Welcome to my foray into the blogging world. I don't promise to be your source for political and social commentary, but I will always endeavour to be entertaining, charming and witty (and by witty, you may also want to read that as sarcastic . . . I sometimes mix the two up).

You will see a mix of poems and/or song lyrics, my skewed little musings on life, the odd rant or two, and hopefully I can pass along some inspirational pieces – either from my own personal experiences or from those who inspire me.

I will try not to work Bruce Springsteen into everything I write, though it will be difficult as he does impact a large part of my waking world as well as a good portion of my dream world.

Enjoy. Be kind. Come back often and visit.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

365 Questions: What's my basic life philosophy?

234. What message would you send to aliens?
Hello. Yes, we really are quite normal and could use your help with a few things. I’m hoping we could do a bit of knowledge sharing and perhaps we could help you work through some puzzles while you helped us with a few of ours. I’m sure between our collective heads we could solve a lot of problems. I’d love to hear your ideas.

235. If you could have the answer to any question, what would the question be?
Oh, there are so many questions to which I would like answers.  What ever happened to my dad’s wedding band? Why can’t we all just get along? Why does Kanye West exist?

236. What do you like least about yourself?
I’m pretty darn likable and a big fan of myself.  But I suppose I wish I was a bit more decisive. I’m getting better at trusting my gut instinct but I still struggle with making some decisions.

237. What’s your basic life philosophy?
I believe in treating others as I would like to be treated. We are all humans and deserve empathy and compassion. For the most part, we all want the same thing: to be loved. So, just be yourself and the rest will follow. I also believe in telling those I love that I love them. I try to tell them often and I try to hug them as whenever I can.

238. What’s more important? Increasing your talent or character?
More important? Increasing my character. There is always something that can be improved upon . . . ever if it’s something little.

239. What piece of clothing can you not live without?
I’ve got a Grateful Dead bandana that I’ll probably never throw out. It’s worn out, soft and faded. It’s perfect headgear for the cottage.

240. If you could have front row tickets to any concert, what would it be and why?
It’s still my dream to lean my arms on the stage at a Springsteen show. I’ve been close to the front but never in the front row. I would love to have that up-close-and-personal perspective. Maybe get a guitar pick from Bruce or Nils or one of Max’s drumsticks. It would be an amazing experience.

241. Do you believe everyone should be a parent?
I believe everyone has the capability to be a parent, but I don’t necessarily believe everyone should be a parent. You should really want children. People shouldn’t have children because it’s the right time, or the thing to do. They shouldn’t be pressured into having them either. Having children is not a light responsibility, and they’re a lifelong commitment, so one should be sure about that decision. I think some people go into parenthood with romantic notions about what having children is all about. It’s a huge responsibility. And, I don’t think poorly about those who choose not to have children.  That’s a big decision on their part too and I’m sure they don’t make that decision lightly.

242. Would you rather be a famous actor, athlete, musician, inventor or humanitarian – why?
As much as I love music, I think I’d rather leave a legacy of having accomplished something good in this world. I love to help people. I remember listening to Craig Keilburger speak many years ago, and he told a story about meeting one of his heroes (I can’t remember who it was but it was someone like Nelson Mandela . . . darn ‘50s memory!). He told his hero that he stopped reading the paper because it was too depressing. This man told him that he read the newspaper every morning with his children. He said the newspaper was like one big to-do list, divided nicely into different categories. It showed you where you could help out on a local level, a national level or on a world level. I always thought that was a great perspective and good advice. I’d like to be remembered for having helped out my fellow humans.

243. What’s the most significant problem facing the world?
I think it’s a tie between the distribution of wealth inequality throughout the world and the rampant commercialism/materialism. Those I suppose those two things are definitely connected. Some people just have way too much money – far more than any single human being should have. And as human beings, we collect way too much stuff. As I get older I’m placing more emphasis on experiences and doing things with people, rather than buying things or expecting gifts for special occasions. Spending quality time with a friend is far more important to me than any present. I prefer the gift of time. 

244. If you were to own a fabulously impractical vehicle, what would it be?
Hmmmm. Funny question to answer after writing about materialism in the previous question. I’m not really an impractical person and pretty boring when it comes to vehicles. I’d love a black BMW convertible or maybe a pontoon boat for the cottage.

245. Would you choose to be the best player on the worst team or the worst player on the best team?
I think I’d rather be the worst player on the best team because if we’re the best team, then my worst can’t be that bad. I must be contributing in some way in order to be on that team. I was always a fan of the “most improved” player trophy.

246. If you were given money to remodel your house, what would you change first?
My first renovation would be to my upstairs bathroom. I would remove the bathtub and replace it with a nice tiled shower – something with a grab bar for my impending senior years. Switch out the huge vanity with a smaller antique-type cabinet. Ditch the ugly 1970s tiles and replace with some nice bead board, and tile using the same flooring that’s in my kitchen. I’d also get rid of the gross boxy light fixture and replace it with something nicer. Another plan would include expanding the bathroom into my back office and extending it to include a main floor laundry room perhaps.

247. What makes a house a home?
People. Doesn’t matter where you live or what you put in a house. It’s always having your loved ones around you that makes anywhere home.

