I am sitting here with a cold drink after a most wonderful and challenging day. My dog is snoring at my feet. I am slowly starting to really understand that likely in just a few short weeks, he will no longer be mine. The sadness and dread are for the minute so strong. I want to hold him and stroke his shiny black and greying fir forever. I truly do not relish giving him up even though I know it is the best for both of us. He has been telling me for the past few months that he no longer wants to work. The move has been difficult for him. I often wonder if I had done something to upset him or cause this lack of ambition on his part. I am told that his reluctance to work is not personal, but a result of rapid change that he does not understand. His loud and not so gentle snores are reminding me of so many times when he was simply to comfortable to move such as when he slept under council table at court and refused to get up when our business was done. There were the many times court reporters told me they had to edit his snores out of transcripts. He also charmed all the ladies. I learned lately just how big his fan club seems to have become. We should all be so lucky. I am so truly humbled by the amazing response I have gotten after putting out the word that he will need a new loving home. I have no doubt that where ever he ends up, he will be looked after as he deserves. He has worked and earned his rest. Well, Ok, he is demanding it now. I have often wondered about the selfishness of the process. I get a service dog, work the dog for several years, when they are no longer of use, they are put a side, and I get to start over again with a new younger one. The fact that so much thought goes into finding him a home and making sure he is well looked after is only a small consolation. I do hope he will not think I abandoned him. I give up my dogs with the heaviest heart. Thank you to anyone who has ever taken a retiring service dog. You will never know just how special a gift you are giving to the dogs, and those who love and can no longer keep them. I will end this on a happy and positive note. Our day was filled with play, fun, sun shine and new friends. This is a blessing. Once again thank you to all who have reached out over the last 48 hours. I only wish I could someday return the amazing love you are sending our way.
I hope you are having a great long weekend regardless if you celebrate a holiday or not! I had the honour of being the Grand Martial of the Toronto Beaches Lions Club Easter Parade. My Dog and I enjoyed the parade and all the expected rain did not come! I guess it did not rain on our parade? We even managed to keep the dog awake the whole time. Now, he is a black lab who enjoys his sleep. I could not believe the crowd. It was great to be a part of this event! I am also excited about the work of the Lion’s Foundation for Dog Guides was being featured. Enjoy the picture below and if you can come out next year, trust me you will not be sorry! Hope you are enjoying some treats from the Easter Bunny.
In honour of this day, I am thinking about how far we have come. However, I must remember those who are not so fortunate. Only a few years ago I was oppressed by the powers of ignorance. You see, when my family was living in the United Arab Emirates, I was not allowed to attend school. Why you ask, well, I am a female with a disability. In that world many people like me are still hidden from the world and kept from being able to have an education, a family or a job. Marriage which would have been most female’s destiny, would not be a possibility. The general attitude was that we weren’t whole no matter how intelligent or what each woman has to offer. I am so sad to say that little improvement has been made in this situation. This is not only sad, but wrong. So many people lack the basic human rights. I was so lucky to have been able to receive an excellent education. I have 3 degrees from Queen’s University. I have my own business helping people have positive workplace experiences. I have been able to have a mostly normal life with my husband and cat with the help of my guide dog. I am constantly pinching myself to make sure this is all real. The day I got my law degree was beyond amazing. I still can’t believe I could do such a thing. I had always believed that I would not be able to do much. My wish is for young girls and women to be allowed the opportunity to realize their potentials through education and support. So, here is my call to action for you. I challenge you to learn about the plight of just 1 oppressed woman in another part of the world. It is through awareness that we will be able to change the world we live in 1 person at a time. Here’s to hope, and change for those who need it no matter where they are. Happy International Women’s Day!
It struck me a few days ago that I did not have an outline for my goals/tasks set out for this year. So, I was kind of doing this and that without a direction. I spoke to someone who has been very helpful in this department in order to gain clarity about my purpose for this business. Let me stop and thank all those people that motivate and inspire me to go forward. I was afraid of getting overwhelmed and just hiding out without any accomplishments or a way to track them. So, I feel a ton lighter now that I have a written map for the next few months. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I will share my main goals in order to help me stay on track. For the next 10 weeks, I am to meet as many people as I can. I am to also attend 2-4 networking meetings per week.
The following 12 weeks continue with above. Also look into media introductions of my services to the larger community.
The fall continues with previous activities with the addition of offering training to businesses about healthy workplace relationships.
Winter should find me doing 2 – 3 mediations a week, 5 – 10 negotiations a month, and some seminars.
I also decided today to run a contest on my Facebook Page. When we get to 500 likes, I will give away a gift. Do you want to win? Visit www.facebook.com/insightfulmediation Good luck!
