Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Honest Hand Shake

Last couple of years I spend lot of time traveling - seen Singapore, Japan, Germany, Italy, some Canada. It was nice, but I always get home sick - usually after four days of being away from home. Well, imagine my fifth, sixth, or fourteenth day. Most of them were business trips, therefore, site seeing was done on the weekends, otherwise, I spend working, eating and sleeping per each day, and next day was just the same day. I also don't like being in the air a lot, just personal fear of flying I have - but then after so many flights it was just like taking a bus. So here I am going to tell you a story, my side of the story, and I will leave it with you do decide what is the other side of the story, because I don't know and I will never know.

We, myself and my husband were sitting on the plane, ready for take off to Frankfurt. As always I got my window seat, where I can stick my face to the small airplane window and watch clouds for hours as long as there was sun. Behind us, I did not look, but by listening, there were three people sitting - young boy, older woman and younger woman. At first I thought that they were all related, however, they were not. The boy wasn't, he was alone traveling by himself.

It was getting dark behind the window, so I decided to open up my laptop. As I was reading I noticed that once in a while my seat would move back or forth, as the boy was leaning forward and trying to see what I was doing, and give up and come back again. Before knowing that he was not related to other two ladies, I assumed that he must be one of those disturbing kids that like to bother others. I had those before, and I tell you they would kick back of my seat and parents never did anything. Well my assumption was wrong. Since I noticed that my chair was now rocking back and forth more frequently, I decided to turn around with my friendly smile, and I did. I noticed the two ladies were very much a sleep.

I turned around and I saw this young boy, with fair skin, big eyes and light brown hair smiling at me. He pleasantly asked, what I was doing at my laptop. I said I was reading some articles. It was kind of hard to explain my business stuff to him, now knowing how young he was. The boy seemed very nice and friendly, not what I imagined. I asked him - what is your name? He answered, 'I am Christian', and he took his little hand and forwarded through a narrow opening between the window and the chair to introduce himself. I was in a really bad position to make that hand shake but it was so honest that I just twisted my arm to fit between and shake his hand. We made a connection that would only last few hours.

Christian was traveling from Canada, somewhere closer to West Coast. He offered to show me all his documentation, but I refused. I told him to keep all in place and not to loose it. He listen. He also told me that he was flying to Sofia, Bulgaria. He was going to school there, and was living with his grandmother during his school year. He traveled four times a year - for summer and Christmas holidays. He didn't want to really go back to school and be away from his mother. Father was never mentioned. He was lonely and sad. We kept talking about school stuff, his languages skills and once in a while I would point out an airplane flying by as sun started to rise above the horizon. We started to see more puffy clouds, and here is something what me and Christian had in common - being in the clouds. At some point he said, 'I want to walk in those big clouds over there', something I always dreamed of.

The plane landed. I started to pack. He was getting ready for another flight. Someone was going the take him. Christian became distant. I felt that Christian met many people like me on the airplane before, and he knew that he will never see them again, and he will never see me again. I said Good Bye as I was leaving, and he did too. My heart was broken seeing the sadness in his eyes, and now no more connection.


Monday, September 17, 2007

A Quest For Balanced Life

When Grace graduated from school, she had a rough idea what she wanted to do. The goal was to learn and gain knowledge in the first few years on the job. She did that. First couple of years the learning process was quite slow, but she was definitely learning fundamentals on the real job. Fundamentals in school were theoretical, fundamentals on the job were practical, and she definitely was fulfilling her practical knowledge. Then what. Well, then Grace moved on, she was now ready for a second step. A step where she could apply her knowledge and solve problems. Time came and she was looking for a new job. Decisions were tough to make. Everyone was offering her mountains of gold - like brand new desk, a new computer, complete working system in place and job that required very little challenge. The challenge was just get things rolling, get things done, and ensure you follow the system. Yes follow the system already in place. In this case there is no room for change. Was this what Grace wanted in her next career step? No, that wasn't it.

