2017 Top 10 ~ Monday Night Raw (#10)

I have decided to write about my Top Ten highlights from 2017, the things that really stood out for me on a personal level.  From the very tough start that was the early months of the year, I knew that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.  With the sale of my house and some financial security it provided me, I decided to take advantage of this opportunity this past summer and did some pretty amazing things.

I called this The Summer of George and from the idea of making the absolute most of my situation, I decided to cut loose and experience some of the best things that life had to offer.  For one summer at least.  Having been the king of #SixKidChaos for a number of years, the household finances dictated that when I needed new socks, it was a needle and thread to the rescue.  More often than not I would get practical gifts at Christmas, birthdays, etc..  So if I was going to do something this summer, I was going to do it right!

#10 ~ Monday Night Raw, Monday August 7th, 2017

I have always been a lifelong wrestling fan, and in the course of my life I have had the absolute pleasure of seeing some incredible things.  Any wrestling fan should be so lucky, the highlights for me include: Hogan vs Warrior WM6, Hogan vs Rock WM18, Hogan vs Michaels SS2005, and the Montreal Screw Job in 1997.  There have been many more, and its a love and passion that I now share with my son as we wrestle around the house on a daily basis.

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He wears Hanes boxers!

The WWF (as I will always refer to it as) was coming to Toronto for one of it’s main TV shows, Monday Night Raw and I knew I wanted to go.  Not only go, but sit in the best seats possible, with the thanks to Stub Hub that is exactly what we got!

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Ambrose incoming!

Part of this summer for me was to also pay it forward to my friends who had always been there for me over the years.  I invited my friend Corey and Ryan, both big wrestling fans as we had the time of our lives.  Sitting this close to the action, we literally had beads of sweat land on us as the action got the close to where we were sitting.  Dean Ambrose was literally dumped into the stands right in front of us, to the point where we could see the brand of underwear that he wears. (True story…)

Watching on TV my whole life, and I guess with all sports in general you have a forced perspective to watch.  You can only see what the camera wants you to see, being live and in person your eyesight, your natural curistoy is allowed to take hold and you can watch whatever you want.  I know this night I started to watch other people’s reaction to the action and mayhem that was surrounding us.

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Taken with my Iphone, and holds a place of honour in my  rec. room.

When we first arrived at the Air Canada Centre, you could feel the energy and excitement in the air, so much that you could cut it with a knife.  We entered the building and headed down the 100 level to the floor where our seats were, met by a nice elder gentlemen who looked at our tickets and then lead the way.   As we walked closer and closer towards the ring we all started t get giddy like a kid on Christmas morning, we were seated in the 2nd row right beside the time keeper and announcers table.

The card itself (in terms of matches) was rather unforgettable.  The main event featured a Last Man Standing match between Roman Reigns and Brawn Strowman, two HUGE men that had no issues throwing each other all around the ringside area.

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Staring holes into the crowd.

Being this close to the action you get a great perspective on just how big 6 foot 8 inches and 380 pounds really is.  That being Brawn Strowman who during one of the commercial breaks just glared a hole into the crowd, and in particular Ryan whom he made eye contact with.

The night went by far too quickly, as these nights often do.  We had such a blast that night and it gave new fresh perspective on an old favorite project of mine.  This same group of guys gets together a few times a year to watch the major WWF Pay per Views, the new one being the Royal Rumble in late January.

Up next on my list of highlights (#9) will be the Survivor Series dinner I had in November, as it might have been the best meal I’ve ever made… all laced with love!

Can’t Stop The Feeling!

The next song on my list to share is Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling!  This one is a favorite of mine to include in my early morning routine, and it came on the shuffle this morning.  I just cannot help but to get up and dance around every time that I hear it as it’s catchy beat and fun lyrics just make me want to move around.

I have this idea to replicate this video using me and my own kids, I call the riding the shopping cart scene right now as I do that every time I go shopping!  It is also a great song to dance to, especially when no one is watching.  Got the house to yourself right now?  I suggest you put it on, turn up the volume and let loose.

