Wednesday, February 12, 2014

On the Calendar….

Calendars for the coming year are available in the last quarter of the year, as well as mobile phone apps and online access. Business people often enter certain important dates in their e-mail program so they “pop up” as a reminder. Others - so as not to forget, make it a point to sit down with their notes book and hand print birth dates, anniversaries, vacation times, etc. onto the new calendar.

Boxed sets of birthday or all-occasion cards are popular – I’ve heard that a ritual early in January is to sign, address and stamp cards for the entire year so it’s just a matter of popping the envelope in the mail!

Personal occasions, such as one’s birthday, are more important to some than to others. One family in my own circle of relatives has never celebrated birthdays, anniversaries or dates such as Valentines, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc... It’s a practice they’re used to so nobody gets bent out of shape on their birthday, for example, when there’s no card or cake.

If your Mom, Dad or partner doesn’t acknowledge a specific date – a first inclination is to feel disappointed, and maybe a titch vexed! The first time it happened to me it took a whole day to realize that my Dad forgetting my birthday was “just one of those things”. Last year my Mother forgot my anniversary – and again, not a big deal. As she blithely said later, “it’s only important to the couple”.

It feels special though when there’s a card on the tree at Christmas and other occasions! With Valentine’s Day and all its hype fast-approaching, hold onto the outburst of hurt that likely fills your throat – maybe there’s a reason. Consider all the possibilities before the Big Pout – and don’t indulge in pay-back.

Couples who have weathered storms over a long time together have confidence that their commitment is still strong. With the pace of life and that too-long list of Things to Do, it’s easy to forget an occasion, unless there are Reminders posted everywhere! Frothy cards and maybe flowers are truly a treat, especially when unexpected! It’s what’s in our heart that’s more significant than what’s on the calendar.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lost ...but Found!

More than forty years ago I had decided to settle in Toronto, where my mother and sister were already living. Six months of gallivanting with ‘nary a care had led me to Calgary, Vancouver and points north – but I returned east in October to revisit my home city of Montreal, job seeking. The political climate was poor and nobody could get into any office building without an appointment, so I straggled back to Toronto and started pounding the pavement.

Three girls in particular were great pals – each of us in the secretarial pool of a major insurance company. One was married already, and two of us single. Eventually we met who we thought was the knight on a white steed – and the dye was cast. The married friend was my Matron of Honour at a small ceremony, her husband the unofficial photographer. As time unfolded, they became parents; and I was asked to be godmother to their son.

Circumstances led us in different directions, and we lost touch eventually. The significance of being someone’s godmother was not lost on me though, and I always wondered if they had returned to England. The trail was cold – and I tried for a long time surfing internet sites to discover their whereabouts.

More recently, I had been entering the husband’s name on all of the social media sites, with no luck. A lot of water likely under the bridge for them and me; and my hopes waned.

Last evening, when browsing; bingo! Previously not discovered – a face leapt out at me – not really as I had remembered him, but there was very likely the husband! I nearly quavered – but zipped off a one-liner message which said “Do you have a son named “so-and-so”? Today a reply –“yes”, and with a couple of back and forth messages, we’re going to reconnect!

This may not seem particularly unbelievable – but there’s more – all of us are living in the same municipality… and this week they will be no longer Lost… but Found!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Performance Reviews…

I recently watched the 2003 movie entitled Something’s Gotta Give, which starred Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, and Canadian actor Keanu Reeves. It was a perfect filler for an evening when nothing in the TV lineup was appealing!

When observing mixed groups in social scenes a lot of surreptitious eyeballing goes on when others’ actions are observed. Public behaviours that are too sensational have proved to be the downfall of many an unwitting employee when the boss either sees or hears of incident. Green-eyed antagonists vying for either a beauty or a beast can flash daggers one to the other! Observant neighbours form gossipy opinions which target anyone who’s created too much attention – do they merit “In” or “Out” at the PTA table or Sunday group? Business competitors sometimes dig for dirt too.

Playing the game by the rules, keeping one’s head up and sidestepping controversy are well thought out actions. In this age electronic communications when personal privacy may be readily compromised, whatever you post, sext or otherwise share is a public performance review. Travel sites have been popular for a long time – vacation planners access the public reviews and are influenced by what they read! Dissing the doctor as your appointment wasn’t quite on schedule isn’t a smart way to maintain cordiality – if in need don’t knead!  Stiletto rants in print, on radio or TV and abbreviated comments have avid public followers – proverbial darts or laurels that measure someone’s merit.

Families keep a close eye on the actions of siblings, their respective partners, parents and anyone else who comes into view – sizing up their observations and assessing incidents and failure to comply behaviours!  

In the movie, Keanu Reeves’ perceptiveness as the intuitive doctor was rewarding. Wherever we may be, there’s likely a discerning someone who’s putting two and two together to culminate in just one of our many personal performance reviews.