyway, I’m walking around and run into this older woman. She makes a comment about the being too many illegals. I’m thinking she’s talking about refugees and give her a strange look. She then says that no one respects stop lights anymore and just walk illegally. These illegals are everywhere. The term she should’ve been using was jaywalkers. I figure she’ll get herself into trouble someday with that, but I continued on my way.

I had to give up looking for the boyfriend and contact his family. He eventually strolls into the bar we were going to after the meetup point.

There were multiple places all nearby and he was at the wrong one.

All the worry and anger for nothing. I could’ve flipped out at the woman or him and been wrong on both accounts.

Life is funny like that sometimes.

R~

Thoughtful Thursday – Differences

thoughtfulI’m reading Terry Prachett’s Soul Music and there have been a number of times I was annoyed while reading it. So annoyed that I almost abandoned it.

Why?

A few things.

At times, I’ve noticed it’s written by an old white guy. Now, I’m not an uber feminist, but in it he tends to make jabs at youth being clueless and other such things that make it really evident.

There are also footnotes that I’ve found pull me out of the story, so I had to ignore them to move forward, which means I’m missing a bit of the story in order to enjoy the story and that seems silly.

As I read further, I realized he made fun of everything. There’s even a subtle jab at Michael Jackson’s musicianship that is both a jab and yet not at the same time.

He says a lot through subtext. There is so much of the book that is true to life that one might not be able to fully understand depending on their life experience. Had I read it 10 years ago, I think I would’ve missed much. I want to read it again in 10 years to see how I feel about it all then and to see if there is more that I haven’t gotten at age 37 because I haven’t yet lived as much as he had when he wrote it.

I think it’s masterfully written despite the few things that annoyed me. Perhaps it’s partly because of my love of music or my spirituality, but I feel like it’s a work that has impacted me deeply and may affect my writing for decades to come.

A key message in the work is that great things can only be achieved by vastly different groups of people appreciating each other’s differences and using their diverse talents to make something more than each individual could alone.

There’s also a different bent on differences I noticed when he talked of Death’s inability to properly create things like towels. Death’s towels might as well be cardboard cutouts because Death can’t understand the concept of a towel.

I think it is a work that challenges one no matter what one’s current worldview is, so long as they are willing to let it.

Today I’m thankful for all the differences in the world that both annoy and enrich me.

It also has me wanting to write music… It may or may not have rocks in.

With gratitude,
R~

Make-It Monday – Panning

bitmoji_goalsUmm, so I picked the topics for my blog out months ago. This week happens to be Pan. I didn’t look at the topics until just now and it’s freaking me out because today I worked on a movie set as a background actress where they had cameras panning.

I don’t really have any other updates related to panning except that I’ve been trying to do some background acting work for years now, so I’m happy it finally happened.

I spoke to someone in another city who seems interested in my skills if the other job doesn’t come through.

That’s all I have.

I’ve been struggling to catch up on sleep for a couple of days now.

Feels like I need to practice a little self-care.

Then I’ll get back at everything.

R~

Theatrical Tuesday – Delicate Writing

L4BB3-67RLK3J_RoyRFor the record, Tuesday is the other day I’m thinking about scrapping. It would give me the time I need for other things and I also often don’t feel like writing a blog post on Tuesdays.

That all being said, I figured that today I could talk about writing about delicate subjects.

Now, I’ve done this a number of times. One of the writing gigs I got was because I could write about such things as palliative care with the right level of delicacy. This is something I have learned because of my past social work education.

And it transferred well to handling a sensitive topic for my play Crisis.

That’s not to say I always get the tone right. Tone is so very complicated because it’s not just about the situation, but the specific character in the situation.

For example, when writing about a death in the family there can be a wide range of ways someone might respond depending on their relationship to the deceased, what is going on in their life at the time, and a myriad of other factors. Some people will collapse to the ground sobbing. Another might immediately reach for something that soothes them like drugs or alcohol. Others may simply frown and say that it’s unfortunate then launch into some wild story of the shenanigans they used to get into when they were young. Get several of those people together in a funeral scene and that makes for some possible story conflict.

