Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hey Boo Boo, How About Them Pic-i-Nic Baskets?

© 2008 Sabine Sherer

....or, the thrills of the amateur Yogi.

Millie turned months old recently, celebrating more time out of the womb than in. Our little girl is growing up quickly, but to me, it seems as if time is moving by at just the right speed regarding her, whereas everything else is speeding past me. There are friends I have not talked to or seen in the nearly full year that Millie has been out of the Goodely's uterus, and I miss all of you quite a bit. Projects that I designed are now built and occupied, and I have not witnessed them going up.

My workout regimen has suffered a bit as well, I am stil rather slim, just not as "toight" as I would prefer, but I think Spring and Summer are better times for that sort of focus in any event. Even though we took some rather adventurous photos recently, as is evidenced above, I am still looking to be in the best shape of my life at forty, which is in August, in which I will commission full on "glamour" shots of myself.

Millie is, of course, and amazing person already. I find her so wonderful to be around, and so welcoming of all of the love that I have, and as a result, I hold nothing back. I can be a bit overwhelming in my demostrations of love and affection, and frequently find myelf pulling back for fear of scaring someone off or coming off as too much of a mush or whatever. Not so with Herself. She gets the full bore, double barrelled love gun right to the chest. It's grand fun. She doesn't even flinch!

Hee hee....she has started pushing me away when I get too snuggly, which is adorable, because she gets upset if I don't immediately snuggle her right back up, so she can push me away again! Roughhousing at nine months! Huzzah!

Im just babbling today, apparently, as I have no lofty words of quasi Zen like wisdom or questions what need answering, just a photo to share and a thought to write down. On with your day!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

All the World's a Stage!!!

I had a discussion the other day with a lovely woman in my office, and we talked about the difference between assertiveness and serendipity. I tend to lay back and let things happen to me for better or worse, and find that by being a little lazy and passive that generally, really good things happen to me.

She asserted (hee hee) that for the most part, even when we reflect a passive nature, we are still in many, many ways shaping our futures and are subconsciously working toward that which we desire most. The Zen master in me recognizes this as living in harmony with the universe, not fighting against it or my own inner nature, and thus, what I picture as the universe providing for me is in actuality my own harmonizing with the Way Things Are.

I have a fabulous job, a wonderful wife, a gorgeous daughter and many fantastic friends and opportunities for growth, learning and pleasure. I have actively pursued very little of those "big things" that make the American Dream a reality. I do NOT have good study habits, and my work ethic is spotty at best but still manages to be productive. "Does Not Apply Himself" and "Does Not Live Up to His Potential" have always been comments on my report cards and reviews. Well, how do they know what my potential is? How do I unless it is tested? If I were truly in harmony with the universe, would I frequently lament my lack of "success" as measured in dollars and material possessions?

My latest serendipitous endeavor is that I will be in a stage production of The Hound of the Baskervilles with a local community theatre group. We open next weekend, and well, close next weekend, but its all been very exciting.

This opportunity fell into my lap, and I couldn't be happier. I didn't pursue it actively, never auditioned and have never acted before. To continue the thoughts from above, one could argue that I have been living my life in such a way as to make stage acting inevitable in my life, which I heartily concede. So many times I end up getting exactly what I want, or meet a new person that fits a necessary void in my life perfectly, and have up until now chalked all that up to chance and randomness, but now I wonder how much of it is driven by me? How much of what you attain is due to your actively pursuing it versus being as open as possible to the many treasures that life has already offered you? Do you accept them when they come? Do you celebrate all the little gifts that the universe is providing daily, or do you turn away from them because you are chasing some other goal that YOU deem is MORE important than what the universe has in mind for you? This is not intended to be a treatise in how wonderful it is to be lazy...obviously hard work, dedication and focus are very valuable and laudable traits to have. I think the key, however is to balance a solid drive, work ethic, whatever, with a healthy acceptance of ourselves and the how often the best things in life are such as we already have, or are presented to us as we are on the path to perceived glories.

Bottom line: buy tickets to my show!! ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

One of the Best Lunches of My Life

Today we enjoyed a singularly wonderful glimpse into how sublime the "Ordinary Life Well Lived" can be. We start simply, with a deep carpet of snow blanketing the entire neighborhood surrounding my office, proof positive that all encompassing beauty can be achieved effortlessly, softly, and silently, if we just sit back and let it. We spent time in the office this morning listening to all the wonderfully evocative music of the season, not necessarily Christmas or holiday music, but more of a wintry music mix.

