The Bathroom Debate

The last two weeks of March I spent in Japan.  One of the topics in the news just before I left was the bathroom debate.  I really couldn’t believe that bathroom and debate could actually be in the same sentence let alone the same phrase.  So, off I went to Japan and while in Japan I stayed in hostels.  The bathrooms were shared with the other people on the floor and….get ready for this….co-ed.  Oh my, what was a girl to do?  What was I going to see?  How would I pee?  What if I farted and there were people listening?

I wasn’t in the least repulsed by this idea.  The bathrooms were clean.  The stall doors and walls for the toilets and showers were floor to ceiling.  And in Japan there is music that you can play in the toilet room so no one hears you.  The only common area were the sinks where the brushing of teeth and hand and face washing occurred.  I never once wondered if the man I was brushing my teeth beside one night was transgender.  I never once wondered if the woman I helped with the zipper of her dress was a transsexual.  I never once felt uncomfortable.  We were all doing things that all of us need to do and for the more personal of those needs we were given little rooms with floor to ceiling doors and walls.

Have you noticed the way the problem is solved yet?  Hint:  Floor to ceiling doors and walls for the stalls.  It’s not rocket science.

I wonder whether Japan ever had a “bathroom debate”?

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Conscious Commitment

I heard on the car radio on my way to work today that Gwyneth Paltrow and her husband Chris Martin are going through “conscious uncoupling”.  Now, I’m not a celebrity watcher but it was on the news and I was in the car so I had to endure this bit of celebrity news torture.  And because the report used the term “conscious uncoupling” and I had no idea what that meant I have to say I was curious to hear the rest of this news report. So if I have this straight “conscious uncoupling” is a five-week process in which individuals “devote themselves to a conscious process” of getting over a relationship without bitterness so that you don’t turn your “soul-mate” into “soul-hate”  (Katherine Woodward Thomas).  Now, I’m all for no bitterness and no hate if a marriage breaks up but I’m also saddened when I hear about a marriage breaking up.  Don’t get me wrong, I know people divorce and I know there are times people HAVE to divorce.  But, it takes two to make a marriage work, it takes one to walk away, to check-out, to ruin it.  So, as I drove along thinking of this new term I had to ask myself why are they not taking this time to consciously commit, to reaffirm their commitment to one other?  Commitment is a daily, conscious decision.  Marriage isn’t all about love and romance, it’s more about love and committment;  a love that you remind yourself of daily because love is not an emotion, it is a conscious act of volition.  Sound boring?  Trust me, it isn’t.  It is the best type of hard work you’ll ever find with the most wonderful rewards.  And if you find all this boring or not worth the effort then don’t get married and don’t commit.  Because as much as people want to be enlightened about not being bitter or hateful in a divorce, we’re only human.

Working Under Pressure

NaBloPoMo January

Since December 23 I have been on holidays. I usually have the days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day off including a few the day before and/or after. My first day back at work will be tomorrow and I’m already feeling the pressure. The phone will ring off the hook. Messages will be waiting to be answered. Faxes will have piled up. And I don’t even want to think about my email. Yikes! Will I even sleep tonight now that I’ve thought of all of this? Oh, the pressure.
And yet, off to work I will go. I will handle all the things that are thrown at me tomorrow. And I will endeavour to do it calmly and with kindness as I have had a good break and feel refreshed to begin a New Year.

To Resolve or Not To Resolve

NaBloPoMo January

My resolutions:

1)  Work out more

2)  Lose Weight

3)  Schedule more date nights

4)  Offer babysitting to my brother and sister-in-law so they can have more date nights

5)  Drop in on my parents more often

6)  Take time to meet up with friends during the work week

7)  Start spring cleaning early (& this time finish it!)

I don’t usually write down my New Year’s Resolutions and now that I have they seem to have become almost tangible.  I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.  Does this mean I need to keep them now that they are written down (typed out)?  Usually they are just a thought, and a wisping one at that!  Have I just added pressure to what is usually (for me) a day of reflection?  Already I can feel failure nipping at my heels.

So, I pause, take a breath and revise my resolutions.  It’s still only January first – revisions are allowed, right?

