I miss Sundays…

I realize this is indeed Sunday but what I miss is what Sundays used to be like.  I also realize that probably more than half the population of the country have no idea what I am talking about.

The only thing open on Sundays was church.  No movies, no stores open.  When I thought of this today I found myself trying to remember what we did on those days.

It truly was a day of rest and was spent reading, visiting family or friends, and having Sunday evening dinner which for some reason always seemed special.  In those days the Baptist church was a big part of my life and so I attended both morning and evening services since I was in the choir.

Sunday evenings were for ‘The Ed Sullivan Show’, ‘Bonanza’, and I think ‘Father Knows Best’ came in there somewhere. Oh and I almost forgot about Walt Disney.  It was a nice family time.

Saturdays had their own excitement because that day all the work had to be done.  Cleaning, groceries and homework.  When Sunday morning arrived there was nothing to do except be and think.  We started Monday well rested.

Now I have tried to simulate no work, no shopping, no movies Sundays but it just doesn’t seem to work.  There always seems to be something that needs doing.  But I won’t give up on it.  I figure if I keep trying to make it a day of rest eventually I will succeed.

What were your Sundays like in the past?

Big People

Big People

Almost every weekend I journey from Hamilton, where you may remember I am Queen and Granny Nanny privileged to be a daily part of G1 and G2′s life in a wonderful world of excitement, imagination and adventure filled with giggles, laughter and an occasional time out.  It is the most loving environment where I sometimes learn more than I teach….hmm truth be told more than sometimes.

I used to wonder if I had the energy and found I do and when tiredness sets in at the end of the day it us well earned and treasured.  My return to Kitchener for one or two nights is the chance to catch up with my best friends, otherwise known as Sister Act and SIL and other family and friends.

Friday night is typically dinner at our neighborhood fav eating spot Crabby Joe’s, where everyone knows your name or at least our names.  The gathering may be small or large depending on commitments and the next morning it is breakfast with more of the same congenial merry makers.

Kitchener and Waterloo are hot spots with lots of exciting things going on, great clubs, entertainment even dancing for those so inclined…at least that’s what I have heard. My days are usually spent puttering along and it occurred to me this evening as I looked around at Sister Act deep into a book, and me. curled up with my book that this is a pretty nice life.

Then I started to giggle, infectiously enough for my sis to start laughing although she had no idea what the joke was.  Finally she stopped and looked to me for an explanation.  “Well I said between chuckles, do you realize how tame our life is?  We joke, eat, drink and go to bed by nine most nights I visit?”

Yeah that’s what we enjoy.  Mind you we get all excited when an actual evening occurs.  When her staff Christmas Party comes up or some other evening event we are thrilled because, and are you ready for it?  We then comment on the fact that, “Tonight we actually get to stay up late, like big people!

My sister has noted that my shower singing songs that ring out each morning haves changed.  Without my realizing it my repertoire now imcludes the oldies but goodies; ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXY and Z, I’m picking up my baby bumblebee….and….I’m a little teapot….hmmmmmmmm.

Imagine If You Will

Imagine If You Will

Imagine if you will….you are fifty-nine years old and someone offers you a dream job that will last thirty-three years making your retirement age ninety-two.  AND at that age you will not consider it retirement, but just the opportunity to go on to something else.

Imagine if you will….your job is to talk..and talk…about anything that has caught your interest or your ire and all you have to do is sound off.

Imagine if you will…you can talk about the mundane, politics, religion, issues and non-issues and actually get paid for it.

Imagine if you will…you will make ‘curmudgeon’ something adorable and you never have to change who you are.  Ever.

Just imagine.  

That is a hint to the life of Andy Rooney whose last broadcast was Sunday past.  I never regularly watched Sixty Minutes largely due to scheduling and the fact that I question the integrity of every ‘investigative’ show (part of my untrusting nature I guess), but when I did watch it, it was for one reason only, that being Mr. Rooney himself.  It didn’t matter what the subject of the evening, what mattered was the unique twist about to be presented, whether it be how mixed are mixed nuts, or issues of a more sensitive nature.

His actual point of view did not matter, but what did matter is that someone actually displayed freedom of speech publicly  true freedom of speech because for a long time time now I have suspected that right is simply an illusion and now with Mr. Rooney gone from his podium I am afraid we will never see it again in a public forum.  Ever.

Thank you Andy Rooney.  May your next adventure be as fabulous!

Imagine if you will….

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Rooney

Skating on the Thin Ice of Life

Skating on the Thin Ice of Life
 
“You’re skating on thin ice girl!”
 
