One of the benefits of getting older (aside from the abundance of reading glasses in a seemingly endless variety of styles and colours…not!) is that if one pays enough attention along the way, one just might learn something. And one thing I’ve learned while studiously avoiding eye contact with the reading glass displays that seem to inhabit every single checkout line in the city…is that stories are important.
Stories are how we express ourselves, how we learn, how we relate to others, how we empathize and share…all bundled up in a package that, at a minimum, hopefully entertains, but at its best inspires and motivates. And the beauty of stories is that even tales of ordinary people trying to do mostly ordinary (though sometimes amazing) things under mostly ordinary (though sometimes extraordinary) circumstances can make the world a better place.
Like a stand-up comedian telling of his everyday ups-and-downs in a way that can be simultaneously funny and poignant… sometimes without a single word being uttered…
UHN produces a lot of waste – over 45,000 pounds a day. Recycling and waste reduction are good for the environment, good for our health and save UHN money, so it’s worth it to get comfortable with your organization’s recycling, composting & waste reduction programs and, even better, take our Waste Reduction Week Interhospital Challenge.
A Can In the Bluebox Is Worth Two…
The thing about clichés is that we’ve used them so often that they’ve lost their meaning. Not mention that clichés often contradict each other…like “the early bird gets the worm” and “good things come to those who wait”, and sometimes they can mask serious issues…sure, the early bird gets the worm is meant to be a good thing…unless you’re the worm. And don’t get me started about “out of sight, out of mind”.
Too late…you got me started. But first…a bit of animal recycling (Editors note: in the spirit of good ol’ behind covering, please note that no animals were recycled during production of this newsletter. Instead, their images are being used to demonstrate equivalent weights because what the heck does a tonne of garbage look like anyway?).
For many, myself included, the first week of September is marked by the dreaded (or celebrated – depends on your perspective, I guess) “back to school”. But for me this year I’ve decided to mark the week with a new tradition…the Mid Year’s Resolution. You see, a funny thing happened to me this summer; for the first time in around 10 years, I started regularly cycling to work again…and with the return to school I’ve decided that I’m going to stick with it.
When it comes to tension in life, there’s both good and not-so-good.
Waiting to see if Astro’s pitcher Lance McCullers will throw his crazy grip curve ball (I can’t even get my fingers to go like that, let alone throw a ball) and the anticipation in wondering if JD will pull it into the left field bleachers…that’s the good kind.
Finding a needle, even if unused, in the garbage…not so good.
Following a major-IV chord with the minor-IV instead of resolving to the expected major-I chord (sorry…had a buncha years of music theory that I was really looking to use)…good tension.
Finding out that a bottle of blue gloop was dumped down the drain, putting hospital staff and the environment at risk…not so good.
We sent out the note below to remind UHN staff to “Turn It Off Before You Go Go” for the Canada Day long weekend. We’re aiming for 150 Reasons why we should “turn off”…
The Mystery of Chemical & Pharmaceutical Waste
(apologies to mystery solvers everywhere)
Aside from a few unlucky felines, it may very well be the defining characteristic of Homo sapiens, the distinguishing feature that sets us apart from most other living things on our fair planet. It’s the instinctual drive to, like a toddler of the species Homo sapiens hopped up on multi-grain, GMO free, naturally sweetened “Os”, continually ask “Why? Why? Why?”…and later pose the perhaps more important query, “Why not?”
And we at UHN are fortunate to be surrounded by many who have become proficient at not only asking “why”, but then answering their own questions. And while I definitely do not put myself in the same league as these question askers and answerers, I do find myself pondering the occasional mystery from time to time…which, as of late, has had me coming back to the same question: Why do things taste better when wrapped and in a tortilla?
(apologies to M. English)
It’s occurred to me, now that I’m severely entrenched in what can only be called my own personal middle-ages, that I seem to have amassed a body of experiences that have weathered the test of time and biology and, still to this day, resonate with me. In short, these are the moments that my brain has somehow decided are important to me and that I’ve hung on to over the years.
…It’s cresting Pulsatilla Pass, on the Sawback trail between Banff and Lake Louise, the just revealed view of the valley below making what seemed like hours of hiking upward disappear.