Fuzzy Socks and Carpeted Stairs

fuzzy socks

photo from en.webfail.net

 

Fuzzy socks you are so soft

And warm against my peau (rhymes with go – French for skin)

Staircases lead me up or down,

Wherever I need to go.

 

Fuzzy socks and carpeted stairs

Should never really meet.

A barrier should be worn betwixt the two

And fit snugly on the feet.

 

For when fuzzy socks and carpeting join

They become a little slick.

And once headed down the stairs

Your foot will suddenly slip.

 

Gravity and inertia will gladly

Join the fun.

As fuzzy socks and carpeted stairs

Come together as one.

 

As hard as you will clutch

and find something on which to hang,

You’ll ultimately end at the bottom of the stairs

With a loud and ungraceful bang.

 

The preceding poem is based on a true story which happened only an hour or so before the text was written.

Catching Flies with Honey

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine told me that her sister had read my book and enjoyed it. I asked if she thought her sister would post a review. I told her that getting reviews was like pulling teeth and that I thought it was perhaps because people think reviews need to be lengthy like a book report when a sentence or two is just fine.

We discussed the issue a bit more and then my friend said something I’d not considered. She said maybe people are more apt to give bad reviews. That when people are dissatisfied with their experience at a restaurant or stay at a hotel, that they tend to write about their negative experiences.

I thought about what she said. Is it true? Are people more likely to complain rather than praise?

We all complain. Whether it’s about traffic, the weather, work, there’s always something. I’m guilty. However, I am learning that if it’s something I can’t control, it’s just a waste of time and energy. If it’s something I can change, I am going to do something about it. It’s a conscious effort to let things slide, but sometimes it’s necessary.  And when I have to complain, I remember that you catch more flies with honey.

Celebrate Yourself

dance-436707_1280I was feeling a little defeated on my way home from work today. I had spent the last hour trying to figure out a mistake I’d made but couldn’t quite get it. I still had other things to check; however, it was time to go home. I spent my drive home thinking about it and hoping that I would figure it out in the morning when I look at it with fresh eyes. I told myself to stop worrying about it as there was nothing I could do, I was already on my way home. However,  no matter what I told myself, it still weighed heavily on my mind.

When I arrived home I checked my e-mail. The second I opened it up an e-mail from Go Big Coach – Kristen Howe caught my eye. The subject line read “You are fantastic Sandra!” I read the short e-mail which ended with “I believe in you!” Just reading those two phrases made me feel good and boosted my positive thoughts.

I scrolled down through my e-mail and once again another e-mail from Go Big Coach caught my eye. I opened it up and began reading. It was all about taking the time to celebrate yourself. Seeing the word “celebrate” instantly reminded me of the song “Celebrate” by Kool and the Gang. The lyrics and tune popped into my head and I began singing and dancing and celebrating me (of course this was done in the privacy of my bedroom and office. I didn’t want the kids to think I’d lost my marbles :D).

We all need to take the time to celebrate ourselves, to believe we are good, smart, talented, beautiful or whatever. We seem to have no problem doing the opposite and beating ourselves up. It’s time we make a change. So get up, start singing and dancing, and celebrate all the wonderful things that you are.

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To Sleep-in or Not to Sleep-in

 

time-782926_1280I should have slept-in but instead I was up just before 7 AM and by 7:40 I was typing this blog while contemplating what to have for breakfast. My husband and daughter have already left for work and soon my son will be gone. I have the house and the day to myself. But why should I have slept-in, you wonder. Well isn’t that what I’m supposed to do on my day off? It’s at least what I used to do. Now the only time I want to sleep in are on the days which require me to get up and go to work. I don’t even get up that early for work, it’s anywhere between 7:00 and 7:15, though it’s usually the latter. However, give me a day off and I’m up with the birds. Well not really, but you get my point. It doesn’t matter how much my body wants to stay in bed once my brain starts yelling “Cease the day! There is work to be done!” sleeping-in is a lost cause.

My brain, however, is right. With two blogs, this one and another on my website sandrajjackson.com, and two WIPs (work in progress), and posts to social media outlets, I do have work, but it’s enjoyable work. If I could do it for a living I would – I’m trying.

Today I plan on taking advantage of my time and getting down to business. I have another blog post to prepare, I am a few chapters away from finishing the rewrite/editing of WIP #1,  and I believe I have a couple of award nominations for this blog that I need to respond to. But first there is the matter of breakfast and coffee, with all the writing I’m planning on doing, I need to fuel my brain.

Cease the day! Time waits for no one.

