Thanks to Oloriel of MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie for hosting this week’s Sunday Prompt. This week we are to share the happiest moment in our life, or the saddest moment and how we overcame it.
I’m not going to share my saddest or my happiest moment. I think these moments constantly shift. But I will tell you about yesterday, for me it was a day where I felt hopeless. I’m a goal-oriented person and when I’m not feeling well enough to complete even the tiniest goal on my to do list, I feel lost and useless.
The background to this is as some of you know, is that I deal with depression that has caused what my psychiatrist has diagnosed as Chronic of Severe Fatigue. I’ve had it for years, I’ve always known.
Most doctors don’t even recognize CFS or ME as a disorder although there is information about people suffering from it hundreds of years ago and presently everywhere. As well a good friend of mine also has CFS/ME but hers while sharing some similarities, is a bit different from mine — she is able to work.
I’ve been homebound lately feeling extra fatigued and also because my insurance company ended my disability in November –I’ve lost a great deal of my income for the moment. When I’m so fatigued there are days it’s too much to take a bus.
Sometimes I have no choice but to take a cabl. Some days I wake up greatly worn out even after sleeping all night. The kind of tiredness CFS or ME produces is beyond sleepy –it’s mental and physical exhaustion. So when you can’t afford a cab and only the bus, it makes a person feel trapped when the ride their is tiring.
At times when I’m home too long, I feel lonely and bored. I enjoy being out with friends and family or being able to visit a coffee shop, the mall, the art gallery (etc.), to be around people. The CFS doesn’t allow me to work (go to an office etc). as I never know how I will feel each day. On the flip side, I also need to be home a great deal to recharge. When I go out it’s not for more than a few hours, it’s what my body can handle.
Some days I can’t concentrate well on reading. Some days I can’t concentrate on writing. Other days I can’t do anything but watch the TV or programs on Netflix and after a while, even the stimulation from that bothers me. One or two days a week I feel well and get quite a bit done, only to exhaust myself for the following day.
Yesterday I felt awful even though I had it in me to do a short yoga video and a few simple chores that needed done, then I was physically and mentally worn out and frustrated. I was bothered that I have to stretch a small income so far and that I couldn’t take the cab a short way to this local coffee and book shop or to the mall to look around and have some Edo for lunch.
I’ve also been dealing with weight issues due to a medication. I can’t switch medications, these ones work the best, but as a person who was a chubby child it bothers me I can’t keep my promise to myself to always stay fit. Each diet I try doesn’t work. I need intense cardiovascular exercise but beyond a bit of walking when I’m well I don’t have the energy for it. So yesterday, that too felt overwhelming.
As well I’ve been freelancing and realized starting out, even to only make a a few extra hundred dollars a month is difficult. It’s like any career, something you have to learn from and build upon overtime.
But today I woke up and my outlook on the world had changed. I prayed last night and I realized this morning, I’m doing fine. I have a warm place to live with nutritious food and for the most part, I can buy what I need each month and do a few things with friends. My friends are also extremely understanding of what I experience and that along with my family’s understanding is a blessing as well.
I’m hoping on ‘good days’ I can learn to endure the bus, to get out of the house more often because being around people makes me happy, even if I’m only an observer on certain occasions.
I don’t feel lost today. I stopped focusing on ‘me’ and ‘my problems’ and recognized even though I think I have it bad certain days, others are experiencing much worse problems around the world.
I also realized starting something such as a part-time freelance career (even a limited number of hours a week) after not being able to work after nine-years at all, will take time, more than a few months effort and additional learning.
Most vitally I realized God has me and my problems in the palm of His hand and He is taking care of me even when I feel stuck in life. He says even when I’m still and not doing much at all, it’s enough. Yesterday was a bad day but sometimes you need baddays so you know how to be thankful for good days. Do you agree?
“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” – Exodus 14:14
I marvelled at the set of angel lights at the the beginning of each block, with another set of angels at the end, as I joined my friends at a pub.
It seemed right these angels should be here, watching over the revelry. As I later walked a block down in the early morning hours to catch a cab, I recalled my thoughts on angels as child.
Sometimes I had nightmares and I was too afraid to fall asleep. My Mom told me not to worry because God’s angels were always watching over me. Still, I looked to the corners of my room afraid because the corners were the darkest places.
Eventually, I began to imagine angels were there in these corners guarding me as I slept. If I woke up afraid I’d look to the corners of my bedroom ceiling and feel safe. Sometimes I dreamed I could see these celestial beings watching over me.
