Sunday, November 14, 2010

The "ish" factor - learning to chill reaches a whole new level!

So, it was my birthday last week. No big deal - it was relatively uneventful - just the way I wanted.

But something happened. It was one of those moments that made me go 'hmmmm'. Not quite a light bulb moment because it wasn't earth shattering or anything. But nonetheless it was significant enough that it made me stop and think for a moment..

Wait. This story requires a little bit of setting up.

First, MY schedule runs on a clock that is different than anyone else's. Sometimes it is Newfoundland time. Sometimes there's a time zone that is, oh, about 15 minutes behind the rest of the world. When I book appointments, they're done in half hour window, as in "I'll meet you between 3 and 3:30". That's smart for me. I aim for 2:50 and I'm pretty damn sure I'll arrive by about 3:20, which puts me right in the window of time I booked, thus saving me from dreaming up an excuse about why I'm late.

Second, there's my Dad. If he says he'll arrive at 3:00 p.m., he doesn't mean 3:01. He doesn't even mean 2:59 (although he's been known to arrive a minute early and throw me right off). And it doesn't matter if my watch has a different time than his. Only his watch counts. It's like he synchronises it directly with God himself every morning. "Tina-Marie, if you arrive at the train station at 7:31 to catch the 7:30 train, you've missed it." (Heaven help me, I've hear that a million times in my life, and the part where he annoyingly calls me by my real name could be the topic of a whole other post someday!) I've already told him that when he dies, we're going to schedule his funeral for 11:00 a.m. and then start at about 11:12, just so I can see if he makes the coffin rock back and forth in post-mortem agitation.

Now, about my birthday. Tuesday November 9th at 9:00 a.m. I received a phone call from my Mom (Dad can't hear on the phone so well anymore so he gets Mom to call and he just yells at her in the background if she diverts from the message he's trying to send me.

"Happy Birthday Tina."  "Thanks Mom," I reply.

"Dad and I would like to take you to lunch today, but we're gong to a meeting this morning so it will have to be after 12:00."

"Ok, that would be nice" I replied.

We agreed on Swiss Chalet at Yonge and Green Lane.

And then it happened.

We're making our plans and I hear Dad in the background:  "We think we'll be done by noon, but why don't we say 12:30ish in case we're running a little late".

Now, 12:30is coming out of my Mother's mouth would be no big deal.  She and I speak the same language on this one. But.... DAD? 12:30ish?

The planets are no longer aligned and all of the absolutes in this world have been altered forever.  Hell, I 'm left wondering if the earth is, indeed, round!

ISH has never been in my Father's vocabulary. I'm just waiting now for snow in July. Better yet, I should go and buy a lottery ticket!

Or, maybe, just maybe, he's learned to chill and enjoy retired life. Honestly, I think this behaviour falls into the realm of an anomaly. Or maybe its just one of those things that will happen on the 9th of November every year.

Monday, November 1, 2010

61 Days...

For me the worst day of the year has arrived. I hate November 1st.

It signifies the beginning of the most depressing 61 days on my calendar and I brace myself. Its almost like inhaling deeply and preparing to hold my breath for the countdown to January 1st.

There is nothing redeeming about the month of November - not even my birthday. It is a dark, dreary, depressing month. It is not shocking that there are more suicides during this 30 day period than any other on the calendar. Christmas music starts playing in the malls and stores today and by December I'll even have to take my iPod to do the grocery shopping to avoid it. And ironically, the music means nothing - a clear juxtaposition to the throngs jostling for position in line, fighting for parking spots, and frantically engaging in consumerism in an empty hope of finding some satisfaction in it. Songs in which I once found solace like "O Holy Night" have been reduced to the status of a meaningless commercial jingle.

The days are getting shorter and my body craves the fleeting bursts of sunshine that will be rationed so sparingly.

There will be incredibly tasteless plastic decorations everywhere I look. My own family will clutter our house with trinkets and garland and lights and all manners of tackiness.

And the expectations! Which side of the family gets their Turkey dinner at our house on the 25th? Who will be left disappointed or angry? The visits, the parties, the big meals. People eating and drinking to excess and then providing the diet and fitness industries with their best time of the year in January.

There's such a frantic desperation to this time of year and I find it incredibly hollow and sad.

Yes, you're right. I sound exactly like the Grinch. The difference is that in Dr. Seuss' rendition that Grinch's heart grows five or ten sizes with the revelation that in Whoville "it" remains real meaning even without all the presents and lights and bling.

Toto, I don't think we're in Whoville any more.

Inhale deeply. Hold. Pray for January. May I find strength........