Thursday, 17 September 2015

What I Know, What With all this Time to Reflect...

Having been recently diagnosed with a terminal illness and having taken some time for introspective thought, I have learned that these I know to be truths.

I know you don't know what you know until you sit back and think about what you do know for sure. I've been doing that and I've discovered - I know stuff. 

Charting a Course
I know that sports, work, athletic endeavours and good old R&R are better when it's difficult. I know that pushing the limits of what you can do, to the point of seriously considering that this just might be the one time you've gone too far is the most fun you'll ever have. I'm no athlete, but I grew up sailing against the prevailing winds on the Bay of Quinte and in some ways have never stopped sailing into the wind. 

I know that sometimes there can be rocks just below a calm surface.  I know you can only spot them by taking your eyes off the horizon to pay attention to your immediate surroundings.  I know a small rock can cause a big enough gash to sink a good sized sail boat. No really, I know that. It can happen in an ocean or a Great Lake. I know it. 

I know a map and a compass can save your life.

Living a Life
I know that trimming your wayward hairs (nose, eyebrows, ears) can make you look 5 years younger.

I know that you should keep your wife satisfied in at least two rooms in your home and one of them is not optional. 

I know you should play full out. I know you should give your employer, your business, your volunteer efforts, your family, your God, your all; I know one should even take breaks purposefully, and full out.  I mean that nothing, ever, is going to be satisfying to anyone, especially yourself, at half-effort. Nothing. Ever. 

I know that the fear of making a CLM (Career Limiting Move) in the late 70s and early 80s was likely the most debilitating blow struck to professional ambition and creativity of all time, as millions of 30-something boomers kept our heads down and collars buttoned in fear and plotting against each other.

I know that if I'm not in the bottom half in any given gathering of peers... it's time to change peers. Or at least change rooms. 

I know that kids grow up.  But I also know you'll recognize the best and worst of your parenting when you go toe-to-toe over something that really matters when they do. 

Management and Leadership
I know you should stand up when you work, as often and for as long as possible. This is not just a metaphor, though it is that too. I know when you stand up you'll be more creative. I know you'll have more energy.  I know you'll negotiate better. I know others may mock you.

I know if you're not being mocked, challenged and mind-checked once in awhile, you're just not trying hard enough. Either that or it's time for new friends and coworkers who actually care about you, who actually care about your collective cause. 

I know that loyalty and obedience to a cause, a leader, a belief is liberating.  I know that a good direct report has the boss's back.  I know that manipulating the boss (aka "managing up") is a fool's game; counterproductive, disloyal, damaging to the team and far more blatantly obvious than any boss will ever let on. 

I wish I'd known that 20 years ago.  I wish someone had told me. I wish I could guarantee I'd have listened. 

I  know that bad management is almost always to blame. Conversely I know that excellence in management is the best and only hope. 

I know the guy with the biggest title on his business card is not necessarily the guy with the best plan. I know leadership can flow from many sources.  I know only a fool ignores it. I know because I've been the fool. 

I know the fool on the hill quietly sees even more than he lets on. I know that love is not all you need, but it's the last thing you should surrender. I know that if you didn't recognize the Beatles reference just there you have much for which to forgive your parents. 

I know you should forgive, often and early.  That was a Jesus reference.

I know that I've been wrong so often that these days I'm usually only right by default. 

I know one should probably not always go for the laugh but I also know that betwen you and me, if someone going to do it, it's gonna be me. 

I know there's no real good reason you should take anything I've said seriously. Except this....

The Last Word
I know...I know that finishing and beginning every day in prayer and meditation is a game changer. I know that attending Mass regularly (at least weekly) is the right thing to do, and I wish you knew that too. I think maybe you do, in your own way. 

I know that finding out you're going to die, soon, is a lot easier knowing you're not going through it alone. 

I know that finding out you're going to die, soon, is a lot easier to accept when you can't remember the last time you took a day for granted anyway.

I know that finding out I was going to die, soon, was a lot easier on me than it was on you. 

But I Also Know...
I know that it ain't about me. 

I don't know just how much else I don't know, but I do know this...

I know that God knows all, see all, knows me, knows you...and I'm cool with it.

In December 2014 Jeremy Tyrrell was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a disease considered to be incurable. He has already quietly outlived the initial prognosis of several months and attributes it to the love of God, the prayers of friends and family, and the wonder of traditional modern medicine

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