Going home that night in the cab I gazed at the angels made of lights, four of them guarding a street; I hoped the night ended safely for all.
Fifteen-years ago Chloe had visited the County Hotel for the first time in Aisling.
As a young woman, she loved how most of the boutiques and fine dining in the city were here. She adored the opulent movie theater and grand Opera House nearby. The area bustled with tourists and business people alike.
But Chloe’s favorite neighborhood Le Solas Na Greine, had aged. She decided this would be her last stay at the County Hotel. She noticed how much the decor of the hotel was worn. Even the blankets and sheets were threadbare and Chloe was afraid to go outside, except to catch a cab.
Now she visited a new hub of the city, the neighborhood of Lasaim. Yet, she was still upset such a lively and vibrant neighborhood as Le Solas Na Greine, was now the poorest and most frightening place in the city to be. It tainted her fondest memories of vacationing here.
She hoped in the future a new generation of politicians and citizens would revive her neighborhood. After all, didn’t the name of the city Aisling mean dream?
“Where are my keys?” Jeremy muttered. “I can’t find my keys. They were hanging on the key rack and now they’re not there?”
His friend Jake shrugged. “It happens man. I lose my keys all the time.”
Jeremy scowled at Jake, “Why aren’t you helping me search? They’re on a blue key chain with a skull. There’s ten keys on there and many of them from work. We won’t be going to that concert soon if I can’t find my keys because my car key is on that ring.”
Jake appeared bored but dutifully began searching for Jeremy’s keys. After ten minutes he gave up and sitting on Jeremy’s couch, flicked on the TV, turning it to a hockey game in progress.
“What’s the big deal with your keys?” Jake said to Jeremy. Jeremy looked at Jake irately.
“It’s expensive to replace them all and I haven’t got a lot of extra cash laying around right now.”
“No one does, bad times mean no jobs in the oil field.”
“I don’t work in oil Jake. That’s you. I work in an office downtown and I have keys to the whole office. Even the places where most people aren’t allowed to go. I need my keys.” Jeremy shouted.
“We’re going to miss the concert,” Jake said. “We should take a cab and look for your keys later. ” Jeremy rolled his eyes at Jake’s obtuseness.
“I have to lock my condo up Jake. I can’t leave it open.”
Ignoring Jeremy, Jake took out his phone to call a cab despite what Jeremy had said. He started to dial the cab number when he felt something hard and uncomfortable under his left leg. He dug between the couch cushions and found Jeremy’s keys.
“Hey look what I found Jeremy.” Jake said triumphantly.
Jeremy was stunned.”You mean, you were sitting on my keys the whole time you were on the couch?”
Jeremy attacked Jake, playfully punching him in the nose.
“You idiot you had my keys under your leg,” Jeremy said laughing and shaking his head at Jake.
” Never talk to me again! Don’t worry about driving me home. I can get there myself,” Aimee shouted at Jason. “I’m going to walk until I catch a damn cab.”
“Wait, don’t go. Darlene’s not my girlfriend. She’s my happily married boss with kids. She was only asking me about our most recent project at work,” Jason pled.
Aimee ignored Jason and kept walking.
Suddenly, her sandal caught on a grate in the sidewalk. “Oh Hell,” Aimee muttered unwedging her heel before hearing it snap. She swore repeatedly.
“Let me help you Aimee,” Jason said. He bent down and removed her heel from the grate. Jason took the gum from his mouth and sealed Aimee’s heel to her sandal. “That should hold until I get you to my car, if you lean on me.”
Aimee was touched that Jason had come to her aid. She didn’t know why Darlene made her feel so jealous.”Okay Jason, you can take me home. Thank you for helping me.”
Jason smiled as Aimee leaned against him; she smiled back.
I’m going to try to do this Flash Fiction challenge, hosted by the lovely Nortina from Lovely Curses. The prompt is to do a story/fable in 100 words that will teach a particular lesson. This week the prompt is: Treat others the way you want to be treated. I’m not sure I’ll always be able to participate, but hopefully, some weeks I’m able.
“Want a smoke?” A homeless man asked Tennille. She had been in a disco and came out the back door for some air.
The homeless man was sitting beside the back entrance. “I’m good,” she said.
“You don’t want a smoke?” he asked again.
” I don’t smoke.”
“I was trying to be nice,” the man replied.
