May 22, 2015 § Leave a comment
A friend commented to me her annoyance with the behaviour of others particularly when it comes to the influence on her children. An example she shared was her son holding the door at his school for a classmate and his father, both rush past without a word, not a ‘thank you’ or good morning. It sees a smile of pride drop away from a little boy’s face.
I find that as the years progress and the world becomes hyper connected the pace of things is on a constant climb. The pace changes behaviour by taking people out of the moment and pulling focus to the next meeting, the next appointment and just getting through the day, then just then there will be time to relax and catch our collective breath. Sadly through much of the day an impersonal persona results that does not recognize the surroundings, the good deeds or missteps of others.
Meanwhile a cast is being set. In the backseat children mimic the adults they admire, interface with devices to pacify their angst, keeping busy while their heroes rush from here to there filling up the day with activities, lessons and learning. All with good intention to allow a solid foothold in what is aptly called the modern-day rat race.
But what if a child learns enough to get by and the rest of the time is just to explore. Learning to throw a ball or grow a garden while standing next to mom or dad ‘doing stuff’. Moving about and watching as their mentors example meaningful traits, demonstrating a growth mindset with its base that to learn and succeed takes work and there are no short cuts. Would a parent today give a child the time or is life too busy to take pause and experience life in those precious moments that will be lost forever?
The choice may seem obvious however the wrong one is often made. Time to set down the phone, turn off the computer and television, and turn to your biggest fan, your child and give them time, give them love and give them you. They will thank you in more ways than you can ever imagine.
May 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
The reminder of another year approaching, a notice to renew my license. A quick calculation and 35 is the answer to the question of years of driving experience. The experience is varied and the change in driving in those years is a little shy of drastic.
Getting my license 35 years ago was a relatively easy process. Qualifications were simple, 16 years of age to get a learners and a minimum of two weeks experience to take the drivers test that upon passing grants a permanent license. Arriving the morning of my sixteenth birthday on the back of my motorcycle driven by my dad, leaving alone half an hour later with my learners in my wallet. Two weeks later a drivers test to qualify for the long-term.
Today things are different. In Alberta even more so. Both my kids receiving their learners at 14, driving for two years until having the first opportunity to take the drivers test for a graduated license at the greater of 16 years of age or one year driving experience. Another two years experience and a second drivers test for a permanent license.
A significant change but one that matches the times. Faster cars and busier streets means more is going on and more attention gained through experience is mandatory. At the same time there is a growing number of youth that choose not to drive as other means of transportation is more widely available particularly in larger centres.
Growing up getting a license was a big step towards independence. Growing up in a small town with no bus system was an essential step towards independence, to be able to work or just hang out. Since 1980 and that first ride of independence the experience of driving has given me a lot.
I have driven in most of the Provinces, a handful of States and a few countries in Europe. I have logged nearly a million kilometres due to the vastness of Canada and the nature of my work that has taken me all over British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Driving for so many years has also allowed the me to sit behind the wheel of a variety of vehicles. The oldest being from my birth year and the newest being my current wagon, yes I have come of age and found the practicality of a station wagon that I once mocked as the ultimate family ride.
The biggest was a 28’ truck as part of my stint as a delivery driver and the fastest was a stock car wound out to 250 k/hr and there are so many cars in between that were appropriate and practical for getting from A to B.
The roadways driven consist of everything from pavement six and eight lanes wide in Los Angeles in the heat of summer to ice roads crossing Alberta’s northern lakes and muskeg at -50. Whether crossing the open prairie with endless blue skies (or white out blizzards) or following remote cut lines through dense forests I am always in awe of the world that surrounds us.
As the experience moves up, the travel becomes less but the freedom and independence is still alive, always wondering what discovery is at the end of the road newly explored.
May 13, 2015 § Leave a comment
Dead on Arrival is a term most often used in medical emergencies. It is also a valid term for our actions or more appropriately our inaction when considering next steps or destinations based on experience of others and even our own.
