On days like these……….

As I walked on the cool crisp morning……it suddenly dawned on me that I really like to walk. Surprise, surprise ….. Beth. One of the reasons is that it’s not very hot now and my mind is free to wander when I walk…….and without a doubt it is exercise. That rationale is especially good for my conscience.

So as I walked pass the GoodLife Fitness studio I thought about all the fitness studios and gyms that are around. There are so many and they all seem to have their fair share of patrons- male and female alike. Sometimes I think to myself that everybody here has some exercise regimen, because aside from the gym so many people jog and walk their dogs too. I cannot imagine that there is someone who doesn’t exercise in fact (unless it’s the same set of people doing both) ………….so I asked myself, why does this business thrive here but can hardly survive in Jamaica? Do they eat more here? Is it the weather? Are people starved of social activities and thus it is really done for reasons other than exercise? Is it just to pass the time? Or is it because whole sections of stores and malls carry dedicated lines of active wear? Is the tail wagging the dog? Do people here have more disposable income or are they just more aware of the benefits of exercise? But then I asked myself, does it matter?………

I love words so it’s only fitting that I love books. Today I came across a real bookstore- I could touch and smell the books and all at once I remember my Saturdays at the library as a teenager. So much has changed but it was heartening to see the clerk so busy……..people still read and still read books……….. good old paperback or hard cover in hand. Then I remembered I was not in Jamaica.

‘ When pigs fly’…….. that my friend, is the name of a gift shop I came across. I loved it, the things inside made me laugh so hard…….the funniest birthday cards and magnets . Now I know where to go to get my giggle on. So here are a few of the words I saw on the magnets.

May your life be as good as it seems on Facebook………..I changed my password to incorrect so whenever I forget it will tell me…..” your password is incorrect” I am running late, does that count as cardio…..you get to live once, but if you do it right once is enough” 

So I have another wedding to attend here. Two in less than two years, I don’t remember attending so many weddings in quick succession at home. I guess we don’t marry that much home, or my friends are single. I would think a little bit of both. Thus as I searched for a wedding card, I almost committed the ultimate sin………but I guess I am not the only one as the cashier was on her toes. Canada is one of those countries that permit same sex marriage, so it follows that they would have wedding cards for those couples. As I browsed the wedding cards  I saw a beautiful one which says ‘ Mrs and Mrs’ of course my eyes did not see that. I saw what my heterosexual brain was trained to see. Had it not been for the cashier, I would have had a major embarrassment for her wedding. Whewww!!!!!worst than that, there is a label around these cards which says SAME SEX MARRIAGE, even that my eyes ignored.

I just love when I get the Chance to go back in time and that’s what Whyte Ave did. The only thing missing was a couple of cool friends with whom to hit a tavern like ‘The Black Dog’ ‘Hudson’s Tap house’ or ‘ Tavern on Whyte’. I also missed us playing dress up in the clothes I imagined the citizenry wore back then in the late 1800s. I found myself wondering if they did exactly what we do now on this street or whether they had some other purpose. Although, to be honest I can’t see them doing that in all that clothes……….but then again I can’t see myself wearing those clothes either. period.  Somehow I still wish I could go back 100 odd years………was there garbage on the streets? Did they smoke and ignored each other too? Did they have street vendors, and ‘chariot’ stops, flyers on walls and graffiti?

Then at the end of a day of walking………..a lady at the supermarket told me I smelled good. I said “thanks ” politely, but my skeptical mind started wondering all kinds of things. Come on Beth, people still do give genuine compliments, why else would she go out of her way to say something nice to a stranger……… She is not necessarily soliciting you…..👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽👇🏽

I listen to a podcast weekly and I recently started listening to a six part story Called ‘S- TOWN’ yes the S literally if for that same S word. The main character is a 48 year old genius who lived all his life in the same small rural town. He gets bout of depression all the time, not just because of the corruption in his town but also because he regrets never leaving. I still do miss home, everyone knows that, I do not hide that at all. However, I knew when I left too that I had to do something more with my life. For one, I couldn’t stay nestled under my mom’s wings forever and secondly I have always maintained that I must try everything at least once. Otherwise, I don’t want to reach 60 and have ‘coulda, woulda, shouldas’, although listening to this man makes me realize that could happen as early as in your 40s. So yes, I do miss home and nothing will change that, but I am glad too I took the leap and moved- I have no regrets. After all……..remember what I saw as outlined above…….we live once, and if we do it right, once is enough.  Nothing I tell you can take away from me this experience and the best part is, I did it my way (in my best Frank Sinatra voice)

Some days I try to do it all…..other Saturdays I just stay home in my bed…..but most days I try to do something kind for others.  I have specific things I am working on; like helping with my old Sunday school and trying to learn more about grief support………but other days it’s just random acts of kindness………..on any of those days I tend to put my personal agenda at the bottom. So yes we need to ‘look not only to our own interests’ but this also means I don’t ignore mine either (oxygen mask theory).  I set the boundary around knowing that tomorrow is another day, just like Scarlett …….’ tiday nuh kill tomaaraw’ mommy would say. And if tomorrow doesn’t come for me, well even when we die the ‘inbox’ will still have things in it…….right.!!! At the time of writing I am still having hair issues…….boy the weather has wreaked havoc on my hair, or maybe that’s just my excuse. I haven’t been giving it the TLC either.

And would you believe I have been taking the bus over a year now and didn’t know they were equipped with cameras. Dense me. Although, I always wondered exactly how they would know who the legitimate claimants were, in the event of an accident. Well, I learnt today…….that many didn’t wait on an accident, they fabricated slips and falls and put claims in, unsuccessfully of course. But they do try. Makes me think once again, that people are indeed people. Time and space and location are minor variables in the mix of things. They try it too at Safeway, and Walmart of course.

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