Pushing Through Hard Days

Work days are the hardest days to blog. I feel like nothing happens that is worth blogging about. Someone yelled at me within the first 5 minutes of my shift today though, and I dragged the frustration of that around the city with me. It made for a super long day. Then I came home and had dinner and got ready for bed. I did however have a really important moment of self-discovery while recording today’s vlog.

Turn it off!

Today is day 7 in a row of work for me. I came home and was looking forward to nothing more than putting on my Pajamas, crawling into bed, and falling asleep before 8pm. 

It is now after 9 and I still am wide awake, but still too tired to do anything functional. My brain keeps running off on wild trains of thoughts and I just can’t seem to make it stop. It is incredibly frustrating as my thoughts aren’t going anywhere productive or logical.

I don’t know how to make my brain relax so that it can recharge for my busy weekend ahead. It feels as if I have been using my brain too much over the past few weeks that it has become a freight train speeding down the tracks so fast that pieces have started to fly off into every direction. I am trying to get it to stop, but I feel like the brakes have all rattled off and now I’m left feeling out of control over my train of thoughts. 

I have often found that writing helps to refocus me and allows me to pull these thoughts out in an organized fashion. I hope that in sharing this blog it will allow me to find some calm, order, and relaxation that my brain and body so desperately need!  Yup, there’s the yawn starting. 

I am really looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow. Then I get to wake up and go see Les to get my hair cut. Then I have to come home and get organized to represent Reel Pride at The Forks this weekend for pride. My friend Jenna is staying with Mike for the weekend so I am headed over there tomorrow evening for dinner before going to Fame tomorrow night for Chase the Queen. It is going to be another incredibly long weekend of events for Reel Pride. 

I am going to try closing my eyes again and going to bed.  I’m sorry if this blog wasn’t really that interesting, but it was more so just a random ranting of me pulling my thoughts into focus and out of chaos. If you made it this far, thanks so much for reading and I promise to try and make my next blog more interesting. Apparently I have fallen out of practise due to the lack of consistency in my blog posts. 

– Matt

Sometimes the Universe Kicks Me in the Teeth!

I am incredibly humbled by how powerful my universe is. It never fails to put me in the right place, at the right time, surrounded by the right people, and it is so incredibly blunt about what is going on. Let me give you some background about how I’ve been feeling and I promise it will all make sense by the end. 

I have been feeling super lost and overwhelmed in my life and by all my responsibilities over the past few months. I have been struggling to make all the pieces fit back together correctly since my world was turned upside down in January. 

I have also been required to step up to fulfill more and more duties for Reel Pride as people’s lives change around me. We had a major event with Reel Pride this past weekend that I invested a lot of time and energy into, which was rewarded with a significant increase to our attendance over last year. 

However, I have been realizing very quickly how much of myself I have been loosing to the way I have been spending my time. I have forgotten to put time into the things that I enjoy doing and find the most value from. It has been several months since I last stopped to read a book. It has been even longer since I last picked up a ball of yarn and worked on a knitting project. I don’t even remember the last blog or vlog I posted. 

I have had an ever increasing urge to refocus my energy on myself, but I have been doing a really good job of procrastinating actually doing it. I keep saying that I will do it, but I just need to do one more project for someone else before I look after myself. It has been about two weeks of me saying the exact same thing to myself. 

Today, I was having a terrible day today. I have not been enjoying my job lately, and was rewarded with a visit from a supervisor who was following up on several passenger complaints. Seeing him show up made my mood even worse. He didn’t have anything terrible to say, but just being told that someone thinks I did a bad job didn’t make me feel any better. 

I went through the motions of my day, watching the clock count the seconds by getting closer and closer to the end of my day. I was on my final trip to Downtown when one of my regular passengers boarded the bus. She always puts a smile on my face as we have some very interesting conversations. 

Today the conversation drifted towards my work with Reel Pride. It turns out that she used to be a costume maker for several other theatre companies. We discussed the world of the arts for a bit, and eventually she shared her story with me that she also used to blog regularly. However, due to life events she stopped. We talked for a while more and I was so incredibly thankful I had sunglasses to hide my tears. Our conversations was such a blessing and it reminded me about how much I love blogging and how necessary it is for my soul. 

Within that conversation with a person I wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for my job, I found an important lesson. I found the inspiration to sit down and write a blog and also something wonderful about what was going to be a terrible day. Writing and making movies are two things I love to do, my challenge becomes remembering to make myself a priority.

Needing to Unload

I really should be sleeping, but there are too many things going on in my brain. Thus, I have decided to spend a bit of time writing to unload some of the stress from my head. 