Ah, yeah, ah, yeah
I got this feelin’ inside my bones
It goes electric, wavy when I turn it on
All through my city, all through my home
We’re flyin’ up, no ceilin’, when we in our zone

I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)
I can’t take my eyes up off it, movin’ so phenomenally
Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop

And under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I’m gettin’ you close
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine

Nothin’ I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn’t do
But you dance, dance, dance
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’
I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance, come on

Ooh, it’s something magical
It’s in the air, it’s in my blood, it’s rushin’ on (rushin’ on)
I don’t need no reason, don’t need control (need control)
I fly so high, no ceiling, when I’m in my zone

‘Cause I got that sunshine in my pocket
Got that good soul in my feet
I feel that hot blood in my body when it drops (ooh)
I can’t take my eyes up off it, moving so phenomenally
Room on lock, the way we rock it, so don’t stop (stop, stop, stop)

Under the lights when everything goes
Nowhere to hide when I’m gettin’ you close
When we move, well, you already know
So just imagine, just imagine, just imagine

Nothing I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance
Feel a good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on
All those things I shouldn’t do
But you dance, dance, dance
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’
I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’
So just dance, dance, dance
I can’t stop the feelin’ (yeah)
So keep dancin’, come on

Oh, yeah, yeah
I can’t stop the, I can’t stop the
I can’t stop the, I can’t stop the
I can’t stop the feelin’

Nothin’ I can see but you when you dance, dance, dance (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Feel the good, good, creepin’ up on you
So just dance, dance, dance, come on (I can’t stop the feelin’)
All those things I shouldn’t do
But you dance, dance, dance (dance, dance, dance) (I can’t stop the feelin’)
And ain’t nobody leavin’ soon, so keep dancin’

Everybody sing (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Got this feeling in my body (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Got this feeling in my body (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Wanna see you move your body (I can’t stop the feelin’)
Got this feelin’ in my body
Break it down
Got this feelin’ in my body (ah)
Can’t stop the feelin’
Got this feelin’ in my body, come on (ooh)

2017 A Year in Pictures

It would seem that a lot of bloggers like to recap the year, as many of the sites that I follow and read have done this recently.  I also happen to think it is an excellent idea to take note of where you have been, so it can help you focus on exactly where you want to go.  I spent a part of my morning scrolling through my recent Google photos from the last few years and I present to you Ed Dillon, A Year in Review picture style.

January 2017

The year started off still at my old house with the hopes of listing and selling it while the real estate market here in Barrie was going a little bananas.  Austin has his 3rd birthday, with Darth Vader himself even delivering his present.

February 2017

As we got closer to listing and selling our house, our favorite game quickly became lightsaber battles as Austin was discovering the magic that is Star Wars.  I also started to contemplate buying a new Jeep this month.

March 2017

The kids started swimming lessons, I ordered my Jeep which was custom built for me in Ohio and shipped North after the assembly was completed.  Megan as always, loves to take selfies on my phone every chance that she gets.

April 2017

Lot’s of quality time spent with the kids, and we got ready to move into our new house at the beginning of May.  My Jeep also arrived with only 3 km on the odometer.  Oh that was so sweet…

May 2017

Was able to get the golf season off to a great start in May, finding some beautiful Ontario Trilliums in bloom.  I would take the roof off of the Jeep every single chance that I could, despite what might have been questionable weather to some.

June 2017

I enjoyed the beautiful outdoor weather as much as possible this month, taking the roof and the doors off whenever possible.  It was one of Austin’s favorite things to do, he had a little too much fun in there if you ask me.  On Father’s Day the kids asked if they could paint me, not quite what I had in mind but it was awesome.

July 2017

I turned 45 in July and I had one of the best months of my life.  It started with a Road Trip to Chicago and St. Louis for some ball games and then back to Canada, to pick up my daughters and a great camping trip up in Ottawa.  I started to build my recreational room at the front of my house aka MAN CAVE.  I even found a four leaf clover this month!

August 2017

This month saw a great trip to see Monday Night Raw, the pool table arrived and the games room was decorated and completed.  I played lots and lots of golf often getting up at the crack of dawn and playing a few rounds in a day.

September 2017

The kids went back to school and by the end of the month I was unemployed by choice.  I really wanted to spend as much time at home as I possibly could.  After almost 21 years working for The Keg I needed a break as I was emotionally and physically spent.  I started to bake a lot, and dove into my children as much as I could.

October 2017

Jennifer’s birthday lands on Halloween and that will forever be an extra special day around here, and always lot’s to do in preparation for it.  I played as much golf as possible while the weather was still nice, and continued the trend of baking more and more.

November 2017

This month just went by far too quickly as all month’s seem to do when you are having the time of your life.  Despite some hiccups with Emily, who turned 16 this month I enjoyed spending time with my kids all month.  I had all my old Keg friends over for a dinner on the eve of Survivor Series, and there were only two of us left standing.  What a great night!

