“Suck Out All the Marrow in Life”

Balancing between doing the things you want to do and what must get done can be a bit of a juggling act, to say the least. It’s fair to say that the former has become a greater priority for me in life, especially over the last several years.

As my 47th birthday approaches in a matter of months, I feel a greater sense of immediacy. This past week, I was struck by the tragic news that my second cousin suddenly died of a heart attack. She had two teenage kids and was a single mom. She was only 51.

This past year, I came to the powerful realization that life IS short. It’s a bit of a cliché, I’ll admit, but why can I still vividly remember being only 7 years old running through sprinklers with the neighborhood kids on sweltering day, like it was just a few summers ago? Then, I turn to see that my son is already 18 years old now, and I’m 46 again.

At my most recent book reading for Living with the Cat, I ran into Kevin, a long time childhood friend. The last time I saw him, he was only about 10 years old. I beamed with disbelief when he came up to ask, “Jason?” His facial features remained the same. Even the way he spoke and his mannerisms, reminded me of the days we used to play hockey in the basement, then we’d race out excitedly afterwards to the nearest convenient store to buy ourselves a Slurpee and licorice sticks. Kevin’s in his 40’s now with kids and happily married.

Just like that.

I blinked and 30 years went by.

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What does this all look like for me today?

Every opportunity I have, I want to, “Suck the Marrow in Life” (Robin Williams’ character in the movie the Dead Poet’s Society said it so succinctly, while quoting from Henry David Thoreau.) While staying in tune to what my mind and body are telling me, I want to pursue opportunities to enrich and nourish my desire to grow. This is fuel to help me reach a greater understanding and purpose of my time here.

#DADLIFE

As a single dad, I want to be a positive role model to my son. I didn’t have many growing up that I can honestly say helped shaped the positive traits in me, thus it’s motivation for me to give to my son what I didn’t have in terms of establishing healthy values and beliefs.

#MENTALHEALTHMATTERS

I want to continue speaking about mental health and promoting mental health awareness, especially for men. Providing easy access to support people who struggle at home, or at work has been one of my goals over the years. Showing them the power of openly talking about their struggles, being vulnerable and reaching out for professional help can do wonders. I continue to practice what I’ve learned over the years and I see my counsellor for a mental health check up periodically. In fact, I have an appointment this Monday!

#WRITING

I love to write. I may not be the strongest writer, but I’ve already tossed out any fear of being judged, a long time ago. It’s MY work. It’s MY art. It’s MY creative form of releasing thoughts from my head. My goal has never been to be put on a pedestal or to be put alongside Henry James. My goal has always been simple; write when I need to, express my thoughts and discover a community of like-minded readers/writers however small or large that may be. My next goal: I’d like to write something fictional someday. My best friends Vince and Sandra have already come up with the title: Two D*LFS and a M*LF – the Story of 3 Best Friends. (There’s an inside joke in the title. I’ll spare you the lengthy yet hilarious story.)

#STAYHEALTHY

Riding shotgun to my mental health, is my physical health. As long as my body can handle it, I want to continue going to the gym to stay healthy physically so I can continue to do activities which requires me to be fit such as hiking and playing basketball. By the way, you’ll never catch me taking selfie at the gym, flexing (Gosh, Heaven help me if I do!) I exercise for myself and quite honestly, for the social aspect. Shout out to my 6AM Port Moody Bootcampers!

#TRAVELBUG

I want to travel all so badly. Iceland was a trip of a lifetime and I’ve got the travel bug now. Although I’m disappointed that my recent plans to go to Ireland with Rene and Randy has taken an unexpected nose dive (due to scheduling conflicts), this does  open up opportunities for a different trip with others. LA anyone?

Jason

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