October 31,2012
First Things First

"First things first." That is a good slogan or phrase that I use all the time to keep myself focused on priorities. This time of year, as we ramp up toward the holiday season, it seems always to be especially busy, and I think that combined with the fact that the weather is dreary and its a few weeks away from any significant holidays makes it a stressful time. The roads are wet or snow-covered, depending on where you live; the weather is unpredictable. It can just be a stressful time. My "to do" list is longer than I'd like and I don't see any hope of completing it any time soon. So, I must just put one foot ahead of the other and ask myself "What is the most important now?" … and then keep reminding myself, "First things first."

So, with that in mind, this will be short. And, hopefully, when this stressful and busy time passes, there will be time to create … paint, write, sew, bake. But, for now, sadly, I must put most of those activities aside. At times when I cannot make time to create, I find it comforting to keep on journaling and adding to my sketch book. That way, my creative ideas are filed for future reference.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 27,2012
Profound Experiences and the Field of Love

A recent article in Newsweek called "My Proof of Heaven" by Dr. Eben Alexander took me back to a life changing experience of my own. Many years ago, I had what I have come to think of as an "out of body experience." It is not my only experience of this type, but the most profound.

More than twenty years ago, I had an opportunity to go on an adventuring hiking trip that included some rappelling and mountain hiking, led by Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to summit Mt. Everest. Now, I'm not really an adventuring kind of girl … at least, not when it involves high scary places and sleeping in a tent. But, it was an opportunity that I felt compelled to take. However, on the morning of the departure, I told my friend, Cyndi, that I would still be at her place when she got home from work because I planned to cancel out of the trip. As she closed her apartment door and left for work, I picked up the phone to call Laurie and cancel. When I told him who was calling, he said, "Good, get right over here so we can get your pack all ready to go." I didn't seem to have the courage or opportunity to cancel, so I found myself at Laurie's packing up to go on the trip. I was filled with fear, but I kept it to myself. Off we went – 13 people in a couple of vans headed for Kananaskis Country. I was out of my element, for sure…a coward, afraid of high places…headed off to climb mountains with Canada's adventuring hero. Who did I think I was?

Well, placed in a difficult and challenging situation, the best and worst in people comes out. I was honoured to be amongst such a special group of people, although, as I said, it was a challenging situation. I was unable to keep up … I needed my own guide to encourage, support and protect me through my fears and lack of physical fitness to meet the challenge. Still, I pushed myself to keep on going … one foot after the other … when I was so exhausted that I knew that if I sat down, I wouldn't get up. It was on this trip that one night while lying in the tent, I had a profound life changing experience. I found myself soaring with laughing joyful souls. That is the only way that I really know how to describe it in words. It was like flying, dancing, laughing all combined into one movement. I was amongst many other beings or souls that were ethereal in form with long tail-like jet streams behind them. I played with these souls for a time and felt at one with them as if we were part of a fully connected Universe made of love and joy. After the experience, I was different because I knew that I had seen something that made my existence more meaningful…not just my existence, but all existence. It somehow made the Universe a safer, more loving place than I had previously perceived.

After that experience, I tried telling a few people about it. I was told that I was hallucinating, dreaming … mostly skeptical or negative reactions, so I didn't bother talking about it anymore.

At some point, I found a book written by a medical doctor who had experienced a near death experience, and reading her book helped to validate my experience. I have since forgotten the name of the book. But, I must say, 20 years ago, there just weren't all that many books about near death and out of body experiences. Later, I met a friend who'd had an out of body experience too … similar, but different from mine.

As I said, mostly, I keep this to myself … no point in giving people any more cause to think that I am weird. But, Newsweek, October 15, 2012, printed the story and experience by Dr. Eben Alexander. And, because he's a doctor and was hooked up to monitors during his out of body/near death experience, people believe him, and it's being called "proof of heaven." When I saw the issue, I could hardly wait to read what he'd written: "I was in a place of clouds. Big puffy, pink-white ones that showed up sharply against the deep-black sky. Higher than the clouds - immeasurably higher - flocks of transparent, shimmering beings arced across the sky, leaving long, stream like lines behind them. Birds? Angels? These words registered later, when I was writing down my recollections. But neither of these words do justice to the beings themselves, which were quite simply different from anything I have known on this planet. They were advanced Higher forms (Alexander, Newsweek, October 15, 2012, p. 30)."

