Is time measurable ? (troibun)


How does one measure time? Really! Is it like having a set amount of “currency” when each person is born? Does it accumulate interest if you invest wisely? How old do you start to know what to do? What are the profit margins if you invest/save wisely? Does your childhood have an impact on losing/gaining “funds”? So many questions and too many subjective answers according to each person’s perception but especially according to their life experiences.


I know a few people that keep waiting for their “ship to come in”. Does that mean they have badly invested? Or does it mean they are sitting on a “nest egg” that eventually dissolves? Waiting for that lucky opportunity to come by. Envying others who “appear” to be happy and have fruitful lives. How is “fruitful” measured? It is evaluated according to that monster house you have or the children you have and grandchildren? Is it measured by how much you have helped people in your life despite the fact you may live in a shack…you are rich!


I remember in my mid-thirties, peers telling me how lucky I was to go back to university. Really? You call that luck to go to university, part-time raising two children and working at one to three part-time jobs and volunteering on 3 to 4 committees? No luck there, but hard work and perseverance, lugging psychology books to hockey games and cramming in as much studying when I could.


Then there are people who fight for free daycare,(although I do believe in a pro-ratio system) free university and free this and that pointing ugly fingers at people in the corporate world and lawyers for example. I remember asking one former colleague who had no desire to work more than 21 hours a week at 30 something of age. I could not understand that but then again, I come from a different generation, I guess. Here I am 67 and just starting to cut down my work hours to 21.


I do not expect government to pay everything for me nor do I appreciate getting overtaxed like we are in this province. When I mention that some of these corporate lawyers or business people may work a 16 hour DAY, some people just don’t get it.


Now how did we get to that place of judging life’s accomplishments?! Oh yes, time and how one may measure it. Hmm, I suppose you can waste “time” and miss out on “golden” opportunities. Not everything is “handed down to you”. Not everyone wins the lottery and for those who do, so many end up right back their original way of living a few years later because habits just die hard, don’t they?


Time seems forever when you are a child. Your parents at 30 something seem old and your grandparents seem way too old to imagine you will ever get there and great-grandparents seem to be a wink away from death…to a child I mean, of course.


Last week I watched my uncle as he moved slowly filled with arthritis and osteoporosis. He is 91. His head moves forward and his back is completely bent over as he moves tentatively on his legs that may give way any moment. I am only 23 years younger than him and I wonder if I could live like that. He is so determined and resilient despite the pain he experiences each waking moment. He has his partner to help him. She is already 90 but physically in good form even though her mind may seem to be slowly fading but whose mind is not at that age! You often have to repeat to her but then again when she was 40 or 50 or 60, she did not always listen very well. Heck my mind trails off when someone is talking to me for a while…my kids hate it! They say, “I can’t believe you’re a counsellor when you can’t even listen to me!” Well, on my day off, I suppose, I allow my mind to wander is the only excuse I can give. [chuckles sheepishly]


Listening is not always easy for people. I wonder if my aunt had ADD like I do. Of course I was never diagnosed in the 50’s but just labeled as a dreamer in class. My dear aunt is an artist and creative people can be pretty unique. In the 1940’s to 1960’s, good heavens, most youths did not get diagnosed with any form of learning difference. Why, even people with dyslexia slipped through the cracks in those days. How awful for those people who thought they were just not smart enough to be able to read and savour books like I did. I was a slow reader though and my mind could drift and I would have to reread a page a few times to get the gist of it. It was as if my mind had two or three minds working at the same time in that brain of mine, and all the chatter cluttered that space. I think that is probably the best way to describe me.


If I had to measure “time” spent reading chapters for university, I would guesstimate I took at least three times as long to study and write papers. But I got there eventually starting a new career at 39 years old! All the years prior, I did similar work but as a volunteer…imagine the pride and joy when I got my first “paying” job teaching in a high school for five years! After that, it got tricky to get work and so my uncle and aunt who are now in their 90’s encouraged me to not “waste time” since I was getting older and to start my career over in another province where there were more possibilities and politics was not as much in the way as it was here.

Within a few years, I fast tracked, yes, I was able to be in a place that I would gladly have volunteered…I would have worked here for free because I believe in the service. How lucky is that?


So in the past two decades, “time has flown” by so quickly because I spent most of my “waking time” working in a career I have such passion for. I volunteered as well but always chose areas I wanted to learn, grow and enjoy myself. So when John Lennon said, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” I suppose in my case, I am living the life I was once so busy making plans for. And in the process of studying to get there, I was still advocating and volunteering for things I believed in.


Hmm, writing this little piece has allowed me to realize that I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.


time
endless – infinite
when you’re waiting

time
a wink away
death

endless – infinite
in a place called “pain”
or hell

when you’re waiting
the mind crawls
a snail’s pace
© Tournesol ‘06/11/2019

Daily Moments – June 11 2019

Thank you to The Muscleheaded for posting Tennesse Wiliams quote which inspired this piece. “Time is the longest distance between two places.”

