Sunday, September 16, 2012
Checkups and Journeys
When things get stressful, I listen to classical music to drown out distractions and annoyances so I can concentrate on the task at hand, to stay in the moment.
At times I will permit myself to dream of exotic destinations, far away places and handsome, reassuring faces.
Being a proactive dreamer during a recent financial checkup, I set things in motion by starting a "Travel" savings plan with my account manager. She supported my plans to explore different parts of Canada, the Americas and Mediterranean within the next five years. Surely by then, my young folk will have tested their wings sufficiently and have left the nest.
By that time, I hope greedy, inconsiderate humans haven't poisoned our planet, our Mother Earth beyond recovery. I also have hope that radical testosterone levels have subsided so it will be safe to travel to places like Europe and Egypt; to see the architecture, pyramids, the Nile and the great library of Alexandria.
Maybe by then I can afford one of those consumer space trips and get half-way to the moon? Fly me to the moon...
Okay… back to reality in my safe little corner of the world.
As for vacation this summer, I only took one day and worked straight through the rest - except for weekends. We should thank unions of the past for those. I do not work in a unionized industry yet offer a shout out to federal public servants who are experiencing yet more job cuts. People need jobs - especially angry, idle young men.
I did not mind working the entire summer since we had a big IT project planned and knew that most users would be taking vacation. Also, the office has AC so that it made for a comfortable working environment during another stinky, humid Ottawa Valley summer.
Once the digital dust settled after the technology cut-over, I took time to recover my sanity, to attend to some personal and family issues. I also made time for a routine medical checkup and consultation.
During a previous visit with the good doctor, I had asked him what exactly was that scenic colour printout on the ceiling tile above the examination table. He responded that it was a photograph of a golf course in the UK.
"How nice," I thought but didn't press him for reasons WHY this or similar images were pinned above the examination tables in all the rooms in his office.
When I saw it again during my recent checkup, I wondered if it was posted there for benefit of his patients, to keep the ladies calm during probing sessions - or was it there for the benefit of the doctor?
I put myself in his shoes, thinking about how many baby bulges and lady parts he encounters every day. I can picture him occasionally looking up to admire the greenness and calm of the golf course on the ceiling and thinking, "Just twenty more of these examinations and I can have that dream vacation…"
This brings me to the word "Backpack" I scrawled on a large postit and pinned above my computer workstation a couple of years ago.
When certain technological "advances" are causing me grief or I struggle to maintain a professional demeanor, I look up and smile at that little sign, that reminder and encouraging word.
A backpack is a thing you pack for a short or long journey. Whether it's a physical journey or an emotional one, you get to decide what goes in and how much you are willing to bear.
Aside from the visual and cardiovascular stimulation of watching George Clooney in "Up in the Air", where I first encountered the meaning of word, the phrase "What's in your backpack?", it has for years provided a reminder of where I am (and why); and where I want to be (and when).
In a few weeks, I will once again travel to visit family members. For this journey, I would really like to take an airplane. I need to push the limits of my comfort zone, to spread my wings.
Although it has been many years since I have flown, I'll be up in the air and receptive to meeting a charming, salt and pepper haired gentleman. Ah, George.... If he doesn't materialize, I'll listen to music, read a good book or look out the windows to admire the autumn colours below.
Yes, indeed. It will be a good opportunity to relax and appreciate just being in the moment, enjoying the journey and looking forward to the destination.
- - -
I am tickled pink that you have read this far! If you like my writing style, you will enjoy "The Year of the Rabbit - a novel about Fate, Family and Forgiveness". I recently celebrated the one year anniversary of the eBook version's release. Smashword customers get to set the purchase price. Do drop by.