I unfortunately have a lot of experience with death. My first funeral happened when I was 6 years old. It was my grand mother, though we were raised believing she was our aunt. And after that, nearly every year someone passed away in my family. That’s one of the realities of having a large family. My dad had 15 brothers and sisters. My mom had about half that. Well, technically they were all her aunts and uncles. Anyway, I’ve spent a lot of time at wakes and not really at the funeral itself.

Some topics are so delicate that many recommend staying away from entirely. Topics like any kind of theorizing about what causes autism, for example. I’m unsure that is helpful though. Perhaps the more theories out there, the more people are working on finding a solution?

Back to the death thing. It’s odd to me that movies and TV focus mainly on showing people as sad. I’ve been to wakes where the spouse was utterly devastated and died soon after of a broken heart. I’ve been to others where the wife was completely fine and even relieved to see their loved one was no longer suffering. I’ve also seen a twin at their twin’s wake and that is sadder than anything else I’ve ever seen.

My own first experience was strange. My “aunt” was always yelling at me. I was a little bit of a wild child who climbed on the cupboards to get to the cookies 🙂

Anyway, I slept through all the commotion. She had died in our home and her home care nurse found her. My brother later woke me up and told me, but being so young I didn’t really get it. Until the funeral ceremony when everyone around me was crying. That’s when I figured out that I’d never see her again. I cried then and didn’t understand how I could be sad when she was almost always mean to me. Hell of a thing to learn about at six years old.

These days though, I’m usually the one that can keep it together and be strong for others. My brothers are not so strong and I usually have to help them through it.

I think it’s hard to nail delicate subjects unless you’ve experienced similar situations. And the way people handle things like the grief process can be different too. There is usually a part that involves guilt where someone feels like if they had only done something like check why their neighbour’s gate was open, maybe he could’ve been saved. People often feel angry too. Like their loved one should have known the path they took would lead where it did.

Anyway, I find a lot of movies and such don’t capture all this as well as it could. The Notebook did capture some of it really well. We certainly see the anger portion in John Wick and The Punisher. Shock is something also usually captured, but I’m not sure I’ve seen many that go through the entire cycle.

Something, I suppose, that I’ll ensure I do in my own writing.

R~

Warrior Wednesday – Jung and Martial Arts

sword

Image created using Bitmoji

I know. This post is so very late. But late is better than never, right?

All right. So, I found this post on a sensei who uses the Myers-Briggs types to figure out how best to train their students. The test was inspired by Carl Jung’s research, so that’s pretty interesting.

It could be dangerous to guess someone’s type and assume things about them because of it though.

I wonder how many are drawn to specific types of martial arts based on their types. I’m more drawn to Iaido and Karate because a lot of those are individual study. I’m an INTP aka Logician and Iaido is a mix of theory and has a lot of solitary practice. It also has a large focus on minute details. I know one of my dojo mates is an INTJ. I’m now wondering how many of us have similar personality traits.

Maybe there are more ESF types in arts like BJJ where there is more focus on winning a fight? In proving one’s worth?

Why did I say it could be dangerous to guess based on their Myers-Briggs? Well, humans are extraordinarily complex. I may be very analytical as an INTP, but I also care very deeply for other humans. I don’t put the same level of care into all my relationships, but that’s actually a healthy and reasonable thing to do.

There’s also the DiSC personality test where I show as primarily conscientious, but under stress I become dominant. What that also says about me is that I’m often happier in a team or underling role, but can lead when needed.

