Saturday, January 24, 2015

I had a dream...

Postcrossing has been very present in my life in the last year.  I got more involved, I've been sending more and receiving more as well.  I've attended and organized meetups, those meetings where we meet others nuts just like us about postcards.  We all have different reasons to start (and continue) this snail mail journey.  For some it is to meet new people, one postcard at the time, others it is because of a collection, for some it is their way to travel to see the world, but whatever the reason we love postcards.

Because I am the way I am, upon a suggestion, I created a group, for Canadian Postcrossing members on Bacefook.  There are a few groups for French speaking people and there is also one for Québécois,  so I thought having a place for us Canadians would be nice.  We could talk about our cards and our issues, etc. with other Canadians.  It is after all a bigger market than Québec alone.  It wasn't about swaps, or trading, but more a place to go and meet other crazies about cards that might end up being close to us.  It started out well.  I went on a crazy invite fest, basically emailing all Canadian persons I would come across on Postcrossing. I wanted it to work, to be alive!  I will say this, it is going.  We are close to 200 members and it's not been a year yet since I started it.  I've thought  of games to do, to get people involved, of a monthly draw, across Canada using our motto "A mari usque ad mare" as the name of it, I made it ours and shared with all.  I've had some rough times, and still do, when I have to refuse some because they were not Canadians.  I felt discriminatory, but at the same time my initial thought was "for and about Canadians".  I don't want to be closed minded;  I want to remain true to my vision. 

Like everything else in life, things change.  I'm good with that, and I welcome change, I think it keeps us on our toes.  Does that mean I want the purpose of the group to change?  Not really.  I still aim for a place where people will be comfortable enough to ask those "stupid" questions (I write "stupid" because often when we don't know something we think it's stupid), you know like how do I look for a specific user on Postcrossing or where can I get good cards in such a city, a place to share their stats with others about how many cards they have received in the month, or bitch about the price of stamps, etc.  I felt taken aback when some members would only post pictures of cards they wanted to trade, not ever writing a comment or anything just offering trades.  It started slow, once in a while, and then it got to more.  I had to intervene, since I didn't want that to be the only thing on the wall of the group.  Some people did complain about it, I'd say as many from those who wanted to trade as from those who didn't want to be bombarded with offers to trade.  I did try to go about it smoothly, offered other venues, like the Postcrossing Forum is a great place for such, suggested to do it by messages, etc.  It rocked the boat.  To be honest, my true nature (and if you know me IRL, you do know this) came rushing back and simply wanted to remove some from the group, but I also believe that this is now our group, so I tried different options - I wasn't about to become a dictator because of a few people, even if the urge was tickling me big time!

That died down some, but I have to keep reminding people every so often that trades should be made elsewhere. I don't like doing it, but like even less seeing those posts. But like many things in life, when it's not one thing it's another, right?  The past few weeks, actually even before Christmas, I saw some posts that made me wonder.  I know that some people have a visceral need to bitch and moan about nothing and everything.  They are simply miserable when things are smooth, they need commotion in order to feel alive or something.  I've reach a point in my life, where I try to avoid drama. Oh, don't get me wrong, I will not walk away from a good fight, if there is a need for me to fight.  Kumite is in me.  No doubts whatsoever about that! I'm confrontational and I totally assume it, but I will not provoke an argument for the sake of provoking.  I will ask questions, I will do perception check and ask why someone is being rude, or what the problem is, and if I'm attacked I will defend myself without hesitation.  Often my husband will tell me to drop it, whatever it may be, and I rarely do.  I will address the issue then move on. That is my way.  In every aspects of my life.

Because the group is getting bigger, the variety of it kicks in every so often.  Not everyone share the same opinions, and that's the part I enjoy, the differences, but I'm realizing that for some the difference of opinions means something more.  I agree that people can disagree, that one can't please everyone, that we're all entitled to our opinions, blah, blah, blah,  but it comes a time in ones life when one realizes that life is short and that we should enjoy it.  When I see people getting upset about futile things like a blank profile or a receiving a card that doesn't match their profile, I can't help and wonder the importance of Postcrossing in their lives.  When I get a blank profile I see it as an occasion to send any card I like or not.  When I get a card that I really don't understand why it was sent to me, since I don't care about dinosaurs (as an example), I'm thinking maybe the sender did really like dinosaurs and wanted to share his liking.  I will thank him the same way I would any other members.  Since I've started Postcrossing, I only got one "empty" message from someone on 365 cards registered, so overall I'd say members are quite polite ans respectful.  I've had more issues with some members of the group than on Postcrossing directly, granted with Postcrossing it is often limited to a one shot deal. I understand that we all have frustrations, and we all express them in different ways.  Some will take the direct approach and will voice their opinions, others will walk away without saying anything, and some will observe.

