Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A Year or Two... or Five... or 14?

Time is not measured by the years that you live
But by the deeds that you do and the joy that you give - 
And each day as it comes brings a chance to each one
To love to the fullest, leaving nothing undone
That would brighten the life or lighten the load
Of some weary traveler lost on Life's Road -
So what does it matter how long we may live
If as long as we live we unselfishly give.
~ Helen Steiner Rice

I had just gotten off the phone with someone who has offered me space in their clinic. We were beginning to talk specifics: rent, when I could start moving in furniture, expected starting date, etc. And he asked if I saw this as a long-term arrangement. I faltered for a second, then asked what he considered “long-term”.

“Five years?” he suggested.

As I re-played the conversation in my head, complete with stumbling over my time-rehearsed and well-used anti-committal excuses, I had to stop and ask myself, “What am I doing all this for then?”

Seriously, do I really think that I'm putting all this time, energy, effort and stress into starting a business... for a few months? Are the actions I'm taking not actually the epitome of committing to a long-term? Even if I define that as something different than five years? So why can't I just say it?

With the exception of school and one contract-position, the only actual time-defined commitments I've made in the past 14 years are the apartment leases I've signed. And I got out of one of those earlier than the agreed upon time. Any jobs I've held or relationships I've been in... just... sort of... lasted. Until they didn't.

But this. This is different.

First of all, I bought a bed last year. It made my transient life a little more difficult to move so often. So, as I said in my phone conversation, I have no plans to go anywhere else anytime soon.

Second, this kind of thing that I'm doing here, it takes time. Time to become established; time to become known; time to make enough money to move somewhere else. And even then, a move to a different city, well it's like starting all over again. How many times do I really think I plan on doing that?!

I've been working on a business plan. But after that phone conversation I realized I may need to put more thought into the time-lines. Maybe I'm not quite ready to say yes to five years. But that doesn't mean I can't define long-term in my own way. And it doesn't mean there isn't room for developments along the way that will affect or change those long-term plans. But I do have to start somewhere.

And really, when I think about how fast the last year or two... or 14 years of my life have gone; plus my excitement with finally be making this goal happen... Well, I just might find myself with no plans to go anywhere else after another year or two or 14 either!

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Let's (not) Talk About It

It takes courage to stay true to yourself when so many voices
 are telling you to follow a more conventional path.
~ Sara Eckel, 
Stop telling Single Women they're 'Fabulous'

I had a thought the other day... actually, I've kind of had this thought a few times. But this time I decided to write it out.

It came to me after reading an article called Stop telling Single Women they're 'Fabulous'. There are many great points/quotes from that article, and I really felt emotionally connected and energized by it. I don't think I could have written it better myself, and to write a direct comment or response to it would likely be, I fear, redundant. I almost want to just post the link & call it my blog for this week!

But then my thought was this:
You know how during the many conversations about homosexuality (ie. equal relationship rights, acceptance vs. tolerance, etc.), people will comment that they look forward to the day when we won't have these conversations because it won't be an issue anymore? For example:

Just change the topic from homosexuality to singleness or even childlessness, and yeah, that was my thought. I look forward to the day when there won't be articles like the one mentioned above. When no request for respect nor explanation of what it means or what it is like to be [fill in the blank] is needed; because black or white (or any other colour), man or woman, gay or straight, male or female (or any expression in between), single or in relationship, parent or childless (read: really cool aunt/uncle)... it won't matter!

The unfortunate thing is, those conversation(s) may only disappear because a new one has taken it's place. We seem to be a people who need something to complain about; something to debate; some reason to look down on or criticize the proverbial them...

So I look forward to the day when people can just live their lives without scrutiny; when diversity is not tolerated, accepted, nor even celebrated – because it just is.
Then again, a world where we don't have various issues to debate and discuss... well, it sounds kind of boring... Plus, what would I write about?!

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

A Legacy Worth Sharing

My life goes on in endless song, Above earth's lamentations...
Through all the tumult and the strife I hear it's music ringing,
It sounds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?
~ Robert W Lowry

Last weekend I had the privilege of singing with a choir at the memorial service for a well-known and respected member of the community. A privilege because, even though I did not know this woman except as a familiar face from fall choir rehearsals, in that hour my life was indirectly touched by her.

Perhaps it is true that this moment held different meaning for me because I learned of this woman's 5-year battle with cancer around the same time I learned of my own Mom's diagnosis. Still, I was moved by the stories of her life as shared by her sister, her daughters, co-workers and friends. Stories of the impact this woman had made in the world: through her profession in the health-care field and initiating change in policies and procedures; through social outreach and community volunteer opportunities fit into an already busy schedule; through parenting her biological children and opening her heart and home to “adopted daughters” in need of support.

Testimonies of the life she led; of the lives she touched. A tribute to the legacy she leaves in her wake.

It seems sometimes as though there are fewer and fewer stories of self-less living in today's world. Of individuals who go far beyond the norm in terms of reaching out, supporting, and easing the journey of others on life's path. And so to come across such a story; such a life; such an individual is note-worthy.
There is a part of me that wishes I had had the opportunity to spend time with and to know this woman. And yet after the service, I feel as though I did!

The final song shared by the choir was We Rise Again. This song in particular moved me to tears, as the words “we rise again in the faces of our children...” speaks so clearly about the influence and legacy created and left behind by anyone who participates in family and community even a fraction as much as this woman did. She will be greatly missed, that is true. But – she will continue to rise again in the faces of her children. She will continue to indirectly impact the world and inspire people the way I was impacted and inspired by her: through a legacy that reaches much further in the lives and stories of her many loved ones!