Life is full of warnings, some overt and some less so. This one is pretty clear and was more serious than, “Stop, or you’re going to your room.” or even, “You’re cruisin for a bruisin.”
 
Skating implies movement, action, direction and a path or destination. Thin ice implies danger, warning, risk …high risk and a calamitous outcome if direction is not changed. Skating is smooth, continuous whether it is a forward, backward, figure eights, it is a confident motion that would seem not easily stopped or altered which increases the danger of being on thin ice. Once your motion carries you far enough there is no turning back and the only choice is to deal with the consequences of your action. This is a pretty good argument for thinking out plans beforehand.
 
But it strikes me that as we age skating on thin ice takes on a new meaning. Our footing may be ( literally ) less sure due to any number of circumstances including weak fragile bones or eye sight problems with depth perception, muscle weakness, blah, blah, blah. The older we get, the thinner the ice and our big rink just plain putters out.
 
 
Sometimes I think a zamboni is the only answer.
 
FYI….Wiki says…Zambonis do not really “melt the broken ice” in hockey arenas. The process of resurfacing the ice is the Job of the Zamboni at an ice rink between groups on the ice or periods of a hockey team. A Zamboni actually has a blade on it that cuts or shaves the surface of the ice (not much because the ice is only 1.5 to 3.5 inches thick!) This way the grooves and uneven surface from skaters is brought back to a more even surface. Then the Zam floods behind the cut with hot water (approx. 140 degrees) which fills in any leftover grooves or odd spots in the ice, freezes up and makes a fresh surface for the next group of skaters.

S&S

S&S 

The Daily Post prompt; Would you rather laugh with sinners, or cry with saints? created a lot of questions for me.

What makes a saint a saint?
Why would a saint cry and not laugh?
Why would a sinner laugh and not cry?
 Hey! What makes a Saint cry?
Why would a Saint cry?
Why would a  sinner cry?
Are saints crying because sinners are laughing?
Are sinners laughing because saints are crying?
Is it possible to be a saint and not know it?
If I am a saint today and sin tomorrow do I have to resign my saint status?
Since I prefer laughing can’t I laugh with both?
If I am spending my day seeking the joy of life why would I want to cry with either group? 

Of course crying is good too. It’s a wonderful release of pent up emotion and thought, relieving stress, a toxin cleansing and it is very good for the complexion, but alas I do not cry easily.

I love a movie that stirs those tender emotions to tears, a soggy freeing expression without seeming morose. So if the saints are watching Old Yeller or Marley and Me I will cry with them.  To cry and moan and whine..no thanks

The best crying is laughing ’til ……

“Saints are only sinners who keep trying.” Mother Teresa of Calcutta.

I know lots of sinners, myself included.  I am not sure if I have ever met a saint although have met those with saintly characteristics, but given this limited choice I am all for laughing with sinners, as it would be a pretty lonely existence without them.  Take away the sinners and I may be only person here.  HAHA.

If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours

If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours
 
One or two years ago, thirty odd to be almost exact, I took my children to the Haliburton Highlands each summer to a cottage. It was a delightful little rustic dwelling with a wood stove and screened in porch right on Lake Haliburton with a shallow beach ideal for wee ones and a diving platform further out. When the odd storm came up we would wrap ourselves in blankets and sit on the porch and enjoy nature’s fury as the wind blew horizontal rain and thunder clapped and lightning provided a better show than man could ever construe.


 
Most times the weather was ideal with sun and gentle breezes rustling the leaves of mighty oaks, elms and maples that sheltered us in a world far from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. No TV or Internet just games, running, laughing and splashing ourselves into deep untroubled sleeps at night. The only goal was relaxation and community with other cottagers.
 
We met many people over the years but one family in particular remains a frequent memory. When we first met they were just ordinary folk on holiday and then they told us about their lives. Family singers and musicians were very popular then and this whole family sang and produced records.
 
I don’t remember if we bought the most recent LP (long playing record) or if they just gave it to us but ‘If Snowflakes Fell in Flavours’ quickly became a favourite often played once we returned home. Shortly after that holiday I flew out west to Vancouver Island to visit friends with two young children and took a copy to them.
 
The family of singers have no idea how much pleasure they brought to us and I have no idea what happened to them but for one summer the very thought of flavoured snowflakes brought smiles and happiness to a few of us across the country.