Daily moments bittersweet encounter troibun

Celebrating his 91st birthday was truly special. She had taken the train early in the morning to make it to her uncle’s home for dinner.  She had time to change at her B & B and arrived for the birthday dinner her cousin had arranged. 

Heaviness weighed upon her seeing how much he had changed…so frail yet a mind still vibrant and brilliant.

 a father
like I never knew
slowly fading
 
a father
caregiver – nurturer
like none other
 
like I never knew
embracing precious moments
he was like my dad
 
slowly fading
body can stand just so much
trying to hang on
 
©Tournesol ‘19/06/07

all in a day’s work (troibun) Daily Moments May 17 2019

Today was the day she was having  minor surgery on her big toe. Oh boy, she could not help but worry about the pain. She really hates pain. She has been tolerating it throughout her body for decades but her big toe…oh my, that was such an acute pain. She remembers when she was pregnant for her second child, she had a plantar wart under her big toe. Her doctor tried to remove it unsuccessfully with dry ice…OUCH…burrrrn!! Then she heard about a surgeon at a local hospital did this regularly. Why not? It would be over and done with for good since surgically the doctor would see the root of that sucker.

The needle to freeze her was brutal and the doctor lacked compassion. The weeks following were very uncomfortable. She could feel her heart beating in her big TOE! Thankfully she had her two-year-old son who brought a cane to her when she needed to get up. He was such a great helper all throughout her pregnancy.

Now today she kept thinking of that damn needle and it worried her. So what do you do when you have 5 hours to kill? — clean the apartment. May as well get it ship shape so when she returned if she needed to keep her foot UP, her place would be tidy and dust free.

She really liked her podiatrist. Last year when she was on the verge of burning out and her work refused her doctor’s letter for time off…she would go for a pedicure and cry throughout the appointment.

Today, she felt she would not need that kind of support and she felt much stronger emotionally. Nah, she would not be crying today.

The podiatrist pricked her toe once, twice and then three times. It hurt but she did it slowly, just like her dentist does. Yeah, she is special. After twenty minutes, the podiatrist returns ready to snip away but she could feel the knife…nope, one more needle here and then one more there. After a few minutes she tried and nope, the bugger still felt pain. Darn! After two more shots, she finally was able to get it done. And yes, her toe is quite big!

During the procedure she talked about how her work had celebrated a 30-year anniversary last night and yet she felt sad. She had read about a young boy who had ended his life despite having given all his friends virtual messages that he would no longer be in this world. His friends told their parents, but nothing was done. She could not help but think of him yesterday when they were cutting that anniversary cake. Somehow it did not feel celebratory.

Suddenly, she felt tears running down her cheeks. The podiatrist asked her if she may be suffering from PTSD hearing so many traumatic stories. “No,” she said, “I think today I was thinking of my friend whose son took his life 19 years ago today. I met her over ten years ago and I find when it is personal, close to me, it is harder to set boundaries.”

As she was doing her “thing” or “magic” on her big toe, she was thinking about Adam. Gee, 19 years ago is when she started working at this helpline. People often tell her how great it is what she does for a living. She cannot help thinking of the ones who did not make it and hope there will be a time where there is not one ounce of stigma on mental health. She dreams of a time where a complete medical check up includes a mental health check up and that when a youth misses school for a week or two or even months for mental health reasons, it is not misjudged but treated by society as a broken leg that gets treated, goes through physical rehab and in time gets strong and sturdy again. And for those fractures that may cause rheumatism and long-term treatment, that too will not be criticized.

After big toe procedure completed, she limped to the pharmacy to get some items and on her way back to the bus stop, she noticed her bandage somehow, just flew off in the wind. Good thing the bus came early! What a day!

Looking back on her day, she wonders if perhaps her work may be pulling on her heartstrings more and more in the past few years. The productivity is so overwhelming that now there may be casualties on both sides of the lines.

playing catch-up
only keeping them at bay
putting out fires

playing catch-up
“Hello, how can I help you?”
twenty wait in queue

only keeping them at bay
child abuse, grief, depression,
suicide taunts them

putting out fires
spreading like wildfire
one at a time

Who can see
beyond the flames?
hell populates

© Tournesol ‘19/05/17
Daily moments all in a day’s work Troibun May 17 2019

Originally posted at StigmaHurtsEveryone

free rides to Kerala Troibun

Images floated in her mind of travelling from Nepal to the South of India to Kerala. Visiting Amma at her ashram would be her last stop. She could feel a smile form on her face visualizing her warm embrace whispering in her ear as tears of joy rolled down Oliana’s cheeks. That image made her feel at peace.

floating by lagoons
soaring over mountaintops
magic carpet ride

floating by lagoons
rivers and lakes form paths
on the way to joy

soaring over mountaintops
dipping in the saltwater
Arabian Sea

magic carpet ride
free and fancy as can be
in her mind’s eye

© Tournesol ‘19/05/14

Daily Moments May 14 2019 free rides to Kerala

Easter Chrysanthemums (troibun)

(c) Clr Easter 2019

The family gathers together celebrating Easter with a traditional French-Canadian meal. Children are nearing middle age and grands are teens, too cool to laugh at Nana’s silly jokes…the stages of life surround the dining table. Erickson would have a thing or two to say about this. A daughter who never forgets her mom’s favourite flowers, tying the feast with a ribbon of love.

