Friday, 18 December 2015

I Think She Meant "Inconvenient," Not, "Illogical" - December 18, 2015

On a snowy evening two days ago I was on a bus heading home that stopped at one of the small main transit centres along the way.  There was not many of us on the bus and most of them were heading home from a work day. 

A woman passenger who looked appalled and annoyed, then she suddenly got up out of her seat and went up to the bus driver and proceeded to wonder if he went closer to one of the train stations.  When he revealed that it did not she began to inquire to him, almost admonishing him like a child that she didn’t understand why the one of the main hubs we stopped at was not where one of the trains also stopped at. 

He explained to her of a few potential stops she could get off at and where she could either walk to the train station she spoke of or grab a train closer to one of the bus stops he goes by that she could catch a train that would take her straight to the stop if she took it.  But no matter what, she was totally unsatisfied, and what she really wanted was somehow for the world to change completely to her benefit; and that was for the train station to have been at the placed right where we arrived at the very moment, or, that a bus took her and dropped her off there.  To her the whole thing was, “illogical,” which was a word she would say the rest of the bus trip. 

To be perfectly honest, based on her now extremely snotty tone I thought this was odd that she assumed the universe should’ve have changed to her will in that moment and no matter what the driver said, and what us her fellow passengers tried to explain to her, she just got further frustrated, very dissatisfied.  The worse she got, the more she kept saying, “illogical.”

Someone asked her if this was a matter of urgency.  No!  So this was not a matter of the situation being illogical but to be revealed as an, "inconvenience," which I had thought about going to the front of the bus and voicing to her because now my calm bus ride was erupting with her presence of disdain.

The issue was is that she lived right by the station she desired, and therefore the setup of the stops and stations did not accommodate her at all, especially on cold snowy days such as the one the city experienced.  As nice as it would seem for any transit rider to have that luxury, it is not, and if this is a huge deal and a person can afford a vehicle perhaps that is in their best interest.

I have heard people ask drivers to reroute the bus for their own benefits with little disregard to what the driver’s job expectations were and how that affected other passengers, and for a moment it seemed to me that this was exactly where she was headed with the conversation… Sorry! Not conversation! Accusations she made at him for the layout of the transit system in the city in a tone that indicated a sense of entitlement and wished to have her demands met.

One more factor was she was not prepared for the weather. We live in a country of cold winters and plenty of snow to come with them and she was barely layered in proper clothing for the wind chilled snowfall.  She was dressed in very thin slacks, dress shoes, a coat that seemed more for cool spring or fall days. 

This is stuff like this that makes me realize how selfish sometimes certain people can. If I decided to be equally rude my recommendations would be the following:

She gets a car, or
Car pools with someone who can drop her off, or
Dress properly for winter conditions, or
Move. 

And if she did move I would recommend to another city, so I do not feel like someone with this much attitude, a sense of entitlement, and an actual belief in her unrealistic expectations was far away from the city I love, away from the transit system I enjoy and rely on, and because we could have worse problems in this place I love than on where the stops are.  Just a thought...

~Ange


Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Fight Back the Worry - December 9, 2015

I am job hunting now, after such a long break.  Wow! Two months, so long!

There are so many things that I settled within myself that needed to be tended to, much self-reflection (what else is new), working on projects I wanted to focus on, and realizing who I want to be.  The rest was very good for me.  And now, I have only applied to two jobs that I thought would be really exciting but heard nothing back.  

At first I was a little sad, and was even having the snowball negative effect of thoughts beginning to stomp and attempt to stampede: flashes of maybe I am not good enough to the world, and that after all the hard times I went through its about to get worse, and that this is all my life will be, one hardship after another and if I don't work right away what will happen to me?  That flash of getting upset with myself came to me wondering if this was a mistake to rest for two months was taking a bad a hold on me, it still kind of lingers at the moment. Grant it it has been eleven years and I knew if I didn't rest I may end up worse without taking one after losing my Mama and everything else I had lost in the past four years, then where would I be with myself? Probably tied in a jacket and pumped with drugs. The thought makes me laugh.  

Now at the moment, when I get anxious or upset I change my focus and meditatively pray.  That doesn't mean the negative thoughts, bad dreams, or worries go away, but refocusing to positive thinking, prayers, even daydreaming of funny or fantastical notions helps.  And it is a lot better than the alternative which is let everything bad overtake me and then I go crazy and am never heard from again.  

Keeping in the positive and bubbly after one crisis after is not realistic, even though that is my natural state,  and that's only because of all I have endured.  I am slowly recovering (it takes awhile to be put back together, even for myself) but I am in a bit of  a cycle of where I am happy and over the moon to suddenly if any inkling of bad is within my perimeter I get into ugly-thoughts mode and then I am physically unwell for a moment; followed by bad dreams it seems.  However, I am doing whatever it takes to fight back when it does.  That's what is important to me that I haven't lost yet, even in moments of despair: faith, hope, love, and optimism.  Let that never be taken away from me.  Otherwise I will worry!!!


~Ange.


Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made It To Her Thirties

Monday, 7 December 2015

Dishes Is My Arch Nemesis - December 7, 2015

Dishes.... The way they are stacked in my sink right now look like jagged points of a mountain top, staring at me, making a point that they require my attention.  Does anyone else find dishes to be the enemy?

I am a big fan of to-do lists and dishes is actually written as a top priority even though I wrote, "ha, ha, ha," beside it, as I already know that this may not be give the immediate attention it deserves and it will soon over flow the sink while the rest of the apartment is immaculate.  I have been this way with this chore for a very long time in my life.  At least I scrape and rinse them so there is no smells or anything growing on them; they are just rinsed dishes that should really take no time to clean but I let them sit anyway.

