Be The Best.

Strange Time

I have been profoundly impacted by the power of choice over the past 10 years. Every day we are offered hundreds of choices.  In most cases, if we don’t like where the previous choice has taken us, we can simply make another one.

One thing being more separated physically has done with my own thinking is to push alternate forms of connection that I may have overlooked in the past. In practical terms for me that means sending notes to folks I haven’t connected with in a while or having video catch ups like we’ve done virtually with friends with a very real glass of wine in hand!

It is hard to harvest the resource of time when feeling it is not an asset but a hindrance – something that is amplifying the separation from where you want to be. I am always conscious of those reading this blog who have suffered loss and of course our instinct is to have our loved ones with us – now. It took me a long time (years) to really gain perspective and understanding for myself – recognizing every journey is different. My own belief is I will see Chris (our son) again and if I really believe that I should maximize this time of strange separation away from him. Strange time. Strange times. Time can intensify the feeling of separation and at the same time provide opportunities for creativity of connection and reinvention.

As we all travel through the world of coronavirus together, this strange time of more physical distance will eventually end or transition with the advent of vaccines, testing protocols, technology and organized systems. Until then, the practise of harvesting time is something I want to continue to work on even though the feeling of separation will never be completely normal.

Have a good week.

2020 - 10 years later Be The Best.

This is how it feels.

As the Vancouver Canucks are on an epic playoff run unseen since 2011, bear with me as the topic of hockey continues to weave into this 2020 blog experience!

I remember so distinctly sitting with Max and Chris watching the Canucks getting eliminated by the BlackHawks in May of 2009. That happened again in 2010 a few months after Chris’ passing. It felt even worse. Back in 2009 as this despondent fan sat with two teenagers ready for glory and excitement but being exposed to the opposite, it was a key moment. In that snapshot of sadness I stated, ‘Boys, you now know how it feels to be a Canucks fan’.

Chris at Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto repping our home province of BC at a national lacrosse tournie.

Of course things stated at low moments don’t reflect the entire body of work or the overarching thinking because as soon as the puck dropped for the next season we were cheering as loud as ever only to have Chicago bounce the Nux again. That ended in 2011 with the historic run to the Stanley Cup Finals that I wrote about last week with Max and I present for Game 7 to watch the Canucks slay the dragon and move forward.

The point today, aside from being able to write about hockey, is that at the moment of loss in 2009 the boys understood what loss felt like, even though it is ultimately just sport. However, for those who have lost a child, you know that deep feeling of loss on an entirely different level. Something we would never wish on anyone. 10 years later, that feeling is still very present and can be brought back in an instant. I personally don’t believe in ‘recovery’ from grief or loss. It is part of our history, part of the present and helps shape the future although it doesn’t need to define the future. We don’t ‘move on’, but you move FORWARD, one decision at a time, building for the future but never forgetting the past.

Have a good week and GO CANUCKS GO!!!! As a public service, I’ve included all game times below. 😉

Be The Best.

All Hail the Whale

As some of you may well know, the Vancouver Canucks (hockey for those international readers!) are near and dear to my heart. Their logo uses an orca (killer whale) so therefore the whale nickname for the Canucks which is already a nickname for the team and for Canadians in general as opposed to the Canadiens who are the hockey team from Montreal who also go by the Habs. Following this? 😉

Ok, the Canucks are on a little run as the covid influenced Stanley Cup playoffs are underway. I can’t think about the Canucks without thinking about Max and Chris and tons of friends and events that intertwines sport and relationships in such a deep way. I am hoping for a long run by a young team and I LOVE what I see not only for this year but years to come.

Does any of this have anything to do with Dads and grief? Oh yah. Read this post from 2011 for some deeper insight. Have a great week.

2020 - 10 years later Be The Best.

Life’s a Sprint Marathon

Life goes by in a blink.

Sometimes in the middle of a situation (like a pandemic let’s say…) it may feel a bit more like a marathon.

With just a little distance and time, many things in life seem to go (and have gone) faster and faster.

Check out this post from August 2011. Max personifies the Be The Best attitude as he tackles a Sprint Triathlon.


It’s really Be The Best principle personified.

What I mean by that is Be The Best is about so much more than winning.  It’s about competing.  It’s about trying something new.  It’s about not letting the fear of the unknown get in your way.


Here’s the full post.

Be The Best.

Nomenclature Culture

If you’ve read a blog post or two of mine you might pick up that I like words. I like word play and also the history of words. Scrabble was a family favourite and my Mom (Chris’ Grandma) loved to play although she was ‘creative’ with some words she would put down on the board. ‘I’m sure this is a word’, she would say with a devious twinkle in her eye. In the days before Google, that was an easier path! We had many laughs about those games and Chris, Max and other grandkids were learning all the while.

Nomenclature is a body of names in a particular field and really a systematic approach for definition and creation of terms. The fields of medicine and geography are some leading examples. In essence it allows a broad group of people to speak the same language even if they don’t speak the same language. This kind of systematic coding allows for quicker digestion and understanding which builds on communication.

I believe there is a lot of cross over from scientific thinking like this into the business/management world as well as personal and family development. For example, if an airline starts to refer to ‘passengers’ as ‘customers’, this can evoke an entirely different view of who and what that entity is. You can see in this simple example it FORCES the viewpoint of humanity into what previous nomenclature would have categorized as a more functional asset without evoking the same emotion.

The nomenclature of a family or business is the approach to the creation and use of language that builds culture over time.

Words have never been more powerful. Why? Words force you to associate meaning with that word and from that meaning comes emotion and from that emotion comes action. In these times of worldwide stress we may feel less than able to invoke change. That’s not true. With every ‘thank you’, quick reach out or touch base with a friend, support to a community group or other form of specifically chosen word and deed we are imposing a more positive nomenclature into the fabric of our network. That in turn creates a ripple effect.

I’ve been both on the receiving and giving end and it is powerful. When Chris passed there was an avalanche of support (words and actions) for our family. Words are powerful. The use of a specific body of words that are positive and thankful and sincere in intent, ignites understanding, emotion and action – and is the true power of communication – regardless of language.

Ok – way too deep. Probably too much coffee on a rainy Sunday morning. I’m going back to watching some NHL playoff hockey in August where key nomenclature includes PIM, Penalty Box (Sin Bin) and GAA. Have a great week.