Sunday, 28 October 2012

By the numbers

I've been thinking long and hard about whether to write about this. There is absolutely no interest on my part to append any meaning whatsoever on this...thing, with regard to numerology or the like.

About a year and a half ago, when I was still reading the t.o. newspaper, I saw a post from someone who mentioned coming into contact with a certain number over and over in her life. I was drawn to that, as she reeled off several occasions in which she would just "come across" this number, as it had, for a while before that, been happening to me.  And, it still does.

The first number is 911. It started about three or so years ago. I'd check the time and, almost without fail, it would be 9:11am or, at night, if I happened to check the time, it'd be 9:11. Now and then, I'd be off by about a minute, but, for the most part, I'd be on.

The other number is 242. But, there is a story of a different kind of horror connected with this one. I worked for a Frankenboss (a term - with definition and all - that I saw on Twitter today). I imagine he was a nice man - or could be - outside of work. He seemed charming and disarming enough. But, he was a horrible boss. His extension was 242. I'm not even sure when I start started seeing that number...everywhere! I left his employ - ran away from him, actually. Not proud that I did it, but, it had to be done. And, it might have been about two years after, that I started taking note of the number popping up.  More often than not when I check the time in the afternoon, that's it. If I rush to the microwave thinking I might be overheating something, that's the number that greets me.  If I'm working out, by the time I'm done on the treadmill, I've done 2.42 miles and so on.

At first, it was a bit unnerving. Now, not at all, really. I'm not into numerology or anything of the like.  I'd shared about those "special" words and I thought I'd share about these numbers. I decided to do a Google search and check out a few other numbers. Occasionally, it helps to be reminded of how small and finite one is. (Channeling my inner Queen Elizabeth, apparently. :-)  I think I searched for "number of days since" and inserted my birthday. I found this site.  Pretty cool info follows:

According to the site, I've been alive for 15, 172 days. My heart has been beating since birth for 364, 104 hours or 21, 846, 240 minutes or 1, 310, 774, 400 seconds.  I am not a coincidence. I am a wondrous display of the awesome and glorious work of my Creator.  He made me and has kept me all this time.  In and out of many seasons, both literal and figurative, He has kept me. He hasn't taken His eyes off me and He hasn't missed a beat all this time! And, look how many of us there are!

Know what's even cooler? That He can tell exactly where I was and what I was doing and wearing and thinking at second number 998, 234, 769. Or, at minute number 5, 091, 273. He numbers the very hairs on our heads - so particular about His children. He's like that. And, I love that.


Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Comfort of Certain Words and Terms

There are certain words that are pleasing to my ear.  I like the sound of them; I enjoy saying them out loud.  And, in at least one case, where the meaning isn't the most positive thing ever, the way my tongue has to get wrapped around it for it to come out well, usually makes me smile.

I'll start with that one: forlorn.  Just listen to that: forlorn. It calls such attention to itself, does it not?  The word demands that you spend time with it; that you caress, not only the syllables, but the shape of every letter.  And, listen to that pretty double 'or', making it all sexy up in here. To think, the meaning is nowhere near that, but no matter. Forlorn is, hands down, one of my favourite words. Most times when I do use it, it's to ask my lil sis how come she sounds so forlorn?  And, I'd say about 95% of the times, just the use and sound of the word causes us to smile. It's quite a picker upper.  Forlorn. :-)

Another fave is: relax.  Recently I've found myself saying it out loud - not screaming, just saying it a couple times, moving it from my mind to without. Even as I say it, my shoulders release their tension; I consciously breathe deeper and exhale longer.  And, I feel calmer.  I'm usually praying for God to guide me, especially when I find I'm getting anxious about something or just have way too much to do. I'm thankful for the presence of mind to utter the word; to focus on the directive and for the calm and peace that accompanies it. It sure helps when you know that you can, in fact, relax because you're "not in this alone" - whatever "this" is.  #HeGotThis

