Late Nights…and Strange Sights…

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I attended Make-Up School a few years back and I still have my male mannequin head from when I was learning to trim beards (yes…facial hair is in the realm of the make-up artist not the hair person). It’s currently sitting on its stand on my workbench as it has long hair and I sometimes use it to practice hair styles that require a degree in architecture. It freaks people out as they think someone is sitting there.

I am dragging my feet in moving it to another spot because I find it hilarious…

 

 

I hate to admit this…and being a friendly co-worker…

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God how I hate to admit this…but my mom was right.

I decided to bring up something during the weekly meetings at work; something that had been niggling at me for a while. It was about returning items that had been borrowed to where they belong. My mom said not to as I would be ridiculed for it. I didn’t believe so plotted full steam ahead…and I was ridiculed for it…by my peers who went so far as to tell me not to ‘Cry about it…’ 

Hardly…but it’s really fucking frustrating when I have to spend 10 minutes looking for something or restocking my gear because someone else used it and didn’t bother to refill it or return it altogether.

So my mom was right…

I hate admitting that…truly.
 Which brings me to this…

There is a difference between a co-worker that is a friend and a friendly co-worker.

If you hang out together outside of work; then that co-worker is a friend…if you do not, then that co-worker is just friendly. 

At my current job I am a friendly co-worker…although after this morning I am not sure I’m even that…but I digress…I help out as required; do my bit in the name of team work and at the end of the day I split; i don’t hang out and talk in the employee parking lot (not that I park there anyway…but again I digress) nor do I have a burning desire to be a part of the group outside of work hours (or inside work hours really). I show up, do the job the best I can and then I leave to do the things that I love. 

As a wise man once said…

I ain’t there to make friends…

That’s what doing what I love to do is for.

It’s been over a month…

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and I still miss her everyday…

My grandma passed away on February 23rd, she was surrounded by family yet still managed to sneak away when no one was looking. 

I wasn’t in the room…a couple of my cousins pissed me off because they were nit picking on some trivial thing. I have zero patience for the arguing over a French Fry conversations. So I felt a walk was in order…a walk that lead me to the hospital chapel at the moment she passed. Perhaps it’s where I needed to be…for I had been at her side for the better part of 18 months and got to see the Good, the Bad…and the Ugly. Trust me…a leaking colostomy bag is really Ugly. So perhaps the Good Lord above was sparing me from witnessing The End as it were. 

I was blessed to see a side to my grandma that few knew existed. Turns out Grandma was actually pretty funny and had a quirky sense of humour. I inherited a bit of it (I know I inherited a bit from my other grandma – which explains my twisted sense of humour) and we’d make each other laugh.

I’ll miss that the most…

(I will not miss the colostomy bag…)

The Hard Choices…

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Sometimes if we are fortunate; these hard choices are made for us by circumstance.

Sometimes if we are fortunate; these hard choices are made for us by other people as a result of circumstance.

Sometimes if we are fortunate; these hard choices are for us to make on our own; and thus we are the better for it…(if we are not the worse off for it; because sometimes those hard decisions have no good outcomes and then it’s a matter of picking the lesser of two evils…but that is for another post.)

Hard Choice facing our family is regarding my grandma. She fractured her femur in the beginning of January. She’d been in the hospital since then as well (although she was at home for a week with that fractured femur as no one knew it was broken because my grandma wouldn’t tell anyone just how much pain she was in. This is because the family seem to have a high fear of hospitals due to the fact that those in the family that go in never seem to come out – myself; my mom; my dad and my cousin are all examples of that not being the case – mind you the only reason that happens to the older generation in my family is because they don’t seek out help until it is too late and then nothing can be done so no kidding they aren’t coming out again.)

Anyroad; the surgery on the femur went like clockwork. However; she now has a severe edema in her right leg (same side as the surgery); her foot is so swollen now it looks as if it would burst at the slightest touch, it’s started to blisters and the skin is looking to start flaking off any day. She also has renal trouble as a result she will require dialysis 3 times a week for 3-4 hours per visit.  Grandma has now been in the hospital for just over a month. This is where the trouble now starts…

She doesn’t want to be there, so she tries to make the Great Escape. The result is all bars have been raised on the bed, and an alarm activated so should she try to make a break for it the nurses will know.