I enjoy cleaning everything but dishes, it is a strange behavior to even myself, and I know it is because of me the dishes get dirty and stack up, yet I childishly blame them.  Ha ha ha! Oh dishes!

~Ange.

Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made It To Her Thirties

Friday, 4 December 2015

That Pen & Notebook Is Mine - December 4, 2015

I have been doing some travelling to visit loved ones a little more frequently, and I am a light packer, I really am.  I always carry a backpack for sure, sometimes my tote if I need to bring some extra things.  These days the top priority is some notebooks and my pack of pens being thrown in my bags before anything else.  They cannot be forgotten, they go everywhere with me, and if I almost forget them at someone else's house or someone goes to pick them up a very childlike reaction erupts in me saying, "that's mine, I got it," quickly putting it away. I may not be a great blogger lately, but for sure the writing never stops, the ideas, small notes, and lengthy essays that don't get posted never cease, and they are all with me wherever I go now.  As I pondered this while tucking my goodies away in my travel bag I realized I was like this when I was younger too.

I know I established in previous blogs that I am not a great writer, and I write a lot, but the realization that the writing has been there for years really dawned on me recently.  From small colourful diaries as a child, to short stories and poetry taking over scraps of paper from around the house on my parents to even using up old art paper as a teenager (got in trouble for that more than once when it turned out  my parents needed those sheets), to the present day where notebooks, sheets tore out of notebooks and scratch pads filled with colourful squiggly words are scattered all over my coffee table and desk.... and maybe underneath the coffee table.  I am loving it and wouldn't have it any other way, it is all mine even if it is a mess.  Perhaps the childlike possessive behaviour has not dwindled.

~Ange


Monday, 9 November 2015

Kids Make Me Laugh and Smile - November 9, 2015

Kids are the best heart emoticon I saw a little girl waving from one of the buses going down main street; her and her mother (or caregiver) for fun were waving to no one in particular, just waving for the heck of it. As I was the only one who noticed I waved back. I haven't seen a kid look so excited like that in a long time. It made me laugh and smile for a good long time. I hope she felt the same after.

This morning on the bus I saw a father and his children (a small boy and a baby girl) on their way to one of the Dad and kid programs nearby.  The boy was sitting next to him, baby was in a wrap and tucked into his coat facing him.  While the boy and Dad were talking quite animatedly about everything from road construction, to buses to where they were going, the Dad would frequently look at his tiny baby girl and give her little kisses on her forehead.  He had a big fuzzy beard, and you could see her cute tiny baby expressions of love and joy when she stared up at her Dad followed by tiny frowns and surprises every time he laid tiny bristled kisses on her head. It was so sweet!


~Ange



Friday, 6 November 2015

Latest Reads & Music - November 6, 2015

Being the avid reader and music lover that I am (both beat out TV for me), I have some new things on the list I have been enjoying lately that I'd like to share. 

Books:

The Assault by Harry Mulisch

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith/J.K. Rowling (I admit, I couldn't get into her other works but this series has won me over. I enjoy the Cormoran Strike series immensely).

Vampire Knight (manga) by Matsuri Hino

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Double Cross by Ben Macintyre

Music:

Rock or Bust by AC/DC

Under One Sky by The Tenors

4 Walls by f(x)

Big Shiny Tunes 2

Sarah McLachlan albums

Dragon Age Inquisition soundtrack by Trevor Morris.

Anyone else out there have some new music or books they are really into right now? 

~Ange


Wednesday, 4 November 2015

My Employer Experience, & What I See - November 4, 2015

In the technological oriented and fast-paced atmosphere we have going on in the work force, it is hard to keep track of everything the employers are attempting to do to try and stay ahead and keep things fresh.  Change is a good way to keep things interesting, even make things better; and it’s a great feeling when it works out. However, there are costs that come with that if there is not enough planning and foresight to see if those changes will genuinely be an asset to the business.

I may never be an owner, manager, CEO, director etc but I know from being an employee for so long and be an over-reflective, observant, realistic human being I have been lucky enough to have a couple of really good employers who taught me so much and I am eternally grateful to them.  The rest… well… let’s say you learn the good where you can, and live with deciding how I didn’t want to be toward coworkers and the people I served; wherever I was working at.

I will sum up to you my employers and why when I go to interviews I am equally interviewing the next boss as much as they are me.

I had one employer that craved success but at the cost of stepping on other people in the community I once lived at. They took things so far that when that sort of behaviour caught up to them they had to move somewhere else and hope for the best.

Another was a thief. 

The next committed fraud and was arrested (it was sad for their children).

In another area there were two bosses who hated each other that their drama and tensions between them caused issues for the rest of us in their heated competition with one another. 

Then another (who taught me so much) started off with one employer that overtime became four.  In this place, it started off wondrous with a very high bar that slowly went downhill overtime along with the sudden urgency to keep things new and fresh but at a cost to the positive, very happy atmosphere. 

My two favourite bosses were no-nonsense ladies with high expectations and actually wrote down our feedback and implemented changes where there seemed to be more than one staff member or customer concerned/requested the changes. If it worked, HURRAY! If it didn’t go, try the other possible options.  If none worked, we went back to the old way.

Here is what I have learned from my work experiences, and I pray that if any employer and employees read this they take away some things that may help them (just maybe):

Don’t lie. Be honest, and be accountable. Know where to put the blame (especially if it is you who did something wrong, we’re all human).  And, lead by example in that everyone is human and falls short, and then show what you can learn from that experience and change for the better as a kind lesson for everyone.  As someone who has been in a handful of supervisory positions I have found being kind, honest, and reflecting back to staff on my own past mistakes helps; and, sharing with them what I learned and where changing things up worked for me and what options may work for them.

Don’t be a thief.  Don’t let someone else be the fall-guy and be burdened with your mistake.