Blossoms reminisce
Travelling through time
Mums the word

Blossoms reminisce
Recalling
Her first step

Travelling through time
Entertaining her with love
Brother and sister

Mums the word
Stretching their necks
Beaming with pride

© Tournesol ‘19-04-23

Daily Moments  April 23 2019

if only cats could speak (Troibun) Daily Moments March 26 2019

cats

Kali and Bette playing make believe

Looking at her two bff’s (best feline friends) watching something moving among the decayed leaves, she wondered how life was perceived for her feline friends. They were indoor cats. How does a shut in see the world? Is there curiosity or envy? Is there fear or relief?

Spring dredges us such good feelings of her youth. That first bike ride to school giving her an extra fifteen minutes to skip rope with her peers. The first walk without boots  and feeling so light on her feet. That walk hand in hand with a new crush, feeling nervous and excited at the same time.

Then the reality of her work comes to mind and what takes place behind closed doors, come spring, summer, fall or winter…

spring is in the air
fast cars and motorcycles
sweet scents of freedom

spring is in the air
watching it all come to life
indoor cats just dream

fast cars and motorcycles
kicking up a cloud of dust
April rains will clean

sweet scents of freedom
first loves or devil’s cunnings
too bad cats can’t speak

© Tournesol ‘19-03-26

Goodbye Mr. Monk Troibun Daily Moments

I am going to miss this show. I used to watch it when it first came out when I lived in Toronto. At that time, it just felt too weird watching a man who had similar behaviours that one of my colleagues had. Granted, Mr. Monk’s were more exaggerated but I remember how this particular colleague got on the nerves of many of my peers. He was sweet….no, not Mr. Monk, but my colleague but like Mr. Monk he bordered on annoying, brilliant and absolutely frustrating.

So a month ago I started binging on Mr. Monk’s 8 seasons on Netflix. I laughed, cried, connected and warmed up to this guy in so many ways. Last night was my last episode and I am saddened to have had to say goodbye yet, knew it was time. There are just so many more you can add to his situation of chasing the murderer of his wife, Trudy.

I loved that guy and everyone associated with him. It is a great show on detective work and mostly on tolerance and true friendship.

So tonight, I decided to write a blurb to say Goodbye, Mr. Monk, you will be missed.

routines 
obsessive patterns 
dependable 
 
routines 
repetitive 
safety in numbers 
 
obsessive patterns 
annoying rituals 
yet comforting 
 
dependable 
always accountable 
Goodbye Mr. Monk 
 
© tournesol ‘19-02-05

seeking downy comfort (troibun)

Sleep...that is what she seeks, 
sleep ...that is what she needs 
fall into oblivion 
crib of downy comfort 
sleep...that is what she seeks 
sleep...that is what she needs 
finally at the crack of dawn 
just before those early chirps 
eyelids sealing shut... 
 
 
running aimlessly 
breathing heavily 
strangers in the night 
 
running aimlessly 
hear the sounds of heathens 
searching for the light 
 
breathing heavily 
lethal  inhalations 
fill her lungs with sin 
 
strangers in the night 
flee as she awakens 
nightmares now begin 
 

Image may contain: cat


 
waiting patiently 
steady purring heals the soul 
nature, at its best

(c) Tournesol '19/01/25

pure addictions. Troiku. Daily Moments Jan 19/19

Sitting in her late mother’s rocking recliner, she pets her black cat gently. The silky fir feels  nice to her touch and the more she takes pleasure in stroking her tiny head and slender body she feels her heart beating slower. The loud steady vibrations of the purring is making her smile.

It’s like getting a booster shot of valium,, a third glass of wine or a few tokes of MJ. The lightheaded feeling makes her smile again and she admires that sweet innocence of her one year old cat.

She feels blessed. Her other cat with her hypnotic eyes also comfort her. She is truly a lucky woman.

Soft silkiness
Chasing worries away
Soothing purrs

Soft silkiness
Scent of a newborn
Melting all hearts

Chasing worries away
Effective and addictive
Like a drug

Soothing purrs
Nature’s gift
To mankind

© Tournesol ‘19/01/19 Daily moments pure addictions. Troiku

Daily Moments January 14, 2019 dancing diamonds

Walking to work she treads carefully on the slippery path to work.  Certain areas are covered with a thin layer of white crust that catches her eye  and warms her heart.
 
 
Diamonds  
Scores on a backdrop 
dancing underfoot 
 
Diamonds 
Beauty frozen in time 
Giggling on snow 
 
Scores on a backdrop 
Floating in the cosmos 
Granting wishes 
 
Dancing underfoot 
Despite the freezing cold 
Blinding baby blues 
 
© Tournesol ‘19-01-14 
 
Daily Moments January 14, 2019  dancing diamonds