1)  Walk around the lake more.  I live near a beautiful lake which is surrounded by trees, not houses and is not polluted by the sound of boat motors.  It’s a beautiful slice of natural wilderness and practically in my back yard.

2)  Enjoy food and then go for a walk around the lake.

3)  Walk around the lake with my husband and don’t forget the camera.  There are so many wonderful pictures waiting to be captured.

4)  Take the niece and nephew around the lake.  They’re very active kids and enjoy being outside.  Bring a fishing rod.

5)  Invite my parents to walk the lake with me.  They may be 70-years-old but are in good health and I want to keep them that way for a good while longer.

6)  Invite my friends to come for a walk.  An hour walking and talking with a friend is a great work out as well as one of the most uplifting ways to pass the time.

7)  Hmmm, this one is a bit harder as I can’t spring clean my house and walk the lake at the same time.  So, spring clean but not for too long in a day and then enjoy that walk with the husband, the niece and/or nephew, the parents, or a friend.

Now with the revisions, that feeling of failure has left, the pressure is off, and because I live in Victoria (where it may rain but seldom snow) I’m off to walk around the lake.

I wish you all a very Happy New Year!

Should we judge a book by it’s cover?

How important are book covers in getting you to read a book?

I’m not too sure if a book cover really captures my attention the way the author’s name does.  I’m a mystery fan so if the book has the name Elizabeth George or P.D. James on it I’m going to pick it up.   If those same authors suggest a book or another author then I’ll also try it.  Dennis Lehane is another fave as well as Michael Connelly.  Martha Grimes is equally as wonderful and her characters can be delightfully quirky.  But this isn’t about my favorite authors.

What I do know for sure is if I see a book with a movie adaptation on the cover I steer clear.  I’m not a celebrity follower and I guess when I see celebrities on the covers of books only because they have decided to star in a movie adapted from a book I get a little peeved.  I want the author’s name to speak for the book.  I cheer for authors who have made that a reality.  They have worked hard for that honor.

So, even though I was taught to not judge a book by its cover, I guess that’s what I do.

 

24 hours with a million dollars

November NaBloPoMo

If you found one million dollars in the morning and had to spend it by nightfall, what would you do with the money?

My first thought, of course, would be, “let’s go shopping!!”  Seeing as it is the season for boots I would have a temporarily insane moment of how many boots I could fit in my closet.  Then, when the insanity had passed, I would be a bit more responsible.  I would want to make sure my family was taken care of.  Like taking care of mortgages and making sure debts were paid.  Seeing as my father was an accountant we were taught how to be careful with our money so that wouldn’t take much of the million so there would be more to pass around.  Then there’s the food bank, Canadian Women for Women in Afghanistan, Pacific Christian School, and a host of other charities that are near and dear to my heart.  And then, because a girl can’t have enough boots, I’d go shopping.

What would you do?

What song gives me comfort?

I’m participating in NaBloPoMo for the month of May.  It is put on by www.blogher.com .  The theme for this month is comfort.

What song gives me comfort?  I’ve thought about this question all day and I realized I don’t really have a song.  But songs that bring me comfort are ones that I can sing along to.  If there was a style of music that comforted me it would be jazz.  And I know enough jazz that I can sing along to a lot…and if I don’t know the song, well,  I can just make the words up.  If it’s not a song with words, that’s okay as music, in general, soothes me.  It brings up memories – high school dances, cruising in cars, weddings, house parties, and family gatherings.  I come from a musical family so music was always a part of my life.  My mother was a piano teacher.  She doesn’t teach anymore but she still enjoys to play.  When I was younger and my mom was still studying piano she would put me and my brothers to bed and then she would do her practicing.  I fell asleep so often to my mom playing the piano that to this day loud noises do not affect me when I sleep.  It’s a nice trait to have.  My brother is quite an accomplished guitarist.  He can play quite a few different styles but his first love is rock.  Of course, he had a garage band when we were growing up.  Stairway to Heaven was always a favorite for the band to play as well as for me to listen to.  Anything from Van Halen worked too.   I remember one day when my grandparents were visiting my brother’s band was practicing.  There were my 70-something grandparents out in the driveway dancing.  So, maybe it’s not a particular song that gives me comfort as it is the memories music brings out.

What song gives you comfort?