If you have an addiction or substance problem get help for it, and if you are someone who notices someone who has this issue get help for them, because every human needs care, supports, and deserves to get it in order to live a long, healthy life.

If there is a problem, then make plans to change things and try them out, but if nothing is wrong don’t break what doesn’t need fixing because I have seen trying “something new” (for whatever reason) often doesn’t work when things were going great as they were, and, often everyone ends up going back to the old way anyway.

Listen. Really listen. Take notes from staff (even each other as coworkers) and the clients/customers and see where changes need to be made and make plans for that change.  Take time to dwell on how well it could be effective before implementing. And it doesn’t hurt to consider more than one option and compare. Even when the plan is implemented give it some time.  In this, everyone listen to one another for the feedback as where the changes/plans were effective and where it was not.

Adding to the last note: don’t expect immediate results.  Starting off well does not mean that’s a sign that you stop looking holes, holes as in where this could be a ‘not-so-good-idea,” in the end.  Give it time, sometimes the bad shows up and it turns out this was not a good change.  Make the time frame reasonable as well, just as you would if you are training someone; everyone must be realistic and observe the results first.  I have seen lists, check lists, a plans of action, training packages to go through etc that were all implemented, but, there were issues in the end... one being the issue of time – even lack of patience involved with that -the other was giving people who were not suited to the job being given too much of the benefit of the doubt.  I saw all these situations occur with the same employer when it came to training staff.  To me, it seemed they did this in one instance due to desperation to fill the void with any sort of staff they could get, and the other because a bit of favortism arose due to a certain aspect/character of a staff member that they were attracted to (this was often due to a feeling of them being similar on a personal level in some way)

Patience in changes and considering feedback should be seen through. When the plans or changes that were underway stayed as a permanent fixture suddenly, in my experiences, it was because a) it started off on a high note and therefore there was a total neglect in feedback and nor anymore waiting to see if it would work in the long haul b) it suited solely to the employers. Then it affected the rest of the work sphere in a negative light and hindered progress for others.

An additional note to feedback… Don’t ask for feedback of others when it’s not even going to be considered at all.  It’s better if it is not at all as it can hurt morale; I have seen this one happen a lot.  I know bosses have others who make them accountable and will come in and check their records, inspect and investigate things right down to the paperwork and digital records. One of the biggest things is looking for staff feedback or that it is even being taken into consideration.  It’s a good idea to have that communication amongst staff and between them and the boss.  Problem with that, in my experience… often employers can ask for feedback but does not mean yours or anyone else’s is necessarily considered, even if it got written down somewhere.  We know that they need to, but it is not great for staff morale when people catch on that they are asked for feedback, but know that none of it is actually even taken into consideration. Worse is when you realize it ends up the employer was looking for the answer they already had in mind themselves.  It’s the same as when they come to you with the question of what you think/give you more than one option on something… when you tell them the option you think is the better and why they suddenly argue with you on that option, even though they offered it.  There again, looking for you to answer with the one they really wanted you to say, but all for the sake of making it look like they really value what you think.  Adding onto that when you tell them why the option you thought of (or an option the boss had not thought up) would be better suited, they choose a different one, only to have an hour or two past and they went with your option anyway realizing the others were not going to work at all.

When using emails as an easier means to communicate EVERYTHING at work and save on meetings (thus time and money) keep it short and to the point and if anyone has issues allow them to have one-on-one time to work it out. And don’t send it out so many emails. And if emails don’t work, maybe scratch emails off the list of effective communication.  I had one employer who could send you what appeared to be 3-5 essay-like emails in a day (in one case almost every single day one week) on things they expected or issues that were arising…. I can tell you this, only myself and one other employee read all those, understood those, and applied those expectations.  Everyone else behind the scenes voiced they rarely read the emails, didn’t know why there was so many of them, and it was hard to read the emails because they were so long and staff wondered when were they going to have to time to go through it when there was so many other things required of staff in a day.  I suspect this often happens in many work places where these sorts of emails happen regularly: no one has time to read all of them, it feels overwhelming, it feels like someone is constantly badgering them, and that the employer is micromanaging, and - as a few fellow employees once said - possibly enjoying the sound of their own voice in print on a screen.  One coworker suggested that the employer start their own blog as that’s the feeling the emails gave off in the way they were written.  That suggestion makes me laugh as I write for my own blog.  I can see how it saves time, money, meetings and scheduling and planning everyone’s personal lives around those, I do.  But what if it’s not effective?... Does the emailing continue?...

There! That’s my thoughts on the matter! Have a good day everyone!


Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Comfort of Snow - November 3, 2015

When it snows I want to sing Christmas-snowy tunes.  Yes, I am aware that could cause me to be murdered if I am singing or voicing my affection for snow too loudly.  Alas, I still appreciate the winter season, I really do.  Its the best season for feeling warm, comforted; it's like the darkness and snow is wrapping me in relaxation, coziness, and a sense of rest for awhile -despite others I know totally disagree and have refuted any of its goodness through arguments of how the temperatures drop or that there is ice, snow, and storms that can cause amok. To each their own!

My favourite season is Fall.  I love it: the smell of the leaves falling and fresh cool air, the bright colours of reds, oranges, yellows, purples, even the browns, the crunchy leaves.  If you look at my albums by seasons on my computer, you will find there are hundreds more photos in the Fall albums versus all other seasons; it is ridiculous, I even have photos each year of the exact same scene as if it's totally different from the year before (it's not really but I love those areas for how they look during those Autumn months).

As I grew older I realized the necessity of each season (even Summer whom is my least favourite); all four make up the cycle of things, and how it helps things along. I have come to enjoy them each, even Winter.  Winter brings for me that sense of taking things a lot slower.  And for a lonewolf you can hide from the world a little easier because no one else wants to go anywhere as they are all hiding indoors for most of winter. 