"A sound, huge and booming like a glorious chant, came down from above, and I wondered if the winged beings were producing it. Again, thinking about it later, it occurred to me that the joy of these creatures, as they soared along, was such that they had to make this noise … that if the joy didn't' come out of them this way then they would simply not otherwise be able to contain it. The sound was palpable and almost material, like a rain that you can feel on your skin but doesn't get you wet (Alexander, Newsweek, October 15, 2012, p. 30)."

"Seeing and hearing were not separate in this place where I now was. I could hear the visual beauty of the silvery bodies of those scintillating beings above, and I could see the surging, joyful perfection of what they sang. It seemed that you could not look at or listen to anything in this world without becoming a part of it – without joining with it in some mysterious way. Again, from my perspective, I would suggest that you couldn't look at anything in that world at all, for the word "at" itself implies a separation that did not exist there. Everything was distinct, yet everything was also a part of everything else, like the rich and intermingled designs on a Persian carpet…or a butterfly's wing (Alexander, Newsweek, October 15, 2012, p. 30)."

All I can say is, "ditto." While there are some differences to our experiences, Dr. Alexander and I saw the same ethereal/transparent beings in a connected Universe, the same feelings of joy and love; my blue was lighter, Alexander's noise was louder, but, Dr. Alexander thanks for validating my experience and for putting this out into the world for others to know that they aren't alone, which is why I have "come out" in this BLOG. I've posted the painting that I painted following my own experience many years ago.

Last night, 20-20 devoted their show to various paranormal experiences and activities, including a portion of the program devoted to Dr. Alexander's experience. One of the people interviewed referred to a "field of love." I believe in this field of love and that when we can connect to it, we are able to live better and more creative lives. That's what this BLOG is all about. We must believe in and validate all possibilities to lead creative lives…including reaching for this field of love and connecting to it when we can.

Reference:

ABC. (October 26, 2012). 20/20, The Sixth Sense, Episode 9.

Alexander, E. (October 15, 2012). " My Proof of Heaven," Newsweek, Volume CLX, No. 16, The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company, LLC, New York, New York, pp. 28-32.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 21,2012
Whoa! What a Week!

Sometimes we just have no control over how things go. I started out last week with a million things to do, but unfortunately, I was sick and not able to do all as planned. I ended up spending the week in bed, for the most part, but working from "bed central." I guess one of the advantages of today's technology is that we can work from anywhere anytime (or, is that a disadvantage? Hmmm…..). Anyway, despite being sick all week, it might make your head spin if you knew how much my laptop and I accomplished from my bed. Still, it seems to be that time of year when demands are great and, frankly, I'm having trouble keeping up.

There was a time when I may have thought that I had Super Woman powers. But, at some point, I realized that I had no desire to be Super Woman … I just wanted to have a good life and enjoy the same opportunities as my male colleagues. Well … let's not go there … another time, another BLOG.

But, something just has to give … we can't do it all … where's the time to be creative and paint? That's what I had hoped to do today. But, I'm still not feeling well. The priority has to be me. After all, if we don't have our health, what do we have? So, prioritize … that's what I must do. Cancel some things, ask for help and do what's most important. What is that? Taking care of myself, spending time with my dog, getting the paid work done and setting aside the volunteer work for another time. Oh yes ... and find a little time to write and paint.

Over and out from "bed central."

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 18,2012
People Tell Us Who They Are

A friend once told me that if we listen, people tell us what they're like. I have learned that he was right. It is in being a good listener that we learn about how others are. They will tell us how honest they are, how generous or cheap they are, how easy they are to get along with, what they value or don't value, how spiritually conscious they are, how they treat their family members, their relationship with money, how creative they are, their dreams, expectations and passions…But, it may take some time and we must listen and observe.

