Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Transition and Opportunity

When my Mother flew out West to spend Christmas with us, she bought along a bottle of Glen Bretonthe only single malt scotch whiskey made in Canada. For those of you unfamiliar with my home province, the Cape Breton Island region of Nova Scotia is very much like Scotland. In fact, up until the 1960’s, Gaelic was the mother tongue of it inhabitants. Even though my descendants are of mainly German- Dutch ancestry, the bit of Scottish and Irish blood in my veins has been dominant in my tastes for single malts, Guinness and Celtic music.

Anyway, I was holding this bottle for a special occasion and, for some reason, elected to crack it tonight. You see, after my initial terror of switching from Corrections back into Teaching, I am once again feeling secure in my chosen profession, am ready to go and feel like I have a whole new world of opportunities before me. Shift work in my previous vocation did not allow me the latitude to pursue many endeavours, thus preventing me from finding one thing in particular to which I might dedicate myself with regularity. Now, I find myself faced with the arduous task of selecting from a vast array.

First and foremost, I am teaching full time. With this I have volunteered to take charge of the guitar club at my school, coach boys Rugby and help out with the fitness club. Running parallel to my professional life comes my family commitments with my four year old daughter and wife of ten years. After all of this comes the “me time”. I compose a large amount of my free time reading which, I suppose, is also professional development in that I tend to read a lot in my teaching areas: Language Arts and Social Studies. I also play guitar, but have never been in a position to take this anywhere beyond teaching myself basic chords, etc. My ability to read music is limited, but I have some aspiration to learn classical guitar if I could find the money for lessons and time for practise. Then there is my fairly rigorous fitness regime to supplement Boxing. One of my goals in the pugilistic pursuit has been to compete, but, as I near 40 and have a body that is really beginning to feel the many years of contact sports that it has been subjected to, I wonder how realistic this may be.

So, judging from what is on my plate at present, you can see that time is a precious commodity in my life. Still, there are so many things that I’d like to do: Rock Climbing, painting, music lessons, learn to Tango, study Chess, play Gaelic Football, wine making, archery – the list is endless. There is a deep fear that resides within as I face the reality of getting older (as in the realisation with Boxing or the countless plans to make a Rugby come-back), tempered with the notion that I must select things that may have continuity into an feasibly active old age. I am fortunate that I can pursue many of these things as a coach and facilitator for my daughter and students, which will offer me sufficient satisfaction as I love to be a part of another’s blossoming. Nothing would make me happier than to see my students going on to derive similar pleasures that I found playing Rugby, or to see my daughter become a great dance or musician.

We often see someone drop a “carpe diem” here or there, but do we ever truly understand the gravity of this statement. “Seize the day”. How many of us do not? As I near 40, I realise how short life is and I am no longer completely oblivious to the facts of getting older. My knees, hips, ankles and shoulders are showing their wear from an active life. Every trip to a bookstore or library serve as grim reminders of all the wonderful things there are out there to read, but that one will never get around to reading. Likewise, every activity one might spy or foreign destination. We must be very serious in selecting our priorities in life. Nothing should supersede family and personal development/ experience: the former is an obligation, the latter is what life is truly about. Live, love, laugh – be passionate. So many of us are blinded by career advancements and material possession. In the words of Sartre,man is condemned to be free.” One day, all will be dust and nothing will have mattered. Therefore, for no other reason, carpe diem!


  • At 4:28 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hilite of today: stopped at 87 ave and 97 st. and bought a .10cent lemonade from four cute kids and a mom. wow! was that good! days off work better than daze @ labour for CSC$'s galore. good day for an old cockroach/dead poet. blessings to you in a challenging career with HOPE involved in it... + + +

  • At 7:04 a.m. , Blogger auntiegrav said...

    Guinness tragedy: Showing how the Irish handle disasters.

    On to the midlife 'crisis'. This is time to appreciate the things you have done. Think of it sort of like George Bailey in Bedford, N.S. (oops, I meant Bedford Falls). The middle of your life is when you look at your own creativity, your skills, and your offspring, then consider your consumption level. This is exactly what Net Creativity is all about. You have the unique opportunity to be a positive part of the entire human species now, rather than just another consumer saying "Carpe Diem" and sucking down some more resources that your children will need, and to begin teaching the younger generations about what adults are really for (besides buying liquor). I'm not against the liquor per se, it just happened to fit this discussion. Enjoy, play a song (pure Net Creativity with your voice), and now you can BE the future, rather than just looking at it.


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