Friday, September 4, 2009

Adventure Day 35 – A regular day at work with lots of fun!

Yes my adventure was my work day for 35 and it’s never an understatement when I’m talking about my job. I have to say I love that I get to laugh so much at work (sometimes appropriately and sometimes to only keep sane, never the less I do laugh). This day was no different in the humour it held for me. Here are a few of the funnies I got from Day 35 at work:

Guy, Muscles and I were sitting at the kitchen table while Guy was eating. Muscles and I were joking about the fact that he (Muscles) wanted my blog address and had for a while but I was holding the information regarding it high over his head for a suitable ransom. Muscles describes himself as an eight year old kid who can’t stand not knowing something that others know and gets irritated and obsessed with it until he finds the secret out. I loved this and so I taunted him every chance I got. Apparently he had talked about wanting access to my blog for weeks at work, since he first heard about it. Once I found this fact out I tried to use it to my advantage every chance I got – this was too much fun!
Anyway, as we all sat at the table and I teased Muscles very discretely (not actually mentioning the blog itself), Guy (who is very defensive over anything negative that is said about his favourite staff Muscles) piped up after a while and said: “Eva you need to stop being a bully or I’m going to call the police on you!” At which point Muscles thanked Guy for his defense (as I glared at Muscles). I may have added another jab because Guy then reiterated “Eva, you shouldn’t be a cyber bully, I’m going to call the police on you if you don’t stop!” Finally at this point Muscles decided it was a good time to let Guy know that all was ok and that we were only joking around.

At one point later in the day Guy stated to me that “This house is a democracy, not a relationship!” something I’m sure he heard from his favourite staff. However I think the quote was supposed to be: “This house is run by a dictatorship, not a democracy!”

Later in the afternoon Guy suddenly ran up to me and was in a state of hurry. He said: “Eva, can you please time how long it takes me to go to the bathroom? Red (another staff) is the fastest person I know that can go to the bathroom – that’s a girl. I want you to time me.” I said sure and started watching my clock.
After exactly 60 seconds Guy returned from the bathroom and asked what his time was. I told him precisely one minute (in an excited tone). At that point I asked him if he remembered to wash his hands.
He was rather annoyed and replied “Yes. Why does everyone always ask me that?!”
“Well, you were really fast and I just wanted to be sure you did.”
He quickly put both of his hands around my neck and said “Feel. I washed them, they’re still wet.”
I was rather uncomfortable at this point (with the two of his hands clenched around my throat ‘n all) and I must have looked it because Guy then said “Why the look on your face?”
I replied with “Well your hands are around my neck and that makes me nervous. Can you please take them off?”
He sort of gave me a half smile and asked “Are you worried that I might choke you?”
“Maybe a little” I confessed.
“Don’t worry Eva” he said with a huge grin and a hand patting me on my shoulder, “I wouldn’t choke you because I think you are cute.”
Wow what a relief!

Another point during my shift Hottie (Guy’s description of another certain staff) and I were sitting during a meal with Guy at the table. He says “You know I just can’t seem to control my behaviour when ___________ (insert name) is working. Some staff just cause me to go out of control. They are the ones I try to get to quit because I don’t like them.” Hmmmm I’m thinking Guy is a lot smarter than everyone gives him credit for (aside from the fact that he tells on himself).

Just another day at work!

Adventure Day 34 - #3 Go to Catholic Mass

I had been looking very much forward to the day I would get to go to my first official
Catholic mass. I had been to one a few months ago while doing a placement at a Catholic school. I had really enjoyed working at that particular school as well as the mass the school attended together each month. I have briefly mentioned a friend of mine (sort of, I think we could say friends), that was raised Protestant and had turned Catholic a few years ago and who is currently seeking God for direction regarding the Priesthood.

If you are Protestant you are likely very surprised to hear of such a thing. Having been raised Protestant I was. Usually we are known for converting Catholics into our ‘more real, lively faith’. I have never really known a Catholic personally who practiced their faith (that’s not a knock, I just haven’t known any), so hearing Father Al’s story (my friend) really took me by surprise. Not only that, but the part that made/makes me curious is that he lives a life of calling rather than habit. He doesn’t assume what his path is, he seeks it out day by day (well it appears that way to me). I know only a couple of people well in my life that do that. Interestingly these people are single, are not bogged down by owning stuff (house, big things, etc), and they intentionally leave their lives open to where God could be leading them – no assumptions. I look up to these people to teach me what it looks like to live by Spirit rather than my man’s opinion and expectation.

