Monday, November 26, 2007

I Believe

I guess I must have been about 10 when I started to realize the truth behind mystery of Christmas. Putting together the pieces I began to realize that Santa and my Dad were one in the same and that my Dad neither owned a red suit or a sleigh let alone flying reindeer. From that point on my perspective on Christmas changed and not entirely for the worse. With this knowledge came a whole new bargaining power when it came to negotiating for gifts, a skill maintained well into my adult life.

As an adult the myth of Saint Nick grew further and further from truth. I became cynical of the whole holiday which had in my mind become a commercialized money grab.

Then I became a father. Now at first this only acted as a catalyst to further strengthen the resolve of my cynicism. Every commercial followed by a chorus of “I wants”. It is almost enough to stir resentment towards TV itself, almost. With every year the “I wants” grow bigger. A rate of growth exponentially disproportionate to the growth of the child. Couple this with crowded malls, winter driving and the ever increasing cost of living in this country and it is a wonder that more people don’t lose it this time of year. I would not find it shocking at all if I were to turn on the news and hear tell of a quite suburban mom driving her Tahoe through the front door of Wal-mart and opening fire with a semi automatic rifle. She would be a modern day hero, the Robin Hood of suburbia. How could anyone believe in Kris Kringle.

Then came Emma; my second youngest daughter five years old now with a heart twice the size of her small frame. She believes in Santa, oh how she believes. The excitement she feels lights up her eyes such that like the sun itself they are hard to look upon. Her excitement tripping in words off her tongue, often returning to where it started many times before the thoughts are fully expressed. A smile on her face that is so genuine you can feel it in your heart. A joy that it is not a reflection of the gifts she hopes to find under the tree December 25th; but rather a joy stemming from a deep rooted belief that a fat man in red will be flying from his home in a reindeer powered sleigh and landing on her roof Christmas eve. And a concern.

“Daddy, how will he get through the chimney?”
“Daddy, how will he get off the roof?”
“Daddy, what it is snowing?”

Looking in her eyes you know this is not a concern for the packages he carries, but a real concern for the well being of someone she has never met but who is as real as you or I.

How can he NOT be real? If she believes it, it must be real. Certainly it is as real to Emma as the ground she walks on and the air she believes. And why shouldn’t he be.

For the happiness that fills the minds of the young. For the hope that is brought to those with so little. For the kindness of all at this time and all the year through, how can he not be real?

I it is my daughter that I have to thank. For it is in her innocence, purity and the unconditional love in her heart that I have seen Santa.

I am 33 years old and I am proud to say that I Believe in Santa Clause.


Friday, November 23, 2007

Are You Real?

I had a dream last night. One of those dreams that are so real that you wake up confused and lost wishing you could return wishing the dream were the reality.

I often wonder about that; the line between dream and reality. Am I awake now as I write this? Are you awake reading it? Or is this the dream that we will abruptly awake from very soon?

What a thing to consider. What if I was to wake up and realize the past 15 years had been one of ‘those’ dreams. And there I’d be head down in a puddle of drool on the desk of my Math 20 class (I spent a lot of time like that). My wife, kids, job and life all just some images conjured up by in my head probably a result of the corn chips and coke I had for breakfast between classes.

I think about this too often.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Work observation

As someone who has spent the past 13+ years working in the oil and gas sector in Alberta Canada I have become accustomed to a certain way of being. There is a certain work ethic that goes along with the Alberta oilfield and it extends from the guy in the field right up to the high level executive. It can best be described as a work only as hard as necessary, play even harder mentality in which getting a head is simply a measure who your friends are and who you can step on to reach the next rung in the ladder. Truly a schoolyard bully mentality. Yet our province thrives in excessive prosperity. We are strong, we are powerful...or are we.

My new career has brought me into a very large and diverse office that is part of an even larger and more diverse company. Diverse in the nature of business combined with a cultural diversity of among employees. Many of my current colleagues have immigrated to Canada from other countries. Germany, France, Poland, India, England a list that reads like the index of an atlas. And it is in this cultural diversity that I am learning much about my own culture and the Canadian work ethic.

What I have observed in my short time here is startling. I am witness daily to a work ethic and dedication that is inspiring. For I see the laid back attitude of my Canadian colleagues playing out next to a hard core dedication to getting a job done no matter the effort. And what is startling is that those who are so dedicated to their work are equally dedicated to their families and personal lives. Working long days and nights to complete the tasks at hand and still managing to find peace in their personal life. While the unmotivated Canadians struggle in their marriages, lose touch with their children and live lives of indifference. These are the non- voting majority who continually criticize the government for allowing “those” people to come and take the jobs from our own. Regretfully I can not place myself above this train of thought.

It is clear to me now that immigrants are not taking jobs from able Canadian. In many cases they are truly the most qualified.

So what is it beyond geography and language that has caused such separation in our cultures? What is the cause of our apathy? Are we becoming just another state of the american union. And what can be done….

What will you do?




I suppose like me you are wondering why I would need to blog? What great revelations does someone like me have to offer the online world? And really who is going to read the thing anyway!

Well I just don't know.

But here I am.

I suppose, or rather hope, that the random thoughts that fill my mind will somehow provoke, inspire or otherwise move others in new directions. Thoughts, stories, experiences, observations, songs, poems and flat out ramblings that I would rather keep separate from the daily musings on my facebook page. Then there too is the fact that my current employer blocks me from accessing facebook...but that is another story.

So alas we come to my blog....hmm not quite the fanfare I was hoping for.

So if you are reading this aside from being shocked, I do welcome you and your comments.