once around the block

After receiving the second warning from my doctor regarding my bone density, in an effort to avoid taking medication, I entered a ‘learn to run’ group from the local, you know-who type running store.  Health and the desire to not look like a large green lump at my daughter’s wedding were the motivators.  Running with the pack was to be my support.
Four weeks in, if I hadn’t paid for this I would be long gone.  I may still be long gone.  I am looking for alternatives – not to the running, that I like, but the pack, the pack – well it has the desirablitiy of well, a pack of rampaging wildabeasts. 
I have never been much of a team player.  Perhpas too mildly stated….I have always hated team activities.  I knew that going in, but running is rather a solitary activity, or so I thought, and it might be good to have others going through the same thing to act as a support and drive to get up and go.  And get up and go they did.  The majority of the group is under 30 and as fit as someone should be having managed only to get through 2+ decades of life.  The clinic insists that the goal is to have a good time, to run together, to provide everyone with the opportunity to advance at their own pace – well unless your pace is subtaintially slower than everyone else’s.
There they go, trotting off into the sunset, while I struggle along at the back of the group falling farther and farther behind.  Considering I am not suppose to feel pressured into performing, how exactly is it that they intend to convey that by leaving me with a babysitter who is obviously struggling to run as slowly as I?  Or perhaps it is the whistle and the commands to ‘run now’ or ‘walk’ regardless of how I feel at the moment?  Perhaps it is the hords of other packs of runners crowding me off the sidewalk as they thunder past with little or no concern for my space in this running world?
It can’t possibly be the lecture portion of the clinic.  It has included so far one brief 30  minute period of time with some useful information on body dynamics.  Otherwise it contains tidbits of information about goals – a 30  minute loop lecture on how important it is to have one whether it is running a 5 k or a half marathon – and about clothes – buy theirs.  It never once has touched upon the difficulty of building up stamina as you age or how to adjust the learn to run guidelines to suit your body’s messages.
No, the group once again doesn’t seem to meet my needs.  Last week’s trip across the high level bridge admidst the roar of traffic seemed to be the cornerstone of my revolution.  I would rather continue to find what small enjoyment I can find in running. 
To hell with the pack.

Feel Violated?

Well you should.  You have been screwed 6 ways from sunday and most of the time you didn’t even get a kiss.

I foresee a backlash coming.  The growth of communication – ie this media – has led us to one understanding – that we can’t stand too much of other humans.  They are obnoxious, whiny and most often not worth our time and effort…..sure there are gems, which is what keeps us coming back.  The tiny feeble hope that we will brush up against another who feels like kin…another soul to buffet us from the onslaught of vile humanity.

I see a backlash for many communities and cities.  I see people in groups going back to the ideology of the sixties, only with eyes open and wisdom to prevail.  Smaller groups of people able to live and work together to provide an environment of safe haven.  Our golden years beckon, is living in a dirty, crowded city filled with rude cellphone talkers and loud restaurant discussers how you want to live out your last age?

We grew from our private and idyllic childhood, wrapped in cotton batting to safe guard our innocence, entering into a time of promise and exploration.  It seemed ripe and full and offered us the tantalizing carrot of a world of our design.  Yet somewhere, somehow, something went terribly wrong with our design.  Somewhere along the path we lost all good sense, all knowledge of how to act in public and in private.  Somewhere someone put forth the concept that we had RIGHTS! and that our RIGHTS were paramount….above and beyond anyone else’s rights. 

We learned how to whine effectively.  We learned how to become obnoxious and complain so effectively that one person’s dislike of something could shut it down despite the approval and enjoyment of 20 others.  We learned that honking horns and flashing fingers, spitting on the sidewalks and the rolling of eyes were our birth right.  We learned that going straight to the top to solve our problems was effective and resulted in a gratifying put down of those who crossed us. 

Did we forget how to be self- sufficient?  Did we forget or did we never know how to see others with eyes that didn’t find fault and offense, but rather looked at the other as a human with the same failings and flaws as us?  Did we lose our hope and promise of a better world around about the time we discovered that we had bills to pay and children to feed?  Is the loss of hope and promise what we have given to this current culture – is that our legacy and our consequences?

Look! There behind the coffee counter….it’s Pretentious Man!

