Preparing For Guests

I have relatives coming next week.  While they won’t be staying with me, I know they’ll be over frequently.  So this has spurred another round of frantic cleaning.  I did a bit more decluttering. There was a bag of old letters and cards that has been lingering in my bedroom for quite some time.  Some of them date back to my university days.  I didn’t know what to do with them before but today I was ruthless. I threw out most of them as they are from folks I don’t hear from or see anymore.  There was a bag of stuff that spilled out of a book shelf.  Most of it was old receipts but it took a couple of hours to sort and shred them.  It even had my old credit cards, coffee cards, statements, lube, an old Japanese photo book of red light district and some magazines… it’s just bizzare what I kept.

I still want to get a new rug for the living room and a new futon cover.  Both have seen better days although I plan to reuse the old rug underneath my desk.

I also cleaned my pantry which are 2 metal racks.  I took everything off the racks, wiped down the racks, and cleaned everything before putting it back.  As I look around the kitchen, I think I have to replace the microwave the sits on top of the stove.  I won’t mind replacing the stove too although it still works.  I had an electrician come in last week to look at my lights.  I want to change my old track lighting to LED.

Eventually I want to get my bathroom renovated and put new carpet in my bedroom. I also want to repaint my unit and update the kitchen.  The blinds are probably the last thing on my list.  And maybe some new furniture.

The list of things I want to do with my condo is endless but my bank account isn’t.

 

 

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Aches and Pains

I jammed my thumb some months ago and it still hasn’t fully recovered.  I feel it when I’m trying to hold something heavy like a pot or a wok. I’ve tried pulling it on it to see if it would reseat itself but that didn’t work.  My shoulder (mostly the left shoulder) screams in pain if I pull it back.  I have no idea what I did to it.  Maybe carrying a 15 lb knapsack doesn’t help.  Then there is pain in the main joint of my second toe.  It’s mostly my left foot but my right foot has it too.  My podiatrist diagnosed it as capsulitis.  I wear sensible shoes and use a cream to help reduce the pain.  I already wear orthotics because of my flat feet.  If this gets worse then I have to get injections.  Ugh.

If you see someone with a big head, walking with a limp and his left arm dangling,  please buy him a beer.

I’m getting old.

Everyone Has A Story

For someone without a job, I’m one of the lucky ones. Everyone I’ve met at my job counseling firm has a story.

I met a woman who was contemplating a career change to become a teacher.  But she has 2 kids still in school.   As part of her severance, her employer gave her 3 months of job counseling and time is closing fast.  A few weeks later, I found out she lost her husband earlier this year.  The dreams of becoming a teacher would be shelved for now.

There was another IT geek who wasn’t sure what he wanted to do.  His hair and beard needed needed some serious trimming and unfortunately in this job market, physical impressions do count.  It wasn’t until I checked his LinkedIn profile did I realize he was actually an IT architect.  He’s got some decent credentials.  He never spoke about his accomplishments or what he wanted to do next.

Another woman hinted that she has had clinical depression but said she’s pretty sure she doesn’t have it now.  She just wants this job hunting to end.  She used to cherish time away from work.  Now the abundance of free time feels confining and she’s not sure what life has in store for her.

Then there was a guy who turned down a couple of job offers.  It surprised me until he explained those job paid less than his previous role and it involved a lot of travel.  He is the only child and is now facing elder care issues.  We chat briefly and exchange contact info.

Another project manager has a young family.  He doesn’t have a lot of Canadian experience and is willing to work in small cities where there might be less competition.  I asked him if his family will move with him.  He said no, he’ll find some place cheap to live and send money back to his family.

There are so many people here who could use a break.  There just doesn’t seem to be enough well paying jobs to go around.  Everyone has a story to tell.

Snippets

I just have 3 snippets.

  1.  I got a kid of around 5 yrs old into a bit of trouble on the weekend.  He was in a table next to mine with  2 adult women and a younger girl.  One of the women was his mom.  We were all in a packed restaurant and he was in the table in front of me although his back was towards me.  During dinner he looked back at my table and I gave him a quick smile and looked away.  He thought I was playing with him and he ducked behind the back of his chair.  I could see him trying to peek at me but I didn’t pay attention to the kid because his mom was seated facing me.  It was a good thing she was focused on feeding the little girl and didn’t look over.  I only looked at the kid when I knew the mom and the other woman wasn’t looking at me.  Eventually the mom got tired of the kid not eating, hiding behind the winter coats that were draped over the back of the chair and trying to peek at my table.  She let loose a few stern words and the kid was sniffling and crying a bit.  But before you start on me, he was giggling and laughing by the end of the night.
  2. My sister told me one of her neighbours passed away.  She was an elderly woman who had some mental health issues but lived by herself.   An ambulance and police showed up and they had to use a crowbar to open the door to her house.  What surprised my sister and her neighbours is that the elderly woman’s daughter just lived down the street.  None of them knew about the daughter until that old woman passed away.  No one had keys to the elderly woman’s home.  It’s just sad.
  3. It’s been almost 9 months since I lost my job. I have no idea what my next career will be.  I have to admit that I didn’t really look hard for jobs until this year.  I would say last year was more of a recovery – both physically and mentally. The uncertainty is both scary and exciting.  The potential is limitless (or so I tell myself).  I’m certainly pushing the limits of my comfort zone but I’m still strangely calm.