Not Her Kind Of Man

Apparently this time of year Santa is not only everywhere, but he wants to have a selfie with everyone’s dog.  And it’s not like you can say no to him?  If you say no would he leave  you a lump of coal?

Wait a minute, if you are into diamonds, maybe he could leave you seriously pressed coal!  And in these days of high costs, that lump of coal might turn into an ideal source of fuel.

But the four-footed doesn’t think at way.  Not that she was thinking she was on her best behavior when she saw him the other day.  I mean who releases her bladder on Santa’s  foot and thinks that it is good behavior?

Perhaps if he would have had a bone or two for her she might have been a bit different.  But then again why does he need so many pictures with dogs?

Today while we were out and about, we encountered him twice.  Both times he asked to have a picture with the four-footed one.  She spoke for her self with a very definite declining of his invitation.  And both times Santa wished us a good day and off we went. The four-footed one may have even wagged her tail once she was on her way.  Apparently Santa is not her man.

Draining And Cellphones

My phone has been doing this cute little thing where while I’m charging it and the battery shows  its level as dropping.  While still showing its charging.  I’m not impressed to put it mildly.

Listen I get being drained while you are refuelling. No, seriously I get it.  I get it because it happens to me.  I will be innocently refuelling, and by refuelling I mean eating or more importantly drinking coffee, and some person will come along and want something from me.  And I can feel my precious energy draining away.  With each word this person speaks, I am robbed of some precious energy.

This means I have to do double the work just to get my energy levels back to where I was aiming for before I was drained by some rude interruption.

Now a word or two here about people and interruptions.  Some interruptions can’t be helped.  I get that.  And sometimes the nature of those interruptions are draining, nothing you can do except push through it.  But let’s face it there are some people who are just drains on our energy reserves.  It’s just the way they are.  I’m sure they don’t mean to be and they may not be aware of it.  But we all have someone in our lives that requires more energy.   And some times, well sometimes I’d rather not have that drainage visit itself upon me.

Today dear friends, today the drainage not only visited me, oh no.  This person would not leave.  Couldn’t take the hint.  Or a slightly blunt sign that I needed to have said person leave me alone.  And now I am trying to recharge my energy levels.

Purely Lupus

P is for purple.  And passion and progress.  P is for power and perpetual. P is also the third letter in the word lupus.

Purple is  one of colors for lupus.  It reminds me of the bruised feeling I have when some of my joints ache.  It is the color of my butterfly rash as it fades into the background.

Lupus makes your autoimmune system extra powerful, so powerful it kills off your own healthy cells as well as invaders.  Powerful is also the ascribed to the medications used to treat lupus.  Everything from chemotherapy to anti-rejection medications can be used, plus a sundry of other medications.  But you know what is even more powerful than lupus or the medications used to fight it?  Every person battling lupus is more powerful.  A warrior’s spirit rests within these people and those who love them.

Lupus is a perpetual relationship of dancing, ducking weaving and staying one step ahead.  But there is progress in the fight with lupus, from medication to how the illness itself changes are all progress.  And the dance may change, but it is a perpetual one for the lupus warrior and the disease.

And while you think you will never find a reason to be passionate again, that passion takes up too much energy which lupus robs from you the truth is, lupus warriors are passionate people.  And at the end of it all they are people.  People who may need help now and then, but are stronger than they ever thought they would be.

Working Lupus

I was recently asked what made me go to work every day. There are a lot of simple answers to this question. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, a steady pay is definitely one of the reasons. I’m not independently wealthy so I need a means to pay the bills. But of course I could go elsewhere and get some type of pay so clearly that isn’t the only answer to the question.

Another simple answer is that I love what I do. I know that sounds a bit hokey and fluffy, but it’s true. Now I can’t say that I love it enough that there aren’t moments where it doesn’t feel like work, but on the whole I love what I do. The fact I get paid to do what I love is a bonus. A huge bonus.

However when I look at this question more deeply, the fact is there is far more to it than just a simple answer. Dr. Maneesha Pednekar said it best when she was talking about ensuring a company takes care of it’s employees the same way it does it’s customers. She said:

“Employee experience is as important as Customer experience. Crafting memorable moments for Employees to remember for a life time. Somethings will never go out of fashion. The human connection, trust, empathy, hope, optimism and the opportunity to inspire and be inspired!”

My current work, place of work and people I work with/for manage to fill this and so much more.  This is to some extent what helps keeps lupus at bay.

Good People, Bad Things And Trying To Explain The Unexplainable

Why do bad things happen to good people? It’s an age-old question, but when it becomes important in your life you tend to spend some time thinking upon this. Sure good things happen to good people, and in that line of thinking you could argue that sometimes good things happen to not so good people. You may even allow yourself to consider that good things may happen to bad people now and then. It’s just the nature of things.

The flip to that of course is that bad things must also happen and it stands to reason that if good things happen to those who aren’t so good as well as the bad people then surely sometimes bad things must simply happen to good people too. You can think of it as a type of natural balancing act if that helps.

