Archive for June, 2013

June 30, 2013

Your “bucket list” is waiting . . .

On the night of October 19, 1984, then-RCMP officer Scott Deschamps survived a fatal small-plane crash that took the lives of six other passengers in northern Alberta. Critically injured, Deschamps spent a night clinging to life beside a campfire stoked by three other survivors. As the hours passed, Deschamps found himself writing a mental bucket list of all the things he had wanted to do but hadn’t done yet — earn a university degree, travel, learn to sail, learn another language, spend more time outdoors, have children . . . . Four months later, Deschamps left his job with the RCMP. In this passage from Carol Shaben’s book Into the Abyss, which tells the compelling story of the plane crash and its aftermath, Deschamps explains why:

During the crash I spent fourteen hours lying in the snow unable to move . . . . That environment facilitated a time of reflection which prompted my decision. I’ve always wanted to go to university ever since I can remember and I’ve never done it.  I was always working. Now I realize that life is so fragile. People talk about the right to life. I don’t talk about the right to life; I talk about the privilege it is to live because any one of us can be killed at any time. It is so easy and it happens so quick. So if you haven’t done the things that you’ve always wanted to do, it’s time to do them.

In the years that followed, Deschamps crossed every single item off the bucket list he had created that night.

What will it take for you to do the same?

Life is short.  Live it.

June 22, 2013

In the abyss lies the treasure

I like this quote from American mythologist and writer Joseph Campbell about life’s hardships and the gifts they can give us:

It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life.  Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.

How true.

June 22, 2013

Observed on the street: One tongue-in-cheek airport buggy

Just look at what Canadian air carrier WestJet uses to shuttle passengers around Vancouver International Airport:

West Jet "Folks Wagon" airport passenger buggy

A “Folks Wagon” — ha-ha! This clever name conveys both WestJet’s quirky sense of humour and its relaxed, people-first attitude towards air travel. Only WestJet customer service agents would bomb around YVR in Folks Wagons. Gotta love it!

June 10, 2013

Sometimes you just have to throw the book away

Have you ever found yourself trying to make changes in your life simply by rescripting parts of the same old story you’ve always been living by?  You try and try to turn over a new leaf and make a fresh start, but you find that the narrative that unfolds on each new page is just another iteration of the same old same old, the plot already coloured by the same characters, situations and settings that have come before.

This quote from author and poet Anthony Liccione gives a new perspective on that struggle:

Rather than turning the page, it’s much easier just to throw the book away.

Drastic?  Perhaps.  But sometimes you need a completely clean slate in order to create yourself anew.  There are other books out there waiting for you to find them.  There is even a book, perhaps waiting to be written, where the author is you.


June 2, 2013

Thought of the day: Reality lies somewhere in the middle

From the novel Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho:

At every moment of our lives, we all have one foot in a fairy tale and other in the abyss.