The Recovering Farmer

Monday, June 23, 2014

Have A Good One

Have you ever stopped and thought about what it means if someone tells you to have a good one? I wondered about that this week. I suppose it could mean many things. A good day. A good meal. A good sleep. A list too long to mention them all. Perhaps these salutations don’t even register with us. Similar to when we meet someone. We ask how they are. They ask how we are. Do we ever think about an honest answer to give others? Do we actually acknowledge when others answer us? Do we care? We hear them all the time and just return the same wish on them or, at minimum, some variation thereof, without further thought. It has even made me think about the last sentence in all my blog posts.

There is a story behind the fact that I actually stopped and thought about the aforementioned question. When asked why I had not posted a new blog this week I facetiously suggested to a friend what the highlight of my week had been and he suggested I write about that. I had thought about it but had resisted. You see, the highlight really was not a highlight.

Let me explain. My father died of colon cancer. So based on that I need to be checked out every five years. Make sure I don’t fall prey to the same dreadful disease. So I go through the process. And like I say the procedure itself is not bad. The twelve hours before hand are enough to make a grown man cry. I know. I was reminded more than once that what I was going through was nothing compared to child birth. Perhaps it isn’t. I have never given birth to a child. However I was there in a supporting role for all three of our kids. That should give me some knowledge.

For twenty four hours prior to the procedure you are not allowed to eat. The first twelve hours are survivable. That is when the fun begins. In a starvation induced fog, or it might have been all the jello I had eaten, I went to the local pharmacy to pick up a certain medication that is required to clean out the system. I could tell the pharmacist felt my pain. As I turned to leave he said to me; “have a good one”. The irony of that worked its way through my fog and I turned around and suggested that it would appear that I would have numerous good ones. He did laugh but I don’t think he will ever say that again particularly to anyone picking up what I had just picked up.

Through modern technology, particularly as it concerns emailing, social media, and other means of communication, we seem to have lost the ability to communicate. We are lost in a fog of trying to stay connected on a 24/7 basis. One on one, face to face communication has gone the way of the dodo bird. We seem to have lost the personal touch. Perhaps there are times we need to “disconnect” from all the gadgets in our life and get reconnected on the personal level.

Take the time to chat with others. Take note of how others respond when you ask them how they are. Become engaged. Become more curious. And when others ask you how you are respond in a thoughtful, honest way. And next time someone wishes you a good one stop and think what it actually might mean to you for that day. It might be interesting. It might put a smile on your face. In the meantime? Make it a good one. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Give Me Strength

Finally it is here. And, I might add, I am giving it some credit where credit is not due. It is not here every day but most days. I am talking summer. Finally the leaves are out. The grass is green. The birds are chirping. The sun comes up early in the morning. You get lots of sunlight in the evening. This is it. Summer has arrived. Now to enjoy it. Oh, and by the way, in just over a week the days start getting shorter, so you better start enjoying it.

Over the course of the last week or two I have seen and heard about so much heartache. A niece that was deported from a country where she was helping so many. A friend of a friend who died much too early in life because of the dreaded C. A mother who is slowly but surely losing her fight with life. A friend who cannot overcome the debilitating effects of surgery. A friend who struggles to get over a debilitating financial loss. In a much more publicized event you have the cops that were murdered in cold blood on the east coast. I suspect one and all could list numerous people who are fighting difficult challenges.

I sometimes wonder whether it is my age. Do these “bad things” seem to occur more often than they used to? Is it because our world is shrinking, in large part because of technology, and we know more people than we used to? Are issues getting more serious? So many questions. So few answers.

Each one of us that is facing challenges feels alone. Feels isolated. Wondering how anyone could relate. And, often times, it is difficult to relate. How can I feel the pain if I have never been there? I recall in early 2010 talking to people about stress. One person suggested that their stress was nothing compared to what Haiti was experiencing after their devastating earthquake. We must be careful when we go down that road.

Regardless of what is happening in other countries, regardless of what other people are going through, the reality is that we may be feeling an unbearable pain. Physical and emotional pain. Pain brought on by circumstances way beyond our control. And it matters not what the other person may be experiencing, our pain feels bad. It becomes an overwhelming burden to bear. We are not sure how to overcome.

Read an interesting article today about realistic thinking. I find myself often filled with anxiety and worry, not because of today, because of tomorrow. The future. What will it bring? All the “what ifs”. We desire answers to these “what if” questions because we think without those answers we are lost. Doomed.

The article explains why we don’t find the answers we want or need. It talks about “catastrophizing about the future”. We dwell on a perceived future. A future that appears to be hopeless. We feel but don’t think. There are times we must acknowledge that our future will not be what we want it to be but that we do have a future nonetheless. We must allow ourselves to think. That gives us the power to cope. That will provide the opportunity to thrive rather than to merely survive. Make it a good one.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Mistakes Do Happen

Sometimes you have no choice but to sit back and laugh. I have been telling you about my makeover. Okay. Let’s be clear. Not the physical me. That would be an impossible task. This getting older does have certain drawbacks. Looking in the mirror, particularly in the morning, is a scary thought. Who exactly is that looking back at me? Not sure. Quickly look away so I don’t recognize the face. Wait a minute. That was my father looking at me. That may be a good thing or it may not. I remember someone telling my wife, before we were married, that she should picture walking down the sidewalk with her prospective father in law. If she was okay with that she should go ahead and marry me. Not sure she ever envisioned that but, truth be told, that is where things are at. Not going any further with that.

So my website was redone. In fact, added a second website. Took some time. Took some patience. Even a photo shoot. Attended a trade show. Set up a booth. Spent a day travelling the streets of Winnipeg. Handed out business cards whenever and wherever I could.

This week I was invited for lunch with someone who was wondering about me becoming involved with some of their work. This person and I have often chatted in the past and so lunch was a great idea, even if it meant catching up on old times. We had a great conversation. After lunch she asked for my card. Wanted to give it to her partners so they could contact me to pursue further business interests.

She contacted me later that afternoon. She felt bad doing it but felt compelled, as I suspect she would want if the tables were turned. She pointed out a typo on my card. It took me a while and then I saw it. It left me befuddled. How could one possibly have missed that? It was proof read time and time again. Accuracy was important. It went to the print shop. Even they missed it.

So here I sit. Hundreds of cards waiting to be handed out. All for not. I was rather disappointed, dare I say upset, when I found out. Perhaps even humiliated. What would all those people think? The ones we had been trying to advertise to. The ones we would hope would provide some opportunities.

I called my son that evening, the one that has helped me through this makeover. I told him. He cracked up laughing. He put it in perspective for me. He suggested it was both maddening and hilarious all at the same time. Talk about perspective. That was good. It got me chuckling about the error.

Not sure anyone else has noticed. Perhaps that is a good thing. Perhaps that is why my phone is not ringing. It is always good to keep things in perspective. Cards can be reprinted. And they will be. In the meantime, I suppose, I have become the town’s latest drug dealer. The mistake on my card was that my webpage had been noted as “medication” rather than “mediation”. Most times in the past when I have given out my website or email address people make the mistake of writing “meditation” rather than “mediation”. This is a first. The mistake does make me wonder if I could take advantage of this. Increase my income. Sell some drugs. Then again I may not want the consequences of that venture. Perhaps I will simply get the mistake corrected and carry on with what I am doing. Perhaps I will meditate. Might be best. Make it a good one.