I believe that in everything we do we have a choice.  Unless you have a gun pressed against your head, you ALWAYS have a choice.  You may not have the guts to make that choice, you may not have the strength or the will to take that first step towards that choice, but we always have a choice.  When I felt that my parents rules were too much for me, I moved out.  When I felt that I wasn't having the same interest or passion about something, I've looked for something else.  When I thought that things weren't going the way I felt they should I did something about it.  I don't understand how someone can be unhappy, miserable or upset and choose to stay.  I've asked people to come aboard and never thought I've had to ask people to leave.  If you're not happy with what is being done in/for/with this group, then go.  Start your own group and stop bringing everyone down.  I've once told my mother who complained about my father's past behavior that the moment she decided to stay with him she relinquished her right to bitch about him.  She had made a choice, and now had to assume the consequences of her decision.  It's the same for this group.  You decided to become a member.  You don't like the way it's run, or the games we play, then leave.  I'm not holding anyone down.  I will not like to lose members, but if it is an unhappy member maybe it will be for the better of the group.

This group was created with good intentions, lots of ideas and expectations.  I'm proud of it and I truly enjoy it.  I don't want this to become a bore or even a chore.  There are some really cool people among the group and I truly wish that we find a middle path where we can shoot the shit about our empty mail boxes and not getting any rare countries in so long, and those damn expired cards, and not waste so much valuable time about piddly little things.  We should embrace our differences, and rejoice in the fact that we can send postcards to complete strangers who get a kick out of our card, or not, but no matter what it was fun...  'cause after all Postcrossing is:

The goal of this project is to allow people to receive postcards from all over the world, for free. Well, almost free! The main idea is that: if you send a postcard, you will receive one back from a random Postcrosser from somewhere in the world.
Why? Because, like the founder, there are lots of people who like to receive real mail.
The element of surprise of receiving postcards from different places in the world (many of which you probably have never heard of) can turn your mailbox into a box of surprises - and who wouldn't like that?

Something to remember on my way to get the mail, surprises are way better than bills any day of the week, right? Right! 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

What he said!

Tonight we watch "John Wick" with Keanu Reeves; and one thing that struck me during the movie "it wasn't just a fucking dog" - the whole movie about seeking vengeance from the killer of his dog, it all made sense to me!

Recently there has been tensions between my mother and one of her brothers, her favorite one with whom she has been moose hunting for years,  and all related to her beau.  This year, while hunting my uncle got drunk and actually told my mother's beau that he didn't like him, point blank.   Let's just say that didn't go over that well.   Mom no longer wants to see nor talk to her brother.   At Christmas, the issue became a topic of conversation and I felt I just had to say something about it all. I did tell my mother and the beau my uncle had a right not to like him.  We didn't have to like him even if she did.  We weren't dating him, she was.   She was a little surprised by that, and eventually agreed.

The one thing I did not say was that I, too, don't really like the man.  I am thankful for him being in my mom's life because he's keeping her busy and it means I don't have to, but other than that I couldn't care less about him. Why you ask?  Well,  let me tell you!

They had come over one afternoon, and while here Tobi (our old kitty) got up from his bed and made his way to his food, slowly and cracking every steps he took. The beau then said: "if you want, I can take it outside and ring its neck... it would only take a minute"  I was flabbergasted.   I did manage to ask him how he could ask me such a thing.  His answer was: "Well, it's old!"  When I asked him if he would do the same to my mother when she would be too old and cracked when walking?  He laughed it off.

How dare him asking me such a heartless question,  when Tobi had been in our lives for 18 years?  He wasn't just a fucking cat, he was our cat!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Auf Wiedersehen 2014

I can't believe, as I sit here, that we're on the Eve of 2015... what a year this has been.

I just had a look at how many times I've posted in 2014 and it was about once or twice a month... pretty sad considering I used to write daily. I guess Bacefook really took over my time. That and Postcrossing. I've been postcard crazy this past year.

Looking at my stats on their site, I've sent to 32 countries in 2014, 164 cards were registered (oh man, I just did a quick calculation of how much that represents in stamps alone, and... ouch!!), but I've actually sent 174 of them.  I've also received from 32 countries, 155 cards.  That is not even considering all the others cards I've been sending through Round Robins, swap, and games, etc. because I've sent well over another 350 cards (especially since we took some vacation with our trips in Hawaii, and then Vegas) - crazy!!

I have no idea really how many I've received total, but I can tell you it's a lot.

At the beginning of 2014 I had prepared a jar in which I would drop a note about anything good which happened during the year so that when I was going through a rough patch I could open it and read a note to cheer me up.  I did open the jar a few times during the year.  It did bring a smile to my face to re-read some of my special days.  I think I will continue to add to this jar.  It's an easy thing and I think it is worth the little efforts it entails.

