Life’s about change—it’s your choice on how to handle it

The changes are not a case of better or worse, they are simply change. Something different. Something new.

I am frequently amused with cycles or patterns within life.

Certain themes or messages seemingly arrive in bundles—as if by some plan or calculated plot to help the receiver ‘wake up’ or ‘get the message.’

When the scenario happens to be a run of bad or good fortune we comment “things always happen in threes,” hoping that by verbalizing the thought process we can somehow either extend or end the trend.

Perhaps it is not so much the scenarios or events that happen in cycles as it is our minds that choose to perceive them that way—depending upon our mental state. If we are depressed we tend to see negative patterns in a ‘can’t win’ or ‘can’t cut a break’ comment.

When things are marvelous or euphoric we are ‘on a roll’ or ‘firing on all cylinders.’

Right, wrong or somewhere in between, as I trundled home from an outing Wednesday my mind mulled over comments made at the event, and how they fit in with other conversations and events during the long weekend. I noted a pattern.

I’m still trying to sort out what the end message is, and not even sure if there actually is one, but sometimes the journey is more important that the arrival.

Regardless of whether the lesson is being read correct or not, it gives me pause for thought.

Wednesday afternoon I attended the ground breaking ceremony for the planned RCMP building. During the event one of the dignitaries mentioned the current antiquated bunker was built, “back in 1962 when the population of Kelowna was 14,000.”

I chucked like others in the crowd; however, my brain immediately zapped back to that time period.

I was seven and moving to Kelowna from Trout Creek so, for a wide-eyed little boy, Kelowna seemed massive. In reality Kelowna really was just a sleepy little summer paradise loaded with orchards, farms beaches, and potential growth.

Even at a young age I realized living in the Okanagan was something very special. It still is, however with nearly 120,000 population it is no longer a sleepy little hollow.

On the journey home I relished what a wonderful life I have journeyed through having been blessed to share most of my time in Kelowna—at work and play. Highlighted by amazing friends and family, growing up here was akin to living a fairy tale life filled with fun, adventure and opportunity.

My mind raced through memories of hiking the hills of Bear Creek, Knox Mountain, Dilworth Mountain, long before any homes existed. I recalled walking to my dear friend Mrs. Kitson’s at Bear Creek with a .22 rifle over my shoulder and a hockey stick in my hands to battle rattlesnakes on the dirt road. (Try that today and see how far you get). As I drove past the old Memorial Arena I chuckled at memories of playing hockey in that rink, or as trainer and stick boy for the old Kelowna Buckaroos.

Flashbacks continued to flood in as I pulled into my driveway at home, very near the Capri Hotel—which was considered to be the edge of town back in 1962.

The trip down memory lane was a great summation to the weekend’s earlier lessons and reminders.

On Sunday Teresa and I hosted our annual long weekend bash and as usual a plethora of people arrived early and left late. At one point I faded into the back corner of the yard to quietly observe the joyful throng singing and laughing and enjoying new found friends or long time acquaintances.

Pleasantly amused by the reality that, indeed, only I knew absolutely everyone at the party meant watching them come together was personally fascinating to observe. The crowd was a blend of musicians, media members, artists, politicians, martial artists, and several childhood and high school pals, in addition to trades and professional folks. How lucky and blessed my life has been.

Just as I was about to rejoin the crowd I noticed a face I did not know!

Huh?

Who is that?

The fellow had walked through the gate with my lifetime buddy Don Burnett. I made a bee line straight for the stranger and introduced myself. Not only did that action retain my previous pontification of knowing all—it also garnered a new friendship. Joe returned Monday with banjo in hand and we jammed for two hours. Life is never too short to not make new friends.

Tuesday came with a reality check.

Bailey our pretty white Himalayan cat with ocean blue eyes died in her sleep of old age. The harsh reminder of the life and death cycle reared its realistic head. Memories of years of friendship filled our minds as we said farewell to a special friend. I did not sleep well.

There was a sense of joyful sorrow Wednesday morning as Teresa and I awoke to our four cute kittens and remaining ancient cat Max all curled up on the bed. Bailey was gone—yet not forgotten and never to be replaced. However, life still fully surrounded us—both new and old.

As I watched young kittens Trouble and Chaos frolic and bounce off a patient Max, I pondered the new changes in our life.

The changes were not a case of better or worse, they were simply change. Something different. Something new.

Life is indeed about constant change and often challenges—and how we adapt to it.

I chose to do so with a smile.

What about you? What is your choice?

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