Tennille thought a moment before pulling three twenties out of her jeans. “I need one for cab, but the other two are yours.” The homeless man grinned.
“I’m grateful,” he said. Tennille waved at him happily as she went back inside the disco.
I take a cab to several places. At times, the noise and constant stopping and starting of the bus is tiring; it wears me out just taking it. I have met many cab drivers and most of them are nice people. Although, some of them (like in all jobs) are weird.
I don’t mind if a cab driver is driving you and they talk to you. It’s nice most of the time to make conversation and it’s a way to make social connections and learn about people who are different from you. But certain drivers are so creepy I can’t wait to get out of the vehicle. But the majority of cab drivers are good at knowing when you don’t want to talk and they put the radio on to fill the silence.
The most unfortunate aspect about a great many cab drivers is the fact that a number of them are very educated in the country they’re from. They have Master Degrees and PhD’s; they were the heads of companies. But somehow there education does not translate to Canadian standards. Or in an entirely different scenario, one cab driver I know, a lovely elderly gentlemen, has his PH.D. from the University of Alberta and he couldn’t get a job in his field (mathematics) so he drives his cab.
I think are judgement of other places education systems is a bit harsh, we need to look closer at the institutions and places immigrants are schooled at so they can have jobs worthy of their degrees. I know Canada wants to ensure jobs for people who are already Canadians, but I think we owe better to people who are trying to become citizens such as our Great Grandparents or even parents did. Some of these cab drivers like their job and that’s great but I think some of them could use a university program to help them cross over to their occupation in Canada.
Another kind of driver I come across, are cab drivers who have lived and travelled everywhere. They have been all over the world and back again. They speak many languages and have chosen finally, to settle in Canada. These cab drivers have excellent stories to tell. They are some of my favourite because you can let them talk and don’t have to say a thing, just nod occasionally. They may not educated in the university sense, but their knowledge of the real world is astounding. They are well read and have seen great art pieces and have been where history is taking place.
But there is a another type of cab driver I do not like at all. They are a shady type of cab driver. I have learned to tell when a cab driver is trying to rip you off. They will try to take the longest route to where you are going. They won’t ask you which way you want to go. And if you say, they may pretend not to understand you. But that is why you must say go here and here etc. I don’t quite understand why these cab drivers have trouble finding their way. They all have Google Maps on their smart phones and GPS’s in their car. Sometimes you have to say, use your GPS. The best cab drivers know the city, every nook and cranny and even with a GPS, know a faster way to go. Some cab drivers don’t know your neighbourhood well or where you are going and it is okay when they don’t know except that that is what their GPS is for.
The worst drivers are trying to make it appear as if they are lost. They know their way well but they are trying to make more money off you. The best thing to do is to know how to get where you want to go and direct them; maybe take a look at Google maps on your phone. If they charge you too much, don’t tip. And if they got you terribly lost on purpose and over charged you a lot, call the cab company. Alternatively, you can always refuse to pay the amount they want you to pay if you for certain know how much the trip should cost. That’s what I like about paying upon arrival instead of having your credit card charged whatever the amount the driver drove.
Another problem with certain cab drivers is they will tell you that their POS system is not working or having problems, when it is working fine. Sometimes they aren’t working, and you have to pay cash or go to a bank first, to pick up cash. But if you are like me and don’t carry much cash on you and you think a driver might be lying, you can tell him to try your card and often it will ‘magically work.’ Most cab drivers I have met are honest in this respect but I know of a few who always try to avoid credit card and debit fees associated with a POS.
I have mostly good things to say about the cab company I use. They are called CO-OP. They have an excellent mobile application too which is so helpful when you don’t know a locations address. Yellow Cab in Edmonton is hit and miss. I have had drivers refuse to drive me because I won’t pay cash. I have been sworn at by some Yellow Cab drivers too. But mostly, they seem like a reliable company. UBER is good at peek hours but I find the drivers at least in Edmonton, don’t know the entire city well. They also cost more then CO-OP almost every time I’ve used them (and I was always told their cheaper). The bottom line, I just don’t use them. I like to pay when I get to a place and I don’t like that their drivers don’t have the right insurance if you are in an accident. I also find that their drivers are not as knowledgable. If I was drunk at night, I’d take them, but not in the day.
This is what came to my mind when I thought about maps. I use cabs to go all over the city as long as the destination isn’t too far. I wish I had the concentration to drive often; it would be so nice to be able to drive to a location, especially ones that are close.