I stumbled upon this poem on Facebook this morning. I don’t like to use such things without giving the author credit but I can’t seem to find that information, so I’ll use it and hope someone can tell me who wrote it.
When I was a child, my mother left this world far too early, but she left all of us with her assurance that we could do anything we chose to do with our lives. I’m sure her encouragement and love for writing and learning was the reason a homesteader’s kids grew up to have eight university degrees among the six of them.
We are so fortunate to live in a country where persistent effort and reasonable intelligence can pave the road to any goal we set our minds to.
It has taken me another fifty years to realize there is one very important limitation to the notion that you can do anything; It doesn’t mean you can do everything.
Don’t try to be everything to everybody in your life. Don’t spread yourself too thin. Do your very best at a few things that you love to do. Success is in the satisfaction of being the best you can be at whatever inspires you the most, not in doing the most you can do without any real satisfaction.
In my own search for that one occupation that inspires love and brings satisfaction, I have tried logging, construction, childcare, social work, lawyering, mining, business and teaching. Each a distinct career choice that somehow never captivated me for more than a few years; never satisfied my need. Until I was suddenly forced to face my mortality, I didn’t know what need it was that I was repeatedly failing to satisfy. Ironically, cancer has blessed me with clarity of purpose and definition of my need. It is the need to make a difference; to leave something useful in this world when I exit it.
You may want to remind me that I have given the world two people and they will make a difference. You might point out that I’ve influenced some of my clients and students in a way that changed their lives for the better. I hope those things are true, but I know they are not enough.
These are all the reasons I am inspired and determined to see the Canadian Bucket List Foundation become a reality. This is why I keep pestering all of you to contribute to the Foundation and help me make it work. Whether I am alive for another year or for another fifty years, I will embrace the blessing that cancer has given me. I’ll stay positive and strong and will do my best.
And mom, it’s taken me fifty years but I’ve finally found my anything.
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