What else? Well, I’ve taken other tests that pinpoint me as 67% introvert and 33% extrovert. My friends reading this up until now were probably unconvinced that I’m an introvert because they’ve seen me be pretty extroverted. The life of the party even at times. But it’s not my default setting 😉

And I do make use of all of this in martial arts. I need to understand the why while learning kata because it helps me do the kata correctly. And correctness is important to me even if my skill isn’t at a level where I can achieve it. I help organize things and happily let others do the speaking, but I’m okay running the odd class when no one of higher rank can make it. I actually love our free practice nights the most because I can work on what I feel will help me improve at a pace that works for me.

I also like trying new things if only to experience something I haven’t before.

But I hate when people try to condescend me or infantilize me. I also don’t like being with a drill sergeant.

I can’t tell you if I’m type A or B at this point. I’m very driven, but I don’t feel the need to hassle others to be as driven as me because I know we all do things on our own time. Everyone’s path is different. I also know that success isn’t governed by following the same path up the mountain. Some seem amazing in the short-term, but many things take a level of persistence that few possess, so others may seem like they are fantastic until they burn out.

I’m also a fiery woman with French, Swedish, and Scottish heritage who has had a variety of other experiences that influence my personality in ways that go deeper than any test can likely capture. Perhaps this is where I get my courage from.

But I’m also a Gryfferin. That’s a mix of the Gryffindor and Slytherin Harry Potter houses.

I also have this need deep within to help make the world a better place. At one time, I thought social work was the way to do that, but it turns out that there are many people who are far better at social work than I am. What I realized is that I can do good things with my writing if I’m responsible with it.

What is your Myers-Briggs type? If you practice, what kind of martial art do you prefer the most? If you don’t practice, why not? Are you just a fan of the movies and/or UFC? Are you afraid? Are you too busy?

R~

Thankful Thursday – Cold Gratitude

thoughtfulSometimes one can become hyper-focused on something bad. The thing begins to consume from within until one has difficulty doing the most basic things such as eating and sleeping.

It’s at times like that when I find it helpful to freeze.

Then I switch my thinking to what is wonderful in my life. Close friends who support me and my writing. A delightful little boy who makes me remember my purpose of helping others. Clients who love my work. New friends. Acquaintances who might be becoming more. Realizing I may not be as far from becoming bilingual as I thought. New hobbies.

My life is full of so much potentially awesome things right now.

It can be hard to realize one is spiraling downward though. Hard to get to that point where one knows they need to put the brakes on. Hard to stop the negative momentum from carrying one further down.

The only way I’ve found that works is to breathe. When everything around me seems to be exploding, I stop and take a breath. I talk to loved ones. I take a walk and contemplate where I’m at and where I want to be. I think about whether or not the path I’m on is leading me in a different direction than my goals.

Being thankful for what I have helps me get through the bad times and find my way back.

Today is the last day of my graduate studies and I’m thankful for all the people I’ve met this year. Even the bad ones taught me lessons that will surely benefit me in some way in the future if only to make me properly cautious of everything I do and who I do it with.

It’s been quite the ride. At the start, I was scared I wouldn’t make any friends because I’m a little older than most in the program and a lot older than others. The bus also terrified me as I had nothing but terrible experiences with it before. And I was so scared I wouldn’t be able to keep up on the workload.

But I got used to the bus. I made friends. And I not only handed nearly everything in on time or early, but I received a letter from the dean telling me I had made the Honour’s list.

I’ve even come to embrace that I’m part of the millennial generation, which is something I wasn’t particularly grateful for before. Being born in 1981 makes me an odd millennial as my life began more like a Gen Xer’s rather than always having the Internet and computers around. Yesterday, I actually had a conversation about remembering when CDs became a thing and how awesome it was when anti-skip technology came out after.

All this to say that a year that started off cold and full of fear has ended so differently than it began. It wasn’t easy. That whole strike thing was an extra bit of stress that no one needed, but I made it and I’m ready to tackle whatever comes next.

My plan for the summer includes getting a job and refreshing my French because I’m getting closer to being able to at least speak it. I feel like that will open a lot of doors for me and I’m excited to continue working on my writing. And I definitely want to make time for loved ones too because they make all the challenges worth pushing through.

R~