Most people have a persona that they want us to see … the ideal self that they try to project to the outer world. All of us have that … we want people to think well of us and we want to be our best selves., All of us also have faults and flaws … the things we may be aware of and want to change; maybe some things that we know about ourselves, but we think are working so we don't want to change them now; and the flaws to which we have not yet awakened. People don't want to project their flaws to the outer world so they may not be as obvious to the observer or listener as are the characteristics that are part of that ideal persona, but, if you listen, a person will tell you about those, too.

Sometimes, we don't hear what they're saying or see their behavior. That's because we may not want to or we simply don't believe it. For example, the person with the nice persona in reality may not be that nice. So, if he or she repeatedly tells us how nice they are, but we observe or hear something that doesn't seem all that nice, we are willing to excuse that observation because it's inconsistent with the person's projection of what they want us to see. However, if we are patient good listeners and take the time, we will observe the discrepancies between the ideal persona and the actual person. For the most part, the inconsistencies are minor … people project who they are but hope to make the best impression. However, there are some who are very different from what they project. And, there are some of us who want only to see the best in others and excuse or overlook or doubt our observations. That's when we get hurt or surprised.

I am always intrigued when I see on the news that some serial killer or pedophile has been arrested and their neighbours or co-workers describe them as "nice" or "good neighbours." Wasn't there anything that they observed that gave a clue that the person was odd or dangerous or not nice or not ordinary? Sometimes, people just don't care…they are too wrapped up in themselves to be awake about what others are like. But, if you listen, people will tell you who they are.

I do not write this to suggest that we are to be vigilantly on the lookout for the flaws of others, as that would just make people uncomfortable. Rather, I write this to serve as a reminder that we can be observant so that we are not blind-sided by what appears to be an unexpected change in a person's behavior or personality and we can have confidence in our own observations, so that we can choose our friends and love and accept them flaws and all.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 18,2012
Energy Vampires

Some people are energy vampires. They suck you dry of all of your energy. I don't even know if they do it on purpose, but in some cases, I think so. They are the ones who always need to order something that is not on the menu in the restaurant, or feel entitled to priority for everything despite who else may have been there first or may be in more need. They are the ones who have a million ideas about how to improve things if you're going to do the work, but if you tell them to go ahead and take care of it themselves, ether they can't, won't or don't want to. They are the ones who talk the loudest and longest or direct the conversation by interrogating others so they can keep control of the conversation. They are the ones who always need help and seem to have a flurry of waiters, bellmen, concierges, mechanics, and sales people scurrying around trying to meet all of their needs. They are the ones at the center of whatever drama is taking place. They are the ones who complain about everything; nothing is just quite good enough or as it should be. They are the ones with the impatient friend, spouse, daughter/son following along – the one who's been sucked dry of all of their energy.

Now, if you've read this and are thinking to yourself, "Could she be talking about me? Am I an energy vampire?" I recommend that you read the Celestine Prophecy books by Redmond and learn how as a species we share and exchange energy. If you're reading this and you identify as the one who's been sucked dry of your energy, then I recommend reading "Positive Energy" by Dr. Judith Orloff.

Now, as I was about to write this, I began to search for my Dr. Orloff book, and couldn't find it, so I googled it to get the correct name. I noted that Dr. Orloff actually has an online course called "Combating Emotional Vampires," which you can purchase at http://www.drjudithorloff.com/judith-orloffs-shop.

References:

Orloff, Dr. Judith. (2005). POSITIVE ENERGY - Ten Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear Into Vibrance, Strength, and Love, Three Rivers Press.

Redmond, James (1993). The Celestine Prophecy, Bantam, Great Britain.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 15,2012
Wine and Cheese

Now I know that the most important thing that the airlines have to worry about has nothing to do with cheese. Their first priorities are the maintenance and safety of the aircraft, having a qualified and well trained crew, keeping passengers and pets safe, abiding by the rules and regulations of air safety, and a bunch of stuff that I don't even know about. But, what I want to know is why they always run out of the cheese and fruit plate at row 8?

It's bad enough that they nickel and dime us for everything from fuel surcharges to charging for luggage, but, hey, if they're going to charge extra for food and offer a menu selection, then shouldn't they be able to deliver what they advertise? I can't tell you how many times I've been on a flight and ordered the cheese and fruit plate and been told that they don't have any left. They always smile and suggest the Mediterranean tapas box, but once you've tried that, you know that it's not a reasonable alternative. Last time I flew, the guy beside me got the last cheese and fruit plate and I got the Mediterranean tapas. As I was trying to chew up and swallow that hard dry salami, that guy next to me was savoring that plate of brie, grapes, crackers and I was so-o-o-o envious. So, today, I think to myself as the flight takes off that I'm going to have a nice glass of white wine and the cheese and fruit plate. Well, about row 8 (I'm in 18F), I think I hear the flight attendant say to a passenger that they're out of the cheese and fruit. Could that be? Again? So, when she gets to my row, I announce that I'd like the cheese and fruit plate and a glass of white wine. She recommends the Mediterranean Tapas box. "Crap," I say to myself. I decide to express my disappointment, and say, "It seems that you always run out of that cheese and fruit plate," to which she replies," The Mediterranean tapas box is just as good." (I know otherwise). Then, the lady sitting beside me emphatically says, "Aww, I wanted the cheese and fruit plate, too." Just then, another flight attendant comes from the back and announces that there's ONE cheese and fruit plate left…many arms fling up into the air, but I was the first to order it (much to the upset of my seat mate). I get the cheese and fruit plate….it's my turn. I lost out to the guy next to me on the last flight. I have it clutched in my hands. I briefly consider whether I should offer to share it with my seat mate, but I don't' know her, so I dismiss that idea, and proceed to open it and savor it. I look out the window and sip my wine. In the background, I hear my seat mate telling her husband, "The salami is dry. The olives have some spice on them. The hummus doesn't taste like hummus." "Yup, I know," I think to myself, as I munch on my cheese and crackers. "Why do they always run out of the cheese and fruit plate at row 8?"

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 12,2012
An Open Heart

Several years ago, I was very involved in the practice of Kundalini yoga. One of the aims of this practice is to release the kundalini energy to become one with the God consciousness. I remember the teachers speaking about opening our heart centres and I was never really clear about whether mine was open or shut. Now, I know that it is open; it probably wasn't then. But now I feel compassion and acceptance for others for whom I might not have before. In the 12-step programs, they say, "You may not like all of us, but you'll love us in a special way." I believe that is what having an open heart means … to love everyone in a special way … with compassion and acceptance, even when we don't like them. That doesn't mean that we accept unacceptable behavior from them or choose to spend time with them. But we treat everyone with civility and respect, while also respecting and enforcing our own boundaries.

I used to think that when people were unkind or rude that it was an action against me…that they had done something TO me. Now I know that those people may not even be awake and aware of how their actions and words affect those around them. For the most part, they are just doing what they do trying to live life the best they can, just as I am. I certainly don't ever set out to intentionally hurt or offend anyone, but it may happen unintentionally. So, in addition to having compassion, acceptance and that special love for others, it is helpful to be awake and aware of how our own actions and words affect those around us.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 12,2012
Feel The Power of the Positive

In life, we have choices. As they say, we can see the glass as half full or half empty. If we see it as half empty, we are concerned that soon it will run out and what will we do when the water is gone? We become focused on the negative. But, if we see the glass as half full, then we are open and free to explore infinite possibilities. We do not have to concern ourselves with what to do when the glass is empty. We can free ourselves to pursue other activities knowing that the Universe will fill the glass for us when it is time. After all, there is still half a glass…enough for now. Fearing that the glass will not refill itself is fearful and negative thinking and a waste of our time. However, knowing that it will be filled and accepting that is powerful and positive.

