Saturday, February 11, 2017

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want to

Today my challenge card read: Have a celebration. At first when I opened this I was excited, then I became instantly filled with dread. I cannot afford to host a celebration.
After spending the day thinking, and talking about how I would choose to have my celebration I had an eye opening conversation with my partners Mom. Lynda reminded me that we often forget to celebrate the simplest things, like my able body that allowed me to walk around today, the hands that allowed me to cook and hug and the ears that allowed me to listen to others stories. She also reminded me that the nap and shower I took to nurture my body were celebrations of self-care all on there own. Today's challenge was less about planning a party and much more about learning to celebrate the little things - lesson learned!

I would like to share with you some of the stories I heard today.

This morning at breakfast I sat with a patron who shared with me that he was homeless. He explained that he did have an apartment a few months ago, however after a fight with his landlord, he was kicked out and left to live on the street. He now spends his days walking around and his nights on a mat at a community shelter. When I asked where he would be having the rest of his meals today he explained "Sam! Homeless people usually only eat one good meal a day, and man aren't these pancakes great!?"

Later this morning over coffee I sat with a man who told me about having had his home, belongings and essentially life taken away 3 years ago when he found himself in some trouble with Canada Revenue Agency. Today he lives in his van full-time and attempts to make money anyway he can as he is unable to access any sort of government funding because of his outstanding debt. He shared openly that he does not drink, use drugs or smoke cigarettes, he uses any money he is able to make to pay for his cellphone (so he can continue to get calls for odd jobs), trying to get his clothes clean, and trying to buy something to eat.

Lastly this evening as I stood in the tea section of the grocery store looking defeated Im sure, a man approached me, stood beside me looking at the teas and asked if I knew the best kind of green tea. I shared with him that I really wasn't sure, I went on to say that I was struggling to justify buying myself a box of tea because I was very low on money. He replied that he knew the feeling. I introduced myself and explained what I was doing, he nodded and told me he had lived on the street up until a few months ago. When I asked how he had managed to make such a life changed he stated proudly that he cut down on his drinking and got a job, though some days it was very hard to keep.

When the man in the grocery store and I said goodbye he shook my hand, smiled and told me that I had made his day. Reflecting on this with my challenge mates, Casey said it best - I think that all everyone wants is just a conversation.

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