Winter is the most complained about, even from my family and friends.  There are not many of us amongst my loved ones who get excited when the first snowfall comes.  Like today! First snowfall! It was pretty with large, fluffy, dancing snowflakes.  It was this beautiful, quiet, big white storm.  

I am an outdoor person, I have to get outside every day otherwise I get a little nuts from cabin fever which seeps into me so fast it is not funny actually, I can feel the walls of wherever I am at closing in on me quite quickly if I stay in inside too long.  Even if the temperatures are at a permafrost feeling and there is ice outside, I still layer myself up, put on the big old boots and go out for as long as possible.  I may not face this time consuming layering ritual (or the removal process) in the other seasons, nor have to worry about making sure my face is covered to prevent frozen lungs and frostbite, but there is something nice and relaxing about it in the winter time.  I take my time doing it even, including each piece of outdoor layer I need that day. 

The fresh cold air, the dance of snow, the sparkly white ground, and the greater effort it can take for me to get active in it (high levels of snow to trek through), it's all wonderful to me.  Because, afterward, when I go inside after my exercise (as well as long pauses of admiration for grand snowy scenes I come across in my adventures), I get to warm up.  I love that feeling of coming inside and warming up after a cold, refreshing and (to me) exhilarating time in the snow. 

I make a cup of tea, change into something less sweaty and wrap up in warm blankets.  If it's dark, I choose candles instead of turning on my lights.  When the tea is ready I cozy up on the couch.  Sometimes there can be a book involved, doodling or penning away about I have circulating in my head, while I sip my hot tea, letting the wonderful smell and warm feeling trickle through my senses, flowing through the rest of my body down to my toes.  Another way I enjoy that feeling is by having a crock pot full of soup or vegetable stew and eating that. Mmm!

It's the best season for me to focus on my hobbies.  In warmer temperatures I am more likely to get away with going out and adventuring further from home and see friends and family in a higher frequency - good times don't get me wrong - then my hobbies can end up taking a back seat.  But come Winter, they are usually first in line to get my love and attention.  It's a wonderful feeling to get lost in something I love to work on for hours and getting it the way I want it, or, even fail and try again until I do get it right. 

Winter is not too shabby...

Getting that extra alone time, relaxing and resting more, wrapping up in warm clothes and blankets in the shelter of Winters dark, white, blanketed effect in the months to come.  I take comfort in all that. It's nice!

~Ange

Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.

Friday, 30 October 2015

Hallow's Eve - October 30, 2015

One more sleep until Halloween! A celebration entailing rituals and remembrance of the dead; for some the belief that the dead return to us in some form as the invisible line between us and the ghosts and whatever else may be out there fades a little more; dressing up; and lots of candy!

For years my ex and I had everyone coming to our place that day of the year all dressed up and bringing their Halloween themed homemade treats to watch goofy horror movies and play board games.

Now, for the past hand full of years it has my Bestie and I picking and watching a favourite Halloween movie and doing something with just the two of us.  No dressing up or big parties for me anymore.  I focus on keeping it quiet and relaxed, luckily I have excellent company who enjoys the same as I do.

I do have one thing that has remained unchanged for years, my October Halloween movie marathon.  Here are my list of favourites along with a mention of the ones I am missing from my collection that should be there:

Halloween (original)
Alien
Aliens
Prometheus
The Lost Boys
Let the Right One In
Ju-On
Garfield's Halloween Special
Practical Magic
Mary Reilly

Ones I still need to buy but I rent/borrow:
28 Days Later
Silver Bullet
Dracula (Gary Oldman as the Count)
Hocus Pocus


Anyone else have their favourites they watch every year?

~Ange

Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

I'm a Contradiction - October 29, 2015

I was contemplating the other day the many ways I am a contradiction.  This is not the first time I have pondered over it nor will it be the last.  To me, when I think on it, it is amusing.  I don't deny it and will be the first to bring it up, but to other people who come to the realization it is probably an annoyance.  However, I do not let it bother me, I like the way I am and would prefer to stay this way on where I appear to others to be a walking contradiction.  I would definitely be bothered if I changed and was no longer a contradiction.  I will take a moment to explain.

The way I am is the way I am but I do not impose my beliefs nor way of life onto others thinking that they should also behave and live the same life I am.  Further to that, we are not all the same so that's just not going to work now is it?  If I saw someone who was harming themselves in some way, or there was factors posing a risk in their life - especially if it was due to the choices they made - then I may say something.  Even at that I would be seeking help for them and finding what works for them to stop whatever bad habits/behaviours were going on in order to help them out, not necessarily comparing them to me and what has worked for me unless I think it would be applicable to the situation and would be based more on advice and suggestion not pushing or forcing it upon somebody.  I may be religious/spiritual individual but like to think my concern for humanity at present would be more important even if I was not a believer in something else outside of myself that I cannot see.

Where I appear to be the biggest contradiction is in my veganism and being a Christian.

As a vegan I am environmentally conscientious, worry about where I buy stuff and what it's origins are so I know what is going into my body.  I even worry about the packaging of what I am purchasing to avoid putting too much in the landfill and try to recycle as much as I can.  The origins of that stems from when I began to worry about my health and beauty products I used: what was in them and what could it do to my body in the long run? Then overtime I came across certain books and websites that lead me on the path to changing my food intake.  But, I am not walking the walk that other vegans I have met do.

