Friday 27 February 2009

Put some boom into the doom and gloom

Yes, who knew that my poetry skills were so well developed? I call it my 'oom-ph poetry'. I could go on and on but I don't have all day to wax lyrical and besides, I ran out of words ending in 'oom'.

Today I went to see my friend Gail about a wheelchair (fine, if you must know I needed more accessories to go with the wig).

It wasn't the only reason. I needed an intervention.

I'm turning into a cynical bitch. Okay, more of one than I already was.

It's been creeping up on me of late. I knew Gail would set me straight. If she starts a new world order, I'm first in line to follow join (can't use that particular 'f' word in bloggersville at the moment it's a little sensitive).

Gail was born with a disability. She spent her first few years in hospital. When she came home she wore calipers. She is grateful her parents allowed her the freedom to fail. She would fall over, pick herself up, dust herself off and start over again. When she was 31 she was in a car accident. She suffered spinal and head injuries and was in hospital for another lengthy period. She would never walk again and, because of her brain injury, she had to relearn everything she once knew. Her rehabilitation was such a success that she ultimately went on to get her Masters and a Doctorate. Just like that.

She used to be a Nun. I find it very hard picturing this part of her life. She uses the f word (no, not f for follower the other one) when she speaks passionately about trying to right the wrongs in the world. She is a tireless worker for the rights of people with disabilities, and encourages everyone to focus on the person not their disabilities. I've learnt a lot. When I'm with her I feel it's as close to God as I will get (no, I didn't have mushrooms for dinner). It's truly how I feel. She oozes pure goodness.

Gail is a people magnet. A Pied Piper. Where she goes people follow stalk her. I went shopping with her. I imagine its like shopping with one of the royal family. Everyone knows her. People gather. I have never seen shop assistants come out of their hiding places so quickly to help anyone. She seems to know them by name and converses with them about some detail in their lives.

I asked her what kind of pills she takes because I need a handful.

She said, "You don't need a bunch of pills. I can get dispirited at times but I know that whenever there are negatives in my life, there are always a stack of positives too. You just have to look for them. One of the nice things in life and something we all should aim to do, is to make people feel important, no matter who they are. Everyday, I make an conscious decision to look and see whose day I can make brighter. I like the line Al Pacino said in a Scent of a Woman, there is no prosthetic for an amputated spirit. So, I like to help mend broken spirits."

Gail's philosophy is that it's up to us to make each other feel special. If you can add a little dignity to someone's life, then you've made a hell of a contribution to the world.

And let me tell you, if you have a dented spirit, go add some dignity to someone else's life. Every day of your life. It's the best dent removal therapy on the market today.

Other News - Now speaking about dignity, having an aim in life and giving a contribution to mankind, I couldn't resist sharing this example of simplicity at its best.

PROBLEM: There was too much spillage in the men’s room urinals at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam).
SOLUTION: Etch an image of a common housefly near the drain holes of the porcelain urinals

OUTCOME: Spillage has been reduced by 80%. Apparently, the fly improves aim. If a man sees a fly, he aims at it.

Must read posts in the blogosphere:

VillaCap Threadbare on the Gappa blog. Gugich is a brilliant writer who lives in Mumbai. This post will give you an insight about life in the slums devoid of the Hollywood makeover.

We will all be Rooned on the Middle Age Ramblings blog. Peggy is an inspirational writer based in Sydney. This post focuses on how we can deal with the news of economic doom and gloom we are constantly surrounded by. I always love Peggy's music too. I hang out listening to it so often she must think I am stalking her. I'm really just following Peggy.


  1. After Wednesday's events at Schiphol Airport I suspect the toilets there may have been busier than usual...!

  2. If we each followed Gail's philosophy that "it's up to each of us to make each other feel special" the world would be a whole lot nicer place. Please tell Gail her inspiration is far-reaching and thanks for sharing her with us.;-)

  3. I love cynical b*tches! :) Don´t change that!
    But I also admire people like Gail. She inspires!

    And then the example of simplicity in the men´s room. It just shows you how men think.... :)

  4. Gail's philosophy is great - i am going to try and live by that from now on... thanks for such a great post!

    BTW i love cynical bitches too!

