Crazy Makes Me Come Alive; Constants Keeps Me Sane

Wow, it's been a while ... 

Sitting at my computer, clicking on my blog ... it almost feels like I'm stepping back in time, like I'm visiting my childhood home.  It's been too long.  It feels good; feels like home, feels comfortable now that I've wriggled my butt back into the familiar imprint of my office chair.

Life is crazy right now, but that's ok.  It's sometimes the crazy that truly makes us come alive. 

A lot's been going on these days, but some things are constant ... The constants are what keep us sane. 

 September 1, 2013

September 1, 2013

Take, for example, my very Canadian habit of commenting on the weather EVERY DAY.  That hasn't changed.  After seven years in a country where it takes months for the mercury to budge one single degree, that HASN'T changed.  

I still Google the weather every day, step outdoors to check the weather early every morning, and comment to Smilin' Vic on the weather EVERY SINGLE DAY.

It's in my blood to live my life according to the weather.  I hail from a land where the weather can shift 20C in the space of 24 hours.  I remember one specific Saturday in May on the North Shore of New Brunswick where we basked on the deck in shorts and sandals.  

 

 

The next day, Mother's Day, the second Sunday in May, we headed outdoors to find the BBQ buried under a foot of snow.  That's the year my mom had Mother's Day stew instead of BBQ.  

 September 5, 2013

September 5, 2013

The next morning, after the snow had melted, a good twenty minutes were expended griping about the weather by the water cooler.  It's just the Canadian thing to do ... talk about the weather.  We lament the rain on a friend's wedding day, we celebrate the snow on Christmas Eve, we rejoice about tulips blooming early in spring, we take in every single moment of heat and sunshine we get.  It's how Canadians break the ice, it's how we bond, it's how we make up ... We simply talk about the weather.  The constance of talking about the crazy keeps us sane.

In Qatar, the weather barely changes.  Though I check the weather daily, it would be pushing it a bit to actually "talk" about it.  

The conversation in July would go something like this: 

Me:  "So, what's the weather looking like tomorrow? 

Nameless/Faceless Person:  "Uhmmmm, hot and humid?" 

In November

Me:  "Soooo, what's the weather forecast for tomorrow? "

Nameless/Faceless Person:  "Uhmmmm, hot and foggy?" 

In March

Me:  "Sooooooooo, what kind of weather are we expecting tomorrow?" 

Nameless/Faceless Person:  "Uhmmmmmm, hot and dusty?" 

In May

Me:  "Sooooooooooooo, what's the weather looking like tomorrow?" 

Nameless/Faceless Person:  "For goodness sakes woman, it's been a year!  Nothing changes.  Get over it.  It will be hot, hot, hot, HOT! .... ... ... and maybe windy..." 

 September 10, 2013

September 10, 2013

Yet I can't get over my fixation with the weather.  It's an almost superstitious conviction that if I stop thinking about the weather I will forget who I am and where I come from.  It's as if my obsession with the weather keeps me grounded.

It's felt even more so over the last few weeks when dropping Kiddo off at school.

Every weekday as I make my way to the school gate, I make sure I take a moment to stop and look the crossing guards and security guards square in the eyes to wish them good morning.  Why?  Because I've checked the weather.  I know it's already 34C at 7:00 a.m.  I realize that my daughter is the reason they must stand there for over an hour in the scorching heat and glaring sun with beads of sweat glistening on their ebony brows.  And while many drivers are cursing them out for slowing traffic and some parents grow frustrated because they make everyone cross 'exactly' at the crosswalk, I remind myself how very very hot and miserable they must be under that safety jacket and smile.  

That's when Canadian fixation with the weather translates into

empathy.

 September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013

Every week when I go fill the car up with gas, I leave a big fat tip for the gas attendant.  He stands there, day in and day out, breathing in nauseating petrol fumes and enduring not only the heat from the sun and the pavement, but also that which is reflected off the hood of my car, and that which is pulsating from the revving, overheating engines that file by endlessly throughout the day.  I look at that gas attendant and see an old man whose bones ache, whose heart aches for the family he's left behind on the Subcontinent, whose spirit is broken by the blaring horns of drivers impatient to get on with their day and oblivious to his suffering.  On really hot days, my tip might equal the cost of my gas (gas is very cheap here ... as is labour).

That's when the Canadian fixation with the weather translates into

compassion.

 September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Every day as I battle the Doha traffic congestion brought about by a massive municipal road construction project, I urge myself to be patient.  Because as I sit there fuming in my air-conditioned SUV, police officers stand at the roundabouts that pepper the downtown for hours on end, directing traffic, inhaling the fumes of thousands of vehicles, enduring the toxic stench and defying the heat.  I've yet to see one collapse or go postal (guaranteed I'd be doing so after 15 minutes under that sun).

That's when Canadian fixation with the weather translates into

respect.

 September 24, 2013

September 24, 2013

 

 

Every day that I see the weather edge down a single degree, I thank goodness.  Every day that I see the humidity going down, I say a silent prayer of thanks (and not just because the frizzy hair season is almost behind us).  Pool temperatures are dipping below 35C, a day at the beach is almost fathomable, morning runs are almost pleasant, evenings in the back yard sipping on wine are just around the corner.  A matter of 4C and 30% humidity variance.  Yet it makes all the difference in the world.

That's when Canadian fixation with the weather translates into

appreciation. 

That's when it doesn't seem so silly to be so concerned with the weather. 

 September 26, 2013 (a.m.)

September 26, 2013 (a.m.)

I'm not a great person.  I have many failings.  Too many to count.  But somehow being a weather tracker makes me want to be a better person.  

That doesn't mean I'll be chatting about the weather 'round the water cooler at work any time soon.  Nope, when I go into work on Sunday, my first twenty minutes will be spent around the water cooler talking about

traffic. 

Because we're in Qatar.  Where traffic is crazy;  where conversation about traffic is constant. 

 

 

Crazy makes us come alive.  

Constants keep us sane ... 

 September 26, 2013 (p.m.)  Actually sat outside wearing a hoodie!  How far I've risen (from an all-time low of -41C + windchill to an all-time high of 50C + humidity).

September 26, 2013 (p.m.)  Actually sat outside wearing a hoodie!  How far I've risen (from an all-time low of -41C + windchill to an all-time high of 50C + humidity).