31 January 2006

This and that

Haven’t been very good about writing entries into here. Some thoughts from the last three weeks...

- I voted but didn’t really study each party’s platform. Just went for the better candidate in my riding, plus I didn’t really have major disagreements with the Liberal’s policies. But I really should be more informed.

- I am so tired of all this rain here in Vancouver. Apparently, 29 of 31 days in January have been rainy. Can’t help feeling like a wet duck.

- Sun run! I am starting to train for the 10k Sun Run in April. I’m a treadmill type of runner but so far, running outside hasn’t been all that bad. My only worry is getting my runners all dirty... Hate that.

- Been working out pretty regularly this month. Quite proud of that. 1 month down, 11 more to go.

- Going to sleep by 11:30... Well, haven’t been too good about that. Will do better...

- Work has been busy and challenging. This leadership stuff is not easy.

- We have a PVR which records TV shows for later viewing. Ed’s ecstatic about it but I’m worried that this will entice us to watch more TV, not less. But I am glad we got it because of the upcoming Olympic Games. I can record all the events I’m interested in while I’m sleeping!

- My cats are acting weird. I think they are getting used to the new food that I abruptly switched them over to. Neo is acting more and more like his normal self but Bob didn’t want to eat tonight. He always eats. Uh-oh, I hope he’s not sick too.

- Giving antibiotic pills to Neo is touch and go. Some nights I get it in one attempt. Some nights, well, I’m surprised Neo still comes to snuggle with me.

- Haven’t seen my mom since Christmas. Wow, that month just flew by. It’s time to get out to Richmond for a visit.

- My friend Lizza and her hubby Pat will be moving in to their brand new house in a few days. I am so excited for them! I’m envious too. A brand new house... Sigh...

- Dragon boat season is under way. Paddling in waterproof everything and a toque. Fun.

- Ed’s been very dedicated to paddling, working very hard to get stronger and faster. I’m very proud of him.

- Having my cats sleep on me and snuggle with me is one of the joys in my life. They are just adorable.

8 January 2006

A surprise guest: Peter Lepnick, 97 years old

Last night, Ed and I went to a Ukrainian Christmas party in Maple Ridge. Ed’s friend, Scott, and Scott’s wife, Colleen, hosts this party every year. We got back home around 11pm and Ed went to bed because he has paddling practice early the next day. I decided to watch the news on TV since I haven’t watched TV all week. I watched the news, then CSI was on so I watched that too. By the time CSI ended, Neo was sleeping on my stomach and I didn’t have the heart to push him off so I decided to just go to sleep on the sofa with my cat.

Ed gave me a kiss and left for paddling practice before 7am. I dosed off again but woke up to a weird noise, like wood being scratched. So I said “Neo” out loud, in a reprimanding tone, because I thought it was my cat scratching on something. I did think the sound was too loud for my cat to be making. Then I heard the noise again. So I sat up and listened. It came again and this time, I recognized it as scratching or tapping on my front door which was down the hall from the living room. I got up and took a peek to see who’s outside and I saw an old man standing there. He had tapped on my front door and he had also grabbed the knob and was pulling/pushing on the door. So I opened the door and asked who he was looking for. He said, “Nelly”. I said there was nobody by the name of Nelly in this house. He said Nelly was the owner of this place and that they were friends. So looked at him for a second and quickly decided that something was not right. He didn’t have a jacket on and he looked like he was in his 80’s. And he was holding on to the railing - not because he wanted to but because he needed to. My options were racing through my head when he said he was really cold. And then there was only one option - invite him into the house, get him warmed up, and find out where he lives so I can get someone to take him home. I was going to take him into the living room but he had a hard time walking so I put a blanket around him and got a chair for him to sit on. I asked him where he lived and he started talking about a white house down the street and how they kicked him out and they still had his clothes and wouldn’t let him get it. I asked if I can call someone to come and get him. He said he has a niece but her phone number is at home. That’s when I decided to call the police so they can track down where this man came from. I asked for his name and he replied, “Peter Lepnick, L-E-P-N-I-C-K”.

