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Changing a Tire

I just recently got flat tire after leaving my car at work for the day. The extremely, cold -19 degree celcius (not counting the wind chill) day. My tire was completely flat as I was wanting to go home.

But, hey, I’m handy. My dad was a mechanic for years. I can change a tire. No problem. So I pulled out the jack and the handy-dandy spare tire that hangs out in the trunk awaiting its debut.

It was icy cold  and the tire wouldn’t budge. I pushed. Pulled. Kicked it with my foot. Nothing.  Ok, my dad was a mechanic but I’m not. I had to call him.  Note to self: if your tire is stuck, that’s rust . You have to hit the rubber tire part with a hammer or heavy object, and it will free up. And it did. Thanks, dad!

Driving home, I was thankful that this situation would be remedied soon. I didn’t drive my car until the day my father and I were going to meet with the new tire. Which coincidentally was the only day a client could meet me. No problem. I’ve got the spare on – I’ll do the meeting, then get the new tire right afterwards. What could go wrong?

After the client meeting, I hit the road to meet my father. On the way, I landed my little  spare tire in the biggest pothole on the road… and flattened it. My spare. The little donut of a tire that was there in case I got a flat tire was now a flat tire. Until this moment, it never occurred to me that it could go flat.

I am too far from a parking lot, coffee shop or warm place. My father agreed to get the tire and meet me. I was thankful even though I knew a lecture was coming.

With an hour or more to spare, sitting at the side of the road near the airport, there was nothing to do.  The phone calls I’d been meaning to make – I made them. The things I meant to check up on – done.

My car is now much cleaner. I also discovered that had I truly been stranded, there were a few pieces of frozen-by-the-Canadian-winter bread under my seat.

My father arrived with the tire…and the lecture about not driving on the spare. And I was thankful for both.

New Year’s Resolution

A few years ago, I banished making a laundry list of “good idea” resolutions – eat better, exercise more, be more successful at my job, get out of debt, etc. Mostly, it just became a list of things I didn’t do, and now I feel guilty about it. And I’m annoyed that I didn’t do what I was planning, then I gave up.

I still like the idea of making a resolution – so now I pick one thing that is more open-ended. So instead of “getting into shape”, I want something bigger that can be solved in more than one way. Like “finishing things that I’ve started that I want to finish”. So losing weight could fall into that category. And fixing my bike light. Calling an old friend that I’ve lost touch with and want to see again. Or finish the many scripts that I’ve half written and always meant to finish. It could be any of them. Any one would fulfill the resolution and keep me on it. There is no failure/success scenario – just a choice of finishing something.

As a director and writer, I’m always afraid that my work isn’t good, that people will hate it, that they secretly say “boy, she should keep her day job” behind my back. But smile and tell me it’s good to my face.So I try to do a bunch of projects at the same time, try to speed up to stay ahead of the criticism and not write and perform from the heart, because that’s risky.

For me, rushing is an addiction. Overbooking is a great escape. I get to say “well, I would have done a better job, if…” and I fill in the blank with whatever is going on at the time – someone’s birthday, a wedding, a family gathering, work projects, paying debts, stress.

2012’s resolution: not to rush. That’s it. Take care, do things well and don’t rush.