I wish I could say that I've pulled up my big girl panties and have been working less, but I haven't.  For whatever reason, that situation is still the same.  I get high moments of frustration, but also do get some satisfaction out of it, so I try to remind myself not to care and to do what I'm paid for.  The caring I do too much of, is on me as a client often reminds me. 

It feels, as I sit here and look at my calendar that unlike before (I don't know when exactly, maybe when I was in school or something) time never stops, there is no time off anymore, I'm always on, and I think that is what is getting to me.  I never completely disconnect.  Whenever I leave for X time, there is double the work when I come back, so the little benefit of going anywhere are washed away right away upon my return. 

I can only hope that this new year ahead will bring some way for me to unplug, to be happy with what I have and enjoy every day the sun rises.  I take this opportunity to wish you, dear blends, a great year ahead and may it be filled with health, love, peace and money to enjoy it all.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It might be time to walk away...

I've been toying with the idea of retiring or should I say doing what was the initial plan when Hubby and I created our company: to do our books and that's that.  A part of me feels guilty and don't like the idea of being a woman at home (with no kid) and feeling like I'm not pulling my weight.  Hubby has been telling me to ditch clients for months.  I did drop a few here and there, but have kept others.

We took one week off, and since I feel really overwhelmed and despite some serious efforts still not seeing the load getting lighter.  Plus to add to this yucky feeling, I'm not even doing the things I really do enjoy.  I don't have time.  I try to catch a bit here and there, spend some time with Hubby watching the shows we both like, and even that while sitting there I feel fidgety when I think that I should be invoicing or doing some bank reconciliation for a client or another.  It sucks!

I know it's all me.  I chose to get clients, and to keep them. It's me.  I just can't let go.  Is it only my need to feel needed, my ego for not wanting to be one of those housewives, the fact that I (guess) do care about what others think?  I don't know.  I just know that I need to get off, I'm starting to feel nauseous as I'm typing this.  I'm afraid to be lazy, even if I do know that I am, but to stop "working" would be like giving full freedom to my laziness.  I would rather be sick.  Weird to realize that I'm doing this to myself. 

I've never felt overwhelmed like I do the past few weeks.  I look at my desk, and it's a mess.  There are papers everywhere. I think I'm going to crash again, and this time I have no excuse; I see myself going, I see how I'm driving this boat and I know I'm going to crash it.  I have to do something.  I thought a week away, in the sun, would help, but I'm thinking it might have been the kick in the ass I needed to drop out.  To let go.  I've been told not to care, that as long as I'm being paid who cares what clients do.  I wish I could not care.  I do.  I've tried to turn off my emotions, like they say in vampires show, and yet, it doesn't seem to be working.  I'm no vampire, that's for dammed sure, even if I've been living at nights lately. 

I have to let go.  Something has to give and I KNOW it is me.  For my sanity, among other things.  I don't like feeling this way, so I will do something... Why do I feel like I'm about to throw up just thinking of which client I could let go of... why do I feel this lump in my throat as if it's something really scary?  I really don't like this.  It's all me.  I get that.  Now how do I pull the plug?!...

Friday, October 24, 2014

We have to answer for it...

Today while I was at the salon, I was asked how I felt about the recent events, the terrorists attacks that have occurred within the last few days on our soil. At first I didn't think I should really express my opinion. But then again...

You see I have an issue with how loosely we use "terrorist attack", how fast we call a violent nut case a terrorist... It upsets me to see people jumping to conclusion about a violent act and blaming religious beliefs,  or whatever else. Why can't we just say a crime, a violent attack or act?  To say terrorist and throw in Islam is just turning things around so that we get scared and worried. 

The media is to blame for a lot of it, but there is also the authorities, how they manipulate the information that is being spread, shown.  They're leading us to believe certain things, and to be honest I'm not convinced we are told the truth.  It would be irresponsible of me to completely trust the system as it is.

Remember Denis Lortie, back in 1984 - the lunatic who walked in the QC Parliament and shot people?  He did kill three people.  Funny, how to this day, I've never heard anyone refer to him as anything other than a crazy man you blew a gasket.  There was never any mention of terrorism - granted back in the 80s it wasn't a world as popular as it is now.  Nowadays every damn crazy act is labeled terrorist. That does get to me.  It makes me mad, that we're being scared not only by actions of crazy people, but by words.

I think it is very sad to see so many of us, being scared, outraged, etc and at the same time somewaht unconscious or refusing to see that if you mingle in other people's business there are chances you might get involve in it too.  If one stirs a pot, you will not only smell what's cooking but you might get burned as well. 

As Canadians we've always been "nice", "peaceful", good citizens of the world.  We used to mind our business.  Lately, we've been following our Southern neighbors maybe a little too much, and now we may be starting to feel repercussion of it all. Until now, we've always felt safe. 

