The Toronto Blizzard…

The Toronto Blizzard…

IMG-20130208-01056.jpgThere’s a blizzard happening in Toronto. No the army hasn’t been called in…yet!

After my work laptop ran out of battery and my boss negotiated with me NOT to drive in to work; I decided the best way to fill the wintery afternoon would be a walk in the winter wonderland.

Deciding that I was able to survive many summer walks to the coffee shop, I might as well attempt it during a blizzard.

What I can confirm about Toronto blizzards is:

1. Men in sidewalk snowplows really are gentlemen. I swear he knew where I was going and went out of his way to make sure my path was cleared. Thank you.

2. Snow, and lots of it, gives people something to talk about. They laugh, they smile and they talk to complete strangers! We need more snow days.

3. Just because it’s a snow day doesn’t mean you can take up space in the coffee shop. “People treat that chair at the front of the coffee shop like it’s their living room or something. Now I am going to have to go find another perch or so the exasperated grumpy old man loudly told the barista when he saw me sitting in what I can imagine must be his regular Friday afternoon reading spot. This could have been Horrible Joe but he was too Horrible for me to bother asking 🙂

Clutz of the day award goes to…

Clutz of the day award goes to…

IMG-20130127-01053.jpgMoi!

I accept it while gracefully falling over myself as I stumble across the stage.

It’s Sunday. I love Sunday’s. I get to spend them by myself doing things I want to do without feeling guilty.

One of those things I love doing is drinking a coffee in a crowded coffee shop while reading a book.

When I arrived the shop was full. I figured I’d order my drink and hopefully by the time it was ready, I’d have a seat.

I noticed this one particular gentlemanly good looking man hovering around and caught him looking in my direction. Now believe it or not, I am super shy when it comes to men I think are remotely attractive. And even more shy and clutzy when I assume they might be watching me.

I turned my back, usual procedure for me when I don’t know what to do, am I really +30 and still acting 12 :). Yes I am.

I waited for my drink to be made and I noticed a table had emptied.

It wasn’t the usual normal two person table, it was the giant wheelchair accessible table. I had no shame, I really wanted to spend a solid hour reading my book and if that was my table, then that was my destiny for an hour.

I rushed over to secure my spot, got myself settled. Coffee to my right, glass of water to my left and my book in front of me. I was ready.

cosmo for blogEverything was going to plan when I decided a nice sip of water would be a great idea and that’s when my nervous clutz came for a visit.

My cup of water flipped on it’s side and water was all over the table, my book, the magazine that had been left by someone else, my pants, my coat and my purse.

I was so embarrassed and froze staring soaking wet at the little pond on the table in front of me. Not daring to turn around to see who might have caught my embarrassment.

I stood up and started brushing the waterfall of water off my pants.

I turned to go get some serviettes and there he stood, his arm extended holding a fist full of serviettes.

“Here you are”.

“Thank you,” I responded my face going beat red, “Not only am I hogging the biggest table here, I’ve managed to make a mess!”

He started helping me soak up the water.

“Yes well, you are at the handicap table, but that seems reasonable with your situation. Don’t worry, nobody else noticed, you’re ok.” he responded.

I lamented my wet book.

“Well you didn’t buy it yet did you?”

“Oh I bought it, it’s mine and it’s now drenched.”

“What book are you reading?”

“Hillary Clinton’s, Living History.”

“And is this your Cosmopolitan as well?”

I laughed nervously and replied truthfully, “No”

“Well I was going to say that would be pretty ironic that you’d be reading both about Hillary and The Sex He Wants…But Do You?”.

I couldn’t hold my laughter.

“You are welcome to share my giant table,” I offered

“That would be great, I am waiting for someone but in the mean time, I’ll take you up on your offer,” and he disappeared.

That was curious I thought but within minutes he was back with a replacement cup of water.

Now he was just out doing himself!

Good looking, generous, clever and hilarious all in one.

The Saturday Identity

The Saturday Identity

First, I saw this tree today and I thought it looked interesting and perhaps a little more interesting in real life.

I have been attempting to write this post for a while. It is the beginning’s that are sometimes the most difficult but once I have one I can’t stop myself. Thank you my friend MK for letting me use this personal story:

“Just met a gentlemen who invited me to go in front of him at the parking meter. Said he had lots of time since retiring. I asked him how long he had been retired as he looked relatively young. Said he retired ten years ago after the doctors told him he had only two years to live. An inspiring moment for me on a rushed Monday morning.”

I really liked this story and I am sure everyone who reads it will take something a little different away from it.

These past few months I have had the freedom to a lot of alone time. Alone time is pretty scary. It’s like those Saturday’s when we have nothing planned and it feels like everyone else in this world is doing something fun and exciting except us. We try to rationalize and figure out what we can do differently to have a more exciting life. How do we fill up those empty spaces when the second hand on the clock stands frozen in time? Who are we and what is our identity?

I don’t know about you, but I am familiar with this frozen time on Saturdays. For whatever reason Saturday’s were the worse. The panic started creeping up as it got closer and closer to 5pm on Friday.

Yesterday my friend and I were talking about this. She took a year to herself in 2010 and well I am really happy that she did. That’s a selfish statement but it is true. I watched her let herself slow down. She allowed herself to feel, to philosophise about life, to peel away the layers. I had the privilege to be there and to hold her hand when she needed reassurance and you know what, it doesn’t make me a hero. She is the hero and she allowed me see the rawness (this apparently is not a word!), the fear, the human emotion of self-doubt and you know what, it is not weakness like we are told. What I saw was a women getting stronger everyday, following her dreams, being her person and that is strength. I am thankful to have her here today in my corner.

What does this have to do with frozen Saturday’s?

Identity.

When we allow ourselves to identify with who we are underneath all the layers. To acknowledge our emotion, accept it and reconcile it. When we ignore the stereotype, the media, the social pressure to be whatever it is that we are perceived to be on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday.

It can be lonely and it challenges us and ya maybe not everyone is going to think we are interesting, funny and like our art or whatever other ego driver’s that are important to us and that help us belong (big surprise to feed my ego – if we can laugh together and frankly I don’t care if you like me (but I secretly hope you do haha), if we’ve laughed together that means a smile and I love smiles! and as for interesting, I am quirky (aren’t we all) 🙂 I accept it)

So to those contemplating stripping away the layers, identifying with yourself versus what surrounds you: your career, your friends, your lover, your family, its pretty rewarding and I dare say…freeing!! Don’t get me wrong, we need surroundings but it’s easy to get lost in them too.

I know one day will come and I’ll need to rejoin the marching band and start identifying with more than the bare essential surroundings and lose some of my freedom. I’ll stop pretending to be retired, spending my days living in a moment of time and quite frankly that day scares me. I am sure that I’ll have a slight panic attack reporting for my first day of work. Will I be able to hold out and not become so involved that I forget who I am? Will I continue to look forward to Saturday’s regardless of the lack of a “plan”?

I am not sure, but I am going to do my damnest and I’ll be sure to use my best defence in the face of adversity; the dumbfounded look of a stunned bird – that is sure to keep me grounded cause who cares if I look silly as long as I am free 🙂