LASIK Enduced Writers Block.

I haven’t been posting blogs. I would tell myself it’s because I was too busy, first the Nutcracker, then Christmas and then a flurry of activity over the New Year before settling in to the hectic school year of teaching these wonderful children of ours and driving them almost daily to the Atlantic Dance Academy for their various dance classes. Later in January, I told myself that it’s the preparation for slaughtering the pigs, but really, it’s because I haven’t been writing. At all. And I’ve kept a journal since my childhood.

The last entry in my journal tells of how my darling partner decided to give me LASIK for Christmas. That was back in November, and since then, I haven’t written more than a “to do” list.

I hate to admit it, but the main reason may be that the most natural thing to write about would have been my upcoming surgery. And my mind shied away from exploring that topic too deeply.

It’s a fascinating procedure that was performed on me at TLC Eye Center in Moncton, New Brunswick on Feb 9, 2012. Here you can see Michael Buckley from the What The Buck show having his LASIK. I didn’t get mine filmed because we ended up not having a babysitter, so rather than filming the procedure, my partner was amusing five children for about 2 hours.


 

My procedure was very like this, except that I looked much cuter in the funny hat. I was given an Ativan and was feeling pretty relaxed when she was prepping me. There were a lot of drops, some antibiotic ones and some that were numbing. She also numbed my eyelid; just imagine the WORST makeup artist in the WORLD putting eyeliner on you, and you will understand the sensation I experienced as she swabbed the INSIDE of my eyelids.

Having just found the above video, I am very glad that I didn’t watch it before the operation, because that eyelid retractor did not feel nearly that scary. I had a few moments of “don’t think about what they are doing, just Don’t Think About It…”, and if I would have had the visual of those claw-like retractors, I may have twitched.

It’s rather ironic that the one time I did try to write about the imminent event, I happened to be in a hotel bathroom, and since sitting in a nice hot tub is one of my favourite “writing spots”, I was relaxing in the steamy water with a glass of Guinness on the edge of the tub next to my notebook. The light switch was one of the energy saving, motion sensor types, and I guess the scratching of my pen across the page was not enough “motion” to keep the light on, so every time I really got a good start on exploring my thoughts and fears, the light would go off.

Every time I sat still for longer than 40 seconds, I was suddenly plunged into darkness. And, I mean, that’s what this little hiatus from writing is really about. It’s about discussing on paper the risks associated with this procedure, including, rarely, a loss of sight, a final, frightening, plunge into darkness.

Now that I have successful recovered, and have perfect vision with no loss of night vision or ability to drive, I feel I can write about my fears. I’m sure that anyone faced with having their eyes operated on, as shown in the video above, will have some hesitation. Lots of folks I have spoken to say that concern about possible side effects or problems have stopped them from pursuing this fabulous surgery. I mean, it’s the EYES!

One cannot help but wonder “How would my life change if I lost my sight?”

But like many fears, mine proved to be unfounded and therefore not really worth writing about. I’d rather tell you about the wonderful experiences I had in the office before, during and after the procedure, and am having on a daily basis like when I come in from the cold and don’t have to wait a few minutes before I can see anything but fog.

The initial examinations were conducted by a great staff of soothing individuals who made me feel that they were in complete control of all situations. They explained the choices clearly, which are PKR, the oldest and least expensive option, and LASIK with the corrective work done under a corneal flap. This flap was made with either a mechanical microkeratome using a metal blade, or a femtosecond laser microkeratome that creates a series of tiny closely arranged bubbles within the cornea. The difference in the latter two is about $1000, but we went for the platinum package with the laser cutting the flap because, well, IT’S MY EYES!

Once it was established that I was indeed a candidate for LASIK, the date was set. Originally, my surgery was slated for January 26th but I couldn’t find anyone to drive me to a Director’s Dinner in Halifax on Feb 2nd that I had no intention of missing. I didn’t know if I would be able to drive at night since a friend of mine had it done years ago and still can’t drive at night because of the way the lights halo, so I rescheduled my surgery for the 9th of February.

A few days later, we got a package with instructions for the weeks leading up to my LASIK, including the most thorough eye washing instructions one can imagine. It involved making a dilution of baby shampoo and washing the eyelid and lashes for about ten minutes. I can now say that the baby shampoo we use is completely tear free on top of being non-toxic.