248. In your opinion, what are the seven wonders of the world?
I’m not that well-travelled, but I would definitely include the iconic tree on the point at my cottage. I would also have to include childbirth – to me that’s a pretty darn wondrous thing. Love. A Springsteen pit (both wondrous and glorious). I would have to throw in the pyramids just because it’s amazing to think about how they were even built back in those days. Even though I’ve just seen pictures of them, I’ve always thought that those giant Sequoias in British Columbia were pretty cool. And, I gotta say that a starry night on the Paugh Lake deck is very captivating and never boring.

249. Is justice or forgiveness more important?
Forgiveness for sure. Forgiveness brings peace into your life. It’s rarely about the other person. You don’t need to even tell someone you forgive them. It’s about forgiving them in your heart and moving on. It’s very freeing.                                                            

250. Do you possess the qualities of your astrological sign?
I think I’m 99 percent bull J My astrological sign is Taurus and I do possess a lot of its qualities. I consider myself loyal, dependable, practical and a bit stubborn.  I am passionate and sensuous too. Apparently we’re good with money which I suppose I am to a certain degree. I’m no one-percenter, but I’m not going to starve. Where I would disagree is with the point that we Taureans are considered materialistic; I don’t believe I possess that quality. Nor am I lazy. I can “be” lazy but I’m not lazy. Taurus women long for true love and security and that is definitely true for me as well.

251. Has anything bad ever happened to you that turned out to be for the best?
Definitely. I was laid off from my job in the printing department at Georgian back in 1994. Luckily, I am a union member so there was a process to be followed after my lay-off. I did a short stint in a department before being moved to the Marketing and Communications department to produce the Part-time Studies calendar. While I was there, a part-timer quit and I was able to remain in Marketing, where I still work today. It was a great move and I love being part of this team.

252. Who is the most unusual member of your family?
Oh, there are many unusual characters in my family. One of the most interesting people though was my Great Uncle William “Billy” Murray. He was a tight rope walker and performed at many carnivals. He suffered a fall at one point and became extremely religious afterwards. He lived out his final days in Toronto, spending some time at 99 Queen Street which was a mental facility for 150 years. In her memoir Fragments of My Life, Catherine Doherty credits him for saving her life after he prayed over her dying body.

253. Are things pre-determined or all about choice?
I think there is a pre-determined plan for all of us. We are each here for our own unique purpose and to learn. Sometimes it takes us more than one kick at the can to learn certain lessons, but hopefully, we eventually learn. We do make our own choices and may take a more circular path to life’s end, but we all end up where we’re supposed to end up.

254. Which is more important – intelligence or common sense?
My boyfriend Jeff would definitely say that common sense is more important. He claims that it is his super power. I think having common sense may serve a person much better in life. You can be extremely intelligent but yet have few life skills, which can get you into trouble. 

255. If you could trade places with the opposite sex for a day, would you and why?
Of course! It would be fascinating to be inside the male brain for a day to understand how it operates. And naturally it would be equally fascinating to experience sex from the male perspective.

256. What’s the biggest lie we tell ourselves as humans?
I think the biggest lie we tell ourselves as humans is that we’re not good enough. We’re constantly trying to improve – be thinner, faster, richer, smarter – in order to have people like us. Just be yourself.

257. Which of your ancestors would you most like to meet?
I think there are some relatives I wish I had spent more quality time with or paid greater attention to while they were alive. I don’t think I appreciated my maternal grandmother or paternal grandfather enough. They were both fascinating people and I should have taken more care in absorbing everything they had to say. My grandmother was a strong woman who ran her own business and raised three equally strong daughters. She had spirit, a great sense of humour and a good head for business. After her first husband passed away at a very young age, she was forced into a second marriage to a man who was never faithful to her, drank, and eventually killed himself. I say forced because she didn’t want to marry him, but the local parish priest threatened to take her children out of school if she didn’t. Welcome to small town Catholic life in the 1930s. My grandfather on my dad’s side was a real Renaissance man. Despite only having a grade school education, he was a politician (a local Reeve as well as a Member of Parliament), poet, athlete and an entrepreneur. He loved nature and knew the importance of community. I would like a do-over with both of these people so I could truly appreciate who they were.

258. Who do you think is the most important person alive today?
That’s a tough question. You could go good or bad because both sides of the coin can effect important decisions and change. I think Craig Keilburger is doing important things because he works with young people, developing future generations of involved, compassionate and passionate influencers who want to make a difference in their world. If we can develop more people with that mindset, we can do wonderful things for this planet.

259. Would you stop eating junk food to prolong your life by a few years?
Definitely. I rarely eat junk food now. I can’t eliminate chocolate from my life but I stick to good dark chocolate. My personal favourite is the Lindt dark chocolate with coconut.

260. If you were offered a seat on the next space shuttle, would you take it?
Probably but if there was someone else who really wanted to go, I’d probably give up my seat.

261. What makes your generation unique?
Having been born in 1962, I’m considered a baby boomer. I think we’re considered lucky in that most of us have grown up in a time of relatively good employment opportunities. We’re also a good mix of healthiness, altruistic values and a good work ethic. I also believe we’re a bit more imaginative, as we didn’t rely on technology for entertainment. We created our own fantasy worlds without the aid of video games. And, we’re going to experience a wide gamut of phones! I can remember party lines, rotary phones, touch tone, the first large clumsy cordless ones, flip phones, iPhones, Androids, Blackberries – in all shapes and sizes – and whatever is next to come.

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