Showing Up 5k thanks to Nacy MacKenzie for the photo

Showing Up Wholeheartedly

Woody Allan, along with others, has been quoted as saying that 80% of success is just showing up. There is a kernel of truth there but I suggest that showing up wholeheartedly may be the defining factor.

Last weekend my 98 year old Mother along with 39 family members participated in the Ottawa Race Weekend. Several ran or walked the ½ marathon but it was the 5K on Saturday that was the hi-light. This event was where my Mother, along with our motley crew, walked the 5k in 1 hr and 34 minutes. This is no mean feat at 98 years old, and having flown 4500 KM to do so.

I was thinking about what my Mother brought to the occasion besides her walking poles. First of all was her commitment and effort that she put into preparing for the walk. More importantly was her heart and grit as she placed one foot in front of the other. She gave it her all, with a smile on her face, determination and a desire to complete the course, along with the rest of us.

When we crossed the finish line together she received her medal along with the cheers of the crowd. Yet, what delighted her was to have earned that medal and done her part to contribute to our team. She went to bed that night happy and satisfied.

I have pondered on what it means to show up wholeheartedly. Dr. Itami, my mentor, encouraged his patients to take on all tasks with that spirit. He would remind them that not much changes if you are just warming the seat. With a willingness to fully participate, stretch ourselves appropriately (in this case, the 5K not the 10k) and generously contribute to whatever it is you are doing, a subtle change of spirit takes place. We rejuvenate and become more creative and alive as it influences everything we do. Best of all we have more fun.

Living Well with Illness and ageing, for that matter, isn’t about running races, rather it is about finding fulfillment in the present by living to the best of our ability. It is about carving out meaning, each in our own way, through active engagement in purposeful activities. Like I said last week, it is singing while there is voice left. Three cheers to my wonderful Mom and to all of you dear readers.

Note: Some people go around flashing photos of their kids and grandkids. I go around, to the amazement and dismay of my mother, flashing photos and telling stories about her. Until next Wednesday, warm regards, Trudy








Blog - Sing while there is voice left

Sing While There is Voice Left

Sing While There is Voice Left

I read a book, as a young 20 year old living in Montreal, called Sing While There is Voice Left. It was written by a theologian and I remember nothing specific about it, other than the title.  The title, however, has stuck with me my entire life.

I hear sing as a synonym for those things I consider important to do. Like writing this blog, as an example, or facilitating workshops; taking photos; spending time with my Grandchildren; saying thanks; walking, talking and cycling with my family and friends; having a nap in a hammock (when was the last time??) and always remembering when I say good bye to anyone that these may be my last words.

Sing while there’s voice left reminded me to take that cycling trip with my kids and ride in a hot air balloon with my Mother; move to Ottawa to help care for my youngest grandchildren, and now, seven years later, create this website and write this blog, while I have the chance.

As a maxim it is embedded in my operating system, and of particular help when difficulties assail me and my world gets turned upside down. In those times, with effort, I  turn my attention to also include small joys where light filters in. I notice small ways, where I can contribute. And I take small steps towards changing what can be changed and doing what I can do.

We all have things, unique to each of us, that we want to do and consider important to do. In fact, I think we all have things that only we (as in each of us) can do. This very moment is the time to begin. Conditions will never be perfect so we may as well take advantage of imperfect conditions to get started, while we can. What do we have to lose.

I wonder what “Sing While There is Voice Left might mean to you? You are always welcome to write to me here

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog and I wish you many joyful and purposeful moments. I will be back next Wednesday. Update: my blog post didn’t get sent out last week due to operator error. I hope I have fixed it and you will receive this today and with a little luck, another post on time, tomorrow.  Warm regards, Trudy