What do you think? Are my goals reasonable to achieve? Will I get there? What else should I be doing? Share your suggestions for me here.
This may seem like a silly question to you. However, I wanted to take this opportunity to share some experiences that are baffling to me.
It seems like every new person I meet wants me to sit down. It is so aggressive in some cases. I was pushed into a chair against my will many times. I am always in shock when it happens. . This is always very uncomfortable as it is often in situations where I am a guest and do not want to offend. I am not just talking about a recent experience, but I can remember asking this question ever since I could articulate it. BTW, if you are one of the people who did this, I am not upset at you. My own family treated me this way.
Here is where I think it comes from. I think people do not know how to interact with a “blind person”, me. They just want me to sit so I am out of harm’s way. It is truly amazing as sometimes this happens at networking events or Service club meetings where everyone else is mingling. It is actually not appropriate to be sitting down. I want to scream sometimes! I want to just tell them to sit down and get out of the way. Of course I know that would be a bad diplomatic move. I am thankful for all the people in my life who do not do this and actually often forget that I have a disability. Well, with the help of my guide dog, I am usually ok. I just want to wear a sign sometimes that says” I do not want to sit down”. “I am able to order my own food/drinks and pay for them thank you very much”. “I am blind not helpless”!!! Now, these words sound really harsh, but I wish people would stop and think sometimes. One of the consequences of these things, is a feeling of total isolation. I would often feel like I don’t belong.
I am also quite capable of asking for help when it is needed. I welcome it when it is needed and offered in a respectful manner . There was a film I saw years ago where this blind guy was wanting to get off a bus. The driver gets so uptight he picks up the guy and carries him across the street! It was funny at the time, but it does make the point.
I have had this experience several times. Well, ok, they did not carry me across the street, but pretty close. I have been grabbed and dragged across the street often landing in a totally different location or direction from where I intended to be. I don’t get angry, well, most of the time, because again, I know people are thinking they are being kind. I have the desire here to tell them to “mind their own business”! Again, I don’t as I don’t want to insult anyone. I do appreciate the people who offer help, but are respectful when help is declined or accepted. I am very aware that there are times when it is necessary to ask for and receive help. I am very thankful when it is offered in an appropriate situation.
Do you think there is a good polite way to let people know not to do these things? Of course this question I am asking is for new situations. Looking forward to your ideas.
PS When we meet, don’t feel like we need to stand for our entire visit.
So, Toronto got lots of snow on Friday. In preparation for this, all stores were cleared of stock the day before in case people had to stay home for a day or 2. Parents were warned to keep their kids home from school, and many did not even attempt the trek to work. It was so bad they closed Federal Government offices Downtown. Coming from Montreal, this seemed silly. We did take the day to enjoy though. Re-arranging furniture, cooking a great roast, and just relaxing. Did I mention how I love the brightness of fresh snow? The glow is wonderful. Things feel so clean that is until my dog goes out and makes it less so. The salt trucks come out and cause it to look so drab. I wondered if Mr. Ford was getting ready to call in the military. The question that kept coming up all night was “are we not in Canada”? What would Toronto do if it were really up north? I will leave you with this last thought. Check out Rick Mercer’s “snow in Toronto”. Have a great Monday. Oh and do you think we over react to snow here?
I am not sure what good karma I have lately, but I’ll take it. The great service that is. I recently got new business cards to reflect my new contact info. I was not prepared for how fabulous they would turn out to be. To top that off, the nice people at 121 Media in Kingston out did themselves by bringing them to me while I was in Kingston. Thank you Roy! I can’t wait to start really passing them out.
Next, I am still on the hunt for an accessible accounting program for invoicing clients. So far I had struck out. Well, until last week. I was referred to see if Fresh Books would work for me. Well, on the surface of it, it did not appear accessible. However, contacting their support people was so easy. I not only got a call back on the same day, but a few days later I had a call from a senior programmer. He had downloaded the demo of my screen reader to test the obstacles for himself. Wow! I understand they are working on making the changes. I am so impressed that they would listen to me. I am not a paying client yet. They may have wan my loyalty for life with this amazing effort.
Now, do not get me wrong, as I have been getting awesome service from my IT consultants at Weehooey, our Real Estate Agent back in Kingston Tracie Tattrie, and many others. I have been so blessed with such great assistance where needed. Feeling like I am at the awards here, I am not able to list everyone, as it would take to long and I don’t want to be cut off. I hope this sort of charmed existence with service providers will continue. Thank you for doing what you do. I aspire to also provide a great level of service to my clients. Do you have great tips on this?