This Christmas Eve

Each end of the calendar year, I like to take stock of my professional activities. I like to start planning for the next year as well.
Looking at this blog, I note how little I have published this past year.
I have always loved blogging.
To share with an audience of faithful readers about issues that matter most to me.
I may have the hope it would rally to my views of the world.
To invite someone with a different point of view to consider mine and discover a new place.
But I have never tried to convince or create any mass movement for my personal ideas.
My activism has always remained very confidential.
I discovered that communication is not – what a paradox! – my strongest suit.
It led me to feelings of being misunderstood often. To feelings of loneliness and solitude.
I like to tell stories. I don’t actually like to explain things. Yet I always force myself to explain things out of fear of creating confusion. Confusion would upset my sense of order and strive for perfection.
Such effort costs me time and energy, and both deserve rewards.
Could it be the reason why I stopped blogging in 2018? I barely shared anything on social media as well. I concentrated all my time elsewhere that was not public writing.
When I was a student, I dreamed of being an interpreter and I studied foreign languages.
When I was a child, I dreamed of being an actress. Instead, I played the games my gender, origins, culture, family, or country expected me to play. I have been pretty good at it.
I dreamed of a career in which I would have created a safe haven for people to come to resource and learn how to grow their talents.
Instead, I had two children.
Each became in their own way my teachers of new very foreign languages.
This year, Christmas week offers me a haven of tranquility that I would like to taste.
I do not celebrate the holiday so I enjoy the peaceful break for myself.
Looking back at the year.
I am trying to remember all those who left this world this past year. It is leaving holes in my heart and nostalgia for the memories we had together.
I am trying to give the benefit of the doubt to failures and difficulties that I encountered. To let them be springboards to create better results next time I try. The lessons they teach bring wisdom once we repeat and practice the exercises and persist.
Persistence is key.
This blog is still here!
Even though it lacked consistency I hope it can still play its role, for me, as well as for its visitors.
To all, I wish a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year. May we all have many opportunities to spend some time together. I look forward to this miracle of interconnectivity.

A Twentieth Anniversary

Dates matter.
Sometimes, I feel that time does not heal wounds as it is supposed to. This is because time does not heal wounds, you have to do it for yourself.

Twenty years ago, today, I was marrying the one who would become the father of two beautifully loved boys, our sons. This was a sunny day, like today where I am at now.

Although the dates are the same, I think I would have forgotten it was the anniversary of my marriage, had I not wondered why I was feeling kind of over-emotional. And because I always tend to analyze (over-analyze?), I realized that was it! Especially because several recent conversations with that partner in life had been pretty tumultuous (understatement intended).

The newly wed walking out of town hall on July 25, 1992
We did it! finally

It was supposed to be a happy day, and certainly it was. But it had already so many red flags that will not show on the official picture, but that I will eventually read in those that stayed still in the memory book.

I chose to hide and not to tell, until much too late. I chose to pretend that the story was the one I was making up, showing off, and eventually brushing under.

There was no blogging at the time. No Instagram. No Twitter, nothing to catch glimpses if they were not looked at with the scrutinity they deserved. But I knew. I knew something was doomed, something was wrong and I failed at dealing with it.

It is certainly time for me to heal from my stories. This one too. Twenty years ago I got married to the man I thought would be a soulmate, not another cloud in my path. I now want to see the skies, as blue as they are, and not carry that cloud above my head, over and over. It is time to heal.

Do not assume, just ask

Beware Rude Neighbors Street SignOne of my pet peeves where I live is when I see some random car that has been parked on my assigned parking spot: I live in a complex and I own a garage next to my unit, which I use. Since I have only one car, the assigned parking slot is free, free to be highjacked by any other resident near it, generally someone with visiting or permanent extra vehicle, since each unit in the complex has only one assigned slot.

There are plenty enough visitors parkings spots, but my street is very long, and I live all the way down at the opposite end, when the visitors slots are at the beginning. No big deal, I can walk, I like walking, and I can tell my guests that they have to park far before finding my remote unit. No big deal, if it does not rain, snow, or if it’s not for a quick drop off but a long visit.

But still: I’d love to be able to tell my guests not to worry about where they can park when they come and see me, and to find my numbered spot on the way down my street: they would park there, I would see their car arrive from my window and greet them with my best welcome.

Instead, every time I have a friend come over, I find that an unknown car has been chosing  my spot to park and it annoys me, because I was not aware that it would be there, or because the driver has deliberately decided that it was okay to park there without even reaching out to me.

I went to one of those indelicate offenders the other day, to ask her not to use my spot all the time, because I had seen who she was.  She very graciously accepted my request, telling me in a not so apologetical way that she was never staying very long in that spot (which is certainly not true since every time I was passing by I could spot her car with a very distinctive licence plate), and also warned me that I should also tell some others who would use that spot when she wasn’t parked in it (ah ah! so she knew exactly that it was abused by all sorts of illegitimate drivers!).

Today I noticed a big unknown SUV that seems to have elected this parking slot to rest for the entire Memorial Day Weekend. I suppose some families came from outside and are visiting, why wouldn’t I have also visitors? I went to the windshield of that big car and taped a note stating: “Do not assume that it is okay to park in here. Please ask me before and I might say yes anyway, or no if I need to use my parking spot for myself”, and I signed.

What are your pet peeves with your neighbors? Is it more difficult to have civil relationships within the community because many assume and feel entitled? What is your take on this story? Am I overreacting?