December 2017

The year ended on a bit of an emotional roller coaster, but a lot of great lessons were learned.  I am in the process of getting an online baking company started, focusing on Sugar Cookies.  I lost track of the number of loaves of banana bread, and pies I’ve baked this month and of course Christmas morning is always magical around my house.

2017 was quite the year for me.  From where I started at the beginning of the year, what I was able to learn along the way.  The changes I saw in my personal and professional life, what I thought was important at the beginning of the year has changed by the summer months, and completely changed again by September.  The last few months I have been on a mission of self discovery and growth, and I am very excited to see what 2018 brings.

I’ve met an incredible lady who inspires me to be my very best, I have improved the relationships with all my children and I’ve started down a few roads back into the workforce in new and exciting directions.  2017 was such a year, and I suspect that 2018 will be even for so for all the right reasons!

Happy New Year everyone.  All my best wishes to you and your families in 2018!

Holding Out For A Hero

I’ve been updating my workout playlist, as recently my cardio workouts have lasted longer than the actual music on the playlist.  Not a bad thing when I did my 10km run a few days ago as the last km home I could hear the snow crunch under my feet as I was closing in on home, and the breath in the air and my heart pounding in my chest…

So with that in mind I’ve been slowly adding great up tempo song back into this playlist as the length of my cardio sessions will continue to grow over the next few months.  I picked up some snazzy Beats bluetooth run headphones that I look forward to breaking in over the winter.  The Ironman race in July will be here before I know it…

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life!
Larger than life

Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach
There’s someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It’s gonna take a superman to sweep me off my feet

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong
And he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I could swear there is someone, somewhere
Watching me
Through the wind, and the chill, and the rain
And the storm, and the flood
I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life

I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night
He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast
And he’s gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the morning light
He’s gotta be sure
And it’s gotta be soon
And he’s gotta be larger than life
I need a hero
I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night

Too much turkey…

And there goes Luke’s hand, as Darth Vader slices it off in the epic fight scene at the end of The Empire Strikes Back, I’m watching my fourth Star Wars movie of the day.

“No. I am your father.”

Perhaps one of the most mis quoted Star Wars references, as most would say, “Luke, I am your father…”  What started around noon with The Force Awakens, Rogue One, A New Hope and now Empire, with of course Revenge, er Return of the Jedi still to come.

See the real Star Wars fans will appreciate the above paragraph, and the other 99.9999999% of you will think I’m nuts, but that is okay!  This is what single guys do when they don’t have any kids at home as I’ve found myself today.  In the fun snowfall of Christmas Day I had the extreme pleasure of watching my four children experience the magic that is Christmas morning.

I always have such fond memories of my days as a child and the excitement to the build up of Christmas, it was my favorite time of the year.  Christmas hands down every time, I guess my parents did a great job of making sure that it was a magical time of the year and I’ve tried to do the same for my children.  This was my first Christmas as a single man, and (aside for some wrapping assistance, thank you) I had to do everything myself.  Funny what you take for granted in a couple, that you have to take care of on your own.  However I love this stuff, and I think I rose to the challenge pretty well this year.  Let the pictures speak for themselves…

And while my face may not have shown it that morning, I was feeling it inside.  I feel I took on just a bit too much with kids school functions, sugar cookie orders, my own Christmas baking, a full Christmas dinner at home on Christmas Eve and then driving my kids back to their mom’s houses in the blizzard.  The Jeep did what she was born to do and I zipped through with easy and control and a feeling of safety.  I love my car.

I had an emotional Christmas Day that ended much better than I thought it might, surprising what can happen when your open and honest.  While there is a mountain to climb, and a shit storm of things to figure out, it shall at the very interesting and the time of our lives to quote an old favorite song of mine…

This morning, I ate cookies for breakfast (thank you Mrs. Kershaw your Christmas treats where delicious as always) and I haven’t had them in several years.  I guess it was a thank you for driving out the girls from Barrie to Orangeville, I really don’t mind and that had become a Christmas tradition for me now.  Ha ha that’s kind of cool as I just realized that… As I type this the Imperial March from the end credits of Empire is playing and it’s epic!!!!