But what if the reality is that bad things don’t care who they visit as long as they are able to visit someone? What if we say that good things care about people and what they will bring into people’s lives? The opposite of that of course would be that bad things do not care what they wrought into a person’s life. Or maybe we can give bad things even more power and claim that they do care provided that it’s a negative impact into someone’s life.

I’m not suggesting that bad things or good things have this power because they don’t. Unless we give the power to them through our thoughts and beliefs, thus breathing a type of life into an otherwise lifeless concept. Not that there is anything wrong with doing this if that is what helps you make meaning of that which is meaningless and inexplicable.

The thing is we all cope in our own ways. We make meaning and assign ritual to things in a way that works for us with some influence from our communities and greater society. When we are children and something truly wonderful happens to us, we may take note of what we were wearing and assign the concept of luck to the outfit. If something else good happens to us when we are only wearing part of the same outfit we wore when we were “lucky” last time, we can narrow down what specifically is bringing us this fortune and from there we can wear our lucky clothing item whenever we need it.

Until that moment when our lucky item fails us, leaving us confused and adrift in turmoil and churning water. At that point we are confronted with the either the failure of our item, the failure of our belief or something else.

If it’s a case of a failing item, we simply must find another one, going through some form of ritual and logic to reach for the next good thing. And if it is us that have failed with our lack of belief, or perhaps not believing enough in a way that is respectful, we can change there can’t we? We can petition the item, or whoever manages these things, to have things change. We promise we will be good and never take it for granted any more. We won’t joke about our lucky item etc.

But if we have neither of those thoughts, then we must accept that good and bad come into our lives. Fortune and misfortune are part of the human condition and we must find a way to cope with this. It’s similar to the process of finding our lucky item in the start, but on a grander scale with more to risk if carried out incorrectly.
Since time immemorial bad things have happened to good people, horrible things have happened to wonderful people and the reverse is true as well. There does not have to be a reason that we understand. There does not have to be an end game to this…it simply is the way of things.

People

Some people have people.  Some people know where their people come from.  Some people are just people persons.  For the record I do not have people.  I suspect I’m one of  my four-footed companions’ people.  I’m not 100% certain where my people came from, not the way some people can trace back generations upon generations upon generations and so on and so forth. I don’t  think I could ever say which land my parents ancestors claimed as theirs.

I’ve never felt a need to set down roots nor have I felt a need to trace my own.  It has never really mattered to me much.  I figure we live in the present where we currently happen to be and knowing our family histories doesn’t really play into that much. But for people knowing all of this is important.

I have no clue what I’d do if I had people.  I don’t really lead the lifestyle that would make hang people useful.  I’m not sure I’m the sort of person who could manage that kind of lifestyle if it were possible.   Come to think of it, I don’t think Beloved is really that sort of person either.

I’m not horrible with people, but I also don’t need to be surrounded by people.  I enjoy my own company and the silence of being with people who know me well enough to not need to say anything.  At the same time work, my work, involves people.  Dealing with people, talking to people, learning from people.

I suppose if I was one of my four-footed companions I’d be he kind who has people.  Who needs people.  You know to take me for walks, feed me.  Basically give into my every whim.  Then yes, I’d definitely be a people kind!  Because who doesn’t want that kind of spoiling now and then?

I guess that makes me a four-footed companion kind of person!

Don’t Cal Me, I Will Call You…Maybe

I love getting phone calls from my cell phone provider, where it takes a while for person calling me to get on the line.  And then they start the call off something like, I’m calling on behalf of whatever department and there is nothing wrong with your account, it’s all totally fine, and I’m just calling to make sure everything is okay for you.

Those calls, like all the other ones that begin with everything is fine, or there is no problem make me nervous. Why call me and tell me everything is fine?  Call me when there is a problem. Don’t get me all anxious and heart suddenly racing just to say everything is fine and do I have any issues.

I know it’s just a tactic to reach out to their customers and not unheard of when some issues have happened wi some accounts and not others.  And it’s probably silly to really dislike these calls as much as I do, but the way I see it is that I will call you if there is a problem.  Or I will have my people call your people in some cases.  But if you are providing me a service and you don’t hear from me, it means things are fine.

Okay so I don’t have people,  but I have had Beloved deal with things on my behalf when I feel unwell.  And chances are I don’t want to speak to an outsourced vendor company as much as I really want to speak to you.  But if you don’t hear from me it’s good.  Don’t call me, I will call you, if I have a problem.

Conjuring People

Isn’t it odd how certain words conjure up images of people?  Anytime someone says the word beach I can picture a friend who lived for the beach.  Whenever people talking about going to the beach I immediately bring up a my favourite memory of her, her hair lightly tugged by the wind, feet in the water and arms thrown wide while a huge smile covers her face.  Of course she didn’t spend her whole life on the beach, but she lived for the beach.  Vacations?  Always spent at the beach.