Last week, I've met an old man who did the Korea War and we talked some.  I was telling him about this idea I had to send postcards to our deployed soldiers, as a thank you and encouragement for their sacrifice (and yes, even if it is their choice), idea I shared with other Postcrossing members on Bacefook.  This week these sad events happened, yet again reminding me that I do support our troops, even if I'm not sure they should be where they are.

I don't do politics.  When I saw this, I liked the message.  I like the message on how to react.  Let's not be scared but think.  Let's not jump to conclusion but evaluate.  Let's not turn American (sorry to my US blends) and remember that we are Canadians, and what it means...

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fifty years ago...

Today I've realized that I've missed my parents. The couple they were together.  The couple I knew as Mom and Dad. 

Today I've realized that it would have been their fiftieth wedding anniversary.

Amazing to think they would have been a couple for that long, with each other almost every day until my father's death.  To think not only were they married, they worked together, they raised  me together.  They were a couple.  Not a perfect one, far from it (in my views anyway), but they worked.  How ever crooked they might have been.

Yep, today I came to the realization that I miss seeing my parents, together.  I do miss my father.  I think of him often.  I seldom really do think of the two of them together anymore, and when I did at lunch, it made me a little sad. 

Knowing myself, I would have most likely throw them a big party to celebrate this milestone.   Today, I did nothing of the sort, only thought of them and thought of my mother who left for her moose hunting trip early this morning...

Times do change.  So do people... it seems.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Don't need a test, I know I'm allergic

Hello blog friends, and talk about a way to start a post, but hey, since this blog is all about me, why not!

Sorry for being MIA these past months, life and Postcrossing are taking up much of my time.  In general all is good on this side of the screen.  Can't complain too much, except for the stupidity that affects so many of us.  We have friends (yes, we do, really!) from Zurich, who will be staying with us for a week.  It's a good thing they come over once in a while, it forces us to do a major house cleaning.  It's ridiculously crazy how much stuff we can accumulate, even if we live in a fairly small place.  Granted, I will admit being responsible for a part of it with my scrapbooking and now my Postcrossing, but it's not all my shit.  We have a Murphy bed downstairs (which we bought not long after we moved here, because of those friends coming over) and there was so much stuff in the room that we couldn't pull the bed down.  Hubby and I have been sorting through boxes, and reorganized the area.  It's always a good thing to clean house, I say.  We got rid of things we haven't used in a while, like old computing equipment Hubby was keeping for whatever reason, some old books, and since we were in a cleaning mode, we also went through our clothes and filled up a few bags that we brought to a fripperie (goodwill store) not far from here, with other goods that we either didn't want anymore or haven't used in over a year.  Let's just say, that as of now that room has never been this empty.  I love it!

I'm realizing that I have an addictive personality. Don't get me wrong, I'm not addictive, but tend to get addicted to things.  First example, when I bought my first charm on my Chamilia bracelet (similar to Pandora's) I had thought it would be all.  Four full bracelets later, I still look at charms and find some to like!  Second example, when I started scrapbooking I thought I would do one album with all my cards from birth until my 40th birthday.  I don't know how many albums I have now, and I'm not done scraping either.  I love it and keep finding things to scrap about, a trip there, a show there, I scrap about anything and everything.  Third proof, when I joined Postcrossing I had a little box with about 30 cards in it, and some stickers and tapes I use to decorate my cards. 

At this moment, I have 5 mini mailboxes (stamp dispenser) on my desk (you must admit they are cute!), my little box of cards when to a big size box with hundreds of cards, a cigar box full of stickers and so many tapes & pens...  yep, I'm an addict!  And I love it!

Just this past week, I've reached a new level of "satisfaction" - I'm actually combining two of my addictions into one.  That's real I'm a real junky!  I've started making art mail or scrappostcards, and I'm enjoying it.  I was particularly proud on Friday when I went to the post office to mail a bunch of cards when the postal employee commented on my hand made card, that I was sending to a guy in France.  He was really impressed and even showed it to the other two employees working the counter with him.  He then proceeded to ask me to show him whatever else I would make because he thought it was really interesting.  It felt good, especially since I wasn't sure about the end result.  I liked it, but not as much as he seemed to.

Today I've met a fellow Postcrosser in town for the weekend, and while having breakfast with her, talked about postcards (of course) so I showed her the three I had made the night before. Among the lot, there was one I wasn't sure of.  I had started with an idea and then went a different way and finally ended up with something that was quite loaded.  That was the card she preferred, so I gave it to her.  My only regrets is not having scan it before doing so.

Card the postal worker liked; showing map of our neighborhood, and local stamps.

Just enjoy Happy Bunny, so came up with this one.

I guess I felt somewhat twisted on this one.
These a my latest creations, what do you think?