Just Around the Corner

The fortune cookie, received on Friday the 13th, said:

“Romance is just around the corner.”

I like to read significance into just about everything and anything that happens. Let’s just call that a “coping mechanism”. Note: not necessarily a very good one.

In “The Fountainhead”, Ayn Rand wrote:

“Patience is always rewarded and romance is always round the corner.”

I didn’t go and look, but I just imagine it was said sarcastically, or ironically. Or that it’s always around the next corner, just out of reach. Or maybe only if you put self-interest above all else.

And, of course, as seems to happen regularly, it turned out that around the next corner (the next day, Saturday). I learned a little more. That put things I want just a little further out of reach. A few more corners away.

The moral of the story: don’t order Chinese food on Friday the 13th.

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Kind Words?

There’s an idea in this world that “people get what they deserve”.

Usually that’s in the context of someone being a jerk, and someone else will say “what goes around, comes around”, expecting karma to come and kick them in the ass.

Your friends want to be supportive (well, usually), and so they try to say nice, supportive things like “things will get better”, or “it’s always darkest before the dawn”, or “everything happens for a reason”.

Or, the one that I hate, “you deserve better”.

That’s usually in the context of a relationship that has come to an end. “She wasn’t good enough for you, you deserve better.”

Easy to say, isn’t it?  Empty platitudes often are.

If I really do “deserve better”, then where is this “better” you speak of?  Am I just not looking in the right place? Have I not waited long enough?

Or have I already got just what I deserve, and my friends are overly optimistic?

I would like to believe in fate, that good things come to those who wait, and all that.  But, some days,  it just seems like a big load of hooey.

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Control, Thy Name is Lack Of

Some might say I’m “type A”. Some might say I have opinions. Some might say that I am a “control freak”.

I like to think it’s not quite that bad.

I think most people like to have at least a modicum of control over their own life. Where you live, what you do with your time, what direction you’re headed.

For quite a while now, I’ve had a complicated relationship with “control”.  For a number of years, more so when the offspring were younger, I felt that I had little control over my life. Where I lived, the schedule of my week, what I had to do, where I could work, what my days looked like.  So much of that seemed out of my control.

I still have problems along those lines.  Like everyone, I have goals, things I’m interested in, places (literal or figurative) that I want to go. And, some times, perhaps too many times, I seem to have little success in getting those things underway.

So I look for places where I can perhaps exert a small amount of control, real or imagined.

Which means that, maybe, just maybe, I sometimes express my opinions.  Clearly and precisely.

I act from time to time. Mostly amateur things, but we usually get pretty reasonable results.

But I tell you, there are times when I’m out there, working with someone else, and it’s painfully clear that they just don’t know how to deliver a joke.  You lob a softball to them, and they just watch it sail across the plate, as if they had no idea it was coming.  Or there’s an opportunity to grab the audience by the heart, and they just let it go by.

I try hard to bite my tongue.  I don’t always manage to.

Of course, it’s possible I could be wrong.

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Coincidence, or Cosmic Mischief?

I like to think I’m a rational person, believing in science, and the common theories about how this world came about. (Random chance, near as I understand.)

Let me tell you a story.  There is a woman, we used to be friends, now, not so much.  Some might say I don’t have a healthy detachment from what once was.  Some might say I refuse to let anything go.

In early March I got the impression that something unexpected had taken place, and recently confirmed it.

I changed employers a year ago, my new employer moved to a new commercial plaza 8 months ago. Turns out that the woman’s employer also moved within the last year or so, 25km from the previous location, and farther away from where their customers are likely to be (though it’s a specialized industry).

Her employer moved. To the same plaza as mine did.

The one person that I want to talk with and spend time with more than anyone else, now works 150 feet from me, across the parking lot.

I find that more than a little unlikely and unexpected. And well beyond what I think of as the range of ordinary chance happenings.

Makes me wonder if God, or Loki, is playing a practical joke on me.

Thanks a lot guys.

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Message in a Bottle

No, I’m not referring to that hit song by the Police.  Though that might be a good tie-in.

If I had a bottle, and a matching cork, and lived near the sea. And had some paper. Oh, and a pencil.

I might write a message, roll it up, put it in the bottle, and set it free to float upon the seas.

That might be a more effective method of communication.

Note: the bottle, cork, paper, and pencil are all assumed to be clean and safely biodegradable, with a short half-life. Don’t want to be polluting the natural world of course.  Well, at least not if I’m just reaching for a poor metaphor.

Oh, and support your friends and family that are affected by mental health challenges. Just sayin’ ….

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When You Find Yourself in Times of Trouble

We ran into a bit of a “family emergency” this week and one of us was admitted to the hospital, and is still there. It’s somewhat open-ended.

That, of course, has been more than a little stressful all around.

As most people do, I looked to share that situation with a close friend, and hopefully, reduce the stress, at least just a little bit, and perhaps make use of a little emotional support.

And, of course, there is really only one person that was the first one I wanted to share this with, and lean on a little bit, as I had in the past.

Clearly there is more than one person in my little extended family that could likely use some professional help.

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Talk Therapy

There’s a school of thought that talking, being open, sharing one’s thoughts, is a good thing. Conversation can be fun, enlightening, energizing, and invigorating.