During that drive I get the listen to some great music, sing aloud take all the back roads I can find and just make it an awesome experience.  This year I killed it and everything about that drive was great.  Mrs. Kershaw even packed me leftover turkey, and with today’s feedings my turkey meal count stands as follows.  Dec. 23rd two plates turkey dinner, Dec. 24th two plates turkey dinner, Dec. 25th one plate turkey road snacks dinner, and one plate home leftovers, Dec. 26th two plates turkey dinner…

That is eight turkey dinners in a row.  What is wrong with me?  I’ve still got two more meals tomorrow to finish that bird.  I mean I like me a good protein but ten turkeys plates in a row is asking a bit too much, no?

In between the Star Wars marathon today I’ve been playing a lot of pool today as well, and I have to say I’ve found a recent mental clarity when shooting a rack that I feel I’ve improved by 200% in the past month.  I cannot wait for my buddy Ryan to get out her soon so I can dust that poore boy, he won’t know what hit him.  Ryan I’ve considered my measuring stick if you will, he is a 29 year version of me.  So when 45 year old me can beat him in golf this summer, and now pool well I am doing okay, ha ha!

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I cannot tell you the number of comments and compliments that my Man Cave gets as it rocks the entrance to my house, and I love it.  It encompases everything about my childhood growing up and all of my current loves and interests.  I even take all my baking photos on top of the pool table…  It is my everything room and brings me such peace when I get to be in there, it has so many different feels and vibes to me all dependant on how you want to set the mood, just like a Transformer, just like my Jeep.  Anyone sensing a theme here?  Yes I am just abid kid at heart, and wouldn’t have it any other way!  I’ve got a few more games of pool to get to, as I continue to search for that perfect rack and run the table, as that day is getting close…

I can feel it, small goal of mine to see it happen in 2017.  Happy Holidays everyone!

 

 

Why No One Wants Unsolicited Advice

I subcribe to a few different sites as sources of inspiration for me, to help keep me in the correct mindset and outlook on life.  One of them is from a site called Tiny Buddha and due to recent events in my life this one rung very true to me.

About Keenan Cullen

Keenan Cullen is passionate about becoming the very best communicator he can possibly be. If you want to learn more about what he’s discovered about dealing and relating with people effectively, visit his blog or sign-up for his free weekly articles at keenancullen.com.

Original Article as follows:

When people start dumping their complaints and woeful stories on you, how do you respond?

Do you see it as your golden opportunity to be of help to them?

Do you make it your mission to put your wealth of knowledge and wisdom to good use by coaching them through their difficulties?

I mean, isn’t this a great chance to share the extent of your wisdom and understanding, and also be of help to someone in their time of need?

But the most important question of all is this:

When you’ve encountered this situation, did they ask you for your assistance before you started advising them?

When people dumped their complaints on me, there was a time when I took the initiative and voluntarily started counseling them on their problem, even though they never asked me for my guidance.

I thought I was being helpful.

But then I made an important breakthrough discovery in maintaining the connections I had with others without accidentally destroying them.

Let me start at the beginning of my story…

When someone used to dump their problems on me, I used to think:

“Oh, they have this problem. I have the answers. I’ll be a good friend or family member and help them solve it, all because I care about them.”

I remember this one time, a friend of mine was having trouble dating women and he would complain about it to me.

Guess what I did?

Did I listen and seek to understand him, where he was coming from, and how he felt about the situation?

Nope.

What did I do?

I started right in on giving him unsolicited advice about how he could get better at dating women.

I thought I was being helpful.

But you know what?

I noticed a very curious thing happening as I did this…

I observed that his body language and voice tone started showing signs of irritation. I could tell he wasn’t welcoming and responding positively to my advice, even though I knew it was solid, and even though he was verbally agreeing with what I was saying.

Later, I started to wonder why this was.

Here he had a problem, I thought. Didn’t he want a solution?

Surely, he wanted one, right?

After all, why gripe about something if it’s not going to lead to a constructive outcome that brings about the desired results?

This investigation led me to question how I reacted when I shared my own problems with people and they responded by giving me unsolicited advice—which, incidentally, only happened for the first time after the incident with my friend and his dating problems.

Isn’t it funny how we sometimes don’t know that something’s annoying and maybe even condescending until we’ve been on the receiving end of the very same behavior ourselves?

I find it interesting that we often don’t know that we’re acting in ways that are turn-offs to others until we’ve had someone behave or treat us in the exact same way.

Isn’t it often only then that we have the epiphany?

Well, that’s what I learned about giving people unsolicited advice, especially in response to them dumping their problems on me—it’s patronizing and condescending.