Grace needed something more challenging and her wish came true. She arrived at the place where everything was just right, and at first she thought there is no challenge here, but that thought was based on her visual observations only. However, something made her listen deeply - the boss wasn't happy. As she listened and listened, she started to see a true picture - the business was in trouble, and things needed to be fixed. There were many other candidates for this job, Grace needed to win this and how? Well, the right answer was - 'I don't want to work in the place where everything is perfect. I want to work in the place where I can get hold of the broom and start cleaning and creating a system that is right for all' - Grace got the job. Her knowledge now was growing along the exponential curve. Just to clarify, she was a dry sponge before, and at the second step she was now the wet sponge, absorbing much more knowledge than before. She worked for couple years in this second step or on her second path, but unfortunately boss's impatience to have things done, and fake appreciation and dishonesty to all employees eventually brought him to bankruptcy. Grace was long gone before his downfall.

Before Grace had challenging job she took pre-early second step, she went to work for herself. Grace failed because she was too aggressive, naive and she just did not have enough knowledge to recognize that it wasn't that easy, and it would have not been if she knew what she was doing. However, the paths in life are not that obvious sometimes, and because someone else walked that path, it may not be a path for you.

When Grace left the second step job, now she was ready for the third step. By some unknown reason her own business made a perfect sense now. She took different approach. She entered the abyss of unknown with her true confidence, with what she really knew and not with what she pretended to know. The honesty, dedication and now her skill got Grace successful. So how Grace measures her success. In business world usually success is measured by how much money you make. However, she measures her success based on that too, because you need to make money to survive - yes she makes enough to have her business going every year, but not any more when she was working for someone else. However, Grace's true measure of success is happiness defined by balance between a work and personal life.

The moral of the story is, when you are new to the working world, you must think of your path carefully. You must also know that the path you chose may not be always the path you end up with. You must also realize that your work path will take most of your life on the beginning but as you get established you should realize that there is also personal path that you can run in parallel. Lastly, you must also know, that any path you choose may not be an easy path, but it is up to you to stay strong and honest with yourself to make the right life decisions.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Only Photo: Blog Connections And Me

My Only Photo: Blog Connections And Me

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

This Is A Perfect Example of Unconditional Love

Well today it will be someone else's story. I just want to repeat a story that been all time my favorite. I enjoy reading every time it gets to me by email chain letter, come across it on Internet or even someone already knows it and tells me again. I usually listen, and then tell them yes I know all about it. I probably will embellish or change the story a bit, however, the meaning will remain and that's what matters on the end. So there is this little boy, may be five or older, and his older sister been diagnosed with leukemia. The boy been asked if he can give his blood to his sister so she can get well. Without hesitation the boy agrees. During the blood transfusion the boy was laying beside her sister and watched how color on her face came back. He smiled, then he turned to the nurse or doctor standing by and asked, how soon until I start to die? To me this is a perfect example of unconditional love.

Friday, September 7, 2007

A Plane Crash I Will Never Forget

I was one of the witnesses when British air plane RAF Nimrod crashed into Lake Ontario during the International Air Show in Toronto on September 2nd, 1995. I wish I didn't witness. Why? Because 7 people died, 7 young men died and no one could do anything. Few years later, on September 11th, 2001 in horror I watched live news at home when the New York World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists and eventually collapsed. Thousands of people died. Two incidences 6 years apart, one pure accident a human error, and another one evil human choice.

The story goes on. I liked going to air shows. Every year about 2 weeks before I would get impatient about the Labor weekend air show. Little things like - which day should we go, where should we sit or will it rain? That year in 1995, something unusual was happening to me all week long before the air show. I was having these dreams about air plane landings near GTA airport. These white and red mid size air planes were flying over the highway and were landing on the Pearson International Airport, Toronto. It felt strange, but then I thought, I am getting impatient again and may be just because I pass by airport too often. Perhaps that is why the air plane dreams were sparked.

Finally we, my boyfriend then and husband now, decided to take on the Saturday show. It was the first day of the air show. That day Saturday turned out to be a beautiful sunny day. That morning I woke up and I was little edgy and excited. I told my mom, you will not believe what I dreamed about. An air plane crash and it crashed in front of our old house where I used to live when I was still in elementary school. It wasn't that bad of a crash, and I could not see if anyone died. I only saw a big round pointy tip of the plane, shadowing the whole front yard and the house. The smoke made impossible to see more detail. That morning my boyfriend quietly listen to this story on the other side of the phone.

