Focusing On Your Foundations

September 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

“Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

That’s a lyric from Tough People Do, performed by singer Brett Kissel during the first of two August fundraising concerts to raise money for flood-stricken Southern Alberta.

His words really have resonated with me ever since. Thousands of people in our province were devastated by Mother Nature, including four deaths.
I have been reminded several times over the last few weeks that even though my wife and I have had personal and family setbacks this year, encouraging things have also occurred. Needless to say, the above noted tragedy had its own way of underlining that other people can always be worse off.

First, blogmate Wendy wrote me about advancements she’s been exploring in digital publishing. This was great news since we’ve been discussing for a few months how to turn this blog into the intended motivational/inspirational book. We started writing together in fall 2009 with the goal of building content for this publication, but have yet to determine a format or platform for taking our writings into a broader realm.

That really pumped me up because although I have had ideas to write about in the last few months, I have lacked the drive to put pen to paper, so to speak.

The very next day, a teacher friend contacted me to advise that she had read the most recent draft of my story about Jasper, our dog. I am turning a short story I authored for a writing competition three years ago into a book. My friend adored the story and would love to have Jasper and I visit her classroom to read the story and encourage students to write.

That is very cool on a couple of levels. It means I will have a target group to test out what ages the book should be directed to. I also enjoy any opportunity to work directly with the education system, whether that’s doing school tours of City Hall or my former work as a school board communicator in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Again, that energized me because I have only puttered with the story since I first penned it in spring 2010. I have mulled over whether to lengthen it, if I should turn it into a series of vignettes or simplify the script for younger audiences. Getting a meaningful endorsement was a big boost to get my dream of getting Jasper published.

Within days, I had an inspired lunch with a close friend and colleague who provided some timely calm and perspective on some dilemmas.

Our recent vacation to the West Coast and Vancouver Island provided some much-needed relaxation and a break from work and volunteer activities. It was an opportunity for Joyce and I to enjoy some couple time and to discuss future plans away from the hectic day-to-day lives we live.

It also allowed time to reconnect with some family and friends some of whom are as close as family. These connections are the most important of foundations.

One of these people, is someone I admire greatly for her toughness and perseverance.

While in Richmond, we celebrated the retirement of Fran Hunter, who operated a family day home for 35 years, many of which were as a single parent of two daughters.

I first met Fran as a college student. I was a boarder in her home for three years as I attained my diploma in journalism and certificate in communications at Kwantlen College.

She was much like a sister to me and we’ve remained close friends since.

Small in stature, Fran battled through numerous odds to complete a respected career and has earned the next, unwritten chapter in her life.

Speaking of enduring hardship, I end with another quote that Fran might have found helpful. It certainly hit home with me.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~ novelist C.S. Lewis

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