For the past seven years I have played scared, avoiding circumstances that have only a hint of putting me on a collision course with disappointment and the pain that it may carry. In short I categorize many things as DOA without even giving them a shot. The shift into feeling this way stems from a serious of difficult situations and relationships causing hurt that had me question my being while I fell down ever further into despair.
After three years in the care of both psychologists and psychiatrists, the support of an amazing partner and my family, I feel whole most days with an eye on getting to feeling whole every day. I do however still battle with my DOA thoughts, those that have some connection to the past and paint my entire world with the same pained brush.
To work against this I look to the light of achievement in my life and then take a bold step even with the knowledge that some steps will leave me falling face first. These steps, whether leading me forward or back to the starting blocks, are not from the past they are happening in this moment. This moment with all the love of family, the support of those I keep close and the belief that there is new learning in everything I do that leads to greater wisdom.
Although it is not easy I must concede that there is no downside to accepting every thought and each idea as an opportunity to be explored even if there is the pain of the past throbbing in my heart. This is a better place and time than any I have ever been, it is a time to Be Alive.
May 11, 2015 § 2 Comments
With a change to red the light stops traffic. Sitting among idle cars the first sound of Sacred Heart rings. Eyes drop for a moment to see the clock, mid-day and this is the bells first announcement with eleven to follow.
“Do you need help.” A voice flows through open windows that brings eyes to the side mirror. The door of the truck behind opens as the bell strikes again. Now ten left.
“Yes” A voice more frail.
Stepping down and in two strides a young man, able and kind, positions himself behind the wheeled chair askew at the edge of the sidewalk. The Sacred Heart sends it sound again. Nine remain.
A push and a chair on path again, the bell of the Sacred Heart celebrates. The young man stands and even in the size small of the mirror his smile is grand, the bell thanks again.
Two steps back to the truck and pulling the door closed in unison with church bells. Still six remain before the rest of the day is ushered in and a random act of kindness does not go unnoticed.
The light turns and forward I move through another beautiful day.
May 7, 2015 § 3 Comments
For the past year the focus of health in our house is on movement. It is an area that many fall short in daily life attempting to make up for in bite size pieces of activity. Too often most of the waking hours of a day are sedentary. Whether it is sitting while traveling too and from work, sitting at work, sitting at home for meals or decompressing in from of the television or with a book, it is inactive time that is increasingly associated to poor health.
And in this instant world, 30 and 60 minute sessions in the gym several times a week does little to make up for the lack of movement. Making an impact on health means moving more often. It is not necessarily high intensity or taking time out of a busy day but, it is being part of the day. It is taking the stairs a few floors up, walking to work or even walking part of the way to work or having walking or standing meetings. The key is being in motion, going from sitting to standing and moving about.
For our part we walk too and from work, walk the dog, work in the garden, weight train and maintain the house. This all contributes to us being in motion a minimum of 20 hours each week. The benefits are many and is now a piece of our routine that makes a positive contribution to our health. Our goal is health and mobility to allow us to live well, be physically capable to help ourselves and those around us.
What are you doing for your own wellness?
April 21, 2015 § Leave a comment
There is no warmth where the sun does not shine.
Cold is this place without light, without heart.
Only hope is found in darkness and with it a place to go.
March 10, 2015 § Leave a comment
A few hours north by car from the centre of industry to that of government. Edmonton is Alberta’s Capitol, a beautiful city that straddles the North Saskatchewan River. A gateway to northern exploration for oil and gas in the Province with this industry evident on all fringes of the City while the prominence of government is at its core.
The trip today was work for Liz and some exploring for Juno and me. There are many areas I enjoy but in particular is the river valley that falls away from plains with its pathways and park areas and small pockets of development that wind along the river. To compliment the river’s natural cross section of the City is streets and shops with a vibe that is more relaxed and authentic than its southern cousin Calgary.
Living or visiting here one quickly discovers cultural diversity and heritage that makes this City unique. Since moving to Alberta 30 years ago, Edmonton has been a great host City to me for business, events or simply an opportunity to just get away, like today.