Tag Archives: balance

Do It. Now.

5 Dec

tomorrowisnotpromised

I deal with loss on a regular basis through my work – I meet women who I get to know well, become friends with and often times they die.  This past weekend someone especially impactful died.  She was funny.  She was feisty.  She was smart. She was independent.  She was strong. She was 39.  She died from ovarian cancer.   Her death was a stark reminder that being gifted with a long and healthy life is not a guarantee.

Our society has somehow been fooled into having bigger houses, more stuff, more debt and needing to work more (and longer) to pay for all of it. Yet when faced with death the most common things people say is that:

  1. They wish they worked less
  2. They wish they spent more time with family and friends
  3. They wish they expressed their feelings more
  4. They wish they had worked on being happy / being themselves
  5. They wish they did the things they wanted to do

Everyone is always so incredibly ‘busy’.  Research shows that smartphones have increased our work days by 2 hours per day.  2 hours per day!!  That is 10 hours per week.  That is an entire work day (and then some) we are not getting paid anything extra for or given time in lieu for.  On the weekend one of my brothers and I were talking about political parties.  Steve said – if the PC’s and NDP’s took the time they spent pointing fingers at the Liberals and replaced it with thoughtful contributions, can you imagine how much more productive they would be?  Can you imagine if you freed up 10 hours of your week by working less what you could do with that time? That is a full work week per month.  That is 3 months of freed up time per year!  You could spend time with friends and family, you could learn something new, you could sleep, you could exercise, you could read… doesn’t that sound oddly like the things people wished they did before dying?

We no longer need to grow the garden to have food, to raise the cow to have meat, to sew the dress so we have something to wear.  Nor do we have to wash the dishes and clothing by hand so we have dishes to eat off and clean clothes to wear.  Nope. We have so many modern conveniences that allow us to free up time.  We have fewer kids. We have more choice. Yet, I most commonly hear people say they are so ‘busy’.  We’ve managed to fill our days being busy and being overcommitted doing things we choose to do.   Isn’t that ironic?  A birthday party used to be a bunch of kids playing, eating hotdogs and chowing down on ice cream cake from the DQ. Now it is an Oscar like production with Pinterest inspired treat bags and cake, pictures for social media and really what is it for?  I am guessing kids might have more fun running around, eating hotdogs and chowing down on ice cream cake.

I make a concerted effort to do things I enjoy and make time for people I love.  I try to limit stress and up my fun factor daily.  Granted, I am single and do not have children, but hopefully I will be able to keep up my habits if I ever have a partner and children to manage. Thankfully up until now I’ve been blessed with good health. Often times people need a big fat slap in the face to jump off the treadmill so many are on. A cancer diagnosis, a heart attack, the end of a relationship, the death of someone we love (who we feel guilty for not spending more time with) or the realization that it has been months since you picked up the phone to talk to a friend.

So whoever you are reading this… get your shit together and DO IT.  NOW.  Don’t wait.  Work less.  Give the gift of presence.  I mean really who wants their obituary to say that you were such a great employee – he/she worked more than we paid him for?   Sleep more.  Exercise More. Spend more time with your parents.  With your kids.  With your siblings.  With your friends.  Book the trip.  Buy the shoes.  Ask someone you like out.  Forgive.  Go on a date with your partner.  Sign up for a class.  Get out of that relationship that is bringing you down.

Because if tomorrow never comes…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Like Joel Plaskett…

18 Feb

multitasking_mom

Like Joel Plaskett… there is a reason why I love this town.  Today is a Tuesday in the middle of February – other than being my mothers birthday it is quite a nondescript kind of day. It ended up being a beautiful day.  I said to someone “Wow, what a gorgeous day.” To which they responded “yeah but another storm is coming tomorrow”.  Alright, that isn’t one of my favorite bits of living here – people sometimes love to talk about the negative and wonder “who the hell does that guy think he is?” when someone is doing something different or is doing particularly well.  But all in all – what a place!

I woke up this morning at 5:30 am (begrudgingly) for bootcamp.  From 6-7 I did some ridiculous exercises which required me to be inverted, swinging, squatting and reverse planking.   But, as I worked my way through the class I was surrounded by my awesome co-worker-outers.  My laugher caused my form to suffer at certain times. At 7:04 am I was back home greeted by the queen of the house – MIllie.  Off we went to Point Pleasant Park for a 45 minute walk.  Along the way we met a few chatty people.  Back home I had coffee, ate breakfast, read the newspaper and then got ready for work.  We left home at 8:48. I got a coffee along the way and was still at my office at 8:59.  I had meetings all morning.  Over lunch I went to the post office, picked up 2 packages, grabbed some sushi and made it back to the office in 1 hour. I worked the rest of the afternoon.  At 5 I took a taxi home as Millie (who normally comes to work with me) was waiting there.  Today I sent her out with her dog posse where she goes berserk with a pack of 20 dogs off leash outside of the city – she was completely zonked.  Ahhh, no guilt. I took her out for a pee, chatted with my friend Kelly on the phone and then took a taxi back downtown to meet Maurice at 6 for some beers and bites at a new pub. I ran into a stellar guy from home.  Chatted with him, showed him my new rubber boots and then Maurice arrived.  We had delicious food, great conversation with 2 different people, paid up and we were back home by 8 pm greeted again by the Queen of the House.  I am now sitting in my living room writing a blog while kind of looking at the really bad pants the Norwegian curlers are wearing.  I hope to be in bed by 10.

Recently our mayor (who doesn’t smoke crack, make racial slurs, or have a gut that causes his buttons to pull) started a campaign called ‘Define Halifax’.  They were looking for the unique bits that residents love about Halifax.  At first they were bombarded with negative comments to which Mayor Savage responded with a pretty witty series of social media videos calling out the ding dongs who could only come up with foul bits about the city they choose to live in.  Things really changed after that.  Now, the campaign has taken on a whole new flare.  Balance, community, neighbors, great food, ocean, farmers market, The Oval, amazing beer, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, saying hello, students, The Mooseheads, airport, waterfront, Point Pleasant Park, shops, no traffic, short commute, small-big, Pete’s Frutique, the people, sailing, fresh air… the list goes on.

I am not saying that Halifax is “the best place to live”, but I have a pretty great life here.  I get to see my family and friends at least a few times a week, I work with amazing people (well I have one coworker and she is amazing), cook great dinners after coming home from work, spend time outside, volunteer and still have time to watch Keeping Up With The Kardashians and The Bachelor every now and again.  We are a society based on technological connections, huge debts, more work than play and  high stress levels.  I am doing my best to keep myself out of the vortex and living in Halifax helps me do that.

It was a great day.  It is 9:45 – if I want to be in bed by 10 I better hit send on this.