We arrived at the CNE by noon. Passed through pathways full of people. Once in a while an army cadet would come up to us and try to sell us the air show program. 'Air Show Program for Sale', 'Air Show Program for Sale' - he kept yelling out loud. We passed on the first offer, but then gave in on the second offer, so we purchased the air show program for five bucks. We found perfect spot to watch the show. A spot that gave us nice view for free. It was sunny, very hot, but the breeze from Lake Ontario kept us cool.

Everything was going well. Planes flew back and forth, peoples heads moving back and forth. I particularly liked fighter jets like the F16 or Stealth leaving thunder like sound behind. I forgot all about my dreams and nightmares. The Nimrod came to the view. I don't remember if he flew by once or twice, but then around 3:30 pm (I think) close to the end of the show, the Nimrod was moving our way. Far away from us but our way. He was flying gradually down. I took some photos before. I watched, and the plane continued gradually descending towards the water. I thought - its all part of the show. Suddenly the plane nose dived into the shallow waters of the Lake Ontario. The water splashed and I thought - its all part of the show - this was me being in shock state and hoping that what I just saw was not real. People whispered, shook their heads. I looked into my boyfriends eyes - it was true, the plane crashed. Perhaps the plane in the dream was Nimrod.

Air show was cancelled, curious people were awaiting news, asked questions. As we walked back to the car the same army cadet passed us - 'Air Show Souvenir for Sale', 'Air Show Souvenir for Sale' - he yelled out.


British Bomber Crashes During Air Show

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Equation For The Hardest Job

Finally my article idea came back to me after days of trying to remember what I was going to write about. It came back while we were driving to work beside the toilet rental truck with some type of sewer pump. I said, wow, all he has to do is rent these portable toilets, clean them, deliver or pick them up, and he is making money - the man driving a truck looked happy. There is lot of constructions, and sport events going on in our area, so these are very useful, and yes there is market for it. Eureka! I got it, I finally got it. I know now what I wanted to write about - it was about the hardest job, and I had all figured out. So what is the hardest job. Is the hardest job also the most difficult job? Is the hardest job also not very pleasant job? Is the hardest job also stressful job? I guess you can ask these questions to determine the job hardness level. However, I will share my opinion about the hardest job.
A job can only be hard if you yourself make it hard. In life we may not have choice where we are going to work, but we have the choice to make it better. A job can be difficult, but if you skilled then it is not difficult anymore. A job may not be pleasant, but needs to be done, and you are happy because at least you have a job and can support your family. A job can be stressful, but then who is in control?
The other day in the mid of hot summer day, the garbage man passed by to pick up garbage from the curbs of houses on my street. I observed and thought for second, his job must be hard. Then I listened and looked closer, the man has full blast radio on, and he sang away - he looked not just happy, but he looked very happy.
The other day in the mid of hot summer day, the elegant car passed by with an elegant man in a dark suit, and probably running air conditioner at full blast. He probably is some kind of executive, not much of physical hard work to do - I thought, but then he looked not happy.
The other day in the mid of hot summer day, I see young landscaper digging a small flower bed. He looked tired and exhausted. He doesn't belong in this job, but he does it. Is he happy?
Few weeks ago, we had window installer replacing all the windows in our house. When we met him, he looked happy, but once we got to know him, I don't think he was.
I am now confused very confused and I wish there was some kind of equation for the hardest job, but then no. No it is not right. I think the hardest job is when you are not happy. And I am beginning to think there is no equation for hardest job, or for happiness, or for anything in life, and I better move on before I become even more confused, and blogging will become the hardest job in my life.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Empty Head of Mine

There are days when I can write my head off, and there are days I have no ideas - and today is the day where my head is absolutely empty. The other day, I did have an excellent idea, and I know it was excellent because I was thinking about it a lot and planning how I will write it and so on and on, but then I don't know what happened - I cannot remember. May be I just think too much. So just letting you all know, that the blog is still active, and if you don't see anything new, then that means my head is not active. Please stay tuned, and enjoy my other blobbing stories, and lets hope I have some new stories for you in the loot bag in the next few days.