  5. Lovely post Lilly, you and Braja really working on me these days aren't you ladies :-)

  6. It’s perfect timing on your message. Isn’t it funny how the Gail’s in our lives, help us regain proper perspective... Message received. And yes, speaking Frankly, I do tend to aim if something is in there; probably some ancient instinct. : )

  7. Very inspirational! Thank you!

  8. @ Mike - oh I have missed something, I never heard that I will have to check it out - was that the plane crash?

    @ Debra - that is sweet and I will certainly do that. Yep she is a treasure. A tiny treasure who works magic. Even bitchy cynical me can find that in her, lol!!

    @ Betty - yes, I guess there is room for all of us. I need to drop the cynicism just a level as its wearing. I loved the Amsterdam solution!

    @ Katy - yes t is the simple things that help. Just sort of wake up and think of someone even whose life you might make better. Even if its one person at a time. It all counts. I am going ot practise moreso.

    @ Darsden - honey I dont think you need work. You are one of the good people.

    @ Frank - yes that's the word, 'pespective'. I tried to go and find your blog but I couldn't see the link on your profile. Let me know if you have one because looking at your profile it seems it would be very funny. Thanks for your comment!!

  9. I am thoroughly impressed by your friend, Gail. She is definitely inspirational! I'll try to focus on trying to be more like her.

    That fly thing is hysterical! How funny!

  10. I love how this all ties together.


    People magnets and pee-pee magnets.

    Somehow I think Gail would think that was funny! :)

    Peace - Rene

  11. From your beautiful writing I get a sense of what an amazing person Gail is. It must be wonderful to personally know such an exception woman. Thanks for sharing her with us all.

  12. What an inspiration Gail is!

    Oh, the fly, the fly! What a great alternative to coco-pops in the toilet pan...I should have thought of that when toilet training my son years ago; at least he wouldn't have been tempted to eat the fly!

  13. I love Gail! I don't know her, but she reminds me of someone close to my heart. I SO Agree with her philosophy!

    Much Love!

  14. @ Kay - aww something tells me that you dont have to try Kay - you inspire the rest of us every day with your blog. You are living it already!

    @ Rene - yes, I think you would have got it - my circular thinking is odd and yes Gail has a great sense of humor too.

    @ Nikki - yes she is a tiny frail little bird in many respects and strong as an ox when it comes to things that matter. It always makes me think that we are all her on a journey and some are here to teach us lessons.

    @ Mervat - yes I thought an etching of a fly in a toilet bowl - well who would have thought!

    @ TAbitha honey - yes oh yes when I wrote that I had another person on my mind YOU!!!! You and Gail are similar people! Much love to you. Send me your address, because I would like to send you some kindness.

  15. Lilly! Keep your chin up - good days; bad days. You've often lifted my spirits. That's why I check your blog daily! It's a special gift that you have. I see you as whimsical vs. cynical. And, VERY FUNNY! WE LUV U LILS!

  16. Gail sounds like a wonderful person.

    I did notice the follower problem, think it happened to a few people.

  17. the world needs more Gail's...what an inspiration...tell her I said 'far fucking out'...

  18. Gail seems to be an inspiration to everyone she comes in contact with and I can see why. The fly thing is hilarious. Al Pacino is my favorite actor and Scent of a Woman has been my favorite movie for years.

  19. Gail sounds like a wonderful person. Your lucky to have met her. Her philosophy is one we need to figure out how to bottle and share with the world. I wish it was contagious.

    The fly idea is pretty good. I wonder what other things they might etch into the urinal to help improve aim, LOL.

  20. Hi Lilly :) Your friend Gail sounds like a wonderful person to know and have in your life. I love how you say you want, "to make people feel important, no matter who they are." We can all make big differences in people's lives by doing just that. A smile, a thoughtful word can mean the world to somebody and make their day. So simple to give and so often withheld. You have a beautiful attitude and spirit. I always enjoy visiting and reading what you have to say. If I need a pick-me-up, I know you'll always make me laugh! Have a wonderful day, Lilly :)

  21. Gail sounds like one of those fantastic people who are just like you said magnets.

    I personally think they should have just thrown a handful of cheerios in the urinals, it did the trick for my boys.

  22. Lilly,

    Many thanks for posting Gail's story....

    I think everyone who gets the opportunity to meet and interact with Gail, must consider themselves very fortunate. No amount of preaching can teach us what we learn by watching people like Gail. I know some folks like that here, and I always come back so inspired after meeting them.

    And yes, thank you also for posting a link to me on your blog. ...

  23. what a selfless friend you have..'whose day she can make brighter' wow. very inspiring story.

    I think I should try the fly thing for my son sometime. Funny one.

  24. Yes Lily, I totally agree with your friend Gail, making someone feel someone feel special, making someone's day brighter is an effective self-therapy. Now, if only I can remember that on a daily basis.

    That other news was funny! Who knew that a fake housefly would do the trick. hahahah.

  25. Great post, Lilly, as always! and I couldn't agree more with Gail's philosophy and thank you for sharing it with us -- she is, indeed, an inspiration! And thanks for the "fly" story! made my evening!

  26. @ Joanie - thanks for dropping by.

    @ JULS - you are lovely you know that and I still keep thnkng of all your news!

    @ Dee - oh yes, people crying left, right and centre about losing followers.

    @ yellowdog Granny - I will do. I think you may get on really. I am sort of attracted to straight talkers.

    @ Judy - there you go, isnt the world a small place.

    @ Eric - I dont know what kind of etching do you think would improve the aim then? He he

    @ ChicGeek - that was a beautiful message in yur comment. Thank you sincerely.

    @ Nana - yes she draws people. Thats how I know there are more good in people then bad. Thanks for dopping by. I appreciate it.

    @ Ugich - well I hope that people will visit your post - it was just lovely and I think educational for us. We all have our slums in our cities. Often they are just hidden away.

    @ Christine - yes that trick is safe to use at home, he he. I think some people are just born the way they are then her hard experiences have taught her a great deal of empathy and kindness. And she just has a way about her.

    @ Rachel - yes it is hard to remember but maybe its just someone at the supermarket with a nice word or a work colleague or another blogger. You brighten my day. Just the simple stuff I think she means.

  27. @ Sylvia - I know there was something about that story that took me in and in some kind of circular thinking process, I linked it to my blog on Gail. Not sure she will understand she is followed by a toilet post but....then again I think she will get it.

  28. I think people who have suffered greatly have often very clear views of the world. They are more empathetic, have had to struggle harder and don't give up easily. Gosh sometimes we whinge about nothing at all. We should all have a Gail in our lives or better still try and become one. I think as we sink into a depression across the world that people will work on their spiritul side moreso. As for the etching, oh can you imagine the number of artists who have now seen a new market in toilet art?

  29. It's official: I'm in love with Gail! Her words are so true - but we all too often lose sight of the truth they contain.

    Even kids instinctively know this is true. After days of bickering every morning with her little brother, my daughter decided to start off the morning by being helpful - making me breakfast, brushing the dog... She then declared: "Wow! I feel great! If you want to feel good about yourself, mama, then do something for someone else!"

    IF a 7-year-old can do it, so can we!

  30. @ Banoffi - that is true, thats why suffering can bring with it blessings too....eventually.

    @ LadyFi - oh your 7 year old daughter sounds a beautiful soul. Its true we just need to learn to love ourselves enough to authentically help others often in the simplest of ways.

  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

  32. Gail sounds like just the kind of friend I thought you'd have :)

  33. What an inspirational story! Usually, I just bite people's head off.. specially insurance sales guys and shop assistants! How radical is it to suggest that we can be nice to them!!!

  34. @ Braja - yep, she's a cool lady. A tiny wee bird, in a wheel chair with a big heart and an even bigger mind. Who gives me good quotes all the time and many wise books. Beats paying for a psychologist.

    @ Roshni - oh I think if you start with the people you think may benefit a kind word or smile first then the rest follows. I dont think it means we have to accept rudeness or that wouldn't be being kind to ourselves.

  35. What's with the 'Love is in the Air February 2009' on your title Lilly?

    Enjpoyed the story of the fly target - there must be other uses for this brilliant bit of lateral thinking!

