Shaking Up My Thoughts

After the day’s folderol has wound down, it’s time to relax.

Lay on the couch please

Planted habitually on the left side of the couch, my wife places on herself an animal-print blanket she sewed, and the then places on said animal-print blanket three animals: two cats and a dog. I sit on the other side of the sofa and we watch TV, check out a movie, read, or – gasp! – possibly even talk to each other.

If you’re looking for wild parties, we’re not the go-to place. I’m not sure we ever were, but for a fact, I know we’re not now. We’re not exciting – and that’s the way we like it.

Recently, our pattern was most literally shaken up when the ground began trembling.

If you live in earthquake country, you know what comes next. If you don’t, there’s a mental and emotional checklist one goes through at the first inkling of a temblor.

1)    Look for others nearby and check their reactions to decide if you’re just dizzy or disoriented, or to get validation that the movement beneath your feet is actually happening.

2)    Determine if a large vehicle is rumbling down your street vibrating the entire neighborhood.

3)    Check to see if hanging objects are swinging.

4)    If indeed you are neither inebriated nor are tanks or eighteen-wheelers patrolling your street, and your favorite dangling knick-knack is making like a pendulum; then commence praying that this now verified earthquake will not be the “Big One.”

5)    Feel fear rise up in your throat. Decide if you’re heading for safety. Wait for quake to pass. Realize how powerless you are in the grasp of Mother Nature.

Steps one through four pass blindingly fast.

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Someday, somewhere, somehow…

At this very moment, a frustrated, frightened middle-aged woman is standing on a scale in a state of disbelief.

Depressed Overweight Woman

She hadn’t dare climb upon it for years, afraid of the number she’d see — and terrified of what it would mean. Today however, after finding nothing in the closet that fits, the anxiety of not knowing overrode the faux safety of denial.

Her fears were realized.

As she continues to stare at the number between her toes, confidence is dwindling. Lost, she understands she needs to do something. She’s also not sure she can.

Today, a foreman will unexpectedly be put face-to-face with the unpleasant reality that he isn’t as young as he used to be.

Long ago, feeling uncomfortable in ever-tightening pants, he shifted from a belt to suspenders. After all, he didn’t need to buy larger trousers; this was a temporary situation. As a million times before, he’d drop those “few pounds” as soon as things “settled down.”

Funny thing, that; they didn’t, and his belly now is profound. Having not been witness to his toes in a blue moon, moving has become laborious, bending a chore, and breathing — well, it’s just not as easy as it used to be.

Before today’s calendar changes pages, in the midst of a frustrating conversation with a client, his shortness of breath will ramp up severely; he’ll begin sweating profusely, feel light-headed, and become unmistakably aware of an overwhelming pain in his arms and back.

The day will end not at all the way he planned. [Read more...]

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Worst Day Ever!

Saturday sucked.

Our airport is to travelers what tar pits were to wooly mammoths.

Everything is Jim Dandy until you unsuspectingly enter it and find yourself condemned to spend eternity held in place in its “your-flight-has-been-canceled; please-see-the-attendant” inextricable goo.

I was to conduct a communication workshop for a Seattle agency on Monday, having reserved a flight for the previous Saturday, allowing me to attend a concert when I arrived. Sunday’s itinerary would consist of roaming the Emerald City and I would return home Monday evening, after leading the seminar.

It was going to be a good trip.

The operative word is “was.”

Two hours before take-off, a text message informed me that my flight was canceled due to our oft-times, unrelenting fog. Rebooked for a later flight, I was ominously primed,

“There’s no guarantee it will go either. Hope for the best.”

I am not a travel agent but I bet they agree that’s never a wise travel strategy.

After doing my part — hoping — and impatiently waiting through three more hours of delays, only to be canceled again, re-booked again was I for an evening flight, with arrival in the wee hours of the next morning. I’d obviously miss the concert but could still salvage my Sunday; this of course contingent on this latest itinerary actually falling into place, unlikely since the obstinate grey murkiness that blanketed the runway seemed fused to the blacktop.

Angry, frustrated, and now worried that I would lose my speaking fee and damage my reputation, I needed options.

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