Reacting to people who complain by telling them how they should solve their problems “forcibly” places us in the “superior” role to them. It frames us as the person with the “higher social rank” in the interaction, and lowers the complainer down into an inferior role.

And who likes to feel inferior to others?

But what do we think?

Isn’t it this:

“Oh, aren’t I being a great friend? I’m helping them out!”

But is it possible that we’re actually sending them a completely different message from the one we think we are?

Could it be possible that what they end up hearing is something else?

And could it also be possible that that message is something offensive and insulting to them?

Want to know what the recipient of unsolicited advice really hears?

I’ll warn you…

It’s not too flattering, and you may be ashamed of yourself to discover the true message behind your actions.

Between the lines, they hear you saying this to them:

“I think you’re inadequate and incompetent, and you require my superior knowledge and wisdom to make progress here. Without my help and intervention, you are a helpless victim incapable of dealing with your own problems. You should feel lucky that I’m even putting in my precious time and effort to give you some assistance. Furthermore, I don’t accept you the way you are. I’m making it my mission to change you so that you fit into my ideal of who I think you should be instead of accepting you as you are.”

Now imagine if someone said that directly to your face.

How would you feel?

Probably not very good, right?

Well, guess what?

That’s exactly how you’re making people feel when you give them unsolicited advice in response to their complaints.

So wouldn’t it greatly improve your ability to connect with people and win their esteem if you stopped making them feel this way?

For what’s more important than earning the love and respect of others?

Or, would you rather sacrifice their love and respect just so you can have your chance in the spotlight to prop yourself up as a “knowledgeable” and “wise” person?

And all for what?

Just to get an ego boost, at someone else’s expense?

After all, what does it profit us to share our “superior” wisdom and guidance with someone if all it earns us is their contempt?

And how does that really benefit us and our relationship with that person?

It doesn’t, does it?

Now let me ask you this:

Have you ever asked yourself why people dump their problems on others in the first place?

What do you think they really want by doing so?

Do you think they do it because they want a solution to their problem?

Do you think they do it because they want your help?

After all, isn’t that what we tell ourselves is the truth of the matter?

But are those the real reasons?

After all, if they wanted a solution and some help, wouldn’t they ask us for our feedback, opinions, or advice somewhere in there?

But do they?

Well, guess what?

Almost every time people complain, they’re not doing it because they actually want a solution to their problems. They’re not doing it because they want our help. They’re doing it for another reason altogether.

And what do they want exactly?

Simply this:

To be understood and receive sympathy.

That’s what they really want.

And more specifically, what they want is for someone to understand how difficult what they’re going through is for them.

That’s the response they really want from us.

Not unsolicited advice.

Trust me, that’s the last thing they want.

I mean, are you aware that people secretly hate and resent unsolicited advice, even though they’ll probably never tell us that to our face?

Instead, they’ll just put on a polite smile while perhaps they secretly fume about it behind their cordial mask.

I’ve discovered an important lesson in fostering healthy relationships is to stop trying to help people with their problems when they complain about them—unless they specifically ask for it. Instead, I’ve found it much wiser to seek to understand what they’re going through and what they must be feeling.

Then focus on that.

What people really want when they complain is to have their feelings not only understood but at the same time validated.

In short, people simply want affirmation on how much whatever they’re going through sucks and how hard it is.

If what you want is to connect with people in these types of situations instead of earning their resentment, don’t treat them like they’re a useless person who can’t do anything for themselves with your unrequested guidance.

Instead, identify the emotion they’re feeling, and then ask them about that.

Let me give you an example…

If someone is complaining that a person in their life isn’t giving them enough attention, instead of advising them and giving them tips on how they can get more attention from that person, try to identify what they must be feeling and then ask them about that.

In this case, you might say:

“So you’re feeling unloved?”

Their eyes will probably light up as if you’ve just read their mind, as they exclaim, “Yeah! That’s exactly it!”

Then you might follow-up with some kind of affirmation and then maybe even tell a very short story that relates to their situation.

Perhaps you might say:

“That really sucks, and I think I know what you’re going through. I once had a partner who would only pay me attention when they wanted something from me. I felt like I didn’t really matter to them, like they didn’t really care about me as a person.”

Why not let people work through their own problems and issues—even if you can see the error of their ways, and even if the solution seems obvious to you.

Why not respect them and let them figure it out on their own time, on their own terms, and in their own way unless they ask you for help?

When people dump their complaints and problems on you, if you really care about them, why patronize them with your unsolicited advice?

Why add fuel to the fire?