I will not preach at you.  If people ask me questions I answer as many questions as I can and even refer people to the sources that got me started.  I got especially lucky with the material I found.  The voices that rolled off the pages were filled with kindness and humility in their encouragements, they too were not preachy at all.  These were people who had done their research and were genuinely, humbly, concerned as to what certain foods and their productions were doing to our health, animals, and the environment. Hence, I will answer questions but encourage people to look to those who lead me down my path as I feel they are the better role models.  I have eaten this way for several years and have had no inclination to go back to my daily intake as before. This works for me from the inside out and I am pleased at how I can help in other ways, even if my mark may be small.

It is amazing when people attack me on it (on a verbal front not a physical one I assure you) and I know why that is... they came across someone who will preach to no end about why others need to become vegetarian and vegans for the sake of the world.... I have been exposed to such individuals myself and it hurts my ears and my head.  Those who are not eating a vegan diet will get angry before they get to me know and make rude jokes or keep hammering at me for my choice.  That does not mean it's okay, but I know where it's coming from and as soon as I say that I live my life this way please go live yours your own way they leave me alone pretty fast.  They realize I am not going to lecture them on their eating habits and even sense that there is no way they are going to change me or be phased by their behavior.  Most times, they then change their tune and begin to ask questions; turning to a polite educational conversation between us.  They often discover that I encourage others to find the foods that work for them and that moderating is most important mindset for anyone.  It doesn't mean after the conversation I expected that it changed them in any way, but that we both learned something about one another.  I am always pleased and humbled when someone makes an effort and changed something in their diet and thought to tell me right away.... often its because of the polite conversation between us.  My friend who specializes in health and nutrition has found politeness works best versus other people in the profession who get really firm on the subject; as we are both polite people, her and I, this is the way we like to make change and lead by example.  However, other vegans and vegetarians would disagree, even say I am too soft, not strict enough, and not really true to my veganism if I am not spreading it around as I should.  If I buy food for guests that I know are not vegan I buy them what they want and avoid vegan-izing anything.  I don't make speeches on why everyone should change their diets or go through the lists of the benefits, but I know there are plenty of people out there who will. I don't hit up protests or have joined any activist groups.  I am not part of a community/groups on the subject.  That's just not how I roll.  I live how I live, lead by example in what I do, and be the change I want to see.  This is the same way I am in my religious or spiritual aspect of my life.

I believe in Christ.  I study my Bible, but, I have some issues with the authenticity.  Yet, I still study it.  I pray a lot, and focus more on what I sense is between me  and the Big Guy in the Sky and our relationship, and how He gently, lovingly guides me on my path in life; even when I am scared or mess up.  I sense Him and see the good and love from Him everyday, even when the world seems very dark and scary particularly when I know what we human beings are doing to each other: the violence, the cruelness, the lies, deceptions, cheating, etc.  I could go on about the darkness I see in us human beings... But what helps me in life, what gets me through the days, weeks and months is Him.  My belief, hope, faith and love in Him.  But others would say I am not truly Christian, and here are some things based on what others have said that I have been judged for by other Christians:

- I don't spread or quote the gospel
- I don't attend church anymore
- I don't associate with many other Christians
- Some things I say and do would be considered against the Bible
- I have nothing against people who love each other who are the same gender
- I totally against man being above women
- I don't believe in no sex before marriage
- I don't believe every women should have kids and if they don't they are going against something that all women should innately desire
- Not a pacifist: if someone/myself is being attacked or hurt I will fight back if I see the fight requires force.
- I have friends who are Jehovah, Mormon, agnostic, Baha'i, and Catholic (if anyone thinks there is not much difference between Christian and Catholic my Catholic friends and I have already noted there is a considerable difference)
- Sometimes my diplomacy goes out the door and those who require a good dose of humility get a forked-tongue that I try to keep in check and hit them where I know they are weak. I am not good with argumentative people or bullies, and often they wear their wounds of what makes them feel weak or negative about themselves.  But, being a good reader of people I also see that negative sore spot very quick.  If these people get out of line or are rude or bullying others (especially to make others feel bad to make themselves feel good or win an argument) then I point out the sore spot and that's probably why they are being the way they are. Works every time.  I don't like to resort to it but I will to defend others. 

Does that make me not a Christian? I believe I still am and will not argue with anyone on the subject who says I am not; but I don't say I agree with them either, I just shrug it off. However, it is amazes me by how many people (no matter what they believe) have pegged me for being Christian.  Throughout my life when I have been noted to be Christian before I confirm it people say it has been because of how I present myself, how I behave, and how, "kind," "caring,"  and, "understanding," I am.  The interesting feedback on how some people knew I was a Christian is because of the righteous indignation I get over the wrongs done to other people and I will not back down going so far as to being very blunt and honest; the bluntness and honesty has apparently given it away.  That one still surprises me.

Does this make me a bad vegan? A bad Christian? Or do these things make me not a vegan or a Christian?

I don't care.  But I wouldn't want to change it.

~Ange

Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.



Monday, 26 October 2015

I Am Sensing a Lack of Humanitarianism Here - October 26, 2015

There has been an overload on social media sites of memes my friends are spreading around with messages filled with heaps of anger since the election in this country.  Okay, not all of it is angry, there are people with joyful memes out there too, but every picture filled with very negative statements bothers me, outweighing any positive messages.  While everyone is battling each other with all these memes and status updates, all I see is people trying to top one another in sounding more vicious with the statements they are attempting to get across, especially toward anyone who doesn't agree with them; that's all I see in this.

In some cases, what some people are saying is downright cruel, I think.  I think it is wrong when we are attacking peoples family members in those messages, even if they are a political figure; or anyone who is in the media spotlight, I don't see any need for that and I think it says something about the character of those who do such things, and its not good what I am thinking about them.  Now I am hearing about western provinces wanting to separate, or, become a part of the United States, and how angry people are about those who wish to move to Canada.  Apparently a person wanting to come to our country is an awful notion to many in this country.  I hear more racist statements come out of that argument than people actually being worried about terrorists stepping foot into this country.  Also, I worry for the safety of those being forced out of our country because of racist motivations.  I thought our Canada was above that, I guess I am wrong.