It can be irritating to be around those people who always see the glass as half empty. Negative thinkers are draining and distracting. Not only do they see the glass as half empty, but they want everyone around them to see it that way, too, and help them to refill it. It is important not to let their negative focus on the half empty glass distract us from our focus on infinite possibilities.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 11,2012
Experience Deeply Through the Senses

As artists, many of us are sensitive….we feel things on a deep level…that is how we can paint it, draw it, write it, visualize it in a film, set it to music…we develop our senses…all of them…sight, touch, hearing, taste, smell…even what is called our sixth sense, our psychic or paranormal senses. That is how a painting or song or story or film touches its audience. It appeals to their senses. Say, for example, you paint a wheat field. If it is cold and without feeling, it may not grab the attention of the viewer. But, if you infuse that painting with all of your feelings, then it will appeal to all of the viewer's senses ... he will be able to see the wheat field, see it in depth and texture, see it gently blowing in the breeze, feel the breeze upon his face, smell the chaff and dust in the air, feel the energy of the place. He will be transported there. Similarly, if you write a play and infuse it with all of the senses, it will deeply touch the audience. A piece of music about the sea will not only sound like the sea in some way, but will remind the listener of the total experience of the sea. Developing and using sensitivity enhances our art.

On the other hand, having a well-developed sixth sense makes our lives much more intense. We feel everything at a deeper level and it can be exhausting at times. It can be embarrassing at times to express our feelings too much for others to be able to handle or accept. It can be intensely joyful to feel love and beauty. It can be lonely to not be able to share the intensity of emotions with someone who understands. It can be alienating because many deny their feelings and especially their sixth sense, so there is pressure to deny it. And, the hurts are deeply and sorrowfully painful.

God gave us all of our senses to experience life. I have learned that while losses are greater and deeper when I acknowledge all of my senses, the successes and positive feelings are also much more intense and gratifying. Perhaps the fear of intense pain and loss keeps some from allowing themselves to truly feel. However, life and art are meant to be experienced fully and deeply.

"Sensitivity is a beautiful and powerful gift, and there's no such thing as being 'too sensitive.' Your sensitivity helps you know the truth about situations and people, and it's important for you to trust and follow these hunches, intuitions and impressions. Spend some time alone in nature to further develop your sensitivity (Virtue, 2004, p. 58)."

Reference: Virtue, D. (2004). Archangel Oracle Cards Guidebook, Hay House, Inc., Carlsbad, CA.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 10,2012
I Can Only Be Me

Some people expect us to be who they want us to be … they may have preconceived ideas about how people should behave or what characteristics are desirable, and they expect us to conform to their ideas. They may have some notions about what makes a good friend, wife, mother, daughter, son, etc., and expect us to fulfill those roles. I have learned that I can only be me. I may have tried in the past to please others by conforming to what I thought they wanted or expected from me, but I am just me. Even if I try to be what others want, I am only trying to be who I think that they want me to be. After all, I can't read another's mind to know what they want or expect, so in the end, I am me and I will only disappoint them (and myself).

I know that I have already disappointed some. But, really, it is up to others to communicate their needs and wants to us, and then, we may try to fulfill them if we choose. It is unfortunate that I have disappointed some, but I can only be me and if that doesn't meet another's approval, then I am better off with people who love me as I am.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 09,2012
J.O.Y.

My friend tells me that she practices joy in her life by remembering it as an acronym for Just Observe Yourself. I thought this was brilliant! After all, when we get worked up about what others are doing, it interferes with our own serenity and joy. For the most part, what others are doing is none of our business unless they are harming us directly in some way. When that is the case, we need to remember to Just Observe Yourself and then set a boundary to protect yourself. We have choices. When we can detach from the emotion of a situation and observe our own behavior and thoughts, we are better able to see the choices we can make.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 08,2012
Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Today is Canadian Thanksgiving….a day to be grateful for all that I have, have had and am about to receive. I remember that my grandmother used to give thanks for what she was about to receive. As a little girl, I always thought that was a bit odd because I thought that we said thank you for things after we'd received them. However, a few years ago, I heard a spiritual teacher say that we should practice gratitude at a causative level…in other words, be grateful in advance and the Universe will provide. That was a new concept to me, but I decided to try it. I try now to be grateful in the past, present and future. Although I know that the present is the most important, I think that being grateful for what has sometimes been a painful past can't hurt. After all, I spent a lot of time being resentful, so I hope that a little gratitude sprinkled into the past will help me make up for misspent energy. And, as for the future, it is much better to be expectantly grateful for what I am about to receive rather than to create negative energy for my future by worrying. Being grateful for what we have, have had and are about to receive is creating positive energy in our lives.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 07,2012
An Act of Love