I was not allowed to wear contacts for two weeks before my initial eye exam nor in the two weeks before the surgery itself, and honestly THAT was the hardest part of the whole experience. The reason my wonderful hubby told me about my Christmas present in November was because I had told him that I planned to get new glasses the next day. The

pair I was wearing was the backup of the backup pair since the backup pair had been completely mangled by my youngest after he’d done the same to my “real” glasses, all in a remarkably short period of time, and they were really uncomfortable and making me cranky.

I realized that the neck warmer I had gotten HIM might be a little on the austere side when he told me to hold off on spending a few hundred on glasses because his plan was to give me clear vision for Christmas! Of course timing would have it that I had just filled my 6-month contact lens order and now had less than two months before I wouldn’t be able to wear them for two weeks and then probably wouldn’t need them at all! Never before have I been so spendthrift with my supply of contact lenses, sometimes wearing the weekly disposables only once. But the time I couldn’t wear my contacts was truly terrible. The glasses gave me headaches and made my nose hurt, as well as slipping down my nose constantly, driving me crazy(er).

All in all, that short bit of suffering was well rewarded! I would recommend it for anyone who needs to wear glasses, but I would not suggest that the faint of heart or the claustrophobic subject themselves to this, because it really is a little disconcerting. The saving grace is that it really is a short procedure, and like in the video, my doctor counted the seconds and that really helped.

Now that I am over my reluctance to write, I have been working on some fun projects and look forward to sharing them with you here soon!

Make it a great day!

 

 

Words Matter – Try or Do, it’s Up to You.

Good advice comes from many sources. Mom is notorious for knowing best, and most of us have a favourite teacher whose words of wisdom echo through our lives, but sometimes the advice comes from a 3 foot high, 864 year old alien.

My father illustrated this in a café in Vancouver, when he laid the spoon he had just used to scoop four loads of sugar into his cup of coffee onto the Formica table and said to me: “Try to pick up the spoon.”

After wondering briefly if the old man was cracking up, and examining the situation for possible traps, I reached out my hand and picked it up.

“You failed,” he said, taking the utensil out of my small hand. After placing the spoon on the table again, he repeated his direction to TRY to pick up the spoon.

I was a pretty clever 9-year-old, but as I sat there, I didn’t know how I was going to cope with a batty old man for a father. Watching his face for signs of drooling, I slowly reached out and grasped the spoon and lifted.

“No,” he smirked “fail.”

“Well what do you mean, then?” I said in the exasperated tone only a pre-teen can master.

“You’ll have to think about it.” And it became apparent that he would not entertain any other questions or conversation until I had solved the riddle.

Now that I am a parent, I recognise that he was not only teaching me an important life lesson, but that he was also desperate for a quiet cup of coffee.

The trick is, of course, that once you actually pick up the spoon, you are no longer trying, you are doing.

The words we choose shape our world. By changing the words we use, we can change our lives radically. Watch now as we see this in action.

 

How many times have you been in a situation where you can chose between saying something negative and something positive? Probably every time you open your mouth or move your fingers across the keys.

How often do you say “I have to…” when you talk about your plans for the day? I’m going to challenge you to change it to “I want to…” and make note of the results. Are you calmer and less stressed? Do you look forward to your week more?

And what about how we talk about our goals? You have probably heard that sharing your goals with others is a good strategy.

You may be surprised at the results of the research that Derek Sivers shares in the following  TED.x talk. I know I was!

So, what is your secret goal for this month? NO! Don’t tell me! Write it down. Seal it in an envelope and then get to work. If you come back and share your results here, I will send you a free gift. Good luck in reaching your goal and making every day a great one!

 

H.E.L.P. – (when you need somebody, it’s not just anybody)

In my experience, everyone goes through a phase where they think they don’t need any help. If they become successful, they probably realize eventually that no one can do everything alone. We all need help to reach our goals.

When I first started to notice all the “online coaches”, I didn’t think much of it. Having worked in many fields and operated various brick and mortar businesses over the years, I know that consultants are a necessary part of business. I assumed that these online equivalents would be on par with real life consultants, people who retire from their field and are in demand for their expertise, becoming consultants because they have earned the respect and trust of their peers.

When my online business hit a flat spot, I decided to check out one of these coaches who had been posting in my online networking group. So I clicked on the ad on her profile.

Soon enough, a very nice young woman called. Even though she seemed friendly and kind, it became clear very quickly that I had much more experience in business than she did! After some gentle prodding, it come out that she bought into this coaching package where, for a fee, you get pre-written emails, an auto-responder and a coaching e-book. She continued, explaining that you earn a commission if anyone else purchases this instant-coach package from you. The lion’s share of the proceeds goes to the author!