    June also in Oz

  36. @ June - Oh my ode to Valentines and all - its been up there all month. Yes my bitchy mood has more to do with a love of the past not anything to do with the present. Its a long story that would curl your hair and you have enough humidity where you come from to curl your hair, lol!!! I think the pider etching is clever, the best things always are!

  37. Great post. Yes, I'm with whoever said it, I love cynical b*tches too.

    Gail sounds wonderful and she's absolutely right - it's EXACTLY what governments and their vast ever breeding family of bureaucrats DON'T do (make people feel important) and they so easily could and dispell a huge amount of anger at a stroke.

    The Amsterdam solution is becoming common. What a brilliant piece of psychology, eh? :)

  38. Gail is such an inspiration... I love this mantra of hers:
    “Everyday, I make a conscious decision to look and see whose day I can make brighter...” – definitely something I will be embracing today!

  39. @ Cjw666 - yes I knew that about you, from a distance though lol!!

    @ CathM - you go girl and I want a full report!!

  40. Gail sounds like a wonderful woman!

  41. @ The Blonde Duck - yes she really is!

  42. HI Lilly,
    Would love to meet Gail. She sounds a woman after my own heart.Please will you pass on my love and admiration to her for her shining example of the way to live
    a worthwhile and fulfilling life

  43. @ Barbara - well you are so right there Mrs Blundell. You are the exact same type of person! A blessing to those of us who read your blog. I will be over soon to see what you are up to! I will certainly pass on your comments to Gail.

  44. Wonderful blog. Making a difference. And, of course, the fly story...I can understand why it would work. We guys do having a tendency to aim at things.

  45. Wow! Gail sounds amazing!! A friend like her (a human being like her!!) is priceless.

    And, sidenote, men are idiots, aren't they? Such children. lol

  46. Love the penguin photo Lilly.
    Gail is the wee one in front showing us the way to the new world. The Pied Piper leading us out of the wilderness.

    What an interesting life she is living and her philosophy is spot on..."it's up to us to make each other feel special".

    Talk about feeling special, I was chuffed when I saw you linked my post to this be included with a philosopher, a stalker, a cynic and toilet humour...what more could a person wish for!!

    You are a treasure.

  47. What a priceless friend you have in Gail!!!


  48. Gail rocks.

    Perspective. Something we all can use more of...

  49. I need a little Gail in my life right now too.

  50. I was all tearing up at Gail's story and then I come to the Schipol bit! The tears dissolved into laughter.

    First time on your blog. Love your writing style. Will be back!

  51. Dear Lilly .... Gail is living her life the way I try very hard to live mine. I am in awe of her spirit and can only hope I am half the person she is.

  52. enjoyed reading the Gail philosophy

    I couldn't help but think of Forrest Gump, which I know is fiction.

    So maybe you noticed already but it's "Scent OF a woman" not "for". Small changes/typos really change the meaning.

    A favorite family story came from me mixing up the title of that movie once.

    Without going into the whole story, I'll just get to the end. In front of my teen daughters and wife, I referred (accidentally) to the movie as "Taste of a woman". Scent vs taste, you know just a different sense we have - right?

  53. 1. Your style is unique. keep it this way.
    2. Gail's story reminds me to stop and think. Life's secrets are in the little things we do, but I am always in a hurry - rushing to run errands, or to complete daily chores in life.
    3. Gail makes me ashamed of myself on one hand, and on the other she inspires me to start again by making atleast 1 person feel important every day. That's my resolve from today.
    4. Some people have such bad aims that no amount of etching the toilets will hepl:(

    Thanks for introducing us to Gail.
    And if you do find some time pls visit 'Minu's Relationships' on my post.

  54. re having an "aim in life"
    Maybe you heard of this device since it came out a few years back.

    hey there big guy

    This company makes talking urinal devices - common message is don't drink and drive.
    Company's product is called wizmark.

  55. What a great post for so many reasons and on so many levels. This has inspired a post about an experience I had yesterday. I'm going to link to this article. I hope you don't mind.

  56. Thanks for the reminder that we all need at times. Gosh we complain until something bad really happens. Makes me want to try harder. Thanks Lilly for sharing this. As for the fly, how funny is that but if it works then well done, They probably spent millions to come up with that solution.