One of my most prized possessions is a small wooden box that my father made when he was a boy. It was carefully crafted with dovetail joints, sanded and varnished with love and finished with a carefully and intricately cut "Scotty" dog of a lighter coloured wood glued on top. I keep some jewellery in the box, which surfaced in Mom and Dad's house after Dad had passed away and when my Mom was moving. I am so grateful to have that box. Sometimes I touch it with care and think about the young innocent boy who made it so carefully. A boy who would later go to war for his country, become a hero, but not really feel like a hero … a boy who later probably suffered from post-traumatic stress, although no one in our government seemed to recognize or care about that at the time. A boy who would develop the disease of alcoholism and face the struggles associated with that disease. A boy who later found it so difficult to express feelings. But, I have the box that was made with love. Perhaps the one piece of art created by my Dad who never called himself an artist. The gift my father gave me after his passing.

Creativity is an expression of love. To truly create something special, we must love it into being. It seems easy to understand this in the context of creating children, but all creativity is the same process; it is an act of love.

© Carla Weaver 2012.


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October 06,2012
I Bought a Miracle Suit…

They have this brand of bathing suit called a Miracle Suit. Well, when it comes to the idea of getting into a bathing suit, I thought I could use a miracle right now. So, I picked up a Miracle Suit on sale before I left for Puerto Vallarta on Friday. Right now, I could stand to lose 15 pounds…(shhhh…please don't tell the airlines, or they'll charge extra for that, too). I arrived yesterday after an exhausting trip….today, I decided it was time to put in an appearance at the beach. It's pretty hot and humid here right now, so after walking downtown and back with my friend, we were pretty hot and decided to head for the beach for a beer and some guacamole and chips (the low calorie ones, of course). So, as I said, it's REALLY hot and humid here, and I decided to put on my Miracle Suit. Well, it must have taken me 15 minutes to wriggle into that suit by alternately stretching it on and then drying off the next section of my body and tugging again on the suit. Maybe the miracle is getting into it? Anyway, I got it on…I guess the reason they flatter you is because they have extra spandex to tuck in any extra rolls and pounds. Well, now I'm at the beach and I'm scared to go home because I ate the guacamole and drank the beer after I got the Miracle Suit on and I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to get it off. Oh, and did I mention that the Miracle Suit does nothing for the thighs?

© Carla Weaver


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October 06,2012
I Was Selected!

This morning, I flew to Puerto Vallarta for a well-deserved break. After surviving the early awakening at 2:30 a.m., the ride to the airport in the middle of the night, the LONG lineup at the airline check in, which reminds me … they send you an email and ask you to check in online the day before and you pay for your luggage online … as if luggage should be extra…it's like charging extra on the ferry for the driver of the vehicle… you can't get the car on the ferry without a driver; you can't' go somewhere for a week without luggage…Anyway, you check in online, but alas, it says you must go to the airport for the boarding pass, so I arrive at the airport and everyone in line is checking in at the auto kiosks, so I think that maybe it will spit out a boarding pass and luggage tag. Well those machines can print the boarding pass, but no luggage tag. All the while that the snaking line is slowly creeping forward, this one airline agent takes regular breaks from checking in passengers to yell at those of us still in line that if we get to the front of the line and we don't have our customs forms filled out, they won't help us. Apparently, getting up at 2:30 am doesn't agree with this surly airline agent either. So, now I get to the front and after saying a prayer and pleading with my guardian angel, I have avoided the surly yelling agent and yes, I do have my customs form filled out.

The agent who served me was extremely personable and very good at her job. She made sure to weigh my bag to ensure that it wasn't 1 ounce overweight…well it was 9 pounds overweight, so I had to pay more. Now my bag is overweight by nine pounds so that costs me more money, but I note that the passenger next to me on the flight is well over 9 pounds overweight…probably 30 or 40, but they didn't charge him extra. Now that very thorough airline agent also put a little pink felt pen mark on my boarding pass.

