When I was very young, I dreamed of being the Prime Minister of Canada. Luckily, I grew out of that quickly, and in today’s toxic social media world, I sadly cannot think of a worse job than being a politician. “You can’t please all of the people all of the time.” Add on “and you’ll either lose your soul or be destroyed in the process” and truer words were never spoken.
Then I aspired to be a professional football player. But two games into my first year of university, that dream came to an end with a career ending knee injury. Luckily it wasn’t the paralysis of a spinal injury that my parents always feared (and strangely a concern that also began to haunt me during training camp of my first collegiate season). I’ll take the chronic bad knee and am thankful I escaped with nothing worse.
I moved on to the goal of being the General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. I honestly still think I could do that job, just ask my Happy Hour crowd. At least better than the current GM (I can’t even bring myself to write his name in print) and those awful extravagant contracts he unnecessarily bestowed on the undeserving young stars who have still yet to win anything. And don’t get me started on William Nylander.
And then the dream was to be an author, to write inspiring stories and at least one legendary, memorable novel, like The Catcher In The Rye for my generation.
I look back on these dreams now and wonder … how &#%!@ delusional was I?
In the end (or as I’d optimistically prefer to say, “halfway to the end”), I like what I do and I love my life, all because of my amazing family and fantastic group of friends. No regrets.
There was an interesting article in the Globe recently by Robyn Sarah, aimed at the retired or nearly retired crowd, encouraging us to return to the passions of our youth. “People often dream of returning to a lapsed, once-loved activity, something they once excelled at, that fell by the wayside when they found their livelihood elsewhere.” For Ms. Sarah, this meant a return to serious piano playing at the age of 60, just for the love of it.
Why should we re-engage our youthful passions? She cites many reasons: “Joy. Balance. Stability. Self-Knowledge. Ongoing challenge. Insurance against boredom. New friendships. A break from the pressures and drudgeries of workplace and domestic routine. A refuge from the freak show playing out on the daily news. Something to look forward to every day. A secret reason to get up in the morning.”
Great advice. My wife and I are now trying to pass on to our children the delicate balancing of the pursuit of youthful passions with the sobering realities of adult life.
One son fancies himself a philosopher-king and the other a TikTok mogul. Our daughter has her sights set on medical school.
My heart wants to tell the boys to follow your dreams. My head is saying, be more like your sister, you knuckleheads!