What a brilliant scam!  Lure people in by offering to help them with their business and then let them know how fun and profitable it is to be a coach, and then sell them the coaching package.

There are a lot of gurus and training packages out there. Most of them are simply someone’s great idea of how to make a ton of money off others who are desperate. Most of the information that these “exclusive training packages” offer is readily available for free if you simply search the internet. Unfortunately, when someone is new to the internet and looking for ways to make a lot of fast cash online, they are easy target for scams.

Our team provides free training. We get all the tools, for which others will charge $70 or more per month, for only $20 per month. The latest upgrades are added to our team room for free! The internet changes daily, and the marketing methods that are successful now may be out of date as early as next week. Smart, yet unethical, people will charge the struggling business owner to get information they know is on the cusp of being obsolete, and then sell then the latest “hot” methods – methods these internet vampires have already burnt thousands with, so when you employ the same methods, people lump you into the same category.

I have first hand experience with getting scammed. The pain and embarrassment this caused me has made me make it my mission to educate others, and help them use the internet to earn an income. Since I am always dealing with many different personalities and varying skill levels, I have run into some problems with helping too much. What?! You may ask. How can a person help their new business partners TOO MUCH?

Well, if you always tied a child’s shoelaces, they’d never be able to tie their own laces – let alone learn some of the fancier knots that can really make a difference in life.  Your new business partners need to learn to stand on their own two feet as soon as possible. That’s why we need to H.E.L.P.

Hand up, not hand out – “Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” Even though it is easier to do things for someone who is new to a task, in the long run, the sooner they do it for themselves, the sooner they will be successful in the venture.

 

Expect results – When a two year old wants you to tie their shoes you do it, but by the time they are 5 or 6, you expect them to do it themselves. It’s the same with new business partners. We help them get started, but if we keep doing the job for them, they will never reach their full potential. So we must show them the ropes and then expect results.

 

Lead by example – A good leader never asks anything of their people that they themselves are not willing to do. When your business is making new contacts and setting appointments, if you stop calling leads and choose to spend all your time managing your current customers and chatting with your business partners, it’s likely that your team will also stop doing the critical activities that are needed to move your online business forward.

Provide training – People from all walks of life are experiencing hardship during these difficult times. Many of these people have heard that there are ways to work from home on the internet, but many of them have little or no marketing experience. By providing free training on some internet basics, like safety and security, and on finding and using simple marketing tools that make the experience of working from home more enjoyable and less intimidating, you are really going to help people work from home.

 

When we H.E.L.P. our business partners reach their goals, we know that they will be in a position to H.E.L.P. others sooner, and they’ll also enjoy success with their online business with less difficulty and more fun!

 

In the end, there is a Pointe!

On a Monday afternoon in late June 2011, the recreation room at Centennial Retirement Village in Amherst, NS, was transformed into a stage.

As the residents gathered, the floor space became crowded with wheelchairs. Many of the occupants seemed unaware of their surroundings. Most were assisted by the kind staff into soft couches and chairs, although a few shuffled in of their own accord, and then, when the seats were all occupied, the spaces between them were filled with wheelchairs.

The dancers from ADA first demonstrated their proficiency in Pointe, lacing on the wooden-toed shoes and walking amongst the audience, much to the delight of the most alert residents. Yet many of these elderly people seemed to be asleep, or hardly aware of where they were, let alone in a position to appreciate the poise and grace of this talented group of girls.

As a woman passing into middle age, I am particularly sensitive of this end point, this last stop in a great journey that we call life. I looked at the faces, so many sunken cheeks, slumped shoulders and tired bodies, so many eyes that did not really focus on what was happening in front of them, and wondered what the point was of bringing these girls to perform for them.

Then I noticed a woman in the back who seemed to be asleep when I first noticed her. Now I saw that she was practically vibrating as the line of girls snaked through the audience, and although I did not hear what she said to the young girl who held her hand, the very expression on the centurion’s face was radiant and spoke of long ago dreams brought to life on this cool afternoon.

After the girls returned to the stage area, it was announced that they would perform the same dance that placed first in the Regionals of 5-6-7-8 Showtime! and was soon to be performed by these talented girls in Niagara Falls on June 29th, 2011 in the Nationals and World Cup.

