Thursday, May 24, 2012

Insular vs. Insulated...

Several years ago a not-too-young woman applied to the office for work as Front Desk Reception. Observing females very nearly winced - while astonished men ogled. Even the bossman shuddered!

This individual offered excellent credentials and verifiable references, a pleasant outgoing personality and quick mind. Her application was, predictab declined.
Others who were already acquainted weren’t concerned…she would likely shrug it off casually and counsel herself that a better opportunity would come along anyway.

Quite recently I had occasion to sit next to this same woman at an adult meeting of like-minded people who share personal concerns and seek solutions to the various quandaries they find challenging. Of course I spoke immediately, so as to make her feel welcome, and in return felt her hand slip around mine with relief. Outwardly, as do most people from time to time, she appeared calm and collected in the face of personal adversity – but her hands shook like a tiny leaf and were ice-cold.

The moments passed and the meeting moved into full discussion, I realized with admiration, that the self-absorbed and apparently insular persona which felt almost discomforting was, in actuality, an insulating mechanism to deflect rather than attract personal involvement.

As time passes and more self assurance develops through learning the coping skills she needs in providing care to her parent, this lady will blossom as her strengths are identified and capabilities grow.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


When I was very young there was a campfire song that my friends and I would sing as we walked along the railway tracks near home. It started with “I’ve got a home in Gloryland that outshines the sun….” which I’ve since learned was made famous by the late Johnny Cash.

Every routine that we do daily, or even less frequently, may feel like a dreary habit at times. Like grocery shopping, laundry, taking out garbage, etc … 
In inclement weather even walking the dog seems a chore!

Most people’s lives seem to be chasing the clock and racing to get everything done On Time! Sometimes, in fact more often than not, we strive to achieve what simply cannot be accomplished; and the current expression of  24/7 doesn’t leave a second for one’s person to catch a breath!

A very admirable woman with whom I am acquainted recently mentioned that the location where she lives, has no TV, no internet, no cellphone – it is just a small house she cherishes as Home. When the sun shines weakly in Winter, there are a few precious moments when it floods a swingchair in her living room – and she tries valiantly to grasp that short opportunity and basks in the rays on weekends.

Her four very favourite articles in the world are good wine, good cheese, good coffee and a good book!

Last week, in conversation, I marvelled at her resilience and independence in middle age and living alone. The vocation she has embraced is demanding, she offers many things to many people – including education on particular subjects which involved a significant amount of local travel and public speaking; as well as counselling to help clients move forward.

One of the most thought provoking and soul-searing comments from this lady was that “even the most mundane is close to glory”…In this fast and furious world how seldom do we even stop to sniff the spring air, watch twittering birds, snuggle under a ratty-tatty afghan to catch forty-winks, or sit on a park bench and just observe.

We all live in “Gloryland” if we’d just pause and reflect!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chillin' with Chai

The assortment of specialty teas and other more traditional selections can be almost too much when a choice needs to be made relatively promptly.  Students of homeopathy and other health/natural foods providers are usually quite familiar with the attributes of each type.

Included in the several boxes of tea in my own cupboard, and filing cabinet at work, are Peppermint, Blueberry, Ginger, Lady Grey, Constant Comment and traditional orange pekoe. I’ve heard it said that tea will warm you when you’re cold and alternatively, cool you when you’re hot. Many an agitated floor-pacer has been calmed in the night by a comforting cuppa!

I recently noticed, while driving,  a billboard in Bracebridge advertising a new small business which name includes the word Chai. While I didn’t adequately absorb the several types of services this company offers, the tea name did stand out boldly – with all its connotations!

At this very moment, while hosting an Open House on a sunny day, I am sipping happily on my first Chai tea. The description on the box describes this as “perfectly balanced” – which relates absolutely to my personal and professional aspirations as a REALTOR in Muskoka.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Quidditch anyone...

Several years ago, when the Harry Potter books and movies were all so popular, many parents and adults were very nearly as enthusiastic as the target audience.
We read so that we would “be in the know” and able to carry on a quasi-intelligent conversation if needs be.

Movie-goers everywhere thrilled to the graphics and animations – from wands to witches to muggles’ Quidditch on broomsticks, where the ultimate was to be a “Seeker”.

When a beautiful Honda Pilot, painted gold metallic, replaced a van style, it was perfect for my real estate needs. And also, it is the most beautiful vehicle I have owned. One year, for Christmas, a girlfriend gave me a license-plate frame which would be personalized by inserting letters into the frame. Thus, the Golden Snitch was named.

Months later, when perusing a costume catalogue online, I came across a representation of that ever-elusive golden globe with whirring wings. It now hangs in my car off the rear-view mirror. Children and grandparents recognize it immediately; parents smile when I explain the mindset of always striving to reach the unreachable. The symbolism is not lost on anyone.

Feel the magic when you fly too!