Uprooting your life can be a daunting endeavour, especially if you do it repeatedly as I have. Kids, don’t try this at home, remember I am a professional idiot. But in the grand scheme of gambles I’ve made, I’d say the payoffs have outweighed the perils. Sure, I’ve seen many wonderful people come and go as regular fixtures in my life. That doesn’t mean they are far from my heart. I’ve lost many material things over the last few years yet gained experiences and memories to which I couldn’t even attempt to assign a price. It’s all more precious than gold (Dear Universe: do not interpret this to mean I am above a lottery jackpot. I remain open to the challenge of becoming a charitable squillionaire à la Oprah).
This past weekend I continued racking up new life experiences—home dinners on Friday and Saturday night with Victoria folks, cooks so good Neil spent all day Sunday baking/roasting/stewing to maintain his status as Top Chef in my life. If this gets any worse (better?), I’m going to need a forklift to drag my doughy self around the apartment.
I also reached back into the past, catching up with people I met in Switzerland. It was a most illuminating Skype session. See, back in my days of gazing upon majestic Alps and Lake Geneva…
a friend who works in leadership training and executive coaching put me together with a successful man who was looking to turn his life upside down to see if the joy he was missing was really out there. He hired me to coach him through the scary process of mid-life change. Together we carved out a path that would suit him, and by our last session he had resigned from his solid job, ready to walk away into the Great Unknown. Our chat on Sunday was the update on what happened next.
Of course I had some concern that he would be Skyping me from a Swiss prison, locked away for the crime spree necessary to survive after some Canadian ex-shrink said, “Seriously, what have you got to lose?” I pictured him all tattooed and twitchy, the cell wall behind him plastered with pictures of me, a shrine of revenge fantasy.
Instead, I heard the story of someone who was doing things he’d always dreamed of doing, things he’d never dreamed possible. His life was unrecognizable, as was he. He was happier, healthier, and more joyous than he’d ever been in his life. He was fully engaged in pursuing his interests in music and voiceover work. He went for a run one day, something he hadn’t done since he was a teenager, and within weeks he’d placed 7th of 100 runners in his first 5K race. He has a new and satisfying relationship. Next up he will be heading to the International Space Station to take over where Commander Chris Hadfield left off. Okay, I made that last one up, but I was so impressed with his life changes that it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that his next move is something equally impressive.
Just goes to show two things: One, sometimes the biggest risk we take is not taking a risk at all, and two, I’m a genius. Okay, I made that second one up but still, it is immensely gratifying to know that the work we did together led him to where he is today. He worked hard and it shows. He was incredibly grateful and it was my great pleasure to work with him. He rolled the dice and came up a winner. I say life is nothing but one big roll of the dice after another. He and I may both end up in prison some day, but, seriously, what have we got to lose?