It has been through some interesting conversations (e-mails) with my friend Father Al that I became interested in attending a Catholic Mass – hence this becoming #3 on my list. I have to admit I wanted to accomplish this number much earlier on in my adventure than I did. However I became intimidated by attending a religious ceremony alone without knowing the meaning, expectation and the duty of the unaware onlooker. Though I have grown up deeply involved in church throughout my life I have been very ignorant of Catholic practices. To help myself out in this endeavor I made a plea on facebook (I am very thankful for facebook) not expecting to hear a peep, when all of a sudden I had an offer! I was shocked!!!

Not only did I have an offer of a companion to go to mass with but this person was a former Catholic, someone I knew well, and they were willing to go to the Cathedral of my choice – could it get any better than that? My date was none other than Aims!

I was so excited when she offered to come the one hour drive to help me experience #3 and admittedly I was a bit baffled as to why. I mentioned before that Aims has a bit of a trucker’s mouth yet a heart of gold and she doesn’t hesitate one minute to tell you what she thinks. Though she was once Catholic she sort of made the turn to Protestant when she married and had a child of her own and has been growing ever since where she’s at. I did not think that she would ever want to come and spend her Saturday night (she truly doesn’t get out and about kidless often) driving a ways to go to mass with me, when I knew there was little in it for her.

Not long after she arrived I didn’t pretend to understand why she’d come to do this and I just came out and asked. She answered me on the way to the church: “I’ve started my own list Eva, both Bub (her husband) and I have. It’s time I started doing stuff, trying new things and getting out more so here I am!” Wow! I couldn’t believe it. I knew she was sincere because she had not yet come to visit me in my new home nor had we visited (aside from our outing a few weeks prior) in several months. She had truly taken the idea to heart. The odd thing was that I had only mentioned my list briefly. I hadn’t gone into any long drawn out explanation, just a simple ‘this is on my list because…’ I was stunned that Aims had been influenced by a single conversation about mass and tequila.

As we entered the church I followed Aims after her actions (I didn’t mimic, just observed) and we sat a third of the way from the back of the church. What a beautiful sight it was. Murals everywhere, stained glass, high ceilings, everything that could make a building stunning surrounded me. I later decided that there could have just been the organ playing in the background and me sitting alone and I would have had a deeply spiritual experience. As we sat, we quietly discussed what may happen and what I should do. Several times words had flowed out of Aims’ mouth that required the traditional crissy cross Catholic thingy (I told you her vocabulary left a bit to be desired – at least in a church setting). I had to hold myself back from laughing a couple of times – not the best way to quiet myself.

The service began and we watched a processional, then listened and participated in some singing (lead by a beautiful voice), then commenced the sermon, some readings, followed by communion (which I skipped out of respect and ignorance of what the rules were). (By the way it was the Eucharist that really spoke to the heart of Father Al in his experience). By the end I have to admit I was a bit disappointed. Aims helped me feel a bit better as we were approaching the parking lot by saying: “Well, I have to say, as far as mass is concerned, that was *made a sounds with her tongue blowing out of her mouth, along with a thumbs down sign*.” Of course I took this lightly as I know Aims had never practiced Catholicism from the heart but rather out of her family tradition, and only as a youth.

I came away with many more questions and a desire to learn the whys about many more things. (When I eventually got home I did send off an e-mail to Father Al letting him know of my experience and am yet to get a response. I am curious to hear what he thinks, but sure that I will try another mass sometime, perhaps somewhere else).

My mass experience may have ended there but my evening with Aims did not. She was game for a meal out and some good time together. I was pleasantly surprised and took in every minute. After much driving through the city trying to find a certain restaurant, then choosing another and accidentally driving in the opposite direction, we finally found a Vietnamese place to go where we were able to sit and enjoy some good food and conversation.

We had such a great time! In fact I don’t think we’ve ever had an occasion like it (at least not in several years). She has a way of making me laugh like nobody else (remember I don’t really laugh easy), but that night for the first time since I was a kid I sprayed water through my nose from laughing so hard (can I just say that water is far more painful than milk coming out the nose). We talked and talked, about all kinds of things. We’ve never really spoken all that seriously about life and spiritual things but that night we did and it was really cool. At the same time we were able to have fun and relax too!

Though the focus of my evening was originally one thing, the lesson and gift I got out of it was something totally different. I had hoped for a real spiritual experience of learning something new and seeing through different eyes. Instead I got a true gift of meaningful connection and friendship with family that I had grown away from in recent years gone by. We shared priceless time together that meant something. It wasn’t really planned (yes mass was but the rest wasn’t) it just happened out of a different intention.

Time and time again I am seeing the benefits of why it is so important to try to do things out of the ordinary and just attempt walking in different waters, because you will meet amazing people along the way. Perhaps people you’ve already met before somewhere else, but whom you meet again with new eyes and a fresh heart. That’s what Day 34 gave to me, a wonderful, wonderful gift of eye opening light.

Now I just pray the electricity stays on …