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Newsletter Vol. # 38 That's how I see it!

Hello and welcome to this week's newsletter.

What you will find in this weeks newsletter: an article on Assisted Suicide; good news for coffee drinkers; balance is the key to preventing burnout; what does it take to become an honorary Newfoundlander? Loyalty has to be earned; the funny side of tampons; Reader Response and a blurb on my first book I can have fun on a school night! or as it is known after five revisions--Finding Balance....

Assisted Suicide

I read this article on how a family had assisted their mother to die.
Their mother's quality of life was practically non-existent (Spinal Stenosis) and her feeling was "I don't want to die inch by inch." The decision was made to take her to Zürich, Switzerland where assisted suicide is legal. The family used an organization called Dignitas, and the fee for their service was $12,000. Total expenses were $33,000. A letter of support from family members along with two meetings with a physician was required.

I'll let two of their children describe the last minutes of the process:

Are you ready? Here's a sedative to settle your stomach. When I give you this medicine you will die. Do you realize you will die? Mom said, Yes I do. She drank the sodium pentobarbital with a straw. I passed out a really nice chocolate that I bought in Zürich and then she started to fall asleep. She started to snore and we stopped talking. Erica (with Dignitas) said, She can still hear you. So we talked about mom and dad and our lives together for another 10 minutes. The doctor came over and felt her pulse and said, She's gone. We sat for another five minutes. The medical people came in and took her. There was no weeping or lamentations.
                                                               Ken McQueen, MacLean's

I wept when I read this article. I suppose thinking of dying, leaving this life I have known, leaving my family-the memories we've built up, leaving the unfinished business we all have, but mainly it's the finality of death that saddens me most. Never to see my children again, my wife, her coffee cake, my friends, never to sing, or swing a golf club again--grabs at me. I hope when death comes knocking I am ready to go. I hope I will have done most of what I want to do/see/accomplish so that I can feel satisfied that leaving is okay, that I've had a full life. I've heard it said "Dying is much easier when we have led a satisfying life."

What do you think about assisted suicide? Might you consider assisted suicide for yourself? Let me know your thoughts.

There is no good time, but the worst time to have a heart attack is when you're playing charades!


For all you coffee lovers, I have some news that's sure to perk you up: Much of the research out there on coffee (and caffeine) is positive. In fact, studies show that it can not only help to give you an energy boost, but it may also help protect memory and reduce the risk for a variety of diseases.

If you've been scared off of coffee by some of the negative buzz, let me elaborate a little. Previous studies didn't always take into account that heavy coffee drinkers also tended to smoke cigarettes and be inactive. Obviously, these two habits would affect an individual's risk for disease and death.
But experts are now discovering that the benefits seem to outweigh any potential risks. Those benefits include a brain boost: Two cups a day may help sharpen brain activity and boost memory, both in the short and long-term. In one study, European researchers tracked nearly 700 healthy older men for 10 years and found those who averaged three cups of coffee per day experienced significantly less mental decline than non-drinkers did.
Coffee also benefits the body. It may protect against Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, type 2 diabetes and certain cancers. And it could also be a smart pre-workout sip. Drinking a cup within an hour of exercising can boost endurance and performance.

But before you pour yourself another cup, I have to share a few coffee cautions:
• There's no need to become a java junkie. If you don't currently drink coffee, I would not suggest starting now. There are so many other ways to protect your health-you can skip sipping and still reap these benefits with exercise and loading up on fruits and veggies, for example.
 • Pay attention to your body. Avoid coffee if it makes you jittery, causes headaches, or if it aggravates a pre-existing condition, like Crohns, Colitis, IBS and Insomnia. Also, if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure or you are pregnant, ask your physician if you can enjoy caffeinated coffee.
• Do a caffeine count. It's important to pay attention to your caffeine intake if you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above. Levels can vary-a large coffee (20 ounces) from Dunkin' Donuts contains about 258 milligrams of caffeine while the same amount of java from Starbucks (a "Venti") contains 325 milligrams. Regular coffee typically has 100 to 150 mg caffeine per cup. Tea offers a more moderate jolt; 8 ounces of tea (green or black) has about 40 mg on average, though black tends to have a little more. Keep in mind that tea may offer similar benefits to coffee, thanks to the combo of antioxidants and caffeine.
• Stick with a limit. For most healthy adults, up to 400 mg of caffeine is considered safe. If you have trouble tolerating this amount, then adjust your intake accordingly.
• Take it easy on toppings. Cream, sugar, syrup and other add-ons can drive calories way up. Some coffee drinks contain more calories than a whole meal! Check out these stats and do some quick calculating to figure out the cost of your coffee: Per tablespoon, milk has 9 calories, half and half has 20 calories and sugar contains 60 calories. A skim latte from Starbucks is a smart choice with only 130 calories. Or make your own coffee drink at home.
• Set a caffeine cut-off. Caffeine tends to stay in your system anywhere from three to eight hours after sipping. Depending on your personal sensitivity, you may want to cut yourself off at a specific hour.

Enjoy, I think!

Our eating habits and what we eat has changed more in the last forty years than in the previous four thousand years.

Balance Is The Key

Employee burnout definitely affects productivity, and worker turned-over also affects productivity and is extremely costly. So working harder and longer is not always the key, particularly if you're burning out and turning- over your staff. Balance is the key!