My intended lunch date cancelled on me, which oddly enough did not put me off my game, but allowed me the necessary permission to treat myself quite well. Wrapping up in my finest Old Navy outerwear, I set forth into town.

I strolled through the huge drifting flakes of snow, feeling them gather about the fur trimming of my hood, settling on my eyelashes, making me smile, glow and shine. I smile at everyone in a mood like this, and every now and then, one of my fellow Arctic travellers smiled back, and we shared a moment. Fewer things give me joy like making a connection with another person in this world, however fleetingly. To the bookstore I went, having forgotten one of my favourites at the office, to pick up a copy of The Hound of the Baskervilles, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Considering that I am to play Sir Henry in a stage adaptation of the same story, I thought it best to have a passing familiarity with the original text. More on THAT story, though, upon its completion, for good or for ill.

Victorian serial novel of the peternatural in hand, I sojourned across the boulevard to a certain eatery called Mon Ami Gabi. I have had a number of wonderful lunches on their patio in warmer climes that I was anticipatory of a cozy interior experience, and I was not disappointed. Well, a little, as they had no tables adjacent to the windows such that I could take in the full of winter's joy while I dined, but I was seated in such a way as I could see ALL of the restaurant, and all of the windows.

The gentleman who waited on me...waited on me, and interesting turn of phrase. Perhaps it was the Sherlock Holmesian influence, but I found myself investigating the mundane with a scrutiny heretofore reserved for the intricate and the obscure. This gentleman and I entered into a contract, then and there. Without knowing his particular remuneration, he agreed to wait on me, to bring me water, food and drinks, and I agreed on some level to not ask too much which would be deemed inappropriate, and to treat him civilly and cordially. This man waited on me, I purchased an hour of his time that he would devote to me....Lorraine's youngest son, am I deserved of this level of attention? Perhaps not, but who better?

Graciousness was displayed on both sides of said contract, a smile from me, a congratulatory nod of approval upon my selection of wines from him, a respectful distance and pacing by the two of us to show no hurry, that we were both to enjoy this particular dining experience.

Enjoy it we did! I found myself bypassing all the typical lunch specials and settled into having a wonderful steak with drawn butter, frites and a glass of Merlot. The steak was prepared excellently, difficult to do with a cut so thin, how they managed my "warm, pink center" I have no idea, but there it was. I ate, no, I savoured every morsel.

I thought of raising my glass of fine red wine and proposing a toast to the small crowd before me:

"My dear men and women here assembled, I offer this toast as a way of acknowledging each and every one of you that has braved the weather and sought not just fine food, but a warm welcoming environment and the companionship of others. I salute you in this passing moment of camaraderie asd I salute the passing moment of pale beauty that is even now covering all of our surrounding vista. Cheers, be merry, and savour the moment!"

A bit long winded, yes, but I had a lot to say.

The company of Holmes and Watson only heightened my experience at the dining table that certainly did not end with each butter drenched morsel. With an eye to a renewed leisurely pace, I requested a piece of flourless chocolate cake, unadored and bare before me without the trappings of chocolate sauce or whipped cream. A bitter espresso was its only accompaniment, and it was a warm and rich slice of nirvana on earth.

Finally, with only a briefest tinge of remorse, the meal was concluded. Our contract through with the signing of my name, I thought I noticed in the man that was my servant no longer, the connection that I looked for, that a job was well done by everyone involved, and that we would remember each other, if only for a bit, on this snowy January day. I tipped him generously, and made a point of telling him that I had had very few better dining experiences in my life, to which he responded that it was a pleasure for him as well.

Satisfied, sated, I braved, no...I embraced the wintry world once more, back to the office, to the "real world" as it was described to me, joyous and celebratory. The real world for me is coloured most times in a way I have just described for you. Seeing the snow, purchasing a book, having a (admittedly VERY NICE) mid week lunch, all of this strikes my heart and makes me buoyant. THAT is the secret to the ordinary life well lived. Celebrate your life, in little ways, and in the grandest ways. You are worth every bit of your own attention. There is, in fact, no one MORE worth your attentions.

Bon Apetit!