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The plan was to sleep in on this Saturday morning at least till 8:00, but instead I’m sitting at my laptop, writing this blog. Why? Because my poor husband had to go to work this morning once again on his day off and it kind of infuriates me. Not because we had any plans (I am not even going to be home today), but because it’s not fair to him.

You see he’s the toll operations manager for toll departments in both Canada and the US. His shift is supposed to be 8-4:30, Monday to Friday. Unfortunately, he usually works from 8 to anytime way after 4:30, especially at this time of the year as traffic (trucks mostly) are backed up. This means he puts in way more than 40 hours a week. Sometimes he has to work a double-shift, sometimes he has to work on the weekend, even though he had plans.

work hard 3

My husband does not get overtime pay, instead he gets comp time on top of his already six weeks of vacation time he has amassed over the years. Every fall, starting from about mid-September, he books off every Thursday and Friday until the end of the year. Guess what? He usually ends up having to go in to work, earning even more comp time. While he can carry over 80 hours of vacation time every year, comp time has to be used up. Last year he had to request that his comp time be carried over as he had so much.work hard 4

Each employee gets 80 hours of sick time every year, which if not used, can be banked. The cap off for the banked sick time is 1400 hours, after that you cannot bank any more time. Guess who has 1400 hours and has been at that for a number of years? Why? Because my husband doesn’t call in sick unless he actually is sick – imagine that. hard work 2

He started out as a toll collector over 30 years ago, but back then the work ethic was different – people actually worked.  I remember how much I hated him working shift work, especially when the kids were young. But when he was promoted and finally went to straight days, it was great.  Things have changed a lot since those early days. Things have changed a lot since the people coming into the work force have less of a work ethic than ever before. What’s going go happen when the people who actually work, retire?

work ethic 5

I believe the work ethic starts in the home. Kids see parents calling in sick when they’re not. Parents allow their children to stay home from school just because they say they don’t feel well. I remember never being allowed to stay home unless I had a fever. I did the same with our kids. If they got sick at school, then I picked them up. Kids join groups, activities, sports programs, clubs and after a couple of weeks they decide they don’t like it. Parents let them quit. work ethic 3I told our kids they had to finish what they start. If they were in a sport, they had to finish the season. If they were in a club they had to finish the year. They didn’t have to go back for another term, season, or round, but they always had to complete the cycle. My kids aren’t perfect, but I can guarantee that when they get out in the work force full-time, they will be reliable employees. After all, they have a perfect roll model in their father.

“Hard work breeds success, laziness produces mediocrity.”

– Rich Grosso

The Elusive Maycept?!

As May rolls around I am reminded of a question my daughter asked my husband and I many years ago. She was about ten years old (give or take a year). The four of us were traveling in the car to who-knows-where when her inquisitive voice piped up from the back seat.

Daughter: Mom, what’s a maycept?

Me: A what?

Daughter: A maycept,

I turned to my husband: What is she talking about?

Hubby: What do you mean?

Daughter: A maycept, what’s a maycept?

Me: I don’t know what you mean.

Daughter, sounding a little exasperated: The sign we just passed. It was yellow with a picture that kind of looked like a turtle and it said maycept.

Hubby and I laughed are heads off while daughter and her younger brother sat quietly and were quiet puzzled, I’m sure.

Me (once laughter was contained): It’s a turtle crossing sign warning drivers to be careful of turtles crossing the road between the months of May to September – May-Sept.

Daughter: Oooohhh! Now I get it. (This may or may not have been what she said. I don’t remember, we were probably still laughing).

Me: That was good. I’m sure I’ll remember that one – Maycept! (shaking my head)

Out of the mouths of babes

images

This isn’t exactly the sign. I think the one she saw is more May-Sept (with a hyphen instead of an arrow). I also believe the turtle might be a little more abstract.

If you have young children write down the precious and funny things they say and do. I wish I had thought of doing that years ago, because boy I’d have a lot to blog about. 🙂 Time waits for no one so enjoy those funny family moments.

 

The Perspective Death Brings

A family member, a friend, or even the stranger at the grocery store can all be gone in the blink of an eye. Our lives are short, but most of us don’t spend our days thinking about our mortality. imagesIt’s only when someone passes that the finality of it all enters our mind. It is then that we see posts on Facebook reminding us to hug our loved ones – our near and dear. But shouldn’t this be something we should be doing every day? images (6)We can’t and shouldn’t dwell on this part of life, but maybe we should always try and remember to appreciate the people in our lives. Perhaps the world would be a better place if we kept a little bit of that “they might not be here tomorrow” thought in our heads. images (1)I am going to start practicing what I preach. It’s not going to be easy. I am human; I get angry and say things I know I shouldn’t. But life is a lesson and this is one I am willing to keep working on until I get it right.

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