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Newsletter Vol. # 58 That's how I see it!

Mr. Smith And His Cheap Rental Car (A Cayman Island Experience)

My mother taught me not to talk to strangers.
I taught my kids not to talk to strangers.
Now my kid is telling her kids not to talk to strangers.

Perhaps it is okay to talk to a stranger when you're 74 and the person you're speaking with has a common annoyance.

I walked for 30 minutes (approximately 5000 steps according to my cheaper version of the Fit-Bit). It was sunny, very hot and I arrived at the West Bay Licensing Office only to discover that it was closed. I was kind of counting on my son driving me back home, but he is at work and unconcerned about my upcoming 5000-step return home journey. To have come all this way and not get a driver's permit and have to walk home- sucks.

It's Tuesday, not Monday! I know they're closed on Monday and so I stood there with this bewildered look on my face and not quite believing my misfortune. I needed a driver's license to drive the car I didn't have yet. Of course what I did was what any sane individual would do when you feel they "should be" open and the sign says closed- I try the door, it was locked. What a surprise! Oh brother!

A person who just pulled up in his van looked at me, we shrugged our shoulders. He said, "This is ridiculous! I know yesterday was a holiday but today as well?" We got to talking, I'm from Canada he is from a small island off the coast of Honduras. A relative recently married a Canadian and he will be visiting Ontario in a week or so and we made small talk about Canada. He asked me what I'm doing; "Trying to get a license and then a car" I joked. He said he knows where to rent cars cheaply, I thanked him for the information. He said, "Come on I'll take you there. It's right near my office." What was extra good about this act of kindness was that I can get a license at the same time as I rent the car.

Off we went to the cheap car rental. He told me what he does, I tell him what I do and he joked that he has considered lately needing to see a psychologist because he can't fall asleep at night. I smiled, not even remotely wanting to do anything professional on this trip. However, my mind thought meditation, relaxation, massage, tai chi, drugs and booze (I think I'm kidding). The root cause of his sleep trouble seemed to be nerve damage in his neck. From my last trip to the Caymans when I injured my shoulder and needed rehab, I remembered an excellent rehab person. I remembered him and his work on my shoulder but I couldn't for the life of me remember his name. So after I picked up my "cheap" car (and it certainly was by Caymans standards far and above the most reasonable I had been quoted) I booted it over to the hospital where the rehab person worked, ran into him in the hallway, got his card, relayed the information to my new friend with nerve damage and set out for home. It was only noon and I felt a great sense of accomplishment, like I already had an extremely successful day!

Then I went to the golf course and came back to earth with a bang.

Canada has among the highest number of registered soccer players- (1 in 41) some 865,000-in the world.

Interesting statistic: countries by number of ice hockey rinks: Canada--7631; Russia--2869; United States--2398; Sweden--491; Finland 288

Three Categories Of Work

Researchers have defined categories of work: jobs, careers, and calling.

Jobs occupy our time, but don't stir our passions or engage our personal strengths; they are a means to an end: a paycheque. If a job offered no payment, workers would not do them.

Careers, on the other hand, offer a series of rewards beyond the money that goes with the job. These rewards are generally comprised of a series of goals to be met, or a 'ladder to be the climbed'; a series of promotions and increasing levels of salary, responsibility and prestige. They turn a job into a career.

A Calling differs from jobs and careers in that it offer more than money or accomplishment; they offer meaning in life, which is an internal reward. A calling tends to bring intrinsic motivation from the individual- when a job is a calling, the worker generally feels the work itself would be worth it even without the paycheque, or any other form of compensation.  (Elizabeth Scott)

I am not a fan of "callings." I believe you have to be careful about being so dedicated and committed to ones work that all else in life is secondary. My work in the fields of stress and wellness have me wary of people who are more committed to their work than they are to themselves and their families.

Remember: "Work is what we do to earn money to have a good life."

We can love our work, our job, our career but not more than ourselves and a balanced lifestyle.

Everything Comes With a Price!

I have a favourite saying, "How I treat myself today will determine how I feel in three months." Pamela McDonald in her book, " The Perfect Gene Diet" does me one better. She states, "How you treat yourself throughout your life will determine what kind of senior years you will earn."

I believe that we almost always have a choice between health and chronic illness. We can choose to be healthy and be out walking, playing golf, curling, at 80 or choose to do nothing and be sickly in our senior years. I don't know about you but the prospect of living out my senior years in an institution with my independence lost to poor health is not at all appealing to me.

Remember that chronic illnesses do not just appear one day to cause problems. Some diseases may take decades to develop with very few symptoms to warn us. Better we should have a health plan to safeguard our long-term health. Prevention is always preferred to a crisis management situation. We need to understand that present lifestyle choices directly influence health outcomes later in life.

             Good health is not free, there is a price!

I recently saw a distraught young lady weeping beside her car.
'Do you need some help?' I asked.
She replied, 'I knew I should have replaced the battery to this remote door un-locker. Now I can't get into my car. Do you think they (pointing to a distant convenience store) would have a battery to fit this?'
Hmm, I don't know.  Do you have an alarm, too?' I asked.
'No, just this remote thingy,' she answered, handing it and the car keys to me.
As I took the key and manually unlocked the door, I replied, 'Why don't you drive over there and check about the batteries. It's a long walk....'
PLEASE just lay down before you hurt yourself !!!

Reader Contribution

Just recently my friend Robin died suddenly of a heart attack. She was a free spirit with a wicked sense of humour. I will miss her!

Here are two of her contributions to the newsletter.

Your last blog was very potent for me and I cried . Thank you for writing that and thank you for all of us who needed to read it. I looked up the person in the article and she does counselling with the work wounded who gave their souls to the company and got the golden boot award for it.

I have picked up your book and  I have read it twice and likely will do it the third and fourth time over this month as way of getting a positive sparking toward myself with the ideas of choosing a life worth living for oneself . It has many positive little sections that I refer to when I get lost in my downward thinking. I liked the book very much. Thank you for writing it.

Do yourself a favour and see MTC's "The Million Dollar Quartet". The night four Legends (Elvis, Johnny, Jerry Lee and Carl) got together and jammed.

Happy New Year to you and yours and may 2017 be a banner year for you