Strange Times

Posted By Myrna Chartrand : Myrna was born and raised in Oak Point, Manitoba. On 2020-09-05 20:54:39

Bob Dylan said it best when he titled a song, "The Times They Are A-Changin'." I never thought in a million years that I was going to have to try and determine someone's facial expressions with their face being covered. I think I've heard the term, "smizing" being used, which apparently means smiling with your eyes. I don't think I've mastered it yet because I tried it once, and the person on the receiving end asked if I was constipated! I'm guessing my efforts looked "forced" to say the least. This gives me a new task to work on because it seems like this "new normal" won't be going away any time soon. I've also noticed more people have started winking now, which I assumed is used in place of smiling, but at the same time, I can't determine whether it's endearing or creepy!

I'm finding my patience is running very low these days, and I'm sure I can't be the only one based on the exasperated reactions from others that I see. From being corralled through the supermarkets following arrows, to having to remember to keep a face-covering available, to new check-in procedures at customers, it is all getting tiring. I feel like I've always had a fair amount of patience since I work in the trucking industry, and "hurry up and wait" is all too often the motto, but I'm a creature of habit, and I don't like these new changes.

I'm finding I also have a very hard time finding a healthy balance between working, socializing and personal rest and relaxation. These last few months have been so busy with work, which has been great, but I don't want to turn any trips down in such uncertain times. Then when friends want to get together, I don't want to turn any of those visits down either because I don't get to visit with them too often. In turn, my personal rest time gets pushed to the wayside, and it's a vicious cycle. I can never decide what to take a pass on, so I don't pass on either, then I get to the point where I just get played out and force myself into some personal time. My parents have always said, "Work while the works there," and I think I ultimately put that before anything else.

In the last few months, it hasn't been easy trying to get any personal care done because so many places have turned me away from their services because I cross the border weekly. I understand why they have chosen to do so, but being turned away from such services that help to make sure that I'm staying healthy in order to do my job in the best way I can, is terribly unfair. To quote my parents again, the quote that I'm sure every parent has used is, "Life isn't fair!" Through social media, I was able to find new places that provide massage and chiropractic services that would accept patients that cross the border regularly.

A year ago, I was given a pink shifter at a truck show in Minnesota. For height reference, you can say that when I'm sitting in my driver's seat, the top of the shifter is in line with my ear. I get a few comments on it from time to time, and a few times I have had someone say that it makes me look like a real big rigger! Not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing, so I just smile and giggle. I pulled into a truck stop the other night, and this driver who had just helped another driver back into a spot came and asked me if I needed a hand. I said that I should be ok. Well, another driver overheard this, and he starts telling the driver who offered the help that anyone who drives with a shifter that tall surely doesn't need any help. "My goodness," I think to myself. "I better do a good job now because that guy just set the standards as tall as the shifter!" For the record, I didn't disappoint, and I say this sheepishly because, in all honesty, he just caught me on a good day.

I never realized how much I enjoyed writing until I started with Pro-Trucker Magazine, even though I wait until the very last day that it is due to submit it. English was never one of my strong subjects in school, but procrastination was! My dad must have had a lot of faith in my writing abilities because recently, he asked me to write an obituary and a eulogy for my aunt that passed away in June. If anyone knew my aunt, you would know that she was cheap. Before she passed, she said she wanted the obituary to read, "Sharon Died and the date." Of course, anyone reading this in the newspaper would probably think we hated her. So one morning I went to town, tapping out a good life description of her, and I didn't even bother to word count. I sent it to my family to proofread, and they all said it sounded great. We were not concerned with the length of it one bit. Well, when the final bill came for the price of the obituary in the newspaper, you could say we were all stunned. It was far more than expected, but we kind of chuckled a bit because we could see why my aunt only wanted to pay for two words and a date. I have a strange feeling my aunt might be looking down on me thinking karma will get me yet for this one!