Thursday, February 23, 2012

Playing Poker...

When you pull up a chair and wait for the cards to be dealt, everyone feels anticipation! Once the cards are in your hand there’s no turning back. And so it goes with other games of chance – winning or losing is purely the luck of the draw.

I’ve been observing a couple whose commitment to their marriage is unflinching, and over the years they’ve  always played out the hand they’ve been dealt with attentiveness and awareness. It’s a second-time-around for both partners…so treasured and sweet.  The husband recently commented to his son – “your Mother had the best of me, Louise has the short straw”.  

Landmark achievements mark everyone’s life – every accomplishment that strengthens a person and makes them more capable is a testament to their character. This could apply to youth, anyone in the workforce, and other circumstances that can make or break one’s ambition to make things better.

Last evening, in a grocery store lineup, I met a former colleague from work days at the hospital many years ago.  Janice’s career reminded me of the old Virginia Slims advertising slogan, “you’ve come a long way, baby”!  She too has a friend whose partner is suffering with Alzheimer disease, and her comment to her friend was that “the hardest part is getting there”.

My own friend’s husband is “getting there”….to that inevitable place where his cognitive awareness and motor skills will be diminished to a level where he will feel less anxious, no longer frustrated, and in actuality – have the peace of dreamland.  And for my friend, forever faithful, she will find peace in knowing they played out the hands they were dealt…no piles of chips at their place, and no accumulation of winnings…but nonetheless Winners.

  It’s always the luck of the draw.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pick up Sticks....

A battered looking coloured box caught my eye the other day – very nearly out of sight on a shelf of Gently Used items.  Looking closely, I discerned that the contents were the old-fashioned game of pick up sticks! Other popular games of yesteryear also shared the space, out of vogue now.

Pick-Up-Sticks could almost be considered as symbolic of the steps people have to complete in order to achieve their goals. At first, everything thrown up in the air and lands in a heap of this ‘n that. Then, with concentration, the first of many targets are collected and set aside -  without moving any of the others. One by one, specific sticks are gathered –  it’s a process of physical dexterity and mental acuity. If another stick is inadvertently affected, the player’s turn is over – as in business competition the player with the most sticks at the end is the winner.

In this modern age of electronic games and mind-boggling technologies, it should be of no surprise to readily identify the accomplishments of Inventors who played a thrilling game of pick up sticks!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fossil Fuels...

My grandfather was a self-taught blue collar working man – who learned to read and write so that he could improve his lot in life, marry and support a family. When fellow workers would see “Old Steve” reading some printed material they too wanted to learn how.

Over several years of study, combined with work history, my Grandfather eventually became a Stationery Engineer; and was the first person to receive a retirement pension from the city where he lived.

Being a fireman, whether on the railway, in a coal burning factory, or perhaps a electrical generating station was not just a simple matter of shoveling more coal in the boiler. Think of the famous ship Titanic which had 29 boilers – each containing 3 furnaces…. collaboration and communication were essential to keep everything working in synch.

Times have since changed, but regardless of which methods we use, the essentials are always the underlying foundation of achievement. Individual thoughts, imagination and an enterprising spirit are often squelched in favour of “newer” or “more modern” theories.

Good intentions, purpose and focus on accomplishing what one sets their mind to do are three fossil requirements in use every day – keep stoking the fires of inspiration!