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Be The Best.

March

Yah, enough said.

March is upon us and as we head to March 25 it’s so very hard to believe Chris has been away from us in human form for almost 2 years.

This morning I looked at a picture on my bookshelf of Ingrid, me and the boys in Disneyland when they were about 7 and 5.

Chris is laughing so hard he’s almost falling off my knee.

I loved that trip.

As many schools head into Spring Break, I hope that you are able to find some time to do something memorable, fun and exciting with your family.  Whale watching, Science World, overnight to Seattle or even overnight in Vancouver are all easy local things we did.

As a young Dad I sometimes wondered about the expense of this or that.

Of course budgeting is important and we had to also live within our means, but if we planned to knock off a dinner out so we could spend money on a family day activity, that’s what we did.

When I see that laughing, smiling face I know that every cent was worth it. 

I would pay millions to do it again.

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Be The Best.

A whole lot of holes.

I wrote about circles the other day.

Interestingly enough I’ve been thinking about holes too.

I didn’t think they were connected.  But now I know they are.  I’ll aim to explain.

One of the most painful things you must do when you lose a child is go on the ‘cancellation tour’.

This includes driver’s licences, passports, etc.  It’s something you don’t think about and it’s something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Have you ever kept your old passport?  That’s allowed and the passport office will cut the corners of your passport so that it is visibly defective and relegated as non conforming.

With Chris’ passport they punched 2 holes into it and gave it back to me.  The staff member was very kind, but here I was in the office trying to keep my composure as these holes were pounded through his passport.  You may have just pounded those through my chest.

I left the building and joined Ingrid in the car where I had refused her strong willingness to come with me.  I simply did not want her to have to deal with that.

For months and months I’ve looked at those holes.  I’ve felt the pain of loss.  It is as evident today as a year ago.

But… what about circles?  That’s where this gets interesting.

In thinking and writing about circles I realized that the holes in Chris’ passport are perfect circles.

The pain that those holes represent could only exist because of the circle of love we have for each other and how that long will NEVER EVER END.

In other words, deep loss is purely symptom of strong love.  Without the deepness of connection there would be no feeling of loss.

That makes looking at those holes feel better, makes us stronger…and turns the holes into feelings of wholeness.

A whole lot of holes.  From empty space to the realization of the circle that fills those holes in a figurative sense is infinite.

And yes, this will make even more sense when you read the circles blog.

Have  Be The Best weekend!

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Be The Best.

Money buys happiness?

Sort of.

Maybe.

It may be how you spend the money you have.

I’ve thought a lot about happiness in the past 7 months.  What has made us happy in the past?  What do we most cherish now that Chris continues with us in spirit only?  How do we be happy now?  Is it realistic even?  (answer: yes…another blog or book on this one!)

The Province Paper had an interesting article today entitled, ‘Ten Ways to Buy Happiness’.

Really?

I expected a quick read, but found myself absorbed by the UBC Prof, Elizabeth Dunn’s comments.

Here are five ways money can buy happiness according to the Province article referring to Dunn’s paper.

1. Buy many small lovely things rather than one big one
4. Buy experiences, not things
5. Spend on others, not yourself
7. Delay, delay, delay consumption
8. Happiness is in the details
Many small, lovely things….like COFFEE!  Ingrid and I calculated a number of years ago how much we were spending at that place that makes coffee and rhymes with Moonshucks.  It was a lot.  Then we had another thought.  We devised a coffee budget that allotted for that expense and simply skipped a dinner or two out each month.  Done deal.  For us, the coffee time provided that 15-20 minute ‘quick connect’ with busy schedules and allowed us to maximize family time while still being connected.  It was always more that coffee…it was a connection.  I get this point…and love it as I’ve learned to love the long pour americano…with room.  Find a good barista, grab your spouse or friend and try one!
Buying experiences, not things.  Wow.  How much has this meant to us?  The world.  Literally.  I have my wife to thank for a few times where I would have been a bit more budget conscious, but the experiences we had as a family are so priceless I would have gladly paid 10x more.  (Don’t tell that to the zipline people, whale watching people, travel agents, flight centres, or hotel folks either!)
I remember one trip that we took to Victoria and decided to go whale watching.  I still can hear the sound of those great beasts breathing and pulsing through the water as we waited in quiet and intense anticipation on a still kodiak boat floating several hundred metres in front of an approaching pod.  Seeing the excitement and pure joy on Max and Chris’ faces will be something we will have forever.  Experiences…not stuff.  Totally get it.
Anyways, a great article and very interesting.  Can money buy happiness?
I think the Prof’s co-authored study title says it best I think. “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right”.
Interesting.
You can read more by following the link below.