**Thanks to Google again.  A search shows the song  was by Sandy Offenheim and all my favs are there including Let’s Play a Statue Game.  The bio says that Sandy Offenheim is a Canadian teacher, children’s song writer and performer, who recorded four albums of her original kids’ songs with her husband Harold and their children, Nadine and Stephen while they were growing up.

Well I am glad I had that memory today and want to thank Sandy and her family for providing such wonderful entertainment.

Do You Ask Why?

Do You Ask Why?

Susan  posted on ‘Why’ today and when I first began reading it my mind was just rousing after a short nap (Yes when G2 has his quiet time so do I, he because of youth, I because of non youth) and at first her wisdom seemed simplistic,  then the magnitude of what she was saying hit.

It was an ‘of course’ eureka kind of moment.  As an adult the initial thought was…the story of my life.  How many times throughout my career and life had I experienced misadventures instead of adventures because I had failed to ask that very question?  I  immediately thought of the countless times a day that sleeping little boy in the next room asks the same question and we all chuckle at the innocence and repetitiveness, perhaps giving a light hearted or limited response never taking it too seriously.

Then I considered G2 who at eight might ask the question but first considers possibilities and puts forth options of either or.  There is such an amazing difference between the minds of eight and three but both are trying to learn, to make sense of their world with that very question.

I conclude that the worst thing we can ever do is to stop asking.  My world has changed physically somewhat but more importantly there now exists an astronomical change in perspective.  If I had read Susan’s post a couple of months ago I doubt it would have had the impact of today for now I see the world around us from a myriad of angles.

I also conclude the worst thing we can ever do is not to seek the answers to the question when we hear it and to help others around us in their quest.

Do you ask why?
You can find Susan at susanthecoach.wordpress.com

AFRICA CLICKS The Adventure Continues

Time is overdue for an update on Suzanne and Mike and their adventure in Africa and the launch of Wisdom Exchange TV.  My previous two posts on AFRICA CLICKS occurred at the beginning of their adventures in May when they were just launching.  Since then a number of interviews and presentations have been completed and can be viewed through their site.  
Suzanne and Mike gave up home and possessions to embark on this exciting year long Mission in Africa, a continent that Suzanne fell in love with during her years of travel there.  They are living their dream with long days of giving and learning.  
In July their Ignite Excellence Foundation gave out three scholarships!

Dear Chris

As a friend, family member, colleague, or supporter, I wanted to share very exciting news I received today.

I am very proud to announce that Wisdom Exchange TV (www.wisdomExchangeTv.com) is now is being viewed in 30 countries and on 6 continents. We may have a challenge getting viewers on the 7th :) We launched in May 2011 with our first interview. This demonstrates the power and influence of the African Women leaders and their ability to effectively communicate Leadership Lessons, Words of Wisdom, Leadership Legacies and Edgeness Insights. These are the women that are the Change Agents of Africa. Read, view, or listen to their perspectives and leadership strategies. We all can gain insight in HOW TO be more effective leaders and receive another perspective into Africa, its culture, its people and its opportunities.

Thank you so much for your support! Please pass to friends and colleagues. We have two episodes a month. Subscribe FREE so you don’t miss an episode. (top right of home page)

My husband, Mike Gingerich, and I are off to Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia on August 20, 2011 to interview more incredible women leaders for Wisdom Exchange TV. If you have any interview recommendations please email us at info@wisdomexchangetv.com

The Wisdom Exchange TV is a resource to help African women to learn, lead and succeed in life, business, and community. It is a forum where women of all disciplines will be inspired from the achievements of African women in business, education, philanthropy and politics. These are the women that are the Change Agents of Africa’s companies, communities, countries and continent. They will inspire us to stretch our vision of what we can do, and what WE can be. New interviews and Expert Perspective blogs will be updated regularly with the insights of the women leaders of today for tomorrow.

Thank you for encouraging other to subscribe and for your continued support. Together we can impact the African leaders of tomorrow.

 

Suzanne F. Stevens 
Chief Edge Optimizer 

Ignite Excellence Inc. Group of Initiatives
Suzanne F Stevens – Keynotes & Coaching 
Wisdom Exchange TV – African Women Leadership web enabled program 
Ignite Excellence Foundation – Investing, developing & inspiring women in developing countries (We handed out 3 scholarships this week!) 
Ignite Excellence Inc. – Influential communication sales & leadership development company 
You Me & We – Join us on our Adventure travels through Africa 
African Business Women Connected Summit – International trade summit in Ethiopia April 2013 – unique sponsorship opportunities available

Follow us while we push the edge to our personal & profession potential 
Linked-in – FaceBook – YouTube – Twitter - 

Becoming Pure of Heart

Becoming Pure of Heart

The search has been on this last while for information, inspiration to give definition to my existence.  We are all defined in some way by some measure, a definition we create and live with, but my search has not been so much to seek definition as much as refine that definition.  Perhaps redo that definition, and yes I believe it can be done.  However I have discovered it is a little more difficult that initially thought.

