Friday, November 28, 2008

No, I'm not dead...yet...

I haven't really fell off of the face of the earth. I just sort of fell in to my life and became enveloped by it. My job, working in regional health care is interesting and engaging. I always have opportuinities to learn new things but there is far too much work and not nearly enough resources to do it all.

I think that we need to focus on a few things and do them well rather than try to do everything. By taking on too many projects at once our attention is too scattered and we don't truly complete anything before picking up a new shiny object to focus our attention on.

Granted, fixing our health care system, even in one region of our province is a tall order. God, I love the challenge. But I think that if we had a few real acknowledged wins in our pocket then the next project might be just a bit easier. We are constantly fighting public perception and the reluctance of the health service providers to do anything differently.

They come to us with hands extended looking for more money, like that will fix all of their problems. And yet, when you suggest that since they can't balance their budget maybe they need to change how they are currently providing services they are indignant. How dare we tell them how to do their job, they are the experts after all.

Frankly, if any one of us overspent to the point of being in debt and needed a loan or a hand out to bail us out then logically you would look at how you got into that position in the first place and put measures in place to ensure you didn't end up in the same boat in the future. In other words...make changes! See where your money is going. What spending can you cut back on? What expenses can you eliminate all together? It's logical. Our health care system, currently, is anything but logical.

In the past if health service providers overspent their budgets they were simply given more money. It created a system where overspending was common place and organizations that were fiscally responsible were in a way penalized. You can't reward bad behaviour and then wonder why they can't act responsibly. And that obvious bit of wisdom could have been provided by any mother in the country. Now all we need to do is teach this lesson to the ones providing our health care services.

Time will tell...and I plan to stay around to see it through. Hang on to your hats boys and may be a bumpy ride.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A visit from the fabulous Katitude...

Got a call from Kat last night and she is coming for the weekend. Suddenly my week looks a whole lot better than it did a little while ago. I need to restock my bar with all of the fancy garnishes for all of the new recipes I plan to test on her. Friends are great guinea pigs when your perfecting a new drink.

My hubby is working all weekend so it will be a girls event. I'm sure that my son can be bribed to either work as bus boy or vacate for the weekend. Don't get me wrong, I love the kid but sometimes girls just need a little testosterone free space to vent, chat and cut loose.

Only four more sleeps until the weekend!

Friday, January 11, 2008


The older I get the more I appreciate my girlfriends.

When females are in their teens, girls are meant to be manipulated. They're your friend this week, your fenemy next week, the horrible witch that stole your boyfriend the week after and your BFF the week after that. (Once they dropped the loser you thought you liked.)

In our twenties women are competition. They are competing for the job you want, the man you want or the attention you want. We treat each other with civil distrust at the best of times and guard our secrets well so that they cannot be used against us in the next strategic attack by our current "competitor".

In our thirties quite a few of us become mothers. This changes the landscape to some degree. We consult more with other women going through the same issues of child rearing and we learn a certain appreciation of advice and sympathy for others sharing our trials. But even for the women that do not become mothers I think there is a mellowing of our baser competitive instincts and a sisterhood of sorts is born. Men cannot understand, no matter how progressive or open minded they might be, what women endure and, honestly, put each other through.

I think it is in our thirties that we attain enough confidence and independence that we don't feel diminished or threatened in any way to admit that we need a little support. And I think it is at this phase of our lives that we develop this much needed support network of women who just "get you". They understand your point of view. You can rant about anything to them and they know exactly what you need. Whether it's a kick in the ass or an empathetic hug. Personally, I more often need a kick in the ass and to be told to get over myself. Who but a girlfriend would dare such a thing.

Now that I am starting my forties I hope that these connections will continue to strengthen and endure. I realize more and more how valuable they are to my well being and sanity. The fact that I can share my life and my secrets with people who in turn trust me enough to share their joys and sorrows with me enriches my life each and every day.

Thank the Gods that we have matured to the point that we can truly appreciate the exceptional value of having women friends. And thank all the Gods that I an fortunate enough to have fabulous women in my life that I would gladly walk through fire for.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Holiday Chaos often followed by Holiday Blues...

The Christmas season has come and gone. We survived it relatively unscathed. I have a very functional dysfunctional family and any holiday season that we get through with little to no drama is a success in my books.