  57. I don't know where you find stuff, but the urinal "fly" is a great discovery. I wonder if that could work for potty training small boys?

    Gail sounds very inspirational! I happen to subscribe to the "give away what you desire or are lacking yourself" school of thought, but I LOVE the visual of a dented spirit! Thanks Lilly, this is a great post to start off my weekend!

  58. Lilly;
    I love your story about Gail. Making a difference in someone else's life is a gift that keeps on giving. We all are a little disabled in some way. Be nice if we could just realize the true beauty!
    You and Gail are both lucky to have each other as friends!

  59. @ Butler @ Bagman - yes, aiming at things and hitting the target is what we all should be happy to acheive lol!

    @ jyotsna - thank you.

    @ Rhonda - umm, I am not going to agree or disagree with you err on that. Men are different from us is all I am committing too. Ha ha!!

    @ Miruspeg, yes you understood the significance of the graphic. I really like the way you write Peggy. You put things into perspective and many of us are looking for this lately. Thank you.

    @ Paris - yes, the less we focus on ourselves and our seeming problems the less we are disturbed.

  60. Thank you for this post! I was feeling down because it's Friday night and I'm watching House on tv- which is what I usually do on Friday nights since the whole single mother thing. I tend to forget that there are people with actual problems out there and here I am complaining about my lack of social life.

    Gail sounds like a lovely person, I hope to have that kind of inspiration for a cause one day.

  61. @ Katie - oh I know its tough but hang in there. Your baby is getting more independent. And personally I love me some House. Take Care. You have a good cause already. Bringing up a child. Theres plenty of time!

  62. The fy in the urinal. Simply fantastic. What imagination but simple at that.

  63. What a different world we would be in if we all did what Gail says.

    Wow... What an inspiration.


    Thank you for sharing her...

    Aim... in my house... oh how I wish....

  64. Hey Lilly I am back again. Wondering if Gail has a blog to follow?

  65. Gail is an inspiration for us all. But cynical bitches are cool also--I should know, I've been called one :)


    I've got nothing to say about the urinals except 'yuck.' Just kind of how I feel about urinals in general.

  66. @ Julie - you are so right there! Perspective and a great man, lol!!!!

    @ Summer - oh I will borrow her, shame she doesnt blog.

    @ Sujatha - thank you please do come back soon.

    @ Helen - oh I am sure you are, just from reading your blog it is clear.

    @ Lisleman - thanks for the correction and your story was hilarious. Good to see its not just me that puts her foot in her mouth, often. Oh I liked the link too - what will people think of next. Thanks for posting it.

    @ Introspection - thank you for your comments and yes I will come and check the post.

    @ Poutylicious - can't wait to read your post and linking is perfectly fine, thanks.

    @ Sarah - thank you, you don't need it you live it already.

    @ Vicky - no I dont know where I find these things either but they appeal to my sesne of humor when I do. Then the worse thing is I link it with stories like Gails. She is not offended. LOL

    @ Peggy - thanks you. You will understand too.

    @ Nsiyer, yes its always the simple things tht work beautifully. Although it may have costs them a whole lot of money to come up with that in the end.

    @ Saundra - I am telling you, go etch a fly!

    @ Darsden - no honey, she doesnt have a blog. She is kind of busy doing everything she does now. Shame.

    @ Gran -lol, yes we need to be all things, part cynical bitch , part saint.......thanks for the comment Gran.

  67. LOL LOL loved the urinal spot ...
    we are all a buzz here about that...:) LOL

  68. The Muse - woo hoo, you are back blogging!!! Am coming over to find you!

  69. Now I know what I need to do to my toilet. I just want to know - how can they miss so badly? :)

  70. @ Blue Castle - yes it does make you wonder doesnt about the psychology of it all. We humans are strange, strange creatures!

  71. Gail sounds great. God coming out with the "f" word :)

    Yes I can understand the fly...I would aim at it...however age has ensured that firepower is reduced and aim is less sure. Perhaps banning all over 60's from using the urinals might improve sanitation (in the toilets at least)

    must go



  72. I enjoyed reading your blog. Keep it that way.


Thanks for your comments.