The most exciting news is that tickets have officially gone on sale for the annual Best International LGBTTQ* Commercials: 2016 Edition.  I woke up at 3:00am today trying to plan the logistics of our event taking place at the Bandwidth Theatre. It is a beautiful venue, but the lobby and box office area is very limited and thus I am hoping that a new layout strategy will help create a much better guest experience for this event. 

I managed to fall back asleep for a brief while before getting up to meet our Art Exhibit curator which will begin the festival on October 11. We had a very productive meeting and I am very excited to see what collection of artwork will be displayed this year. 

I came home and did some general organization of my house which I’ve been meaning to do for way too long. There have been a number of big projects that I have undertaken recently. As a result, my house has been lost due to clutter. I’m generally a very organized person, and now I’m surrounded by organized clutter. I spent several hours organizing and managed to reclaim some of my living space. There is still quite a bit of work to be done, but I feel incredibly accomplished in the tasks that I completed today. 

I spent my evening finishing watching the new season of the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. I’m already looking forward to the next season as 13 episodes weren’t enough to satisfy me. I then moved on to watching way too many episodes of Downton Abbey. I’m pretty sure I have picked up a slight British accent this evening and also realized my new life goal is to be a countess. 

I also ordered pizza for dinner which I’m now regretting. I can never just have a slice or two and now I’m feeling overfilled. On the bright side, I will have left over pizza for lunch and dinner tomorrow which is definitely one of my favourite meals. 

Now I’m laying in bed reflecting on my day and thinking about what tomorrow should look like. I struggled to bring myself to set my alarm clock to wake me up at 6:00am tomorrow for work. I really would enjoy more days off as my last two days have been committed to accomplishing tasks for Reel Pride. 

On that note, I should probably go to bed. I hope you all had an amazing day and we shall talk to you again soon. 

-Matt

I’m Getting the Pieces Back in Order

Oh well hey there!

I am excited to announce that this week has been amazing and I am actually beginning to feel like myself again. The past month has presented a series of events which I don’t want to repeat anytime soon. 

That being said, as of Friday I officially came back to working full shifts at work and it felt great to be driving my usual routes again. It was nice to see the friendly faces of my regular passengers who were all very concerned that I had been away for two weeks. It was fun catching up with them and hearing their stories of what they’ve done while I was away. 

Friday night was Week 2 of Chase the Queen at Fame Nightclub in support of Reel Pride. It has been fun selling tickets and promoting our film festival. I am looking forward to watching the jackpot grow again this Friday. 

The weekend was a lot of fun as well spent with friends at the bar. I had the opportunity to hang out with a few old friends that it feels like I don’t see nearly often enough.

Then Monday and Tuesday were both work days once again. I have been procrastinating grocery shopping like crazy lately, but finally made my way to get milk and some other essentials that I have been out of for the past week. I am certainly looking forward to being able to have coffee in the morning. 

I know that this probably wasn’t one of my more interesting blogs, but it has been a pretty ordinary week of learning how life works after having my world flipped upside down.  On that note I am going to say goodbye for now as I have to work early again tomorrow, but I hope you had an amazing week and thank you so much for reading. 

-M

Getting Back To Normal… Whatever That Is!

  

Look at me go… writing a blog again!

I meant to sit down and write a blog yesterday, but I ended up sleeping most of the day so that clearly didn’t happen.  I figured I should pick a day of the week for updates and somehow that ended up being Wednesday because it is the only day of the week that starts with a “W” and I’m writing.  However, it is Thursday and I don’t really feel like Googling “T” words that mean something about writing… so we are just going to go with it.

This week has been amazing.  I am super thankful for all the nice things that people have said and done over the last little while to help me process all the craziness that happened. I am feeling incredible and am ready to resume my version of “normal” even though I feel like nothing in my life is really that “normal.”  I think I live on a pretty awesome version of “special” where I find myself presented with opportunities that are pretty out of the ordinary.

I am going to be resuming full work days starting tomorrow which I am really looking forward to.  I have missed my routine of knowing what shifts I am working and what time I have to get out of bed.  It will also be nice to see some of my regular passengers again that always have something nice to say to start the day.

I am going to cut this blog a little bit short today because I am going to be late for an appointment if I don’t get myself out the door like 3 minutes ago.  I hope you all have an amazing week and I will chat again soon! Until next time, Be Super!