So I went upstairs to call the police (time was 7:25am). I didn’t want to be in front of Peter while I told the police that there was an incoherent old man in my foyer wrapped in my blanket. After the conversation with police, I went downstairs to find Peter asleep on the chair, holding the blanket around him. I didn’t really know what to do so I stood there watching him sleep. When he slid sideways, I ran over to catch him and suggested he sit in the living room instead. He agreed. He held on to my arm as we made our way down the hallway and I led him to the loveseat. A few minutes later, I heard the doorbell. The police were here.

Two male officers came. I didn’t even ask for their names. They started talking to Peter and asking him all sorts of questions. What’s your name? Where do you live? What’s the address? What’s your birthday? Peter answered all their questions clearly. He kept on talking about his house and how they forced him out of his house. But sifting through his answers, I found out that Peter Lepnick was from Saskatchewan and was born on May 11, 1908. He “rode the rails” and moved west about 50 years ago. The white house he was talking about was on 44th Ave and that 7 years ago, he sold the house and moved to the nursing home down the street from our place. And Nelly, the woman he was looking for when I opened my front door, was someone who lived a few houses from his house on 44th Ave. I was impressed at how the officers questioned him and got the answers they needed to piece the story together. They made it feel like a normal conversation and not an interrogation. It made me really sad when Peter said he thought he was a goner as he was walking up and down the street because he was so cold and it started to rain. He must have been so scared. They were worried about how long Peter was out in the cold walking about. So they called the paramedics to get Peter checked out before driving him back to the nursing home. The paramedics came, took his blood pressure, and checked him over. They said he’s ok to go and they were going to drive him to the nursing home. Then they all left. That was around 8:20am.

I was glad that I let him inside and helped him out. I’m so glad I slept on the sofa! I’m certain that I wouldn’t have heard him if I were upstairs in the bedroom. I would like to think that if he didn’t come to my door, that anybody whose door he knocked on would have helped him out too. I just feel bad that in old age, we lose our coherence and our independence. I think of all the things I have that make me someone other people listen to, that make me a leader in one way or another - all that will be gone when I’m old and gray and my mind start to lose it. It was really sad to see this man,this 97 year old man, sitting in my living room and not remember how he got to my house. I know I don’t ever want to be that old.

6 January 2006

Looking forward to 2006

resolution : a firm decision to do or not to do something
challenge : a call to take part in a contest or competition; a task or situation that tests someone’s abilities

I am going to test my abilities. Instead of making resolutions, I am going to challenge myself to make adjustments in my routine and behaviour in order to accomplish more of the “I wish I had blah blah” things in my life.

First challenge:
Nurture my spirituality. Spend time meditating, contemplating, focusing on what’s inside me. Spend time with family and friends.
(deliverable: a journal that is up to date and that goes deeper than just reporting on what I did that day)

Second challenge:
Nurture my body. Eat healthy and exercise more than I did last year.
(deliverable: intense workout at least 3x a week to improve cardio and build up muscle
bonus: a six-pack by June! hehehe )

Third challenge:
Nurture my mind. Read more, learn more.
(deliverable: finish reading at least one book a month)

Adjustments to make:
- go to be earlier so that I get enough sleep and rest
- leave work by 6:30pm so that I will have time to go to the gym and have a proper dinner
- no TV during the week so that I can spend that time reading, keeping in touch with friends and family, and meditating
- eat less junk food and treats

That’s it. Sounds easy enough! :) But if it was so easy, why haven’t I been able to do it? Huh, huh?

That’s why I’m calling it a challenge. I am a competitive person and so I am challenging myself to do better. I am challenging myself to deliver.

3 January 2006

Happy new year!

To my family and friends, I wish that in this new year you will:
- find and follow your passion and mission in life
- enrich your life by being curious about the world around you
- take on new adventures and challenges so you’ll discover more of your strengths and pleasures
- grow more in love with your partner or find a partner to love
- nurture your relationships with family and friends
- welcome additions to your family (if you plan to have a bundle of joy)
- be blessed with the beautiful gifts of health, love, hope, and prosperity

I hope 2006 will be a fantastic year for you in every way possible!