Valentine’s day 2021 marks the 10th anniversary since my dad died. After his diagnosis in August 2010, he passed away just six months later.
Fortunately for me I was able to spend time with him during his last six months and eventually I got to learn more about him and his life.
Now people might this strange that I didn’t really know my dad even though I grew up with him.
Dad was a man of few words at the best of times but that coupled with him working two or three jobs to keep food on the table. Therefore we didn’t have much of an opportunity to spend time together during my childhood.
This has been one of the big takeaways for me in terms of ensuring my relationship with Zach and Sami during their adolescent years.
The most precious thing you can give your kids is your time…
Those six months changed my life forever and were far more impactful than anyone would have ever imagined…
So, let’s take a peek at some of the other epiphanies that I gleaned from this important period in my life.
I guess another big ah-ha moment was when I realized “that you’re healthy until the day you’re not”.
Dad had worked hard all his life, and of all the people I knew was definitely going to live a long life. He never had a sick day in his life and had a stoic and resilient toughness to him but all that changed with his diagnosis.
It really hit home for me…
I see so many friends, family and acquaintances just marking time…waiting for the right moment to live.
It made me realize that to live life to the fullest, you had to live it every day.
Happiness and contentment are in the small things in life, you don’t need an expensive trip in an exotic locale to live life. It’s the everyday that brings you joy. 🙂
One of our collective and biggest misconceptions we have is that “we all believe we have time…”
Just think about that for a moment.
Nothing is guaranteed! This is especially true with regard to our health or the amount of time we have left in our lives, so why not live every day?
What are you waiting for?
Another thing that became obvious after dad’s passing was my unhappiness in my marriage.
There is no doubt that his illness exacerbated an already tense household but there were things that transpired that just broke the camel’s back so to speak…
As much as I wanted my kids to come from a two-parent household, I realized that the burden was just too much to bear.
I knew I couldn’t live my life in a state of frustration and unhappiness any longer. I had to make some big decisions that would unfortunately impact others.
Talk about a confluence of life decisions.
Many might see me as having a midlife crisis….and perhaps judge me on this.
His passing became a lightning rod for the complete reevaluation of my life.
It also became crystal clear that I had to answer this simple question – how did I want to live my life.
I decided that to be truly happy and contented in my life that I had to live life on my terms and not on someone else’s.
Thus, began my journey of reinvention…
To live the life, I’d always dreamed of meant that I had to take control of my own destiny.
This particular epiphany was the scariest of all but had the courage to leave it all including my prestigious executive role at one of the world’s largest management consulting firms to start my own business.
This was also the company everyone said would fail and that I would regret my decision to leave…. Yep, not one positive piece of feedback on my business plan. 🙂
Now some almost 7 years later and things continue to chug along nicely thank you very much!
What I discovered was that “the universe has my back”.
Opportunities and roles continue to come to me and honestly, I couldn’t be happier. 🙂
It wasn’t all doom and gloom that accompanied my dad’s passing. In fact, I discovered a passion that hadn’t been obvious to me until that moment.
And so I began to write…
My motivation to write began with me wanting to document my hike across Papua New Guinea.
As part of my fundraising efforts, I thought I would write about my journey from training through to completing the hike. Thus, bring my donors along for the ride so to speak.
This meagre foray into writing and the literary world started innocently enough, but it wasn’t long before I became hooked on the art of storytelling via the written word.
Now some ten years later I’ve written and published two books, almost 500 essays over four blog series plus written and recorded two podcast series on iTunes.
Not bad for a guy who’d never written a word up until that point in his life?!
So, let’s make a quick summary of this past decade and the things that I’ve discovered on my journey:
Time – the most precious thing you can give your kids is your time.
Health – don’t believe the myth that “we have time”. We need to live life everyday! There are no guarantees…
Reinvention – evaluate your life to define what’s important to you. Don’t be afraid to make those big decisions to ensure you can live your life on your terms.
Passions – actively seek out your passions and follow them in your quest for happiness and contentment.
One of my favourite sayings is “Adventures start where plans end…”
Take a moment to reflect on your past decade? What personal truths have you discovered in that time?
Until next week