It is not that I do not like who I am, I like me very much, but I want to be more, the best that I can be.  Be the best you can be, a phrase we are all familiar with. When I first became comfortable in my own skin a few years ago realizing I like me I thought, mission accomplished!  One never knows how long we get to live in this life especially for those of us in the last third of our life as Shirley McLaine calls this aged, aging period in her book, ‘I’m Over All That.” And the thought occurred that regardless how much time I have on the third planet from the sun I want to make the best of it.

Yes I want to stay funny, silly, curious, compassionate, gentle, charismatic, but I want to be so much more.  It wasn’t enough to determine what changes I wanted to make or add, or at least it didn’t turn out to be that easy, because then followed the grueling work of first assessing where I was in right now.  In painting a picture of how I wanted to see myself I had to face up to some truths that I am much better at ignoring.  Now don’t get me wrong, denial is more than a river in Egypt.  It is a very successful tool in surviving life at times, but can so easily become a habit to slide into like a knife in a sheath, firmly wrapped and held.  Such a comfortable place to be. 

My sister has teased me for years about living in Chrissyville, which is such a lovely optimistic positive place, and we giggle about this wonderful land of joy. Chrissyville needs a do over or at least a more solid base.

I can now see the person I want to be and it is thrilling but UGH it means changing some habits and habits are difficult to change by their very nature.

I am defining this growth as Becoming Pure of Heart which may not be an entirely accurate depiction though it is somewhere to start.

This is not about changing or becoming something ‘other’, it is a journey to ‘better’.  I guess when I retired I thought I was done with growing in a way.  You know, settled, as mature as it gets, and then oops there comes a feeling that we never stop growing, that there is more to do, more to be.

But where do you start?  It seems easy enough to make a list of bad habits to break as a beginning.  Do I tackle the list one by one, which will require some sorely needed patience (another growth factor)?  

To choose not to evolve within the chrysalis we call life is counter productive to the universe as a whole.  Everything evolves one way or another or dies.

What works for you?  All advice or comments are certainly welcome as I have found a wealth of knowledge and wisdom exists in our blogging world.

Hope

I Woke Up With Will Smith This Morning

I Woke Up With Will Smith This Morning

Waking up and before stirring towards a busy day I decided to start inspired. In days gone by when folk settled for the night with a routine of setting out things for the next day which may or may not include teeth in a glass, my nightly routine is to plug in the iPad and the iPhone so I am ready to roll first thing.

This morning I grabbed the pad and googled – ‘successful people’.  Among the selection was Will Smith, so snuggling down, ear phones in I listened and watched this very successful person.  I say person not actor as his success is in life not just in his craft.

Will Smith says:

I love living…it’s infectious.. and you can’t fake that.

I have a great time with my life and I want to share that.

We did not grow up believing that where we were was where we were going to be.  We grew up believing that where we were almost didn’t matter.  What mattered is that we were becoming something greater.

Your talent will fail you if you do not work hard.  You are not going to outwork me.  If you stay ready you don’t have to get ready.

I don’t want to be an icon, I want to be an idea.  I want to represent possibility.

I want the world to be better because I was here.

Plan A is you must believe.

Being realistic is the most common road to mediocrity.  Thinking of a light bulb was not realistic.  Bending metal and flying people was not realistic.

What you think is real, thoughts are real.  Thoughts, dreams, feelings are real.

There is redemptive power in making that choice.  I decide what is, who is.

Success takes obsessive focus. Be completely motivated. The person who works the hardest wins.  Learn how not to quit.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you you cannot do something.

I believe as Chris Hughs does in spiritual genetics which I got from my mother and grandmother.

I believe in happy endings.  You have got to believe you can be happily married for fifty years to be happily married for fifty years.
 
People ask me about racism in Hollywood.  Why would I acknowledge racism?  When you acknowledge something you give it power.

Fame may exist for some but greatness exists in all of us.

I believe in running and reading.  Running teaches you not to quit. And reading…there is no problem you have that someone else has not had and conquered and written about.

Know you can!

It works for me. Have a great day everyone!

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