I am far from perfect and try to learn from others and improve myself.
I get many personal thanks and kind words from people I help as a volunteer public advocate with a local community group. Some even volunteer and or donate to our cause.
Many recognize it as an important role that is not for everyone and is often thankless.
I am ok if people do not know the amount of effort I put into this cause. For me it has never been about recognition or personal gain. It has always been about the much needed reforms that can improve the lives of my family, friends and many in the public impacted by gross incompetence or serious wrong doings by many elected and appointed officials and others in the system.
To me it is unacceptable to be paying among the highest taxes, levies, fees and fines plus public utilities and auto insurance rising at many times rate of inflation yet getting among the least in return.
When our job of advocates is done or major successes I will enjoy more free time to spend where I would rather be spending it.
That said I still need to find a balance with this and my responsibilities as a father of three amazing children, husband of a wonderful wife, employee of a great company, son, property owner, uncle, brother, nephew, cousin, neighbour, community member and citizen.
I must also constantly focus on the many good things that are around me, happening in my community and elsewhere or I become biased from exposing and preventing so much wrong doing. I must also take care of my mental and physical well being or I will not be fullfilled, content, able to help others and be able to contribute.
Some who see my high level of committment to public advocacy have said “get a life”. I assume they uninformed of the consequences of ignoring the issues we focused on addressing, are benefiting in some way from the wrong doing our cause is exposing or feeling guilty for not doing their share. They usually become supportive or a few have had nothing to say when informed of this.
I cycle to work and elsewhere but not as often as I feel I should. Around winter I play ice hockey twice a week and curl once a week. I help maintain a home, vehicles and other property. We donate more than the Canadian average financially and time wise to worthy and reputable causes.
I have lived and travelled in several places in Canada, Australia and the UK. I have travelled with family and or friends to many places in Canada, the US, NZ, the Pacific and Europe including Cyprus.
I was fortunate to have a mother from a family of 15, a father, step father and mother and many aunts, uncles and other positive role models growing up and as a young adult. We did a lot of camping and some other travel. We frequently visited family and friends near and far and often had them over.
I spent a large part of my adolecense on our families small rural farm with several acres and surrounded with extended family’s properties on two sides plus Crown land behind. My parents worked full time and we had live stock and a large vegitable garden.
Chores or responsibilities were not words spoken but there was an expectation to do you
We cut down trees from Crown or neighbors land with agreenents to use to heat our home with boiler style wood stove plus could use electric heat if needed.
We often woke to the sound of the rooster.
We raised hens for the eggs and to slaughter in the fall. We raised pigs and one cousins family raising cows. We canned and stored a lot of our harvest plus shared the excess. One of my other cousins family had a dairy farm.
Fast forward and my family has settled in Winnipeg after travelling and working overseas.
We used to have a garden but replaced it with a large above ground swimming pool so our kids could enjoy and could have friends over to enjoy. Sadly it does not get used as much as we would like but it comes and goes in burst as the kids are older now, moved out and or working full or part time plus school.
We compost most of the organic waste our family and propert generate. I am concerned about sustainabikity and try and be a minimalist. I have much more I could to do and it is a struggle to find a balance.
For more on my journey and some of my suggestions for life
Speaking of journeys, here is some of mine.
I not tell a lie, cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye
So far I have
lived in the country on a farm which did me no harm
lived in the city and felt some pity
always worked hard and have baked with lard
milked a cow and had at least 1 big row
harvested at dusk with coyotes eyes or howls nearby
played hockey and walkie talkie
played with toy guns, used real guns and had my ears pulled by the nuns
played in the mud, got stuck in the mud but wouldn’t trade it for none
slept overnight on Grand Beach with a friend and wished for a bed without bugs crawling on my head
adventured somewhere new at night with only moonlight
tried to jump from the sky but could not fly
nearly slid down a huge cliff and was so thankful for a lift
jumped off a large water fall and always try and give it my all
given into lust and lied down in bed without even thinking we were not wed
hurt, cried and tried not to lie
felt alone at times and smothered at times
tried my best but could not rest in the nest
helped bring a light into this world before I knew what to do but know now that we are here to help it shine as I try to make up for lost time
done nothing wrong but locked up with my song and then finger printing but no convicting
been unsure what would happen next and moved far away but continued to pay
lived or travelled many places to explore and learn the local lore but knew inside the light was not right
travelled by foot, bike, raft, horse, motorbike, boat and more
slept in a rental car as well as my own car, my truck, on a ship, train, plane and more.
made many good friends and only a few dead ends
learned to husk green or brown coconuts for milk or flesh with a big knife which may one day save my life
climbed a mango tree and have dived in the sea
spent xmas camping on the beach but mostly with snow at my reach
grown to love 4 seasons for many reasons
been bitten by a bug but didn’t know it was love
moved somewhere new and chased after someone I barely knew.
spent a first night just talking ’til light then a long kiss good bye under the morning sky
spent many nights on the phone then wishing I was not alone
woken with lovely poetry in my head with no way back to bed and knew I had to see them in more than my head
listened to my heart and never felt so alive so then took a chance with some great romance
travelled afar to somewhere new with the one who filled my heart and never wanting to part
made love to the one who holds the key to my heart and cried inside when we had to part
travelled again to sleep on the beach under a star lite sky as the breeze blew by
had to part again as they left on a plane but only one more time as I wanted her to be mine
gotten married to the only one, regardless of one in the bun
had one more kid and nearly lost my lid
chosen to love after falling out of love
always been grateful for many good times which has helped me through a few grinds
a promise to keep and life is to short so let’s always court
sat awake by the fire at night till there was light
skied and boarder on water or snow and fell down below
hiked in the mountains and swam in many fountains
played in the snow with the sun in the sky followed by a swim in the sea as the sun says goodbye
played poker and been broker
geocached, got smashed, had fun and regretted some
been hired, fired and self employed
fixed many things instead of buying new things
gazed at the sky with a powerful eye and wondered why
torn things down and built things up
built something new and also tried home brew
caught, bought and grown my own food and try not to be rude
been bold and showered out in the cold
held a huge snake and made many a mistake
tried to be present and listen to the words being said and not the ones in my head
learned that lauguage is powerful when spoken out loud or in our head so use it wisely like to disarm but never to harm
failed miserably and succeeded giddily
tried to look at the bright side instead of the downside
donated my time and will make it a past time
been rich and poor, had lust and been bust
said hello, goodbye and nearly died
tried to learn something new from everyone I knew
done many things on my own but many more not alone
guided young eyes as they try and reach for the sky and not only my own as they will all one day need to go out alone
been seeing more and more of my young growing into their own but my first light is struggling to be bright
always held out my hand but to often waited for a reach and now must try harder to get a chance to teach