Anyone who has been reading with me for a while knows I write mostly about events, sometimes about life and occasionally about impact points. Today is about these. There are certain, unexpected phases of life that happen to us of which each must be embraced for who it brings us and what it teaches us.
The phase in our 20s where it seems like we go to many (first) weddings, launch our (first) careers and often meet our lifelong friends through work, college or happenstance - the idea that we meet people for a reason, season or lifetime beginning to make sense. Last weekend we had the opportunity to attend the wedding of our godson Dylan to the beautiful inside and out Megan and to share this with their family and friends, and to watch them set out together to face whatever life will bring. The bride obviously gorgeous in white, the groom wore Batman Converse.
|Dylan and Megan we could not be happier for you|
Most of us have many positive memories of our 20s (or are building them now) and much of who we become happens now. It is also often the first time we have to learn to deal with loss, of a friend or family member, and it is how we manage the grieving process, the support we have available and our own inner chutzpah kicking in that gets us through these times, giving us strength we did not know we had yet. In the words of AA Milne and Winnie The Pooh “If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you.”
In our 30s we tend to focus on our careers, many begin families, others are just meeting their life partners, and life generally is full of deep potential. Careers and relationships may change and momentum carries us forward. I adore seeing all my third-decade friends bring their charisma and joy and drive to their workplace and lives. On the flip side from other perspectives there is a certain displacement, a disconnect between a generation that is not so good at balance or work/life integration and the community that comes with this, and there are thousands of workshops and articles on what this and the next generations means to the evolving workplace. I admire their sense of lifestyle, or again in the words of Pooh Bear “When you see someone putting on his Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen.”
It is the next phase that is seemingly more challenging, the age where our parents are aging and our friends and even their children are facing challenges that seem grossly unfair. In two words
Last Christmas we received what we thought was a typical Christmas card from our old neighbors whose cards always featured a picture of an adventure they had been on this previous year - salt mines in Turkey, exotic beaches and jungles. Last year it was of them in front of the Victoria Cancer Centre and the story of their daunting, overwhelming year. We received this two weeks ago. We were once again reminded by the two oncologists of how rare it is that she was sitting there talking to them considering the original prognosis.(0.5%) They will continue to hold their collective breaths for another 6 months at which time they will consider her out of the danger zone (statistically speaking). This is good news for sure and we invite everyone to lift a glass of wine in thanks…in six months it will be champagne.
Bring on the bubbles has never seemed so wonderful.
Bring on the bubbles has never seemed so wonderful.
We have too many friends currently battling cancer, and while they are winning the battle their personal and unique wars on cancer are full of challenges and none is without its scars. The tools we have are poisonous and often experimental, but when the choice is to live through some terrible days, to live... I applaud their courage and am thankful they have made the choices they have. Keep fighting to win!
We interviewed a wonderful man last week on Event Alley - Izzy Gesell and while the show was about the lessons in Improv for business, what intrigued me as much (since this first makes a lot of sense to me) was the work he does with cancer patients and their loved ones on patience, acceptance and trust, all tools that are needed by everyone involved in the care and outcome as you move from curing to healing.
Last week someone passed me in the hall during IMEX and while continuing on their path said two simple words Hello Sunshine. While literally said in passing, as offhand as anyone could say hello it made me think. If I thought consciously each day about what I was bringing to my family and colleagues, or our listeners on the weekly Event Alley show or in any presentation I give - I would choose to be exactly this, a ray that brings light and gives energy to others. I rarely watch the news - in this age of connected and social everything we get all the bad without seeking it, and we phone people when we are troubled as often as when we are delivering exceptionally good news, and we connect in ways that are often personally sent through impersonal forums - text, facebook, twitter, linkedin, in blog comments... yet we still seek connections that are meaningful. For all of you I do not get to see enough as the regular demands of life are real, know you are never far away in thought.
I live with a man forever looking on the bright side and know how lucky I am (and our children are). If I had to sum up my feelings with a final Winnie the Pooh quote it would be this “If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” Go ahead, hug a bear.