Just a question…what is the criteria they used to hire coffee servers in the over priced coffee shops?  How insulting can you be?  How disinterested can you appear?  Or perhaps it is based on hair?
Now granted I should probably make my own, but there I was down on the avenue waiting to pick up my daughter from work.  A nice black tea latte should fill the time till she is off I think.  The problem is that I can’t always remember whether it is pretentious shop A – second cup, or pretentious shop B- starbucks that has the drink.
Not much of a problem since the coffee wars started years ago – not as bad a toronto where on one downtown corner you have a starbucks, a second cup, a timothy’s and a tim’s – but we are working up to it here.  So I stop into the second cup and ask if they have lactaid milk.  I don’t mumble, I have no speech impediment nor an accent and the server behind the counter has an appearance of not being a recent immigrant.  However.  Pretentious boy looks down his nose at me and replies…’ummmm, latte milk?" No I tell him…LACT – AID milk I enunciate clearly for him.   "Ummm, like a steamer?……Ummmm do you mean homogenated milk?"  He draws out his answers, barely able to conceal the rolling of his eyes while he maintains his profile in presentation to me.   A flip of the flowing locks and a resettling of his black-clad ass as he realizes he is not going to have to put out much effort here.  No I say, if you don’t know what it is you probably don’t have it.
As I exit the store he is suddenly able to rouse himself to a level of interest in me and speaking loudly now so teh whole store can hear he says …"Sorry that whatever issue in your life is making it difficult for you"
Little prick.  I wave him my middle finger and cross the street to option B.
Where they DO have lactaid and can understand me…or so I think.
The coffee server presents me with a small  and I "oh, I ordered a large", now get a  grandiloquent lecture on the sizes and proper ordering technique from white haired arty girl frothing the milk.  And then a condescending summary of why she made a small instead of a large.
Where did it come about that serving coffee – albeit overpriced coffee – means you are now a higher order than those of us on the other side of the counter?  You are serving COFFEE – Not performing brain surgery, not curing cancer, not bringing about peace in the middle east.  Is it true that this generation is more narcisstistic that previous ones?  You may have a little chalk board where it tells us that you are a ‘barrista’ and what your pithy little thoughts are, but you are making coffee for a living.  Is this where you imagined yourself back while you pondered the nilistic way of life in philosophy 101?  Is your dissatisfaction with your psuedo-goth presentation chafing you ‘down there’?
Build a bridge.

Bunny track in fresh snow

Another damn snow.  We could see grass and concrete, find the icy patches and almost, almost begin to believe that there might be a summer again..but there it is, all covered again in it’s puity of whiteness, not yet scuffed or dirtied by life.  There in the yard circling through the whiteness and leading to a shelter under a board beside the doghouse lope the bunny tracks.  The rabbit seems to like this yard – perhaps due to my landscaping style of letting-it-go-to-wild.
Despite the pleasant picture  of wildness in my backyard I must get to work – I’m on call for transport and the call has come in.  To that other hospital across the river to pick up a child, hanging in the adult icu.
Bad roads, lack of ambulance and a trip in an interhospital transport with a new driver who has adopted the ‘drive it like you stole it’ method of getting through traffic and we get to boy’s side.  Their unit is so full they have him lodged in their treatment room all packaged and ready for us.  Nice. 
After a few equipment malfunctions and a trip back with the same driver and a truck with intermittent power and a screaming ventilator, we arrive to place him in the unit bed where just last night a 17 year old was admitted, coded and died after ingesting unknown substances in his bid for eary release, beside the girl child who hung herself a month ago.
Life is not easy for these children.  Is it parents who don’t know how to parent?  All their stories are so sad.  Girl was tormented and harassed by her sister unmercifully.  Boy last night was in a facillity -halfway house after detox for addiction.  Boy today was in the psych unit after 3 suicide attempts.
I read their histories of an arguement over picking something up off the floor leading to a suicide attempt and I wonder if their parents are unable to see pain and distress in their own attempts to be ‘in control’.
Juice came by last night.  The real juice, not the imposter juice who has been posing to get extra food.  The big dark orange juice with mats and clumps of hair along his sides.  He is much more feral after his winter on the wildside.  he came in and spent the night but by this morning was anxious to go.  No amount of petting and talking calmly could induce him to sty.  No attempts to remove any matts were entertained.  he hissed and growled and stood by the door yeowling.  He wouldn’t even stay for breakfast.
Like juice these kids are partially feral.  You cage them and they will chew off their own arm rather than face eternity confined.  Their feral status is as a result of the yard of their childhood having gone to wild.  Their landscapers have been negligent.  Too many days and nights of them not being central to the arrangments.  The latest boy wrote he wanted to die so his it would be easier for his mum.  His mum wrote that it was all her ex’s fault as he was abusive and had called social services on her. 
Their lives are a backyard of fresh snow, pure and unwritten upon to start and slowly marked and scuffed and dirtied by the gardners who seem to lack a comprehension of what they are there for.  Juice needs to roam free but the door and the shelter are here should he need them.  As is the breakfast.

I can’t go to work today……!!!!

my horoscope says to stay home!

You may feel intensely reserved and withdrawn today, leaving you unable to concentrate on your obligations at home and at work. Your ability to communicate with others may also be compromised as you will likely find your thoughts wandering in the middle of conversations. If your first impulse is to retreat into your bedroom or some other private space in order to spend some time enjoying the peace and quiet of solitude, consider taking a personal day or completing as many of your duties as possible from home. The tranquility of solitude will likely engulf you like an embrace today, calming you and allowing you to access your most private thoughts with ease.

The cacophony of our worldly concerns can interfere with our ability to understand our own thoughts and feelings, so it is imperative that we take advantage of opportunities to be alone with only the stirrings of our minds and hearts for company. Solitude permits us to disengage from the mental and emotional patterns we adopt to help us cope with modern life. We consequently feel more attuned to what is taking place within rather than focusing on what is unfolding without. As we reconnect with our inner selves, the quiet and small voice of our innate wisdom becomes once more audible, and we relearn how to draw upon this gift in times of need instead of resorting to introverted behaviors. You will find your ability to capably shoulder your responsibilities returns today as you enjoy the benefits of self-imposed isolation.

Finally, someone else who validates my concerns for isolation.