Monthly Archives: May 2012

Helping Hand

I was at the supermarket today, arms full with bottles of shampoo and conditioner, making my way to the checkouts when I saw an elderly lady in the crisps aisle. She was reaching up for a multipack on the top shelf. She’d put her basket down and was pushing the bottom of the packet up in the hopes that it would topple forward and land within her reach. This trick learnt by many a child is apparently one that comes in use later in life too. Her efforts were to no avail and the crisp packet remained firmly on the top shelf.

I precariously moved the bottles I was holding so I could free my other arm, and on tip toes I reached up and took down the packet she had been reaching for and handed it to her. I smiled at her and she smiled back as she put the crisps in her basket. Without need of a “Thank you” because I could already see the gratitude in her smile I turned and went to the checkout; my good deed done for the day.

As I waited in the line I saw the same elderly lady carrying on with her shopping and I hoped that should she need anything further that someone else was able to reach the top shelf for her. But what happens to the people who don’t have someone to help them? Whether it is a member of staff or a person willing to take a few seconds out of their day and notice that someone needs help, what if that person isn’t around?

I suppose I notice these things more now. I worry about what will happen to my parents as they get older. I am there to help them, but I am not there all of the time. My parents, like so many people, are proud. They do not want to have to ask for help. We all crave our independence, and to admit that we are not able to do the things we were once able to do so easily hurts. In a society where people are living longer, we have to do better.

I understand the need to block food items to make them more appealing, we used to do it with movies. Create the biggest visual impact in the hope that it entices customers to buy your product. But instead of side to side blocking why can’t it be vertical? Have several items on a shelf so that the same item forms a column rather than a row. That way, no matter what your height is you are able to reach the products. Surely that would help with stock rotation too? Everyone would take the items that are easy to reach over the ones that are higher up, so you can encourage people to take the items that are nearing their use by date.

Staffing issues mean that it is not always possible for someone to help customers that need assistance; pride often means that people won’t ask for help anyway. A simple step like remerchandising their stock is something supermarkets can easily do in order to help their customers. Hopefully we all get the chance to grow older. It is little steps like this, which will make a difference.

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Work To Do

I have a post-it note stuck to the bottom of my monitor at the job. It says ‘SIT UP STRAIGHT!’ It is an old resolution that was semi-successful, and even though the year in which the resolution was made has since past I have left it there. Good posture is timeless. And post-its, at least in my life, are invaluable. My latest addition comes from a tweet a good friend of mine posted the other day, and it asks a simple question: What are you working towards?

The actual tweet reads: Be honest, what are you working towards? And honestly, when I thought about it, the answer was not much. Yes there are things in my life that I am getting done, there is a mortgage to finalise, and then once that is completed there is the task of redecorating. The mortgage part is proving pretty insurmountable but I trust that eventually it will be done, as will the decorating. There are also big things on the horizon in my personal life, and I find myself looking at a future that appears to be approaching a lot sooner than I intended. I am not doing these life tasks alone though, and so I am still left with the question: what are you working towards?

Since pulling down the shutters on ABM Fans I have more time on my hands. A break was necessary, it is no easy task to be Editor-in-Chief, writer, photographer, designer, and marketer, particularly when you set your bar high. I have caught up on the hours of viewing I had saved up, read chapters of Harry Potter and can even look to moving onto the next one in the hopefully not too distant future; and even, dare I say it, reading the comics I have stockpiled. There is still much for me to do, yet all these things seem superfluous. I may derive pleasure from being lost in magic worlds or vicariously moving in the shadows as I save a city from itself, however they are not my life’s work.

At the moment there is still the half-finished graphic novel adaptation that I started as a gift and then realised that in order to do it properly it needed more time than my deadline provided. So that project was shelved, to be completed at a later date. There is the new blog that I really need to set myself regular deadlines for because that seems to be the only way I can get myself to write. There are other websites that I don my “Intrepid Ace Reporter” hat for that I owe articles to. So there are words to be written, but none of these are my project. No, I have much grander aspirations.

After years of looking at different mediums from a full-length script, to short stories, to comic books, and more recently even perhaps a webseries, I think I may have found one that I am comfortable with. More importantly, I believe I have found a story I can tell. That has been the one thing that has eluded me the most, whilst I have toyed with how I want to tell my story, I have never been truly convinced about the story I was telling. There is still much work to do, I have to think about characterisation and an overall story arc and setting and everything else that makes a story worthwhile. For the first time in a long time I am excited at the possibilities this writing journey may take me.

So, what am I working towards? I am working towards feeling like a real writer again. I am working towards expanding my imagination. I am working, towards being me again.

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Filed under Passions

Step By Step

The week before last I had a birthday. I am at that age now where if someone said the number I would think, without knowing anything else about their life, that they were a grown up. It’s a very grown up number. Then last week I went to the concert of the band whose album I remember receiving on my 10th birthday; on tape. I am not trying to recapture a lost youth, because going to concerts for boy bands wasn’t part of my youth. I am trying to enjoy my life though.

At the concert whilst I was watching these heartthrobs up there dancing and singing the songs I still knew the words to I was reminded that it has been 25yrs. I am pretty certain that the people on stage did not think that this far down the line they would still be singing the exact same songs, or even still performing. And in that moment I became very aware of something.

These guys were in front of an adoring audience of thousands, who were still going crazy when they went into the crowd and were in touching distance. All those years ago they probably thought by this time they would be too old for this, sure they would still have fans, but they would never be able to pack out a venue that has a capacity of over 20,000. Yet here they were.

My life is not what I thought it would be. Every single day I have now is one I did not expect, and even if I had, I still would not have a plan. I have some idea of where I hope to be in 25yrs time, but as I hear the songs of my youth and sing along to them, I know that even if we do not end up where we perhaps expected we would, that does not have to be a bad thing.

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Filed under Revelation