-M

Learning to Walk Again

 
Well hello again blog.  How have you been?  It seems like it has been months since I have sat down in-front of my computer to write you a story… Oh wait it actually has been!There is a a reason for it, but I can’t share all the details.  2016 has hit me like a freight train, like a really big freight train, the kind that has like six locomotives at the front followed by like 1,000 big heavy box cars… That kind of freight train.  There have been a series of really unpleasant life events that have all occurred in rapid succession which have left me feeling rather overwhelmed.  It became way too much to deal with all at once.  So I have slammed on the brakes and I am slowly getting through it all day-by-day.

The piece that I am ready to get through today is blogging.  I haven’t made a vlog on YouTube in quite some time either.  I find that it takes far more effort to record a video clip, edit the clips together, and publish a video; but this post isn’t about vlogging.  My small step today has been to sit down and write which feels really, really good.

I am so thankful for all the amazing friends that I have in my life that have been here to support me through this rough patch.  Sometimes just having a friend remind me to relax and that tomorrow is a brand new day was all I needed.

Aside from all the events that have happened so far this year, another struggle I have is remembering to write my ideas and stories down.  As you know, I am a bus driver which gives me a lot of time to think.  I get the opportunity to travel around Winnipeg and see a lot of things that would make for killer blog material, but I can’t just pull over and start writing on the side of the road.  Could you imagine…

“Ummmm… Driver… Why are we stopped?”

“Hold on… I’m blogging…”

It is even a challenge to note down the ideas on a piece of paper while I’m at work since I am required to focus on safely maneuvering my gigantic metal bus down the extremely narrow streets while avoiding the limitless numbers of hazards.  By the time I get to the next place to stop and would have had the chance to note down my blog idea, I have had my attention pulled away to avoid 160 pot holes, 239 cars, and answer 172 questions about how to get downtown.

Don’t interpret that as me complaining, safe driving and customer service are my priorities while I am at work.  Maybe I am just getting old and need to play more brain games to improve my memory skills in order to remember what it was I wanted to write about again today.

What was I talking about again?  Oh ya… Blogging…

I am really thankful that life has appeared to take a break from building hurdles in my path.  It has certainly provided me an opportunity to do a lot of reflection on what my goals and priorities are going to be for 2016.  That being said, I am really excited to be writing again today and I hope that this inspiration will continue and I can continue to create new stories and adventures to share with you.

I hope you are all having an amazing Wednesday!  Until next time…

-M

This is why we can’t have nice things…

  I could sit here and write a post about the awful day that I had that started with the terrible customer service at Visions Electronics, or the car that almost hit us and then gave us the finger, to the incredibly rude woman that I talked to at the 911 call centre; but I am not going to focus on all those things. I am going to look past it and focus on all the amazing things that happened today. 

This morning I woke up and finished working on a project for Reel Pride that I am really looking forward to sharing with the board. Shortly thereafter, Patrick picked me up and, along with the assistance of my parents, we finished moving all the furniture out of Shannon’s house into my new place. It was kind of bittersweet in that I am absolutely loving my brand new home, but I sure miss coming home to one of my best friends. 

Once everything was finally moved downtown, I thanked them for their assistance and they all parted ways to continue with their days. Mike came and picked me up and we met up with his mom at Costco. It was fun to wander around, but I successfully made it in without buying anything!  

After that was when all the bad stuff happened, so I’m going to fast forward to the point where we went to my chiro appointment and Keith fixed me up. Then I came home and passed out for the best nap of my life. I woke up started and thought that it was already tomorrow because it was light when I fell asleep and pitch black when I woke up. 

  I was going to do laundry, but for sure didn’t feel like it so I put on my winter gear and headed out into the cold to get tickets for New Year’s Eve dinner and dancing at Club 200. I’m really excited for Prime Rib dinner with Tracy.

I just finished a good workout at the gym and am now at the Elephant and Castle for dinner. I really should be eating at home, but I am feeling lazy and this is absolutely one of my favourite restaurants in downtown Winnipeg. 

The walk over from the gym was kind of depressing as there was so much vandalism through the skywalk system. Between the broken railings and doors to broken glass it makes me wonder what would bring someone to the point where breaking someone else’s property seemed like a good idea to whoever broke these parts of our public skywalk. I love this city and it is really embarrassing seeing all our nice things getting destroyed. 

 However, I want to focus on something beautiful as I finish this post, and what is more beautiful than warm Highland Bread Pudding with a butter rum sauce and whip cream. It is so incredibly tasty, but I’m so stuffed I can’t even finish it. 

With than I am going to say goodnight, have an amazing day, and don’t forget to be kind out there!

