Category Archives: Personal

Sometimes the right answer isn’t the right answer.

I was reminded of one of the themes I’ve written into my book the other day. In real life it goes something like this:

My husband and I were heading out to a movie and I quickly threw on a sweater and jeans. As I was jamming my arm into my jacket I asked him, “Does this look okay?”

“You look wonderful,” he replied after a brief glance from across the main floor of the house.

“You can’t even see me from there,” I objected.frosted window

“What difference does it make?” he asked, “I gave you the right answer.

Well, sort of. Maybe. Depends what I’m going for.

What I really wanted at the time was an objective opinion of whether or not I needed to fix my hair or change my clothes so I wouldn’t look stupid leaving the house. My daughters are good at that. They very quickly tell me which of their clothes I shouldn’t wear anymore—apparently I’m too old to wear some of them.

sunburstSure, it’s a bit of a blow to my ego to hear it, but wouldn’t it be a worse blow to have people laugh at me when I’m out? I’d rather hear it from people who love me—preferably before I leave the house.

Isn’t that what family is for?

Clothes and hair are one thing, but who we are is quite another.  I want people around me who care enough about me to choke down their discomfort and tell me when I’ve messed up. It’s the only way I can see that sometimes. While my husband isn’t too concerned about my hair, he does let me know if I’m chasing down a wrong track.

I want people in my life who will help me be a better person, not just tell me what they think I want to hear.

tree arch

Are you awake?

Some of you may be aware of the concept of “winter driving conditions”: those wonderful times of ice and snow-covered streets that turn our daily commutes into ‘high risk’ activities on par with cliff diving. Some of you may never have had the privilege of experiencing these conditions and some of you may have gratefully forgotten the concept all together. However, at this particular time those of us in Saskatchewan are painfully aware of these ideas — most of the time.

There’s this thing that happens as we adjust to these conditions — even for those of us using our winter driving skills on a daily basis. It starts innocently enough as you are driving along, feeling rather confident of the road conditions that day and being only too grateful to be getting to work in a timely fashion. Your mind begins to leap ahead to your day and what needs to be done, your hands relaxing slightly on the steering wheel. Things are going along fine until, suddenly, you feel your car slide almost imperceptibly — almost. You are immediately jolted into full attention, your hands tightening their grip on the wheel as you act quickly to correct the course of your vehicle. All of your energies are sharply focused on controlling your vehicle and straightening its course.

Usually you can pull out of this situation fairly easily. It’s simply a matter of making small corrections in your steering and setting your car on the right course. If you don’t slam on your brakes (you’ll slide) and don’t overcorrect the steering (you’ll skid and possibly wind up in the ditch — or worse) you should get back on track just fine — just a little wake up call to make certain you’re paying attention.

I think sometimes life sends us the same ‘wake up calls’ — those situations you never see coming that cause you to quickly refocus your attention and straighten a drifting course. It differs for everyone of course: an illness, a job loss, a death, a failure. It may not even be that serious, but then again, it may. And, while these ‘wake up calls’ are scary, they generally provide an opportunity: a chance to ensure we are on the right track and doing what we should be doing.

The trick is: don’t panic. Just steer and keep going.