...Play Hooky!

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I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting recently, or maybe meditating is a better word. It’s nothing new for me really. I like to set goals on a regular basis and in the process, I’m usually looking at where I have been, where I am now and the biggest challenge of all, where do I want to go from here? I usually would break my goals down into tidy compartments, physical, spiritual, relational, financial and business. Confession, it’s a much different process now. My priorities have changed and they continue to morph in a direction that is both exciting and scary. Maybe it’s the fact that my 51st birthday is just around the corner or maybe it’s the residual impact of some things that are happening around me, but I can tell you the differences are immense.

For instance, I am much more interested in experiences rather than things. Lately, I am obsessed with becoming a better guitar player (not a lofty goal, I am stuck in three chord land) and learning how to wind surf. I have a real need to challenge myself and step outside of my comfort zone in order to grow. Not to be depressing, but I do wonder if it’s because I have started to see some people I deeply care about suffer some serious health challenges and think to myself, if not now, when? A sense of urgency to live and live now is welling up within me to the point where I am sure my wife is considering investing in earplugs as I continue to pontificate on my newfound philosophy.

I also want to bring a slice of Europe to Markham, Ontario. The European “work to live” philosophy allows people to take two-hour lunches and truly connect as human beings instead of the 1000 miles per hour “live to work” North American religion. I was at the gym recently when my good friend came in to announce he was just diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. He is a healthy and feisty 81 year old and true to his somewhat frank personality said loud enough for everyone to hear, “I just want you all to know, because I might not know who you are six months from now.” A young mom on the treadmill wisely shouted back, “Hey, I might not be here six months from now!” I don’t know if she was just trying to make him feel better, but she was definitely singing from my new song sheet. Even my pal’s attitude with his fresh diagnosis was inspirational. When I asked him how he was, he joked, “I don’t know, I don’t remember.”

I know it’s not new, but it’s a fact, today is all we have—a gift, so spend it wisely. Stay true to who you are and in harmony with what is important to you. So, from the live now file, I am playing hooky this afternoon! I am going to jam with a friend for a few hours and learn a new chord or two. No guilt here, I am in European mode.

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