Aren’t they probably already feeling stuck or down enough as it is to have to endure someone’s condescension on top of it?

So why not try this approach to dealing with others’ complaints?

I encourage you to test this out the next time you find yourself in a situation where someone is dumping their problems on you.

Instead of “jumping to their rescue” with your saving grace and advice, seek to discover the emotion they must be feeling.

Then ask them if that’s how they feel.

If they confirm your suspicion, affirm how bad that must be, and maybe even share your own short story about the same or similar experience.

Then I suggest changing the subject at the first opportunity. Maybe even use your story to lead into it—because I wouldn’t advise focusing an entire conversation around how negative something is.

I believe in nurturing a positive outlook on life, yet at the same time being realistic, honest, and understanding that, yes, life does sometimes suck and it’s wise to accept that rather than living in an illusion where the world is filled with rainbows and lollipops.

There are, of course, ways of truly helping people with their problems without giving them unsolicited advice, but that’s an article in itself.

Ultimately, it all comes down to this…

What would you rather have:

A strong connection with the people in your life, or the certain knowledge that they harbor hidden feelings of resentment toward you due to your unwanted, condescending advice?

The choice is yours.img_3639.jpg

The Christmas Shopping Miracle

With crunch time officially upon us, all the last minute details need to be done.  The last few gifts need to be purchases, grocery shopping for a wonderful Christmas dinner… to say this time of year can be super stressful all depends on how you need to look at.

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Chocolate Raspberry cheesecake made with love.

While standing in the longest line of all time at the LCBO, I was getting the last things that I needed for the next few days, some gifts of wine for my Dad, sister and brother whom will be having a Christmas dinner with today.  I was silently reflecting on the last 45 minutes of my life, and all the awesomeness I was able to take it around me as I finished up my shopping.  Let’s start at the beginning shall we?

I headed outside at 9:45am to shovel the end of the driveway.  You know that heavy, sluggy dirty wet snow that the snow plows comes and deposits at the end of your driveway right after you have finished shovelling, right?  And while I do drive a Jeep, leaving too much of that stuff lying around well makes it impossible for lesser vehicles.  I have always looked at shovelling snow as a perfect upper body, and back workout.  It took at 7 minutes to clear my plug and of course my neighbours plug as I always have the joined driveway dilemma.

Then it was off to Zehr’s to stock up on some tasty treats and pickup what was needed for the lovely turkey dinner that I will be making for the family tomorrow night.  It looked like everyone else in Barrie had the same idea, get it done early Saturday morning and out of the way.  I parked at the back of the lot so it would allow me to ride the shopping cart all the way down towards to store.  I absolutely love the looks I get from everyone as I go whizzing by them riding the back of the cart.  It is so much fun, and the next time you go shopping I suggest you give it a try.  I had a vague recollection of what I needed and proceed to zip through in and around all the other shoppers with great speed quickly filling my cart with what was needed.

As I headed to the checkout line my brain analyze which line was the quickest, I channeled my inner Apu and picked the line with all the single Dads, all cash, no chit chat and was out in no time.  While standing in line I listened to the other conversations that were going on around me, filled with stress, stories of fighting over parking, etc…  I looked around the store and saw nothing but frowns and frustration on far too many faces.  In fact I think I may have been the only one smiling.

I told the grocery bagger to have a little break and packed up my own items into my reusable bags, wished them both a Merry Christmas and then rode my cart at break neck speed across the parking lot back to my Jeep.  I believe I was even singing Christmas carols as I zoomed along.

Next was the LCBO and wouldn’t you know it, not a parking spot to be found.  That is never a problem anymore as if there are no spots, you simply make one for yourself.  This time on top of a pile of snow and the curb.

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Cannot find a parking space, you make your own!

I quickly grabbed what I needed and got into a line that wound back through the entire store, as luck was with me this day the line moved quickly and then another cashier opened up and I was out of there in under five minutes.  While standing in the line, I overheard the cashier ask a male customer if he had finished shopping yet, and he replied with the cliche answer of… “I am guy, it not Christmas eve at 5pm yet.  I’ve still got plenty of time.”  At the same time I was thinking that I was one checkout away from being finished for the season.  I literally ran out to my Jeep laughing out loud as I was able to mission the store so quickly.

When I got home I had been able to shovel the end of the driveway, hit both the grocery store and the liquor store and back home in exactly 45 minutes.  A quicker mission has not been since in a long while.  Last minute shopping, no problem, I got this!

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