I Was a Hero for an Hour!

A story of a lost 3 year old boy…

On a 10km run eaier this week in the Luberon (Provence) I came across a stranded 3 year old boy. I passed him and remarked how young and small he looked. It was also 35C or 95F and I was concerned he may get heat exhaustion. I ran back to him and asked if he was ok. It was immediately clear he was lost and panicking. He said he lost his parents and wanted to go home.

The farmlands where I found the boy.

For some reason this was my first run in months without a mobile phone. Had I had the phone I would have called the emergency number in France which is 15 (like 911 in North America). Being in farmland, the roads were quiet and not a single car was around. But amazingly this little boy knew the way home. So I walked him home (about 2km) up and down rolling dirt roads off the main road. Continue reading

Running and Recuperation in Provence

It is July and we are finally in the Luberon, a serene and stunning area of rolling hills, lavender, wheat, and sunflower fields in Provence just east of Avignon. Nestled in between the Luberon Mountains, we are in a small villa about 5 kilometres outside of Reillanne, a medieval perched village.

C RunningMy family has had a tough 2016 and we desperately needed to get away from Paris for everyone to rest and recuperate. We have extended family with us to help watch the kids but this place more or less watches them for us. Our villa is safely tucked inside a valley where my mobile phone doesn’t get a signal much to my wife’s delight! The kids can run freely and explore the property while enjoying the view of the five horses that roam the field just fifty metres from our front door.

Our kids, my wife and I all need time to rest and recover from what has been a tough yet formative year. I’m off work for a while to focus on the family. It has been very rewarding as my bonds have grown deeper with my wife and my kids. Several mornings a week the girls crawl into our bed for a proper snuggle and we often find ourselves falling asleep again for another thirty to sixty minutes. The extra rest is welcomed to help us feel refreshed. Continue reading

Simple and Healthy Family Meals

Over the past six months I’ve become the primary cook and meal planner at home and I’ve really enjoyed taking on this new role. I get immense pleasure in meal planning, selecting ingredients, and making delicious and nutritious meals. I’ve also started optimizing the meal choices for speed and nutritional balance. I’m a big fan of healthy fats and lots of vegetables and have found a few great kid friendly meals that are simple and hit the spot every time. Moreover, they are simple to make and take no time at all.

IMG_1698

Healthy and enjoyable meals in a beautiful setting!

Here is a dinner I made last night consisting of basmati rice, roasted vegetables (sweet potato, garlic, and carrots), barbecue salmon, and green salad. We don’t buy prepared dressings as we make them daily out of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard. I sliced the vegetables, placed them into an oven dish, drizzled olive oil over them and broiled them for 50 minutes while I made the rice, set the table, and cooked the fish on the barbecue.

 

Continue reading

Why Do You Go To Work?

About five years ago I was on a solo date with my eldest daughter who was four at the time. We were at our favourite fusion Mexican restaurant sitting on the upstairs patio. It was a warm spring evening, the sky was blue, and the sun’s rays casted a beautiful warm light. I cherished the moment alone with my daughter.

I said to her. “I really enjoy spending time with you.”
She responded. “Then why do you go to work?”

I can’t recall how I answered, but I know it wasn’t deep or profoundly insightful. I recall smiling and being stunned at her wisdom. She has always had an old soul.

Version 2

The old soul

I wished I’d answered. “Because I love my job, I work with great people, am constantly learning, and we are building and selling enduring products that deliver real value for our customers.” I’m not sure a four year old would have understood this answer. The point is that I haven’t always loved what I do and I wonder how this impacts my family.

I can understand why she would pose this question. I could see her brain working. “You love me. I love you. We have fun together. Why would you want to leave me?” Continue reading

Morning Angst

As a professional who must leave home every morning while the kids are still waking, wiping the crust out of their eyes, getting breakfast, my heart breaks as I say goodbye and close the door behind me.

I’m grateful that I have a very patient and supportive wife who guides the kids daily to get dressed, eat, brush their teeth, collect their homework, do their hair, put on shoes and jackets while managing the complaints, the concerns, and the daily protests. “I don’t want to go to school! I can’t find my homework! I don’t like this shirt. Where are my shoes? I want to take this toy to school! I can’t find my mittens.” Continue reading

Enduring

If there is one word that describes my personal journey I hope that word is enduring. I’ve always believed in building relationships, businesses, and institutions that take on purpose and value to withstand the ebbs and flows of time, the ups and downs up markets, and the trials and tribulations of families. In other words, building enduring relationships, families, and businesses.

One wouldn’t describe my roots as privileged or financially and emotionally secure. I come from a family that was embroiled in turmoil. From a very young age I knew I had to define my own destiny. As a child I understood my parents had to make trade offs. I heard them constantly stressed about finances. I recall one day shopping for a toy I really wanted but when the moment came to buy the toy I cowered and told them I no longer wanted it. I feared for the family finances and any resulting stress. I was already wearing the responsibility to take care of myself as a primary school boy and wiring my brain to help me thrive in what I observed as a very chaotic world. Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: