Being A Presence At Work

My job usually has me sitting in front of a computer for 80% of the day. Meaning I get short bursts during my regular 12 hour shifts to get away for a moment or two. During these breaks from the office I go out into the yard and talk to the on duty crews.

Over the past few weeks while at work (minus my vacation in there) I have been training a new supervisor. This week I have been letting him do the office work while I go out into the yard. I have enjoyed this tremendously. I have spent far longer with the crews than I usually do. Many of the crews have known me for years, so they seem to appreciate when I make a valiant effort to see how things are going. This has created a better morale instead of me being a dictator of sorts.

I take great pleasure and pride in my work. I think it also shows in my work ethic as well. Getting my hands dirty like the crews do helps demonstrate that I know how the jobs should be accomplished. Sometimes I even learn new ways of doing things. It keeps me on my toes.

Ack Ack Kayak!

So… I was at the Grade Seven camp a little over a week ago when I tried Kayaking for the first time. I enjoyed it tremendously. My wife hates me because of this.

She hates me because for years now she’s been trying to get me to go kayaking with her. When I finally did go on a whim without her, I wanted to go again. I really should listen to her the first time around…

As I mentioned yesterday- I put on a new Roof Rack on my Nissan Rogue. It was to prepare for the possibility of getting a kayak. My wife finished work at six last night and wanted to go price some kayaks out. I’d been looking online at places and prices earlier in the week, but it was my wife who wanted to go and search for herself. Unfortunately we only went to one place- Canadian Tire. Not my usual place to go shopping- however we do find some great deals on occasion- like our bbq grill about four years ago.

Anyways, window shopping for a kayak turned into buying a kayak. Make that buying two kayaks at a wickedly good price (they had them marked incorrectly but honored the price). These kayaks also came with oars and straps to take them away on the roof of my car. (As reference I found similar ones at Costco by the same manufacturer for $160 more each.)

I’m happy with the purchase to make our lives healthier. We just need to find the time to hit the water together.

And maybe my wife will forgive my ignorance all these years. Or she’ll drown me. Either way- we own a couple of kayaks now!

Cards From Kids

I didn’t mention much about my Father’s Day this year. Mostly I was feeling kinda down. I also had to work the night shift that day, so my family left me alone to sleep. However, they didn’t forget about me.

Our two youngest (ages 13 & 15) each made a card for me. They wrote what they felt and it made me happy. My son gave me a gift card and my daughter made a painting for me.

My oldest daughter didn’t do anything like that for me. She brought me a cup of coffee in bed and briskly wished me a “Happy Father’s Day” before rushing off to her job. I still appreciated the sentiment because I am doing my best to treat her as an adult. So her and I talk respectfully to one another.

I know my kids love me. They know I love them as well. I put them before anyone or anything else.

2019- The Year Devoted to Our Son

It feels like this year is heavily devoted to our son Theory. We have already done two trips for speed skating competitions and have two more weeks out of town planned this summer for him to get some more practice.

He stole my tutu.

If you’ve been following along this week, you’ll also notice I was a parent chaperone at his Grade Seven camp. I was really happy that he wanted me to do this. It also made me feel good to find out his friends were excited that I was going as well. In fact, one kid asked that his father not volunteer to come because the boy wanted to be in our cabin.

My father never would’ve considered doing that. Let alone take time to ensure his kids experienced successes. My wife and I put a lot of effort into making sure our kids get the best education and experiences.

I have a fantastic relationship with my son. I can be both his parent and his friend. The fact that he happily hangs out with me while out in public is great. I hope to keep this up through his teenage years.

It’s the kind of relationship I wish I had with my father.

Grade 7 Camp

Today we are departing for Camp Jubilee with my son, Theory, and his class. I’m lucky to have been chosen as one of the parent chaperones. My son and six of his friends are all in a cabin with me. They got to choose a cabin name and design a t-shirt. The fact that these kids go to a Fine Arts school shows in the logo they designed.

Our cabin is called “The Infinity Stones“. I even get a T-shirt! As the cabin leader, my wife suggested we get the kids some items that promotes their design. Each of the boys is a different “stone” so my son and I picked up some precious rocks to give each kid. I also got them some slap bands in their respective colours that light up. Along with a notebook and gel pen- I think these kids are going to enjoy their gifts.

I’m looking forward to hanging out doing the activities with the kids. Every afternoon we have some down time, which means I’ll quickly write a blog post and share our adventures. I forgot to mention- the kids aren’t allowed technology, so I’ll have to sneak away and use my phone. Parents are allowed phones- mostly for picture taking though. I plan on keeping mine in Airplane Mode most of the time.

Wish me luck! Hopefully I come home in one piece with my sanity still in tact. I hope you enjoy the adventures I’ll be sharing.

Silverdale Creek Wetlands

On Friday night my wife and I often take our children to a thing called “Dry Land Training” at our speed skating coach’s home. This involves a 30 minute drive followed by a two hour training session. Sometimes my wife and I stay to chat with other parents. Other times we go grocery shopping up the road. Last night we went for a walk at one of the local parks.