The girls removed their Pointe shoes and donned the feathers of their costumes, arranging themselves on the tiny impromptu dance floor. When the Jazzy music started a few more of the residents perked up, and by the end of the encore performance, there was a remarkable difference in the faces I saw. No longer slack, I saw dancing eyes in their faces and heard snippets of conversation, wistful vices rusty with disuse that recalled personal triumphs and remembered dance partners from long ago.

When the girls once again made their way through the crowd, wrinkled arms reached out and clasped their opposite, slim young fingers in gnarled hands, stiff and palsied.  I blinked back tears, hoping that if I sit one day at the end of the road, in a wheelchair, betrayed by my body, forgotten by the world whizzing by outside my one-building existence, my caretakers are as generous in their support of the arts as the management of Green Gables is, and music and dance be a part of my life forever.

Sincerely,

 

Are you Social?

In this age of social media as the foundation of marketing activities for small business and multi-nationals alike, having a good web presence is vital.

Alexis Ohanian, in his recent TED.com appearance, shares how the internet creates a level playing field, allowing every person to voice their opinion, and for others to vote it up and make it seen by more people. Suddenly, it’s not just the huge corporations with millions of dollars in their advertising campaigns that can reach fans at halftime during the Superbowl. The average citizen has the ability to share their thoughts on Twitter and potentially reaching a greater audience than the multi-million dollar ads on TV.

Watch now, as Alexis shares how social media was responsible for naming a whale
Mr. Splashy Pants.

 

Whether you are a veteran marketer, or new to the internet and not even sure what social media means, if you have joined the hundreds of thousands who want to supplement their income with a home business, you will want to keep these six points in mind.

 

Always be yourself when you are Making Friends in Network Marketing. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

You can’t just sit back and wait for people to come to you. Once you build your profile, you need to go out and meet people! Join forums and common interest groups.

It’s better to work your home business one hour a day, every day, than it is to work 24 hrs straight every few weeks or months.

Even if you have the best product line and the most amazing compensation plan, if you don’t have something interesting to say, people will click away.

Lots of people have hundreds of “friends” but if you don’t keep talking to them, they will forget who you are. Take the time to read their posts and comment on their profile.

DON’T DROP THE BOMB! I know you are excited! You love your business and you want to tell the world, but no one likes spam!

 

I hope you have found these tips useful. I would love to hear your comments! Please post them below!

Make it a great day!

 

No more tears? Not according to Sean Dix!

Last night, I was planning to share my thoughts on the recent Johnson & Johnson scandal involving outraged citizens: people who are taking exception to the multi-national sale of safer products in some other countries, like the UK and Denmark, while selling the same label in other countries - like Canada and the United States of America- containing known carcinogens. Product safety is a popular subject these days, with such initiatives as The Story of Cosmetics and the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database, where you can search your favourite cosmetics and find out what the ingredients can do to your body. I saw a video earlier in the week about the Johnson & Johnson scandal on my Facebook wall, but since it was in the middle of my home schooling shift I didn’t have a chance to watch the whole thing or even bookmark it.

So that is why I Googled “Johnson & Johnson scandal”, and subsequently stumbled upon a case that has my mind reeling. It’s reminiscent of the little old lady who fed the pigeons in Central Park for years, a beloved local figure perceived to be an animal lover of stellar character. When she didn’t turn up on her usual bench for a few days, concerned locals notified the authorities who, upon breaking down her door, found her dead of a stroke. They also found bags upon bags of poisoned bird seed! This woman had been merrily poisoning the birds for decades, while being perceived as the most kind, generous and gentle of souls..

The rap sheet that www.americanfraud.com had on Johnson & Johnson dates back to the seventies, and it tells the story of a corporation gaining power and wielding it with impunity. It was late at night and I was only skimming, since I was really looking for current affairs and not something that happened 40 years ago, but at the bottom of the page there was a link to Sean Dix: The American Dream, And Justice (Floss At Your Own Risk) Part I. Now, it takes more than a catchy title to make good reading, but dental danger? That’s pretty compelling, and when I clicked the link, I found myself reading a long, text-only document word for word. It told a story so chilling that I found myself further compelled to write a supportive email and buy 15 of his patented Flossrings. Everyone on my list will be getting one this year!

Imagine my surprise when shortly after I placed the order, I received an email from Sean Dix himself, letting me know that he’s putting them in the mail the next day. In the ensuing dialog, I discovered even more disturbing news, which he outlines in this video.