Seeing and hearing all this, I have one thought, one fear that plagues me: I see no love, nor do I see much humanitarianism in any of this.  Adding to that, I sum up my  views on political candidates as I do with ANYONE in life, which is that if I see they demonstrate in their character a lack of care and support to those in our country who are in need of help, and seem fine with ostracizing another human being (or a particular group of people), or worse, their behaviours/actions leave me with a sense that they are a part of a fear and hatred campaign while they are in office then I am not comfortable with them.  People like that, no matter who they are, scare me.  From my point of view, that easily can lead humanity down a destructive path, which I don't have to look far back in history to see how bloody and ugly it can get; we end up destroying each other.  Two events that spring to mind involve a guillotine, and concentration/extermination camps... It breaks my heart and makes me afraid of how far we human beings will go when fear and hatred are at the helm of our lives...

I am not saying we are headed down such a dark path, but like I say, as history has shown us, it can happen so fast.  In my mind fear and hatred of one another needs to be stopped in its tracks and dissolved immediately.  I know that can be a tall order at times, but it is better than what could happen.  But that's my hope, for it to be stopped right away; especially when I worry things are getting out of control every time I see such hatred towards one another and people are willing to jump on the hate-band-wagon together, trying to spread it around.

So what do I do? I avoid participating in it, even try to get away from it too so I am not exposed to it.  I let people know how it can quickly get out of hand and destroy us.  Avoiding it may seem like a denial tactic but I have to otherwise it depresses me, causes me to feel ill, anxious.  But most of all, I look for where I don't see this rampage of anger and hate...

Instead I looked around, and I saw:

Two teens flirting in a library, a boy and a girl.  They were whispering in each other's ears while they were trying to get some studying done.

A child and a grandparent sharing a scooter together, with the grandchild driving the scooter around a mall.  They navigated their trip together, with huge smiles on their faces.

Two ladies leaning on each other's shoulders with their eyes closed on the bus.

A girl in a white dress looks up at her boyfriend in the middle of the sidewalk and says, "It's like I'm your bride or something, I mean look at me," she laughs.  He answers sweetly, staring at her lovingly, "It'd be the perfect day for it," and then gives her a kiss.

A boy is on the train with his Mom.  It's his first trip on the train and when he sees the view of the river as it crosses the bridge he squeals with delight.

I returned a set of keys to someone who left them in their own mailbox in the lobby of the building where I live.  To see their relief made me joyful

Seeing three women, all of different backgrounds and religions laughing so hard together they were crying while having coffee together.

This! All that! Is love and humanity at it's BEST! That's important to me.  More important than the other messages I have been seeing.

~Ange
Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.



Tuesday, 20 October 2015

I Prefer To Be Off the Radars - October 20, 2015

I am used to living without really being on anyone's radar.  I will not hesitate to jump in and help out those I love of course, but I am just not used to anyone coming to save me, worrying about me, being overly concerned for me, or even coddling or doting upon me.  As a lonewolf I am used to taking care of myself, all by myself, even at my lowest of low points.  Actually, especially when I am feeling like I am at the bottom of a pit.  However, recently, I am realizing I may have to adjust to a revelation, which is: that I may not be able to get away with being unseen as much anymore.  I am uncertain as to why this shift has occurred, but I may have no choice to adapt to it... I guess.


I started noticing that people are paying attention to me more since I have been taking time off.  Jobless and resting has now come with addressing any pressing issues more readily than if I was working, or, even better, seeing friends and family more often.  As much as I love seeing everyone as I have been able to, or respond more promptly to their messages, emails and phone calls, it feels overwhelming.  This steady amount of contact is not something I am used to and am not adjusting to it as well as I could be.


Being on my own in this city for so long has been so easy and familiar and to suddenly have people closer (in proximity) and having such consistent contact with everybody these days (unlike before), well, it feels too much; particularly when they are all suddenly very concerned for me.  I have been taking care of myself (even when I was young I started to learn how to care as best as I could for my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being due to my super highly reflective awareness of myself) for so long without much notice to anyone, so all recent attention feels wrong, and I am being attentive to how I am reacting to it to ensure I am not mean or snappy to anyone.  Luckily I haven't been rude to anybody (so far), but my first thoughts when I feel people are concerned about me, is this: I am fine. What's the deal here? Leave me alone, please! I feel more defensive if it seems to be more than one person doing it.  At least I know where this initial defensiveness stems from, and it is odd, even to me, because of how I became this way.  I am unsure if I can explain it properly, but I shall try.


There is this trend in my life that God, the fates, the universe (whomever or whatever you believe to be in charge, or maybe it's nothing or no one) created long ago.  I know the trend started before my teens, however I no longer can remember the exact age or situation where it originated from.  I don't care when it started anymore, it just feels like it has always been this way.  The rend is this:


In my life, when I am extremely sad, angry, or in a crisis, I have had 1). friends who have no idea what to do, or, 2). no one is there for me.  The second one I will explain in further detail, later.  The first one I can easily explain now.