More than half of Canadians between the ages of 18 and 44 report that they haven't struck a satisfying balance between work and personal life. What's more common one in six people say they work at high speed "all the time," and one in four worked more than 50 hours a week. (Cathy Gulli)

It's dangerous and unhealthy to work so hard. We neglect our primary relationships. And we get so far down the path of being a job that we forget that we exist in humanity. (Nina Spencer)

It has become difficult for Canadian employees to meet work expectations during regular hours. Blame corporate downsizing, connectivity technology, including email, and global competition across time zones that has all but eradicated the traditional 9 to 5. People stay at the office longer and later, only to take work home with them at the end of the day and on weekends. The irony is that the excess hours don't necessarily translate into productivity or positive results; the link between work-life conflict, burnout and physical and mental health problems suggest that these workloads are not sustainable over the long term. (Health Canada)

So, how do we change a mind set, particularly in North America, where people's status is so tied to their jobs and success at these jobs/careers (promotion, big house, new car, yearly vacations, cottage, etc.). People want more, want it fast and want it early in their careers and are quite prepared to do what it takes to get it now, even if it means working harder and longer. Despite a poor lifestyle, which is harmful to their health and relationships, they still buy into it. To change this kind of mindset in both the employee and employer is no easy task. However, I do believe change in this kind of thinking is possible if the workplace is willing. The workplace has the power to influence employees to evaluate their lifestyles and to encourage them to make more positive health choices.

Places of employment will only encourage their employees to be healthy if they believe that "healthy employees are more efficient and can save or make them money". This is where the whole concept of Wellness At The Workplace comes in.

An interesting statistic that supports my believe that the workplace is the best place to start to change attitudes towards a healthier lifestyle is: if you offer a wellness program in the community at large in the evening of the 100 percent begin the program, only 25-30 percent will complete the program, and it doesn't matter much what the subject matter is. However, if the same program is offered at/through work, upwards of 75 percent will complete the program.

In my experience, it's really been tough sledding to convince employers to involve themselves in wellness. However, when you show them and there are just a plethora of studies that show saving ranging from $1-$14 for every dollar the employer spends on wellness, they sit up and take notice.

The workplace is the best place to start to change attitudes about work and health. I am not saying that individuals can't be motivated to start programs on their own but there is something powerful about the employer saying, "I want you to be healthy and here are the tools to help you do that".

You can't have everything! Good thing, where would we put it all

Did You Know

The three steps to becoming an honorary Newfoundlander in St. John's includes:
1. Kiss a cod
2. Recite the creed:
 Master of ceremonies: "Is you a Screecher me son?"
 Reply: "Indeed I is me old cock, and long may your big jib draw!"
3. Down a shot of Newfoundland Screech dark rum.


The United States and Canada consumer more than 25% of the world's oil-more than any other two countries combined yet have less than 5% of the worlds population.


I was speaking with a friend of mine the other day and the subject of customer loyalty came up. He told me about an acquaintance of his who runs a men's clothing store. This man over the years had really put himself out for his customers - staying late, rushing orders, going to their office to take measurements - but now saw his customers going elsewhere based solely on saving a dollar or two.

A new study by Ipsos Reid stated that 22 per cent of Canadian employees are expressing decreased loyalty to their employer as a result of the economic downturn. The study reported that 31 per cent of employees feel less loyal in organizations where salaries are frozen, while 36 per cent feel less loyal where staff has been cut. (MacLean's)

I believe this "less loyalty" issue felt by employees goes deeper in some organizations than just economics. Poor people-skills in managers is very stressful for employees. Many managers dictate from their "Position" rather than lead by example. Organizations that don't empower their employees but rather seek to control them will have loyalty problems.

           Our employees are the most important resource we have.

These words are so true but so phoney and ring so hollow when espoused at the summer company picnic or printed in the company newsletter, especially when you know lay offs are coming, or read that profits are up but no raises or bonuses are given out.

Loyalty is earned and both sides - employee and employer - need to be aware of that.


Two young boys walked into a pharmacy one day, picked out a box of tampons and proceeded to the checkout counter. The pharmacist at the counter asked the older boy, "Son, how old are you?" "Eight", the boy replied. The man continued, "Do you know what these are used for?" The boy replied, "Not exactly, but they aren't for me. They're for him. He's my brother. He's four." "Oh, really?" the pharmacist replied with a grin. "Yes." the boy said. "We saw on TV that if you use these, you would be able to swim, play tennis and ride a bike. Right now, he can't do none of those."

Reader Response

My feeling is that we could function quite well without the senate. If that cannot happen, it should at least become an elected body accountable to the citizens of Canada.                                                                          John G

***Please pass this blatant advertisement on to everyone you know---they will thank you

     Finding Balance: 101 concepts for taking better care of self
                                       Dr. Dan Rosin

I have been an educator, counsellor, and therapist in Manitoba for more than 50 years. Throughout my career I have worked with stressed and burned out professionals, helping them to achieve personal wellness while still excelling in the workplace. This book was written for those individuals!

Over the years, I have penned many articles on the subject and have conducted numerous workshops, speaking to thousands of people on the effects of stress, the promotion of wellness, the development of in-house prevention teams - all to encourage people to take better care of themselves.

The book is a collection of short stories, insights, and concepts designed to help readers develop healthier attitudes toward life and work, relationships, and the achievement of well-being.

Finding Balance: 101 concepts for taking better care of self originally published in 2002 as I can have fun on a school night! has sold over 10,000 copies. I am proud of the impact the book had on so many readers (See Testimonials: Author House in the United States has published the new edition.

I hope the new title and revisions to the text will reach a new generation of readers in Manitoba as well as readers in the rest of Canada and the U.S. Our lives are becoming increasingly complex and busy and I think the book is as relevant today as when I first published it.

You can purchase a copy of Dan's book at McNally Robinson.  Click this link ( and go to Purchase on Line -- you will have several on-line options.
McNally has been very supportive of my books (and other local authors) over the years.

 Have a great week and take good care of you!