Friday, October 17, 2014

The Things That Stick in my Mind

One week ago today I was developing a cold but I didn't really know it yet. I guessed if I paid really close attention to the signs I might have noticed but I was still happily oblivious of what was coming 'round the corner.

One week later, I'm better. Not yet raring to go 100% but probably close to 80%.

Seven days.

Every time I get a cold, and I mean every single time, I am reminded of a line from the book Flowers in the Attic. Anyone remember that twisted story? Well, the evil grandmother who had the kids locked in the attic said that colds last nine days. Three days to develop, three days with full on symptoms and three to recover. She said this when the youngest boy got a cold. She was wrong in his case as it took him about 19 days to recover but he had been locked in an attic for several years so it goes without saying that his vitamin C and D levels may have been a bit down.

She was one evil woman but she did know a bit about colds. My colds, be they mild or be they nasty, usually take just over a week to run their course. So thank you V.C. Andrews for validating my recovery patterns.

I remember watching the Bourne Identity and Bourne talking about how he had memorized the license plates of all the cars in the parking lot, that he knew all the exits in the building and that he could describe everyone in the restaurant. My observation skills are nowhere near that highly developed but every time I'm somewhere that is even remotely uncomfortable I hear his voice saying that. And I pay attention to where the exits are, make sure I look at everyone in the room (in case I need to be hypnotized later because that happens in real life right) and try to memorize at least one license plate (mostly to see if I can remember it rather than to solve a crime).

Crazy lady who locks her grandkids in the attic taught me to be patient when recovering from a cold. Bourne taught me to slow down and take notice of my surroundings - especially when something doesn't feel quite right.

Claire, my favourite heroine from the Outlander books has a great line that she says when she's in a stressful situation. Actually she has a few great lines that she says such as "Jesus H. Roosevelt Christ" and "Bloody Fucking Hell" but she also mumbles "Get a grip Beauchamp" under her breath in moments that require concentration and problem-solving skills under tense circumstances. Claire's voice pops in my head when I am feeling overwhelmed with phone calls and paperwork and demands. Get a grip CĂ©line is all I need to say in order to stop, breathe a few deep breaths and go from frazzled to focused.

Finally, there is the famous Canadian author Margaret Atwood. She has enough brilliant lines to fill a library but there is one she said once that is forever carved into my mind. She was talking about being the youngest daughter in a family of pretty impressive parents and siblings. She said that it took her a while to realize that 'the youngest in a family of dragons is still a dragon from the point of view of those who find dragons alarming'.

There are things about that line that I really like and things that I really don't. But, at the end of the day, I come back to it often and it reminds me that I am who I am because of the family of dragons I was born into and raised alongside. Those who find dragons alarming may be uncomfortable with some or many of the things that I stand for but I am quite proud to belong to my flight of dragons.

Crazy lady, Bourne, Claire and Margaret - thank you for the little things you say and do that stick with me through the years. You four have helped shape me into who I am today - for better or for worse.

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