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Day One

My brother’s girlfriend said I should write a book. My grade 12 english teacher just cringed. I remember her asking us in class one day if we read and what. I quickly responded with westerns, Louis L’amour. She moved on quickly.

Jody referenced my reading of the economist and suggested 750 words a day for 30 days.

This is day one.

I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to have in mind as I write this, is there a goal? An audience in mind? I believe her words were just a brain dump on the page every day. Then after 30 days we’ll go back to it something with it.

She is an english teacher and an actor and my brother’s girlfriend so I’ve decided to listen.

I also like projects, new projects specifically. I have no skills when it comes to fixing things or building things but I do a great clean up job so can generally keep myself busy with something. Past projects include wind-surfing culminating in the purchase of one 30 years ago. Bowling tournaments. I ran some family tournaments for several years. Filled the alley and even had prizes, scoring spreadsheet and went and had a giant cheque printed for the overall champion. Motorcycle, on-going. And now golf. Not to mention my longest term project, 20 year self-employment!

We are at the family cottage as I write this and there is always something to do, clean up the recycling, mow the lawn, cut down branches, clean the boat.

The dynamics at the cottage have changed quite a bit over the last couple of years. With my brother and wife separating and a new woman in the picture we’ve inherited two dogs and 3 children under 18.

I’m trying to avoid that person people become when they get a dog. I’ve seen it completely change people, men specifically. The toughest of guys suddenly become playdough in the paws of a new pet. It’s probably a great thing but my tough, external shell is resisting. I’m the biggest dog lover, despite being allergic to some, and love to play with them but so far I”m refusing to analyze their bowel movements, what they are thinking and how cute they look when they are sleeping. And myriad other things these men do once they turn.

There is really nothing tough about me at all. I weigh 147 lbs on a good day, 5’ 8 ½ and have never really been in a fight in my life. Unless you count the quick tussle with John Macciocchi in grade 5, which ended faster than it started, with us sitting outside the principal’s office. I think John’s a teacher now, or retired perhaps. He was a good guy and incredibly athletic as I recall. He would scale a 10 foot high fence and literally flip his entire body over the top and land on the ground on his feet. This was elementary school so maybe it was only 6’ but it was impressive nonetheless.

I was an average student, due to a combination of laziness and fear of asking questions. This brings me to a philosophy I have in life now. I used to naively think that life was fair. In the end everything evens out. And perhaps it does after we leave the planet but I used to think the rich weren’t happy or on the entire scale of happiness they were lacking in some areas while others lacked elsewhere. I believe the life isn’t fair theory is confirmed by simply naming a few names. Tom Brady. I don’t need any more names. I can’t stand that guy although I do respect him. But I still can’t stand him. Jealous for sure.

And yes, I get that I don’t know what goes on behind closed doors and what his day to day life is really like. But man he looks happy, has money, is super healthy and appears to be good at everything he does, even as he gets older.

I'm 54 now and over the last couple of years have settled for the fact that I am slowing down, and can't do what I used to do. But although that may be true to a degree I’ve seen examples recently where maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. My brother in law Mike is now 60. You would never guess it. He can do more push ups than anyone I know and is generally a beast. So lesson 1 for me was you don’t have to give up. It may take some effort but 54 still has tons of potential. The 2nd example was a guy I drove by in the underground parking at work. I'd put him easily at 60 and he was in fantastic shape. 750 words done.

Okay Jody this is day one. Let me know if I should continue.


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