This is a typical park setting. With signage and info about the land. It was a beautiful stroll through extremely well kept trails. But there was one thing that made this park stand out amongst other trails in BC.

Birds. Lots of birds. And birdhouses!

On top of several pillars in the marsh were numerous birdhouses. Every single one of them occupied with a feathered friend. The houses that were close to the pathways had birds that weren’t scared of people wandering by. This made me happy. They watched and sang as my wife and I meandered along the pathways.

We chatted and strolled holding hands and just enjoying nature. We greeted only a couple of other folks along the way. It was like we had our own little private forest filled with song. It was a nice way to relax on a Friday evening with my wife.

I have a feeling we will visit the Silverdale Creek Wetlands again in the future. I hope that this will get others to visit there as well.

What We Think About, We Bring About

What we think about, we bring about.

I read this quote the other day and it got me thinking of how true it is.

If you plan on creating something, a painting for example, you can bring it to fruition. Get a canvas, some brushes, paints and an idea. It’s the idea part that creates. Without an idea there’d be no reality. These ideas, when brought forth, can materialize into a product. Essentially fabricating something from nothing.

But thoughts can do more than make a masterpiece for ourselves. If we think negative thoughts, negative results occur. If we think positive thoughts then good things happen. I guess you could say it’s like karma. Only difference is people tend to want to surround themselves with others if they sense happiness.

I pride myself in trying to be a positive thinker. I love being around other positive people. I’m not perfect though. Negativity seeps in from time to time. Moving passed it is the challenge. In all seriousness, I find getting over a negative thought is usually best done by listening to uplifting music.

Time to bring about what I think about. I’m going to work in my garden and create a lovely space to enjoy this summer.

What are you going to bring about? Let me know in the comments.

Map It Out

The map you read is not the land you travel.

I realized that no matter what map you follow- there is more to explore if you look around. I have often experienced more from life by just trying to figure out where I am by using landmarks. Maps are just “guidelines” for how to get somewhere. GPS doubly so. When I use the navigation in my car to get to places I’ve been before-it’s more just to see the time when I will arrive, not the route to use.

Maps help you get from point A to point B. They’re two dimensional. Maps don’t give you information on what you will see on your journey or the people you’ll meet. Sure looking online might show a landmark or recommend a sight to see, but that’s still not the land in which you travel.

Life is similar in many ways.

You map out a goal and figure out how to achieve it. There may be stops and detours along the way that your map didn’t show you. If you stay the course, you’ll get to the destination. Or maybe your destination will change. In which case you map out a new route. Just remember to check out the land in which you travel.

There’s more to life than just reaching that destination. Explore the world.

Meet My Stuffed Animal- Roger Rabbit

Like many people who had a childhood, I owned my fair share of stuffed animal toys. To be perfectly honest, I kept most and passed them on to our children. Our middle child has kept the majority of them in her possession. She loves them tremendously as if they had lives and personalities of their own.

But the one “stuffy” I have kept to myself over the years is my Roger Rabbit.

I have had this guy in my possession since 1989. I picked him up when I was Thirteen. Yes, I was a teenager when I bought it. He was purchased on my first ever trip to Disneyland. He became a prize possession of mine. I truly love the film and all aspects of it. Even over thirty years later- the “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” holds strong in my opinion. My toy, however, has seen better days.

Roger has moved with me from house to house. Oftentimes he has been on display somewhere on a shelf or even in my bed. He is stained, worn and dirty. Seams have ripped, strings have torn off and stuffing lost. These are the war wounds of a good friend who has always been there for me. He listens when I have problems that I don’t want to share with the real world. My wife finds it odd that he suddenly appears on our bed sometimes. She says she hates him. I don’t believe her.

Roger shaped my personality at a young age. He was a mentor of sorts.

The character of Roger Rabbit was of a simple man (rabbit?) who believed in the goodness of others. Trusting of friendships and looking for a laugh to make others smile. But when he needed to be serious, he could, sort of. His flaw was always trying to please others. Literally smacking his head with a frying pan to meet their expectations.

I’m not saying I’m exactly like him anymore. But I like to think I can still be trusting and see the goodness in others. (As well as go for a cheap laugh.) These are some good qualities to possess.

Being Negative at Work

Like many people who have a job- I fall victim to being negative about work. Not all the time mind you- but enough that I have to stop myself from continuing my negativity. Be it comments about the job, coworkers, bosses, other companies- there is oftentimes something irritating that starts the ball rolling.

Speaking negatively consumes everyone around. Just like school bullies being loud and obnoxious towards someone. There are some people who sit idly by and just let the rant go on. Or while others stay quiet on the sidelines, the rest join in. And the complaints get louder and more personal. Until stories or gossip fill people’s minds with a “new truth” about whatever the gripe is about.

I want to remain positive in all aspects of my life. But it can be really tough when work can strike an ego blow. Using my blog as a way to bring forth my acknowledgment of my feelings and actions has become beneficial in my mental wellbeing. Doing something to hinder my negativity in public is the new challenge. Time to stop ranting and raving all the hatred.

Time to chill out.