Fro some friends they find it too hard to even sit down and listen.  I could not only tell that it was uncomfortable or that it was too much for them just by watching them.  Some have admitted it as well.  They were honest.  Why are they like this though?  For them, I am the loved one who rarely falls apart and if I do it's too hard for them to help me, or deal with my emotions that they rarely see in me.  It's like they suddenly have no clue as to how to help and prefer I go away until I am better.  And, at least, they were honest as to why it bother them.  These are friends I made in my early years who are all quite sensitive.  You not always see it in them right away, especially at a first meeting but you would when you got to know them and time has passed.  And they are like this even now, as we got older.  The friends I have made in recent years are more open to sitting and listening no matter what is going on with me, but< I have chosen to lean on them any further than that; no hugs, no coddling, no full on meltdown in front of them and asking someone to care for me, even for a little while... I don't look for that anymore.  I do seem to lean on my Bestie pretty good, but I do not try to in the extent that I would have with other friends in earlier friends.  When you seek that and no one is there for you in that way, (don't worry I am not the kind who would not offer that to others, quite the contrary I am told it helps a lot and apparently I am very good at cuddling and comforting... I am not a cold monster I promise) that yearning goes away overtime.


When I used to want/seek comfort by being held in someone's arms while I cried, screamed and talked about what was happening but couldn't find it I didn't get mad at anyone for it.  Sure I was in pain but I can't blame people for being nowhere to be found.  If there is to be blame I blame the universe instead, especially if anyone thinks this change in me is not good I would just point out into the great wide yonder.  I am good, it's no one's fault. The upside for me is I learned to pick myself up over and over, while finding what works best at helping me out.  The pattern of no one being available to be there for me luckily was my way to find out how to help myself.  I discovered many ways, but the three I have used most are:


Screaming and crying in pillows
Big, long, heavy workouts (weights and kickboxing are good), and
Praying


Now here is the second part, explaining what I mean by that no one responds when I have reach out for help when I feel like I am rock bottom.  I will give you one example, and it was the last time I reach out to people when I felt I was stuck at the bottom of a deep dark pit.  When I say no one responds, no one responds! None! At my worse times I used to try and get someone, anyone I loved, to hear me.  There was no answer to the phone calls, the door knocks, the emails, the text messages.  If anyone out there is thinking that that is impossible in thirty-plus years of someone's life, apparently it is not.  I almost laugh in writing that by the way, sorry but I do.  And that is why I am not mad.


Awhile back I had a really rough week, and already the supports that were once there at work for all us workers were no longer as they once were, and therefore I did not feel comfortable turning to them, and hadn't after that.  I was burnt out, sad, angry, and needed someone to listen to me vent, and maybe give me a huge hug, and maybe let me cry.  If no hugs then at least let me talk.  It had been a LONG time since I felt so down and out, and it felt like I was about to go insane as one negative thought after another kept piling in my head and making me feel worse with each passing moment.  So, I took the chance to reach out... and boy did I ever! I called my parents, my sisters, and my grandparents and left them each a voicemail asking them to call me when they got the message.  Then, I messaged/texted friends' cell phones, even social media sites, asking them if I could see them, or talk to them.  I even door knocked when my Bestie didn't answer my messages.  There was no response.  Nothing! I knew when I did this that I already knew better than to be seeking everyone out like that, but I did anyway.  In earlier years I did not have cell phone or internet to give me the easier access, and even now, with all those things the trend remains... I don't get an answer.  That's how the universe works it with me on that aspect of my life.


In case anyone is wondering if any answer comes later, yes, it does.  The responses come late at night when I have fallen asleep or the next day.  The responses are actually all quite similar:
They went to bed early or were napping
They were super busy
They missed the messages and voicemails.


It's all good.  I know how to fix myself and what I need to do and I am doing great. However, I face another trend....


These days it feels like people are now hovering over me and worrying when everything with me is fine.  Two friends came out of the blue to see me, and I hadn't seen them in a long time, not since Mom's death which is almost a year ago already, and they both said the same thing when I saw each of them: "If Mohammed won't come to the mountain then the mountain comes to you my dear." And then they wonder how I am and have been worried despite we are all on the same social media sites and they should already know, and I know they know because they have written to me there. I let them know I was good, especially as of late I am quite well.  But the worry hasn't stopped with them.  Now, speaking of social media there are some worries that arise from status updates, wherein if I post too late at night or too early in the morning I have been getting asked if I stayed up all night and if I am okay.  I find that one interesting.  I have been asked if I am feeling well, and that one confuses me a bit considering everyone else these days is sick (some are really unwell with some sort of cold) but not me.  I am totally healthy.  Thumbs up over here!


I guess I could chalk it up to that it is probably because Mom passed away last year, however, like I said earlier, it is already almost a year, and things are much better at the moment.  Everyone I love is much better these days besides colds or flus happening.  But the focus has seemed to be on me more than others, and it makes me feel like I am being watched.


Maybe if I was younger again and this was happening I would perhaps relish (big IF though) in this spotlight of concern and even throw myself into everyone's arms and soak it up and allow myself to be coddled and be grateful for being so noticed.  But the instinct to be that overly grateful or filled with joy is not in me.  If it ever was it is not now.  The instinct to need was once there yes, to switch back to it, or, to be excited by such attention, no! It's just the way I am now.  If anything is to be learned it has been being able to cope better with life, and help pass it on to others who have had similar experiences as I.


As the spotlight of attention is being pointed on me I have been light hearted and even joking in my responses because there is nothing wrong.  I keep it upbeat and positive even though my first reaction is annoyance and confusion.  I first mull over as to why they are concerned.  Then the more it happens I am kind of feeling invaded.  I am kind of worried that if this persists I am going to get snappy.  I am someone who needs a lot of space and I feel like people are forgetting that.


Ah! The universe! Is it trying to add another trend? Is this it's bizarre way of joking with me? When nothing is wrong with me everyone is to fret and dote upon me? But in times of crisis everyone is to disappear? I am fine with one trend, I don't think I need this new one.  I am just not keen on it. Thanks!


~Ange

Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.



Tuesday, 6 October 2015

No Posts. But... Getting Lots Done - October 6, 2015

There may be little writing, or rather, a finished product of my written works.  And there may be a lack of online presence, however, much has been done that required my immediate attention and it feels good for it all to be complete.