"Watch dis!"  Now, there's a term I've come to love. The meaning behind it is awesome. The story behind it is pretty lengthy, too. But, I'm gonna try to capture the gist. My lil sis coined the phrase when she and I were just about to be caught up in a very sensitive, high-stress situation with heavy repercussions. I had been feeling rather apprehensive about the whole situation; so forlorn. In that moment before it was "gonna go down", a question was asked; we gave a response and we were then redirected.  I know this might be as clear as mud - wish I could be clearer.  Suffice it to say, after we finished getting our instructions from the new set of folks, we made it back to the original set of folks.  As it turned out, they totally overlooked asking us for what they should have - but what I so did not have, and should have had, on my person - and they just waved us on our way.  Shortly after we left that area, trying somehow to wrap our minds around what had just happened, my sis said, "It was as if God just said, "It's ok. Watch dis!" Then went straight to work on our behalf. Of course, we shared the episode with the rest of the family. Since then, it has been a constant source of encouragement in the most trying of times. There's no need to go through the story, of course. All we need say is, "Watch dis!" And we get it.

Remember that movie, "In Her Shoes"? Remember that poem by e.e. cummings that Maggie read for Rose toward the end in the wedding scene? Remember that line in the poem "I carry your heart with me (I carry it in my heart)"? Isn't it just precious? I think so. So simple yet, so everything. Sigh. Once, I used a variation of it for someone dear to me. My version was, "I carry you in my heart." I didn't quite remember the line, but  I figured that was close enough. It is a beautiful sentiment. (The rest of the poem is lovely, too. :-)

I imagine you have your own words that stir up whatever feelings/emotions that they do. I really hope that the good ones far outweigh the not-so-cool ones. After all, there are so many of them - in so many different languages! Here's to comfort - in your own words and in your own terms.


Monday, 8 October 2012

The Discomfort of a Certain Word and Term

There are a few words and terms that scare me.  (No. "Boo!" is not one of them :-)  And, perhaps "scare" is too strong.  I'd say they make me uncomfortable. I would like to think that I'm totally over them, as in, the use of them.  And, I would be right - for the most part. For the little part that's left, I'm okay when I hear them being used.  To use them myself?  Not so much.  So, I hardly do.

One of those words is "aspect".  Yep.  That's it. Aspect. Allow me to use it in a sentence. "He and I have been friends for many years and I know about every aspect of his life." Yeeeaaah.  Those were the words as they came out of her mouth as she told me about my then boyfriend. Don't know why, but, of all the words, "aspect" was the one that stood out. So, I stopped using it. I quickly found a substitute for every time I was about to use it in a sentence.  I found "area" did the job rather well.

Like I said, I don't...didn't cringe so much when I heard other people use it.  No control there.  But, my use of it was a no-no.  It just always brought me back, instantaneously, to that gloating, vitriolic voice telling me why her friendship with him was more important than mine.

Given that the hurt of that time has long passed and given my under-use of the word, nowadays, I'm good. On the rare occasion I hear it, I think, "It has surely lost its sting."

The term "soul mate" is up next. I used it once referring to a new interest as I shared the excitement of new love.  During the time together, I thought we had so much in common; that he could well be my soul mate. Turned out he wasn't. And, hot on the heels of our cleavage, one of those with whom I had shared the aforementioned excitement, used the same term to describe what they and their spouse had. Sure showed me.  Haven't used it since.

I used to think there was one soul mate for each person; someone with whom you have a heck of a lot in common and many things just clicked. Now, I'm not so sure. I mean, what about those folks whose soul  mate has died; they remarry; they live 30+ years together with this new love - undoubtedly in love?  Maybe they were/are just blessed that way - two mates for their soul. Or, maybe there is just one soul mate and the lasting love that comes after is "just" someone who loves them for them. Period. I'd like to think that that counts for something.  For those who marry for the 4th and 5th (and counting) time, without experiencing the death of the previous spouse, I dunno. Maybe by then it's a soul friend or a coffee mate or something.  I dunno. They have their reasons.  Whenever I hear a couple use the term "soul mate" nowadays, I think, "That's nice."  There's no sarcasm; they know why they use it and that's nice.

Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada.  Among many things, I thank God for my life; being alive and the ability to live life enjoyably.  I'm anal and persnickety and everyone who knows me knows that. And yet, they love me.  Little wonder that I am thankful for my family and close friends.  And, the fact that I can recognize and quickly choose not to embrace the small stressors in my life? That's nice, too.