Mindless Deliberations

I lost February. I lost it right after the first snowfall on February 3rd when the temperature dropped below freezing, and stayed there.

Meteorologists proclaimed this February our coldest on record, but in all fairness to Real Winter enthusiasts, we have to remember we’re talking about the BC southwest coast. This is not Ontario. Where I live, the temperature never quite made it down to -10°C and the most snow we had on the ground at any one time was 20 cm. (For those of you who prefer the other version, that’s 14°F  and 8 inches.) But my hubby has been able to mow the lawns during some Februarys, so this one was definitely a shock to our systems.

Of course, in mid-February our Canadian federal politics leapt into the spotlight and after repeated ‘explosive’ events* (the media’s chosen buzz word for them, not mine), my brain began withdrawing, so it’s no wonder I became oblivious to the passing days.

It was today, when I belatedly turned the calendar page and discovered March, that I realized February had gone missing. Somewhere, hiding in its wings, were three family birthdays and the arrival of a great-grandlittle. In fact, there was much busy-ness on many fronts, but apparently nothing that I consciously attributed to February.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not unhappy to see March. I’ve had it with winter, and am more than ready for Spring! It just troubles me that I wasn’t aware my brain had gone on hiatus. Psychology Today says that, like driving on a familiar route may result in getting home with little-to-no memory of the trip, “being on autopilot is likely to happen during any activity that you can perform automatically. By definition, automatic activities are those that require little in the way of conscious guidance.”** There were several things I probably did on autopilot during February, but recognizing that isn’t going to bring the month back. Only two months into 2019 and it’s already shorter than it’s meant to be.

I don’t lose things very often. I’m pretty good about remembering appointments, too. But time? Time slips away at an ever-increasing speed and I have no idea where it goes. If I’m functioning on autopilot next time you see me, give me a knock on the noggin and make me pay attention. I can’t afford to lose March. February’s loss was bad enough.

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* Referring to the resignation and pushback from Jody Wilson-Raybould over SNC-Lavalin; the resignation of her friend and fellow MP Jane Philpott; and the earlier decision of MP Celina Caesar-Chavannes not to run in the next election — all three, as the National Post says, “remarkable, accomplished women, one black, one Indigenous, one a white doctor from Markham, Ontario, who were part of our self-appointed feminist prime minister’s obsession with gender balance. They were among the new people invited in, but expected to play by all the old rules. For a while, they appeared to thrive in the super-heated, high-pressure world of federal politics, until they didn’t.

** https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mental-mishaps/201404/the-dangers-going-autopilot

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In which some things get turned upside down!

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Upside down (trailing) Calibrachoa ‘Sweet Bells’

We had an election in British Columbia yesterday. I’m not one to follow politics doggedly, but I do take the responsibility of voting seriously. I voted, then through the evening watched television coverage of the incoming results.

Going into this election the provincial Liberals were expected to lose. In the end, although it appears she lost in her own riding by a narrow margin, Premier Christy Clark led her party to a resounding win. From the National Post online:
“The Liberals defied common wisdom and months of abysmal polling numbers to win British Columbia’s election Tuesday, a shocking turnaround for a party and a premier who entered the campaign with many observers writing the government’s obituary…B.C.’s Liberal party defied prognosticators and pundits Tuesday to win a fourth consecutive election, an upset that will confound so-called experts for months.”

In his election night speech, defeated NDP leader Adrian Dix said, “Elections belong to the voters, and the voters decided.”

Nobody could have predicted this election’s outcome, although in retrospect there were indications that people hesitated to risk a repeat of the economic downturns experienced during the NDP’s past terms in power. Christy Clark’s persuasive focus on our need for a strong economy carried her party past Dix’s promises of generous spending, to an inevitable conclusion. For whatever reason, nobody saw it coming.

Of course there’s a writing application here. (You knew there would be, didn’t you?) Public reaction to this political upset makes me think of reading suspense novels, mysteries or thrillers, with their unpredictable endings. I love being surprised by an ending, as long as the author has dropped subtle clues along the way. The plot may turn the characters’ lives upside down, but when I flip back to earlier scenes I need to find the logic behind the story’s resolution.

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Are you the kind of reader who likes to peek at the last few pages first, to find out how a story ends? Or do you prefer to be surprised? On the other topic, do you vote in your province’s, state’s or country’s elections?

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