Did I mention she also suffers from Alzheimer’s? She hasn’t been diagnosed as such because the family wouldn’t have her analyzed but having been here before with my other grandma I can see the signs and well my still living grandma exhibits all the signs. As result of this; she doesn’t remember why she is at the hospital; and is slowly losing memories of other things as well…namely the fact that her husband (my grandpa) has been dead 12 years, so she has been asking for him. Other things are now starting to go wrong with her body (and mind) as well. So due to these circumstances; the doctors have made the hard decision of whether grandma needs to go into a care facility; She does…she can no longer live in her home as it’s no longer safe for her to do so…and I cannot provide the level of care she would require, so into a care facility she must go…period…end of story. So the family battle of putting grandma in a home was a terrific waste of time.

The hospital will be doing a 28 page assessment on her to see what type of care facility she’ll need. There are never enough beds so they will assess very carefully – hopefully through this assessment they will diagnose her as having Alzheimer’s. My aunt seems to think Dementia is a disease; which it is not; it’s merely a symptom of a disease.

So the next hard choice is where she’ll be placed; and I suspect the assessment will be what will set the stage for which facility she goes into. The assessment could take up to a month.

There is a rub though; grandma could pass away before the assessment is completed. This is a very real possibility for us; she may not even make it to the care facility. Even if she does, I have my doubts that she’ll make it to her 89th Birthday in November. This sounds incredibly depressing I know…but I need to be realistic in my outlook when it comes to my last surviving grandparent.

The next hard choice for me personally is where I go from here.

I have been living with my Grandma since June of 2013, keeping an eye on her and such. (I can hear you lot now; you obviously didn’t do a good enough job of looking after her if she is in the hospital with a broken femur – I’ll thank you to shut up – I already feel a ton of guilt over this situation as it is). The family wants me to remain in the house until she passes away. And I am ok with doing this; however, once she passes I know I will need to evacuate and evacuate quickly because the feud that will arise out of this will be devastating and I want no part of it. But where do I evacuate too…that is the hard choice. My dad would like me to stay on in Medicine Hat; my mom keeps trying to convince me to live with her in Calgary (neither are operating with my best interests in mind; more their own.) I am not inclined to do either; yet lack the funds to go anywhere at the moment. Yet I have faith that once this door closes another will open…or at the very least a window.

I will also have to do battle with my dad over my stuff…which has been in his garage since 2008. He offered to store it…and now I can’t seem to get it back. I don’t have much to my name anymore…several relocations have seen to that; and there is still more I would like to get rid of…or at least sort through and leave with my dad if he has a use for it. I don’t understand the need to be antagonistic about it. If he wants me to pay for it then I will, I have no trouble doing that; since I would have to pay storage anywhere else.

This next month should be interesting…

Leaving the CZ…

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Ah yes…the CZ…

In this instance it stands for Comfort Zone (yes in military jargon it means Combat Zone; I know…I know…) and we ALL have one. For some it’s the hum drum of modern suburban life; for others it’s the thrill of descending head first out of an airplane before they yank the cord of the parachute. Yes even the adrenaline junkies have their CZ; it’s not hum drum but it’s their CZ none the less.

However; remaining in your chosen CZ can be detrimental to your own existence. When you stay in your CZ you stagnate while the world passes you by. Now I am not saying everyone needs to go out and skydive or bungee jump (or in the reverse drop anchor in suburbia); that is not the message.

The message is to explore outside of your CZ. The size of step is up to you; it can be gargantuan or it can be a ‘toe in the water’ exploration. There could be some discomfort…which is why it’s called leaving your comfort zone…funny how that works yeah?

I have recently left my CZ; and looking at it from the outside I am not 100% sure I even want to go back into it just yet.

Some of my experiences outside my CZ.

I recently drove a 14ft moving truck. Have never really driven anything quite so large; sure I drove the big F550’s and Ecoline Vans when I worked at a Ford Dealership (Hello everyone at Metro Ford Sales Ltd in Calgary); yet that was mostly limited to the parking lot and service bay area. But this time I would be driving in serious Calgary weekend traffic; with a fully loaded truck. I was apprehensive at first; but I screwed my courage to the wall and did it. I felt like King Kong afterwards. It was a rewarding experience and increased my confidence ten-fold.