This was the first Christmas that I actually had moments when I just thought "what is the point". Run around buying gifts, stocking stuffers and groceries. Wrap all items, bake goodies, decorate the house, decorate the tree and put out "Santa items". Then fall into unconsciousness and wake up the next morning to unwrap the same items you were up to the wee hours of the morning making look pretty. Recycle all of the boxes, cardboard, gift wrap. Cook, eat and collapse.

My son is fifteen now. We don't have the same excitement about "Santa" that we did even two or three years ago. He is a fairly grounded kid who asks for reasonable things. When your child only asks for one or two items...there isn't exactly a huge amount of surprise on Christmas Day. Sure he was happy to get what he asked for but it wasn't "unexpected" either.

I think I would have been "happier" to spend my time brightening Christmas for others who maybe didn't expect anything. I think that the true JOY that I usually have is experiencing the "surprise" that someone has over receiving something "unexpected". This of course is not to say that I want to receive a kayak paddle next year (though it would be unexpected because I don't own a kayak). Just that I miss the wonder and anticipation that use to permeate the holiday season. My favourite present this year was a "teeny weeny martini set". A shaker, two glasses and stir sticks that would fit in a doll house. It even had a very small recipe book. It probably cost less than $20 and it completely entranced me. So it's not about how much you spend, its about how much thought you put into the gift.

I'm considering spending next Christmas somewhere warm with the people I love and foregoing gifts all together. I don't want to go through the rituals of the expected actions, participating in the expected events, giving and receiving the expected gifts and experiencing the expected let down or holiday hang over.

I still need to dredge up the required energy to take down the tree and decorations. This weekend I hope...unless the amazing Katitude calls and says she wants to spend the weekend being spontaneous or perfecting martini recipes. Then all bets are off and maybe my husband and son can "deal" with the holiday clean up.

I'll cross my fingers.

Happy Holidays everyone...I promise to pull myself out of this post-Christmas funk soon.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


I want to send my best wishes and love to "loud" down-under and her new, lovely hubby. They got married on New Years Day.

What a fantastic way to start your year!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Camping & Tent-Trailer Trash...

Just got back from two weeks of vacation and it is hard to get back to the grind.

I love camping. I love spending the majority of every day outside, rain or shine. I love not knowing what time it is. I love not having a telephone interrupting my day and not knowing for sure where I left my cell phone. I like not having a computer, TV or video games robbing time from my day. I love eating when I'm hungry and sleeping when I'm tired. I love the ritual of boiling water and washing dishes after a meal. I love the conversations that start because of a particularly adorable red squirrel that felt it was his place to loudly complain about the shortage of peanuts. I love the sound of crickets at night and birds in the morning. Afternoon naps are very under-rated and should be a part of our everyday life if we feel we need them.

I came home feeling like I had finally found the time to recharge my batteries, that instead of going through the motions of my life, I did a little living. I came home very Zen and peaceful and I am having a hard time finding the motivation to pick up the pace to the expected speed that we normally live.

Life moves far too fast. In a few more years we will be empty nesters. I'm not prepared to see my son leave for University yet. The weeks slip by, the months, the years and it's always...well some day we will...well, fill in the sentence as you wish. But I feel like we get caught up in the flow of our lives with out really appreciating the details and aspects of every day.

When was the last time you took the time to look at a tree in the early morning light? Just to look at it and marvel at it's beauty. How the light shines as it touches the dew on the leaves and the sound the leaves make as they rustle in the breeze. Yes, they have their own sound. It's a sound that can't be heard over the noise of cars, people, radios, ipods, lawn mowers and all of the various back ground noise that we become accustom to and tune out.

How much are we missing out on simply because it has become like white noise in our heads that we just tune out?

I saw a starry sky full of more tiny pin pricks of light than I every thought the heavens could hold. I live in a rural area and thought that the lack of street lights allowed me a better view of the night sky than my urban neighbours. And I was partially right... I do see more stars than city dwellers but nothing close to the spectacular sight that can be seen in a truly dark rural area.

I look forward to our summer camping. My life is too scheduled.

Camping is a time that I treasure. I feel revitalized. I will hold the memory of this time in my heart and try to remind myself to be more impulsive and spontaneous. I will try to remember that just because technology is moving at the speed of light, my life does not have to. I will try to remember to appreciate the details of the people and places that surround me. I will try to remember that cameras take much better pictures when you take them out of the camera case. I will make more time for the things in my life that are truly important rather than simply urgent or expected.

Yes, I am proud to say...I really am tent-trailer trash and ain't it grand!