School, Seventeen, Life’s Canvas and Pride

School, Seventeen, Life’s blank canvas and showing your rainbow Pride, stories from the last 16 weeks of the Carr’s.


School
Julia-award-editIt’s been a bit since I scribed a tale or two about the comings and goings of the Carr’s, so why not today I say? Although I won’t cover off all the exciting things that have transpired over the almost 4 months, I would be remiss if I didn’t at least talk about a couple of the big things that have happened. First and foremost, summer is here, and that would mean that we made it through another school year.

I wrapped up my summer semester a couple of weeks ago around the same time that Julia graduated from grade 8 and Jordyn finished grade 11. Their marks where fantastic and their efforts where acknowledged and recognized and we are so proud of all they have both achieved. In fact, during a beautiful graduation ceremony, Julia was awarded the Eric Young Memorial Award for – Outstanding Efforts. Jordyn finished her co-op placement, using her sign language skills, helping out at a local school for the deaf and truly learned the positive you get from giving back.

We have never been the parents to push our kids super hard, so when they are able to achieve on their own, the awards value is even greater. Two amazing kids, full of love and energy with great futures, but perhaps most importantly, 2 incredibly proud parents.

Seventeen
In the last 4 months, we’ve had a couple of birthdays, but let me reflect on one of them. Stories that relate to time and the passage of it and the unarguable fact that it is moving, whether we want it to or not are always fun. Do you want to feel old? Simple way really, besides looking in a mirror is look at your kids and try to remember what it was like last year or the year before or even better 17 years ago. 17 years. Wow, 17 years ago, Nathalie and I had no children, had just celebrated a few years of marriage and were basically just making our way in life.

Then we had the most beautiful little girl drop into our laps, and everything changed. We were parents for the first time. We had to take care of someone other than ourselves. The responsibility seemed a little greater for us in life. We had bills and jobs and aspirations and this little bundle of joy with a blank slate, ready for the world. We had to teach and guide and share life’s skills with this baby and help her grow up.

In a blink of an eye, 17 years has turned this pretty little red headed baby into a woman. Someone who thinks independently and laughs; someone who is responsible and caring and loves and who is loved. Someone we are so proud of each and every day, and we did that. Sure there were great teachers and loving family members and friends and other factors that helped, but we did it. With love and respect, many tears and a bit of trial and error, we helped make this amazing little moom grow into who she is today.

Blank Canvas
A few friends of mine are dealing with some very large life changes. In conversations with each of them, I have talked about the fresh new canvas and thought my analogy was worth a share for what its worth.

When we are young and life is ahead of us, it is parents and friends and people around us that help pick the content of our life painting. Teachers help us understand the foundation of knowledge that build our shapes and base colours. Their likes and dislikes, become our likes and dislikes, their emotions and beliefs help form ours. By high school, our paintings are outlined and our direction and content is somewhat shaped. We may have lots of work to do to fill in the colours and form detail in our pictures, but they are coming along. In college or university, we learn how to shade things to make things stand out. We gain perspective and understanding on how all the elements work together. We can learn to make our life picture a masterpiece with that extra guidance. We can do it without it, but it just seems more finished with the extra help.

We get married or find jobs or build careers, and each day we add more to our painting. Maybe we change jobs, and we paint over a part of the painting to start again or make the adjustments we need to allow the painting to still be a true reflection of us and what or who we’ve become, but the painting is never really done. It keeps changing and adapting, until that day that we are presented with a major life change. That is the day your canvas is white washed. You still have all the experiences and lessons that got you the picture that was there, but now you have a fresh start; an opportunity to repaint it all or not. A chance to use those colours or shape that you never used in your original work of art, for whatever reason. Perhaps because of someone’s lesson or thoughts ushered you in a different direction or through circumstance something hadn’t even occurred to you. A fresh start is like a brand new pallet with new colours and a blank canvas and a blank canvas is a scary proposition, but the truth is that your life painting, in the end, will be the better for it. Keep painting.

Dancing Water
lake-editHad a chance to visit a cottage up north for a night after a gig, and was blown away by the morning beauty. It was still cool and the air was crisp but the trees across the lake, with the sunlight and breeze had every shade of green represented and with the slow wind, the branches moved and danced to an imaginary symphonic conductor. The ripples on the water joined in on the majestic performance and with every swell and crescendo, the water danced in the most magical way. I was taken aback and wrote this in my mind, and finally now committed it to the permanent record.

Pride
pride-editI have always fully supported the pride movement and have always wanted to go downtown Toronto during the parade, but just never made it. That is until this year. I’m so happy to have shared a fun afternoon with friends and family and to have finally shown my support for inclusion, NOT exclusion; acceptance NOT hate. So happy to have also shown the girls that for this world to work better, we have to all come together and celebrate our similarities and our differences. Given the other things that have happened in this world the last few days, it would seem that this is a lesson we all could benefit from sharing. #onelove #loveislove #fh8

In closing
I often wonder how we got so lucky sometimes. I have never won the lottery or a big jackpot at a casino, but as far as family and life and love, I am so lucky. I do believe in fate, and karma and the powers of positive energy and positive thinking, so sometimes that contradicts the idea of “luck”, but non-the less, I feel like I have had a good run. I just wonder how others see it sometimes.

fortune-edit
A couple of months ago, I learned a little about how Julia sees it and thought I would share. It is no secret, but we all love our Chinese food in the Carr house. Chicken balls, some rice and a beef dish of some kind. I always knew that Julia loves reading the fortune cookies but I didn’t realize that she actually saves them. Well, I found her stash. She keeps them under her phone case, and when she left it in my room, beside my charger one day, I had to snap a picture. It would seem that the one on top says it all, and I couldn’t agree more! “Just be yourself you are wonderful!”

Off to try and be wonderful!

Thanks for reading and have a great and safe week,
Jim


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