After unloading my bag on the belt, snaking slowly through Customs, I reach security. I take off my sweater, shoes, glasses, watch, ring, ear rings, unload my computer and hand over my boarding pass eager to get on to the next line up when the security agent enthusiastically informs me that the pink felt mark on my boarding pass means that I have been SELECTED for extra security screening. SELECTED??? It sounds as if I applied and was the successful candidate the way they present the idea to me. Now I know this is no matter for discussion or joviality, so I humbly acknowledge that I accept the opportunity. They are very cordial…I have a choice….I can step into that scary machine that looks like the transporters on Star trek, or I can be "patted down." Well, since there's no information about where that transporter may beam me to, I opt for the pat down. I am just not comfortable with the whole idea of those x-ray machines …. Don't we get exposed to enough x-rays in a lifetime without adding more? And, the older I get, I can hardly stand seeing myself naked, let alone exposing myself to a bunch of strange security screeners. Besides, on one previous occasion, I wasn't given a choice about the scary machine, so I got inside as instructed and just as it started scanning, the security agent yelled at me, "Don't move!" I was so scared that my DNA was going to get all messed up and when I was beamed to wherever, I might not be me anymore. So, I don't want to go there again!

Now, getting back to the "pat down"…sounds harmless enough. I had one of those once before, too. That time, the agent asked me if I'd prefer to go in a private room. I thought NOT…anything she was going to do to me was going to be in full view of all the people and agents in the security area. Today, the "pat down" agent says to me, "Do you have any sore spots?" I thought she was going to look for weapons, not torture me! So, I say, "No, no sore spots." I did have a sore spot, but I didn't tell her. She didn't need to know and she didn't find it, so that's my little secret.

So, finally, a couple of hours have passed and I opt into the Starbucks line, which is totally optional, but I'm addicted to coffee, so not really optional. There, a young woman who wears her hair in a very unusual shape gets my coffee and muffin…S-L-O-W-L-Y. She works in the airport, so the bar for moving people through lines has been set pretty low, but I can't complain because it was my choice to get in that line. Finally, coffee!!! Now, I head for the departure gate. There's my travel companion sitting with her feet up enjoying her latte. You see, she had no luggage to check, was able to print her boarding pass from home and had NEXUS, which meant she got priority through Customs. And, she wasn't "selected."

Now, I've been told that the pink felt mark on my boarding pass means that I will be "selected" again at the gate for a search of my carry-on items. I quickly wolf down my Starbucks muffin, so no one touches it or takes it away before I get to eat it. I wait. They call my row number….there's no search at the gate. I'm surprised, but not disappointed. I get on the plane, fall into my seat exhausted and that muffin starts to rumble in my tummy. It's no wonder…all of that stress to start a vacation? I look for the barf bag in my seat pocket …don't want to be caught short, as they say.

Now, I know that airline security is no laughing matter and I took it very seriously, but you gotta look at life with some humor, or it's just too stressful!

© Carla Weaver 2012.


Posted by Carla Weaver at 01:17 0 Comments
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October 01,2012
Being Accountable for our Actions

I grew up in a town with a population of 1800 people. Everyone there knows everyone else and what they're up to. Everyone knows what kind of car you drive, so road rage isn't really an issue. (Of course there are no traffic lights and only one 4-way stop). The thing is…if you're ranting and raving about something in your vehicle and waving your fists at the other driver, you're not anonymous. Everyone in town knows who you are. And, in the local coffee shop, the conversation will go something like, "Did you see John Smith ranting in his car on Main Street this morning?" And then, the whole story will follow with some embellishment to make it a good story. And, when John Smith opens the door and walks into the coffee shop, the whole town will turn and stare at him when he enters, "There he is now," they'll say. And, someone might even say, "I heard you had a bit of a problem on Main Street this morning," so that they can get his side of the story.

Amongst the many good things about small towns, being accountable for your behavior is one of them. In the city, you can rage on the road or behave inappropriately and in the large population, maybe no one that you know will ever find out about it. But, in a small town, everyone knows. Celebrities learn that when they make a misstep everyone is watching. Technology is making it more difficult to be anonymous too. Be accountable for your behavior.

© Carla Weaver 2012


Posted by Carla Weaver at 12:57 0 Comments
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