A little bit closer

Posted by bernicky - July 4th, 2017

Digging out is much harder than digging in.

Between the day from hell in April, and the expenses that have come along on our son’s health front, the fact that we’re still in the black is a testament to years of practice juggling the financially improbable. The only reason we aren’t in the red is because instead of paying the mobile phone bill as soon as it came in I’m holding off until Thursday – which will still be two weeks before it’s due but I prefer to pay as they come in.

A bit of luck at the end of June came in the form of the option to cash in seven days in lieu of taking them as vacation time. A nice bit of opportune timing and just enough to start to build back a buffer. How much of a buffer and for how long it can be built remains to be seen. Our son is planning on returning to school in the fall so there will be new expenses on that front. To be frank supporting three adults on the salaries I’m bringing in is getting a little straining after the hours cut back on the second job. I’ll find a way, I always do, but it would be nice if there was a little more breathing room. Thinking about money all the time can be exhausting.

On a more positive note the vernissage it on Thursday. Tomorrow morning I’m taking a vacation day from work and spending it at the MainLine Gallery hanging the exhibition. Then Thursday night after work it’s time to head downtown and stand around for three hours hoping to sell more art. Another piece sold ahead of the exhibition this past weekend which was nice. A third of the pieces in the Depanneur series readied for the show have been sold which means almost all my costs for the show have been covered – I might be a little in the red still but not by much. One more sale and it’s all black.


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The force is with us

Posted by bernicky - December 18th, 2015

Life has a way of becoming a bit of a dog’s breakfast which is my fault.

Our daughter is coming home from hospital today after seven weeks and two days. Woohoo. This naturally enough coincides with the release of the new Star Wars movie which our son wants to go see – tonight. So naturally I agreed to going to the movie without considering two things: I had made plans to talk to Donna tonight, I can only pick up our daughter at 16:00. What did I leave out of my consideration: the dog still needs to be walked before the movie, I have to pick up our son in St. Laurent and then we all have to get to the cinema by 18:50 and that’s if tickets are available. Yep I planned that. Grr.

So what is the alternative? No one wants to be left out, forgotten or left behind so the only option is to juggle. Our son really wanted to see this show with his best friend, his best friends father and myself and our daughter. I do the best that I can to make it work for everyone, but that doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.

To make certain things go as smooth as they can the Internet was pressed into service. Cineplex has an online ticketing system which allows you to buy tickets for a show ahead of time and print them up for yourself. So to make certain that we at least have tickets for the show I bought the tickets ahead of time. It won’t guarantee us seats together but we’ll work that out when we get to it.

Donna’s been a sweetheart though the last seven weeks. We are separated by time zones and over 3000 kilometers which makes getting together to talk difficult at the best of times. Tonight we were supposed to talk at the same time as the movie will be going into the second reel (do they still have reels?). She got pushed back an hour. Ouch. No matter how you slice it an unannounced change of plans isn’t nice but isn’t it better than a cancellation? I don’t know. Like I said: it’s my fault. My life is messy with a side order of chaos. With luck though the force will be with us and all will be well when we finally do get to talk tonight.

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We all know it

Posted by bernicky - November 22nd, 2015

There are no rules in life but those we create for ourselves and those imposed by others we choose to obey.

Rules make life easier sometimes and sometimes they make life harder. Sometimes the rules we create for ourselves aren’t so much rules as statements of what we believe to be true about ourselves. “I would never …” “You should always…” but the fact is that absolutes are, more often than not, doomed to failure.

Field Marshall Helmuth von Moltke the Elder once said “No plan of operations extends with any certainty beyond the first contact with the main hostile force.” That has been shortened over the years, for the sake of brevity and ease of understanding, to “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.” That pretty much describes life its ownself.

Our daughter was home yesterday and will be home most of today before returning to hospital this evening. Any plans I had prior to mid-October are, at best, on hold and, at worst, in peril. What surprises me is how comfortable I am with either option.

Life is chaos. We put our own narrative to events after the fact to make sense of them, but things never happen quite the same as the narrative which recounts the happenings. When it comes right down to it almost every event in life presents a binary choice. Engage or disengage. The Field Marshall’s approach, and mine: understand that no plan will survive what life throws at you and adapt. The other, equally valid approach, is that of the wise Kesuke Miyagi who taught that the best place to be when the punch comes is somewhere else.

I choose to engage again and again and again. My rule, my approach, is neither valid nor invalid it is just how I live my life. That’s all anyone can do, choose how to live their lives. We choose what we can and cannot face. We engage or disengage. The only rules with merit are those we choose for ourselves, the rest is sound and fury signifying nothing.

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Bernicky’s pendulum

Posted by bernicky - November 26th, 2010

People talk about the symmetry in nature but the people who talk about that sort of thing are usually people who know nothing about nature. The natural state of the world is imbalance the pendulum swings it never stays put in the middle.

The beauty of life is its unpredictability. The car went into the toilet last week and I managed to get it into the shop after making two trips to doctor’s appointments with my wife. It should not be surprising that with only 4 weeks to go before X-mas the bill will come to $1200.00. Yep. That is about the size of it. While it may cause stress it is just another blip in on the radar along with more tumors, refusal of chemo and the rest of what life brings every day.