Thursday, November 29, 2012

I Guess The Secret Is Out...

There was a time a few months ago when I really wondered if this day would come. But, despite the battles, I guess I have to admit I've arrived at 50!
Of course, this day could have come and passed without any fanfare, except for the efforts of a particular group of ladies from the Shannon Lake Golf Club. I have been inundated (pleasantly, I might add) by emails, e-cards and phone calls with birthday wishes.
Thanks you everyone for your kind words!! I am so glad to have heard from every one of you!!
Over the course of 2012 I spent a lot of time reflecting on the people I grew up with, some I treasure and some I would be hard-pressed to tolerate even today. But, the common thread is the majority of these people would have spent some time over the past year celebrating their 50th birthday. It's a milestone for all of us, the class of 1962, I suppose.
It's funny too, that looking back at my school days, which were absolutely the worst years of my life, I had classmates that were fully nine, 10 and 11 months older that me. I was pretty much always the youngest and smallest of the group...the runt of the litter. There was the odd exception, maybe a kid with a late birthday who was physically pretty big, but in retrospect, I think that age difference...made a huge "difference" along the way.
I grew up with little self-esteem...very little self-confidence. It didn't really change much until my mid- to late-20's when I grew physically and really made a conscious commitment to myself to quit taking shit from people. I can assure you that I fully understand the world of bullying and the damage it does.
It tears you apart inside...and in my case, after being thrashed and hassled by the older kids for years, I often became a bully of sorts, in terms of mouthing off to people I thought I could mistreat without consequence. It's interesting when that's the way you are treated for such a long time, a "switch" almost goes off inside that tells you it's okay to treat others the same way.

Of course, none of it is right. A big result of all of this is what I call kind of an "edgy" aspect to my personality. It's a bit of a defence-mechanism that kicks in when I feel someone might be trying to get away with something. Call it my "spider sense"! Now, it's not always 100% correct, but I'm confident it comes with a pretty high batting average.
Alas, time tends to heal all of the remnants from the teasing, the hazing and the put-downs, and in my case the real revelation (or the rescue) came in form of my wife, Gay.

It may also have been the need for me to focus on family. Maybe it was a paternal instinct of sorts that kicked in when I figured out that I had to be much more than decent human being if I was going to be able to surround myself with awesome people. And, not much is ever accomplished if you act like a jerk at the same time you are trying to advocate for your kids.
So, despite the shit and broken glass associated with growing up over the years amongst a great core group of people, sprinkled with an exorbitant number of insecure, misbehaving assholes, I am very pleased to have risen above the filth during my adult years. I am confident I recognize immediately when people are being mistreated, and I don't hesitate to get involved. I think taking down a bully is a beautiful thing!

Curiously, perhaps in some warped twist of fate on my 50th birthday, the miscreants from my early days who continue to live in Saskatoon and area happen to be experiencing a blizzard today. Karma? Probably not...that would just be self-serving. But, I will make sure I enjoy a nice walk in the beautiful Okanagan Valley today. 

Onward and Upward...
Well, there's the history lesson for today, a bit of a rant, but also a timely cleansing exercise for yours truly.

I am so looking forward to continuing to heal, both physically and emotionally from this treatment, because I am am excited for potential in 2013. There are so many interesting challenges ahead on both a personal and professional level. It's going to be very encouraging to get back in the saddle!

Thanks again to everyone who has taken the time to send along kind words, encouragement and birthday wishes. It just feels terrific to have so many wonderful people in our lives!

So much for keeping the "big day" a secret!

XOXOXO to all...


  1. Happy B'day young man! Stay positive and never let anyone or anything take away HOPE.

    1. Thanks Mark!

      Geez, I sure do miss the rink these days. Back at it in 2013.