(Note: No accidents, and the load remained in place!)

Sharing my written pieces on sites other than my own was a huge move out of my CZ; HUGE…I took that gargantuan step into the unknown and have found that there is an audience for what it is I write. It’s not a big audience; but that comes with word of mouth and exposure to the masses. This will occur over time.

Taking on the basic care of my grandmother who suffers from dementia; I really had no clue what I was in for. This experience has probably been the most rewarding; maddening; eye opening; heart breaking experience I have ever had. Recently she had a fall and was in the hospital for a week; released only on the condition that she not be left alone, especially at night.

Working as a Make-Up Artist was also a big move out of my CZ. I had spent most of my working life at a desk. Almost no one outside my department ever really saw me, certainly not the company’s clientele; I was just another voice on the phone. But as a Make-Up artist; there I was…Boots on the Ground interacting with people face to face. This was a very big deal…and I loved every minute of it.

(If there are those who wonder why I didn’t continue; I got bored applying the same stuff day in and day out – much to my own surprise – so I think I may have to invest in art/sculpting classes to improve my ability to sketch/mold the human face/body so I can perhaps go into designing make-up as opposed to the actual application. I also would love to get into Creature Creation and Animatronics and what have you; and I will. I am only 38 so I still have loads of time.)

There have been other instances but these have been the most recent.

It is scary to leave your CZ…I was scared too…petrified even…but I took that step scared as I was…and I have never looked back.

I have been blessed with some amazing friends and great mentors (Hello Boys!) to give me encouragement and support in my endeavors and my family is starting to come around as well.

So take a deep breath and that first scary step; be it a baby step or that gargantuan step; into the unknown outside your CZ. You’ll never be the same again.

Author’s Note: Yes I used Gargantuan more than once but I like the word and it’s the first time I felt I could use it to full effect!

Procrastination…

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Procrastinating…AKA Slack Ass-ing…AKA Lazy Ass Syndrome

I have been suffering from Lazy Ass Syndrome when it comes to my blog the last 5 weeks.

I have been suffering from Blog writers’ block; which has not only affected my output on my own site, but also my contributions to a couple of Wrestling Blogs as well. I had been staring at the computer screen and cannot even grasp a wisp of something to talk about. I have this book of prompts for writing things – 642 Things to Write About; thank you to the San Francisco Writer’s Grotto who put this book together. You can find it at Chapters – which I have been treating as exercises to help with the creative juices; because right now the tank is a wee bit dry for my own ideas; but a few – ok; a couple – have recently percolated to the top of the ‘coffee pot.’ Still I have not done anything about it until now…hence the Lazy Ass Syndrome…

I have some serious catching up to do…

Grief…

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Grief…

The Webster Dictionary defines Grief as the following…

Pronunciation: grēf

n 1. keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow or painful regret.

This is just one of the definitions; yet what is not defined is the duration.

Grief has no unified ‘expiry date’ that it adheres to; it stays with one as long as it is required too, despite what most of society deems appropriate.

I once was someone who felt that after a year one should be able to move on with his or her life; recently I have discovered just how cold that does appear; and I feel sorrow and regret for my previous behaviour.

Grief affects everyone differently; sometimes it manifests in tears…and sometimes in weird behaviours. It can stay as short a time as merely weeks…and sometimes stays as long as a decade or more. My paternal grandparents had been married 57 years when my grandpa passed; eleven years on and my grandma still grieves the loss. My maternal grandparents had been married 62 years when my grandpa passed; and my grandma – despite suffering from Alzheimer’s – grieved until the day she died six years later. My mother lost her husband (my step-dad) two years ago and still mourns him. I too grieve these losses if not as acutely.

A cousin lost her husband 7 years ago; and while she has moved on with her life; she too has her moments of grief even now.

A good friend of mine lost three people who were very dear to her in the space of two months. All this while trying to run a summer program for children for the library where she is currently employed. That is a lot of grief for one person or family to absorb all at once while also maintaining a professional appearance to the outside world.

It is my hope that society will see that grief knows no bounds; and those who experience it have no time line as to when they will be done with it and to be understanding to those who are going through it.