For the last several years of my Mother's life one of her many unfulfilled goals was to clean up her house and sell it.  My siblings and I have now done that. 

I spent a whole week of what felt like physical therapy in cleaning out her house.  It was not only great exercise, but therapeutic in cleaning out a house (to be sold as a fixer upper while the bare bones of the house is excellent) that had many dark memories of abuses done against my Mother and the verbal and emotional abuses that us, her children, suffered.  I would sometimes stand a few feet from the giant garbage bin and throw things as hard as I could in, especially if it was glass or something I knew could definitely smash in there; the sound made me feel good each time.  My siblings found it to be the same. It was good for me on all levels: emotionally, mentally, physically and even spiritually.  It was like a cleanse from the inside out.

In each of our own lives amongst my family and friends it seems a deep cleansing is taking place.  Something in the air causing it maybe? Its like a spring cleaning for our bodies, as well as our environments, particularly where we live; everything from our possessions to those nasty files and paperwork all of us had lying around.  I know for me it feels like a great weight has been lifted. Wow!

Also, keeping the ties that bind has been of great importance.  I have fought for the closeness to my extended family where others have not for a very long time now (too long).  In some cases it was because certain members of my family were too busy dwelling on past hurts to try and heal the wounds over the years.  As many of us out there know who have had to deal with this kind of thing, situations like these just fester and worsen all the time; and that definitely was the case with my family let me tell you. Rather than working at forgiveness and strengthen the weakened bonds they often would prefer to stew in their anger.  It has slowly fixed itself, and I have worked hard to lead by example the importance of family and togetherness.  Now that it is better, I am going to hang onto this so and continue to work hard so that these disconnects stop occurring.  Life is too short.  (That could be a whole other essay onto itself, but I don't wish to at this time).

Though this road (particularly this past year) has had my loved ones and I suffering many hardships, there has been many moments, both small and big, that have made it so worth it.  They even seem to give me just enough rest, relaxation, and moments of pure joy that it has refreshed me to march on.

Something small, and may sound silly was one night we were all staying the night at my Grandmother's and I took the couch.  Grandma got me to blankets and tucked me in.  Yes, I am a grown woman and my Grandmother tucked me into bed.  I loved it.

There has been many more moments for my sisters and I to relax together and when we do it has been filled with laughing, crying, reminiscing, talking of our goals in life.  It feels amazing!

My Bestie and I hung out yesterday and went adventuring around places in the city we live in that we had never been to before.  Our day was filled with laughter, teasing each other, great food, refreshing beverages, picture taking and just feeling blessed to be alive. 

~Ange

Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

The Hero of the Day - September 19, 2015

The day that I saw a hero help someone out happened a few weeks ago but I never got to sit down to share it... better late than ever.

I arrived at the bus depot to purchase my ticket for my journey to see my family, and the room where I was to get it is circular, with old carpet that looks to be from the eighties, and chairs lined up all against the wall.  It is large enough that about fifteen people can relax comfortably in there to wait for the bus before it gets congested, so its old, but quite cozy. 

As the customer service representative and I have our usual chat (I have come here frequently to catch my ride to my family in the great white north of the province I live in so here and I kind of know each other) a tiny dark haired woman enters the room.  Being a people watcher and a pretty good reader of folk with my observation skills I sized up the small lady quickly: she doesn't want to alarm or draw any attention to herself, but chewing her finger nails and her eyes are darting about the floor, especially at the chairs, tells it all... she has lost something valuable and is about to have a panic attack if she doesn't find what she is looking for. 

The CSR and I both asked if she was alright and what was she looking for. 

With a shaky voice and clasping her hands together she said, "I lost my rings." 

The CSR had already turned her attention back to writing up my bill and raises her left hand and sticks out her pinky to the lady for her to see.  There on the tiny finger is two rings. 

"These rings here, my dear?" 

I realized there was a diamond ring and a wedding ring on her pinky. The rings looked old, but beautiful.  Like something that got older the older they got. Elegant.

The dark haired woman got on her knees like a child at prayer and held the CSR's hand between her two palms and wept.

When her head came up she smiled and said, "I thought to myself: thirty-seven years of being happily married and then I lose the rings...," her voice tremors a bit, "I would have broke his heart."

We all could feel what she felt.  Her relief and joy.

After the rings returned to their rightful place on her hand, she held it up and gave a quiet laugh and said, "Oh my, I just can't stop shaking."

The CSR started to explain how a small girl found them, and I decided to give everyone a moment to talk and have some space so I headed outside to wait for the bus, passing a tall skinny man who was standing and smoking cigarettes with a very short person wearing a dark ball cap with small tuffs of hair sticking out from underneath, and they also wore sweat pants and a dark shirt.  I actually at a glance thought it was a small, young man.

Suddenly the CSR appeared outside as well and says to the tiny person in the sweat pants and ball cap, "My dear girl come, the rings you returned found their way back to the lady they belonged to and she wishes to thank you. 

This was the girl who turned in the rings, the little hero of the day.

The girl blushed and snuffed out the cigarette saying, "That's not necessary, she doesn't have to..." but before she could finish the sentence the CSR reinforced that she go talk to the lady.

Several minutes the little hero returned and it was then I noticed her feet.  She was wearing shiny metallic gray shoes with thin-stringed bows on them.  This was a complete contrast to the rest of her ensemble.

For the rest of my life I am sure when I consider all the little unsung heroes of the day I will always think of her first. 

So if any of you out there ever see a small tomboyish girl in a black cap, sweat pants, and shiny shoes with bows on them, that may be her.  And maybe she will save the day again.

~Ange


Copyright 2015 Lucky 33: Stories, Experiences, Perspectives, and Opinions of a Woman Who Made  To Her Thirties.