A long time ago I wrote down

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased. What more do you need to know?

(It wasn’t a quote from Spider Robinson.  I would have to go find a paper in a file in a filing cabinet downstairs to remember where I read it. Please forgive me.)

I pull that quote out regularly, to hand off to my children, or friends, or acquaintances.

I said here, a few weeks back, that I write for a specific audience – Write for Your Audience. I do. – and suggested that perhaps that practice didn’t reflect too well on me.

And so: I was out in the park today, walking the dog, and it was too warm for a February day, and most of the snow was gone.  But the sun was out, and we were walking around the pond in the town park.

And it was glorious.  I quite enjoyed it, and the little dog did too.

I wanted to share the joy of that experience – you know, so that it would be increased – and so I posted a little tweet about it.

But in reality, there was one, exactly one, person that I wanted to tell about it, and share the experience with.  This person also has a little dog, and perhaps I might claim that that was the reason I wanted to share my experience, and the glorious afternoon. But there’s a darn good chance that that would pretty much be a lie – the dogs are not really a key element to be considered here.

All I wanted was to share this experience, or the feeling of this experience, with this one person.  And I can’t.

I’ve said it before. Apparently, I am a sick. sick. man.

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Valentine’s Day – A Nice Day In Theory, But …

I was all set to write a special post just for today – Valentine’s Day – and then I got some Chinese (-like) food to-go.  With a fortune cookie. Which said:

Walk carefully in the beginning of love.

Or, in French, from the other side:

Au début d’une relation amoureuse, allez-y prudemment.

I think I’ll file that away for future reference.  Perhaps far future reference.

But back to my thesis: Valentine’s Day is lovely in theory, but, in practice, perhaps not so much.

Now I have to admit, it seemed somehow a little more understated this year.  Or perhaps less over-stated. Maybe it’s because the winter olympics are on, and everyone is watching mixed doubles curling and wondering if the teammates are lifemates, or just teammates. And wondering just what the hell “hurry hard” means on the rink with a broom.

There’s the (perhaps unintended) implication that if you don’t have someone special to spend Valentine’s Day with, well, then, perhaps you’re just not that special yourself.

Though I wonder how orphans feel on Mother’s Day.

I’ve long known that having someone special in your life is one of the best things that can happen to a person in this world.  And of course I’ve also known that there are so many people that don’t have someone special.

So there’s nothing special about me.

Which is what Valentine’s Day seems to remind me of.

Celebrating love, and the special people in your life, and caring and sharing, and telling people how much they mean to you (when they mean something good to you I mean) – all wonderful things.

Except some times when you want to do that, but feel like there’s no one for you to tell.

Good in theory, but maybe not so much in practice.

Jaded, tired, lonely? Nahhhh ….

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Write for Your Audience. I do.

Under my more common name, I post to the twitters from time to time. No, I am not a well-known, notorious politician.

I tweet various different things. Sometimes I’ll re-tweet an interesting article, or a tweet by someone else. Or I’ll promote a show or something that I (or someone else) is involved in. Or I’ll try to make a humourous reference. Or perhaps I’ll exclaim something about what a stunning day it is. Or mention that I’ve escaped to a place where people can’t find me.

But too often, I’ll write a tweet that is intended for a particular audience. A specific audience.

OK, a specific person.

A person who may have read my tweets once upon a time, but who now almost certainly never looks at my twitter stream. Or my facebook page. Or my email.

But still I post.

I want to talk with this person, communicate, connect. It was a friendship that was important to me. At the time. And still, though it no longer exists in any practical form, if it exists at all.

I keep coming back to a couple of things: hope for the future, and a wish that there is more to this world than meets the eye.

And so I send my words and thoughts out into the ether, and the ether-nets, in hopes that they might somehow reach a destination that may or may not want to receive them.

Apparently, I am a sick, sick, man.

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Anyone Ever Tell You You Look Like?

It’s happened to most of us. Someone says “hey, anyone ever told you you look like random famous person?”.  Or their friend, Dave?

Sometimes the resemblance is superficial, or imagined.  Or not there at all. How many different haircuts are there, really?

And it happens the other way around, of course. We see someone who triggers a memory of a friend, or acquaintance, or that cashier at the grocery store that we sort of remember.

This week I was watching TV, as one does. Or, more precisely, old movies on my TiVo, and binge watching a series on Netflix. As one does. What else would one do during the holiday season, right?

I do a little amateur acting from time to time, and go to plays regularly (and of course think “huh, I could have played that part better”), and wonder about the acting and directing choices.  I may be more aware of how people move and express themselves than others might be. Or not.

And twice I found myself suddenly being reminded of a close friend of mine. (Well, maybe not quite so close anymore.)

Facial structure, height, size, stature, attitude, vocabulary, hair style. Movement, stance, grace, interactions.

Of course, I could just be imagining things. Wouldn’t be the first time.

I like to think I’m a rational, thoughtful person, and that I take the world as it appears, looking for science and evidence, and believing the most obvious and likely things about this little world of ours.

But there sure is a part of me that wants to believe in something more. That sometimes coincidences are more than just coincidences, that sometimes there is meaning in things that happen, that sometimes there might be more to this world than meets the eye.

I’ve said it before: it’s hard to live without hope. Believing that there is something more to this world is just another form of hope.

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