 

 

Cartoon by: Francis Benedict

 

 

 

Sean Dix is a modern-day David, with Goliath towering over him, controlling his life but not his spirit. Please join me in supporting him. Write a letter to Department of Justice (antitrust.atr@usdoj.gov) with a link to http://www.rense.com/general82/floss.htm expressing your outrage at this behaviour. Buy some Flossrings (click here to shop now). Tweet and share this on Facebook (which may still involve copying and pasting this URL because this is a new blog and all the features are not yet installed…but it’s worth it!).

Speaking of fabulous, for your very own free Flossring, leave a comment, hopefully sharing a link to your own blog post on Sean Dix and his battle, and at the end of the month I’ll do a random draw with the lucky winner getting one of these fantastic little dental devices that will make flossing so much easier! Because, as your dentist will tell you, you don’t have to floss all your teeth…just the ones you want to keep.

Keep smiling,

Laila

 

Chocolate Victory!

It works. The world is changed by individuals. Not by governments or corporations; not by nations or religions.

I’m no Gandhi, but I felt so proud and powerful at the grocery store yesterday when I read that there are no artificial colours or flavours in this year’s Quality Street chocolates.

You see, for the last three years, I have been voting with my dollar – the only real vote we have. It all started with the pre-season arrival of those purple tins of sinfully delicious toffees and soft fillings, nuts and nougat all covered with velvety chocolate, moving in on the shelf space still filled with the inferior Halloween candy. So would begin the wait.

I’m a sale shopper. You could even say I’m a sucker for a sale…it doesn’t matter if I need it, if it’s on sale, I examine it closely and my life minutely, to see if there is any chance they will intersect…“What a deal!” I exclaim to myself “90% off a trick riding saddle! We might get a horse some day, and goodness knows the kids want riding lessons, and those Pyrenees dogs of ours are pretty big…maybe the youngest will be able to use them for practice until the new barn is built and we have room for a horse…or we could use it as a footrest! The leather alone is worth at least twice that price! I could make a jacket…”

So when those shiny purple tins decorate the store shelves, I start to watch the price, waiting for it to drop, debating whether I can hold out or if I will buy them, heaven forbid, at full price. A few short years ago, it seemed they would never go on sale. By the end of November, I broke down and bought a tin, ripping into it the moment I was back in the car…crinkle munch crinkle munch, all the way home. I ate them, but there was something different…and by the time I pulled in to the driveway 20 minutes later, I had an upset stomach. The same kind of upset I get after eating cheap candy with artificial flavours colours. So I read the ingredients, and there it was! Vanillin!

That’s it! I declared. No more! I’m not buying any artificial flavours or colours! And I started reading labels and loudly declaring “What! WHY do we need colour in YOP! You don’t even see it. The bottle is opaque!” and “I’m not buying these cookies!, They are full of artificial flavours.” And “These ones have natural flavour? I’m stocking up even though they are more expensive than those.”

Now, Nestlé’s decision to go back to natural flavours may have nothing to do with the fact that I talk to people in the stores and in the streets and here on your computer, but I have watched as new products appear in convenience stores with no artificial flavours. Like Aero Dark, and Smarties now have natural colours but unfortunately still use artificial flavours.. I keep reading the ingredients, hoping for the day when vanilla is used once again and I can start handing them out as a treat to keep a child occupied on a rainy day, making patterns with the colors counting and pairing them, matching and squaring them, making flowers with round petals in multi-colour bouquets.

So when you find yourself hesitating to do something because “I’m just one person”, remember Ghandi’s words. Go out today and be the change you want to see in the world.

Make it a great day!

Laila Moysey

 

 

More Movember (and More)

As mentioned in the earlier post, it’s Movember, and to start off the month, here are 40 mustaches in short order…

and some music to enjoy (which has nothing to do with Movember, but I can’t get the tune out of my head, and I love the video effects and don’t want to lose it in the vast realm of the internet….my desk kinda looks like this…

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

…PLUS when I go on YouTube, I end up watching videos for way longer than intended (don’t you?)…
and so with no further ado, here is Nickleback…

 

Happy Movember!

Happy Movember! No, it’s not a typo. I really meant to spell it Movember, because November is the month when men use facial hair to bring attention to Prostate Cancer. Over the course of the month, I’m going to explore the mustache — hmmm…that doesn’t sound quite right — what I mean is I’ll be researching the significance of the mustache in our culture and in our past. I look froward to sharing what I discover, starting with this video;

GUYDE: The Movember Issue