Witticism in Few Words

Some days you can look and look for a greeting card that is just right and you come up empty.    Or you could choose a card thinking it was so very witty or fitting and find the recipient didn’t see it in the same light.    Has this happened to you?  I’d be interested in your true story.  

Then once in a while you find a card and think “Aha, this will be great!”

The Event

We are invited to a friend’s birthday party tonight.  I bought her a card I thought very witty.  I hope she does too.  If she doesn’t then I guess there could  be a follow-up blog titled “No So Witty After All”

The Visual

(credit to American Greetings)

The Greeting Inside

Paying homage to my gut (reaction)

The Lead-Up

History: Over the years I have not always paid attention to any visceral responses I have to situations or decisions.   It’s easy enough to talk yourself out of a gut reaction and try to rationalize your way to a decision.  You know, look at all the facts and make a decision-use your head-simple enough.  Then again, there’s been many a time when, upon reflection, I should have listened to my gut.  

Customer Service: Once upon a time I attended a seminar about customer service. While the seminar was held many years ago one of the examples used by the presenter stuck with me.  She spoke about how easy it was to lose customer confidence-the example she used was air travel.  You board the airplane, get settled and before you take off you try to turn on the overhead light and it doesn’t work. When this happens you think ‘what else on this airplane doesn’t work?’  

The News Story

Today Ottawa Public Health held a news conference to report several thousand people have been exposed to potential HIV or Hepatitis infection as a result of poor standards during treatment at one local clinic.

Within the last year or so I was referred to said clinic.  Briefly put, from what I observed in both the exterior office and the consulting office, there was a lack of orderliness and cleanliness.  The physician recommended a procedure and I asked where the procedure was conducted, I was told there an operating room (or some such thing) in the back of the office.  I initially made an appointment for a future date but pretty much as I left the office thought-“No Way!”-if this is what the front of the office looks like…what does the room in the back look like?  I called back and cancelled the appointment. I did it based on a gut reaction.  I reported my experience and decision to my family doctor.  While the news report says the probability of infection is low, there are thousands of people who will soon receive a registered letter about their treatment in that office. Despite the odds of infection (which are apparently very low) the information is bound to cause many people a great deal of worry. Tonight I am paying homage to my gut.

Have you had an experience where your gut reaction got it right?

Competition-nature vs nurture

This is a true story.  

About being competitive.  

Well, it’s about me being competitive-not in everything and not all the time but I do have a streak running through me.  I’ve been thinking about where that comes from…the desire to win or do better. Is it my place in the birth order?  Is it the pep talks my Dad used to give us when we went to play sports or is it just innate.  For me it’s not about being competitive in everything and with everyone but there are some things that trigger a drive in me.  Sports trigger that drive of course-why play if you aren’t trying to do well.  I have openly competed in a number of sports over the years-softball, volleyball, curling, squash, racquetball, and so on.  Elite athlete I am not but I do like the adrenalin rush.

One exception (except for tournaments) is golf (supposedly).  They say golf is a game to play, not a game to win.  You work to do better than you did last time-not to do better than your golf partners.

Informal races

I find myself racing when there is no race.  It happens several times a year when I am cycling.  Particularly if I catch up to and pass a male cyclist (it doesn’t happen routinely)…on occasion the cyclist will note this mature woman just passed him and likely thinks ‘well that won’t do’ and he seems to speed up.  Well, someone might as well have fired a starting pistol for I am off and working as hard as I can to stay ahead.  I passed a man on roller blades once and thought it would be a piece of cake to put distance between him and me.  Not so.  It took everything I had to stay in front of him before we finally went our separate ways. I had to stop then and catch my breath.  I often wonder if the other person is competing too or if it’s just in my head.  On a long walk, I will try to walk faster than people on the opposite sidewalk!  I can live with myself though-what’s wrong with a game in your head that helps you get a workout.  If I didn’t imagine some of these things I’d like saunter along at a tortoise’s pace.  

Competition is at its best when the competitors are relatively evenly matched or appropriate handicaps are applied to level the playing field.  It usually means that people have spent about the same amount of time learning and practicing the game and their skills are fairly similar.

So why does it get my goat

My husband and I play the game of golf together a few times a year.  That’s about all he plays.  He seldom practices, seldom takes lessons.  I golf 20 to 30 times a year and I take lessons, I even practice and when we go out to golf-his score bests mine.  It drives me nuts!!!  I think I’ll ask him to go cycling…he doesn’t cycle much and I’ll let him think he can cycle faster than I can and then……

We all age at the same rate

On the subject of maturity

Many many years ago I recall saying, well perhaps whining, to my wise aunt that I was getting old. The way I put it, it must have sounded as if I was the only person who was getting older. At that time I was likely in my 30’s and she was well into her 50’s. My aunt looked me straight in the eye and said “We all age at the same rate-one day at a time.” That phrase has never left me. It makes a lot of sense. Get over it- neither you or I are not getting older any slower or faster than anyone else on this earth. We are all moving along the aging scale at the very same pace. It is my experience that aging can be more or less a big deal depending on how old you are and your views of aging.

If life is viewed in terms of a baseball game then you make your way around the four bases during your lifetime. Since the average lifespan for women in our country is around 80 years, then each base represents 20 years.  Using this analogy, I’m be leaving third base on my way to home plate. To be clear, I am just leaving…maybe my foot is still on the base and I will do whatever I can to make it a and healthy trip to home plate and when I get there I want to go like a watch battery.  I’m ok with that. There are many who never had  opportunity to make way around the bases in the 20 year segments.

The accounts of aging can be depressing, insightful, refreshing and witty. Last week I attended a show that included readings from the book I Feel Great About My Hands . The editor Shari Graydon was present along with several of the contributors. The contributors have all waived their claim royalties and proceeds of the book go to Media Action.

The contributors who were present included Alison Smith, CBC one news, Susan Harada formerly with CBC, Lynn Miles, singer/song writer and several other interesting and accomplished women who have lived lives as farmers, poets and/professors. From my perspective and being of a certain age, the evening was outstanding.

Shari chaired the evening and told how she was paying homage to Nora Ephron’s and her book of similar title, I Feel Bad About My Neck.  There is one coincidence (wouldn’t you know that was the title of my last blog) I am not particularly pleased with…and that is my sometimes stated goal of learning to drive a long haul semi and one of the short stories “How Drooping Breasts Led Me to a Truck-driving Life of Adventure” .   I’d like to think the author and I don’t have everything in common.  But then again, the whole thing may go with growing older and if you asked the girls, they might just say- we all age at the same rate….one day at a time.

Are thoughts and the insights and wisdom of aging are similar for men and women? (aside from the drooping breasts…but then again that might be a thought shared more commonly than one would realize)


If I had the skill, I would write plain language instruction for many things one tries to do on the computer.  Yes indeed, there are instructions and tutorials and videos.  However, they sometimes lack in their helpfulness when things don’t work.  Take figuring out to hyperlink into a blog.  I read the instructions (not a routine practice for me),  I watched tutorials, I copied, pasted, cursed, tried again.  What isn’t available under instructions routinely is ” and if this doesn’t work then”.  Finally I sought some assistance.  Yes I did this.  Yes I did that.  I deleted this http://.  What ?  I should have deleted that http:// ?  Why?  That doesn’t make sense.  Technology!

Let me know if the links work this time!