I have gone to the beach properly in years.  I’m not a huge fan of it and my biggest motivator, my friend, isn’t here any longer to drag a mildly reluctant me.  Of course by the time we had been at the beach for a period of time my reluctance would have been tugged away by the wind and while I probably didn’t and never would share her unbridled passion for the place, it was enjoyable.

When I hear people talk about wine, I immediately conjure up the image of a former boss who was a wine expert.  Wine was his passion and he worked to pay for his passion.

The word paisley conjures up another image of another person.  When I see paisley I can see her.  I’m not really a paisley fan, but I was a fan of her and somehow that made me see the fun of the puzzles in paisley.

The word comfort brings up an image of still another person.  A nice man who imbues the very essence and meaning of comfort.  I don’t think I can picture comfort in any other form other than this man.

This is the real power of the words, the magic that they bring to us as individuals.  The life that words carry thst tie us to memories and feelings as if we are back in the moment.  The magical word becomes a different thing for different people and that’s wonderful!

 

People Need People

Something strange is happening in the here and now.  Something odd is now the normal it seems.  Sure I know things change all the time, but this…this is something different. Let me back up and explain because it may just be that perhaps I’ve suddenly gotten very old and not noticed time changing.

I went to book a doctor’s appointment the way I’ve always done it…over the phone.  Talking to the doctor’s receptionist.  You know, about the reason for the appointment and time and date.  Sure there might be a bit of small talk, but not much.  I mean the woman answers her phone with “Doctor Smith’s office, hold please”.  She doesn’t wait to see if you can hold.  It is assumed and given that you will simply hold.  But that’s just how it is.  Except it isn’t now.

You see today when I phoned I was directed to go to a website to book my appointment. No option to speak to a person, just go to the website to book.  So I went to the website only because I needed the appointment and discovered I couldn’t book.  The choices listed did not come close to what I needed nor did they provide the appropriate time for what I need.  I’ve been through enough of these appointments to know how long they take.

So trying to go with the flow of things I decided to fire off an email asking how to book the appointment I needed.  A few hours later I was blessed with a reply that told me they were still working out some of the kinks in the system and currently only supported routine items for online booking.  Well okay I could live with that.  Except for the last line in the email, which directed me to call the office number to book an extraordinary appointment.

The number that had started this whole nightmare to begin with.  It seems they may have a communication issue as well.  Thankfully I have a workaround, called another doctor calling to get the appointment booked on my behalf,

What ever happened to people?  You can’t automate everything, because people always have a variety of non-routine things to be addressed.  That’s why you need people, to do with all the things that can’t be easily covered by a formulae or algorithm.  Or do we just assume that people will simply get with the program and stop being unique?  When that day happens I will seek you a bridge too! 😉

Jarring or Onions In The Pantry

I hate being unable to do things that I know I should be able to do.  I really hate not being able to do things that I once could do.  Especially if it’s something I could do yesterday and can’t do today.  I know, hate is such a strong word.  But it’s the right word when you think about all the jars you can’t open and have to wait for someone to come and help you.

So today I thought I’d make a nice meal, it required some jarred items, in addition to the stuff I could work with.  So I took everything to the counter and decided I’d open it all one time and then I’d be able to get what I needed when I did, and the I could put the lids on after.  The first jar I went to open would not budge.  I smacked its  bottom, I used my jar gripper, I ran the thing under hot water.  It would not move.  Not even a fraction.  Defiantly it held firm.  It taunted me as I set it aside and grabbed another jar.  I figured it was the stubborn one.

I was wrong.  Very wrong.  Wrong to the nth degree.  None of the jars would open.  None moved even a little.  But I wasn’t about to give up.  Oh no, not I.  Instead I carried on with getting everything else cooked or chopped and all tossed together.  I had hoped the jars would notice my earnest effort and relax into opening up easily.  But apparently this was not to be.

It happens some times, with lupus and arthritis.  Some days are just a little harder.  And some days no matter what you try, you can’t get the darn jars of life open.  Now in the past a moment like this would have me smashing the jars, cursing and crying.  Rage really is what these moments would do to me.

But instead I sorted out was left to use as substitutes and enjoyed my meal al the same, if not exactly as I had planned.  Beloved noticed my red cheeks, wandered into the kitchen and noticed the line of jars.  But he didn’t ask.  Nope.  Instead he just opened them all, took the products out of them and put them in easy to open containers.  “For next time,” he said.

I have people in my life who open jars for me, as well as bottles and sometimes even cook for me.  And sometimes I hate that I need help, that I’m not able to do this for myself.  But it’s impossible to hate those who pick up the pieces, open the jars and get living with lupus.  It’s impossible to hate the tears and frustration these people shed out of their own dealings with lupus, albeit have to deal with someone they care about having lupus.

Some Beloved opened the jars, put the contents into easy to open containers and shed his tears in the pantry.  He claimed that the fumes of onions from the pantry brought tears to his eyes.  Except we don’t have onions in the pantry.