This December - for me, another birthday - another year older. Arriving in the mail on the same day was my old high school magazine. I had attended one of those exclusive English boarding schools where it’s graduates are often bound for Oxford or Cambridge and then some illustrious career I followed a different path, first in the hospitality industry managing luxury hotels and restaurants for twenty-two years and then, after what I describe as my midlife crisis, a dramatic change to practicing healing arts. Was this an act of courage changing to a completely different field? I didn't see it that way but I was doing what I needed to feel more fulfilled. Maybe it was also about survival.
As I thumb through the pages of my school publication, I read about some of my contemporaries. Where are the sixteen-year-old boys that I knew? From the photos, some of them seem to have overindulged in fine wines and food and look way beyond their age. They don’t seem to have weathered well. Then I see the obituary columns describing the lives of fellow class mates and some who were much younger. How can that be? Some of these were such accomplished athletes.
One can never predict lifespan. Even if one eats right and exercises regularly, there’s still an element of luck. We never really knows what’s in store for us. One can live a life of moderation - avoid overly stressful situations and get enough rest, but the main lesson is the importance of living in the moment. If there is something that passionately draws one, then one should not necessarily wait for the “perfect" time because that time may never come as planned.
As many of you know, I take several breaks throughout the year, have walked 800 kilometers of Camino twice with plans to walk a different route this next Spring, and I travel a lot. So far this year that included visits to the U.K., to Mexico, Japan and to New Orleans. I find that these holidays rejuvenate, relax and inspire me. I never want to become automatic in what I do and, as a result, I still enjoy my work as a massage and shiatsu therapist.
Wishing you all great holiday celebration and the very best in the New Year from us all at Healing on the Danforth.