The Most Unusual Christmas

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What an interesting Christmas day I had!

I have worked in a job that requires shift work for at least the last 10 years.  As a result, I usually end up choosing to work on Christmas Day so that someone who values spending December 25th with their family can have the day off.

My family has always done our big family dinner on Boxing Day (December 26), which I wasn’t able to get off this year (but yet I could have had Christmas Day off if I wanted).  I’m a little disappointed that I have to head into work here shortly, but I am sure that it will be a much better day than yesterday.

The people that I encountered yesterday for the most part were super nice, but there was at least one person every hour that was a definite grinch.  It made for a pretty long day, but at the end of it I survived and came home to my nice warm bed safe and sound.

Today is going to be a completely different challenge though as we move from all the stores being closed yesterday to everyone crashing down the doors for the sales today.  Personally, I haven’t yet seen any sales advertised that I am willing to go and endure the lineups in the stores.

If you are planning on going out shopping today, here are my survival tips:

  1. Make A Plan:  Look on-line to see what stores are selling the items you actually need to purchase and see where has the best price.  That way you can figure out the best route and avoid back tracking in the congested traffic.
  2. Check the Original Price:  A lot of sales happening today are only a $150 off, if not less.  It could be worth the convenience of paying the regular price tomorrow to avoid the headache of Boxing Day Shopping today.
  3. Order Online:  If you can be patient for a few days, you can certainly save some money today by taking advantage of the online boxing week sales.  It will of course mean you’re likely going to be waiting until after the New Year before you get to start enjoying your exciting new purchase.
  4. Make Sure You Can Afford It:  Christmas just happened and for most people that means burning a hole in your wallet.  Don’t make any purchases for a great price that are going to mean going without food for the next three months while you try to pay it off.
  5. Have Fun and Be Polite:  This one should come without saying, but I am sure that we will hear of all sorts of huge battles going down in the stores over the last sale items on the news tonight.

I hope everyone had an amazing Christmas (or whatever holiday your family chooses to celebrate) with your friends and families.  I’m looking forward to seeing my family later this evening.

Until then, have an amazing day and go be kind out there!  Don’t forget to checkout my YouTube Video for more fun adventures:

Merry Shopping-mas to All

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I recently had a debate with a friend about the true meaning of Christmas. The discussion all started over the fact that he felt that people were shoving their Christian holiday down his Jewish throat. While I agree that Christmas to Christians is a religious holiday, I believe that it has long since been superseded by the Christmas of corporate american retailers’ wildest imaginations.

The Christian Christmas is the celebration of Jesus’ birth in a stable in Bethlehem. Three wise men brought him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Christians believe that Jesus brought his followers the gift of salvation from their sins thus giving them the gift of eternal life in heaven.

However, the real roots of surrounding the Christmas celebration all seem to be based in Roman traditions celebrating the winter solstice, the return of the sun, and to honour Saturn, the god of Agriculture. It is commonly believed that the December 25th was selected as the date for which to celebrate Christmas as an attempt to replace the pagan Saturnalia festival.

Christmas was not recognized as an official federal holiday in the United States until June 26, 1870.

Thanks to some epic marketing on Coka-Cola’s behalf during the 1930’s, Santa Claus has become one of the most recognizable images of Christmas. Parents line up their broods of children in lines for hours to be able to pay someone to take a photograph of their kids with a random mall Santa. Children write letters and emails to the North Pole embellishing to him about how wonderful they have been all year and how they deserve all the most expensive toys.

Then the tradition of gift giving carries on into our adulthood where we continue to be told that we need to make sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on our list. People go absolutely crazy fulfilling their shopping duties without any regard for the damage that they are doing to their credit card balances. Going anywhere near a shopping mall is a near death experience as people rush to finish all their Christmas purchases.

So while I do personally believe in the Christian meaning of Christmas, people have been forced to be so politically correct about celebrating Christmas that I feel it has become more of a corporate holiday exploited by retailers. While many people may celebrate the religious origins of Christmas behind closed doors in their homes, the only Christmas spirit that I have found this holiday season has been the stress of making a list, checking it twice, realizing I forgot to include someone important, opening my already maxed out credit cards to discover that I can’t afford to buy everyone on my list presents that they don’t need, applying for a new credit card to go make sure I can put presents under the tree, and now the anxiety about whether or not the cute sweater I bought someone is going to fit and not remembering if I put the gift receipt in the box with the sweater before I wrapped it, and whether or not my Christmas cards are going to be delivered before the post office closes down for the year.

Has this become the true meaning of Christmas in 2015?