A recent issue of Maclean’s magazine included the last edition of “The End”, a regular feature that offered stories of real people and the ordinary and extraordinary details that make up their lives. One part obituary, one part tribute and a large part story-telling, each essay offered a brief biography of someone who lived, breathed, grew, made mistakes and kept moving forward. Someone like each of us.
And in the final tribute to the feature that had chronicled almost 500 lives over twelve years, Michael Friscolanti outlined some of the life lessons that resonated through each story: that to love and to be loved is one of life’s greatest privileges. That we all need to be true to ourselves and follow our own path – whatever the terrain. That money doesn’t buy a happier life but sharing what we have can be value-added to both sides of equation. And that we have a responsibility to ourselves and to those around us.
So what can I do? You or we do? I suppose it starts with being oneself and being open to what is around us. That we can be part of a bigger picture, and that there’s opportunities to be found, if we can be open to them. That may sound simple but is not meant to be trite. It can take a lot to see beyond the daily routines and get outside your comfort zone.
This year’s Winter Carnival is right around the corner with a week’s worth of activities and opportunities to do just that. From pancake breakfasts to skating to pickleball and more, there’s a chance to get involved and discover more of who you are and where we live. The Y is one of the active venues, offering classes, courses and activities for all ages – all free for the trying. There are opportunities to try something new or meet like-minded people. To add a few memorable moments to your own story, and maybe add some colour, new characters or new direction as it unfolds. Why not stop by the Y to see what each day might offer, or check online to discover what’s offered throughout the town?
After all, we all a story to live, share and tell. What sort of a page-turner will you have?
The Y’s calendar of events can be found online at ymcaofcumberland.com
The Winter Carnival calendar is available at www.amherst.ca
The referenced article can be found at http://www.macleans.ca/society/life/what-writing-500-obituaries-taught-us-about-living/
Jan Matthews YMCA column appears periodically in the Amherst News.